||When I was in similar straits to where you are now, I chose not to go home. Then there was nobody to go home to. I got my power trying to protect someone and… I didn’t have anyone to protect anymore. I stopped being able to have quiet days. I don’t sleep without thinking about what I should be doing. I felt much like you seem to feel now, and I went on one more mission, because carrying on was easier than bringing it home.
—Narwhal to Foil, Heavens 12.x
Narwhal is the head of the Guild and the leader of the Protectorate's Toronto branch.
A former member of the military, this carried over to her interactions with people. Taylor Hebert could immediately sense she had some kind of military background. Somewhat like Rachel Lindt the manifestation of her abilities caused a mental shift in Narwhal's psychology, making her extremely driven and a workaholic. When not on her downtime, she is as unyielding as her forcefields and is notoriously hard-nosed; Narwhal is as tough as Rachel is gruff. She expects her subordinates to keep up with her. In battle, Narwhal is an effective commander and very focused on the mission.
Her subordinates did not want to get on her bad side. After Narwhal learned from Vista that Victoria being sent to an off-duty Vista while she was with her boyfriend led to Capricorn and Victoria accidentally interacting before those two could be trusted, she dressed down Vista in public. This public humiliation of Vista outraged Victoria and led to Carol Dallon standing up to Narwhal on behalf of Vista. That said, she is more reasonable than Cinereal: Victoria thought Narwhal was a militant, no-nonsense, all-business leader who would at least bow to better arguments. Although Narwhal would remember incidents for weeks and months, such as Vista and Byron casually chatting during the Mathers Compound Assault, Victoria believed she would remember what her mother said and take that into account.
She tries to address people she respects how they want to be addressed. She is formal and naturally inquisitive. Narwhal reassured Victoria after her negotiation with the Red Queen.
She considered Chevalier's leniency with Ingenue to be ill-advised. When Narwhal saw Sveta embrace Weld sometime after the Assault on the Time Bubbles, she internally referred to Sveta as an it and too far from human; she liked Slician for him more than she liked Sveta.
By all reports, she is pretty cool during downtime. Narwhal is presumably an avid reader, as she thanked Weaver for her book recommendation.
Her PoV chapter reveals that her personality is propped up by formalities and "proper" behavior in the same vein as her body by her force-fields.
Narwhal is the leader of a team with international renown. Further, she's considered one of the top heroes in the Protectorate, along with capes like Chevalier, her fellow Guild member Dragon, and Legend.
All that despite aversion to publicity appearances.
Narwhal is a seven foot tall woman, with extremely long, glossy, pale-purple hair.
She uses her power to create a single, three-foot horn on her forehead and coat her skin with fine crystalline scales. Her "scales" are each no larger than a fingernail.
After the timeskip she started wearing her horn curving backward over the top of her head.
Abilities and Powers
Narwhal creates crystalline forcefields that have a noticeable violet-blue tint and shine with faint rainbow hues when they catch the light. She can move them at high velocities (40 km/h), though only in straight lines. If the target is within fifty feet of her, Narwhal can create a forcefield that bisects part of the target's body, such as an appendage or the upper body. This is a violation of the Manton effect and a result of her second trigger. Prior to that, she was unable to create force-fields that bisected people.
Her power is strong enough to cut into Endbringer flesh to an extent, yet she also has much finer control, able to use her force fields almost in lieu of telekinesis to manipulate or destroy small objects, capture people, and as a kind of stretcher or platform. Letting her function as a kind of mass transport system if need be.
Attacking her forcefields causes them to light up. They are durable enough to tank an explosion from March's power. However, it is possible to break through or shatter her forcefields with enough force.
Her power was considered to be equally split between offense and defense. Temperature did not conduct through her forcefields.
Triggered while trying to protect somebody.
At some point, triggered again.
Joined the then-failed Guild and was responsible for it being revamped into the elite organization it is today.
Narwhal has an experience in dealing with warlords and making sure that their victims were able to become independent.
After the program Armsmaster and Dragon made predicted that Leviathan would attack Brockton Bay, Narwhal traveled to the Protectorate E.N.E.'s base. She listened as Legend addressed them with a pre-battle speech.
Narwhal then received an armband from the Brockton Bay Wards. When the ceiling started to cave in, Narwhal flicked two fingers towards the ceiling and shored it up with forcefields. She was later teleported out of the building by Strider.
