Gavel is sadistic: He uses his power to force his target to fly through air until they hit something, at which point they were pulverized. He also targeted the families, particularly spouses and children, of his victims to break them mentally.Taylor calls him both ruthless and a monster. He is extremely tenacious, walking through heavy attacks and taking Scion's attack directly to the face and throat.
Gavel is an extremely big, extremely broad-shouldered man. On his release from the Birdcage, he has a shaggy beard and wears prison sweats with ‘Baumann Parahuman Containment Center’ written across the shoulders, but he has taken care of his personal appearance when he appears in the second battle against Scion. Here, has his beard cut into two perfectly straight lines that meet at a sharp 90-degree point at the chin, while his hair had been buzzed, flat at the top. His outfit consists of a skintight black shirt without sleeves, heavy canvas pants, and heavy boots. He wears a mask that covers only his forehead, eyes and nose.
He wields a solid steel hammer equal to his own size, with sharp lines and a pole seemingly too big to wrap one's hands around. Taylor estimates it to be equal to three or four times his own weight.
Gavel's defensive potential is extremely high, to the point that Wildbow refers to him as someone who can't be killed. His power makes it so he can only take so much damage at a time, and reduced the severity of any damage to a set amount. As such, shooting him with a hail of bullets would be little different from shooting him with one or two bullets, and any given bullet would only gouge out a teaspoon's worth of flesh. Gavel's defense is strong enough to take hits from Scion, lasting for one or two minutes against him.
That said, Gavel's power is not without weak points: he is relatively vulnerable to beam attacks, as a steady stream of attacks could whittle him down, and he can be taken down by attacks that ignore defenses, such as Flechette's.
Offensively, Gavel has the ability to lift objects three to four times his own weight, and to imbue melee weapons with both his durability and with vast impact, strong enough to knock down Scion into a fifteen feet long furrow. He can also transfer his defensive power from his weapon to his target, making the target near-invulnerable as it flies through the air. The target will then be pulverized when it hits something else. Gavel can chose not to imbue the target when hitting them, simply killing them instead.
Taylor compares Gavel's power to that of Excalibur’s scabbard, which provides King Arthur with protection from blood loss and severe wounds while he wears it.
Gavel was a ruthless vigilante who operated in Australia in the time before the code and the three strike rule. He would announce his intentions publicly, listing his victim's crimes and swearing vengeance before going after them. In addition to targeting his victims, Gavel also targeted families, particularly spouses and children, as to break his enemies mentally. The general population lost patience with his mission when a villain threatened to detonate a small bomb and Gavel called their bluff, causing many deaths as a consequence, while Gavel survived the attack. His actions would lead to him being imprisoned in the Birdcage, where he became a cell block leader.
As a cell block leader, Gavel attends the meeting where Marquis introduces Panacea. He argues with Marquis about a woman staying in the men's wing without a lover, although Marquis dismisses his complaints.
Together with other prisoners, Gavel is released from the Birdcage during Scion's rampage. During the battle at the rig, Galvanate empowers Gavel and other already durable capes with his own brand of invincibility, although the result of this boost is not seen by Taylor.
During a later confrontation with Scion, Gavel steps into battle to block a shot meant for Vista, Kid Win and Tattletale with his hammer, drawing Scion's ire. Scion attacks Gavel with a beam, but Gavel is able to close into melee range, touching Scion's face. Gavel uses his hammer to knock Scion into a fifteen feet furrow and continues with follow-up attacks, although each attack fails to harm Scion and grows less effective as Scion adapts to the attack. Scion jams a hand into Gavel largest wound, and disintegrates Gavel from the inside. Scion then returns to targeting Kid Win, Vista and others.
In total, Gavel lasts one or two minutes against Scion. After his death, he is claimed by Glaistig Uaine, who continues to use his power, but with little effect.
↑ 1.01.11.21.188.8.131.52All in all, there were twelve cell blocks with leaders. That meant that there were eleven leaders with eleven lieutenants arriving. Acidbath, Galvanate, Teacher, Lab Rat and Gavel were leaders of the cell blocks on the men’s side of the prison. Lustrum, Black Kaze, Glaistig Uaine, String Theory, Crane and Ingenue were the female leaders. There were other cell blocks, but twelve was generally agreed on as a good number. It left room for discussion without too much chaos, and it left enough cell blocks leaderless that they had elbow room to do business elsewhere.
“This is the healer?” Gavel asked.
“My people say you’re taunting them, Marquis, having this girl staying in the men’s wing without a lover.”
