Spruce is a supervillian and a resident of the Birdcage.


Prim, proper and concerned about correctness.[1] Used to acting as a majordomo and making sure everything runs smoothly.[2]



Unknown how his attitudes mesh with Marquis interests in the vague concept of Honor.

He stuck with him throughout imprisonment and well after release.


He is described as being slight[3] but immaculately dressed, more neat than even The Number Man who presumably has power assistance.[4] Two years out of the birdcage he had taken to a beard and parted hair all while retaining his sartorial elegance, with a basic white opera mask.[1]

People are known to mistake him as some kind of Butler.[5]


Spruce can create orbs that have been variously described as 'cabbage[s] made of stone'[6] and origami onions;[7] alternatively he creates projections that have differing effects.

These projections have an disintegration effect[8] that can eat its way through thick bone and stone and persumably other materials. Its other showcased function can be used to provide a limited clairvoyant effect on a target, leaving them unharmed.[7] He has been seen using it as a type of body search.


His facility, as in accuracy and control, with his power has decreased since his incarceration. Given that Marquis trusted Spruce to cause a controlled collapse of the cave entrance and thus contain the newly ascendant Khepri.[6] Two years is presumably enough for him to recover.



One does not get sent to the birdcage by being nice.

Story StartEdit

He is one of Marquis' lieutenants in the Birdcage.[9]

Gold MorningEdit

Was released with the other prisoners at the start.[10]

When he, Marquis, and others confront Khepri, fresh from her apotheosis, Spruce says that he used to have more accuracy and control than he does currently and does not trust himself to use his power.[6] Thus Marquis has to step in and try to contain the nascent godling, giving her a chance to break out.

Post-Fallen fallEdit

Two years later Spruce was at the court of Lord of Loss on Earth N, where he posed as herald and security. Regained fine control over his power and provided a very risky pat-down.[5]

He worked as a chauffeur for Marquis.[11]

Post-Goddess' TakeoverEdit

Was getting over the flu when he was called in by the greater villain alliance that was trying to make a statement.[12]


  • Spruce's name works on multiple levels as a synonym for cleaning up a place, spruce up a place. As well as the spruce tree given the cabbage or pine cone form his power takes.


  1. 1.0 1.1 A hundred feet still separated us. A man stepped out of the crowd to our right, bearded, with parted hair, a hard mask and crisp clothing- a button-up shirt that was rolled up to the elbows, and a vest. He walked with his hands clasped behind his back.
    “I must insist I be allowed to search you. I’m circumspect. I’ll only tell Lord of Loss what he needs to know. What I want is for this to go smoothly.” - Excerpt from Torch 7.8
  2. “Keep the peace at the Lyme Center,” Nailbiter addressed the mercenaries. Colt barely noticed the whistling ‘s’ sounds anymore. “One or two of you can wait there. It won’t need attention unless someone gets stupid. Picks a fight, gets drunk, doesn’t matter.”

    “What kind of response do you want?” Lord of Loss asked.

    Love Lost paused, meeting Nailbiter’s eyes.

    Nailbiter supplied the answer. “Dramatic, but not dramatically violent. These people are ours. If you act and use powers, mention our names.”

    “Then we’ll put Spruce there. He’s used to keeping order,” Lord of Loss said. - Excerpt from Interlude 11.b II
  3. They surrounded themselves with big, strong guys and they didn’t look any less powerful in comparison, even though Spruce was a skinny guy and Nursery was barely any taller than Colt was. - Excerpt from Interlude 11.b II
  4. For another man, the combination of physical traits and the style of dress might have led to someone mistaking them for a woman. They might have come across as effeminate. - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.3
  5. 5.0 5.1 Torch 7.8
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 “Spruce? Can you use your power? Not too much. Enough she can break free before too long?”

    The tidy man shook his head. He turned his hand over, and a little sphere swirled in it, looking like a cabbage made of stone. He closed his hand, and it winked out of existence. “Ten years ago? Sure. Right now? I don’t trust my accuracy. I’d be worried about the structure of the cave if my power touched anything to either side or behind her.”

    Marquis nodded. “Go look after the others, then. Be ready to shut the door the moment I’m through.”

    Spruce turned to leave, ushering Doormaker and the clairvoyant out.- Excerpt from Speck 30.1
  7. 7.0 7.1 “I’d like to use my power to search you,” he said. He held up his hand, and a shape manifested in his palm, swelling to take the form of something that looked like an origami onion, the layers folding back and into themselves. “I would sweep it over you and become aware of anything on your persons.”

    “No effect?” Capricorn asked.

    “No,” the man said.
    The origami onion unfolded into a whirling frame of lines and flat planes. Where it passed over Chris’ leg, the leg on dirt, the dirt settled, flatting down, like there was a gravity or space warping effect in play.

    The man with the beard and parted hair walked behind Chris, the effect sweeping up and down Chris’ back. He searched Chris’ midsection.
    “There we are. I see the shape of things, now,” the man with the parted hair murmured. His eyes were alive behind the hard ivory-white mask. “I can extend you a measure of trust, I think. Do us a favor and stay still. Give us no reason to be concerned.” - Excerpt from Torch 7.8
  8. I used Marquis' power to block their paths with spiked barriers of bone.  When Lung, Spruce and Cinderhands all tore through the barriers, with claw, some sort of disintegration power and flame, respectively, I used Doormaker's power again. - Excerpt from Speck 30.2
  9. Interlude 22.y
  10. Cockroaches 28.3
  11. Torch 7.9
  12. “And he’s bounding back from the flu, poor dear,” Nursery said. “It’s good if he’s somewhere warm.”

    “Don’t tell them that,” Spruce said. “I’m well enough for whatever needs doing. I can keep things calm, resolve disputes. When you say mention your names, I should say, hm, ‘Love Lost wouldn’t want this’?”

    Love Lost nodded, a firm motion. - Excerpt from Interlude 11.b II

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