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Elijah Mathers, Valefor to outsiders, is a member of the Fallen.


Valefor had a hard time with Mama Mathers' power for the first few years, so he put a compulsion on himself to enjoy it and be loyal.[5][6] He was willing and able to kill people to further his own ends.[7]

Before the Undersiders defeated Valefor, Accord described him as arrogant, impetuous, and immature, but rather cunning when he puts his mind to something.[8] Valefor deliberately crafted his costume to provoke those in Brockton Bay.[9] Further, he showed no respect for the current holders of Brockton Bay, likely meaning to provoke them as well.

After Gold Morning, Victoria Dallon described Valefor as a subtle player who wasn't a warrior or a general.[10] She got the impression he wasn't comfortable in a large fight.[11] Teacher believed he was accustomed to servitude[12] and was a complete monster that other Fallen detested and feared.[13]


Before his defeat by the Undersiders, the PRT only knew he perpetrated major subterfuge; they did not see him use the full extent of his control.[3] Valefor played up the telepathy angle before people caught on to his hypnotic gaze, though it was widely believed that Valefor did not murder.[2] However, he had covered his tracks using his power; Skitter was surprised at his orders to kill or commit suicide.[14] After his defeat, arrest, and trial, Valefor's exploits in Brockton Bay became more public[15] and his original power better known.[16]

His mutilation and subsequent shift in powers was not common knowledge.[17]


Valefor has a thin build with little muscle and speaks with a slight southern tang.[18] He has tattoos that color his thin lips black and extend from the corners, depicting fangs that nearly reach his jawline, with the points alternating up and down.[19] His hair is long, straight, and blonde.[20] He would later dye it white to match his mothers own dyed hair.[21] He generally wore a sly smirk.[19]

On at least one occasion Valefor dressed in a teenage girl's top and skinny jeans, using makeup to hide his tattoos in order to hide among a crowd.[20]

Four years after Brockton Bay, his eyes had become a mess of cataracts that blinded him.[21]


As a cape Valefor wears a delicate-looking mask with no eye-holes; a woman's upper face with closed eyes. His costume is effeminate, with white and silver feathers on flowing white clothing that clings to his body, and a corset. His tattoos were visible beneath the mask.[19] The costume was an attempt to carve out his own identity for himself as he was making his own Fallen cell.[22]

Four years later he wore a totally white outfit, complete matching white vest, trousers, shoes, and walking stick,[23] even dying his hair to match the wrap around white segmented mask with his dark tattooed lips. He decorated his hair with feathers, possibly as a nod to the Fallens former 'patrons'.[24]

Abilities and Powers[]

Valefor has a "hypnotic stare" - the ability to render anyone he looks at with his naked eyes[25][26] stunned and suggestible to his commands.[2] Although Accord[25] and Skitter[26] implied he did not require eye contact to use his hypnotic stare,[27] Rain O'Fire Frazier[28] and Victoria Dallon[16][29][30] believed he did need eye contact to use this power. Mama Mathers[31] and Valefor[5] also implied he needs eye contact. After his defeat by the Undersiders,[3] his page on the Parahumans Online wiki or other records mentioned how he was a hypnotist Master who needed eye contact.[16]

He could use this ability to implant suggestions that trigger under particular circumstances or through direct orders;[2] this included the memory of him even giving the order.[14] Given this procedure, victims were often initially unaware they had been affected.[25] Additionally, he can cancel previous orders through another spoken command.[32] He was able to see Imp somehow; according to Tattletale, he might have other senses or augmented awareness to track victims.[33] By looking himself in the eye via a mirror, Valefor could use his power on himself.[5][6]

After the loss of the use of his eyes, his power seems to have shifted and given his words more weight than they once had.[34][35] His voice power is largely unchanged from what was showcased before, but people are able to think of ways around his commands.[36][37][38] Further, people can resist him if they don't think he is speaking directly to them.[39][40] If Tristan or Byron heard a command, then the specific identity that heard Valefor would be affected.[41] However, they could avoid Valefor's voice power by changing forms rapidly so that no one self heard the full command.[42]

Valefor could use both his eyesight and voice powers after obtaining tinker-tech eyes from the Taught.[12] However, he needs eye contact to use his eyesight power; despite looking directly at Love Lost, he could not apply his power until she opened her eyes and looked at him.[43]

After Valefor commanded a visible Imp to kill her teammates, Regent hijacked Imp and had her attack Valefor.[7] When Skitter was stunned and rendered suggestible by his hypnotic stare, her power still unconsciously carried out her intent to send bugs towards his eyes; Imp then stopped him from telling her to stop.[44] If Valefor ordered a target to stop, and then a stumble or push moved the target later, this was enough to break that order.[45][46][47] When he commanded Colt to commit suicide with his voice power, Chastity used her power to remove this order by slapping Colt.[48]

