Her trigger event and subsequent powers heavily influenced her personality. She does not usually talk to the press and has a no-nonsense attitude to leadership. She's taciturn and impatient with the public, dislikes merchandising, and is known for essentially never retreating regardless of losses.
She was known to being exceedingly stubborn, unfair, inpatient and unreasonable even in training environment.
She has built up an excellent reputation despite - or perhaps because of - her caustic personality, and is considered one of the top heroes in the Protectorate. Villains often surrender or flee at the sight of her.
As a Ward, 'Ash Phoenix' had a flaming bird motif to her costume. This was eventually dropped, in favor of an ash gray and white design with few colorful embellishments that she uses as Cinereal. She wore a mask that covered the upper part of her face. Cinereal had a naturally intimidating posture and expression.
As a Titan, she appears as a light gray figure with fiery hair. As with all Titans, she has no face, but the rest of her is more detailed.
Cinereal is noted for her raw power and durability.
Cinereal creates large amounts of particulate "ash" across an area, spreading it with waves and blasts as well as creating plumes from her body when struck or striking during combat. The sticky ash seeps into and strengthens nearby structures. Her power was thus more effective when she remained in one location. Once the ash is created, she has no ability to move it, but can absorb it into herself or ignite it (see below.)
Cinereal can absorb and coat herself in the ash, consuming it in order to teleport and/or heal herself (which automatically kicks in if she is mortally injured.) Once she has activated this breaker state, she is unable to leave the area of ash until she has used up all the ash in the area, in a time-consuming process that heals any injuries she took during the battle. When she exits her breaker state, any nearby flames are simultaneously extinguished.
As a leader she has always had a reputation for being a talent scout.
Cinereal has another ability that she almost never uses - she can set herself and the nearby ash on fire, causing it to burn at 1100 degrees C and consuming it at a steady rate.
She used this ability more liberally when she went by Ash Phoenix, but was forbidden from doing so for an extended period of time.
The Ashen Titan gained a massive increase in range, in addition she now converts inorganic matter inside her range into the ash, and can fully control and shape the ash.
The building, as well as other structures in her way, dissolve into ash dunes, however they are reconstructed once she leaves the area. The sheer amount of particulate dampens the sounds into near silence in her vicinity.
She joined the Wards eight years ago. During her Ward years and before re-branding, she was known as Ash Phoenix. She was likely one of the PRT's 'success stories' with regards to raising tough Wards into good heroes.
Two years into her career, she was forced into a leadership position when the previous Protectorate leader of Atlanta killed himself. She proved herself apt and was allowed to keep her position in the team, in contravention to traditional methods of advancement.
Due to the limitations of her powers, she was never deployed against the original trio of Endbringers.
At some point, a group of fire-themed villains that included Coalbelcher tried to band against her, and were thoroughly trounced.
She survived the events of Gold Morning. Two years after the event, she had joined The Wardens, one of the Protectorate's successor organizations. She is considered one of the key members and has her own statue in HQ's lobby.
Cinereal was not one of the Wardens stranded by the portal sabotage. She appeared prominently with the remaining Wardens at the hero meeting that Dragon and Defiant held, though she was not communicative.
She returned from her deployment. Along with Vista and Golem, Cinereal appeared at a meeting of teams involved in Breakthrough's hero network about what had happened to the Navigators. She opted to stay neutral with regards to how to address the attack.
When Fume Hood broken triggered, Cinereal was one of the multiple capes who also broken triggered and became a Titan. She flash-fried several heroes, that attempted to communicate with her.Titan Fortuna attempted to form a connection with her, and presumably succeeded. Ashen Titan arrived late to the fight with Titan Fortuna near Shin portal, but quickly went passive together with others Fortuna's Titans.
Ashen Titan was augmented with Pouffe, mover titan, allowing them to wreak havoc all over the City. Dragon and Defiant made an effort to disable them, which culminated in the upper 3/4 of Ashen Titan being stranded near the New Boston.
