From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Beware the Rustling of Leaves…|
|Player: @USA Steel|
|Known Aliases:||Demon Tree, Evil Tree, Woodman, Barkman, The Forest Terror, Vineman, Creeping Death|
|Species:||Cursed Tree Spirit|
|Eye Color:||White Glowing|
|Occupation:||Murderous Entity, Rogue|
|Place of Birth:||Unknown|
|Base of Operations:||None|
|Known Relatives:||Plant life|
|Plant Control, Thorny Assault, Concealment, Fitness, Teleportation, Presence|
|Photosynthesis, Plant Control, Indestructibility, Transplantation, Stealth, Domination, Plant Manifestations|
DISCLAIMER: Although some of the corporate entities mentioned in this profile are based on real entities, the stories involving this character and said companies are complete works of fiction. Any similarities to these stories, real or otherwise, are completely coincidental.
Imagine a world where your worst fears and most vivid nightmares are not in your imagination. A world, where a simple stroll through the midnight wood is one of the most terrifying moments in your limited and short earthly life.
The Birchman is the manifestation of our worst fears. A being of terrible malice and hate, the Birchman's purpose on Earth is to destroy all that does not derive sustenance from photosynthesis. The Birchman is not a man or a woman; but a thing: merciless and horrific in its malcontent.
Incapable of feeling remorse or guilt, The Birchman stalks mankind and their beasts of burden with a cold, alien ferocity. Indeed, the Birchman is a being capable of causing great harm to all that walk and breathe on this good Earth.
The sole purpose of this cursed being is to transform all life on Earth into plant life. To this end, the Birchman is capable of implanting spores into a host(s) that slowly and painfully transforms the victim(s) into plant life. This process usually renders the victim mindless or insane, at best; the original consciousness lost to nature’s unforgiving evolutionary hand.
The Birchman has come into existence as a direct result of the actions of mankind. It cannot be denied the sheer magnitude of destruction that mankind has wrought on its environment. The forests that enshroud our entire planet are being destroyed by the actions of mankind. The very soul of the Earth is being snuffed out by pollution, acid rain, industrial waste, and deforestation. It should, then, be no surprise that Mother Nature lashes back with a vengeance!
As a result of these actions of mankind, Mother Nature has created the Birchman to punish mankind for his ignorance and stupidity. The Birchman has been formed from the very Earth itself and embodies the wrath of nature in the form of a horrid, humanoid form. The Birchman represents the darkest will of Mother Nature. Twisted and evil beyond human comprehension, the Birchman manifests the rage and despair of years of abuse heaped upon the Earth by man.
The activities of mankind that have brought about the existence of the Birchman are too numerous to be listed completely on any one website or forum. Below are, merely, a few examples of events that have ultimately led to the creation of the Birchman. These specific events have sent ripples through the Umbra and catalyzed the formation of the malevolent Birchman…
In the hot month of June in Eastern Arizona in 2002, the greed of mankind became apparent; the forest silently screamed in pain as fire scorched away the bark from every tree across the vast, Arizona forest: turning green, lush forest into burning cinders.
The Rodeo-Chediski Fire, which burned almost half a million acres of forest in Arizona from June 18th, 2002 until July 7th, 2002, was the result of arson from the greedy Cibecue resident, Leonard Gregg. Gregg had hoped that the fire would be his easy ticket to fame and a new career as a fire fighter for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Although he did get to fight the fire that he started, his ultimate delusion of grandeur would have a deus ex machine, which he had not intended.
Although Gregg was imprisoned for his actions, the Arizona forest is now a shadow of its former self. This forest fire was one of the worst cases of arson ever recorded, and the results were catastrophic on the Arizona ecosystem. Mother Nature does not easily forget such mass murders at the hands of men…
Like many of the forests in present day Germany, the Black Forest is plagued by air pollution from industrialization. Environmental studies have shown that as many as half the trees in the Black Forest and other wooded areas have been damaged by acid rain from automobile emissions and long-distance industrial pollution. The Black Forest is slowly dieing over years of exposure to atmospheric emissions from power plants and other industrial sources of pollution.
Thousands of trees stand dead in the Black Forest. The actions of mankind have ruined what was once a lush, beautiful forest. The Black Forest is now a forest graveyard: dead and lifeless.