The Graeae could swap body parts out so that if someone encountered Valefor with a body part (i.e. ears, eyes), he is only able to affect that body part's original owner.[49] Cryptid's Dark Introspection form disconnects the mind from body; he could put his body on autopilot or leave it with instinctive actions.[50] This countermeasure against Masters was effective against Valefor, allowing Cryptid to attack him and his group.[51] Teacher requested Scapegoat to transfer Valefor's self-inflicted compulsion to someone inconsequential because he didn't want Valefor's loyalties divided.[52][6]



According to his mother Elijah became a parahuman in the first years of his life, which necessitated Cauldron involvement and her accepting the vial.[53]

Elijah grew up in the Mathers branch of the Fallen, with his mother calling the shots.


Valefor traveled to Brockton Bay alongside Eligos before setting up residence somewhere within Imp's territory.[54] At one point, Skitter tried to help find them, but she was unable to root them out despite having Tattletale's help in identifying the general area.[55] However, Tattletale suspected that one of the two was Valefor.[56]

He and Eligos were invited to a meeting with the Undersiders to talk business. Valefor scoffed at the warladies "rules" and informed her that she would be fighting her soon, ignoring that Skitter saying he and Eligos wouldn't be in the Bay long.[57]

At some point after this meeting, Skitter, via her swarm, found Haven members Rosary and Halo attempting to arrest Eligos in Regent's territory.[58][59] Skitter believed Valefor had to be somewhere nearby Eligos.[26] However, while Skitter and Regent started attacking Eligos and Haven to look like the top dogs,[60] Valefor took this time to prepare. He had disguised himself as a teenage girl before using his power on Imp, who strayed away from Skitter and Regent. At a grocery store near Eligos's location, a visible Imp then informed him about Skitter.[61] He compelled a woman to pretend to be his mother and hid in her embrace.

When Skitter and Regent arrived at the grocery store with a swarm as cover, he then stepped out and told the hostages listening to him to kill themselves or to kill Skitter and Regent if they moved. He finished by telling them to forget he had given them orders and directed a visible Imp to go out and kill her teammates before killing herself.

A visible Imp charged at the swarm before Regent hijacked her and had her charge at Valefor. Valefor tried to get everyone to kill themselves, but Imp's body kicked him between the legs. Imp's body pinned him against the ground, knife to his throat, and demanded he cancel his orders. He tried to ask how she had managed to free herself of his influence only to be slapped across the face. After the crowd dispersed, the no longer hijacked Imp struck him again but stopped when Skitter told her to.[7]

Valefor tried to struggle but stopped when Imp pressed the knife against his throat. Skitter blinded him with insects before Imp managed to get the knife in his mouth. Sometime later, he heard someone approaching him and managed to shake off enough bugs to open his eyes. He fixed his gaze on Skitter before the insects she had dropped onto him. He tried to use his power to make her stop only for Imp to move the knife and then bring her knee into his chin. Skitter then stepped on his hand and his struggles intensified until he turned his head to throw up.[7]

Eventually, Skitter told Imp to let Valefor get up before ordering him to walk. Valefor, blinded and exhausted from the ordeal, was then marched to where Rosary was. Skitter shoved him towards Rosary and he tripped. After Rosary realized what Skitter had done, Skitter told her that he would need antibiotics for his eyes and that the choice of saving his vision was up to her.[44]

After being given to the Protectorate he was charged and presumably jailed.[15]


In the time since his failure, he has settled into a new role.

Gold Morning[]

Presumably, he had an experience comparable to other parahumans.


Having survived Gold Morning and presumably released at the time of the event or subsequent amnesty, Elijah found his way back to his family.[62] Stepping back into his role he used his adapted power for recruitment, such as with Lachlan Hund.[5] This did not go unnoticed.[63]

With the assault on the Fallen compound, Valefor stepped into the public eye for the first time in nearly four years.[64]

He was surrounded by helpers and bodyguards to help best direct his power against the attacking villains and heroes.[65] He hypnotized one group very effectively but one hero was able to construe his order to help him to take him out of the battle and leave him out of breath and bruised on a roof.[66]

Later this same hero would mutilate Valefor by punching off his jaw after he escalated a situation.[67] This left him in need of serious medical attention.[68]

Post-Fallen fall[]

Elijah was supplied with an explosive ankle monitor and hospitalized.[69] Soon afterwards Teacher was able to reach him and begin the process of enslaving him with the assistance of Scapegoat.[70]

Post-Time Bubble Pop[]

