Tōng Líng Tǎ (通灵塔), also known as Ziggurat, is a Yàngbǎn cape.

Appearance & EquipmentEdit

Ziggurat is described as a thin Chinese woman, wearing black robes and heavily adorned with makeup.[3] Allegedly she never appears in public.[2]

Abilities and PowersEdit

Sent out terrain altering pulses that shaped it to her design. Within her scope raise new buildings, restructure existing ones[4] including the direct control of the features of the building,[5] or raze structures entirely. This allows her to maintain and clean specific CUI prisons with out risking guards dealing with the occupants.[6]

Though she was considered to be too slow to use in a fast moving battle situation,[2] still she was able to trap Lung. During the End of the World she created an entire palace for the CUI's ruling elite.[1]



Active in China in the early 2000s. There she was able to trap Lung, ensuring that he could not escape when he broke out of the prison he had been contained in.[6]

Was employed to capture Lung, and maintained his Mountain Prison.[6]

Story StartEdit

Despite this earlier action she was considered a high value asset, and was not risked overseas operations by the Yàngbǎn.[2]

Gold MorningEdit

Created a new palace for the Chinese Royal Family on a world the CUI had seized from other countries.[1] She presumably survived the event.


  • This cape shares their name with an early draft of Worm.
  • Since Chinese is prone to use compound words/sentences extensively instead of loaning words, it is tricky to produce literal translations, so Tōng Líng Tǎ would approximate to "the tower to communicate with the spirits".[Note 1] For comparison, Jīn zì xíng shén tǎ (金字形神塔), which would be a more specific and formal term for Ziggurat, would approximate to "The golden god tower", where "golden" (Jīn zì) could be splintered further into "gold symbol"[Note 2] and "god" (xíng shén) is more of "avatar, embodiment of spirit".[Note 3]
  • Though some readers believe that she is one of the first Cauldron test subjects along with Doormaker, Eidolon and Hero, with her being the one who made and regularly cleans,[7] the Cauldron Compound, this remains unconfirmed.[8]


  1. Information source, notice the ouija comparison.
  2. With all connotations of wealth and nobility, so Jīn zì tǎ by itself would mean "pyramid", while Jīn tǎ would be literal golden stupa.
  3. Wildbow seems to have "goofed" here with neologism/google translate and formal term would be more thematically relevant. Additionally, is a loan word itself, which is mildly entertaining. Given that Yàngbǎn are a group of assimilated international capes this may make some sense.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 There was a member of the C.U.I. who was officially known as Ziggurat, though she was really ‘Tōng Líng Tǎ’ to her allies and countrymen. She’d used her power to erect stone walls and start the construction of a palace for the Imperial family. Three walls stretched between three impressive towers, with the palace at the center of the acres of empty space within. - Excerpt form Speck 30.3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Others included Tōng Líng Tǎ, who had a power that was too slow to use, not worth the fractional decrease in power that came with including her in the network, Shén yù, the strategist, and Jiǎ, the tinker that supplied the C.U.I. with its devices, including the simulations for the drills. - Excerpt form Interlude 23
  3. 3.0 3.1 They were joined by others. Shén Yù the strategist was a surprisingly young man, wearing a black robe that was as straight and narrow as he was. He was focused on a small tablet computer. Beside him was Jiǎ, the imperial family’s tinker, and surely the individual who had set up the kaleidoscope effect, throwing off would-be assassins and intruders. Tōng Líng Tǎ was there as well, a very thin Chinese woman with a black robe and heavily painted face. - Excerpt form Speck 30.3
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tong Ling Ta/Ziggurat Produced shaker waves that altered terrain within their scope, raising, restructuring, or leveling buildings. - Parahuman List, bolded edit by Wildbow.
  5. Ziggurat closed up every window and door. The ring of Yàngbǎn members was standing now, on alert. - Excerpt form Speck 30.3
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The ensuing war had ended with Lung being placed in higher security, until he fought the man who’d brought him food, very nearly escaping before Tōng Líng Tǎ, who never showed herself, encased him in a mountain of stone.

    All in all, three years since he’d fought Leviathan. Two years since he and his mother had come here to Chaohu. A year and eight months since he’d been arrested by the Yàngbǎn.

    A year and four months since Tōng Líng Tǎ had buried him here at the base of this pit, with the same routine. Twice a day, he would get two packages with food. Every day, he would pace, trying to tap into his abilities, finding them beyond his reach. He would struggle, fume, scream, and wonder if he was going mad with the solitude. Sometimes it rained, and he found himself knee deep in water. Sometimes it was cold enough he couldn’t sleep. Always, he was here, in a pit so deep that the hole at the top looked no larger than his handspan when he held his hand overhead.

    Every seven days, Tōng Líng Tǎ used her powers on the walls. The floor, she left alone, but the walls were wiped clean, her power to manipulate stone turning the four impossibly tall walls of Lung’s cell into flawlessly smooth surfaces. She would absorb any and all of the trash that remained from his meals, any of the wildlife that had accidentally found their way into the pit, and all of Lung’s leavings, which he customarily left in one corner of his cell.

    Every fourteen days, like clockwork, the Yàngbǎn opened communications.

    Lung was waiting, waiting for Tōng Líng Tǎ to use her power. Like a ripple traveling over the surface of water, he could see her power extend down the walls of his cell. It touched the base of the wall and traveled along the floor.

    Lung didn’t resist as the ground swept over his legs, trapping him from the knee down. - Excerpt from Interlude 22.y
  7. It looked like a hospital, but not an abandoned one. Things were pristine, the walls and tiled floor a clean, untouched white. It wasn’t a place that had been left to deteriorate. The stark, clean nature of the place made for a contrast where the damage had been done. There were gouges in the walls, things torn free from walls and ceilings. Scorch marks, from both acid and fire, and damaged chairs, cabinets and lockers.
    The longer I looked, the less it seemed like a hospital, and the less real it seemed. It was more like someone had taken sections of a hospital, removing everything like the nurse’s stations and the rooms for the patients, leaving only the hallways and doors that sat flush against the floor, airtight. I would have thought it was all staged, but a check with my bugs confirmed that there was a minimum of dust even in places people wouldn’t be able to see.

    Why take that much time to clean areas that were never going to get used? - Excerpt from Venom 29.4
  8. A man who can invent, a girl who can teleport… she could go down the list and figure each of them out, by posing it as a challenge to her power. Only one was a little harder to figure out, coming with a fog around him.


    And the last… a boy, staring off into the distance.

    She asked her power, and she got her answer.

    He could make doors.


    It’s a step forward, she told herself.

    A step forward, in a long series of steps.

    She rejoined the others.

    The Doctor was touching a block of stone that had risen from the floor. “-a complex, for our labs and research.”

    “Most definitely,” a woman answered her. “If you can do this for more people, I’d forget about the limit on how long I have to work.”

    The Doctor allowed herself a smile. Her eyes met Contessa’s.

    One step forward.

    “You’re heroes, as far as I’m concerned,” the blond man said. - Excerpt from Interlude 29