Acid Rain is yet another contributing factor for nature’s retribution against mankind.
The Chernobyl catastrophe contaminated about 125,000 km2 of land in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia with radiocesium levels greater than 37 kBq/m2, and about 30,000 km2 with radiostrontium greater than 10 kBq/ m2. About 52,000 m2 of this total were in agricultural use; the remainder was forest, bodies of water and urban centres. The migration of these radioactive metals into soils and ground waters has had catastrophic affects on the Eurasian ecosystem. plants and animals were both affected.
The radionuclides are generally confined to particles with a matrix of Uranium (IV) Oxide, graphite, ferrite ceramic alloys, silicate-rare earth, and silicate combinations of these materials. The movement of these radionuclides in the soil not only depends on the soil characteristics but also on the chemical breakdown of these complexes by oxidation to release more mobile forms. The bulk of the fission products are distributed between organo-mineral and mineral parts of the soil largely in humic complexes, where they are taken in by plant-life through their root systems. These radionuclides have poisoned plant and animal life through the entire Chernobyl area and have significantly contaminated neighbouring regions.
Chernobyl is a scar on the face of the Earth. The abandoned reactor stands as a haunting image and reminder of the stupidity and ignorance of mankind. This open wound has yet to heal, but, rather, has festered as Mother Nature seeks retribution for such a travesty. The Birchman is this retribution seeking to punish those responsible for such a mockery against Mother Nature.
The Kentucky landscape at grid 71, coordinate B-10 is one of millions of examples of humankind stripping the lush land clear of all life in an effort to extract resources from the Earth. The great rising summit, now known as the Lost Mountain, stands as a mark- a scar if you will- of mankind’s butchery of the beautiful forests of the Earth. What was once a vast, untamed wilderness is now a barren mountain of bare soil and earth. Even the trees that died many eons ago are not exempt from the continuing desecration of the land, as their ancient carcasses, in the form of coal, are extracted to be burned in the fires of industry and commerce.
Appalachia’s cries did not go unheard. Nature is always eager to demonstrate the smallness of man.
At a distant glance, the Birchman appears to be a tall, lanky humanoid. As it approaches closer, the stride appears almost mechanical and stiff, but brisk and aggressive. Indeed, the gnarled form of wood and plants is golem-like in its movements. In twilight, the eyes of the Birchman glow with the white of unearthly light. As it approaches, still closer, the Birchman’s physical details are a visage of terror and nightmare.
The Birchman is, essentially, a composite of plants and plant materials assembled and governed by a sinister, malevolent spirit of nature. The Birchman is a reflection- a kind of backlash- of nature against the actions of man. Its very visage toils with a deep agony. One look upon it and the onlooker is overcome with a dark empathy; of Mother Nature screaming in pain. Dead leaves constantly swirl around the sinister automaton, and the air smells of dead wood, as the Birchman approaches the onlooker. Although the Birchman is incapable of feeling remorse, the leaves that coat his skin surface seem to shimmer with an otherworldly life, and respond to the creature’s emotional state with varying movements.
The Birchman’s appearance varies each time it manifests as a physical entity. The physical form of the Birchman is comprised of a composite of local flora drawn into the spirit’s corpus upon formation. Typically, its form consists of leaves and bark, but may also include cacti bristles, pine needles, and flowers, among other plant materials. The construction of this physical form is always horrific in its form. The leaves on its skin surface often shake and shimmer, giving a constant sound of rustling leaves.
The sight of this creature is enough to haunt any onlooker for months to come. Some who have viewed the creature have, actually, gone insane. Those, that have encountered the Birchman and lived to tell the tale, are almost always scarred mentally from the experience. Seeing trees or hearing the sound of blowing leaves is typically enough to drive such survivors over the edge.
The Birchman has a plant-like physiology; however, it is unlike any normal living thing, plant or otherwise, on Earth. Since the Birchman is a manifestation of nature’s wrath, it is to be considered a revenant for all intents and purposes. Essentially, the Birchman appears as a vague humanoid figure, purposely, to tap into mankind’s primal fears.
The Birchman is an abomination: a combination of plants, roots, and barks formed into a misshapen human visage, as if nature just angrily slapped the being together on some sort of twisted primordial workbench. Therefore, the Birchman’s appearance varies from time to time depending on the foliage present at the moment of the creature’s formation.