Valefor was healed and supplied with tinker-tech eyes.[71]

Valefor was bisected and killed by the combined efforts of Precipice and Chastity.[72]

Chapter Appearances[]

Worm Chapter Appearances
1. Chrysalis 20.1 Mentioned
2. Chrysalis 20.2 Absent
3. Chrysalis 20.3 Absent
4. Chrysalis 20.4 Absent
5. Chrysalis 20.5 Absent
x. Interlude 20.x Absent
y. Interlude 20.y Debut
1. Imago 21.1 Mentioned
2. Imago 21.2 Absent
3. Imago 21.3 Appears
4. Imago 21.4 Mentioned
5. Imago 21.5 Mentioned
6. Imago 21.6 Absent
7. Imago 21.7 Absent
x. Interlude 21.x Absent
y. Interlude 21.y Absent
1. Cell 22.1 Absent
2. Cell 22.2 Absent
3. Cell 22.3 Absent
4. Cell 22.4 Mentioned
5. Cell 22.5 Absent
6. Cell 22.6 Absent
x. Interlude 22.x Absent
y. Interlude 22.y Absent
1. Drone 23.1 Absent
2. Drone 23.2 Absent
3. Drone 23.3 Absent
4. Drone 23.4 Mentioned
5. Drone 23.5 Absent
x. Interlude 23 Absent

Fanart Gallery[]


  • Valefor is a duke of hell in classical demonology.
  • While it's not stated that Elijah's legal surname is Mathers.[73] The assumption made here is predicated on his mother not having married, thus her children would use her surname.
  • Valefor, and presumably The Fallen as a whole, has a page on the Parahumans Online wiki.[17]


  1. In 2004, the core group was raided by the PRT. Twelve powered members were incarcerated, and the group was considered defeated.

    Six months later, still in 2004, a religious group headed by Christine Mathers and her then-ten year old son, rebranded to call themselves Fallen, absorbing some of the members of the core group who had escaped or escaped legal consequences. - WD Organization: Fallen
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Stranger-type capes were classified that way due to their capabilities in stealth and subterfuge. Valefor was more the latter. He wasn’t stealthy, exactly, but his ability to perpetrate subterfuge was devastating.

    One look, and his target was stunned, rendered eminently suggestible. A hypnotic gaze, so to speak.

    He’d played up the telepathy angle before people caught on, and the costume that echoed the Simurgh was a token to that. The fact that he could leave suggestions that only triggered under certain conditions was another part of it. ‘Attack so-and-so next week’. ‘Set fire to your workplace the next time your boss pisses you off’.

    Capes with powers that allowed them to compel others walked a fine line. Even without murder, Valefor was pushing that line. - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Fehafare: Last night I read the Imago 21.3 which covered Skitter, Imp and Regent taking care of The Fallen and by extension Haven as well. The way that Regent and Imp outplayed Valefor, so much so that it even flew over Skitter's head was pretty cool actually, that being said one thing that confuses me.

    What's up with Valefor's classification? It's being played up as being a Stranger power, yet to me it clearly looks like he's a high ranking Master. I can understand giving him a bit of Stranger cred cause of the ability to make sleeper agents at will, but doesn't the base and main use of his power clearly suggest that he's a Master?

    Wildbow: The answer is this: the high-ranking master stuff isn't stuff the PRT has seen him do. All they know is there's major subterfugey, deceptive stuff going on in his wake. - Wildbow on Reddit
  4. Valefor was the second. They were Masters and Strangers, the PRT classification for those who controlled others or minions, and the classification for those who infiltrated or deceived. Mama Mathers and Valefor were squarely in the overlap between the two. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.12
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 “It’s hard, I know,” Elijah said. “I had a hard time with it for the first few years.”
    “I fixed it myself, after getting powers,” Elijah said. “Looked myself in the eye, mirror right in front of me, and I told myself to enjoy it. To like it, my own mother a mere thought away. To be loyal.” - Excerpt from Interlude 4c II
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 “What’s part one?”

    “He put a compulsion on himself, using his own hypnosis. We’ll give that to someone inconsequential. We can’t have his loyalties divided.” - Interlude 8.y II
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 “To everyone listening, if that swarm or any of the people inside move away from that spot, or if something happens to me,” a young girl spoke in a man’s voice, stepping out of the sheltering embrace of a middle-aged woman. “Kill yourselves or do your best to kill them, I don’t care which.”
    “…and forget I gave these orders,” he finished.

    That would be one reason for the stranger classification, right there.

    The orders to kill or commit suicide were a surprise to me, but he was more than capable of covering his tracks.

