Many of the rank-and-file focus on petty larceny and similar, it's only the higher up members that engage in actual felonies like murder. Unpredictable members are known to do things like hijack radio broadcasts to praise the Endbringers for killing unbelievers. Kidnapping and forced marriage is also common, especially for the Mathers branch.
The Fallen are incestuous, supposedly to increase the possibility of having powered children, regardless they have several very powerful members in their group. Members are frequently swapped around to provide greater manpower for physically weaker factions. Similarly, arranged marriages are also common among the various family units that make up the Fallen.
Fallen members reportedly performed raids on evacuees during Gold Morning, kidnapping and stealing needed supplies. Before this they were known for kidnapping and brainwashing people so slavery is not that big of a step.
The Fallen's beliefs vary quite widely, but like other cults they have an us vs. them mentality against outsiders. Homophobia, wide spectrum racism and prejudice against Case 53s are all present to varying degrees in the different branches. As for their namesake belief, whether they actually believe in Endbringer worship and what that means changes with each branch, each group or family unit and the individual members. Roughly half of them truly believe in Fallen ideology; the rest simply using it as an excuse.
Ideas that a true-believing Fallen member might believe included "humanity deserves to be wiped out", "so-and-so deserved to die at the hands of Behemoth", or "the world would be a paradise if the Simurgh were to achieve full influence, if we only let it". They might also celebrate specific Endbringer attacks for their casualties, although the Fallen were - perhaps tellingly - never known to actually interfere to help their 'gods'.
The Fallen of Wichita are an example of the particularly religious. They mingled obscure interpretation of Bible tracts and Endbringer-worship, along with a belief that only the powerful were "worthy" and would be spared. This was seen with other fallen groups as well.
Following End of the World, some Fallen members claimed to have predicted it and attempted to warn humanity through their antics. While the group had found out about the end of the world this was just a retroactive justification.
The Fallen are an interrelated group of families powered and un-powered, based in the southern states where they are terrorist cells. Being multiple self-motivated groups with a unifying direction, their number made up of a mix of normal and parahuman members.
This independence extends to things like costume choices, some dressing up in elaborate superhero costumes while others largely keep to civilian clothes, only using masks of varying quality or elaborate tattoos to distinguish themselves as capes, like other aspects costuming was different with each fallen group.
The Fallen are divided between three main family branches, each roughly corresponding to the "worship" of a specific Endbringer.
The McVeays focus loosely on Behemoth, they are genuinely religious and particularly violent. Capes often, but by no means exclusively, have offensive dynakinetic powers. They were unable to recover as a branch after Gold Morning.
The Crowleys emulate Leviathan, and are known for being some of the most visible members being made up of jackasses and trouble makers. Some later claimed that this was an attempt to spread the word of their message of the approaching End of the World. This branch had a history of prejudice against Case 53s. The Crowleys keep up connections with Biker gangs and other fringe groups. Main branch family members generally have non-self targeted duplication powers, just as their totem has his Water-Echo.
This branch got started as a bunch of attention seeking college students, then the Crowleys took over. The branch had a fractious relationship with the rest of the Fallen before things settled down. This cultural gap may be why they are the most comfortable setting up shop in cities and other populated areas.
The eldest Crowley brother was exiled for going too far and committing murder in 2011. He made a brief return as leader of the branch in late 2012 or early 2013, and then killed two of his own family members. Then Vince, the middle brother and Sabrina, the sister, were known for networking with the other clans, trading some of their members for McVeays who needed shelter from the attention of the law and kidnapped or brainwashed Mathers victims.
Jake Crowley, the youngest brother, was a "party animal" with four wives all half his age.
The Mathers branch are an outright cult, patterning themselves after Simurgh, they live at an intentional remove from civilization and migrate to avoid prying eyes, around They are involved in numerous illegal activities, notably abduction and trying to control people with indoctrination and parahuman abilities. Over one seven year period they kidnapped and abducted thirteen Wards and independent capes with the intention of marrying them into the family. Three capes died, three stayed, and the remaining seven were able to escape in one way or another.
Valefor was on member of this branch. His mother is the leader of the Mathers, based near Kansas City. Her power made it dangerous for PRT Thinkers and other surveillance resources to focus on the Fallen. A common custom for the branch was for young members to keep their hair long, as a reminder that they could be 'soldiers', fighting for the family, or 'sluts' only able to give the family more children. This branch often swapped members to other branches in exchange for muscle; Eligos being an example of someone they acquired this way.
Despite their leaders best efforts they were never able to acquire a Healer.
