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Babaeng Tuod Wood Witch (Darna enemy) (Francine Prieto version)

Babaeng Tuod

(Wood Witch)


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

Context

Babaeng Tuod is another classic Golden Age Darna villainess that has been updated in the recent series. Like many of the Darna villainesses, she has a complex and tragic origin.

Like several of the villainesses from this series, her name has a couple of possible meanings in English. “Babaeng” is woman or lady. “Tuod” primarily means “stump” or a dead root, but in this case is sometimes is also translated “tree” or “wood”. So combine those as you see fit.

Some of the most common translations of her name are “Wood Witch” (although this is obviously a loose translation, it seems to be one of the most common), “Tree Woman” or “Lady Stump.”


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Background

  • Real Name: Lucifera.
  • Other Aliases: Mother Tree (by her followers).
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: The unnamed quartet of villainesses who opposed Darna.
  • Base Of Operations: San Martin.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black.
  • Other Distinguishing Features: As Babaeng Tuod, she is entirely covered in wood, bamboo, vines and roots. As Lucifera, she is constantly barefoot so she can feel the ground beneath her feet.


Powers & Abilities

Lady Tuod is a living tree and an embodiment of nature. As a plant, she can absorb nutrients through her roots and feed through water and sunlight. With enough water (or blood), she can grow to enormous sizes, increasing her strength and power.

She can move her consciousness into the trees of the forest and elicit them for aid. This allows her to recover from injury more quickly when they share their sap with her. She can also cause plants to grow around her and move at her will. However she seems to use her abilities to command plants sparingly, perhaps out of courtesy to the plants she considers kin.


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History

The Origin Story

Born to an affluent parents who desperately wanted a child, one would think life was going to be easy for Lucifera. However, due to an odd birth defect, she had no bones in her shoulders (only cartilage) and had protrusions in her forehead that looked like vestigial horns.

Her parents named her “Lucifera,” after the devil who they believed must have sired her.&emsp.They abandoned her in the middle of a dark forest. Cold and alone, the baby howled with such fervor that she awakened the tree spirits of the forest.

The trees took pity on her despite their disdain for mankind. They conducted a ritual to transform her into one of their own. They drained Lucifera’s blood, replacing it with sap. Her skin became fibrous like bark; and her bones became woody. She grew roots which would allow her to draw sustenance from the ground.

She became nature’s warrior of vengeance, dedicated to eradicating mankind from the world for all the damage done to the forests. Her activities trying to destroy mankind soon brought her into conflict with the heroine Darna.

Villainess Team up!

She teamed up with other villainesses pitted against Darna. They went on a rampage, nearly defeating the heroine by catching her in her mortal form (presumably also named Narda) before she could transform. Darna was forced into revealing the secret of how she becomes Darna, swallowing the stone in front of them.

Darna managed to somehow freeze them all in a block of ice in the ocean that would contain them for nearly 6 decades.

In 2009, a tsunami washed four of the villainesses in ice ashore. They were taken by scientists under the leadership of Dr. Morgan. He wanted to study them and determine if there was something in their DNA that could give powers to normal people.

The scientists were surprised to find the women were still alive. The villainesses soon thawed out and escaped.

The villainesses began their rampage anew, killing several villagers. They called out Darna, but found that she was now just a spirit holding the stone until a new host could take on the role. Threatening to destroy the town and everyone in it, they forced the Keeper of the Stone to give it to them.

Stealing its power with the help of Lady Leech’s abilities, they each gained one of Darna’s primary powers. However, the spirit of Darna contained within the stone opened a dimensional portal and temporarily trapped them into a limbo dimension. They would each be freed one by one in an indeterminate amount of time.

Flower Power !

Babaeng Tuod was the third freed, and had captured Darna’s invulnerability to harm. She took root in a tree to recover her strength. She then took new disciples in the form of a young gay man, and a girl who had been rejected by the local town. Both had been wandering the forest late that night.

She drained them of their blood, and transformed them into plant creatures like herself. After their transformation, they were willing lackeys to her schemes.

In need of water to make her powers grow, Babaeng Tuod send her lackeys – who now dubbed themselves Flora Carnivora and Flora Venoma. The two went to the local firehouse, partially since the firemen had gotten them drunk and taken advantage of them the night before.

Killing one fireman with pollen and hypnotizing another, they had the rest help them take the fire truck and hose to Babaeng Tuod. This gave her all the water she needed. She soon grew to the point even the palm trees dwarfed before her.