Narwhal later manifested a dozen forcefields and flicked them towards Leviathan. She redirected the forcefields that glanced off Leviathan's skin; having them press against the edges of his body and get in the way of his legs moving. After the dumpster that Ballistic launched at Leviathan forced him backwards, Narwhal sent another forcefield into Leviathan's neck. Her efforts tore a large enough hole for Kid Win to take advantage of.
Moments later, Narwhal was alerted to an approaching tidal wave by her armband. She created forcefields in-between the defending capes and Leviathan before it hit. She was listed among the losses after the final tidal wave hit, this was later shown to be the casualties list as her name did not appear on the Brockton Bay Memorial.
She recovered and returned to duty.
Was present at Killington for the staging of the anti Slaughterhouse Nine task force. and was active during Gold Morning.
Was an active participant, acted as a guard on Saint. She doubled checked everyone's identities before allowing them to talk to her prisoner.
Like others she was snatched up by Khepri.
Her power proved pivotal at several key junctures during the event. Part of the goddesses psychological offensive against Zion. Narwhal was instrumental, if unwillingly, in Khepri's escape possible.
Narwhal was still active two years after Gold Morning as a member of the Wardens. She was considered one of the group's key members, having her own statue in the Warden HQ lobby. She was at the meeting between the Earth Gimel leadership and the theocrats of Earth Cheit; she later met with members of Foresight and discussed what the Wardens needed from the group.
She took point as leader of the Wardens contingent in the attack on the Mathers Fallen compound.
She was present during The Wardens attempt to stop March from reaching Brockton Bay time-bubbles. At the dawn of the next day she talked with Foil and gave her information on March's Megacluster.
Narwhal was seen defeated alongside Chevalier's group during Wardens' assault on Teacher's Compound.
She had recovered, and was in commanding position during the second Shin crisis.
Narwhal reprimanded Vista for the incident with Capricorn.
She represented the Wardens during the negotiations with The Red Queen, albeit without much effect, during the second Shin crisis.
As the most of Wardens she was leading the charge against the Titans and The Simurgh.
In the battle against the Fortuna's Titans, she denied Ophion Titan regeneration by stuffing his wounds with forcefields.
- One common misconception is that Narwhal was able to create her force fields inside Leviathan's body, and by extension any Endbringer's body, but this wasn't the case.
- Narwhal is a consistent element from the earliest drafts of what would become Worm; she always led the Guild. She was the first canon character introduced who stayed in the Parahumans universe.
- Like many characters in Worm, Narwhal took her turn as the protagonist for one of the stories many drafts.
Illustration by Scarfgirl_
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Extermination 8.1
- ↑ Narwhal – Head of the Guild and the Protectorate’s Toronto branch. A masterful forcefield user who can create forcefields that intersect (and thus cut) the bodies of nearby opponents. Appears nude, but covers herself in an intricate carpet of tiny forcefields, with a long horn of the same material. - Cast (spoiler free)
- ↑ Narwhal – Leader of both ‘The Guild’ and of the Protectorate station in Toronto, Ontario. Narwhal is an unparalleled wielder of forcefields. - Cast (in depth)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Inverness: Could you elaborate more on her character [...] ?
Wildbow: As a character, she's ex-military, but has a Rachel-like mental issue (and no, it's not exhibitionism) - she spins an awful lot of plates, as head of the Toronto PRT and a prominent member of the Guild. She doesn't stop, and doesn't let herself stop. That's all I'll say here. - Comment by Wildbow on Spacebattles
- ↑ Narwhal turned on the spot, facing Saint square-on, and I got the immediate sense that she had some kind of military background. Another part of me was idly aware that her chest didn’t sway that much, all things considered. The nature of the shard-covering she wore made it pretty clear she wasn’t wearing a bra, but…
Right. The same effect she’d used to move the book was holding her entire body. All of the benefits of a full, athletic figure, none of the drawbacks.
I was still a little weirded out that she didn’t wear any clothes. In a sense, the scales covered more than a bikini would, but there were no lines or solid objects to break up the natural contours of her body. - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.2
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 “Do you have that? Good nights of sleep, someone to hold?”
