Many of the rank-and-file focus on petty larceny and similar, it's only the higher up members that engage in actual felonies like murder. Unpredictable members are known to do things like hijack radio broadcasts to praise the endbringers for killing unbelievers. Kidnap heroes to try and induct them into the family.
Are allegedly incestuous, supposedly to increase the possibility of having powered children, regardless they have several very powerful members in their group. Members are frequently swapped around to provide greater manpower for physically weaker factions.
Whether or not all of them actually believe in things like, "humanity deserves to be wiped out, so-and-so deserved to die at the hands of Behemoth, or the world would be a paradise if the Simurgh were to achieve full influence". Varies between each member.
They generally take their names from demons, devils, and other unkind spirits or actions. Examples include Valefor, named for a spirit of classical demonology, and Scratch, as in Old Scratch another name for the Devil in the Old South.
The Fallen are an interrelated group of families powered and un-powered, based in the southern states that essentially function as terrorist cells, being multiple self-motivated groups with a unifying direction. with a mix of normal and parahuman members. They are divided between three branches each roughly corresponding to the "worship" of a specific endbringer.
Groups tend to are largely independent of each other. This extends to costume choices, some dressing up in elaborate superhero costumes while others largely keep to civilian cloths only using masks or tattoos to distinguish themselves as capes.
Depends on how active and dangerous each individual group actually is. While action against the fallen is usually met with approval they have not been removed yet thanks to the villain group being a flexible decentralized organization.
No member of the Fallen is on record has having actually tried to break the Unwritten Rules by attacking during an endbringer attack, such as to assist the Endbringer in their goal. However they have not followed the unwritten rules by trying to fight one either.
Kidnapped a group of Wards with the intention of marrying them off to members of the Fallen.
↑From the PRT Case Files... ◈ The Fallen are a criminal group that exists primarily in the Southeastern United States, but possess reach and influence well beyond these locations. The group has openly committed virtually every crime on the book, with an emphasis toward kidnapping, property damage, assault and murder. The group achieved international notoriety with its apparent worship and adulation of the Endbringers, high media visibility, cult-like tactics and periodic kidnapping of notable figures. The Fallen remain in the top five of the PRT’s priority targets and in the top fifteen targets for organized superhero groups worldwide. It is estimated as fourth largest parahuman organization in North America. The Fallen are organized into a loose family structure, with three primary branches. Each branch devolves into sub-families and extended families, and due to a combination of parahuman powers, a very loose cell structure and diehard loyalty, tracing down and eliminating the core leadership has proved fruitless. Splinter groups and offshoots are common, and when recruitment doesn’t prioritize the young and impressionable (see kidnapping, below), it favors the ultraviolent, anti-establishment, and unhinged.
... ◈ Currently [As of timeskip] the Fallen maintain three family branches, hereafter referred to as the McVeay, Crowley, and the Mathers families. Each of the families (very) loosely affiliates themselves with one of the three Endbringers, likely with their meetings, rituals, or inter-family language playing into this and reinforcing it.
Valefor's family branch, the Mathers (led by his mom), is the sort to use master powers to control others. They're the 'Simurgh' branch.--Wildbow on Reddit
↑ 2.02.12.2The Fallen – Based in Southern states, the Fallen are a gang of alleged Endbringer-worshippers, though many surmise this is simply a way of garnering attention. Most members tend toward vandalism and petty theft, with only the more prominent, higher-up members actually committing murder or trying higher-end crimes. Allegedly commit incest to better their chances at giving birth to more capes.---Cast (in depth)
↑ 3.03.13.23.33.43.5-The Fallen ( A gang of Endbringer cultists. I love the idea of a cult in the Wormverse )
Similar to the Herren Clan, they're a group of families with some members having powers, based around the southern states. They figured out that people with powers tend to have kids with powers, and are making the most of it. This leads to families with strong threads of a particular power type running through them. Coin toss as to whether a given member believes what the cult is saying or not, that humanity deserves to be wiped out, so-and-so deserved to die at the hands of Behemoth, or the world would be a paradise if the Simurgh were to achieve full influence, if we only let it. It's telling, perhaps, that they don't actively interfere when the Endbringers come rolling around, though they might celebrate from the sidelines and try to get media attention. They're loosely based on the Westboro Baptist Church - they want attention and the Endbringers are a sore spot for the vast majority of people around the world, an easy target. Depending on the family and the area, the approach differs. One might commandeer a radio station and and spewing vitriol over the airwaves, praising the latest Endbringer attack for the casualties. Another might call in another family from another area, then raid a small town with two or so heroes (or bait out a hero) to kidnap the heroes and induct them into the family, so there's more powers running through the bloodline. They're hard to stamp out, unpredictable, and tend to live on the fringes of society, where they're harder to track and heroes need to devote far more effort to squirreling them out. There's also a tendency to give more power to the lunatics and assholes, because it furthers their nebulous agenda. In a more abstract sense, shards love conflict, and the fallen are very good at feeding it, so the fallen get rewarded by the shards. Breadth and depth.Comments by Wildbow on information regarding secondary characters, archived on Spacebattles
↑ 4.04.1At this stage, PRT assets are tied up following the ramifications and ripple effects of the Echidna incident. Chicago is dealing with the loss of Myrddin, so can't really send people.
