Francis Krouse, known publicly as Trickster, is the leader of the Travelers.


Francis is disliked even by his own teammates due to his annoying behavior; he allegedly does this intentionally to unite his team. [1] He was a smoker.[2][3]

Appearance & EquipmentEdit

Francis has light brown skin, long dark hair, and a hooked nose. He has an intense, piercing gaze.[4][5]

As Trickster, he wears a black costume with a red mask and a top hat. His mask had a mouth-hole that he would sometimes use to smoke.[6] His jacket had a pocket he kept cigarettes in[7] and a cellphone capable of recording video.[8]

Abilities and PowersEdit

Francis' power enables him to swap the locations of two objects with similar mass, including himself. [9]

Trickster’s powers only work on targets that are both within his field of view.[2] His speed/ease of being able to swap is dependent on distance (although not as much as one might suspect) and difference in mass – too much of one or the other and it’s not doable in any reasonable amount of time.[10][9] He needs to even out any differences in mass by sucking in surrounding air, which takes time.[11] He has a sense of how easy it would be to swap two targets at a time.[12] [13]



Krouse was a competitive gamer from Earth Aleph from Madison, Wisconsin. After being transferred to Earth Bet by The Simurgh, he, like the rest of the Travelers, gained his power from a Cauldron vial.[11] He was able to convince Noelle to consume half a vial of a Cauldron concoction to save her life during the Simurgh attack. (Oliver eventually took the other half.)

Story StartEdit

Two years later Kourse was in Boston trying to deal with Accord. Things went badly however when Sundancer informed him that there was a situation with Noelle. After both these situations were dealt with he was contacted by Coil, who had just acquired the means to allegedly help him.[3]

Concluding their business in Boston the group agreed to work for Coil in exchange for his promise to help Noelle.

Trickster attended a meeting of the super villains in Brockton Bay to discuss how to deal with the ABB.[14]

When Leviathan came to Brockton Bay Trickster played a critical in rescuing many capes.


He would begin gaining territory under Coil's direction.

Accompanied Skitter when she went to negotiate with the PRT.

His plan to take on the Slaughterhouse Nine wound up getting Grue captured.

Post-Slaughterhouse NineEdit

Was part of the plan to kidnap Piggot when the Dragonflight came to town.

Sided with Coil when he turned on the Undersiders. When the tables were turned against his benefactor and only hope, Trickster tried to save Coil but failed. He awoke only to see evidence that the man he had put all his hope in had been murdered.[3]

When Coil died, he joined Echidna and faced off against the most powerful parahuman in the world.[15]

The Protectorate were eventually able to apprehend him.


Krouse wound up in the Birdcage, where he was seen as one of Teacher's students.[16]

There he told the residents of the impending End of the World.[17]

Gold MorningEdit

Given that Teacher was able to access a large variety of assets and manpower after his release, it is unknown if Trickster was released from the birdcage when his new master was.

Regardless, Trickster was appropriated by Khepri along with many other capes in an effort to end the Gold Morning. He was killed by Zion while controlled and erased alongside a number of capes including Othala and Ash Beast.[18]