“No,” Narwhal said. She extended Foil an apologetic expression. “No. When I was in similar straits to where you are now, I chose not to go home. Then there was nobody to go home to. I got my power trying to protect someone and… I didn’t have anyone to protect anymore. I stopped being able to have quiet days. I don’t sleep without thinking about what I should be doing. I felt much like you seem to feel now, and I went on one more mission, because carrying on was easier than bringing it home.” - Heavens 12.x
- ↑ “Narwhal,” he mom shook her head. “I still can’t wrap my head around it. Now was she Protectorate or Guild?”
“She was both. A lot of international work. The Guild went all over the place, primarily to tackle human right’s abuses, parahuman warlords, be heroes to places without heroes. Then she did the Protectorate thing too.”
“Does she even sleep?”
“I honestly don’t know,” Missy admitted. She was a bit annoyed with the conversation. She’d had too many ones like it. “Miss Militia doesn’t. Neither do Defiant or Dragon.” - Last 20.end
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Narwhal stepped away, because two people had drawn close in the last minute, hovering and waiting for her to be free. She had barely finished talking when she was turning away, addressing the next thing.
And I could kind of breathe.
This fucking shoebox in concrete space. Fuck. I was just glad Vista had come out of it okay. By all reports, Narwhal was pretty cool in downtime, but in crisis mode, she was as unyielding as her forcefields. - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ “What part of do not associate with other members of your team do you not understand, Antares?”
Narwhal was… pretty notoriously hard-nosed. This was apparently that. I could see Vista wincing, because she could hear the tone, even though she couldn’t hear the words. - Sundown 17.3
- ↑ “I don’t want to hurt your career,” I told Vista, adjusting the heavy bag’s strap, where I’d slung it over my shoulder. “I know Narwhal’s tough-”
“Narwhal is tough in the same way Rachel Lindt is gruff. You’re understating things.”
“And Breakthrough’s… very much not Narwhal’s style, I think.”
“Agreed,” Vista said. - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Vista reached over, and he reached up, taking her hand, giving it a squeeze before letting it go. She pulled her headgear off, and fixed her hair. She looked tired.
“Long day?” I asked.
“Narwhal expects everyone working for her to keep up with her,” Vista said. “I was up most of last night, too.” - Excerpt from Radiation 18.9
- ↑ Pitch 6.1
- ↑ “I’d rather have your hands, if that’s okay. And we should talk. Not to strategize, that sounds weird, but I’d really rather not get on Narwhal’s bad side.” - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ “What was the context of this accidental meeting?” Narwhal asked.
“Narhwal,” Vista said. It looked like it took her some active work to summon the courage to speak up. She hesitated as she noticed Jessica and Darnall making their approach, and then pushed forward, “I was the context of the meeting.”
Narwhal’s crystal-studded eyebrows went up. “That makes me more concerned, not less. He still lied, which leaves me suspicious about him, while casting your behavior into a questionable light.”
Vista clenched her fists. “I was, um, with Capricorn Blue. If his brother lied, it was to keep confidence.”
If there was any doubt she was telling the truth, then the doubter would have to explain the pink ear-tips and flush. Vista wasn’t that good an actor. - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ “That neatly explains a lot about this,” Narwhal said, but her tone didn’t soft. “I remember you were distracted by your association with Capricorn at the raid on the Mathers Fallen compound.”
“Yes,” Vista said.
I spoke up, “Distracted is the wrong word. It didn’t interfere with her performance.”
“Hold on,” Narwhal said.
“One thing at a time. We’ll unravel the individual issues, which releases those involved to join the handling of the greater crisis. Vista’s actions and distraction at the time concerned me, and I filed it as such. Let’s leave it at that. For now, Vista can leave with just a parting comment from me, I believe Cinereal is on the line at terminal two. - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ Have you briefed yourself on all the materials we sent out twenty minutes ago?”
“Not yet,” Vista said.
“I see,” Narwhal said. She gave Vista a sad look. “You have so much promise, Vista. You’re almost eighteen. The Wardens have been talking about elevating you to a higher position, with a team to lead of your own. This is something you want?”
“Yes, ma’am. Absolutely.”
“We don’t do that for most capes your age because we can’t trust most capes your age to be level headed, or to handle the responsibility of three to ten other lives. Teenagers act like teenagers, and I had really hoped you would be the exception to that.”
“Yes ma’am. I’m sorry, ma’am.”
We’ll revisit this when we discuss team leadership after you turn eighteen.”
