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Crow Children of Ares (Wonder Woman enemies) (DC Comics)

Crow-children of Ares


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

Context

These horrible agents of Ares fought Wonder Woman in 2009/2010, late during the Gail Simone run on Wonder Woman. Being faithful sons to their sire, they magically manipulate people to arouse hatred, war, carnage and resentment.


Background

  • Real Name: Brother Goat, Brother Spider, Brother Rat, Brother Scorpion and Brother Adder.
  • Marital Status: Single (minor).
  • Known Relatives: Ares (father), Alkistis and four unnamed Amazons (mothers).
  • Group Affiliation: Their own group.
  • Base Of Operations: Unrevealed.
  • Height: 4’1” Weight: 54 lbs.
  • Eyes: Var. Hair: Var.


Powers and Abilities

The spoor of Ares are still children. However, we have assumed in our game stats an unnatural level of endurance and pain tolerance for their age. And intellectually, they are sharper than most adults. These children are more articulate, more able to plan and with a higher level of initiative.

The boys have a supernatural ability to influence those around them. They will override people’s minds with thoughts of violence, hatred, war and guilt. They can easily trigger riots and incite large crowds to deadly violence.

By focusing this ability on a single person they can take direct control. This even against persons with a strong personality such as Etta Candy, Steve Trevor or Power Girl.

The Crow Children holding daggers and Wonder Woman's lasso

The Crow Children act by talking. Yet it’s clearly not normal social interaction. Their words have an impossibly convincing effect when it comes to seeding hatred, resentment, envy, defiance and the like.

Victims will even experience mild hallucination as a result of dissonance. For instance they might perceive a trusted ally as demonically deformed, to try to reconcile the words of the Crow Children about that person with reality.


History

The sons of Ares are the result of a plan of revenge by Ares against Wonder Woman after she slew him in battle. As a result of magic that Ares used in the underworld, five Amazons became inexplicably pregnant.

While this normally would have been a momentous event, the times were greatly troubled on Themyscira. The Amazon Alkyone had displaced Queen Hippolyte, and Zeus had imposed Achilles as the first King of Themyscira.

Men had also come to live on the island – the Gargareans. Though none of the Amazons apparently had sex with them, their presence was enough that immaculate conception was not the only possibility.

Birth

As civil war erupted on Themyscira, overshadowing the pregnancies. The mothers reached term abnormally quickly and were mystically summoned to a forgotten court by the ghost of Ares. This long-abandoned place had been built millennia before, in case children were ever born on Themyscira. Ares further summoned animals infused by his essence to act as guards.

The Crow Children spreading death and chaos

After the five Amazons gave birth against their will, they were magically forced into an eternal sleep. The infants were raised by the magically corrupted animals, and grew up at an accelerated rate.

Thus mere months later the five brothers, looking to be about seven years old and having about thrice the maturity, were sent out in the world. Their mission was to turn it against Wonder Woman and the Amazons.

(This occurred in the final issues of Simone’s run on Wonder Woman. The Crow-children seemed to be the prelude of a major storyline. Wonder Woman then went into major continuity upheaval, so Ares’ plan will almost certainly never be revealed.)

A murder of crows

The five brothers, wearing a sort of school uniform with cap emblazoned with a crow symbol, strolled through Washington D.C.. This is where Wonder Woman then lived. Using supernatural influence they fanned the flames of intolerance, envy, petty hatred and bloodlust.

They both attacked Wonder Woman’s reputation and the civil peace in the capital. The Crow-children triggered murders, arson and eventually riot. When the mighty heroine Power Girl responded, the Crow Children were delighted. They took over her mind and turned her against Wonder Woman.

The Crow Children magically inciting a mob

The situation in Washington swiftly degenerated. Even Power Girl couldn’t quite resist the mental influence of the spoor of Ares. And yet, the children had underestimated Wonder Woman. The Amazon, more proficient in martial techniques than Power Girl, put her opponent in a wrestling lock. This gave her time to convince PG to reject the influence of the sons of Ares.

