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Bur Sed and Ker Sed (Justice League of America enemies) (DC Comics)

Bur Sed and Ker Sed, Keepers of the Balance


Context

These guys only appeared in Justice League of America Vol. 1 #99, in 1972.

These weren’t the greatest. And the early 1970s weren’t one of the high points of the League either.

But there probably is a, err, seed in there for them to be reworked to a better standard by interested GMs.


Background

  • Real Name: Bür Sëd and Kēr Sēd.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Kēr Sēd is Bür Sëd’s son.
  • Group Affiliation: Keepers of the Balance.
  • Base of Operations: Mobile throughout spaaaace.
  • Height: 6’2″ Weight: 190 lbs.
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Green.


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Powers & Abilities

They carry an ample collection of seeds from, respectively, the Bür plant and the Kēr plant.

Both kinds of plants are the size of a large tree. Both can defend themselves by animating their limbs as tentacles.

Staves

They also carry powerful staffs, from which their power comes. Demonstrated abilities :

  • Teleportation across galactic-scale distances.
  • Full-body protective field.
  • Speed-growing their plants (unless the plants can do that on their own, it’s not clear).
  • Universal translation.
  • The ability to absorb force and redirect it on a planetary scale with pinpoint accuracy. This works on everything from simple punches to power ring constructs, super-speed displaced air or Superman charging.

Examples :

  1. Taking wind currents generated by Flash milling his arms, and transporting them far away to push an oil spill with storm-like strength.
  2. Taking the force of a punch by Superman and using it to shatter a distant mountainside just above a village.
  3. Having a punch from Black Canary hurt some rando three states away.

This redirection requires a reflective surface in orbit. Say, a metallic artificial satellite.

Targeting the reflective surface seems unerring. Even Hawkman piloting the JLA’s satellite at high-speed on an evasive course wasn’t enough to deny the aliens their reflective surface.


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History

The two Keepers of the Balance just landed in the US one day. They started sowing their alien plants.

They favoured industrial sites and cities. Their alien plants would wreck the asphalt, nearby buildings, underground pipes and cables, etc. as they rooted and grew.

The JLA intervened. However, all their blows and super-powers against the Keepers or their plants were redirected against distant buildings and bystanders. Or where they could trigger catastrophes such as landslides or oil spills.

The aliens even used such powers as the Flash (Barry Allen)’s superspeed winds to attack Leaguers.

However, Batman noticed that the Keepers kept moving, rather than stay in an area they had planted with alien thingies. From there he somehow deduced a weakness.

Indeed ! A weakness !

The League approached the aliens, offered to help them plant their seed. They did so with amazing speed and effectiveness.

Bur Sed and Ker Sed (Justice League of America enemies) (DC Comics) soaring city alien plants

As the Keepers stared in disbelief, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) disarmed them by surprise, taking their staves away. The aliens started experiencing respiratory distress, as the plants created too much oxygen for their lungs to process. They were forced to surrender.

GL then chewed them out for trying to help Earth against the advice of the natives, and they left. Thanks to the League’s heroism, Earth could safely resume its path toward political inaction and massive casualties through pollution and climate change.


Description

See illustrations. The one with the “beard” is Bür Sëd.


Personality

The Keepers are a pair of zealous religious activists whose duty is to seed their plants. These are meant to destroy overbuilt areas to restore “balance” between infrastructure and nature. To them, their actions are self-evidently holy.

Kēr Sēd in particular is incessantly quoting scripture. Which may occasionally annoy his father.

Their zeal, and the power of their staff, make them smug and unlikely to listen to natives.

One suspects that the pair are from a planet that very nearly destroyed itself through pollution. And was narrowly saved by massive, global replanting.

This would explain their zeal, their (correct) assumption that other civilisations are likely to ignore the issue as they once did, and why they have trouble with well-oxygenated atmospheres.

It also was a recurrent motif in JLA issues of that era.


Quotes

(Quoting scripture) “The Supreme Harmony blesses the plants that grow midst the rocks. May they flourish and multiply.”

“You Earth-Humans have no sense of perspective ! The ecological balance must be perfect over the entire world ! We will restore that balance – save you from your suicidal selves !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Keepers of the Balance

Both have the same stats.

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Uphold the Balance.
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Missionaries
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Wealth: 003
Init: 012 HP: 035

Skills:
None demonstrated.

Advantages:
None demonstrated.

Connections:
None demonstrated.

Drawbacks:
MIA toward their mission, Fatal Vulnerability to high oxygen level/lack of pollution.

Equipment:
Power Staff [BODY 12, Comprehend Languages: 19, Enhance (RV): 08 (cap is 14), Enhanced Initiative: 40, Plant growth: 06, Reflection/deflection: 30, Teleportation: 65, Bonuses & Limitations:

  • Plant growth seemingly can only affect the Kēr plants and Bür plants, to bring them to their adult size within seconds.
  • Reflection/deflection can be done on any attack or power effect that the staff holder can see, within a 04 APs Range. It doesn’t have to be directed at the staff holder.
  • Reflection/deflection can be Combined With Teleportation, to make the Deflected effect land elsewhere. However, the Range of this cannot be greater than the APs of Deflection/Reflection.
  • Furthermore, Teleporting Deflected attacks/effects outside of their line of sight requires the presence of reflective surfaces in orbit, such as satellites.
  • Teleportation only on a willing person holding the staff].

Root causes

If attacked, the plants attack with Snare: 10, serving as its own AV but with a Range of 0 APs. They hold their attacker aloft. Maybe they keep them there until thirst kills them and the corpse can become nutrients.

Bür plants are yellow, love water, but are vulnerable to heat. Kēr plants are wood-like, can withstand tremendous vibrations but react badly to foreign bodies within their organism.


Design notes

There ain’t much material, so many of the scores can’t be well-supported.

The Enhanced Initiative is there to allow them to counter the JLA’s efforts against them in time. I put it at more-than-Flash levels, hence the monstrous APs. Barry didn’t actually try to Take Away the staves, but it would almost certainly have failed with his attempt being Reflected.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: JLA Vol. 1 #99.

Writeup completed on the 12th of October, 2019.

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