“Yes ma’am.” - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ I wanted to say something, but with Breakthrough’s current standing, I wasn’t sure I could get away with it, I felt like I’d hesitate to say anything with both of my therapists looking on, and the only things that came to mind were actively hostile. Because how fucking dare Narwhal dress down Vista in a public setting- - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ “You just came back from patrol?”
“Not ‘just’, but recently.”
“These are the hours you’d be recuperating, showering, sleeping?”
“I don’t think anyone is sleeping or recuperating at a time like this,” Vista said, glancing at the screens. “Um. I was sleeping. Just… with him. Actually asleep. Nothing happened.”
“He’s recuperating? Better but not at his best?”
“I’m not interested in debate, Mrs. Dallon,” Narwhal said.
“I’m not interested in debate either,” my mother said. “Just asking and commenting.” - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ “And delaying us from getting to the matter at hand,” Narwhal said.
“I’ll be brief. You were with him, you were woken up, went to see Clockblocker and Kid Win at Valkyrie’s request, and then came straight here?”
“Yes,” Vista said.
“Did Byron go with you?”
“No. He’s still healing,” Vista said. She looked nervous, if only because it looked increasingly like she was stuck between Narwhal and my mom. - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ “An injured cape and a young woman fresh off her patrol taking the opportunity to sleep seems very sensible and healthy, and if you can look after each other in the process, then that’s even better,” my mom said. “I like Capricorn as a match for you. He’s an excellent cape with a great record as a hero, he had a fanbase, and Team Reach was very good about taking the money he earned them and reinvesting that money into his training as a cape. If you gave me the opportunity, I don’t think there are many I could suggest as a better match for you.”
“Yes ma’am,” Vista said, looking dangerously pleased with what my mom was saying, considering Narwhal was standing right there.
Vista ducked out, escaping the conversation. Narwhal gave my mom a look.
“I said I’d be brief,” my mom said, to effectively shut down the conversation. - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ 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. - Sundown 17.6
- ↑ That didn’t mean she was unfair. She’d dress down Vista in public, and she’d remember something like this for weeks or months, like she’d remembered casual chatter with Capricorn back at the Fallen raid, but I didn’t think she was the type to hear something like what my mom had said and not take it into account, out of spite or anything. - Sundown 17.4
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 “Right then, I know most of you,” Narwhal said. “Weaver, of course, we’ve met enough times. I liked your last book recommendation.”
“I’m glad,” I said.
“Tattletale,” Narwhal greeted her, a little less warmly, “Hellhound-”
“Bitch. My enemies call me Hellhound,” Rachel said.
“Ah, I’m very sorry,” Narwhal said. She looked genuinely upset at the mistake. “The others, I’m not familiar with.”
“Imp and Canary,” I said.
Narwhal glanced at Aisha. Of our group, only Tattletale was wearing her full costume. Aisha, Rachel, Canary and I weren’t wearing ours. “No masks?”
Imp shrugged. “World’s ending. It’s a way to get in the right headspace, eh? We were talking to Taylor there a bit ago, and what we’re thinking is it’s stupid to spend our time keeping little secrets when there’s bigger fish to fry? Like it’s stupid to dwell on revenge or any of that. So it’s symbolic, isn’t it? A statement? Eh?”
Narwhal looked at the yellow-haired girl. “You went without the mask for the same reason?”
Canary shook her head. “No.”
“Canary is a rogue,” Defiant said. “And a onetime inmate of the Birdcage. She never wore a costume.”
Narwhal glanced at Defiant. “Do you know them, then?”
He nodded. “Well enough. There’s no risk in letting them near Saint. Imp is a stranger-five, Canary is a master eight, but I would be very, very surprised if she had taken control of anyone here for the purposes of misleading us or breaking Saint out.”
“Surprised in what sense? The nature of her power? Because of Weaver and the Undersiders? Or because Canary isn’t that type?” - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.2
- ↑ “Was that okay?” I asked, quiet, not taking my eyes off the screen. “I know it’s not how you would’ve wanted to do it, but-”
“It was,” Narwhal said. “We weren’t getting through. You did. We’ll take that for what it is.”
She turned back to the screen, but the hand she’d laid on my shoulder earlier was still there, shifting to a resting one as she turned in a quarter-circle, more reassuring.
It remained there for a few seconds, before someone needed her to take a tablet with some team information on it. - Sundown 17.5
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 A forcefield appeared in front of Ingenue. A second later, she was heaved out of the room, sandwiched between the field and the wall.