“Not my intention, I assure you. I would guess some people are only looking for something to complain about.” Marquis looked pointedly at Gavel as he replied. - Excerpt from Interlude 16.z
↑ 2.02.12.22.32.4Gavel had once been judge, jury and executioner to criminals in Australia. He’d announce his intentions publicly, swearing vengeance and listing their crimes, and then he’d go after them.
Generally speaking, he transferred his power from himself to his hammer and from his hammer to his target, conducting invincibility. His target would fly through the air until they hit something, at which point they would be pulverized.
If he was feeling merciful, or if he didn’t want to give them a chance, he simply pulverized them with the swing. - Excerpt from Venom 29.2
↑ 3.03.13.23.184.108.40.206But Scion wasn’t pulverized. The golden man reached out and jammed a hand in the largest wound the beam had created. A golden light flared, and Gavel disintegrated on the inside. Flakes of burned flesh traced with bits of golden light flew into the air as either half of Gavel’s body hit the ground.
We needed time. Time for Lung. Time for the Simurgh to find her window of opportunity, time for reinforcements…
Gavel, ruthless vigilante, monster, had bought us a good minute. Maybe two.
Scion targeted Vista, Kid Win and the others. His target before Gavel had grabbed his attention. - Excerpt from Venom 29.2
↑ 4.04.1Gavel Power reduces incoming damage to a set ammount. Imbues melee weapons with vast impact, but power protects target, resulting in target being thrown great distances. - parahumanList, bolded edit by Wildbow.
↑ 6.06.16.26.36.46.5A broad-shouldered man with facial hair like that of a homeless man’s stepped through. He wore prison sweats with the words ‘Baumann Parahuman Containment Center’ across the shoulders.
“Is this safe?” Someone asked. A girl, in her early teens.
“They sent everyone to their cells. Maybe a speedster could slip through, if they knew what was happening, but we have a lot of people here,” a man next to her said.
“You didn’t answer the question,” Imp said. “No, it’s not safe. These guys are assholes.”
The man with the beard turned to glare our way, inexplicably, looked momentarily confused, and then walked forward. The crowd parted to let him through as he approached the edge.
I’d done my reading on these guys while making my way to Sophia, waiting for her to arrive. If this went balls-up, we’d be stuck between these guys and Scion. I’d wanted to know.
The man with the beard was Gavel. Cell block leader. A vigilante who had gone after families, particularly spouses and children, all so he could break his enemies before his namesake weapon could. He’d been notorious in the days before the three strike rule or even the code. Even with that, people had lost patience with his ‘mission’ when a villain had threatened to detonate a small bomb, and Gavel had called a bluff that wasn’t a bluff. Gavel had walked away. Many, many others hadn’t. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.3
↑ 7.07.17.27.37.4Scion suffered a continual onslaught of powers and projectiles from every direction, and the distraction these shots seemed to give Gavel the chance he needed to find his second wind. The vigilante and ex-cell-block leader of the Birdcage advanced, picking up speed as he found his stride, dragging his hammer beside him.
Scion used a beam instead, directing it at Gavel.
Which was interesting. Maybe. A beam was what I would have used to deal with Gavel. His power made it so he could only take so much damage at a time, and reduced the severity of any damage to a set amount. Shooting him with a hail of bullets would be little different from shooting him with one or two bullets, and any given bullet would only gouge out a teaspoon of flesh.
Excalibur’s scabbard. He could have done so much more with the concept, but he’d gone with a hammer instead of a sword.
I stared, watching as he blocked the worst of the beam with the hammer. Scion stopped, interrupted as Queen of Swords shot him with another power-infused bullet, then resumed the assault.
A spray of bullets wouldn’t do much to Gavel, but a steady stream of them could whittle him down. Blind in the face of the brilliant light, Gavel marched forward. He moved his damaged hammer out of the way, taking the beam in the face and throat instead.
Amazing, perplexing… and I could only stare, watching Gavel’s inhuman tenacity, wondering if Scion was using the beam because it was one of the most convenient and effective tools available to him, or because he intuitively understood Gavel’s power.
He was supposed to be the source of powers. It made sense that he’d know the particulars about them.
It was a scary thought.
Gavel got close enough to reach out and fumble, putting a hand on Scion’s face, two fingers finding Scion’s eye sockets.
Scion pulled back a little, maintaining the beam as it cut into Gavel. I could smell something like burning hair. Clouds of it, choking. - Excerpt from Venom 29.2
↑ 8.08.18.28.38.48.5Others were filing between the Simurgh’s legs. Gavel, now clean-cut, his once-shaggy beard now cut to a style that would have been ludicrous if he didn’t have the reputation to back it up; two perfectly straight lines that met at a sharp 90-degree point at the chin. His hair had been buzzed, flat at the top. His mask covered only his forehead, eyes and nose, his lips were set a firm line. He wore a skintight black shirt without sleeves and heavy canvas pants, with boots that looked like they could be used to crush stone.
