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This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS relating to
some of the most pivotal parts of Worm. Although all articles contain spoilers, this article will reveal major plot twists and should almost certainly be avoided unless you have finished the story. Click here to visit a redacted version, although it will still contain minor spoilers.
The Endbringers were something we all understood. A fact of reality, something that touched everyone, struck a chord of fear in cape and civilian alike.
The Endbringers are monstrous beings that take turns attacking locations around the globe to cause as much damage as they possibly can. Apparently unkillable, the Endbringers retreat to their respective domains to heal after they have sustained sufficient damage, only to attack again months later.
According to Tattletale’s power, the Endbringers were never human and have no vulnerable organs. Rather, the Endbringers appear to be made out of some type of a crystalline material. In addition, they consist of about 200 layers in the main body and 33 in the limbs, each one approximately twice as hard as the previous one. These layers surround their cores, the only part of their bodies that is actually vital.
An Endbringer's skin is "hard as aluminum alloy, but flexible"; and its strength, toughness, and healing factor increase exponentially. 3% deeper in toward core of arms, legs, claws, tail, or .5% in toward core of head, trunk, neck, tissues are hard as steel. The tensile strength of the material roughly doubles with each layer, every 0.5% of the way towards the center of his body and every 3% of the way toward the center of their extremities; Wildbow has confirmed  that "extremities would take 30 trillion atmospheres of pressure to damage." The core of an Endbringer would require around five hundred and sixty novemdecillion MPA of pressure; in practice, only parahumans capable of breaking the laws of physics can seriously harm an Endbringer.
However, a concentrated attack with enough force to destroy the surface of a planet would be sufficient at killing an Endbringer in one shot. While even an attack of that magnitude would not destroy all layers of the Endbringer body, enough energy to obliterate it instantly would be transmitted into the core, resulting in a 'definite kill'. In theory String Theory's Driver weapons pose a significant threat to the Endbringers. As a consequence they carefully plan their appearances as to eliminate any possibility of facing her in combat. Projectiles affected by Flechette's power would be able to destroy an Endbringer's core.
Due to their density, Endbringers are immune to most teleporters. They count as living matter for the purposes of the Manton Effect. Endbringer cores employ space-warping that interferes with some powers. When they take damage they leak a thick ichor-like substance, suggesting a non-standard cardiac system. Their nervous system is also foreign enough to prevent body control powers from working. They regenerate quickly as well, even in the middle of a battle. The deeper layers regenerate faster because the material from the intact layers expands to fill in any damaged or missing areas.
Behemoth — also known as "Hadhayosh" and "Prathama" — was the first Endbringer to appear, making its first appearance in the Marun Field of Iran on December 13, 1992. It has the ability to manipulate multiple forms of energy (electrical, thermal, kinetic, and etc.) while bypassing the Manton Effect. Because of this, it gained a reputation as the 'hero killer,' possessing a high body count at short range. The Protectorate recommended that no cape get within 35 feet of him, as within this range almost no cape had a means to protect themselves should he wish to vaporize, electrocute, or otherwise kill them; even super-speed capes could be out-sped and killed by his lightning. That said, Behemoth seems to lack complete control over his energy manipulation, as demonstrated in the New Delhi fight, when Weaver and several Wards with her were able to create a large metal structure which acted as a lighting rod and re-directed some of his lighting bolts.
Leviathan — also known as "Jormungand" or "Jörmungandr" — appeared in Oslo, Norway on June 9, 1996. It has macro-hydrokinesis, speed, and a water "afterimage" that follows behind it and moves as fast as Leviathan itself. It was known for causing immense environmental damage, devastating areas such as Newfoundland and Kyushu to the point of uninhabitability.
The Simurgh — also known as "Ziz" — appeared in Lausanne, Switzerland on December 30, 2002. It has psionic abilities (most infamously manifesting as a "song") and the ability to draw on Tinker powers around it in order to build its own Tinker devices. The Simurgh also has near-perfect precognition but lacks the ability to perceive the present; in combat, this strength more than makes up for her weakness. Not only does this precognition make her extremely effective in combat, but it also enables her to target key locations or individuals. When the Simurgh attacks a key target, it is known to adjust the events in places it attacks to set up the survivors to be "walking disasters" that happen days, months, or even years after. Affected areas were quarantined to try and mitigate these effects, such as in the case of Madison, Wisconsin.
Following the death of Behemoth, the existing Endbringers seemed to change tactics, while new Endbringers appeared, apparently with a different purpose. The first of these was Khonsu, which appeared in Japan on January 20, 2012. It has the ability to create circular fields that trap people inside. People from the outside see the field as increasing the speed of time, but it passes normally to those inside. It also has world-wide teleportation abilities.
Tohu and Bohu appeared in Bucharest, Romania on October 10, 2012. Bohu manipulates the battlefield, setting up traps for defending parahumans and manipulating the area in a set pattern. The full extent of these traps is not fully detailed, but it is heavily implied that, should Bohu successfully alter a city, it would be rendered unsuitable for habitation. This has not stopped large groups of parahumans from fighting in altered cities, however, as demonstrated by Jack Slash.
Tohu chooses three capes and then copies their powers to defend its "sister" Bohu. For obvious reasons, it tends to copy stronger powers.