A fourth branch was in the midst of coalescing, focused on some of the newer Endbringers, but were eclipsed when Gold Morning rolled around. Splinter groups and offshoots from the three main branches are common, these are sometimes collaborations from different branches mixing their approaches. Any successful insurgency has non-combatants that funnel supplies, weapons and food; the Fallen have a fall back population outside the public eye that lent this support to more visible branches.
Post Gold Morning, and presumably before it, The Fallen associated with groups similar to their own. Usually violent people on the margins of society, such as motorcycle hooligans, militias like those commonly found in the south and various fringe racist and/or religious villain groups. Their association with the Fallen meant that they would be targeted if victims and authorities failed to reach the Fallen directly. It is unknown what, if any, contact the Fallen have with The Clans.
While the group has been specifically targeted by the PRT, the organizations response depends on how active and dangerous each individual group is. While action against the Fallen is usually met with approval they have not been removed yet thanks to the villain group being a flexible decentralized organization. Lower tiered members who concentrate on misdemeanors and similar are not treated with the same attention as others.
With the Amnesty the response shifted to a more hands off approach, Until action was warranted.
Hypnotises anyone he looks at, possibly other sensory goodies as well. Simurgh-themed costume which includes a blindfold. Captured by the Undersiders, mutilated. Preacher in Rain's local Fallen church.
Son of Mama Mathers and the McVeay head. Pyrokinetic, emotion manipulator and healer. Gains influence over anyone he uses his powers on. Can 'brand' a subject to control them long term. A leader of Lodestar, exposed, killed.
"I won't spoil the conclusion if you're eager to see this through."
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.
Around the end of 1992 a new threat emerged, one that even the vaunted heroes couldn't deal with. This gave groups of various disaffected people, humans and parahuman both, a point to rally around and dedicate themselves to, it and its later siblings.
The Fallen, how they gained the name is unspecified, provided an outlet for those mad at the system, the crazy ones, and those who just wanted to crack some skulls. In time the Fallen would have children who they could then raise in the environment and indoctrinate them into their way of thinking. These children would develop powers as well.
As drivers of chaos and conflict, The Fallen develop a penelope of powers among the interconnected families.
No Fallen member is on record as having actually tried to break the Unwritten Rules by attacking during an Endbringer attack, such as to assist the Endbringer in their destructive rampages, nor has any member attended a endbringer fights as a defender. However they have not followed other unwritten rules either and several high profile members have engaged in terrorist activity and similar actions.
Members of the Mathers branch, kidnapped a group of Wards with the intention of marrying them off to members of the Fallen. This incident received international attention.
Went through a large expansion in 2012, transforming from a irritating media nuisance to one of the largest and dangerous groups in North America.
Mama Mathers and other family heads sent out several groups throughout the United States after they found out about the End of the World prophecy. These groups tried to gather in places with 'fall' in their name and any other religious sounding destination.
Were purportedly reavers during the event; pillaging and raiding and kidnapping people. This was possibly to collect slaves. Presumably their powered members were snatched up when Khepri was collecting parahumans to fight Scion.
The group survived the events of Gold Morning and started expanding their forces, abusing amnesty terms and continue with more clandestine activity. According to Victoria Dallon, the McVeays were functionally extinct by this point.
The Crowley branch settled itself into a massive farming collective named Canaan a few bus trips and a long car ride outside The City. They lost members during the first winter on Gimel, either because of exposure or sickness. They continued recruiting new members and had survivors from Fallen groups around Bet make their way toward the main camps, thus growing faster than any other settlements made without prior help.
In the aftermath many major figures in the fallen were arrested. with the most devoted members being imprisoned.
A number of powered and unpowered members fled to Earth Cheit shepherded by the Thomais Branch.
◈ The Fallen are a criminal group that exists primarily in the Southeastern United States, but possess reach and influence well beyond these locations. The group has openly committed virtually every crime on the book, with an emphasis toward kidnapping, property damage, assault and murder. The group achieved international notoriety with its apparent worship and adulation of the Endbringers, high media visibility, cult-like tactics and periodic kidnapping of notable figures. The Fallen remain in the top five of the PRT’s priority targets and in the top fifteen targets for organized superhero groups worldwide. It is estimated as fourth largest parahuman organization in North America.
The Fallen are organized into a loose family structure, with three primary branches. Each branch devolves into sub-families and extended families, and due to a combination of parahuman powers, a very loose cell structure and diehard loyalty, tracing down and eliminating the core leadership has proved fruitless. Splinter groups and offshoots are common, and when recruitment doesn’t prioritize the young and impressionable (see kidnapping, below), it favors the ultraviolent, anti-establishment, and unhinged.
