Lilith the siren
Unless you’re well familiar with the Borderlands universe, this profile is intended to be read after our Borderlands setting article.
Which explains all the things.
As with all our Borderlands material for now, this covers BL1 + DLCs, and BL2 without DLCs. There are S P O I L E R S about this material.
- Real Name: Unrevealed.
- Other Aliases: The Siren, Firehawk.
- Known Relatives: None.
- Group Affiliation: Crimson Raiders.
- Base of Operations: Mobile. At points New Haven, Frostburn Canyon, and Sanctuary.
- Height: 5’3″ (1.60m). Weight: 95 lbs. (43 kg.).
- Eyes: Orange. Hair: Red.
- Other Distinguishing Features: Swirling patterns on the left half of her body. Unusually pale skin.
Powers & Abilities
Lilith is an agile, fast, precise gunfighter. This is the usual role for the one female character in shoot ’em up games.
She favours light, close quarters automatic firearms. Howbeit, she will often start an engagement with sniper fire to thin enemy ranks before they can rush her.
Lilith can use New-You digistruction/resurrection/cloning stations without hindrance.
She also has a special pass to use the Catch-A-Ride vehicular digistruction stations.
And I bring you… fire
As a Vault Hunter, Lilith carries some of the best combat equipment money can buy.
Here are typical examples, based on my Borderlands playthrough.
- A Maliwan Hellfire submachinegun. Lilith favours Maliwan weapons, which are all about Eridian energy warheads.
- A Maliwan Volcano precision rifle.
- A Maliwan Crux combat shotgun.
- A bladed, scoped Equalizer large-bore revolver with ammo digistruction.
- A straightforward but particularly high-cap orb shield.
- High-powered explosive MIRV grenades.
See our technical Borderlands document for more about these.
Lilith has bona fide superhuman powers. She is the most powerful among the four Vault Hunters.
Her main superhuman ability is to tear open the fabric of space with her hands. Stepping through the tear, Lilith can briefly be “under” the normal world. She calls this “phasewalking”.
During this short-lived effect she is intangible, invisible, regenerative and about as fast as a sports car.
Both the point at which she opens the tear, and the point at which she returns to the real world, explode. That doesn’t harm Lilith. Presumably it occurs just before she re-enters, and right after she leaves.
Lilith will often :
- Phasewalk away while close to an opponent.
- Explosively warp into the middle of an enemy group.
- Phasewalk away while close to volatile materials such as fuel tanks.
- Phasewalk away from a fight she’s losing, heal a bit and recover her shield as she does, and reengage from a range with sniper fire and grenades.
- Phasewalk past opponents there’s no benefit in fighting.
Phase… puncher, I guess
Lilith can also squeeze space within her hand, producing a smaller deflagration. That can be timed to occur when she punches something.
These warp punches can be quite powerful.
Lilith also has a superhuman affinity with Eridian “elemental” energy. She can :
- Augment the elemental detonation of Eridian-charged projectiles. It looks a bit like she’s pyrokinetically igniting them as they’re about to hit. The odd explosion has a dazing, flash-bang-like effect.
- Emit a sphere of semi-translucent flame around herself. This is accompanied by immaterial, phoenix-like flaming wings sprouting from her back, as a SFX.
Opponents she’s shooting thus have a hard time fighting back. And those close to her will burn. This further encourages close-quarters, all-out shock tactics.
Spotting a place where Lilith has been fighting is trivial.
- What was close to her was set on fire.
- She shot her opponents to set them on fire (and what was nearby caught fire).
- Many incendiary bullets were fired, with stray shots setting random things on fire.
- If she phasewalks stuff nearby gets blown up. And was probably on fire.
- A powerful grenade with scattering submunition may also have been involved.
Putting some Phoenix on seems logical for Lilith. And an older track — School rules — ain’t a bad fit. Plus, it’s short and punchy.
Powers & Abilities (Borderlands 2)
In Borderlands 2, Lilith has apparently been consuming Eridium for a while. This has amplified her powers :
- She now can chain her phasewalks much more quickly. And both the resulting explosions and her phase blows are more powerful.
- Consuming a nugget or two of Eridium makes these effects even more pronounced. With a “dose” active, she no longer needs guns to fight, and harming her is even more difficult.
- She can do much longer phasewalks, with a far greater mass, *if* she’s consuming large quantities of Eridium.
- She can supercharge technology with Eridian energy.
I would assume that starship engines, like firearms, incorporate Eridian tech. This would explain why supercharging Sanctuary’s engines worked like supercharging the Vault Key.
Consuming Eridium seemed to give her a rush, and there’s a sense that she was jonesing for a chance to burn some more. But if there’s an addiction it didn’t seem to hamper her.
We have some information from a comic book published by IDW. However, the comics don’t seem to be canon, perhaps, possibly.
