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Bigby Wolf from Fables (DC Comics)

Bigby Wolf


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Bigby was one of the lead characters of DC Comics’ Fables book during its early eras. For the necessary context, see our Fabletown entry.

Bigby is the “big bad wolf” of every folk tale, from the Red Riding Hood to the Three Little Pigs, and derives power from this sort-of-mythological status.


Background

  • Real Name: Bigby Wolf.
  • Other Aliases: Bigby Rawlins, Big Bad Wolf, John Holber.
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: North Wind (Father), Winter (Mother), Snow White (Wife), Ambrose, Blossom, Conner, Darien, Ghost, Therese & Winter (children), Rose Red (sister-in-law), Greyheart, Snapjaw, Longtooth and three other unnamed brothers.
  • Group Affiliation: Fabletown.
  • Base Of Operations: Wolf Valley, The Farm; formerly Fabletown, NY.
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 165 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown (greying)


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Powers and Abilities

In all forms, Bigby has heightened senses of hearing and especially smell. When in human form smokes a lot to keep from being overwhelmed by the aromas of civilization.

He can communicate with wolves, all of whom automatically defer to him. He’s also able to communicate with the winds, persuading them to do simple things like blow scents in certain directions (in DC Heroes terms this is Obscure & Power Reserve).

His human body is not his natural form, which is actually that of a giant wolf. The enchantments placed on him to allow him to assume human form allow him to switch between the two at will, and also allow him to assume a hybrid, wolf-man, form.

Both the hybrid and wolf forms increase his strength and durability. In his wolf form he can use some of the abilities inherited from his father, such as producing devastatingly strong winds by blowing. As a result of his heritage, he does not need to breathe in any of his forms.

Like all Fables, he is extremely long-lived, and is difficult to kill, allegedly based on the popularity of their tales.


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History

[A fuller history of Fabletown can be found in the linked article, and more about his family life can be found in the Snow White profile.]

Once upon a time the wandering North Wind took a fancy to a wolf called Winter. Taking the form of a wolf and introducing himself as North, he took Winter as his mate. They had a litter of cubs, but North’s wandering nature soon took him away. Winter raised the cubs alone, and, their father not being a normal wolf, they grew differently than normal wolves.

Bigby Wolf ready to fight

One cub was smaller than the others, and they mockingly nicknamed him the Big Bad Wolf. When Winter died of a broken heart, Bigby’s brothers left, seeking out their father to train them in his powers. Bigby, blaming his father for his mother’s fate, stayed to protect her body from scavengers. He was too scrawny to do so.

Bigby swore an oath that each day he’d kill bigger prey than the day before so he could grow. Beginning with grasshoppers, he gradually increased the size of his meals, also growing to enormous size as time went on.

Huff and Puff

He spread terror wherever he went. For instance he once used the powers of the wind he’d inherited from his father to destroy the houses of the three pigs Colin, Dun, and Posey. Soon after he had his first encounter with humans, when he ate Red Riding Hood’s granny and tried to eat Red herself.

He was stopped by the Woodsman. The man cut the still-living granny from the Wolf’s belly, replaced her with rocks, stitched the belly back up, and dumped the Wolf in a river.

It took weeks, at the bottom of the river, to pass the rocks, but eventually Bigby escaped. He vowed that from then on humans would be his only prey.

Deciding to confront his father, Bigby travelled to his palace in the North. Finally facing him, Bigby attacked, but the North Wind sent him flying on the winds for days before depositing him thousands of miles away. Another 6 times Bigby tried to kill his father, with no more success, before swearing another oath to think no more of him.

When the Adversary’s empire expanded into Bigby’s territory, they affected his food supplies. Bigby took to preying on the empire’s forces, even though he disliked the taste of their corruption, and soon attacked their forces from preference.

He even helped displaced fables escape the empire, taking a small nip from each of them to test for the corruption that the empire’s agents possessed.

Attacking one convoy of empire prisoners brought his first encounter with Snow White and her sister Rose Red. Snow defended her sister from the beast, which amused him. He led them to the nearby portal of which he’d become unofficial guardian. While he sent them on their way to freedom, he never forgot the scent of the girl who’d stood up to him.

A New World

As the centuries passed, the empire sent increasingly larger forces against Bigby, and used increasingly sophisticated methods to try and deal with him. They never did, but Bigby was forced to move about a lot, and finally travelled to the mundane world around the year 1650.