His hammer, by contrast, was solid steel, with sharp lines that seemed to parallel the clean lines of his hair and beard, a pole that seemed too big to wrap one’s hands around. The entire thing was as big as he was, probably three or four times the weight.
And he was big. Bodybuilder big, broad-shouldered in a way that you rarely saw, even in movies. - Excerpt from Venom 29.2
↑ 9.09.1Further, the major threats that Contessa and Number Man deemed too dangerous to leave alone weren't necessarily eliminated (either because Contessa herself didn't pay a visit, or because Cauldron didn't contrive to have said parahuman put down), so there's more Ash Beasts, Blasphemies, Sleepers and the equivalent roaming around.
There's no Parahuman Containment Center, so there's no place to put the really dangerous villains. What do you do with the villains who can't be killed, like Gavel? You maybe try to wrangle some giant-killers like Flechette/Foil, but how many of those guys are there, really? - Spacebattles comment by Wildbow.
↑ 10.010.110.2Scion broke through the wall of hard rock, and it seemed to actually take a modicum of effort. He directed an attack at Vista, Kid Win and Tattletale. A sphere, just like the one that had totaled the Dragonfly.
Gavel threw the hammer into the air, and it blocked the shot. The resulting explosion knocked a dozen capes off their feet, struck some of Kid Win’s airborne guns out of the air and very nearly knocked Tattletale from her perch. Crane’s disciples were bowled over, but Crane managed to turn with the shockwave, only taking a step back, remaining upright.
The hammer descended, unaffected by the explosion, and Gavel caught the handle in his two hands.
Scion turned his attention to Gavel, throwing one more sphere.
Another detonation. Capes in the area were scrambling to get away from Scion’s new designated target.
Gavel had stopped. He swayed, then swung his hammer around, striking it against the ground before gripping the pole, as if he’d only needed something to lean against. His skin was a little darker where it had been scorched, and golden light danced around the edges of the wounds like the orange at the edges of burned paper, where the paper had burned but not burned completely. - Excerpt from Venom 29.2
No, he was leveraging his full weight, swinging his hammer like an Olympic hammer-thrower might swing theirs. Not even a complete rotation, but he struck Scion dead-on.
Scion hit the dirt, was plowed into a furrow fifteen feet long. He half-climbed to his feet, half-floated, and was struck again. Another swing of the hammer.
It wasn’t hurting him, but it was an inconvenience, and that was something good in my books.
I could feel the hot blood seeping through my costume, running over my shoulders and down my front. My back was already sticky with it. Probably not good for my flight pack. Rachel was running through the crowd, shoving anyone that wasn’t actively fighting to get them out of her way.
Gavel hit Scion a third time, and the hammer, damaged earlier by the beam, fell to pieces.
For the fourth hit, Gavel used the toe of his boot.
But each hit was dramatically less effective than the last. Scion reacted to the kick, floating back a little, but it wasn’t much at all. - Excerpt from Venom 29.2
↑Merlin tells Arthur that Excalibur's scabbard is even more valuable than the sword itself because while he wears it he will not lose any blood or be severely wounded. Morgan le Fay, to whom Arthur has entrusted the care of Excalibur, gives the sword to her lover Accolon to use against Arthur. Provided with a counterfeit Excalibur, Arthur is saved by Nyneve (a character sometimes called Vivien, Niniane, or Nimue). Morgan then steals the scabbard and throws it into a lake so it can no longer protect Arthur. Excalibur must be returned to the water at the end of Arthur's life, a task assigned to Bedivere in Malory's account-but to others in different medieval versions of Arthur's story. - Robbins Library Digital Projects › Camelot Project › Frequently Asked Questions about the Arthurian Legends
↑Here and there, portals opened, and capes stepped onto the platform. String Theory, carrying only a laptop. Galvanate.
Galvanate reached out and touched a select few capes. Layering invincibility over invincibility for Alexandria, for Gavel, Gentle Giant, and a Birdcage cape I didn’t recognize. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.4
↑ 14.014.1I felt a welling anger, frustration, a note of hopelessness I hadn’t felt before.
Glaistig Uaine had Gavel as a spirit, and was pounding at Scion, with little effect.
“He adapts,” Tattletale said. “I was saying it on the phone. He just needs a reminder about which passenger we’ve got, and then he adjusts some internal frequency, and he adapts. Anything we can throw at him, he knows how to cancel out.” - Excerpt from Venom 29.2