The Endbringers intend to continue operating for roughly 300 years, the estimated length of the cycle. They can only reach this date by conserving their energy and intentionally fighting below strength. They constantly update their strategies from attack to attack, coming back with new approaches, and revealing new abilities that they hadn't shown before.
Each of the Endbringers was created for a specific purpose to conform to their 300-year timeline. Behemoth was created to "break stasis," Leviathan to take away resources in space and land, forcing communities into conflict as they relocated, and the Simurgh to simulate a future where humanity destroyed itself from in-fighting, as well as to forcibly gather information on the planet's resources to provide better data.
The first Endbringer, Behemoth, appeared in 1992 in the Marun oil field of Iran, beginning a series of attacks at various locations worldwide, roughly once a year. The appearance of Behemoth was a major factor towards the creation of the PRT, which labelled the Endbringer as Case 2 in their case files. For the Quattuorvirate, the presence of Behemoth, as well as the potential for future capes of his caliber, was also a major motivating factor for the formation of their team and the continued work of Cauldron.
Over the next several years, the Endbringer attacks continued to escalate. Once Behemoth began to be "too predictable," the second Endbringer, Leviathan, appeared in 1996, in Oslo, Norway. Attacks started occuring roughly every five months. Worldwide defense efforts began to coordinate forces against Endbringer attacks; apparently in response to these efforts, in 2002, the third Endbringer, the Simurgh, made her first appearance, appearing docile at first before attacking and revealing herself to be an Endbringer.
The three Endbringers continued their worldwide attacks over the next decade, creating immense destruction. An attack from Leviathan on Newfoundland sunk the entire island, killing the tinker Andrew Richter, whose creation Dragon later joined the Guild; a separate attack from Leviathan sunk the island of Kyushu, despite resistance from Lung. The benevolent tinker Sphere was turned into future Slaughterhouse Nine member Mannequin by an attack from the Simurgh; another Simurgh attack on Madison, Wisconsin brought the Travelers to Earth Bet, later bringing about the Echidna.
On May 15, 2011, Brockton Bay was the target of an attack by Leviathan; Miss Militia believed the attack to be in response to the recent gang conflicts plaguing the city, while the Travelers suspected Noelle Meinhardt to be the target of the attack, a theory which Tattletale later agreed with. Early-warning programs operated by Armsmaster and Dragon were able to foresee the attack and give local and foreign capes a chance to organize against it. Leviathan still devastated the parahuman resistance, only retreating with the appearance of Scion, and destroyed a large part of the city. The number of casualties was the lowest for an Endbringer attack in years, however, leading Taylor Hebert to later reflect on the attack as a "good day" compared to other attacks.
The Leviathan attack nevertheless had significant and long-lasting consequences for the city; large swaths of it were left without power and resources, while others were destroyed entirely. The local Protectorate team was weakened by the death of Velocity and the retirement of Armsmaster, while the deaths of Aegis and Gallant severely hurt morale among the local Wards and required the arrival of Weld and Flechette to bolster their ranks.New Wave was also hit hard by the deaths of Shielder and Manpower, and the injury of Flashbang. Meanwhile, with the city's major gangs removed from power and the heroes still recovering, the Undersiders and the Travelers were able to claim territory, furthering their employer Coil's plans to take over the city.
Despite these issues, the city was able to recover to a reasonable position within several months. However, its poor state soon after the attack ultimately attracted the attention of the Slaughterhouse Nine, whose presence in the city eventually set the stage for the end of the world.
The next Endbringer attack occurred on July 26, 2011, when Behemoth attacked New Delhi. The battle was attended by both the local cape groups of the Garama and Thanda, as well as capes from the Protectorate and the Yàngbǎn, as well as the Undersiders and Ambassadors. The Endbringer's goal was likely a "time bomb" operated by local 'cold' cape Phir Sē, composed of light looped repeatedly through portals, accumulating power. Phir Sē eventually deployed this energy weapon, dealing the most damage to an Endbringer ever done, but it only succeeded in removing the Endbringer's outer layers, leaving his 'skeleton' intact. After further fighting, Scion arrived, and having been instructed by Kevin Norton to slay the Endbringers, he killed Behemoth.
In addition to the deaths of numerous civilians, the attack saw the deaths of noted capes such as Regent, Rime, and Accord. Alexandria's body, possessed by Pretender, notably made an appearance at the attack. In addition, the Chicago Wards, after cooperating with Weaver, made the decision to let her onto their team. The largest consequence of the attack on New Delhi, however, was the death of Behemoth. The Endbringers, long seen as a fact of life, were shown in this battle to be killable, prompting questions about the next steps forward regarding the other Endbringers, as well as what they would do to escalate next. As information about the attack spread to the public, it was similarly met with both celebration and skepticism about the defeat, with some expressing concerns that Behemoth was not actually dead, or that the defeat would provoke the remaining Endbringers.
The first Endbringer attack following the death of Behemoth was an attack from the Simurgh on November 25, 2011, on Flight BA178; unlike prior attacks, the fight lasted only forty minutes, with little lead-up and no casualties besides the passengers of the plane. This attack marked a change in strategy for Leviathan and the Simurgh, both of them beginning to use guerrilla tactics.