    “Imp,” Valefor said. “Find and kill your teammates. I want you to kill yourself when you’re done trying. Go, and forget I gave this order.”

    Imp drew her knife with one hand and her taser with the other. She paused a second, and then charged for Regent and I.

    I tensed. I had options, but if any of his hostages read it as a cue to kill themselves- no.

    I could shoot from the midst of the cloud, but then we’d be paralyzed. There was no guarantee that Valefor’s influence would end with his death.

    I’d told myself I’d be heartless, but this wasn’t what I’d meant.

    Imp turned a right angle, moments before plunging into the swarm. She charged for Valefor.

    He reacted, giving an order, “Everyone listening, kill yo-”

    He didn’t get any further. She kicked, directing the attack between Valefor’s legs.

    Valefor hit the ground, and Imp kicked him between the legs once more for good measure.

    “Cancel the orders, fuckwit!” she growled, dropping on top of him. Her knife pressed against Valefor’s throat.


    She backhanded him across the face, striking him in one cheekbone with the knife handle.


    I could sense the crowd relaxing. People hurried away from the scene. It took more than a minute before they were all gone.

    Imp struck Valefor again.

    “Stop,” I said.

    “Regent got one in, I wanted one too,” she said. She spat at Valefor.

    I tentatively moved bugs, then settled them around his eyes. Valefor struggled, but froze when Imp pressed the knife against his throat.

    Regent got one in?


    “You… voluntarily gave him control over you?” I asked.

    “Little while back,” Imp said. “I wanted to see what it was like. Could come in handy. Did come in handy.” - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  8. “Valefor is more cunning than you’d assume. An arrogant young man, impetuous and immature, but history suggests he’s rather cunning when he puts his mind to something.” - Excerpt from Interlude 20.y
  9. Valefor – Styled his costume after the Simurgh, to provoke the residents of Brockton Bay who recently suffered a great deal in the aftermath of an Endbringer attack, with mask of a woman’s face, black tattoos around his lips and a white costume with a corset and feathers. Is described as having a dangerous gaze relating to his stranger power. - Cast (in depth)
  10. Valefor and Mama Mathers were scary, or Valefor had been scary, but they weren’t warriors, and they weren’t generals. Their weakness in this was that they were subtle players and the small-scale war wasn’t subtle. - Pitch 6.2
  11. He didn’t give me the impression of someone at home in a big thing like the one we’d been in, especially after the fighting had started, and he’d still been pretty damn scary. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  12. 12.0 12.1 “We’ll give him his jaw back,” Teacher said. “And we’ll give him his eyes. He’ll be able to use both.”

    “After, you mean? You’ll want more influence first.”

    “Of course,” Teacher said. “We’ll be careful, even with someone already accustomed to servitude.” - Interlude 8.y II
  13. “He’s an ally.”

    “He’s a complete and utter monster that even the other Fallen detest and fear. I need you to work on him for me.” - Interlude 8.y II
  14. 14.0 14.1 …and forget I gave these orders," he finished.

    That would be one reason for the stranger classification, right there.

    The orders to kill or commit suicide were a surprise to me, but he was more than capable of covering his tracks.

    "Imp," Valefor said. "Find and kill your teammates. I want you to kill yourself when you're done trying. Go, and forget I gave this order." - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  15. 15.0 15.1 “I thought it was another kind of brainwashing after I heard about Valefor’s exploits in Brockton Bay, with the arrest and trial,” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.12
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 “Valefor,” I said, just loud enough for the others, Damsel included, to hear. “Hypnotist Master. I wrote about him in the document. Don’t look him in the eyes.”
    He couldn’t see. His voice was his control over the situation and he’d momentarily lost it.

    There had been a time he’d needed eye contact.
    We’d been prepared for Valefor as he was, with outdated records and a printout of a wiki page that had been salvaged from someone’s laptop after the slow process began of rebuilding the internet. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  17. 17.0 17.1 We’d been prepared for Valefor as he was, with outdated records and a printout of a wiki page that had been salvaged from someone’s laptop after the slow process began of rebuilding the internet. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  18. “Why should we listen to you?” Valefor asked, his voice was incongruous with his outfit, bearing a slight southern twang. He leaned over one chair, his arms folded over the backrest, taunting. - Excerpt from Interlude 20.y
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 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. - Excerpt from Interlude 20.y
  20. 20.0 20.1 I'd taken her for a scared kid in the company of her mother.  No.  She'd… he'd compelled a woman to pretend to be his mother, and my roving insects hadn't thought twice about it.

    It was Valefor, in a teenage girl's top and skinny jeans, with long, straight blond hair, and makeup caked onto his face to hide the tattoo. - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  21. 21.0 21.1 He escaped the room, doorknob squeaking. In the process, he nearly collided with Elijah. It was only his own doing that stopped him.