Cinereal's ash-phoenix motif is also heavily associated with her home city, Atlanta. The city has the Phoenix on its flag , and 'resurgens' (rising again) as its motto, a nod to the city's history. (Atlanta was partially burned down in Sherman's March to the Sea, and then rebuilt to what it is now.)
Cinereal is an old English word that comes from the Latin 'cinis,' which means and relates to ashes, specifically the dead cold heavy black ashes left after a fire.
Cinereal shares its root with the word 'incinerate', which means to reduce something to ashes.
Cinereal's flame is hotter than most magma. It's intense enough to soften steel and to liquefy copper, gold, bronze, aluminum, and silver.
Cinereal leads the Atlanta Protectorate, Wards, and maintains liaison with the Watchdog group. She’s a powerful breaker and shaker, and maintains a peculiar style of leadership. Her power altered her thought pattern and emotions, which would normally preclude being put in a leadership position, but she stepped into the position as a temporary measure after the prior Protectorate leader committed suicide (owing to PTSD from the local war) and nobody truly went out of their way or found cause to replace her. - Link made on the IRC archived on Spacebattles
↑The largest 65 cities in the United States host individual departments as of 2012. They are numbered accordingly, in order of decreasing size.
↑ 3.03.1Cinereal is a very intense ‘lead by example’ leader. She’s aggressive in patrolling and in putting down threats. She expects those she leads to keep up, with little coddling. She doesn’t tend to ask more than someone can give, and most find their stride in short order.
Cinereal is powerful, and is very hard to put down. The only guaranteed way would likely be to sustain an assault and simultaneously constrain her ability to act to keep her from producing more of the ‘ash’. - Link made on the IRC archived on Spacebattles
↑ 4.04.14.24.34.4Her reputation is well established. She’s been around for eight years and in charge for six. Villains tend to run or surrender when she shows up, and the public has a strange, almost masochistic liking for her. She doesn’t talk to cameras, doesn’t see the point, abuses bystanders who are gawking rather than running, and eschews merchandising issues, yet the public seems to champion her more for it.
Retreat really isn’t in her playbook. Even in situations where allies have fallen, she prefers to eliminate the threat and then collect the wounded, rather than change course and help them first. Those working for her know this. - Link made on the IRC archived on Spacebattles
↑But where Narwhal was the kind of militant, no-nonsense, all-business leader who I was pretty sure would bow to better arguments, I wasn’t positive Cinereal was anything like that. Cinereal was allegedly unfair, unreasonable, in training, expectations, her lack of patience, and her propensity to hold grudges. - Excerpt from Sundown 17.6
↑ Parahumans IRC said: Wildbow: Armsmaster appears in the posters and such of the top Protectorate heroes. Wildbow:When they do the image of everyone standing in a 'v' formation
Parahumans IRC said: Wildbow: Nah. Legend in front, Alex and Eidolon to the left and right, respectively. Then Myrddin, Chev, Cinereal, Narwhal, Rime, Exalt, Armsmaster, Dragon suit silhouette in the background, wings echoing the wings of the PRT logo over their heads. - IRC conversation archived on Spacebattles
↑ 7.07.1Eric [...] just lost his mentor, he’ll be starting from square one working under me. It’s possible he’ll rise in the ranks quickly, if Cinereal’s assessment of him is correct. She always had a great eye for nascent talent. - Excerpt from Radiation 18.1
↑ 8.08.18.2Cinereal had a phoenix motif as a ward, but was forbidden from using her flames for an extended period, and eventually dropped the brand. Her costume makes liberal use of the color grey and very few highlights of color. - Link made on the IRC archived on Spacebattles
↑ 9.09.1But Cinereal was scary as shit. She was almost scarier than Alexandria in pure attitude and disposition, and Alexandria had been the Protectorate’s enforcer, their scary woman in black and steel. Cinereal had no steel and wore ash grey and white. She had no spikes and no hard edges, no weapons in plain view. It was the look on her face, upper half covered with a mask, and it was in how she held herself. - Excerpt from Polarize 10.11
↑ 10.010.1I could imagine all of the angriest, most fucked up corporate capes and Wards I’d run into over the course of my adolescence. The kids who’d been angry and frustrated, got powers, joined a team, and got worse, not better. I knew that they got second chances, they were coddled to, and inordinate resources were spent on them.