More like the PRT puts out the call, heroes volunteer, and heroes that are 'floating' (that is, not assigned to a department or office due to juggling of rosters) might well volunteer for the task.
That's the good news. Bad news? This kind of incident has happened before - so something like it could still happen in your campaign. Even with the PRT devoting resources & tons of public pressure, it was an uphill battle to find the kids. The Fallen are slippery, and the reason they haven't been wiped off the map is that they utilize a cell structure and have some cover from parahuman abilities. Valefor's mom in particular. A thinker doesn't want to go scanning tracts of rural/unpopulated area for missing kids if it means a chance of seeing her looking back at them. Because if they do, then they'll likely end up in a brief coma followed by a year and a half of something like being convinced the walls are bleeding spiders. She has kids with buds from the same shard and farms them out to other branches of the family in exchange for some muscle (Eligos being some of that). Not that same degree of punishment or screening, but stuff in that general vein.
If you set things earlier, then Myrddin still has stuff to deal with, and but it's liable to be a more organized team with more inherent teamwork, and higher expectations they'll be able to find the kids, before realizing it's tricky & there are traps in wait. As a GM, it would be left more up to the PCs as the larger groups run into stumbling blocks.--
Wildbow on Reddit
↑Powers are more diverse than that for a family unit. Lots of intermarriage and cross-budding. See the Fallen of Wichita here - a background information document for a Weaverdice player who was playing a recently triggered member of the family. Gives a sense of who they are, how they operate, lots of inter-family politics, etc. Some of the stuff there is based on stuff they shared about personality (reaction to Rosier), other stuff written with the fact that the character is a teenager in mind (focus on girls). Heavy undercurrent of energy manipulation for this subset of the McVeays, but there's some emotion manipulation, teleportation, master stuff, and other stuff in the midst of it. This particular family, who has thus far just been a bunch of dealers and heavy-hitting troublemakers on the periphery of Wichita, is undergoing a shift in leadership and consequently, a shift in methodology. What he's seeing going on in the background is a lot of the old deals re: marriage being invalidated, and shuffled around. Brother being proposed for marriage with sister (Gressil and Rosier, for example) - and if the families don't like that... they can step up and kidnap prospective husbands and wives for the kids. Sights thus fall on the local junior heroes as the family starts to talk themselves into this. Not sharing Valefor's mom's power, as she's interesting enough I want to keep her in my back pocket.--
Wildbow on Reddit
↑ 6.06.1Keep in mind, though, that many big cities will leech parahumans from surrounding areas. So the top 75 or so cities in the US have more parahumans. The smaller cities have less.
Kansas City (#36 in the US) has a higher population, helped by the fact that it's drawing in more people. I wouldn't call it one of the 'smaller cities' for parahuman numbers, as a result. Only St. Louis and Wichita are sorta-kinda bringing in the random parahumans from nearby regions.
I would peg it as being around the same numbers as Brockton Bay pre-Leviathan fight. Maybe a few more. There's a population of Fallen nearby to blame for the 'few more' - primarily Valefor's mom & that family branch.
In my notes for Kansas City, the Fallen raided the city to pull off a distraction and then another contingent kidnapped a group of Wards, with intention of marrying them into the Fallen. International attention ensues. This could be a background event or event for the players to deal with.--
Wildbow on Reddit
↑The Fallen must not have been terribly far behind him, as they arrived less than a minute after he did. Valefor and Eligos.
Valefor wore a delicate-looking mask without eye-holes: a woman’s upper face with closed eyes. Beneath the mask, he had a sly, perpetual smirk with tattoos that colored his lips black and extended from the corners. The ink depicted fangs poking from thin lips that nearly reached his jaw, the points alternating up and down. His costume was almost effeminate, with white and silver feathers featuring heavily on flowing white clothes that clung to his narrow body, including a corset that drew his waist in.
The costume was meant to invoke images of the Simurgh, no doubt. Crass. Eligos’ costume wasn’t so fine, suited more for a brawl, but it, too, conjured up thoughts of an Endbringer: the Behemoth. Obsidian horns that swooped back over his head, heavy armor that resembled rhino hide in texture and claws built into his gloves.-- Excerpt from 20.y (Interlude; Accord)
↑The Fallen were the subject of an early draft of my superhero writing (centered around a character that happened to be named Imp). They came up while I was discussing other groups in the setting with Gavin Williams, I was thinking of who to inject here, and decided to go with one I’d already fleshed out some. - Comment by Wildbow on Chrysalis 20.1