    Elijah held a bowl of water with a sponge floating in it in the crook of one arm. He had a slight smile on his face, barely visible through the long white-dyed hair he had. it was long enough to drape around his collarbone.

    Behind that hair, his eyes were a milky cataract white. Not just for show. Seeing his cane was the only reason Rain hadn’t walked into him and spilled the water. - Excerpt from Interlude 4c II
  22. It 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. Their leader wasn’t like that. He had an aura to him. As dark and grungy as the others were, as cheap as many of their costumes were, their skin cluttered with tattoos, he was all in white. White hair, white mask of overlapping segments with no eyes and black lipstick across the feminine mouth, white tunic, white leggings, white cane.

    Valefor. He’d attacked my hometown.

    He’d be leadership, or he’d be up there. He had that pedigree. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.9
  24. There were white feathers in his hair and around his collar. He bent his head at an angle while talking in a whisper with the person leading him.
    “I said not to be clever,” Valefor said. He drew in a deep breath, then tilted his head as far to the left as it would go, where ear would have been touching shoulder if his mask didn’t cover it. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Accord surveyed the situation. Valefor was a stranger, less in terms of his ability to hide, and more in his ability to engage in subterfuge. He had only to look on a target with his naked eye, and the fight was over. It was no small wonder, really, that he'd styled himself after the Simurgh. The effect was all too similar, in how the victim was often unaware of what had happened until it was too late. - Excerpt from Interlude 20.y
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Valefor had to be somewhere nearby. The second he got a glimpse of me, it was over. - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  27. Fake Name: Hmm- if Valefor’s power is hypnotic gaze, shouldn’t people just keep their eyes closed when they think he is around?

    Skitter in particular wouldn’t be hindered by keeping her eyes closed at all times, since she can use her bugs.

    Philippe Saner: I don’t think it matters if you can see him. If he can see you, that’s enough.

    Wildbow: I think it’s said as much earlier in this arc. That may have been a line I deleted. - Comment by Wildbow on Imago 21.3
  28. Valefor was frozen, unable to do anything to get clear of danger, while Love Lost positioned herself.

    But Rain was partially blind too. He avoided eye contact with Valefor. - Excerpt from Dying 15.8
  29. Automatic blurring, because Kenzie had tech resistant to Mama Mathers’ profile. I hurried to turn my gaze away, because I only had tech in the one eye. Slivers and flickers danced in my peripheral vision. I tried to keep an eye on Valefor, and her hand slipped into my view, blurred and pointing my way. Telling him where I was.

    I twisted away before he made eye contact, diving for cover. I slammed into the ground, classic, practiced landing, sufficient to crack concrete.

    “Valefor’s here!” I called out. “He has a jaw and eyes, and he has a squad of capes he got from the first wave!” - Excerpt from Dying 15.8
  30. I could try to locate them, guess at distance, but that put me at risk, and it meant Valefor could catch me with eye contact. - Excerpt from Dying 15.8
  31. Particularly when her child, still suckling at her breast, had looked up at her with eyes that flashed, and had asserted his will over hers. Blessed child. Cursed child. One in a million, among those who were one in thirty-thousand. - Interlude 15.z
  32. "Cancel the orders, fuckwit!" she growled, dropping on top of him.  Her knife pressed against Valefor's throat.


    She backhanded him across the face, striking him in one cheekbone with the knife handle.  "Cancel!"

    I could sense the crowd relaxing.  People hurried away from the scene.  It took more than a minute before they were all gone. - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  33. She looked down at Valefor. Her tone was more serious as she said, “I didn’t think this man-slut would be able to see me.”

    “You know his powers,” I said, glad for the change of topic. “Hypnotic stare, Tattletale said he might have other senses or augmented awareness to track his victims.” - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  34. “I can’t see anymore, Rain. My eyes have no power.”

    Rain nodded. They were at the door now. Elijah didn’t let him go.

    “But what I say? My words have more power than before. All I have to do is tell you to, and you’d want it. I could tell you to be gleeful to have the worst punishment we can offer, and you would be, because it would be in service of the Fallen and Mama.”

    Again, the image, standing outside, wearing her nightgown, hair blowing in the wind.

    “Like I did for Lachlan,” Elijah said. - Excerpt from Interlude 4c II
  35. Valefor had gotten into earshot, and apparently that was all he needed.
    There had been a time he’d needed eye contact. Now he used his voice. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  36. Another compulsion. Then and now, when I’d hit my limit, frustrated-

    He reached up to my cheek, and gave it two sharp pats, audible. “Good.”