Regrowth

So with the fire truck in tow, Babaeng Tuod began to terrorize the main road leading into San Martin. The police responded in force, even with SWAT/military support. But with the added indestructibility Babaeng Tuod had stolen from Darna’s stone, even those armed with automatic weapons were impotent against her.

Eventually, Darna showed up. At first Babaeng Tuod appeared too powerful to overcome. Then Darna tied her up with her own vines and pulled her high in the air, cutting her roots’ connection to the soil. Babaeng Tuod grew weak. Darna dropped her from high in the air back to Earth, defeating her.

Weakened by the battle, Babaeng Tuod sought a new source of moisture. Her followers delivered her the blood of illegal loggers. This not only powered Tuod’s body, but also her rage. She went through the forest attacking loggers until Darna arrived to intervene.

This time Darna had a plan. As they fought, she once again picked Babaeng Tuod up and dropped her into a live volcano, defeating her. This restored the defensive powers to Darna which Tuod had stolen with the help of the Lady Leech.

Lucifera once more

Amazingly, Lucifera survived her swim in the lava. Her outer form of wood and roots destroyed, she emerged from the fiery pit in a more human form. Naked, she now resembled the woman she would have been if the trees had not turned her into Babaeng Tuod. The lost woman was soon taken in at the Hospicio de San Martin, a local orphanage.

Biding her time to regain her strength, Lucifera accepted the hospitality of the headmistress, Miss Perfecta. However, she drew suspicion from one of the young teachers at the orphanage with her ability to easily make the plants in the garden bloom.

Meanwhile, Babaeng Tuod’s two escaped disciples began to create havoc with the local youth in a park. They began killing the girls and hypnotizing the young men. Soon, Darna intervened. She quickly defeated the pair by plucking all the flowers that were the source of their powers.

Lucifera sensed her disciples’ defeat but was powerless to stop it. While apparently killed, the two actually survived by taking the form of two small weeds.

Still gathering power in the orphanage, Lucifera realized one of the young orphans, Ding, was Darna’s best friend and quasi sidekick. Having already known of the existence of the stone, she soon began to piece together Darna’s secret identity. She hatched a plot to find her mortal form and take the stone.

Narda Exposed !

Sneaking out at night, Lucifera found her disciples in the park. Nurturing them and feeding them blood of young lovers in the park, she grew them back into their humanoid forms and revived them. Together, they determined the best way to find Darna’s identity was to use Carnivora’s powers to hypnotize Ding and make him tell them her secrets.

Easily luring Ding to the woods using his crush on Lucifera, she and her disciples took him prisoner. Under Carnivora’s power, Ding exposed Narda as Darna. Soon, Narda showed up looking for Ding. Upon discovering the villainous trio had kidnapped Ding and forced him to reveal her secret, she transformed into Darna.

Lucifera used Ding as a hostage in an attempt to keep Darna from intervening. But Darna quickly defeated her and freed Ding. Her disciples once again escaped to seek blood so they could revive her.

Meanwhile, the trees of the forest filled her with their sap. This once again fully transformed her into Babaeng Tuod, and revived her. Babaeng Tuod lurked around the Hospicio, preparing to ambush Darna. This time once they fought, Darna dropped her into a dry stone well. Her roots could not take hold and there was no water for her to absorb.

Villainess Team Up Redux ! part #1

Soon, Tuod’s old ally, Babaeng Lawin, was pulled out of the ocean by a fisherman. Her body was remotely “rebooted” by Professor Morgan. Lawin once again confronted her brother and attempted to kill his adopted son, only to be stopped by Darna.

Darna had become even more formidable by reacquiring her invulnerability from Babaeng Tuod, causing Babaeng Lawin to retreat.

With the help of one of Babeng Tuod’s side-kicks, Babaeng Lawin found Tuod’s body. She revived her by tossing her in the ocean, and allowing her to absorb the water. Tuod shared her knowledge that Darna was secretly Narda. The pair schemed to get the magic stone away from the unwary girl on her wedding day.

Villainess Team Up Redux ! part #2

Lawin returned to the church and made a show of forgiving her brother publicly. This way, everyone would lower their guard. On Narda’s wedding day, they attacked and even managed to get the stone away from Narda. However, Ding chided each of them about trusting the other with the stone until infighting ensued.

Ding managed to get the stone back from the villainous vixens and threw it into Narda’s mouth. However, Armida shot Ding with one of her razor feathers. Darna had to fly him to the hospital while the wicked women escaped and kidnapped Eduardo, Narda’s would-be groom.