“How the hell did she get this far into the hospital?” Narwhal asked.
“Let me go.”
The forcefield disappeared, but another set appeared, pinning the woman against the wall by the throat alone. Narwhal started patting Ingenue down.
“Let me go, and I’ll be good.”
Chevalier glanced at Narwhal.
"You’re too soft,” Narwhal said.
“I would, but I still think you’re too soft.” - Excerpt from Interlude 28
- ↑ Antares led Weld to one of the last vehicles in the convoy. He opened the door, and was embraced by what Narwhal took to be his girlfriend.
That was a mess. Narwhal had seen him making eyes at one of the other girls in the Wardens. Slician. She’d noticed and she’d approached him, and he’d turned her down. It wouldn’t have been easy.
This? That? It couldn’t be good. It was too far from human, and Weld was more in touch with humanity than a lot of humans were. - Heavens 12.x
- ↑ If he’d asked Narwhal for advice, she would have told him she liked Slician for him more than she liked this girl. That he had his own healing and growing to do, and it seemed to her that he was putting it on hold. It was maybe better that he hadn’t asked her.
It was even possible that he knew her well enough to know what the advice she would give would be. If that were true, then when and if he needed help making the hard decision, he would ask her. - Heavens 12.x
- ↑ 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
- ↑ Narwhal doesn’t do TV - Excerpt from Gleaming 9.2
- ↑ Narwhal spoke next, all business, serious, her back ramrod straight, her body in a double-thick layer of forcefield crystals, her hair a white-purple, down to the small of her back. - Excerpt from Last 20.1
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 Narwhal turned heads as she entered the lobby. She stood seven feet tall, with a curtain of glossy, pale hair extending almost to the backs of her knees. She was unclothed, not even wearing a skintight costume on her long limbed body, but it somehow wasn’t obscene. Her skin was layered with fine crystal scales that caught the light and scintillated with faint rainbow hues. A single horn stood out from the middle of her forehead, three feet long. She ignored stares as she found a space to lean against a wall near the front of the room. She had her chin against her chest with her eyes closed, as though she were resting, or concentrating. Or maybe it was a habit she’d picked up when standing straight meant stabbing the average ceiling with her horn. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.1
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Narwhal stood just a short distance away, leaning against a wall, a book in her hands. Her costume was skintight, but it took the form of innumerable ‘scales’ of violet-blue tinted crystal, each no larger than a fingernail. Her horn had been redesigned, arcing in a crescent curve.
[...]Narwhal noticed our approach and closed her book, creating a thin shard of forcefield to act as a bookmark, then two more to hold the cover and back of the book. She pushed it aside, and it floated a distance to her right, stopping in midair, in her reach but not in the way. - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.2
- ↑ blames_irrationally: Oh gotcha, so she didn't have too much offensive capability before I guess.
Wildbow: She did. She can create forcefields that move. They have sharp edges. Think forcefield hitting you at 40 km/h, edge first. - Comment by Wildbow on reddit.
- ↑ Land? You’re actually on a Narwhal forcefield?”
“Doing loops. They travel in straight lines, but Vista can bend straight.”
Okay. I wasn’t just catching my two friends, then. I was doing it while they were surfing on a flying, crystalline cleaver. - Excerpt from Pitch 6.4
- ↑ A man, flying with great skeletal bat wings, a kind of lace or filigree of bone stretched between segments, rose into the air to intercept me.
No, to intercept a member of my swarm.
My swarm worked to cut him off, but he was agile, persistent. As massive and bulky as those wings seemed, they shapeshifted in the process of each flap, the lattice of bone opening up to let air pass through, then closing when he wanted the air resistance to bear himself higher, or to one side.
In the end, a forcefield appeared through one wing, and he dropped a solid thirty feet before he managed to catch himself. It gave me a window of opportunity. - Excerpt from Speck 30.7
- ↑ A forcefield hurtled into him, but this forcefield had a passenger. Narwhal rode it, and she leaped off as the big guy caught the slice of crystal. She landed, and her hair was still settling around her when the forcefields sprung into being to her left.
They had formed so each forcefield was a foot apart, and the stack of forcefields overlapped with the fluid armor brute, dividing him neatly into roughly eleven slices. - Pitch 6.1
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 Narwhal was one of the named examples. Despite people’s impressions, she didn’t demonstrate this against Leviathan.