For extended stints, the Birchman may not be seen, as its form melds back into the environment. It is only when nature wishes to punish mankind that the Birchman will manifest, usually on a full moon night. Until the next full moon, the Birchman will wreak havoc on all trappings of mankind. During this time, the Birchman has, at its disposal, all forms of lethal methods native to the most lethal forms of plant-life on Earth. Poisons, thorns, vines, acid excretions, and neurotoxic pollens are all at the Birchman’s disposal. The creature is capable of applying any of these lethal properties to maximum effect on its victims.
The Birchman does not need to eat or sleep like humans do. Although, it is quite capable of devouring flesh to regenerate its corpus, should it sustain physical damage. This ability has been adapted from carnivorous plant-life. In most cases, the Birchman will simply murder and/or mutilate anything in its path. However, the methods and style of these executions are always extremely brutal and very painful. The Birchman has no feelings of remorse for the agony of its victims. If anything, it chooses the most painful and agonizing methods to murder it’s prey.
Personality and Reputation
Unlike most humanoid or alien superheroes and super villains, the Birchman cannot be described by normal personality characteristics. As an otherworldly entity, the Birchman doesn’t “think” in the same manner as humanoids do. Instead, it is a being dictated by the residual karma of mankind’s evil. All the evil that man has wrought on the forests of the Earth has coalesced to create the monstrosity that is the Birchman. The Birchman is pure malice in physical form. It acts through raw purpose and nothing else. None of its actions are premeditated. The creature acts on hateful impulse; slaying all that walks its path.
Dr. Michael Stone’s Scale of Evil
If the Birchman were to be classified in any way, it would be through the Dr. Michael’s Scale of Evil, rather than the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator used to describe mundane human life. On the Dr. Michael Scale of Evil, the Birchman would be rated an 18, out of 22. This ranks the Birchman among torture murderers with murder as the primary objective. Any being, even one with super powers, would be a fool to try to reason with a creature as monstrous as the malevolent Birchman.
Goals and Motivations
The Birchman’s purpose is to bring about complete destruction to all non-plant life. In addition, it seeks to “infect” humankind with genetic mutagenic spores that mutate man into plant. These two primary goals shape the activities of the Birchman in the Rogue Isles and the Paragon City limits. Secondary goals include torture and mutilation. Because the Birchman does not have “feelings” in the same vein as humans or animals, torture is not necessarily a sadistic tendency; rather, it is a random event that depends on the degree of negative karma surrounding a victim. The more harm a victim has done to plant life, the more painful and gruesome is the victims’ demise. Thus, mankind shapes the brutality of the Birchman.
Powers and Abilities
The Birchman can derive energy from photosynthesis like any species of green plant. As a result, the creature does not need to eat or sleep like other beings. In addition, the Birchman can draw upon this energy to unleash vicious attacks against its foes.
The Birchman is able to control plants and their growth to a masterful level of proficiency beyond the level of any beings on Earth. This ability appears to be empathic in nature. Plant life cannot resist this control and will ALWAYS do the bidding of their master: The Birchman. In addition, nothing is able to break the Birchman’s control over plant-life. This control allows the Birchman to perform the following feats:
The Birchman can command plants in its vicinity to do its bidding. Tree branches will lash out; vines will ensnare; roots will grasp: all under the command of the Birchman. Plants controlled by the Birchman in this manner seem to be possessed with an otherworldly life. This facet of the control instills fear into the victim. Plants so-controlled are even able to exhibit abilities not normal to their species of flora.
Plant Transformation The Birchman can instantly mutate surrounding plant-life into other forms of plant-life. This ability appears to be empathic and requires a minimal amount of concentration from the creature. Any plant can be converted into another. In addition, plant-life can be converted into plant-life not normal to Earth’s ecosystem. What this means is that the Birchman can create aberrant plant-life capable of great harm to human-kind. Examples of these creations include, but are not limited too: giant mobile carnivorous plants, treants that move and attack with vicious force, giant flowers that spew forth toxic pollen, and thorny vines that shoot projectile poisonous thorns.
Plant Summoning The Birchman can summon various forms of plant-life from “thin air”. The creature can use this ability to summon mutated plant life as well as mundane plant life. These plants are under the complete control of the Birchman as per its plant control abilities.