Fanart GalleryEdit


  1. “It’s how he operates. I’m not saying this is usual, or that this wasn’t an extreme case, but… it’s always how he dealt with things, big or small. The worse things get, the more stubborn and cocky he gets in going up against them. It worked when we were just messing around together, just playing around. But we were never suited to be… I dunno, a family?” - Colony 15.10
  2. 2.0 2.1 Migration 17.7
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Migration 17.8
  4. Trickster unmasked as well. He definitely didn’t remind me of one of the jocks. His hair was longer than many girls wore theirs, he had light brown skin and an unfortunate hook nose. Combined with his intense stare, he gave me the impression of a hawk or some other bird of prey. - Excerpt] from Plague 12.3
  5. Trickster stood in the doorway, unmasked.  His skin tone was darker in a way that left his ethnicity ambiguous, to the point where the boy could have been a darker skinned Caucasian, biracial, Middle Eastern or Eastern Indian.  His dark hair was long, hanging to his shoulders, and a hook nose coupled with a widow's peak gave him something of a severe appearance.  His eyes, normally sharp, were bleary with sleep. - Interlude 8.z
  6. The Travelers were outside the pub now, but they were taking their time leaving. Trickster was smoking a cigarette through the mouth-hole of his mask. - Hive 5.2
  7. All eyes turned to Trickster.  He didn't hurry to reply.  He reached into the fold of his jacket, found a pack of cigarettes, tapped one out, placed it inside the mouth-slit of his mask and lit up.  He placed one hand on his hat to keep it in place as he rolled down the window to blow the smoke outside. - Tangle 6.8
  8. There were capes at the far end of the hallway, staring at the scene, kept out of the main triage area by a set of PRT officers.  Trickster leaned against a wall with a cell phone raised, recording video. - Extermination 8.7
  9. 9.0 9.1 "And Trickster, their leader, is a teleporter.  Not just himself.  He can make anything he can see teleport.  Except there's a special rule to his power, a restriction.  He has to swap the places of two things with roughly equivalent mass.  The bigger the difference in mass, the slower the swap and shorter his range." - Tangle 6.1
  10. Trickster’s powers are sight dependent, and his speed/ease of being able to swap is dependent on distance (not as much as one might suspect) and difference in mass – too much of one or the other and it’s not doable in any reasonable amount of time. The problem here is both awareness (he doesn’t necessarily know what’s happening) and sight: He can’t see Noelle (who is at Coil’s base with Oliver & Genesis) or the Slaughterhouse Nine (who are upstairs, while he’s downstairs talking with Noelle via. webcam). - Comment by Wildbow on Plague 12.3
  11. 11.0 11.1 Migration 17.6
  12. Krouse coughed and groaned as his stomach rebelled against the violence. His eyes and his power roving across his surroundings. Something he could swap for the uniformed officer or for the gun. With his eyes, he eyeballed mass, eyeballed size and likely volume, tried to match it to what he was feeling from the gun or the officer.

    The officer kicked him.

    Swap the lamp for the gun? No, the lamp was too lightweight.

    He resolved to switch himself and the officer, grabbing air to compensate for the volume. The difference was larger than it was with him and Cody, it required extra seconds.
    His power still had a grip on the man in uniform. Krouse forced a swap.

    It didn’t change the situation much. He was still lying on the ground, the uniform still standing, but Krouse was now behind his opponent.
    He reached out, and he found something. He wasn’t thinking in the right terms. Was still thinking too much about shape and not about mass. The heavy wool blanket that was draped over Noelle had roughly the same mass as the gun.

    But he had to be looking at both to swap them. Krouse let the gun go, backed away as rapidly as he could as he got to his feet. The uniform was standing, moving his hands to get a grip on the trigger and barrel-

    -And the gun was gone, replaced by a blanket. Krouse tackled his unarmed opponent, knocking him to the ground, grabbing at his wrists. - Excerpt from Migration 17.7
  13. Trickster - Line of sight, swaps everyone and everything, comingles swapped matter - person + mailbox = two mashed together abominations of flesh and mailbox, slowly dying as organs fail. PRT van + PRT van = two mashed together heaps of metal with people crushed inside, very possibly setting fire or exploding given friction of metal on metal and leaking gasoline. Size/mass/density sense that normally allows Trickster to gauge how swappable things are is extended to give knowledge of everyone and everything within a one-mile radius. Reflexes amped up. Effectively navigates a battlefield by swapping himself instantly and repeatedly, mapping out routes in advance, leaving mangled destruction in his wake, flanking and hiding. - Characters as S-Class Threats Comment by Wildbow on Reddit.
  14. Hive 5.1
  15. Trickster, for his part, didn’t even flinch as she closed the distance between the two of them, stepping within a few feet of him.

    It would be all too easy to just snap her tongue at him. Catch him, swallow him.

    She held off. Instead, she faced Eidolon and the other flying cape. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
  16. Interlude 22.y
  17. No, packbat’s right. My answer was originally that Amy got the info from the Undersiders, but I was in the middle of getting ready to watch Game of Thrones when I said it – a mental slip.

    Apologies to those who went looking. I meant to say the Travelers; Trickster specifically. - comment by wildbow on Interlude 22.y
  18. The portal was wiped out. Without any barrier in the way, the beam radiated forward to wipe Ash Beast, the cape with the pole, Trickster, and Othala from existence. - Excerpt from Speck 30.5

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