She creates crystalline forcefields and can move them at high velocities. She can also, if you’re within fifty feet of her, create a forcefield that bisects part of your body. Bling, you’re missing an arm. Bling, you’re missing an upper body. - Comment by Wildbow on Prey 14.3
- ↑ "Narwhal's second trigger." - Comment by Wildbow on reddit.
- ↑ “It’s not like there isn’t precedent for this. We know for a fact that some capes who were once held back by the Manton effect have figured out a way around it, or past it. Narwhal being the most obvious case.” - Excerpt from Interlude 5
- ↑ I was aware of Narwhal stepping into the fray, in my peripheral vision. She raised her hands, manifesting a dozen forcefields like oversize crystal shards around her, then flicked them forward. Like guillotine blades, the forcefields raced toward Leviathan, faster than the eye could follow, sunk into his flesh. Those that glanced off stopped mid-air to turn around, edges against his body, getting in the way of his legs moving. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.3
- ↑ A dumpster hit Leviathan in the upper body with the speed of a bullet, and he folded backward, his shoulders hitting the ground while his legs and feet were still held against the ground by a mess of razor blade forcefields. Narwhal sent another forcefield flying into his neck, and it cut as deep as any attack had yet. Blood spilled down from the opened wound, thick, more like ichor than anything I was used to seeing. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.3
- ↑ Narwhal opened with a volley of twelve forcefield spikes. They plunged into the Simurgh’s wing and stuck there. - Last 20.6
- ↑ 43.0 43.1 I saw the forcefield woman in the crowd. Taller than most, a curved, crystalline horn on her forehead.
The people surrounding my swarm were working to get back as I approached, but the press of bodies only had a limited amount of give.
A forcefield materialized just in front of me as my power reached the very front of the crowd. I turned the newest additions to my swarm around, focusing them on the people who were looking to stop me.
My bugs got in her eyes, blocking her sight, crawled into her ears.
I felt as she bisected them with forcefields. I was already using the device on my back to move over the forcefield, getting a boost from the two who’d been supporting me to heave the clairvoyant up with me.
He came down on top of me, and we landed hard, but we landed on the opposite side of the forcefield. Close enough, taking advantage of the woman’s momentary blindness.
I lowered forcefields and set them in circles around me before pushing out. Separating the crowd to give myself room to maneuver. - Excerpt from Speck 30.7
- ↑ Chevalier shifted his sword to one side, then slid his legs over until he could lower his feet to the ground.
Exalt appeared in the doorway. “Don’t-”
He continued trying to stand.
He was lifted into the air by strategically placed forcefields, one beneath his thighs, another behind his back. He stumbled a little as he touched ground, and another field kept him from falling flat on his face. The tubes reaching to his chest were taut. If he’d fallen, they might have pulled free.
He found his balance, then nodded. Narwhal banished the fields. - Excerpt from Interlude 28
- ↑ It took a minute to arrange. Narwhal created a force field platform and carefully moved Rachel over to the Pendragon. I watched their glacially slow movement and the utterly still Simurgh. - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.4
- ↑ 46.0 46.1 The clairvoyant and I dropped from a portal in the air and landed right in their midst. Crystalline forcefields appeared in the air, then lowered slowly enough that people had a chance to get out of the way.
I picked the faces of every changer in my range, watching to make sure it was accurate.
I couldn’t control them while they were outside of my range, so I’d do something cruder, instead.
I chose their faces, and then I seated them on the crystalline forcefields, binding them in place with the connection man.
I scattered them into the sky. Each one rooted to a forcefield platform. - Excerpt from Speck 30.6
- ↑ 47.0 47.1 A woman covered in a skin of forcefields, protecting people with massive shards of forcefield.
I got the one-horned woman who glittered with forcefields, then changed direction.
The forcefield woman sandwiched each of us between two forcefields, then willed them forwards. We left the stuffed lizard behind.
The woman with the forcefield scales used her power. Another sandwich of crystalline fields, the more secure way to hold someone, and she hauled the reality-warper out of the other group, into my range. Another forcefield caught a boy with glowing hair.
I had her create a door, then I used her partner’s help to smash it.
A freestanding hole in reality. The reality warper used her power to pick a world.
I wasn’t too picky. The instant I was through, I had them make two more.
Then two more.
