Brennus Files 02: The World’s Major Players (Part 4)

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Lady Light

Yes, she rates an independent entry. This is the Queen of Superheroes, the Mother of Metahumanity. Even if she wasn’t one of the most powerful heroes, and certainly the most experienced, the raw symbolic power she holds cannot be understated. She is considered a goddess in some parts of the world, a messiah or angel in others. Even Sovereign does not forbid her from entering his realm, and even the Sovjet Union always made it clear that they’d welcome her with open arms if she wished to change sides (not to mention that she often spoke before the Red Council, advocating peace and demilitarisation). She also often visits Queen Madeleine for tea and talk.

Beyond that, the United Heroes still see her as their ultimate leader, even if she has relinquished any official power she ever held, leaving the actual leadership of the group to her Shining Guardians and the Board of Directors. The Forresters revere her as one of the creator’s of metahumanity, etc.

Unfortunately, all this responsibility (and then some) has taken a toll on her life, and she spends most of her time teleporting (or, if she really needs to relax for a little, flying) from crisis to crisis, trying to save as many people as possible. However, 1999, she took a three year leave from her work. The results were immediate, with villains everywhere getting uppity – until the Dark declared that he’d ‘chastise’ anyone who tried to exploit her absence (he didn’t demand that anyone stop their crimes, just that they didn’t make her feel bad for taking a break). Unfortunately, it didn’t hold long and she had to return after only two years absence (neither she nor the Dark appreciated those who forced her early return; said criminals are no longer an issue). She’s pretty much gone back to her 24/6 schedule (She rests on Sundays, having been brought up in a traditional Christian household).

The Dark

Yeah, him. Despite how nice and personable he may appear, he is the King of Supervillains, as well as the Father of Metahumanity. He rules the Dark Five and the Syndicate, making him directly or indirectly complicit in nearly 60% of all metahuman crime on the planet.

While he does have certain rules he enforces with extreme prejudice (the so-called ‘Code’), this is only in part due to any nobility on his side, and mostly because they keep things from escalating, allowing the ‘game’ to keep going smoothly and largely unchanged. Preserving the status quo.

On the other hand, he does keep things mostly civil. Families are protected – ‘Don’t bring family into it’ is one of the core rules of the Code, and he enforces it by way of extreme, extreme violence and creativity – and most villains (and heroes) refrain from using lethal force or taking certain liberties with defenseless opponents.

During World War II, he fought on the side of the West, first due to the Nazi’s stance against Jews (mostly, he just helped smuggle Jews out of Germany, provided funds and equipment for saboteurs and sabotaged a few of their operations himself), then he fought against Weisswald both due to disgust at his monstrosity and, most importantly, because Weisswald had declared it his goal to ‘claim’ Lady Light as his mate – with a very archaic definition of claiming in mind.

Queen Madeleine

Yup, she rates an independent entry, too. Madeleine died on January 11th, 2000 after a spectacularly horrendous life (being tortured and maimed were some of her least worries). She was not near death, she was not just milliseconds away from braindeath, she was well and truly dead. She was reborn moments later as one of the most powerful beings on the planet. While she does not have a single transcendent power, she does have seven distinct God-Tier powers, not counting her Chimaera Physique. One of them is an apparently unlimited reincarnation, rendering her invincible in the long term.

She conquered an entire continent within two months, then completely pacified all pockets of resistance within a few more and installed a metahuman nobility to help her rule her realm. Finally, she built a magnificent palace that now hovers above Ayer’s Rock, a testament to her power.

Within her realm, she rules by the law of “Don’t make me come over there.” It is very efficient.

Internationally, she follows a doctrine of “Don’t mess with mine and I won’t mess with yours.” So far, it has proven quite efficient.


Yeah, this guy. He’s been dead for half a century and some, but he’s still a major player.

First, when he came to power, there were roughly three billion people alive, worldwide. When he died, there were less than two billion left. And that doesn’t factor in all the people killed since his death by his Spiteborn. All in all, he’s personally responsible, directly or indirectly, for more than 1.2 billion deaths, after the most recent estimates.