The most notable development regarding the Endbringers occurred with the appearance of the fourth Endbringer, Khonsu, on January 20, 2012. In contrast to prior Endbringer attacks, Khonsu teleported to attack multiple locations worldwide for a period of three days, requiring intense negotiations and coordination from Cauldron to drive off. In addition, the proximity of Khonsu's attack to the Simurgh's only two months before suggested not only an altered schedule, but given the precedent, the appearance of a fifth Endbringer. On October 10 later that year, this fear was confirmed with the appearance of the Endbringers Tohu and Bohu, collectively The Twins.
Over the course of the Timeskip, the now-five Endbringers continued their attacks, making use of hit-and-run tactics and other strategies to counter and avoid Scion.
"I won't spoil the conclusion if you're eager to see this through."
This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS relating to
events in Arc 28. Although all articles contain spoilers, this article will reveal major plot twists and should almost certainly be avoided unless you have finished the story.
Following the death of Eidolon, the Endbringers began behaving strangely. The Simurgh and Bohu appeared at the same time on Earth Bet, something never before seen, but both remained motionless. Reviewing footage from Eidolon's last minutes before death, Tattletale concluded that Eidolon's death had caused their unusual behavior and attempted to communicate with the Simurgh, asking her to organize the Endbringers against Scion. After several attempts, Tattletale appeared to have successfully convinced the Endbringer, managing to get the Simurgh, as well as Leviathan, to follow the group and attack on command; in addition to having the Simurgh 'imprint' on Tattletale, soon later Khonsu imprinted on an individual in Teacher's group, whose services were sold to Cauldron. The Simurgh modified Leviathan, incorporating nano-thorn technology into his body.
The Endbringers, sans Khonsu, later held off Scion during the rise of Khepri. The four Endbringers were able to distract Scion as Khepri made her moves, but eventually were incapacitated, with Leviathan killed and the others severely damaged. Following Scion's defeat, the remaining four Endbringers were largely dormant. The Simurgh appeared to be active, however, apparently having used Tinker technology to grow a baby with an unusual resemblance to Eidolon.
The Endbringers have killed countless people in their attacks and wiped out several notable heroes. They have caused demographic and political shifts and environmental degradation on a scale not seen outside natural disasters. In addition to the physical damage and loss of civilian lives, their attacks have had the effect of killing or otherwise removing parahumans who served as luminaries and leaders willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, perhaps contributing to more prevalent cynicism and hopelessness in the general population. Leviathan alone has precipitated a water crisis.
Collectively, their impact has been compared to nuclear weapons (which Earth Bet does not seem to possess), especially since the Endbringers usually target cities or other large population centers.
Conversely, without the Endbringers there would be fewer parahumans than there would otherwise be, and much of the coordination in the Cape community is because of the need to repel Endbringer attacks.
"I won't spoil the conclusion if you're eager to see this through."
This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS relating to
events up to Interlude 29. Although all articles contain spoilers, this article will reveal major plot twists and should almost certainly be avoided unless you have finished the story.
Eden's simulation of an ideal future included 'superweapons' implied to be Endbringers. In the simulation, she attributed them to The Shepherds, pretending to The Wardens that she would help defend against them, but in reality she was their source. There were twenty such superweapons in total, including:
A fifteen-foot tall lion-headed figure surrounded by crystal, who turned whatever the crystal touched into more crystal.
A woman with a reptilian lower body, surrounded by clouds of steam which took the form of faces, claws, and other forms.
A naked man, perched on top of a seemingly frozen ocean wave, with a 'too flexible' body that swayed with the wind.
Four superweapons at the 'Divide,' one to the north of the Wardens, and four others spread out around the world.
For the most part, these superweapons remained inactive, acting only when they sensed vulnerability.. The Wardens knew them to be projections, but otherwise information about their nature was unclear. In feigning ignorance about her involvement with the superweapons and promising to help the Wardens with a potential war against the Shepherds, Eden likely intended the Endbringers to be used to incite conflict to further the goals of the Cycle, but after her death, this future did not come to pass.
Had Cauldron ceased to exist soon after killing Eden, the Endbringers would not have existed.
The Endbringers began behaving strangely after Eidolon's death; this led Tattletale to speculate that Eidolon may have created them, perhaps inadvertently, or perhaps as an excuse to "flex his abilities to their fullest". She claimed to be "60% sure" of this conclusion.
The outer shell, the concept, the execution, they’re tapping into religious metaphors. The devil, the serpent, the angel, buddha, mother earth, the maiden, each connected in turn to fundamental forces. Flame, water, fate, time, earth, the self. Things deep-seated and fundamental to their creator’s belief system, because that’s how the passengers interpret our world. Through us. But deep down? Beyond that surface, beyond the basic programming that drives them to do what they’ve been doing for thirty years? It’s the passenger’s brush strokes.
The four words which Scion says to Eidolon in Interlude 27.y may confirm Tattletale's theory that Eidolon created or, given Eden's plans for her superweapons, merely awakened the Endbringers, but it is unknown whether Scion was telling the truth or just used the words in order to achieve his goal.
Echidna was thought at first to potentially be a nascent Endbringer.
A popular theory among some of the Worm fandom is that the Endbringers were once parahumans, who either snapped or couldn’t handle their powers, gotten out of control, transformed into gigantic monstrosities. With the full reveal of their origins this theory has been disconfirmed.