I protected them all with forcefields. - Excerpt from Speck 30.6
- ↑ Bullets hit trees and pinged off of the forcefields Narwhal had created to give the heroes cover. Each time a forcefield was hit, it briefly became brighter, the edges and lines standing out in bright purples and blues. - Pitch 6.1
- ↑ Their March slipped past the incoming blades, hopping and rolling over one, then leaning heavily to one side to avoid the other. Experimentally, she let her blade’s tip run along its length.
The explosion had occurred, but the crystal was too tough. It was Narwhal. - Excerpt from Heavens 12.all
- ↑ A Fallen cape or one of the bikers was approaching, grown tall, his flesh alternating between something that seemed hard, like calcified armor plates, and flesh that seemed too soft and fluid.
Forcefields flew past me. Narwhal. The forcefields that didn’t hit Seir’s copies arrived between us and the Fallen capes, then stopped on the spot and rotated, forming a wall of crystal to bar their path.
I heard the impact as the big cape hit the crystals, and I saw the colors flare, brighter than they had when the bullets hit them.
The big guy battered through Narwhal’s shield. He broke into a run, long limbs stretching and heavy feet pounding against the ground, charging me. - Pitch 6.1
- ↑ By the time I had my bearings and was flying straight, the Simurgh was relocating, taking some evasive action and crashing through Narwhal’s forcefields as Legend opened fire. - Last 20.7
- ↑ It wasn’t like a whirlwind where things flew in what seemed to be a fairly steady circle. There were things flying crosswise. Pieces of costume, pieces of pillar, computer stuff, wires, wood, concrete, tile, papers. They smacked into one another, into us. I saw someone get hit by something on his left side, stumble, and get hit on his right.
The Simurgh shattered Narwhal’s forcefields in the air. Shards struck people who were trying to close the distance, in that twentieth of a second that it took Narwhal to cancel the forcefields and make the shards disappear. - Last 20.6
- ↑ Tattletale shrugged. “Lung would be too violent, and the focus of Vista’s power is too… location-driven? I have no idea how she’d take Narwhal’s power, because it’s pretty evenly split between offense and defense.”
“Kind of abstract,” I said.
“I’m… reaching,” Tattletale confessed. “Definitely reaching. But reaching and abstract thought bought us the portal to Gimel, and I’ve got to flex my power somehow.” - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.4
- ↑ Narwhal’s costume was layered, crystals grown large and each gap covered by another crystal, enough times that her entire figure had changed. Crystals were her boots, so her feet weren’t resting against snowy ground, and they framed her chin, nose, eye sockets, and ears, while providing the structure that held up her horn. A lot of that was to keep the cold off. Temperature didn’t conduct through forcefield, so it kept her insulated. Here and there, she adjusted, exposing neck, collarbone, and shoulder above the crystalline suit. - Heavens 12.x
- ↑ The Guild is something of a failed effort that mutated. Where other groups were founded and then collapsed, the Guild drew in just enough powerful members to have some clout after the group failed to get traction. They changed tacks.
The original goal was to be another Protectorate of sorts, albeit cape-led, with an emphasis on peacekeeping and nonviolent absorption of capes. The problem was that Canada is very spread out, and reaction times are thus slow, when you have 10-30 capes to cover a lot of ground. The initial aims shot too high, higher-ups set expectations and couldn't meet them, and the initial guild (which had none of the Narwhals or Dragons or any of those guys) flopped. It was resurrected around the same time Canada sighed and took on its own Protectorate divisions, when political powers that heavily criticized the PRT wanted certain elements in play, as well as a certain amount of freedom to make certain realities a positive without dealing with PRT bureaucracy (initiatives, acting to help other countries without worrying about the balance of PRT forces). The programs and aims that were pure concept beforehand became the reality. Certain individuals got on board and it worked.
The end result is a group that balances a lot of individual autonomy punctuated by demands from higher up. If you're a villain that's not in Protectorate territory and you're crossing lines, the Guild is still something you might worry about. This might be for those who go way overboard (ie. genocide) or cross the lines with pet issues for various members of the Guild (targeting gays, women, interfering with the political process, etc, etc).
The Guild, at its heart, is about trying to set standards, and it's got just enough prominent members that it can make others stand up and listen.