◈ Currently [As of timeskip] the Fallen maintain three family branches, hereafter referred to as the McVeay, Crowley, and the Mathers families. Each of the families (very) loosely affiliates themselves with one of the three Endbringers, likely with their meetings, rituals, or inter-family language playing into this and reinforcing it.
Valefor's family branch, the Mathers (led by his mom), is the sort to use master powers to control others. They're the 'Simurgh' branch. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑ 2.02.12.2The Fallen Based in Southern states, the Fallen are a gang of alleged Endbringer-worshippers, though many surmise this is simply a way of garnering attention. Most members tend toward vandalism and petty theft, with only the more prominent, higher-up members actually committing murder or trying higher-end crimes. Allegedly commit incest to better their chances at giving birth to more capes. - Cast (in depth)
Similar to the Herren Clan, they're a group of families with some members having powers, based around the southern states. They figured out that people with powers tend to have kids with powers, and are making the most of it. This leads to families with strong threads of a particular power type running through them. Coin toss as to whether a given member believes what the cult is saying or not, that humanity deserves to be wiped out, so-and-so deserved to die at the hands of Behemoth, or the world would be a paradise if the Simurgh were to achieve full influence, if we only let it. It's telling, perhaps, that they don't actively interfere when the Endbringers come rolling around, though they might celebrate from the sidelines and try to get media attention. They're loosely based on the Westboro Baptist Church - they want attention and the Endbringers are a sore spot for the vast majority of people around the world, an easy target. Depending on the family and the area, the approach differs. One might commandeer a radio station and and spewing vitriol over the airwaves, praising the latest Endbringer attack for the casualties. Another might call in another family from another area, then raid a small town with two or so heroes (or bait out a hero) to kidnap the heroes and induct them into the family, so there's more powers running through the bloodline. They're hard to stamp out, unpredictable, and tend to live on the fringes of society, where they're harder to track and heroes need to devote far more effort to squirreling them out. There's also a tendency to give more power to the lunatics and assholes, because it furthers their nebulous agenda. In a more abstract sense, shards love conflict, and the fallen are very good at feeding it, so the fallen get rewarded by the shards. Breadth and depth. - Comments by Wildbow on information regarding secondary characters
“Which family branch were or are you?” I asked. I turned to the couple. “Three branches, each loosely themed after one of the Endbringers. There was a nascent fourth in twenty-thirteen that was based on one or all of the other three, but I missed the memo on that.”
“Crowley,” the guy said. “We were the jackasses.”
“McVeays were the ultra-religious, more violent ones, loosely themed after Behemoth,” I said. “Mathers were the ones themed after the Simurgh. They’re still around too, they did a lot of the kidnappings of kids and capes, with intent to force marriages. Then you have the Crowleys, who were a little bit more than jackasses. Stirring panic, scaring people, violence.”
“To draw attention to the imminent end of the world,” the guy with the tattoos said. “Do you want us to apologize for trying to get people’s attention and failing? Or should we not have tried? We were right.” - Excerpt from Flare 2.1
↑ 6.06.16.26.184.108.40.206.7Fallen? They associate with bikers, fringe religious fanatics, racist groups, southern Militia contingents. Keep in mind the Fallen divide themselves into three rough 'families' and their behavior changes a lot depending on which they're from. If McVeay they're religious and violent, with a tendency toward energy manipulation & offensive powers. If Crowley they're the 'jackass' types, very visible compared to the others, more inclined to insinuate themselves into cities than to camp out in the fringes of society/middle of nowhere. Mathers are removed and culty, doing a lot to keep the branches intermingled and cooperating, with a periodic tendency to abduct potential husbands and wives, or do other really shady shit. Depending on which family you're working with (or which mingling of families, say a Mathers/McVeay alliance), you'll get different mixes of allies and philosophies/approaches. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑ 8.08.18.28.3Formerly led by Kimaris, this particular group of the Fallen is more along the lines of a redneck cult, as contrasted with other groups that may play up the ‘worships Endbringers’ element without actually believing in it. Mingling Christian beliefs and Endbringer-worship into a singular set of ideas, they espouse the idea that mankind is being purged and only the worthy, the powered, will be spared. With this in mind, even within the family, the unpowered have generally been treated as disposable, particularly those who’ve reached a certain age and are much less likely to trigger.