Seeing the natural resting bitch face, the posture, and the natural menace, I was pretty sure that Cinereal was one of the PRT’s success stories, when it came to transforming the tougher Wards into good heroes. She’d never been meant to be a leader, much less of a major city like Atlanta, but her predecessors had died, she’d taken up the position by order of succession in a crisis, and I imagined nobody had been brave enough to ask her to leave the role, after. To her credit, she’d never given them a reason. - Excerpt from Polarize 10.11
↑A woman in light gray, with hair like fire. Like the rest of the titans, she had no face, and the rest of her was given more character and detail. - Excerpt from Radiation 18.2
↑ 12.012.112.212.312.4Her power involves creating patches of ash’. In waves, blasts, and on violent contact with a surface, she creates plumes of particulate matter that bleed into the surroundings, converting and effectively protecting it. The resulting matter is dense, heavy, and clings to itself enough that it doesn’t tend to form major clouds, instead collecting on surroundings in crude dunes, some gravity-defying. It is of a volume and weight to easily bury others, forcing those caught in a wave to use raw strength to fight their way free.
Cinreal can use the material as an extension of herself - it cannot be moved, but she can cover herself and reform/launch herself out of a collection of the particulate, spearing forward and creating more ‘ash’ on impact with a person or location. Doing so consumes a portion of the matter.
On being wounded enough that her life might be in danger, she will automatically ‘perish’ and reform nearby, again, consuming a portion of the matter, being partially restored in the process.
She has the ability to set her breaker state and the ‘ash’ on fire. These flames burn at an extremely high temperature (1100 degrees celsius), and consume the ash at a steady rate. She almost never uses this power. The flames can spread, but all flames can be simultaneously extinguished as she exits her breaker form. She is fireproof. - Link made on the IRC archived on Spacebattles
↑ 13.013.1Vista and Golem were in attendance along with Cinereal- and I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad one. On any other day, objective, I would have said she was the perfect person for the role. She was serious, focused, and she had an angry edge to her, but always controlled. Controlled anger was, in my opinion, perfect for the current crisis. She had been a heavy hitter in Atlanta, which hosted a major arm of Watchdog, unusual in that she didn’t tend to leave her city, even for Endbringer fights, because her power was best if she stuck to one location. - Excerpt from Polarize 10.11
↑Ridtom: But it also can't be moved by her power, yet she can somehow cover herself with it? Ridtom: And also somehow draw the matter into herself in order to deactivate her Breaker power? Wildbow: Divebomb a location, spread ash in radius around impact site, bury foes, operate within radius of ash to rinse/repeat. Ridtom: Ah, I was overthinking it. But still, her being unable to move the ash, but still being able to draw it into herself? Ridtom: Isn't that kind of contradictory? Wildbow: More a night hag thing.
- Link made on the IRC archived on Spacebattles
↑ 15.015.1She can’t leave her breaker state voluntarily. Remaining stationary, typically after climbing to a high perch where she won’t be bothered by civilian or news crews, she’ll draw the matter to herself, absorbing it and healing her wounds. Once entering into a confrontation, she is effectively tethered to the location. It is partially for this reason that she has avoided Endbringer encounters, and partially because her power is effectively countered by each of the three. - Link made on the IRC archived on Spacebattles
↑The Ashen Titan. Formerly Warden Cinereal. Her reach was already extensive, especially when she was in an area for any length of time. It has increased manifold. She converts inorganic matter within a certain radius to ash she can telekinetically control and shape. We sent an expedition out to reach out and try to open communication, she superheated her ash, and the heated air that resulted killed the capes at the cloudline. We can safely assume she is no longer on our side.” - Excerpt from Radiation 18.2
↑The Ashen Titan walked between buildings, and she didn’t go on the offensive. Her ash did collect around her, with buildings in her range being consumed by her power, turned to dense and heavy powder, and collapsing to form dunes and waves that shifted and swirled in a loose circle around her.