On the flip side, it draws a lot of criticism due to perceived imbalances in the subjects it focuses on (this goes back to individual autonomy). If one guy gets very active and makes gay rights a huge focus (targeting villains with a propensity for gay bashing) then the Guild gets perceived as having a heavy focus on protecting gays. There's a large-ish non-parahuman staff just trying to enable the capes to do as much good as they can. - Wildbow on Reddit
- ↑ “I’ve done this kind of thing before. I fought warlords,” Narwhal said. “I helped the villages after. I delivered supplies to isolated settlements. A lot of people want this to have a happy ending, and experience tells me that ending is possible.” - Excerpt from Pitch 6.6
- ↑ There was a loud groan, and the ceiling at one corner of the room began to descend swiftly toward the ground. Narwhal flicked two fingers up in that direction, and shored the ceiling with some forcefields, but I saw other portions of the ceiling begin to sag, gallons of water pouring through the gaps in the ceiling tile. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.2
- ↑ Too many others were capable of delivering the hurt, but were too fragile: Browbeat, Shadow Stalker, Lady Photon, Purity, Laserdream, Brandish and others I didn’t know. The Ward with the crossbow, some guy with crimson skin. There was a light show in the sky above as Kid Win teleported in pieces of the cannon he’d had at the bank robbery, manifesting them onto a hovering platform set directly in front of Leviathan. He’d get anywhere from a few seconds to a minute’s worth of concentrated fire with the gun firing on the highest settings, directing a beam through a gap in the bars to where Narwhal’s razor sharp forcefield had opened a gap in Leviathan’s neck. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.4
- ↑ Extermination 8.3
- ↑ Nope. Common misreading. She was included with the wounded and such when Tattletale was. Comment by Wildbow on Extinction 27.2
- ↑ Sting 26.2
- ↑ Inside the building, statues of key members stood off to either side of the lobby. Chevalier, Narwhal, Valkyrie, Legend, Cinereal, Stonewall, Topflight and Miss Militia.
“Is Weld getting a statue?” Tristan asked.
“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
- ↑ - Excerpt from Interlude 2 II
- ↑ Heavens 12.all
- ↑ Heavens 12.x
- ↑ Dying 15.6
- ↑ Sundown 17.4
- ↑ Sundown 17.5
- ↑ Last 20.1
- ↑ Last 20.6
- ↑ I could look up at the Ophion Titan and see the damage I’d done, still healing, while capes flew around him. Narwhal was using the damage as a target point for forcefields, leaving them embedded whenever they sank home, to slow and stop his regeneration. - Excerpt from Infrared 19.6
- ↑ RuneChild Draft of Worm
- ↑ I personally find it interesting to note the elements that are present. Narwhal, contrary to what I remembered, was the first canon character who was introduced and who stayed with the setting. - Wildbow in Snippets: Before Worm
- ↑ Inverness: I'll ask about Narwhal. It seems she stood out more than other characters, and not just because of her lack of dress. I remember someone describing it as her having a disproportionate presence compared to other characters that were also rarely featured.
Is she one of the characters you attempted to write about beforehand?
Could you elaborate [...] if she'll be featured again in a Worm sequel?
Wildbow: If you look at the drafts on my pig's pen blog, I have some stories up there, including the first superhero WIP I put together. Narwhal featured. The protagonist was cannibalized (see my writing approach post in the last thread or the W.o.G. thread) and one of her powers given to Rune (I was trying to fill the gaps and write a magic based superhero), but was so different I don't count her as having survived. Narwhal, by contrast, has the distinction of joining Dragon as one of the first characters I wrote who survived the drafting process of my first superhero writings and made it into Worm.
That said, she never had a place in Worm, really. She was almost a cameo for my own personal benefit, and may have more of a role in the sequel. I'm not positive, but I can sort of see it playing out. - Comment by Wildbow on Spacebattles
- ↑ Ziggurat – Junior villains take advantage of a Endbringer attack to take over a city, trapping the residents in a ring of stone walls. Switched perspectives from the villains to the heroes (protagonist was Narwhal) fighting Hadhayosh, with the idea that it would merge together into a singular storyline where Narwhal tries to deal with the captured city. I think I might’ve done a second version with some civilians in the mix, just to show the effect on them, then dropped it quickly.
Relevance? Well, I think it marks one of my first in-setting attempts to show a hostile takeover by villains (Supreme Earth was such on a much larger scale) and their attempts to manage a city once they’d seized it. Why didn’t it work? Narwhal was too powerful for a protagonist, and the length would have put it into an awkward place, too long for a short story and too short for a novel or even a novella. Once I realized that, I lost steam. - Comment by Wildbow