Don’t waste my time with this male posturing. I have women to look after.

Interlude 16.z

Lustrum is a feminist villain and resident of the Birdcage. She acts as a leader of one of the cell blocks.[2]


Lustrum is a long-haired woman with matronly features who wears a prison uniform that has been modified into heavier cargo pants and a jacket.[3]


Dragon described her as "a pretty extreme feminist and misandrist, but she protects the girls in her block", and speculated that she would be the cell block leader likely to keep Canary safest.[4]

Annette Hebert thought that she might not have intended for her supporters to escalate as far as they did.[3]

Marquis suggested that she gave those in her cell block "a very good reason" to honor Alexandria.[5]

Nailbiter was disappointed that Lustrum was not enjoying violence much at all.[6]

Abilities and Powers

Lustrum has the ability to sap energy from everything around her to form a hard light body. The body can be large and roughly the same density as her own,[1][7] or it can be normal-sized and dense enough to have its own gravity well.[8] Her power briefly cripples the minds, bodies, and powers of anyone nearby.[7]

She was seemingly able to absorb and survive some of Scion's initial, indiscriminate attack, although he was able to damage her breaker form when he focused on her.[9]

Her shard's power well was unusual in some way,[10] which may be related to the fact she drains energy from everything around her whenever she uses her ability.



She gathered a following of thousands of college-aged feminists with an almost religious fervor, including Annette Hebert. Then she pushed her followers to humiliate men, often violently, which escalated until the more fanatical of them were mutilating and killing men alongside any who didn't follow along. She was sentenced to the Baumann Parahuman Containment Center, where she became a cellblock leader.[3]

Story Start

When Paige Mcabee was imprisoned in the Birdcage, Dragon strongly suggested joining Lustrum's group for protection.[4]

Post-Slaughterhouse Nine

When Panacea was sent to the birdcage, she was placed in Lustum's cell block, and Lustrum made a deal to transfer her to Marquis. As a cell block leader, Lustrum got in the middle of an argument between Gavel and Marquis to refocus the conversation on the healing Panacea could provide to her subjects in payment.[2]


When Alexandria's death was announced on July 14th, 2011, she had Canary sing a funeral dirge that echoes through the prison.[5]

Gold Morning

Lustrum was among the Birdcage prisoners who were released to fight. She was last seen trying to evacuate capes from the oil-rig battle, only to be attacked by Scion, who cut her hard-light body to pieces.[11]


  • Lustrum is a Latin word for a quinquennial event where Roman citizens purified themselves. Besides to wash yourself, or general expiation, it can be also mean to set yourself free.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Massive breaker form fueled by draining from the physical and mental faculties of those nearby. - Parahuman List, bolded edit by Wildbow
  2. 2.0 2.1 All 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. - Excerpt from Interlude 16.z
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A woman ventured forth. Her hair was long, her features matronly. She wore a prison uniform that had been cut apart and pieced together into heavier cargo pants and a jacket. Lustrum. Part-celebrity, part-antihero, she’d gathered a following of college-aged feminists, building up an almost religious fervor, before giving the fateful orders that turned things violent, pushing her thousands of followers to humiliate men, often violently. Things soon escalated to the point that more fanatical followers were emasculating and murdering men, even carving up followers who weren’t playing along.

    My mom had, in her graduate school days, been a part of one of Lustrum’s groups. She’d backed out around the time things turned violent. I’d heard her wonder out loud, to Lacey, my dad’s coworker, whether Lustrum had intended for things to get as bad as they had.

    But they had. A lot of people had suffered. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.3
  4. 4.0 4.1 “Listen, I’m sticking you in cell block E. The woman that put herself in charge of that cell block goes by the codename Lustrum. She’s a pretty extreme feminist and misandrist, but she protects the girls in her block, and it’s also the block furthest from the hole the men opened into the women’s half of the Birdcage. If you’re willing to play along, buy in or pretend to buy into her way of thinking, I think she’ll keep you safest.” - Excerpt from Interlude 6
  5. 5.0 5.1 The noise of it was broken down by singing, echoing through the Birdcage.  A dirge.

    The yellow feathered girl who was in the truck, Lung thought to himself.

    "That's for Alexandria, I imagine," Marquis said aloud.  "Undeserved, I think, but I imagine Lustrum gave her cell block a very good reason to honor the woman." - Interlude 22.y
  6. I realized she wasn’t who I thought she was. A hundred college campuses and a hundred more cities, and her face was printed on caps and smocks all over. Meant different things to different people. For most, being part of her following meant taking a stand. Not even being criminal or protesting.[...] Yeah, well, there was no anger in her, she didn’t even like violence much. Hated that what she’d put out there had been twisted around. My type most of all. - Excerpt from Interlude 11.b II
  7. 7.0 7.1 Lustrum used her power. It was like walking into a wall, but it wasn’t physical. My brain went blank for an instant, the heat and energy in my body seemed to disappear like someone had flicked a switch. My power, too, faded, the range zooming to a point close to me, my control momentarily going haywire. An instant later, it was back. I staggered, compensated with the antigravity, managed to not fall too far behind.

    The sphere above us shrunk a fraction. Maybe. Hard to make out, considering the size of it, and the speed with which it fell. Lustrum, for her part, grew. - Excerptfrom Extinction 27.5
  8. Lustrum saps energy from sources (including people) near her to form a hard light body. The body can be large and roughly the same density as her own, or it can be normal sized and dense enough to have its own gravity well. - Wildbow on Spacebattles
  9. Extinction 27.5
  10. Submitted 2 years ago by g0ing_postal:


    *Is there a finite limit to the number of shards possible in a given area? If each shard has a well of energy, it has to be taking that energy from somewhere. Eventually, it would use up all available energy, right?

    [...]Each shard has an individual well, barring some exceptions (Lustrum, clones/twins). - Wildbow on Reddit
  11. No chance I’d live like this. Nobody nearby. Scion was attacking the giant, cutting her to pieces. Capes she was holding fell. - Excerptfrom Extinction 27.5

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