Second, he destroyed Europe as a world power, maybe forever. Germany, France, Poland, Austria, Denmark, the Scandinavic countries, South Europe as a whole (save for Spain and Greece) have still not recovered from the damage he did, Slovenia is entirely depopulated, and he cut a swath through Russia, forcing the complete nuclear destruction of Stalingrad, as well as killing his way all across Asia and to Japan, where he killed the Imperial family.

Third, his ideology of metahuman supremacy survives to this day. He is one of the biggest reasons why metahumans are still not entirely trusted all over the world, and the followers of his ideology, the Forresters foremost among them, still try to force people to manifest or die.

Fourth, in his last moments, he created the Spiteborn, self-replicating monstrosities that attack major population centers and especially concentrations of metahumans, both to challenge metahumans to grow stronger and to force as many manifestations as possible, with the death of baseline humans as a nifty bonus.

Last but not least, he started the tradition of supervillains going into battle stark naked, having disdained the use of clothing of any kind for himself (he was perfect, after all, so why hide it? Not like he needed extra protection). Many of the worst, like the Savage Six, emulate him to evoke memories of the Naked Tyrant.

Even to this day, and not only among those who were alive at the time of his reign, his name causes true fear and rumors of his return are used as scare stories and threats.


If there is one individual who rivals Weisswald, Lady Light and the Dark in importance to world history, it is Desolation-in-Light, the Maiden of Terror. Since her first appearance in the late ’80s, she has kept the world on its toes, as she can strike anywhere, at any time.

Ironically, she may very well have done more good than bad, despite the millions of lives she has claimed, for her existence has prevented the PATO and Sovjet Union from going to war. You don’t want to be fighting a large-scale war while the threat of an unstoppable disaster in human form looms over you.

Ember/The Protege

If there is one person who only wanted to help, but ended up causing untold chaos, it is Ember. Apart from the fact that he can heal anything, reverse age itself, each of which would be reason enough to go to war over him, he can raise the dead. Essentially, he can bestow immortality on anyone, keeping them forever young and reviving them infinitely.

World War III nearly broke out shortly after the full extent of his power became known, and only his mental breakdown and subsequent exile saved the world from that fate.

And I’m not even going to go into what he means for all the religions in the world, especially the Christian ones, right now.

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37 thoughts on “Brennus Files 02: The World’s Major Players (Part 4)

      • Hmm, she is a strong candidate for one of the Five in that prophecy that keeps coming up, perhaps The Lover. Given that Ember is pretty definitely one and Macian another, it seems likely that a war over Ember would lead to them all coming together.
        I also note a recurring theme of resurrection or reincarnation among the serious candidates we’ve seen so far.

      • Also possible, but what redemption would she be seeking? Macian fits that one closer. But he’s *probably* Maker. I’d guess we haven’t met the Shepherd yet.

      • Okay, I went back to the previous mention of these five I remembered for more clues (Little Giants part 6). And it’s very interesting.

        Four of them match up pretty closely.
        Shaper was “unbound by anything but imagination” there and “unbound and gentle” in Those Two Losers.
        Lover went from “wielding the primordial power” to “driven by the primordial power,” a subtle but significant change.
        Dreamer went from “a gilded knight that glowed like the sun” to “a gilded knight, brilliant as the full moon” but that could just be a difference in the personality of the observer.
        Maker went from “mad and yet sane, rising ever higher” to “a blazing well that sought to rise”.

        But the last one was very interesting. In Those Two Losers, we had “The Shepherd, a broken star that sought redemption” but back in Ember’s chapter it was “The Defender, another era’s fallen idol, given a second chance.”
        At the time Defender sounded a lot like the superman-expy who was killed by Desolation-in-Light at her first appearance, and it still call that to mind, especially with the resurrection theme of Macian/Brennus, Ember, and Madeline. But that’s a huge change without a clear explanation as to the why.

        Are different people seeing different possible futures? Have conditions changed enough that the earlier prediction is no longer valid? Are the Shepherd and the Defender the same person, but viewed from different perspectives?