↑Not going to happen in any incarnation of the Wormverse, or Behemoth would be built stronger to counteract (Or, as in the case of String Theory, Endbringer cooperation/timing would keep her from ever being able to set up a proper hit). - Wildbow Comment on Reddit
↑Nekron-akaMrSkeletal: I guess that works. I was actually wondering about sting. If Foil had been at the behemoth fight could she have finished behemoth when his core was exposed?
↑“Educated guess says your power doesn’t work so hot on him,” she told Regent, as the two of them backed away.
“Fuck, no. If I can do something, my power’s probably gonna backfire like crazy, and I think that bastard’s quick enough that he’s not about to fall flat on his face.”
Tattletale glanced at where Skitter was hurrying to assist one of the wounded. Even knowing Taylor was out of earshot, she was careful to lower her voice, “And I guess your secret weapon isn’t going to work either?”
“Take two or three times as long, probably, if it worked at all,” Regent grumbled. “Fuck, I’m useless.” - Excerpt from Interlude 8.y
↑The reason the Endbringers haven't destroyed the Wormverse, in large part, is that they're jobbing every fight. The post that follows will assume that Leviathan and Behemoth are going full-strength and Simurgh is using her powers as detailed in the story (where she's jobbing, in large part). - Wildbow on Reddit
↑Then he’d taken command of a team, and he’d seen the process of trial and error, as they learned their opponents’ capabilities, saw how Leviathan or the Simurgh could keep tricks up their sleeves for years, before using them at a critical moment. Even now, they didn’t fully understand the Simurgh’s power, how long it might take someone to recover, if recovery was even possible. - Excerpt from Interlude 24.x
↑“Way I understand it, she needs to have a tinker in her sphere of influence to borrow their schematics, or a specific device, if she wants to copy it. Thinkers, too, I think she borrows their perception powers as long as she’s tapped into them. Might be why she’s attached to me. Either way, she didn’t have schematics or anything she’d need to modify the guns.”
“Or she can modify them, and it’s a card she’s been keeping up her sleeve for the last while. I mean, it was only three years ago or whatever that she really showed off her ability to copy a tinker’s work wholesale.” - Excerpt from Venom 29.1
↑Her creator was an administrator of the highest order, and she had been selected out of a pool of emergency resources. All of her kind had. Behemoth had been created to break stasis, Leviathan to take away resources in space and land, forcing communities into conflict as they were made to relocate.
She was built out of greater structures intended to salvage a situation where the species eliminated itself. Future-looking, she would create a forced simulation. It was worse than an organically emergent simulation, but in a process that saw the planet revolve three hundred times around its star, it could be necessary in the final years, consolidating and sorting information, forcibly exploring the resources the planet had to offer. - Excerpt from Infrared 19.z
↑Case two was Behemoth, his rise had incited the creation of the PRT. [...] The first cases had inspired things, major functions and interests. Committees had been formed and those committees had become something. Even though a whole chunk of the early ones were minor or fabrications in the end, the virus theory included, they’d led to things like a dedicated parahuman science department. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
↑“The point we’re getting around to,” Alexandria spoke, “Is that even if the Doctor can get better results with time and effort, the explosion in the natural parahuman population is inevitably going to produce an individual with powers that outstrip our own.” - Excerpt from Interlude 15
↑ 29.029.1“It’s okay to worry,” Tecton said. He gestured towards Weaver. “Weaver said as much. They’ve got a nasty habit of escalating, in the fights themselves and in the grand scheme of things. Behemoth got too predictable, so Leviathan started to show up. We started to coordinate defenses, get the world on board to deal with them, Simurgh comes.”
“And now we killed one, so how do they escalate from there?” Grace asked.
“It’s a concern,” Tecton said, “And it’s one that people all around the world are going to be discussing. Rely on them. Don’t take the full weight of the world onto your shoulders. We fought, you guys made a good show of it,” Tecton said. - Excerpt from Interlude 24.y
↑ 30.030.1She took my cue. “New costumes, a new group. Behemoth is defeated and it looks like the Endbringers might have reverted to the schedule they had pre-2002. An attack every four to five months.” [...] Two attacks, two months apart. Had their schedule changed? Would the next attack come in a mere two months, or would it be more unpredictable than that?
No, I thought, with a dawning horror. No, it was worse than that. The Endbringer’s schedule of attack had always depended on the number of Endbringers in the rotation.
If they were keeping to their usual rules, it promised a fifth, waiting in the wings. - Excerpt from Scarab 25.4
↑"It’s what happened in… what was that place called? Lausanne? Switzerland. She showed up, and nobody wanted to pick a fight with her, and they were curious, so they studied her, and tried to communicate with her. Tons of people gathered. Then she… sang? Screamed? Whatever this is. There was chaos, people didn’t know what was happening, so they weren’t able to evacuate that well. Roads clogged. And then they started flipping out...." - Excerpt from Migration 17.3
↑ 35.035.1“Nothing’s truly random,” Colin explained, his voice tight, “Any data shows a pattern eventually, if you dig deep enough. Dragon started work on an early warning system for the Endbringers, to see if we can’t anticipate where they’ll strike next, prepare to some degree. We know there’s some rules they follow, though we don’t know why. They come one at a time, months apart, rarely hitting the same area twice in a short span of time. We know they’re drawn to areas where they perceive vulnerability, where they think they can cause the most damage. Nuclear reactors, the Birdcage, places recently hit by natural disasters…”
He clicked the mouse, and the image zoomed in on a section of the coastline.