Settling in the Carpathian mountains, he preyed on the local inhabitants, the blame going to a local Count he’d befriended who enjoyed the notoriety.

Bigby Wolf and Boy Blue

After a while he was visited by Snow White and Feathertop, who asked him to join the Fabletown settlement. Bigby agreed, mainly because he’d never managed to forget the girl. Since the residents of the Farm refused to allow him there, an edict which remains to this day, Snow produced a lycanthrope-stained knife which let Bigby assume human form.

Adapting to his new form, Bigby became sheriff of Fabletown. He continued to serve as such for centuries. When the World Wars broke out, Bigby was one of the fables who realised that Fabletown was a part of the mundane world, and these event could affect them. So he joined his adopted country’s forces in certain capacities.

During World War II he spent time as a spy in enemy territory. On one mission he rendezvoused with a military unit working with fellow Fable Harp, and helped them reach their destination, Castle Frankenstein, undetected.

Sneaking in, he discovered the Nazi’s had a revived Frankenstein’s Monster, who attacked him. He defeated and decapitated it, but in the ensuing firefight and destruction of the castle Harp and most of the soldiers were killed.

Bigby was forced to reveal his true nature to the survivors in order to get them to friendly territory, and they upheld their oath never to reveal it. The monster’s head, which turned out to be friendly enough, still resides in a birdcage in the Business Office.

Storybook Love

When Snow insisted on working with Bigby to investigate her sister’s apparent murder, Bigby – having deducing it was faked – used the opportunity to admit his feelings to Snow. She quickly rebuffed him.

During an operation to neutralize a reporter who’d gotten close to the truth of their nature, Bigby came into conflict with Bluebeard. Bigby browbeat Bluebeard into doing as he was told, so the vindictive Bluebeard had Bigby and Snow enchanted to go off on a camping trip together, where his ally Goldilocks was supposed to kill them.

They woke from the enchantment in time to survive the attempt, and took care of Goldilocks. Returning to Fabletown, they discovered Prince Charming had killed Bluebeard. Snow also soon learned that she was pregnant. She didn’t take the news well, still unhappy with Bigby’s affection, although she did slowly come around.

March of the Wooden Soldiers

Bigby was immediately suspicious when Red Riding Hood arrived, but his history with the original gave her an excuse to want nothing to do with him. Confiding his suspicions in Snow, Bigby set out to investigate the guarded portal through which she’d escaped.

Bigby Wolf sees Jack of Fables in his cramped office

The fables garrison guarding it had been slaughtered, and the other end of the portal left open. The invaders had missed a cache of explosives hidden nearby, so Bigby sealed the portal and rushed back to Fabletown. He arrived in time to finish off the battle, using his wind powers against the wooden soldiers.

In the aftermath, he helped Frau Totenkinder secure Baba Yaga, who’d been disguised as Red Riding Hood. They secretly imprisoned her, telling everyone else she’d died, and questioned her daily.

Soon thereafter Snow apparently gave birth to 6 babies – actually 7, but Ghost was born invisible and only discovered later. This coincided with Prince Charming becoming Mayor, which prompted Bigby and Snow to resign. Due to the children not appearing entirely human, Snow was forced to take them to the Farm to raise them, where Bigby was unable to follow. He left alone.

Exile

His travels took him to a remote region of Siberia, where he spent time with the local wolves. To avoid anyone trying to find him, he then swam the Bering Strait to Alaska, where he built an isolated cabin and became involved in a rebound relationship with a woman named Sarah Tanaraq.

He was soon found by Ghost, whom Snow had sent to him after it’d accidentally killed some fables. Ghost stayed with him, its existence a secret from Sarah, and Bigby lived in relative (alcohol-infused) peace until Mowgli found him.

Bigby Wolf as a wolf god

Mowgli’d been sent by Prince Charming. He relayed the offer of a life with Snow and the children if Bigby performed a mission for Fabletown. Reluctantly agreeing, Bigby returned in secret. Taken to a covert meeting outside the border of the Farm, he was shown to an enchantment-obscured beanstalk leading to the Cloud Kingdoms.

After days of climbing he rendezvoused with Cinderella, Fabletown’s ambassador to the Cloud Kingdoms. He parachuted into the Homelands, and made his way to the Adversary’s cabin.