What is shown in the comic :
- Lilith is from a planet called Honus 4651. Whereas she was previously listed as being from Dionysus.
- She is apparently an orphan. Her father died before her eyes from unspecified causes when she was about 5.
- Seconds after her father died, she was accosted by an elderly woman with Siren markings. At this point the Siren markings appeared on Lilith’s body.
- The old woman explained that she was the eldest Siren and was about to die, passing her powers on to Lilith.
- The woman explained that she had been looking for a specific person (or a specific kind of person) to transfer her powers.
At that point the readers are shown two Sirens in robes, Maya, and Commandant Steele. Steele is stated to have “strayed from her path to cast despair”. Everyone but Steele’s eyes are orange, including Lilith’s before the power transfer. This seemed significant back then, but later games have Sirens without orange eyes.
The three main hypotheses as to why Lilith came to Pandora :
- There was indeed somebody who told her to investigate Steele and/or Eridian stuff on Pandora. Perhaps like described in the comics.
- Sirens can sense that a Vault is going to emerge across several solar systems. Which would explain why Steele, Lilith and Angel all were on Pandora.
- Handsome Jack (back then an obscure Hyperion corporate drone) manipulated Lilith and Steele into coming to Pandora, based on data provided by Angel.
In any case Lilith criss-crossed Pandora, becoming one of the deadliest Vault Hunters on this broken planet. Over time she acquired ties with fellow badasses Roland, Brick and Mordecai.
From the comic, it seemed that Lilith started a relationship with Roland early during the events of Borderlands. They broke that off somewhen between BL1 and BL2.
See our Borderlands setting article for most of the subsequent events.
The element of surprise
When Hyperion started conquering Pandora, Lilith reportedly was among the casualties at New Haven. But she had actually survived.
Her death was kept a secret, so she could be Roland’s hidden weapon. Lilith moved to a secret base in Frostburn Canyon. As the dreaded bandit “Firehawk”, she’d annihilate bandit clans threatening Sanctuary, leaving no witness.
During that span, Lilith discovered that the emerging element, Eridium, boosted her powers. She started collecting nuggets of Eridium, keeping them in reserve for tough situations.
A cult of bandits formed to worship the Firehawk – they do that a lot. Lilith mostly ignored them, as they posed little threat.
Later on she’d discover that they had been graduating to kidnapping and human sacrifices, forcing her to destroy the Cult of the Firehawk.
You’ll believe a town can fly
A major bandit assault eventually exposed the Firehawk. Lilith moved to Sanctuary to join its protectors – the other three former Vault Hunters, and the Crimson Raiders militia.
When the city seemed about to be destroyed by Handsome Jack, Lilith almost single-handedly saved the day.
- Consuming vast amounts of Eridium, she helped kickstart Sanctuary’s engines to make it airborne. Sanctuary is a mining starship designed to be occupied as a city after it landed.
- She then “phasewalked” the whole thing over hundreds of miles to dodge Hyperion orbital fire. Then bluffed that she could do it whenever she wanted, making further attacks pointless (this wasn’t true).
Lilith continued to help run operations in Sanctuary, helping Roland and a new generation of Vault Hunters strike back at Handsome Jack.
Control Core Angel
As they prepared to deny the Vault key to Handsome Jack, Angel warned Lilith not to participate in the field op.
Wanting to kill Jack, Lilith disobeyed and teleported in. She assisted in the fight to let Angel have her death.
However, Handsome Jack then came in. He murdered Roland by surprise, and captured a shocked Lilith. Using the equipment designed for Angel, he could keep her incapacitated… and charging the Vault Key.
The Key was thus powered to capacity, allowing Jack to free the Warrior. But the draconic creature was killed while it was still weak enough, and Lilith freed herself in the meantime.
With Roland dead, Lilith had to reluctantly assume leadership of Sanctuary.
Lilith is a smol, athletic woman somewhere in her 20s. Since her buddies are tall and often beefy dudes, she looks tiny when they’re around.
(One promotional document lists her as being 5’7″ (1.70m.), which can’t be correct.)
She’s clearly dressed to operate in a desert. Grey jeans covered in leather chaps, leather boots, fingerless gloves, a tiny leather vest, etc.
She sports low-riding skinny jeans and a low-cut tank top with a push-up underneath. This is both for general sexiness and to show off the swirling patterns covering half her body.
Her skin is particularly pale, and never tans. Her eyes are a sort of desaturated, light orange.
The “tattoos” on her body light up when she’s absorbing energy from Eridium, making it clear that they’re not actually tats.
Lilith has numerous small scars over her face and body, though they are all well-healed. They seem to have been deliberately kept to show off.
Lilith’s laugh is distinctive. Here is a 15-seconds video illustration.