      • Alright, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the one “seeking redemption” in this dark future is likely to still be evil, or heading that direction, now. A heel-face turn by DiL springs immediately to mind, but seems highly unlikely. Her sister is also a candidate, following some terrible and accidental crime on her part. The one that seems to match closest in my mind is Amy, and telepathy also fits the whole “shepherd” shtick, but I dunno. The fact that The Shepard only appears in half the prophecy is throwing me a bit. I suppose we can’t strictly rule Amy out as defender either without knowing her history, which is wrapped up in Macian’s and therefore not likely to be revealed for a while, but I can’t recall any past eras’ fallen idols who would even remotely match up. And Protector just withs the Defender mold so well.

        Maker is pretty definitely Macian/Brennus. It is so obvious and certain that I immediately get paranoid and assume that it’s a red herring and he goes somewhere else.

        The best fit we have for Shaper so far seems to be Ember. Recurring themes of imagination, his apparent lack of limits, and the keyword of gentleness all match up perfectly.

        Can’t think of anybody better than Madeline for Lover, but we don’t know her well enough and it’s too early in the story to say for sure. Ember also fits here, but not as perfectly.

        Dreamer sounds like somebody we haven’t met before. There are a few candidates that could kinda fit, but none that are perfect.

        I think we can safely rule out some of the major players.
        Lady Light and The Dark were clearly identifiable as separate entities by Ember, and thus probably aren’t among the five points of light; they’re either working in parallel or dead by the time this goes down.
        Weisswald is very evil and very dead (though the part of my brain responsible for crack theories says he’s a perfect fit for Shepherd/Defender, and possibly the only character we have so far who could fit both).
        DiL is unlikely for a slew of reasons, but remains a slim possibility.
        Sovereign almost fits as Shaper or Maker, but doesn’t feel like one of the five and there are better fits for those positions; likewise Drakaina.
        The Califate fit with the resurrection theme, but absolutely nothing else.
        We know virtually nothing about Amaterasu, but what little we have does seem to maybe fit the Lover or the Shepherd.

        Excellent. We have narrowed it down to all the possibilities I have thought of. That simplifies things greatly.

      • Sindri, you’re assuming that the sheperd is seeking redemption for him/herself. That might not be the case.

      • Gloom Glimmer is potentially the Lover. Her power’s flexibility could get it called ‘primordial’, she’s definitely driven by it, and it has a habit of trying to get her to have sex with people.

        Also worth noting that Ember’s manifestation prophesy is more recent than Heretic’s.

        Do we want to try and identify and appoint each of the stars Heretic saw, too?

    • you are arguing in the wrong direction
      (i dont know anyone better to be … so (name) has to be that one)
      there are manymore who can be that persone, we just dont know about them
      (i expect tieshaunn to still be holding some stuff back)
      only think we can say is:

      defenetly one of them:
      macian/brenus (blazing sun)
      this is either the maker(most probably), shaper, dreamer

      either maker, shaper (most probably, ability-effect wise), dreamer(most probably, ability-“way it works” wise), lover (most probably, emotional-state/empathy wise)

      could be one of them:
      amy (was probably held captive by the savage 6 who seem to hunt the “5(6?) stars”
      either the lover(ability condition) or the dreamer(abilety), shepherd (jep she could use her abilety for that)

      the sleeper
      maker shaper shepherd lover (anything but the dreamer^^)

      the Journeyman
      lover dreamer shepherd

      the dark & lady light
      shepherd lover

      Queen Madeleine

      DiL (probably the lone star) (/”Gloomy’?)
      sleeper lover shepherd shaper

      • I never said any of these people had to be anything. I speak only in probabilities, possibilities, who is currently closest of those we know, who is likely or unlikely to be among the five, which matches seem to fit well and which seem not to fit. Nothing is certain until it happens, and many of the possibilities have not yet been seen, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about which of the current options is most likely.