As a result, idiosyncrasies develop in individual family units, as they strive to be more worthy by largely invisible metrics. Lots of obscure interpretation of bible tracts. Behaviors of the families with strong lines of powers running through them are taken to extremes. Those who have powers have no shortage of the unpowered (particularly powered men and unpowered women) throwing themselves at them, as the only real way to obtain worth in ‘the family’ without powers is to bear powered children. Marriages between the powered are often arranged, to sire better children. Relations and marriage between cousins is not unheard of, though this group is slightly less incestuous than some, and tries to draw on the other branches of Fallen for wives. - The Fallen, for Fallen Son
↑ 9.09.19.29.3At this stage, PRT assets are tied up following the ramifications and ripple effects of the Echidna incident. Chicago is dealing with the loss of Myrddin, so can't really send people.
More like the PRT puts out the call, heroes volunteer, and heroes that are 'floating' (that is, not assigned to a department or office due to juggling of rosters) might well volunteer for the task.
That's the good news. Bad news? This kind of incident has happened before - so something like it could still happen in your campaign. Even with the PRT devoting resources & tons of public pressure, it was an uphill battle to find the kids. The Fallen are slippery, and the reason they haven't been wiped off the map is that they utilize a cell structure and have some cover from parahuman abilities. Valefor's mom in particular. A thinker doesn't want to go scanning tracts of rural/unpopulated area for missing kids if it means a chance of seeing her looking back at them. Because if they do, then they'll likely end up in a brief coma followed by a year and a half of something like being convinced the walls are bleeding spiders. She has kids with buds from the same shard and farms them out to other branches of the family in exchange for some muscle (Eligos being some of that). Not that same degree of punishment or screening, but stuff in that general vein.
If you set things earlier, then Myrddin still has stuff to deal with, and but it's liable to be a more organized team with more inherent teamwork, and higher expectations they'll be able to find the kids, before realizing it's tricky & there are traps in wait. As a GM, it would be left more up to the PCs as the larger groups run into stumbling blocks. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑ 10.010.110.2“I heard that the Fallen attacked Victoria’s hometown. What if they hurt someone she cared about? What if she says she’ll only help the team if I’m not on it?”
“Do you think she would? I’m not so sure.”
“What if?” Rain asked, stressing the question. “They attacked people who were evacuating. There were groups that kidnapped people on the absolute worst day in history, raided them. What if it turns out they hurt people Kenzie cares about? Sveta- do you know what they say about people like Sveta? What I’ve said about people like Sveta?”
“I know what they’ve said about people like me,” Tristan said, setting his jaw. “What you’ve probably said about people like me.” - Excerpt from Interlude 4a II
↑Rain said. He looked back to Chris, since he was really answering his question. “Because a large part of me had only ever known the family, the lifestyle. All of the language – outsiders were… less. It was okay to hurt ten of them if you helped one of the family’s.” - Excerpt from Shade 4.7
↑ 12.012.112.2“This isn’t an inquisition,” Erin said. “Rain isn’t responsible for everything the Fallen have done.”
Sveta ignored Erin for the moment. “Other Fallen groups have taken us for freak shows. The embodiments of the end times. Tom and Jake Crowley. I know that’s not on you, Rain, but you have to realize they aren’t good people.” - Excerpt from Shade 4.7
↑ 13.013.113.213.3“The Fallen aren’t to be messed with. They were a minor nuisance for years, with some bad stuff going on in the background, with kidnappings, murders, mutilations of minorities, case fifty-threes included, and a lot of low-level terrorist or attention-grabbing stunts. The group we’re focusing on now, I believe, are the Mathers. Each of the major branches took an Endbringer as a theme, and the Mathers took the Simurgh.”
“The kidnappings were their thing,” Weld said. “Back in Bet, they would go after isolated capes, ages sixteen to twenty-five. These capes would be married into the family. Thirteen incidents over seven years. Three of the kidnapping victims stayed. Three died. The rest escaped, were released, or were freed by PRT intervention. The PRT tried to go after them, but they moved frequently and they had anti-thinker measures in place.”
“It stands to reason they still have them,” I said. Because Rain had been hiding among them.
“Stands to reason,” Tristan said. “Looksee, that means you keep cameras off of the Fallen, unless we give the all clear. We don’t know if it goes through cameras, and your cameras are weird enough it might be more dangerous.” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.6
↑“They’re a big group,” Rain said. “It’s hard to get into just how varied the branches are, the different beliefs, how they add up, some of the leaders that have come and gone. It’s hard to just point at them and say they hate this or they hate that.”
“Most of them hate black people,” Kenzie said.