“…Or ongoing conflict,” Hannah finished for him, her eyes widening. “The ABB, Empire Eighty-Eight, the fighting here? It’s coming here? Now?”
Colin didn’t have a reply for her. “Dragon? Brockton Bay falls within the predicted zone, and the city is on the list of locations that rate high enough on the sensitivity or negative media scale. Add my data, the correlations between abrupt microshifts in temperature, air pressure and-”
“The data is good.” Dragon’s voice, synthesized to mask the most telling details about her identity, held no trace of doubt. - Excerpt from Interlude 7
↑Coil shook his head, “One thing at a time. If he is here because he’s seeking someone who could harm him, the only individuals on site who would be capable are Sundancer and your Noelle.”
“Shit,” Trickster swore. “That’s why he’s here. Just like Leviathan, Crawler’s coming after her?” - Excerpt from Interlude 11f
they want to lose I think. set themselves up to fail. but not fail so bad they risk dying. levi was after something, noelle I think. but why didn’t he show up closer to downtown?
“I don’t know,” I said. I felt a little chilled at the idea that this was the Endbringers pulling their punches.
big b wants something. not at india gate. somewhere past it. why not come up right underneath it?
“I don’t know,” I repeated myself. “It doesn’t matter.”
matters. looked at past attacks. pattern. small pattern. behe attacks nuclear reactor, appears some distance away. attacks birdcage, appears in rockies, no sign he was close or beneath cage. pattern says he wouldn’t emerge this close if he just wanted to attack india gate. He attacking something north of it. - Excerpt from Crushed 24.3
↑ 38.038.1The fight with Leviathan in Brockton Bay had been a good day. We’d lost people, we’d lost good capes, but we’d more or less bounced back, made it three-quarters of the way back to where we needed to be, in a matter of months. There had been ugliness, infighting, a hell of a lot of doubt, but we’d started to make our way back to where we should be. It had been the lowest number of casualties we’d had in an Endbringer attack in years, not counting a few of the Simurgh attacks. A good day.
↑“...This young man has been observed in the south end, moving at over a hundred miles an hour with the assistance of a mechanical suit. His inclusion on a local team would help fill gaps left by the death of Velocity, a local Protectorate member, and Armsmaster’s retirement.”
“Others may make themselves known, and we will approach each of them in turn. To help fill the gap in the meantime, Flechette is arriving from New York.” - Excerpt from Sentinel 9.1
↑“In the meantime, we move on to the next phase of my plan,” Coil spoke. “You may be wondering about this location, how it is similar to the new headquarters I provided you. I have outfitted these areas to be your stations, points from which you will operate, work to seize and keep territory. I have several more. If you’re amenable, I would have each of you take one of these stations for yourself. Grue, this would be your station, shared with Imp, which I assume is alright?” - Excerpt from Parasite 10.6
↑“Priority number one, I want the data on the Slaughterhouse Nine.”
I felt a chill, but didn’t say anything. Was he intending to hire them? It would be a huge mistake in my book, if he was.
Regent asked the question for me, “The Slaughterhouse Nine?”
“At least some of their members have been seen in town, preying on the locals, disrupting recovery efforts. The recent chaos makes the city a playground for them,” Coil spoke. “One of my teams is bound to run up against them soon.” - Excerpt from Parasite 10.6
↑“A weapon,” he said. “A… how do you Americans say it? Time bomb? Only this is joke.”
“He makes portals,” Kismet said. “Using them, he can send things back in time. Something goes in portal B, comes out of portal A a few minutes earlier. Or the other way around.”
“Or, as I discover, I make loop,” Phir Sē said. “Weaponize. Simple light, captured in one moment, redoubled many times over. I move gate, and that light will pour forth and clean.” - Excerpt from Crushed 24.3
↑But Behemoth… the Endbringer was little more than a skeleton with extensive padding. He’d never seen this much damage delivered. - Excerpt from Interlude 24.x
↑“Those Endbringer motherfuckers. I told you that you need to stop them, that you need to fight and protect people. And you have been.”
He clenched his hands, stared down at the ground, “And god help me, maybe I wasn’t specific enough. Maybe I didn’t realize you’d interpret me literally. We need you to kill the things. Destroy every last trace of them, throw them into space. Don’t know. But fight to kill, don’t just… God, I hope I’m wrong, that I’m remembering the words I chose all wrong, and that you didn’t hear my suggestion and take it to mean you should fight for fighting’s sake, or fight to stop them, but not to stop them for good. You understand? Don’t just stop them from doing what they were doing. Stop them permanently.” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.x
↑Scion followed up with another shaft of light, and the forcefield shattered in an instant. Behemoth was slammed into the road, three streets down from the gathered heroes outside the temple.
The Endbringer glowed, and the swelling light was too intense to look at.
Just seeing it, there was no question of what he was doing. A final act of spite. Turning himself into a bomb.
A stream of darkness poured from one of the helicopters, filling the street Behemoth lay in. For an instant, the Endbringer was almost entirely obscured.