He warned him that Fabletown would offer a disproportionate response to every move made against them. He then detonated the explosives he’d placed around the sacred grove.

Upon returning to the mundane world he was reunited with Snow, and they were soon married. A portion of the Farm lands, renamed Wolf Valley, was given to them, and a house built there for them and their children.

Bigby served as leader of the ground forces in the invasion of the Homelands, and in the end faced the Emperor in single combat, distracting him long enough for Boy Blue to finish him.

Stormy Relations

Learning that his father had spent time with the cubs during his absence didn’t sit well with Bigby. However he understood Snow’s reasons for allowing it: the old man had taught them control of their abilities. Bigby still had to be coaxed to allow further contact, only grudgingly joining them on a visit to his father’s realm.

Things remained strained between the pair, especially when the cubs were endangered by six monsters that lived in the nearby forest: Bigby’s brothers. They were punished for their behaviour, transformed into goldfish and given to the cubs as pets.

Bigby’s relationship with his father came to a head when the Fabletown fables were under siege in Haven by Mister Dark. Bigby was preparing for his part in the probably suicidal attack on Dark when North Wind arrived, revealing he knew about Ghost.

North Wind’s own proclamation stated that no zephyr – which was what he saw Ghost as – could live. Bigby attacked him, but was quickly subdued. North Wind admitted hesitation as he didn’t wish to lose the love of the other cubs, but that given his nature he may soon not care about them.

Not wanting to reach that point, he’d face Mister Dark himself and deal with Ghost if he survived. He didn’t, taking Mister Dark with him into the Casket of Ancient Winters.

Lost Cubs

When Therese and Darien went missing, Bigby followed their trail as well as he could. He traversed to other worlds where he picked up faint traces of Darien’s scent. He didn’t find them before Ghost brought an urgent message from Snow, who’d been kidnapped by a former suitor.

Bigby Wolf vs. Nazi Frankenstein monster

Bigby rushed home and challenged Prince Brandish. Despite his power, Bigby was unable to lay a paw on Brandish, but the latter’s enchanted blade caught Bigby numerous scratches. While none caused him serious injury, their volume allowed the blade’s magic to take effect, transforming Bigby into glass.

While the witches of the Thirteenth Floor tried to counter the magic, Snow duelled Brandish herself. Nearly beaten, Brandish shattered Bigby to splinters moments before Snow killed him. The witches still hope to undo the magic, but the task had become that much more difficult now they also have to reassemble him, possibly taking years.


Description

His clothes generally look lived in. He always has some stubble, his facial hair regrowing in a matter of hours.

He also used to be a chain-smoker during his time in New York City, allegedly to deaden his heightened sense of smell and prevent it from being overwhelmed by the city.


Personality

Gruff and cautious, Bigby has adopted the persona of the stereotypical hardboiled manly detective hero, rough but smart. He rarely displays much subtlety in his social skills, approaching threats head on.

He’s mellowed slightly now that he’s a family man, but only with those he knows. He’s slow to make friends and trust people, usually keeping his own counsel. He took his job as sheriff seriously, remaining suspicious of pretty much everyone.

He rarely loses his composure unintentionally, unless Snow or the cubs are endangered, but maintains a feral and dangerous manner to help him in his duties.

He’s been in love with Snow for a long time, but took a while to realise it, and even longer to act on it. He was relatively shy around her, usually remaining professional in their dealings, and his “ploy” to use an investigation to get closer to her was fairly awkward.

He maintains an aversion to anything sophisticated though, having trouble using computers, having no idea how to dance, having fairly blunt manipulative skills, and being unable to drive until recently. He did learn to drive when necessary (to search for his lost pups), but without a reason he’ll stick to doing things the old fashioned way.

He’s less of a luddite when it comes to investigative and deductive work, and has centuries of experience at dealing with problems and threats to the community, even using subtlety when absolutely necessary. He’s good at reading people, and knowing when they’re lying, and as sheriff he was always vigilant for attacks on the Fabletown community.

While his relationship with his father never became cordial, the cubs allowed it to develop out of being a vendetta, and Bigby was affected by his father’s ultimate sacrifice.


Quotes

Snow White: “You can be one frustrating son of a bitch !”
Bigby: “Literally, in my case, but she was never less than loving and nurturing. The best mother any boy could want.”

Bluebeard: “You’ve said it all before, wolf. Your constant ’or elses’ have grown tedious. Hasn’t anyone told you that threats lose their impact when so often repeated, without ever actually acting on one of them ?”