(Borderlands 1 has little voice work for the Player Character. Yet veteran voice actress Colleen Clinkenbeard still managed a memorable performance with next to no material.)
Lilith is an unruly, flippant, impulsive lass. But she does mature between BL1 and BL2.
She’s generally benign. Perhaps even a bit caring – which on Pandora is the equivalent of sainthood. She doesn’t care one bit about combatants dying, and likes chaos. But she’s invested in protecting Sanctuary, her friends, and defenceless persons.
This may have been Roland rubbing off on her. So to speak.
Lilith’s main arc early during BL2 is her failed relationship with Roland. Both are just… clumsily clueless, with the emotional know-how of tweens.
Lilith seems needier and interested in resuming that relationship, but that goes nowhere. She does come up with strategies to act catty, foxy or other furry animals-y, but that’s on the level of what a little girl would try.
She was flattered that there was a cult about her. She found excuses for them even as they came up with ceremonies where they incinerated each other. But once it became clear they’d murder innocents, she reluctantly dropped the hammer.
DC Universe Adaptation
(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).
Ain’t no reason why Sirens couldn’t exist in the DC Universe, though there’d probably be just one on Earth. You just have to tie them to an alien species.
Krypton or Mars would be a bit on the nose. But tying them to the Third World — the gods preceding Kirby’s Fourth World — could work.
Alternatively their powers could be magical, with ties to the Pre-Dead.
Or they could have been a small Zamaron experiment.
DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
|Dex: 06||Str: 02||Bod: 03|
|Int: 04||Wil: 03||Min: 04|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 04||Spi: 05|
|Init: 014||HP: 040|
Acid immunity: 02, Enchantment: 01, Energy blast: 06, Flame being: 06, Flame immunity: 02, Flash: 09, Lightning immunity: 02, Mental blast: 08, Regeneration: 04, Running: 05, Spirit Travel: 07
Bonuses and Limitations:
- Enchantment is limited to enhancing the effects of incendiary Eridian tech (usually bullets and grenades with the Fire Descriptor).
- Energy Blast has No Range. It is a melee attack.
- Flame being automatically affects everything within 0 APs of Lilith.
- Flash requires a firearm of opportunity, loaded and able to hit the target.
- Flash also expands one Ammo from the weapon if applicable.
- Regeneration is Contingent Upon using Spirit Travel.
- Shade doesn’t protect against Lilith’s Flash. But Force Field/Shield/Wall presumably do.
- Mental blast has No Range but has an Area of Effect (0 APs).
- Mental blast can only be used, and must be used, when entering and exiting Spirit Travel. That doesn’t consume any Action of either kind.
- Spirit Travel can only be used after six Phases of cooldown, and can only last for two consecutive Phases.
Acrobatics: 04, Gadgetry (Firearms and ammunition, Orb shields): 04, Vehicles (Land): 04, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 07
Credentials (Free access to the Catch-A-Ride network), Lightning Reflexes.
Vault Hunters (Low), Sanctuary (Low).
Thrill → Responsibility.
- Combustion Hellfire SMG [BODY 04, Disintegration: 07, Ammo: 08, Descriptor: Fire, Advantage: Autofire].
- Volcano high-powered sniper rifle [BODY 02, Flame project (Area of Effect 1 AP): 06, Projectile weapon: 09, Telescopic vision: 02, Ammo: 07, Descriptor: Fire, Bonus: Flame Project is Combined With Projectile weapons and rides its Range, R#02].
- Vitriolic Crux shotgun [BODY 04, Disintegration (Diminishing): 08, Range: 03, Ammo: 05, Descriptor: Corrosive, Advantage: Scattershot, Limitation: Disintegration has No Range, use the listed Range instead, Long Reload Time].
- Bloody Equalizer revolver [BODY 04, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 06), Projectile weapons: 06, Telescopic vision: 02, Descriptor: Ballistic, R#02].
- ORB SHIELD [BODY 02, Blunting: 12, Damage capacity: 10, Skin armour: 03, Advantage: Damage Capacity regains one AP of Current Condition at the end of every Phase where Lilith has not been hit by an attack, Limitation: Skin armour only vs. fall damage].
- MIRV explosive grenades (x5) [BODY 01, Mental blast (No Range, Area of Effect 2 AP): 08, Grenade Drawback].
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Her BL2 Powers aren’t super-clear, but I guess that :
- The downtime between phasewalks is now a single Phase.
- Her Energy Blast now has about 9 APs, her Mental Blast 10, and the Mental blast’s AoE is 2 APs.
- The Eridium nuggets seem to act a bit like transient Hero Points, gained upon consumption. If so her APs above are a bit lower, and she was burning soon-to-be-gone HPs on her attacks.
Source of Character: Borderlands vidjagames.
Helper(s): Darci, Coyote’s Own.
Writeup updated on the 21st of December, 2020.