Scion fired one more beam, and the darkness was obliterated, swept away.
The silhouette of the Endbringer flickered, then disintegrated. There was no detonation, no destruction to the landscape. Only the cleansing light. - Excerpt from Interlude 24.x
↑Tecton ventured a reply instead. “I think I understand what Cuff means. It’s hard to believe he’s gone. It’s like, you’re five years old, and Leviathan appears for the first time, and your parents have to explain that a bunch of people died, and it’s because of these monsters and yet nobody has figured out why.”
“Yeah,” Cuff said. “What happens next? Leviathan or the Simurgh? We kill them? Stop them from blowing up or doing their version of blowing up? I can’t really imagine that we’d beat them, give our all and hope that Scion shows up and fights like that again, kill them, and then have everything be okay.”
↑“All around the world, people seem to be celebrating, but it’s a markedly cautious celebration. Early polls on the UKCC web site suggest that a full eighteen percent of people who voted are waiting for more information or verification before celebrating the heroes’ victory, and ten percent of people don’t intend to celebrate at all.”
“Not at all?”
“No, Lizbeth. In the comments thread of the poll, a common trend seems to be the feeling that he isn’t or can’t be dead, that the heroes were mistaken, or that this might even provoke a response from the remaining Endbringers.” - Excerpt from Interlude 24.y
↑A fire started on the body of the ship as Eidolon tore into the Simurgh with a reality warping power of some kind, complete with lightning, fire, distorted light, and ice. The Simurgh cast the craft aside in the following instant, letting it flip, burn and tumble before hitting the water and virtually disintegrating.
That done, the Simurgh ascended, rising into the clouds. A few capes tried to follow, but Scion wasn’t among them.
“How long was the fight?” I asked.
“Not long enough for Scion to show,” was all Wanton said.
↑Flight BA178, November 25th, 2011 // Simurgh Notes: Loss? Plane destroyed, Eidolon/Pretender drive off Endbringer. Marks start of guerilla tactics from Simurgh and Leviathan.
Lüderitz, April 2nd, 2012 // Leviathan Notes: Loss? Driven away by Eidolon. Secondary targets Swakopmund, Gamba, Port-Gentil and Sulima. Target/Consquence: Moord Nag. Guerilla tactics continue, losses in notable but not devastating numbers, but his target survives. - Excerpt from Scarab 25.6
Nearly three days and we hadn’t managed to kill him.
A new target every thirty minutes, give or take. Ten to twenty minutes for the defending forces to get their shit together. The remainder of that time was our capes trying to hurt him. Chipping away at him. - Excerpt from Scarab 25.5
↑Defiant scrolled through the images of the Simurgh, floating in the air above the ocean in the middle of the day. The last one was from just an hour ago, showing her in early evening, utterly still.
And Bohu had situated herself in the middle of a field. The ground was only beginning to reshape beneath her, twisting into structures, walls, a maze of stone, soil and grass, of arches and pillars without anything to support.
She simply loomed, her impossibly long arms hanging at her side, head slightly bowed, her eyes shut.
The other images showed the same thing from different angles. One from the other side, then another from directly above, showing the alterations to her surroundings as concentric circles.
It was daylight. Going by the times of the photos, she was on the opposite side of the planet, roughly, from the Simurgh.
↑ 53.053.1"Let's face the facts, Simurgh. Ziz. Israfel. Ulama. Whatever you want to go by. You started acting funny pretty much right away, after Eidolon bit it. Maybe that's mourning. Maybe you respected him as an enemy, 'cause he was one of only two individuals who could really give you guys a run for your money. Or maybe you had a different relationship."
Tattletale let the words hang in the air.
"Maybe a parent-child relationship? Maybe he created you. [...] loneliness breeds the best masters, and it's awfully lonely at the top," Tattletale said. "Nobody that can really put up a fight, no excuse to flex his abilities to their fullest, nothing that can really give the man any real stature, next to Legend, who had all the face time with the media. No real role to play, compared to Alexandria, who was managing the PRT. Odd man out." - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.4
↑Tattletale continued without pause, not responding or reacting to this information. “All I’m saying, all I’m proposing, is that Scion’s a better bet than we are. You want to give someone a fucking hard time? Make that someone Scion. You want to terrorize people? Terrorize Scion. Bigger challenge, and you’ll probably have the rest of us fucking scared out of our minds if you pull it off. You want to fucking end the world? Get in line, chickadee, because Scion’s going to beat you to the punch if you don’t stop him.” - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.4
“Fuck me,” I could hear Tattletale muttering with the bugs I’d planted on her. The Simurgh came to a stop directly above her. She repeated herself, as if for emphasis. “Fuck me. - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.5”
↑“The place Khonsu or Tohu were supposed to appear,” Tattletale said.
“Quite. It was Khonsu. The Endbringer has imprinted on Teacher’s group, and he has offered to sell that squad, along with the Endbringer, to a sufficiently wealthy buyer. We agreed, if only to keep this from becoming a monopoly on Endbringers.” - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.5
They were like blades, points sweeping backwards. A fin rooted in the side of his arm, from wrist to elbow, the point scything back. Had it not been limp enough to trail on the ground, it might have reached his shoulder. More at the sides of his neck and along the length of his spine, forming an almost serrated pattern where multiple fins overlapped. Perhaps some at his legs. The fins ran down the length of his tail, and ended in a cluster at the end, like the tuft of fur at the end of a lion’s tail, exaggerated many times over in size.