    Anger became indignation, enough to choke me, together with the irregular breathing and the nausea. My head shook a little, my vision grew dark around the edges, and I teetered slightly.

    I tipped over the brink, past the point where the use of my power was willful and wanted and at the point where it was something I had to hold back.

    In surrender rather than intent, I lashed out with fear and self-admiration, and I let the Wretch loose, with Valefor in arm’s reach, in that order.

    Had it been the other way around, the Wretch might have gotten its hands on the man. But intimidation took hold, and Valefor was assisted by his manservant, who hauled him back and away. He sprawled in the grass.
    Valefor’s distraction had apparently freed people, or served as a kind of punctuation to end his ongoing commands. I was free, even as the ‘serve’ command lingered in the corner of my mind’s eye. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  37. The compulsion wasn’t gone. It was there.

    But it had abated. I’d served the rule, but not the spirit.
    “What did he tell you?” Tristan asked me. “Orders, compulsions?”

    “To serve, to help. I helped by removing him from a dangerous situation. I’m not all the way resolved, there. I don’t want to run into him again.” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  38. I flew away from them, trying to get a sense of how vulnerable Valefor’s group was. I was aware he’d gotten some hooks in me earlier, but I wasn’t feeling it as much. I wasn’t sure if the emotional shock of Ashley had shaken me of some of it, or if it was subtle in a scary way. - Shadow 5.11
  39. Now he used his voice. The trouble with a voice was that it wasn’t focused. I could remember the cane, and the way both Nailbiter and Sidepiece had obeyed at the same time, earlier.

    It worked on someone if they thought they were being referred to.

    There were mental tricks I imagined someone could do. It seemed like a noose that could be slipped, especially when he referred to people in the general. I just wasn’t sure I could do it. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  40. I saw Valefor pause for half a second, catching his breath, drawing it in deeper, and I clamped my hands over my ears, bending over, eyes shut.

    Whatever he shouted, I didn’t hear anything muffled than a one-syllable word. He had to refer to us to catch us, and now that I knew that, I could watch for tells. If he drew in a deep breath to shout, or if he said something like ‘You’ or “Everyone’, I could cover my ears. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.12
  41. “Tristan couldn’t switch to me, I don’t think,” Byron said. “When we were talking about capes we might run into last night, we theorized it was a thing we could do, that if he switched to me I might not be compelled, but he didn’t switch.” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  42. Capricorn was… it looked like he was changing forms rapidfire to switch identities, so no one self heard a single whole utterance referring directly to them.
    All around us, most people stopped in their tracks. Capricorn, blurring, changed to blue armor, but he kept walking. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.12
  43. Valefor grabbed a piece of rebar as he ran, moving to attack Love Lost, while she couldn’t be sure she could open her eyes.

    He swung, hitting her extended claw, rather than run headlong into it. What followed was a short, violent melee, as Love Lost fought blind at first, swiping and lacerating chest, stomach, then arm. She got swatted across the scalp, and this prompted her to open her eyes, maybe thinking she needed to do it to save herself. She froze mid-swipe.

    Valefor twisted around, pointing at me. Love Lost leaped, using Valefor’s shoulder as a springboard. I chucked the concrete at Valefor, and met Love Lost in the air. Juliette froze Love Lost, and I had to catch her and ease her to the ground to keep her from falling in a dangerous way. - Excerpt from Dying 15.8
  44. 44.0 44.1 I approached Valefor and Imp.

    Valefor heard the footsteps, must have felt the impact as I stepped forward, standing over him. He shook his head violently, oblivious to the knife Imp had placed in his mouth. That, or he’d overheard something I’d said and didn’t care anymore.

    He managed to shake enough bugs off that he could open his eyes. He fixed his gaze on me, and I froze. My thoughts dissolved to warm, wet, white noise.

    The maggots, millipedes and centipedes dropped from my hand. A part of me that was aware without being quite conscious controlled them, carried out my intent. They spilled onto his face, and moved toward his eyes. The stronger bugs helped pave the way for the others, leveraging the eyelids away from the eyes so the maggots could pass beneath.

    “No!” he shouted, around the knife. “Sto-”

    Imp shifted position. She was kneeling on his chest, and she moved the knife, bringing one knee into Valefor’s chin. I could feel the force of the impact through the bugs on his face.

    “Oh god,” Imp said, “Gross. Gross, gross, gross. Did I get any of them on me?”

    My thoughts were clearing. I blinked, and the movement felt painfully slow, as though I were almost asleep.

    “You didn’t get any bugs on you,” I said, stepping on Valefor’s right hand. Imp held his left with one hand, and held the knife’s blade against Valefor’s makeup-caked lips. He groaned and writhed beneath her grip.