“…Yeah.” [...] “Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, First Nations, Middle Easterners, then gay, trans,” Tristan rattled off. - Excerpt from Shade 4.7
↑ 15.015.1Powers are more diverse than that for a family unit. Lots of intermarriage and cross-budding.
See the Fallen of Wichita here - a background information document for a Weaverdice player who was playing a recently triggered member of the family. Gives a sense of who they are, how they operate, lots of inter-family politics, etc. Some of the stuff there is based on stuff they shared about personality (reaction to Rosier), other stuff written with the fact that the character is a teenager in mind (focus on girls).
Heavy undercurrent of energy manipulation for this subset of the McVeays, but there's some emotion manipulation, teleportation, master stuff, and other stuff in the midst of it.
This particular family, who has thus far just been a bunch of dealers and heavy-hitting troublemakers on the periphery of Wichita, is undergoing a shift in leadership and consequently, a shift in methodology. What he's seeing going on in the background is a lot of the old deals re: marriage being invalidated, and shuffled around. Brother being proposed for marriage with sister (Gressil and Rosier, for example) - and if the families don't like that... they can step up and kidnap prospective husbands and wives for the kids. Sights thus fall on the local junior heroes as the family starts to talk themselves into this.
Not sharing Valefor's mom's power, as she's interesting enough I want to keep her in my back pocket. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑ 16.016.116.2“We’re gonna be okay,” he said, his eyes narrowing. “I memorized a passage. This king Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his territory. Sihon gathered all his people together and went out against Israel in the wilderness, and he came to Jahaz and fought against Israel. Then Israel defeated him with the edge of the sword, and took possession of his land.”
He pulled his hand away from the edge of the altar and struck it with his hand.
“You know what that says to me? It says you get in our way, you pick a fight with us? You’d best be prepared for the edge of our fucking swords. You’d best be prepared for us to take possession of your land. Do not get in our way, am I right!?”
There was a vocal response.
He raised his voice to be heard as he preached, “Cover your kids ears if you’re raising pussies, parents, but I’m going to say things that gotta be said, and if your kids haven’t heard this yet, you’re doing something wrong. This is the credo we live by. There are fuckers and there are the fucked, and we are fuckers of the highest order!” [...] “None of that pussy skipping of the impolite parts. We go Old Testament on the asses of our enemies! Slaves, war, and disaster! We’ll go full Revelations with a rod of iron, and dash nations to pieces! Anyone who’s read that far knows, the end ain’t gonna be pretty, it ain’t going to be kind!” - Excerpt from Interlude 4a II
↑ 17.017.117.2The end is coming. The godless don’t get it. The rumors are out that the world ends in a matter of months - one of the family elders even brought an ex-Ward into the fold, and she says they believe it too. They might be faithless, but they know their shit.
Mama Mathers is a little off in some ways. Smart as shit, but off. When she wanted to send members of the family to every place with ‘fall’ in the name and a lot of places with religious names, it was an excuse for some milder parts of the family to congregate. Fall River was one. Massachusetts is a little ways beyond where the Fallen usually meet and gather, but there aren’t many who are complaining.
So there’s some things going on. There’s some expectation that the Fall River branch stay active, and especially with Mama Mathers being the one in charge of this particular branch, there’s a little more emphasis on shit-stirring, getting into the news and offending the public. That’s one thing. People aren’t happy with us. - WD Fall River
↑ 18.018.118.2Keep in mind, though, that many big cities will leech parahumans from surrounding areas. So the top 75 or so cities in the US have more parahumans. The smaller cities have less.'br> Kansas City (#36 in the US) has a higher population, helped by the fact that it's drawing in more people. I wouldn't call it one of the 'smaller cities' for parahuman numbers, as a result. Only St. Louis and Wichita are sorta-kinda bringing in the random parahumans from nearby regions.
' would peg it as being around the same numbers as Brockton Bay pre-Leviathan fight. Maybe a few more. There's a population of Fallen nearby to blame for the 'few more' - primarily Valefor's mom & that family branch.
In my notes for Kansas City, the Fallen raided the city to pull off a distraction and then another contingent kidnapped a group of Wards, with intention of marrying them into the Fallen. International attention ensues. This could be a background event or event for the players to deal with. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑The Fallen must not have been terribly far behind him, as they arrived less than a minute after he did. Valefor and Eligos.
Valefor wore a delicate-looking mask without eye-holes: a woman’s upper face with closed eyes. Beneath the mask, he had a sly, perpetual smirk with tattoos that colored his lips black and extended from the corners. The ink depicted fangs poking from thin lips that nearly reached his jaw, the points alternating up and down. His costume was almost effeminate, with white and silver feathers featuring heavily on flowing white clothes that clung to his narrow body, including a corset that drew his waist in.