He flexed a claw, and I could see webbing between each finger, mottled in black and an iridescent green that matched his eyes. It made me think of the bioluminescence of a jellyfish in the deep ocean. ,br>In synchronous motions, the Simurgh unfurled her wings, stretching them to their full length, and Leviathan flexed his fins, letting them unfold in kind. Each fin was the same as the webbing, mottled black and a eerie green, and the echo-image of water that accompanied his movement produced mist as it washed over the fins. It obscured him almost completely, and as much as the pouring rain served to drive it away, the rainwater produced more mist as it touched the fins. - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.5
↑Which was the moment the Endbringers made their move.
The Simurgh plunged from the clouds, hitting Scion.
Leviathan, healed a touch, emerged from the water.
Bohu rose from the earth, going from a human sized head and shoulders at eye level to a tower.
Tohu, for her part, had Glaistig Uaine, Eidolon and Myrddin’s faces.
The Endbringers, come to the rescue. I wished I could have felt relieved. It was a reprieve, a chance to get our footing. But there was an ominousness to it. - Excerpt from Speck 30.5
↑The Endbringer fell. The color went out of Leviathan, his flesh breaking up, like clay overbaked in a kiln. The fins were the first thing to crumble, the rest of his body following suit.
We’d taunted him. Teased him with the one thing he wanted most in the world, then we’d taken it away.
He turned his attention to the winged Endbringer and her smaller companion. The towering Endbringer was already so damaged that she could only pull herself together. The fat Endbringer was gone.
No, he was alive. He’d created a time field around himself, and was healing in a more distant location. - Excerpt from Speck 30.6
↑“I’ve never been one to couch my words. I’m direct, like my lasers,” Legend said. “It’s beautiful and it’s frankly terrifying. The Endbringers are, we’re praying, dormant. The major players are busy recovering and rebuilding, giving us six straight months of peace for the first time in twenty years. If you count non-parahuman conflict on a global scale, well, I don’t know how long it’s been. It’s been a hell of a while, if ever.” - Excerpt from Teneral e.1
↑Video footage showed a replay of Lung’s fighting retreat from an area in downtown New York B. There was footage of the PRT base, Valkyrie standing off to the side, trying to look far less interested than she was as a young man tried on a white bodysuit. One window showed the various Endbringers, all of them motionless, but for the Simurgh, who was airborne. The last of the original three. - Excerpt from Interlude: End
↑Over and over, the Simurgh had protected the weapon. He’d seen it, had checked the footage, had seen her go out of her way to shield it with her wings. She’d done it subtly, most of the time, events contriving to make it look more accidental than anything.
There was fluid inside.
The light caught the glass, at first, obscuring the contents.
A baby. Male. With large ears and a large round nose. Not attractive, as babies went.
One or two years old? Accelerated aging? Where had the Simurgh been in contact with a tinker with that particular knowledge? Bonesaw? - Excerpt from Teneral e.5
↑ 63.063.1Fantastic question, and one I’m not sure I can give a fantastic answer to.
Why is that? Well, primarily, there’s the issue of trying to quantify ‘damage’. As stated in Legend’s pre-battle speech (early in arc 8) there’s almost always grievous losses but they aren’t always the same sort of losses.
You have the events that left the world reeling: Lausanne, Hawaii, Kyushu, Newfoundland, Moscow, Sydney. The attacks that left major areas uninhabitable or unrecoverable, with wide-reaching effects on the rest of the country/region/world. In this setting, for example, Japan isn’t a world power and it’s still dependent on international assistance 12 years after Leviathan’s visit to Kyushu.
But even there, where do you say, “Ok, that’s the sum total of the damage done”? The disaster at Kyushu, the number of refugees seeking living space/work and the pressures on the rest of Asia’s pacific border might have led to some more unrest and tension. Some friction, some ‘small’ wars, infighting and intermingling. Refugees and immigrants. Many settle in major cities across America because President Bradley’s Preservation Act gives them a hand in getting on their feet.
Do you factor that last point into the damage as well? Lung comes to Brockton Bay in part because of the booming population of Asian immigrants (which hasn’t yet set down roots). Bakuda was born to a Westerner mother and Immigrant father. Do you count the damage they’ve done? Ditto for Mannequin and the Simurgh.
But that’s only the major hits, the broad strokes of the brush and all the repercussions/spatter that follows from that. Attacks end in other ways, for example. Legend mentions mass loss of life. There’s economic damage that follows from that, disease and explosions in the population of vermin when a quarter million people die in a concentrated area.
There’s the deaths of countless heroes, and how that biases things further towards the general villain population. If the selfless throw their lives away for the greater good and it’s primarily the selfish (or the very powerful) who are left, how does that skew things?
And I should stress that weak points aren’t necessarily just areas which are geographically vulnerable. There’s places where there’s ongoing conflict (like we might point to the middle east over the past decade), places where it takes little effort on the part of the Endbringer to deal maximum devastation (ie. a nuclear power plant, military bases) and spots where a great many resources are invested (be they great minds collected in one place or major projects like Dr. Gramme’s major projects in trying to save the world). Did anyone else catch the mention of the water crisis? Leviathan isn’t always attacking cities, and the world has only so much accessible freshwater.
