S is for Scudder:

Scudder was a member of the 1st Canadian Depot Battalion, stationed in the Ukraine. While in Europe, his paths crossed with Lucious Belyakov, an opposing Avatar, and Ernst Lodz. He tried to pass on his boon to Lodz so that he could free himself of the burden of being an Avatar, but the encounter left Lodz blind instead. Scudder evaded Belyakov's pursuits by hiding within the Hyde & Teller Co. in America, working the Geek Show. By the time Management had acquired the company, Scudder had disappeared. In present times, Ben discovers Scudder's death mask at The Crone's house, which suggests that Scudder is dead. Others insist Scudder is alive.

"On the heels of the skirmish man foolishly called The War to End all Wars, the dark one sought to elude his destiny and live as a mortal. So he fled across the ocean to the empire called America. But by his mere presence, a cancer corrupted the spirit of the land." - Gospel of Matthias (201)


T is for Trinity:

On July 16, 1945, 210 miles south of Los Alamos in a remote corner of the Alamagordo Bombing Range, The Trinity Test ended The Age of Wonder and begat The Age of Reason. It is this moment in history that Belykaov warns Ben he must prevent. The elder Avatar does not elaborate as to why, but modern scholars speculate that the "false sun exploding over trinity" marked the end of all Avatars and magicks.

"A weapon. A false sun wrought by the hands of men. It is the last link in a chain of events unfolding even as we speak. You must break that chain. You can't run from this. Millions will die. If you try to escape your destiny, the world will not escape its terrible fate." - Belyakov (201)


U is for The Usher

Smith informs Justin that he must kill Scudder to receive Scudder's boon and become The Usher, an especially powerful being that can only be felled by the precise thrust of an anointed blade. The manifestation of The Usher is the first sign of the Apolcaypse. To Ben, he appears in visions as a man with a tree tattooed on his chest. Samhain Necrotus. Khaybet, lord of shadows. A thousand names in a thousand books, but they all mean the same: The Usher of Destruction.

"Behold The Usher. A dark heart dwells where branches meet. Anointed dagger, plunge thee deep." – Belyakov (208)


V is for Vectori:

According to Avataric texts, children born within a dynasty other than first-born males (i.e., any girls) are classified Vectori. Iris Crowe is a Vectorus. She has no powers, but she carries within her Avataric blood. If she ever bore a son, he would become an Avatar like Justin. However, like Emma Hilton (The Crone) giving birth to an Avatar would leave Iris insane and/or barren. But Iris is more than a custodian of Avataric blood. She is her brother's trusted confidant and guardian. Everything she does, she does for Justin.

"There were two children. A boy. A girl. Immigrants from Russia. And they were traveling with their mother by train. One night, there was a terrible accident. A bridge collapsed and the train went down into the water. There were no survivors except the boy and the girl. By God's divine mercy, they survived, washed up on a riverbank." - Iris (107)


W is for The Wilderness:

Just as Jesus, full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, so too was Justin led from the ashes of the Dignity Ministry into his own wilderness. Standing on a bridge over a river, he remembers when as a boy he survived a train accident and came upon an injured man. Afraid, Justin used his abilities to break the man's neck. This recollection nearly drives Justin to suicide, but police pull him back before he can jump from the bridge. Justin is committed to Sherwood State Hospital for observation. The doctor in charge of his case explains that Justin's treatments are not intended to be punitive. Pain is an unavoidable side effect.

"Up and down the Golden State, one burning question has crossed the lips of men, women, and children alike... white, black, brown and yellow. A question that has been scrawled on water towers, boxcars and bridge abutments from Crescent City to Calexico. A question that has become a rallying cry for the disenfranchised: 'Where are you, Brother Justin?'" - Tommy (108)


X, Y, Z is for ???

(I couldn't think of anything that starts with those letters, so here's a gratituous shot of Libby. Remember, the performance stops if anyone touches the girls. NO REFUNDS.)

"Just feast your eyes on this Northern Italian beauty. This is the woman all the men in town been talkin about. She's gonna shake it. She's gonna break it. She's gonna tear it down to the ground, because Miss Francesca here is so, so hot, she's gonna put blisters on your eyeballs." - Stumpy (102)