Ashley Stillions, known to the public as Damsel of Distress, was a former independent villain and later member of the Slaughterhouse Nine first seen operating in Stafford, New Hampshire.


Years of living on the streets with inconsistent nutrition[2] left Ashley painfully thin to the point of looking emaciated.[1] This, combined with being taller than average, led to some people thinking she looks boyish.[3] She had long, usually unkempt platinum blonde hair and pale blue eyes.[4] By throwing on some civilian clothes and a hat and keeping her head down, she could almost pass as a boy.

As Damsel of Distress, Ashley usually wore black gowns of varying quality with different combinations of masks and black lipstick.[1] This, combined with her pallor and gaunt appearance, made her both appealing and intimidating.

Following Bonesaw's modifications to her forearms and hands, her arms are twice as long as before, with long drawn out fingers that had mechanisms crammed inside of them, allowing Damsel to better control her power.[3]


Ashley is considered mentally unbalanced,[5] driven to establish her superiority by her passenger. She is fond of delivering dramatic monologues for the euphoric effect of becoming less pressured by her passenger.[2]

Through a combination of childhood trauma and the early activation of her passenger, she became excessively ambitious, narcissistic, megalomaniac, and paranoid. Her passenger punished her when she didn't succeed, perpetuating long strings of near-misses. The reality of a 'camp' villain willing to murder hostages or blame others for her problems, combined with her drawbacks, made her both scary and pitiable.[6]

Her power was somewhat uncontrolled, spiking or going on the fritz when she got stressed or anxious. Coupled with her obsessive personality, this meant that she would get caught in vicious cycles where she became frustrated and anxious at eating or similar activities after destroying one meal, losing sleep or shelter, embarrassing herself in front of others, or similar situations.[2] In stubbornness and pride, she would consequently go long stretches of time without really eating or sleeping.[6]

She was fond of situations where she could use hostages or stalk a target through a cluttered area, where she could blast through cover and potentially her victim.[6]

Bonesaw's surgical alterations simultaneously broke her pride and gave her control. This was a cold, ruthless, detached source of obliteration, "deserving and giving no pity".[6][2]

Abilities & PowersEdit

Ashley's power functions similarly to Scrub's. She creates maelstroms of inconsistent gravity and spacetime warping[7], chaotically twisting reality[2] and producing uncontrolled cone-shaped blasts[2][8] of gravity, space and matter alteration.[6] The "blasts" can rip, tear, twist, melt, disintegrate, and cause numerous other effects to matter within their variable range of six to fifteen feet.[6] This power is capable of destroying virtually any matter or construction[9], including the likes of Alexandria, as Ashley's 'shotgun' bursts ignore most forms of durability[6].

Ashley's power also has a forceful kickback that flings her backwards, as the combination of warped space, disintegration and gravity shearing makes for a massive amount of recoil whenever she activates her power.[8][6][2] Ashley learned to use this effect to move at high speeds in 10- to 15-foot bursts, allowing her to avoid attacks[1] and giving her a Mover rating.[8]

While obviously powerful, Ashley never had full control of her power[2], being unable to prevent herself from producing minor flare-ups whenever she became stressed or anxious[6]. Bonesaw's alterations gave Ashley the ability to control her power, at the cost of her becoming even more of a monster.[6][2][10]



Ashley triggered when she tried to save her mother from being beaten to death by her enraged father and was backed into a corner, surrounded by chaos. With her new uncontrolled power, she killed her father and, accidentally while checking on her, her mother. Her trigger event affected her emotionally on a fundamental level, and she fled her former home with whatever she could carry and not accidentally obliterate.

Ashley spent years of her life on the streets trying to make it into the cape scene in a large city like Boston, but she lacked the ability to see those dreams through and failed to do so multiple times.[1]

Story Start Edit

Damsel of Distress was one of the three parahumans operating in the small town of Stafford, New Hampshire.[5]

Damsel of Distress has tried to become a notable villain in a big city such as Boston a few times, but she was never quite able to cut it and always had to come back[6]. She had an ongoing feud with Licit and Edict, which was part of a long-term effort by the PRT to recruit a powerful Blaster.[5]

Post-Echidna Edit

When they left Brockton Bay, the remaining members of the Slaughterhouse Nine went to recruit her. It is unknown if she joined willingly or was coerced.[9]