Plant Possession The Birchman exists as both a malevolent spirit and a physical form. As a result, it is able to possess local plant life when not in its physical form. Doing so, allows the Birchman to covertly attack its prey. This form of assault sees limited use by the Birchman, since Earthly plant life has inherent limitations. None-the-less, this ability can serve the Birchman well, should the creature choose do utilize it.
The Birchman is not able to be destroyed by any known means. Although its physical body can be destroyed, this only delays the creature until the next full moon, in which case it reforms within any nearby moonlit forest. In order to delay the creature, as such, it must be completely destroyed with fire. Otherwise, it can disperse and reform instantaneously in any location he chooses. When it reforms, it is always fully healed; able to pursue any attacker with haste.
The Birchman can disperse into a swirl of leaves or a snake of roots, allowing it to move instantly from one location to another through air or earth. Because it is a being of spirit, the Birchman can also completely disperse and reform anywhere the creature so chooses. Essentially, the Birchman can “teleport” great distances, just as pollen or spores travel great distances.
The Birchman is a stealthy adversary. The creature is able to camouflage its physical form, easily, amongst the flora of most common landscapes. It can change its appearance blend into any natural habitat. In addition, the Birchman can discorporate its physical form and travel as a spirit amongst the world of men. This malevolent spirit is not capable of directly harming human life; however, the spirit of the Birchman can possess other plant life or recorporeate, as previously stated.
Nature’s Wrath (i.e. Domination)
As the Birchman assails its victims, it becomes stronger. The anguish and suffering of human life “feeds” the creature, making it even more formidable. The malevolent spirit of the Birchman wants nothing more than to destroy human life and bring suffering to all who go against the will of Mother Nature, herself. The more pain and suffering the creature has wrought, the more negative power the creature “leeches” and the more powerful it becomes. Such power allows the Birchman to burst forth into bouts of sheer, horrific ferocity. Nothing can stop the creature once it absorbs enough ambient, negative karma. It then becomes a relentless, killing machine.
The Birchman can manifest the abilities of plant life to assail its victims. These abilities are particularly nasty and tend to be extremely painful. The abilities are always of the most savage type, far exceeding the plant characteristics found in mundane nature.
Pollen The Birchman can emanate or project clouds, streams, or projectiles that give off pollen with varying effects. Such microgametophytes can have any number of toxic effects against human life. Such affects include, but are not limited too: Neurotoxins, Allergens, Poisons, Paralytics, Hallucinogens, and other effects. A near complete list of common effects able to be utilized by the Birchman can be found at Pioneer’s Toxic Plant List.
Spores The Birchman is able to use spores to actually mutate human life. Exposure to these spores has mutagenic effects that painfully transform human life into plant life, often with the loss of mental faculties. Such a transformation is horrific and leaves the victim under the power of the Birchman. There is no known cure for this type of infection, as it affects human DNA on a molecular level.
Toxins The Birchman can utilize toxins native to the plant kingdom. These toxins can have a variety of effects similar to those of pollen and spores. The effects are always of the most deadly type. These toxins often coat the Birchman’s thorny carapace, but can also be spewed or projected out. Normal humans can die painfully upon exposure to these toxins. Super heroes, when exposed to these toxins, are often disabled, and may experience great weakness and pain.
The Birchman’s physical form is suseptible to heat and fire attacks, since it is primarily composed of plant matter. The Birchman can heal this damage rapidly by sprouting new shoots from its body, so complete incineration is the only way to truly destroy the creature’s physical form.
Spirit of Nature
Because the Birchman is actually an otherworldly entity – a spirit of nature, it can be affected by magic and other divine manipulations that affect spirits. Necromantic incantations do not affect the Birchman, but shamanistic magic can manipulate and, even, combat the creature. This is not to say that a shaman can simply dominate the Birchman; however, shamans do have a definite advantage when dealing with this menace.
Chemicals and poisons that harm plants also harm the Birchman. Herbicides and other weed killers act as poisons on his corporeal form. Although this will not permanently destroy the Birchman, it will delay the creature by destroying its physical form.