The costume was meant to invoke images of the Simurgh, no doubt. Crass. Eligos’ costume wasn’t so fine, suited more for a brawl, but it, too, conjured up thoughts of an Endbringer: the Behemoth. Obsidian horns that swooped back over his head, heavy armor that resembled rhino hide in texture and claws built into his gloves. - Excerpt from Interlude 20.y
“Cahoot makes me think of a guy,” Golem said. [...] “And someone wearing those masks that were really common in the late nineties, where there were smiley faces, or cyrano masks, or other wacky, leering faces for masks,”
“Absolutely,” I said.
“The Crowley Fallen wore those masks even after they fell out of style,” Rain said. - Excerpt from Breaking 14.4
↑Notes on Appearance: don’t immediately go to Valefor & the appearance in Brockton Bay for inspiration. That’s one unit of the family, and this is a different branch. I would suggest something closer to standard clothing with each person making their own masks (think of the band Slipknot for direction) and bearing heavy tattoos with demonic, endbringer, or religious iconography, reference, and text. - The Fallen, for Fallen Son
↑ 22.022.122.2It should be stressed that some aspects (costumes) are going to be played up or played down depending on what they're trying to do and what family branch you're working with.
Valefor is a fancy lad and wanted to dress up as he aimed to establish his own independent identity and group, but shouldn't be taken as a representative for his larger group, aesthetically.
For the degree of crime & violation of the unwritten rules, definite evolution leading through the timeskip, with a couple of distinct groups living on the fringes and acting as the less-publicly-visible core/fallback/backup for the looser group. - The Evolution of the Fallen (Wildbow, Reddit.com, 2018-03-23)
↑ 23.023.123.223.3Valefor was out of action, but Mama was in play, Bamet the animal herder was out there, Coronzon the monstrous changer was there, and then there were the Crowley brothers.
As far as I knew, they were the only Fallen left. The Mcveay’s were kaput, the Behemoth-worshipers with the strong religious bent hadn’t survived the apocalypse.
The Crowley brothers weren’t really water manipulators, by and large. They and their immediate family members tended to riff on the duplication theme, often duplicating things that weren’t themselves. - excerpt from Pitch 6.2
↑ 24.024.124.2Bikers, except these guys didn’t have bikes with them. They’d be part of the Fallen’s network. While Prancer’s side of Hollow Point seemed to be willing to play by the rules of the game, the Fallen hadn’t been so inclined, even before Gold Morning. They hadn’t felt the social pressures because they hadn’t been part of society, living on the fringes and putting a wall between themselves and others. They’d had allies of necessity for certain events and causes, and the bikers had been some of those allies.
When people hadn’t been able to go after the Fallen, the pressures and responses for the Fallen’s actions had come to rest on the heads of the bikers and other allies. People had been less willing to deal with them, more force had been used against them, and the message had been driven home.
The problem with the cycle was that being on the outs made them more likely to bend or break the rules. The wedge between them and everyone else had also made them more inclined to simply fold into the Fallen, especially after Gold Morning.
The amnesty was a thing, crimes had been pardoned, but feelings were still feelings. The bikers had backed up some of the shittiest people around, and that was hard to let go of. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.8
↑Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag;
no text was provided for refs named FalenforFallen
↑ 26.026.1He sighed. “Crowleys… we’ve been seeing them like I used to see the McVeay leaders when we’d go visit their compounds or when they checked on us. The rest of the family never respected them. That branch started because some university kids wanted attention, and then a bunch of brothers with powers jumped in, played along, and took over. They almost got killed by the other families before they figured out how to play the politics.”
“And somewhere along the way, they started buying what they were selling to keep the group together?” I asked.
Rain shook his head. “I don’t know. It never felt like they took this seriously, everyone says they capitalize on the reputation of the other families. But they had the guns today, didn’t they? They were for real.” - Excerpt from Pitch 6.7
↑ 27.027.127.227.3“Eldest brother was a murderer, got ousted from the family for that, back in twenty-eleven, when the Fallen were still minor. But around the time their numbers swelled in twenty-twelve, early twenty-thirteen, he got accepted back, head of the Crowley branch. He killed two of his own family members after that. I think that matters a lot, since if he’s in charge, you can’t really call yourselves mere jackasses.”
“Okay,” I said. “Middle brother and the sister were pretty skeevy too. They didn’t kidnap anyone directly, but they networked with the other families, gave shelter to some McVeays who needed to duck the attention of the law, and they traded a few of their family members for some of the kidnapped minors and capes the Mathers family had. I’d be concerned about going to that camp.”