To answer your question in the general sense? Relatively few places have been hit as hard as the major examples listed above. But figure this has been going on for 20ish years. Behemoth shows up in the early 90’s, attacking once a year, roughly (twice in 1994), Leviathan shows up in the mid 90’s (now we’re up to 2-3 Endbringer attacks a year), and Simurgh comes in just after the turn of the century (now 3-4).
I mentioned in a comment during the Endbringer arc, but I said something like ‘Behemoth is the cape-killer and Leviathan levels cities’. Figure each Endbringer has attacked 16 to 20 times so far, account for the bias towards killing capes (Behemoth) vs. wiping out landscapes (Leviathan) and that Brockton Bay is pretty middle-of-the-road for the kind of aftermath you see, and maybe you can make an estimate.
Ballparking it? 8 or 9 Endbringer attacks in America over 20 years. - Comment by Wildbow on Colony 15.5
↑Pandemonious Ivy [...] 9) Are there any internationally known capes of the beneficent variety, besides Scion, that aren’t affiliated with a group?
Wildbow: [...] 9) Not really, unless you count, say, a European cape in a geographical region with lots of individual, smaller countries as being ‘internationally known’. It’s a result of the Endbringers, related but not directly linked to the Protectorate. It’s not feasible/economical/efficient to contact a bunch of big-name solo operatives in a time of crisis and arrange to bring them to a specific location, so they either band together/gather others under them and fall in line with the basic preparations that have been set in place, or they fall by the wayside. - Comment by Wildbow on Imago 21.1
↑ 67.067.1“Stationed around the world, at the borders of the stronger nations,” the entity informed the Wardens. “Like yours, they’re remaining more or less stationary, only attacking when they see weakness.”
“And you believe it is the Shepherds who are responsible?”
The entity shook its head. “I can’t know. You’ve seen for yourself, the powerful blocks they’ve put in place against powers. But enough clues point to the Shepherds.” - Excerpt from Interlude 29
↑ 68.068.1“They’ve released three more of the superweapons,” Partisan said. “But of course, you know this.”
“I do,” the entity responds.
“This makes nine. Four are at the Divide. We’ve got one to the far north, poised to flank us. Four more spread out over the world.”
“Maybe more we don’t know about,” Arsenal speaks.
The entity responded, feigning emotion, “…There are eleven more.”
It could see the reaction among the gathered heroes of the Wardens. Fear, alarm, a kind of dawning horror. - Excerpt from Interlude 29
↑A figure, fifteen feet tall, pale, with a lion’s head, a mane of crystal. Muscular, brutish, it was perched on a massive floating crystal, with more crystals floating about it. Here and there, the crystals touched ground. They turned what they touched into more crystal, which soon uprooted themselves to join the storm around it.
A woman, even more brutish in appearance, had a reptilian lower body. Steam rolled off her in billowing clouds, taking uncanny forms as it coiled and expanded through the area. Faces, reaching claws and more.
And on the third monitor, flecked by static, was a naked man, beautiful and long-haired, his face touched with a macabre grin. He perched on top of an ocean wave that was frozen in place, his body too flexible, moving with the wind as though he were light enough to be carried away. - Excerpt from Interlude 29
↑“We know they’re projections,” Arsenal said, his eyes on the monitors. “Someone or something is projecting them. We cut off the head, the superweapons fall.”
“Yes,” the entity agreed. It didn’t miss the curious glance Arsenal gave it. - Excerpt from Interlude 29
↑Assuming that Cauldron's operatives maybe killed Eden but then just sat on their hands/died, the Endbringers don't exist, the cauldron vials aren't spread out, and there's less of the really powerful parahumans here and there who're capable of acting decisively. - Wildbow on Spacebattles
↑"He's really their creator?" Defiant asked. "Eidolon?"
"…Sixty percent sure. Eidolon's some kind of exception, on a lot of levels. His power works by different vectors, the innate limits aren't there… something broke, and I'm betting the Endbringers are tied to it. Like, this entity is fissioning off into countless fragments that impregnate hosts and somehow a little extra gets tacked on. Or Cauldron's method of replicating the fragments gets that little extra." - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.4
“Bullshit!” Triumph shouted, not a half second after I’d said it.
“Fuck me,” one of the Wards said. It was only after he opened his mouth again that I saw it was Weld. “Please tell me this is another one of Tattletale’s mind-games.”
“Explain.” Miss Militia demanded.
“She’s maybe a nascent Endbringer,” Tattletale said. “It’s one theory. Her powers are transforming her, and she’s getting less human, getting tougher and more desperate every day. Coil was keeping her contained, with heavy vault doors and promises of a fix. Now she’s free and she’s pissed.”
↑“Someone’s doing their level best to make their own Endbringer.” [...] “Yes. There’s also any number of megalomaniac tinkers out there who might have tried something. Bonesaw, Rattenfänger, Jamestowner, Blasto, Mosaic, Monstrum, some non-tinkers like Chrysalis and Nilbog, bunch of others.” - Exerpt from Queen 18.1
↑They're explicitly stated as not being strong enough, but the theory goes that they could find some outside means for cooperation or a power boost/second trigger. - Wildbow on RPG.net