Bonesaw made one of her "toys" for Damsel by augmenting her arms to give her more control over her powers. With these newly upgraded powers, she was able to easily cut her way through several powerful Ambassadors.[3]

In her confrontation with Blasto, Defiant killed his fellow cyborg using nano-thorns he installed in his own artificial limbs.[3][9]

Post-Timeskip Edit

During the several months that Bonesaw spent trying to clone members of the Slaughterhouse Nine, she made several attempts with Damsel, including a version of her that had triggered far too young to be of much use.[4]

Several clones of Damsel were successfully made for the Slaughterhouse Nine-Thousand, with some tweaking to ensure loyalty.[4]

Golden Morning Edit

Two surviving instances of Damsel were located when Khepri took control of the remaining parahumans in an attempt to end Gold Morning.[11]


References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Damsel of Distress Character Sheet
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Damsel [of Distress]'s power warps reality in a chaotic way. Rip, tear, punch through, twist, melt, whatever, everything in a cone-shaped blast, capable of punching through walls. Super high recoil, to the point that she has a minor mover power. She has power incontinence and can't control the minor flare-ups of her power 100%, leading to her destroying utensils and food - due to her twisted mentality and emotions, she generally responds by not eating to avoid the embarrassment of such failures. Her passenger drives her to be ambitious, fighting to be on top, and sabotages her more when she fails to be, perpetuating (along with the malnutrition) the strings of near-misses. She's pretty much driven to do the evil villain monologues, because it's a drug-like relief from the constant pressure the passenger puts on her to establish her superiority. Bonesaw gave her the ability to control the power, at the cost of her becoming even more of a monster. - Comment by Wildbow on Spacebattles
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Interlude 19.x
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Interlude 25
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Damsel of Distress. Triggered at a young age, and is currently a mentally unbalanced supervillain without a proper home or secret identity. Has a short-range blaster power with brutal recoil, which she has learned to use in a limited mover capacity. Suffers from power incontinence that kicks in to produce blasts when using her hands for simple tasks like eating or dressing herself, and the aforementioned mental problems, with megalomania and the compulsion to grind her enemies into the dirt and monologue at them rather than finish them off. Dangerous, scary, but effectively kept down and out by the aforementioned pair and by her being her own worst enemy. Conducts periodic nocturnal raids for food and supplies (with PRT-provided insurance reimbursing more than enough for lost goods), keeps to her own, and only really causes problems when the stars align in a certain way, once every eight to twelve months - she gets restless and talks herself into something, or local hooligans think that being her henchmen is a ticket to money, giving her resources to work with, and she decides to rob a bank or pick a fight. Fighting Edict and Licit is frustrating and humiliating, however, and that really chafes with her overblown sense of pride, so she usually keeps her head down for a long while after trying something. The only other real problem is when she decides to find her way to another city or region, such as going to Boston and trying to make a name for herself. This is largely why the PRT office and the two local capes keep tabs on her - to head her off and to let others know what's going on and how best to handle it.

    Given Damsel's lack of life experience, she doesn't think to question why the building she's squatting in has power, water, and cable hooked up to it - one of a dozen small things the local office looks after to keep her comfortable and pacified. The individuals in the local office maintain regular correspondence with other offices (mainly the Boston department) and, given that they think they can turn her to the side of good with time, allowing her to develop some maturity, or catching her in the right mood on the right day, they mostly minimize the danger she poses and approach her now and again to try coaxing her or plant the idea of becoming a hero in her mind. Another comment by Wildbow on Reddit
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 Comment by Wildbow on Reddit
  7. 16.y (Donation Interlude 2; Defiant)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Wildbow's Parahuman List
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Cast (in depth)
  10. One of them is a platinum blonde girl with power incontinence. She warps space and she destroys utensils and tools, and it gets worse when she's stressed. She's losing weight because eating is hard, and she has a peculiar stubbornness that has her just skip meals rather than deal with the embarassment of having a fork explode in her face. Your focus is fixing that power issue, with the secondary goal of working with that peculiar stubbornness - she's ambitious, and your psychiatrist directs her attention there, to long-term goals, to look toward the future rather than struggle with the present. - Comment by Wildbow on Spacebattles
  11. Speck 30.4

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