↑Middle brother. It made sense that he was here. The other brothers were supposedly present, but this was the guy who was looped in with the Mathers. The Mathers family traded family members to and from other branches, connecting families and cementing ties. The Mathers had also kidnapped kids. Vince Crowley and his sister had been the ones handling the Crowley end of the deal. They were smugglers, thieves, and general assholes who had dodged the reaching arms of the heroes, while providing shelter to the real monsters, and implicitly accepting some really fucked up stuff.
The McVeays had been murderers and zealots, the Mathers were kidnappers, among other things, and Vince and Sabrina Crowley had been enablers. They were smugglers, they’d kept kidnapping victims and sheltered murderers while there was too much attention and heat on them, and they’d almost gotten away with it, despite being up against the whole PRT.
Sabrina had been caught, as were several sub-cells and supporters of that particular family unit. They’d disappeared, they’d reappeared after Gold Morning, Sabrina back with her brother, and I knew about them because the patrol blocks were keeping tabs on them. - Excerpt from Pitch 6.9
↑ 29.029.1“The little brother,” the guy with the tattoos said.
“The party animal,” I said.
“That’s what we’re about!” were the shouts. There was more of a raucous response from the other reinforcements. Cries and shouts of ‘party’. People throughout the crowd were looking.
“He’ll try to steal your girlfriend before he makes you welcome!” I had to raise my voice to be heard. The people who were pushing forward made it harder for me to see the couple. “It’s not worth it. You can look him up at a library. Jake Crowley! Four wives, all half his age!” - Excerpt from Flare 2.1
↑Her fingers traced his shoulder-length hair. “I told you to grow your hair long, back then.”
“Yes, mama,” he said.
“Do you remember why? Any boy of mine that does anything to catch my eye, good or bad, I have them do it.”
Rain nodded. No words would have come out if he’d said anything, so he didn’t try.
“The girls know it, but the boys sometimes need to learn it. I’m content to let either be my soldiers, but that requires zeal. Not everyone has it. Not everyone cleaves to their role and position. Everyone has responsibilities, and it takes a soldier to obey.”
Rain nodded again.
Her voice took on a different tone. No less ethereal, but haunting-ethereal, now. “The hair is to remind you that if you won’t be a soldier for the families, we’ll have you be a slut. We’ll get children out of you. If you fail at that, if they’re sickly or disobedient, we’ll geld you like we would any of the farm animals.” - Excerpt from Interlude 4c II
↑Christine Mathers watched and waited, cradling her injured hand. A thrall approached to tend to it. No healing powers -oh, how she had wished to get a healer under her wing- but only medical expertise. - Excerpt from Interlude 15.z II
↑“You’re right about this. We knew something was stirring, but we didn’t have the impression it was this bad. I’ve been keeping updated on the Fallen, I can’t promise it’s accurate, but you should know the families interact. There may be one or more of the Crowley sub-branches present. They also associate with various biker gangs, the various racist factions, and other religious villain groups and ideologues. Be prepared for any of them.” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.6
↑The unwritten rules that govern the fights and outright wars between ‘capes’ have been amended: everyone gets their second chance. It’s an uneasy thing to come to terms with when notorious supervillains and even monsters are playing at being hero. - Ward synopsis
↑ 35.035.135.2Article: Fallen: What You Need To Know & Forum Thread The Fallen operate as a cult and they’re one of the largest cape groups around. The article doesn’t talk about it directly, but the forum thread has some great posts on the subject (see page 3 and 12). Their recruitment numbers are swelling and I (and others!) think it’s the amnesty that’s letting them get away with it. There’s a lot of talk of Lachlan Hund [article linked] elsewhere and there might be a court case revolving around what others are saying was a powers-assisted abduction. Totally Fallen M.O. for years prior, family says Lachlan never showed any pro-Fallen sentiment before this. - Excerpt from Glow-worm P.3
Hero,” Legend spoke with the smallest tremor in his voice, “Call for help, as much as you can get.” - Excerpt from Interlude 15.z
↑ 37.037.1It's worth stating that one of the underling ideas driving the formation of groups and ideological factions in the Wormverse is the notion that some people get a voice where they otherwise wouldn't. Give an immense amount of power to a (relatively) random section of the population and you'll see certain shifts in the overlying sentiments.