  1. Yay, info dumps. Your version of world war 2 lasted so long, did so much damage, and killed so many people that it seems the world is living in a post apocalyptic existence here. Europe, South America, a lot of Russia, Australia, the middle east, parts of Africa, and Asia have all been devestated. That isn’t getting into all the damage from DIL, s class stuff, spiteborn, etc. Without Gadgeteers most of the world probably would not be able to eat. Still the tech level is high, no one is hungry, and LL/Dark keep the chaos down. Still haven’t explained where the giant monsters are from, but other than that good to know. Brennus has a long way to go if he is going to change the world with his tech. Forcefields would definitely give him an edge, especially if he is as good with them as Narwhal from worm. My guess is he has another power that he is unaware of to give him an edge perhaps related to time since he can build so fast. Considering there is so much devestation it seems that if you are powerful enough, you CAN take over a country as long as you keep the chaos down, look out for your people, and deal with the nastier threats. Makes me curious if Brennus will get to Sovereign’s, ps. is he male or female, level and take over a country at some point by accident. I can picture him going to one of the hellholes in the world to defend it from some big threat, driving it off, and then having to deal with the populace basically giving him power. Though robotics don’t seem to be his forte. I’m even more curious since you said he will change the world what he will be like after taking a few level in badass. Iron man armor? Giant army of sentinel robots to protect humanity? The tech to affect powers directly? Tech so advanced it is indistinguishable from magic?
    But love info dumps if they add to the universe. So great job, hope to see more someday.

    • The Dark has been kicked out of any citizenship he’s ever had

      Gloomy has enough issues without bringing Religion into it, but according to orthodox Jewish tradition, you can’t be a Jew unless your mom is a Jew. Not that most care, but going just by the book (pun intended), she’s not

      • wouldn’t it be to dangerous/scary to kick out the dark?
        hell it might even sound like a good idea to give him a free residence in a capital (keeps the criminals “nice” and makes everyone scared of attacking that area)

      • I know if I ran a nation, I’d have a standing policy of allowing The Dark free passage, and keep a room set up for him in the capital. It’s not like you can stop him from going where he pleases, and the more welcome he feels the less likely he is to do something unpleasant to you. Not much less likely perhaps, but some.

      • If you ran a nation like that I wonder how you would then survive the public uproar at the notion of you effectively rolling over for the supervillains of the world (at least thats certainly a view that your political enemies could spin it into). I can t see public opinion approving of this.

        On the other hand I agree that I m not sure I would have actually kicked him out. But that presupposes I actually have a choice.

        Same thing as with the residence if public opinion was set against the Dark and someone proposed to annul his citizenship the only kind of leader that could oppose that would be totalitarian. Otherwise they d have to bend to the public pressure.

  2. I notice that Journeyman ,who Aap describes as the most powerful man in the world isn’t here. Is that :
    1) Aap was exaggerating and his adventures where more a chemical based one than the ones that Ember was having when he was introduced in his interlude.
    2) You hinted that Queen Madeline will be coming looking for Brennus, does this mean this is more so that we act appropriately shocked when the big names get involved in the story, and journeyman never will.
    3) He doesn’t care about the world or world politics and hence isn’t a player.

    • I’m guessing 3. The impression I got is that Journeyman might be most powerful in the world when he’s here, but he spends most of his time in alternate realities and doesn’t get particularly involved in any of them aside from as an observer and collector of stories.

      • these files are written, kind of, from an in-universe point of view – i.e. this is mostly, if not entirely, public information. at least, stuff anyone interested could find out with some research (so you just know Tyche doesn’t know half of this)

  3. These files were incredibly interesting. I enjoyed the look at Brennus world, and the detail you’ve put into it. Of course, this still leaves questions unanswered, but if it didn’t, it would be boring!

  4. I really want to see Madeline’s power set! It must be pretty spectacular to make her the undisputed queen of a fairly large nation. I also want see Basil to take a trip to Canada (perhaps during winter or summer break) and perhaps meet the Drakainas. I think that’s definitely the type of vacation that he would enjoy. He would probably even build his own ultra-mega-super tourist camera for the occasion (mainly to acquire high quality 3D scans of the local superhero gear and inevitably ignore the naked females underneath).

    • well I think I can tell you two of the 7 at least. Her castle floats and she can travel fast enought across Australia that people stay in line so she’s got some kind of flight ability probably by controlling gravity. Secondly we’re told that shes a chimera.

      • Or possibly Gadgeteer or Contriver. I doubt Gadgeteer, there’s enough of them already, but Contiver is a possibility.

      • Headcanon: she only has one power, teleportation or maybe psychic invisibility (like Imp) or something. She used it to steal a floating castle from Sovereign without him noticing, and she’s been using a combination of bluffing of trickery to convince the world she was a top-tier powerhouse ever since.

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