When she moved on, it reconstituted as best as it could. Buildings were rebuilt, kind of. That which was lost to the cracks was gone and didn’t reconstitute, and because it tended to be material from the same areas, the reconstituted matter tended to be from one floor or one wall of a building. Buildings fell or were rebuilt on their sides. Where she herself was quieter than silent, muting and nullifying sounds in her vicinity with a constant background noise of powder brushing against powder, that silence didn’t extend to the crumbling buildings in her wake.
There was a big danger in how those dunes and waves masked the cracks in reality. For people on the ground, it was easy to step into a valley between dunes, only to fall through, pulled beneath. Even where there were fliers or teleporters ready to catch anyone in a pinch, the ashen powder would block their view of the victim. There one second, gone the next.
The other, bigger danger was that the powder was combustible. Selectively combustible. She barely seemed to care about me carving a furrow into her circle of powder, up until Colt flew past her, raking her with the blade hand.
The ‘ash’ rose up, and ignited, chasing behind Colt, not directly on a course for me, but damn well close enough. - Excerpt from Infrared 19.6
↑Capes who are holding their own or who are very on top of their game might start getting pulled away for trips to nearby cities and locations, to bolster numbers or provide backup (or be the tool that another department doesn't have in its toolbox). Or they're left in charge of the team while the team leader is away/off duty. Once this starts becoming regular and they're still proving their mettle, it becomes a sort of informal thing where they end up on a team with Legend or Alexandria or Eidolon, and tackling some real nail-biters. And if they handle their shit then (excuse my French), then their Director calls them into the office and says "The Triumvirate wants to borrow you for a while."
And then they're working as a direct subordinate to other members of the Triumvirate for a short stint each time, which is a final series of checks and balances before they run their own Protectorate team. [...] It's not a hard and fast rule. Some teams find leadership in other ways. But before a cape really gets branded and presented to the nation at large as 'leader of [city]'s Protectorate', they'll be vetted and tested and given time with the Triumvirate. Until then, it'll often be something along the lines of... sure, you're in charge of the team until someone says different, but don't go saying you're in charge and if someone asks you if you're leading the team, deflect or be sure to say it's temporary. - comment by WildBow on Reddit
“Uh, was one of the fire-themed villains that tried to band together against Cinereal. Most of that group got trounced, he didn’t, he became a mid-level boss there. Careful, camera up ahead.” - Excerpt from Breaking 14.12
“Not for a while,” Sveta said. “That’s more for people who’ve put in the years, and he only just got in. He’s got a preliminary thing in the gift shop.” - Excerpt from Glare 3.6
↑Other heroes had gathered already. Narwhal and Weld stood out, as part of the remnants of free and available capes from the Wardens. Cinereal was about as somber and intimidating in a breaker shroud of gray ash as Narwhal was scintillating and bright. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.1
↑The train had arrived. Soldiers returning from deployment. Capes wore civilian uniforms and casual clothes, and blended into the crowd. Her power identified the ones familiar to her, that she might not have otherwise recognized with their masks off or the obscuring details between the camera and the returning people.
↑We sent an expedition out to reach out and try to open communication, she superheated her ash, and the heated air that resulted killed the capes at the cloudline. We can safely assume she is no longer on our side.” - Excerpt from Radiation 18.2
↑Lines connected titans. One between Dauntless and Eve. Then Titan Fortuna with lines of varying strength to the Ophion, Nemean, and Ashen Titans; to Bough, Victor, and Cinereal, respectively. Another line seemed to connect Titan Oberon to the unnamed new Titan, Auger. - Excerpt from Radiation 18.2