Tracking the villainesses, Darna confronted them. Babaeng Tuod refused to tell her where she had hidden Eduardo “no matter how many wells” Darna dropped her in. Darna grabbed Babaeng Tuod and tied her up once more.

This time, she flew her into orbit and left her in the cold of space where there is no soil or water to sustain her. Darna then flew to the well where she had imprisoned Tuod, thinking that must be where Eduardo was, rescuing him.


Description

Lucifera is a full figured Asian woman with striking features, light skin, and large expressive eyes.

As Babeng Tuod, she is covered in vines, bamboo and wood with tentacle like vines sprouting from her forearms which extend her reach. Her skin and lips are green in this form and she has a manic look in her eyes.


Personality

Lucifera is a bit unstable as might be imagined of a woman raised by demonic trees in the forest with no human interaction. She hates humanity and fauna, and has a special hatred of any humans who would injure trees. She would like to see a world where the dominant species are nothing but flora.

After facing Darna, she is somewhat obsessed with defeating her. She wants to take her power as her own, and avenge her previous losses. While she still sees herself as a warrior to defend nature at this point, she rarely does anything to promote nature or specifically to protect it. Instead, she usually goes on meaningless attacks on the town in attempts to draw out Darna.

She does seem to be more insightful than most villains, allowing her to be patient and gather her advantages while finding Darna’s secrets. However, her tactics lack creativity in leveraging the advantages in the insight she gains.


DC Universe History

Lucifera would make an interesting love interest for Swamp Thing before he married. At first, they might look like they have similar motivations. They both are living plants and have a strong connection to The Green.

Eventually, it would become apparent that her obsession with plants drives her towards a hatred of humanity that Swamp Thing does not share. Considering her connection to the “demon trees” in her forest, this could start a war for supremacy within the dimension of The Green.

Babaeng Tuod could encounter Jason Woodrue, who is hired by the government or some research facility to understand her and how she came to be. He might even want to study her on his own to find ways of augmenting his own powers (or might consider her a love interest).

In the DC Universe, he could easily be the one to study her in the same way Dr. Morgan studies the various super powered entities in Darna.

Babaeng Tuod is extremely powerful in her own right, but rarely uses her powers creatively or thinks on a very tactical level, opting usually for direct attacks after gathering her strength and intel. If teamed up with someone like Poison Ivy, who shares her agenda but who usually masterminds more complex plots, the resulting team could be quite formidable.

Golden Age

If left in her original 1940s/50s setting or just a little later, perhaps Lucifera is actually Poison Ivy’s grandmother, or an aunt to Susan Linden. Maybe she’s a predecessor of Swamp Thing in the elementals of Earth.

Otherwise, she might be the sister of Rose Canton, AKA Thorn and might help push her towards her Thorn personality and participate in her battles with Flash and Green Lantern.

If you wanted to place her in a later timeline, perhaps her parents didn’t really abandon her. She may have been the unlikely daughter or a flawed offshoot of Philip Sylvian and Black Orchid, hidden in the woods to avoid the murderous intent of Carl Thorne. The demonic trees who discovered her might have told her the stories to help control her and use her as a tool of their vengeance.


Marvel Universe History

As difficult as Babaeng Tuod is to kill, she would be a formidable villainess in the Marvel Universe.

She could take the place of Plant Man in any of his adventures and almost certainly would provide more powerful opposition. Of course, the villains might soon find that she’s harder to control and might even call in Plant Man to help try to bring her to task.

He might even have some way of controlling her using his alien spores which could have him using her in any of his plots.

She could also be opposing the Philippines’ Triumph Division in some of their unpublished stories. This team appeared very briefly in one Iron Man comic, but little is known about them or their adversaries. Babaeng Tuod could easily be one of their rogue’s gallery.

Another option would be to have the “demon trees” be members of Groot’s race, or perhaps Groot himself while he was experimenting on humans. Babaeng Tuod might be the result of one of those experiments. Perhaps since Darna left Babaeng Tuod in orbit, it’s possible Groot might come across her on one of his journeys to Earth.


Quotes

Babaeng Tuod: “What’s important is our mission !”
Flora Venoma: “What’s our mission ?”
Babaeng Tuod: “To spread evil ! And take revenge on the humans, so we can make them vanish on here on Earth ! Because this world is for trees and plants alone !”
Flora Carnivora: “Oh ! Okay ! Does this mean we’re vegetarians now ?”