Bigby: “I haven’t needed to act, because you’ve always backed down and always will. Sure, you’re a terror when gutting unarmed brides on their wedding night, or gunning down an unconscious man on a toilet. You’re a coward, Bluebeard, hiding behind a lifetime of wealth and privilege. Now, unless you’re prepared to thrown down… I thought so, tough guy. When you get done pissing yourself with fear, tuck tail and do what I told you to do. Obey me.”

“Part of why Fabletown worked so well in the past is that I was willing to do all the dark things Snow and King Cole shouldn’t have to know about, and wouldn’t want to know about.”

[While still the Big Bad Wolf]
Magus Atlantes: “Think you’re the first monster I’ve had to kill. I’m not an insipid little goddess, ripe with all manner of power to manipulate, interfere and meddle, but entirely unfit to defend herself. I’m a trained killer. A combat sorcerer of the first order.”
Bigby: “Joy.”
Magus Atlantes: “Trained in the Weynakana River School.”
Bigby: “Never heard of it.”
Magus Atlantes: “Apprenticed to Ulmore the Uncanny.”
Bigby: “Familiar name. Pretty sure I gutted him two years back. Dragged his steaming entrails around the base of all six of his infamous Towers of Bedazzlement. That was him right ?”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Bigby Wolf

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Former Sheriff of Fabletown
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 017 HP: 035

Powers:
Air Control: 08, Analytic Smell/Tracking Scent: 20, Cold Immunity: 05, Damage Capacity: 02, Enhanced Hearing: 06, Invulnerability: 08, Obscure: 02, Power Reserve (Analytic Smell/Tracking Scent): 02, Regeneration: 04, Speak with Animals: 06, Super-Ventriloquism: 16

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Obscure works against Analytic Smell/Tracking Scent (-1), and is Minor Marginal (-1).
  • Power Reserve is Minor Marginal (-1).
  • Speak with Animals only works with wolves (-1).

Skills:
Charisma (Intimidation, Interrogation): 06, Detective: 06, Military Science (Camouflage, Cryptography, Danger Recognition, Demolition, Tracking): 07, Thief (Concealment, Stealth): 07, Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry (Firearms): 05

Advantages:
Familiarity (Counterintelligence), Language (German), Life-Support (No need to breathe), Local Hero (wolves), Near-Immortal, Scholar (Survival), Sharp Eye.

Connections:
Fabletown (High), Cinderella (High), Snow White (High).

Drawbacks:
Alter Ego (Controllable, Wolf and Hybrid forms), Attack Vulnerability (-1CS, Silver), Dependants (Snow & the children), Power Loss (Regeneration reduced to 0AP if Damaged by silver).


Human Form Enchantment

While he was born with an natural ability to change forms, his father wasn’t around to teach him about it, so it was soon lost, and he lived centuries as a wolf. When he joined Fabletown he received an enchantment that allowed him to assume human form, which then became his main form.

This can be considered a 15 AP Mystical enchantment, and if this neutralised he will be stuck in his wolf form. The forms below also have the Powers, Skills, Advantages, Connections, and Drawbacks listed above.


Wolf Form

Dex: 06 Str: 10 Bod: 09
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 04
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06
Init: 017

Powers (in addition to those listed above):
Claws: 12, Growth: 06, Super-Breath: 15

Bonuses and Limitations:
Growth is always on and is already factored in (-1).

Drawbacks:
Strange Appearance.


Hybrid Form

Dex: 06 Str: 05 Bod: 05
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 04
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06
Init: 017

Powers (in addition to those listed above):
Claws: 05

Drawbacks:
Strange Appearance.


Previous Stats

Before coming to the Mundy world he had a MIA (eating more than on the previous day).

While sheriff of Fabletown (see the section in the main Fabletown article) Bigby had Special Credentials.

Initially his Analytic Smell/Tracking Scent was only 6AP, and he didn’t have Air Control. As his enmity for his father ebbed he’s become less averse to using his inherited powers when necessary.

He very recently, and very reluctantly, learned to drive, so until Therese and Darien went missing he didn’t have Vehicles (Land).

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Fables (Vertigo, by Bill Willingham).

Helper(s): Wikipedia.com, KalEl el Vigilante, Sébastien Andrivet, Darci, Peter Piispanen.

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