    “They stink,” Imp complained.

    “You’re imagining it.”

    “I’m really not.”

    Valefor’s struggles continued. His writhing intensified, and it got to the point where he had to turn his head to throw up.

    When he turned his head my way, his eyes moved over me, unseeing. His chest was heaving as though he’d just run a long distance.
    “He’s blind,” she voiced the realization out loud. “You blinded him.”

    I nodded, still silent.


    I had to give a response, now. “He’ll need antibiotics. Both Valefor and Eligos will need medical care. It’s up to you whether you save his vision.” - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  45. “Stop!” Valefor called out. “Freeze! No powers! No weapons! No tools!
    It was a peculiar battlefield, so many people frozen in place, the combatants on the Fallen side not wanting to break the spell by jarring anyone too much. I hadn’t experienced it myself, but it seemed that if people were told to stop, and were set to moving by a stumble or a push, that was enough that it needed to be renewed. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  46. Her power flared. She stumbled.

    The woman with Valefor said something.

    Stop,” Valefor said. “Don’t do that again. Move your hand.”

    She pulled her hand away from her forearm. There was a hole where she had dug her thumb in under the skin.

    We’d talked about this, but not- not quite like this.

    “You-” Valefor started.

    The power flared again. She stumbled, spell broken, and then brought her good hand around, toward Valefor.

    The woman in black paint let go of Valefor and caught Damsel’s wrist, forcing it upward. The power shot well over their heads, and Damsel fell.
    Damsel had broken her prosthetic hand to make her power spark, each stumble forcing a renewal. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  47. The tide had turned. The villains that were assisting us were B-listers, but the Fallen weren’t the cream of the Fallen’s crop either. I flew past the group, jostling people, grabbing them and letting go a moment later.

    Valefor wouldn’t find his way back in time, I hoped, and the Fallen were already injured from the brief surprise attack.

    A spray of cold water from Capricorn woke up everyone I hadn’t been able to reach. The Fallen retreated, the intestine-snake snatching up two and yanking them back. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  48. Bleeding from where the concrete I’d chucked had hit him, bleeding more from where Love Lost had caught him with her claws, he snarled curse words, and in the midst of them, he used his voice as a power, aiming it at her.

    “Die!” he directed the words at Colt.

    She stumbled back, twisted, and no doubt looked for the most convenient place to throw herself. A jutting row of rebar spikes.

    I intercepted her, tackled her, and threw my hands around my ears to muffle all sounds. I twisted around to look, and kept my gaze below Valefor’s shoulders. He’d stopped moving, but not because of Juliette.
    I just focused on Colt, waiting to see if the instruction would wear off.
    Valefor’s power wasn’t fading. Chastity opted to walk up and slap Colt unconscious. A moment later, she slapped Colt awake.

    Reset button, it seemed.

    We were alright. Valefor was dealt with. - Excerpt from Dying 15.8
  49. The Fallen guy I’d just been fighting said something low and under his breath, to Valefor.

    “No. The immunity isn’t him,” Valefor said. “Not if the rest of them are the same. Someone helped.”
    “Where is Mama Mathers?” Rain asked.

    “You should ask her, Rain,” Valefor said. “Let her in, let me in, and pledge to obey. We’ll let you drag these people away, so long as you stay. They’re expendable, you’re blessed.”

    “How are you immune?” Tristan-as Capricorn called out.

    “Friends,” Rain said. He created blades of silver light in each of his hands. “Found these guys while researching powers and options. March put the pieces together about who I am and where I’m from.”
    “Immune?” I asked.

    Rain indicated the two capes with gray hair, a young man and woman. Both had eyepatches, the steel-gray hair, and costumes with white and black. Chris’ age, or a bit older. “Dino and Enyo. They’re multi-triggers, and they’re also twin triggers. One of their powers is that they can transplant body parts, with some special rules. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.12
  50. “The anti-thinker measure,” I said.

    “Yeah. Guess so. One of the Fallen with the hostages. Valefor’s there. My Dark Introspection form disconnects mind from body, which is great if I want to put my body on autopilot or leave it with instinctive actions, but it doesn’t stop my mind from being fucked with.” - Shadow 5.11
  51. The woman in black paint moved, lunging to intercept another attacker.

    Chris, leaping in. The woman in black kept him from getting his talons on Valefor. He was a spiral twist of feather and scaly talonflesh, with eyes and hard ridges in the mix. His spindly talons raked and grabbed, but the woman in black was fast, strong, and possibly a precog.