“[We will attack them] when we are well prepared. For now, I need water… lots and lots of water.”

“Go on and boast Darna ! You can never defeat me no matter what you do ! I’ll still return as long as the sun shines on me ! As long as I’m watered with blood and water ! As long as the sap of trees are in my roots ! I’ll always return to life and you can never stop me !”


Whatever universe History

As with many Mars Ravelo  creations, she could be dropped into just about any universe completely as is. South East Asia is sparsely populated in most super hero universes and the Ravelo creations like Darna and her enemies could be used to help fill that void.


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Babaeng Tuod

Dex: 08 Str: 05 Bod: 07 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 05 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Villainess
Inf: 07 Aur: 05 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 022 HP: 80

Powers:
Growth: 12, Invulnerability: 12, Joined: 02, Plant Control: 07, Plant Growth: 05, Solar Sustenance: 20, Personality Transfer: 08, Plant animation: 09, Self-Link (Plant Growth): 12, Speak with Plants: 05, Regeneration: 08, Stretching: 04, Vampirism: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Growth and Plant Growth requires water. She can only activate 2 APs of Growth for each AP of water (or 1 less AP of blood) absorbed through her roots.
  • Plant Animation is only usable through a special process (see “Flora or Fauna?” below).
  • Solar Sustenance is only usable if her feet are touching the ground.
  • Regeneration only works while she is inside a tree or gaining aid from trees through them sharing sap, but does work beyond death.

Skills:
Charisma (Persuasion): 05, Occultist (Knowledge): 04, Detective (Legwork, Clue Analysis): 04

Advantages:
Language (Tagalog, English), Life Support (No Need to eat, presumably breathes CO2 rather than Oxygen), Attractive (as Lucifera), Familiarity (Botany), Sharp Eye.

Connections:
Babaeng Linta (High), Babaeng Lawin (High), Babaeng Impakta (High).

Drawbacks:
Power Loss Vulnerability (Strength, Body, Loss of contact with the ground), Power Loss Vulnerability (All Powers, if she is not able to successfully use Solar Sustenance in over 24 hours), Attack Vulnerability (-1, Fire), Strange Appearance (as Babaeng Tuod), Minor Irrational Attraction (Defeating Darna).


Power of Defense

As with the other villainesses, Babaeng Tuod stole one of Darna’s powers. In this case, she took her power of Defense (Skin Armor: 04). With this power, she is impervious to gunfire and most physical attacks.

Darna took this power back by dropping Babaeng Tuod into a live volcano where the lava also burned away her woody exterior.


Flora or Fauna ?

Babaeng Tuod has the ability to create more plant creatures like herself. By taking people who have been marginalized and have her plants seize them, she can give them a rebirth as plant people.

This requires she inhabits a tree, and seizes them to drain their blood. She then grows their new bodies as fruit over the course of several days. After this process, they gain a fibrous covering similar to Tuod’s, but usually greener with various flowers decorating their bodies.

They retain their basic stats (you can use generic henchperson stats) but are given the same basic plant powers as Tuod herself. While they retain their basic personality, their feelings of persecution grow and they gain a thirst for blood and vengeance on their abusers.

Additionally, they each gain one power due to the pollen they can produce. The two examples in the series are Cell Rot (Venoma) and Hypnotism (Carnivora), but presumably she could have any plant related pharmacological powers similar to Poison Ivy.


Flora Venoma and Carnivora

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 06 Motivation: Nihilist/Psychopath
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Villainess
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 011 HP: 030

Powers:
Invulnerability: 08, Plant Control: 04, Plant Growth: 04, Solar Sustenance: 20, Personality Transfer: 05, Self-Link (Plant Growth): 04, Speak with Plants: 04, Regeneration: 08, Stretching: 04, Vampirism: 03, Cell Rot: 04, Hypnotism: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Solar Sustenance is only usable if her feet are touching the ground.
  • Regeneration only works while she is inside a weed.
  • Only Venoma has Cell Rot, only Carnivora has Hypnotism. In both cases it only affects people who inhale their pollen, so Sealed Systems does protect against it.
  • Personality Transfer only works to move into plants.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Dodge, Gymnastics): 08

By Adam Fuqua.

Source of Character: Darna 2009 GMA TV series, character portrayed by Francine Prieto.

Helper(s): darna.wikia.com , viki.com , Darci (proofreading, Golden Age history)

Writeup updated on the 18th of May, 2014.

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