All the more so when you think that a parahuman with aspirations might latch on to an idea, concept, or group to get reputation, resources, and contacts. - Comment by Wildbow on Sufficient Velocity
↑“I… I don’t really know. It’s supposed to be ten times easier to get powers if you’re second generation. But we don’t have research on third generations yet. It’s only pretty recently that we had the first third-generation cape on record. The baby in Toronto.”
“Didn’t hear about that,” Kayden said. She frowned. “A baby?”
Peter’s eyes fell on Aster. “Oh. Wow. Is she third generation too?”
“Pay attention,” Justin said.
“The… yeah. Each successive generation seems to produce younger capes, by lowering the barrier to entry, the severity of the requisite trigger event.” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.y
↑“Let’s talk business,” Skitter said. “Whether you like it or not, the Undersiders have prior claim on this city.”
“A matter of a week and a half,” Valefor said.
“Prior claim,” Skitter repeated herself. “We have rules, and if you bend or break these rules, we’ll be forced to act.” - Excerpt from Interlude 20.y
↑ 42.042.1“If you want another option, we’ve got a settlement at Canaan. Small city, even. Or a big town. We’ve got extra rooms, food, and dangerously strong alcohol. We’re still trying to figure that out.”
I heard the rustle of papers.
“Canaan?” I asked.
“Yes. Have you been?”
“I’ve heard stories,” I said. I turned to the couple, “I’m ninety percent sure the Canaan area is Fallen territory. Outskirts of the megalopolis.”
“We’re not really holding fast to all of that anymore,” the guy with the tattoos said. “We said the world would end, we tried to draw attention to it, the world ended, we were right. Now we make the best of things.”
“That seems like a pretty skewed take,” I said.
He rolled his eyes as he looked away from me. He turned back to the couple. “You have the directions. Easy to catch a bus to New Haven, catch another bus to the Hartford Stretch. Go to the address, we almost always have someone with a ride waiting there for the buses, to drive you into Canaan. The hard work has been done, it’s easier, it’s more fun, and there’s actual community. It’s one of the things that’s strangely missing from most parts in this city. You’ll notice that.” - Excerpt from Flare 2.1
↑“We’ve had some hard days,” he said. “Less jobs, the strikes, the talk of war, it’s getting colder out, and I think that reminds us all of winter. Last winter sucked.”
There were more murmured responses.
“It was cold, there wasn’t enough shelter, there wasn’t enough food. Not everyone made it. We did better than some, but we lost six. We remember them. Jack, Josh, Georgia, Kiara, Christian and Rhys. We remember them, and we remember the cold, hunger, and sickness that took them from us.”
↑“I’m not going to fucking disappear on you, Enoch. I’m a believer. I’ve put up with Tony, for fuck’s sake, from the end of the world to the hereafter. Four months, I dragged him and two kids around until I found you all again. Why would I leave now?” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.9
↑“What about the ones who are hooked into bigger groups?” I asked.
“That gets more complicated, and it’s less about the places to watch and more about the names to keep an ear out for,” my dad said. “Marquis, Goddess, Lord of Loss, Mama Mathers, the Crowley brothers, Deader and Goner, Barrow.”
I knew the names and I knew where they were situated. No big surprises there. I nodded to myself. Marquis. So casually mentioned. - Excerpt from Glare 3.5
↑The Fallen in particular had gone off the deep end. They’d abandoned their last vestiges of responsibility as capes and as human beings. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.8
↑The Martins had their initial tribunal meeting. It helped that they were on a different track and a different field of focus than the groups that were working their way through a backlog of Fallen arrests. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.3.
↑I saw three or four of the Fallen capes in the mix. Complicated. They were some of the ones who had been in the background during the raid on the camp, periodically using their powers. If they were here, they were diehard enough to be deemed irredeemable. Most of the others had either expressed genuine remorse or they’d feigned it well enough to convince a judge.
If they were here, they were the kind of Fallen who were unquestionable problems. -Excerpt from Beacon 8.3.
“The Fallen. Tattletale, to a far lesser degree. [...] You’re still here, William. Have they done anything for you? Provided connections, conveniences, smoothed over any wrinkles, given you a way out? [...] They haven’t,” Teacher said. “Tattletale is trying to save her area of the city after a portal cleaved it in two. The Fallen will focus on their own first. The family, then friends, and then recruiting new elements. It could be six months before they remember the capable young man that was left in prison.” - Excerpt from Interlude 8.y II
↑The Fallen were the subject of an early draft of my superhero writing (centered around a character that happened to be named Imp). They came up while I was discussing other groups in the setting with Gavin Williams, I was thinking of who to inject here, and decided to go with one I’d already fleshed out some. - Comment by Wildbow on Chrysalis 20.1