The Rogue Knights
The sinister clone of the Grae Knight, Lord Grae, had heard of the slayings of the Birchman, and thought it best to harness the power of such a creature. In a stroke of pure genius, Lord Grae devised a manner to capture the spirit of the Birchman. Telepathically, the two conversed, and Lord Grae made it clear that he would assist the Birchman to annihilate those responsible for harming the Earth’s forests, but that he must serve the will of The Rogue Knights, as well. Of course, Lord Grae lied to the Birchman, and threatened that he had devised a method to destroy the spirit of the Birchman should he decline to join forces. So, for now, the Birchman is a servant to the evil schemes of Lord Grae and his dreaded Rogue Knights. Thus far, this alliance has paid off for both parties, but time will tell if the Birchman will uncover Lord Grae’s deception…
Lord Grae: The Lord of The Rogue Knights, and enslaver of the Birchman, Lord Grae has been spared by the Birchman… For now… Although he is the Birchman’s superior, the Birchman only truly answers to the call of Mother Nature and not Lord Grae. No mere man can ever hope to gain complete control over the Birchman. In time, the Birchman will discover Lord Grae’s lies. Only then, will Lord Grae learn the awesome power of nature’s fury…
Anti-Steam: This corruptor wields thermal energy powers and has managed to avoid being slain by the Birchman when assisting in the killing of innocents. Lord Grae has given specific orders for the Birchman not to destroy Anti-Steam, so he is safe… For now… Once Lord Grae’s lies are uncovered, Anti-Steam will suffer the same fate as his foolish master…
B-Ko: This mastermind has teamed up with the Birchman; however, the team-ups are a matter of coincidence. B-Ko is ignored by the Birchman, since he is, for all intents and purposes, a robot. Therefore, unless he damages the environment, or harms the Birchman, the creature does not view B-Ko as a threat or a concern.
Atrocities of the Birchman
WARNING: Contains highly offensive, but IN-CHARACTER, role-playing references to extreme acts of violence, murder, torture, and mutilation. DO NOT SCROLL DOWN IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH!
The Birchman is merciless in its slayings. Often, the brutality of the Birchman is of an extreme level unimagined even by the most sinister of human murderers. The creature tends to kill and torture its victims with an imaginative vigor and without mercy. Some examples of the Birchman’s sinister slayings include, but are not limited too:
The Wichita Family Masaquer
One of the most famous murders at the hands of the Birchman deals with the slaying of an entire family on the outskirts of the city of Wichita in the state of Kansas. The Krembel family consisting of Jim Krembel, his wife Jennifer Krembel and their three children, Katlyn, Jason, and Dominique, lived in the outlying rural area west of Wichita.
Jim Krembel was a contractor by trade, and had been responsible for a major deal to build a strip mall in a rural area outside the city limits. He and his company, Krembel Construction, were authorized to clear an area of forest considered sacred by the local Wichita Indians. In spite of warnings from these Native Americans, Jim acquired the necessary permits and continued with the forest clearing endeavor.
The Birchman enacted full revenge against Jim Krembel, his family, and all of the employees of Krembel Construction Company. The workers were targeted first. The Birchman proceeded to slaughter all of the workers, splattering their blood across the cleared land. No bodies were found because the Birchman ripped every person to shreds and mixed the bloody bits with the soft soil. The Birchman implanted the blood-soaked soil with various thorny plants that overgrew the entire area – their roots drinking the blood of the construction worker chum.
Jim Krembel’s family suffered a worse fate. The Birchman subdued the family with strangler vines and systematically killed each family member in a different way. Jennifer Krembel was force-fed pounds of walnuts (unshelled), of all things, until she exploded. Katlyn was skinned alive and covered with a new skin of tree bark. Jason was implanted with small shrubs that grew out of his body; their roots feeding off his blood. Dominique was impaled with cactus thorns over every inch of his body. The gruesome sight of his murdered family sent Jim into a mad panic when he arrived at home that night. The Birchman dragged him kicking and screaming to the work-site where he was crucified and left to die: Jim’s contract fulfilled.
The Louisiana Bloodbath
Calcasieu Parish is located in southwest Louisiana. The western border of the parish is the Texas state line and its southern border is just a few soggy miles from the Gulf of Mexico. There is a major east-west 1-10 interstate that runs directly through the parish and its major cities of Lake Charles, Westlake and Sulphur, as part of its connection between Jacksonville, Florida and Los Angeles, California. Access to the Gulf of Mexico was made possible more than 50 years ago when a ship channel was dug in the major north-south waterway called the Calcasieu Estuary. The Calcasieu Estuary is a 40+ mile-long network of bayous, lakes, and a river that flushes down from the north of Lake Charles directly to the Gulf of Mexico.