Debriefing the JSAer, Diana had Power Girl wrap her in the Lasso of Truth. Wonder Woman then flew off, tracking down the children while entrusting Power Girl with stopping the riots.

Takedown

To her own surprise, Power Girl found it in herself to break the riots by convincing everyone to stand down. Meanwhile, one of the Crow Children was mind-controlling Etta Candy and Steve Trevor into murdering each other. But he was was taken down by their bodyguard – one of the Gorilla Knights of Wonder Woman.

Finding the other four, Diana proved immune to their influence. She had armoured herself in truth by wrapping herself in her lasso. Considering that they were still children, she gave them a thorough spanking. Diana then flew them to the new reformation island.

While not hopeful, the Amazons considered that they had to try to reform the young monsters, if only because they were half-Amazons.


Description

The Crow Children all wear a sort of school uniform with dress shoes, white socks, shorts, a white shirt, a blazer, a striped tie and a cap. Both the cap and the blazer sport a red symbol with the stylised black crow head.


Personality

The five half-brothers affected a style and speech patterns well beyond their apparent years. They act more like preps – highly educated, mannered and articulate with an emphasis on what is proper and how society should behave.

They constantly use sarcasm, denouncing violence and improper behaviour around them and the lack of morality of modern society. Yet they fully know that they are the direct cause for the chaos and hatred that surround them.

Part of their schtick is to sound sheltered, like a irate old man writing strongly-worded letters to a newspaper editor about the world of today and all of its perceived shortcomings.

Still, their schtick about how the world is terrible and brutal and exposes youths to the most unseemly sights and behaviours is not constant.

They are also good actors. Particularly when it comes to manipulating everyone around them and playing on their apparent status as innocent and unusually proper children.


Quotes

“Shocking, how people turn on their heroes these days.”

“Another victim of a violent society. Let this be a lesson for us all.”

“Oh my. Look who’s here. A true hero, here to save us all !”

“Well, all I can say is that I can assure you I will be most condemnatory when I write of this on my blog.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Spoor of Ares

Dex: 02 Str: 00 Bod: 03 Motivation: Misery, conflict and chaos
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 06 Occupation: None
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 017 HP: 010

Powers:
Broadcast empath: 05, Control (ML): 11

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Broadcast Empath and Control attack INF/SPI rather than INT/MIN.
  • Broadcast Empath and Control only affect human and near-human minds – for instance the Gorilla Knights were immune.
  • Broadcast Empath has a Volume rather than a Range (+2), and has a Special +12 Volume Bonus (+3).
  • Broadcast Empath is limited to hatred, violence, conflict and the like.
  • The effects of Control and Broadcast Empath can be broken through Character Interaction pitted against the APs of Power as OV/RV. RAPs diminish APs of Control or Broadcast Empath, and allow a new roll to resist. Particularly good role-playing and arguments will result in OV/RV bonuses.

Skills:
Artist (Actor): 04, Charisma (Persuasion): 05

Advantages:
Probably Slowed Ageing or even Immortal, and presumably a Familiarity with Ancient Greek Mythology.

Connections:
Presumably a Low Connection with Ares.

Drawbacks:
Body mass is 1 AP.


Design notes

There isn’t much material about these characters, so the stats are speculative. They all are assumed to have identical stats.


The kids aren’t alright

Whether the Crow Children should have Age (Young) is an interesting question. This writeup assumes that with their social interaction powers, looking like kids isn’t a significant hindrance – and might be closer to an asset to manipulate people.

Another possible approach is that it could be a genuine drawback in some specific circumstances, likely involving them being depowered. This could be a one-point Drawback.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Wonder Woman v3 #37-41.

Helper(s): Gareth Lewis, Adam Fuqua.

Writeup completed on the 31st of December, 2011.

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