    He’d picked this form with Masters in mind. Capes that controlled people. He hadn’t been willing to say just how or why it helped, only that he was unsure how well it would work.
    Fallen pushed past our people to help Valefor, as Introspection Chris tried to reach around the woman in black and scratch him. Powers came to bear: red smoke, a snake that looked like it was made of intestine and barbed wire, sprouting spikes that crackled with electricity- Introspection Chris disengaged and leaped back as the Fallen came rushing at him.
    “It’s what Dark Introspection here did,” Tristan said. “Mind-body disconnect, right? Looking inward, elective connection.” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  52. “Not just him,” Teacher said. He smiled at William. “I want you to give him something. You’re not limited to physical maladies, are you? You can take mental illnesses, stresses, poisonings, parasites, take them into yourself, and then transfer them. And, I think, you can move other things.” - Interlude 8.y II
  53. Interlude 15.z
  54. A pair of villains from the Fallen were lurking somewhere in Imp’s territory, and their presence meant that Haven felt obliged to send two or three capes our way as well. Until the Fallen were dead or gone, Haven would have something of a local presence. - Chrysalis 20.1
  55. I’d done my part to try to help find the two Fallen, just a few days ago, but even with Tattletale’s help in identifying the general area, I hadn’t been able to root them out. - Chrysalis 20.1
  56. Her gut told her that one of the two was Valefor. - Chrysalis 20.1
  57. Interlude 20.y
  58. I was still thinking on the subject of Regent, searching for an angle I could use to convince him, when I was distracted. My swarm noted a number of soft movements, like a flurry of leaves in the wind.

    Autumn was months away, there weren’t many trees around, and there wasn’t wind.

    “Found them,” I said.

    “Which?” Regent asked.

    “Haven. The Fallen will be nearby. We’ve got Rosary in a combat mode, and Halo’s not in the air, as far as I can see, so they’re obviously geared up for a fight. In your territory,” I said, eyeing Regent. - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  59. Up until the point where the petals converged together, reforming into a car tire, ten feet in the air. A man hurried to leap out of the way before it struck him. I realized it was Eligos. He wasn’t wearing the Endbringer costume. Something similar, but without the same theme. He hurried out of the way as more tires appeared above him. - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  60. “We’re going on the offensive,” I said. “We don’t come out looking like the top dogs if either of the two groups win.” - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  61. I stopped. Imp had appeared at a grocery store nearby. She was speaking in a low voice, murmuring.

    “…Skitter said she’d take you on and she can use her bugs to attack you without being seen and she can hear and see this so she knows…”

    “Fuck!” I growled the word.

    “Valefor got her,” Regent drew the obvious conclusion..

    “I told her to stay close,” I said, breaking into a run. Rosary wasn’t even a consideration.

    “She’s not the type to listen!” Regent huffed. Rosary started to follow us, then hesitated, glancing at Eligos. - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
  62. - Excerpt from Interlude 4c II
  63. News. Inquiry into the circumstances of Lachlan Hund. Not a trial, but an inquiry, some questions by people with more official standing. He’d fallen in with some sketchy people, and there were thoughts about there being powers involved.

    The inquiry was the story of the hour, it seemed. Heroes stood by to step in and take him away to get help if officials were suspicious he’d been manipulated, but it was sounding like he would go home with his new family. That sucked. - Excerpt from Daybreak 1.8
  64. Shadow 5.10
  65. Shadow 5.10
  66. I would help and serve him. That was the idea he’d planted in my head.

    Before he could catch his breath from the impact, I flew in a spiral tight enough his legs went out to the side, and then gently deposited him on a rooftop.

    I flew away before he could catch his footing, get a lungful of air, and give me another command. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
  67. I went straight for Valefor.

    He was still protected as I brought the Wretch out. When I punched him, I could feel the Wretch meet that invisible barrier. I could see, in slow motion through both the expulsion of Secondhand’s detonation and Last Minute’s protective effect, the destruction of Valefor’s lower face as the Wretch passed through the barrier.

    I couldn’t bring myself to kill, even now. I canceled out my power of my own volition, when it was clear that I’d destroyed his jaw. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.12
  68. The bearded man paused. “She says her son needs medical attention.” - Excerpt from Pitch 6.3
  69. Beacon 8.4
  70. Interlude 8.y II
  71. Black 13.x
  72. The silver blade caught Valefor around the middle. Chastity pulled him off balance, and he landed firmly and uncomfortably in a sitting position atop a jagged heap of concrete. The concrete didn’t matter as much as the solid landing, which made the silver line split.

    Upper half slid from lower half with an audible sucking sound. - Excerpt from Dying 15.8
  73. She shook her head.

    “Elijah? Valefor?”

    “To the elders, in the sitting room. They told me I’m to marry.” - Excerpt from Interlude 5d II

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