Numerous companies, including, but not limited too, Certainteed, Arco, CondeaVista, and Firestone, have polluted this area of Louisiana for years , and continue to do so. Calcasieu Parish is ranked in the 90th percentile in the United States for all five categories of high environmental releases of toxic chemicals, cancer risk related to toxic releases, air releases of recognized carcinogens, air releases of recognized developmental toxicants, and air releases of recognized reproductive toxicants. Many of the chemicals released have serious human health impacts. Towns such as Mossville have been devastated by the pollution that has devastated the region.
In the deep bayous of Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, men toiled with a labor of hate and ignorance in the dumping of hazardous wastes into the swamp where no human eye could see. But, the gleaming, soulless eyes of the Birchman are all seeing with the will of Mother Nature. In 2006, The Birchman systematically captured one corporate member from each of the 20 polluting companies of the area and murdered them in the swamps just outside of Mossville, Louisiana. The sight was horrific to behold as each member was gutted and drained of blood. Their entrails were then splattered through the trees in the nearby bog, and their blood was gathered into a giant wicker cauldron in the center of the bog. In blood, an inscription was written on a stolen company sign: “As Mother Nature bleeds, so does mankind”.
The North Carolina Smorgasbord
The swamps of North Carolina are home to many indigenous species of carnivorous plants, such as the Venus flytrap, the sundew, and pitcher plants. A dwindling 80 mile stretch of marshland is all there is for these carnivorous plants to inhabit. There are fewer pitcher plants, sundews, and Venus flytraps as a result of the shrinking wetlands territory. Darwin’s theory of evolution and Spencer’s survival of the fittest do not apply when technology’s steely hands tip the scales in mankind’s favor. Therefore, the unique carnivorous plants of the Carolinian wetlands are threatened because of the actions of man and the inactions of the state and local governments. Years of decimation of North Carolina’s wetlands have seeded roots of hatred in Mother Nature. Plant species such as the endangered green pitcher plant are in danger of extinction because of the actions of greedy investors and farmers in these and other wetland territories.
Yet, another famous slaying at the hands of the Birchman came as a direct result of the actions of a North Carolina meat packing company in the marshlands of North Carolina in August of 2002. Steakview Packing Company  was finally sentenced  by the State and Local governments after years of violations that directly harmed the wetlands. For conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act, Steakview Packing Comp., was sentenced to pay a $75,000 fine and serve five years probation on Aug. 5, 2002 in U.S. Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in Greenville. The defendant admitted that it conspired with its employees to intentionally discharge processing wastes from its facility through a drainage pipe into Tyson Marsh that empties into Contentnea Creek, which is a tributary of the Neuse River. The discharge of wastes into the wetlands promoted the growth of microorganisms such as Pfiesteria piscicida that are harmful to fish, wildlife, and humans. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center.
None of this matters to the Birchman, however. What does matter is that the Birchman sought to enact a more fitting punishment for the sins of mankind. A simple fine is meaningless in the eyes of Mother Nature. The Birchman bore its vengeful wrath on key corporate management members and key legislative officials. Some were simply slain off-site. Some were drowned in their own company’s waste discharge. The others were used to feed the Birchman’s “pets”. The Birchman mutated local carnivorous Venus Flytraps into gigantic, flesh eating plant beasts that devoured the remaining officials and corporate scum. Although the story was never aired, the few that witnessed the sights of such carnage are still haunted by the sounds of men being digested alive inside the jaws of the giant carnivorous plants. If only the men had understood the breadth of their ignorant actions? Only in their throws of death, did they consider the consequences of their actions; the Birchman’s purpose fulfilled.
The Birchman is a horror character through and through. I created this character after years of inspiration from horror, science fiction, and a fascination with carnivorous plants. In addition, my concern for the state of the environment on Earth also played a major role in the evolution of this character. I am sure that this character will offend some people, but, then again, that is the whole point.
As far as the horror influence, I was inspired by several primary sources. First, the cult classic horror movie, Evil Dead, was a huge influence on the creation of this character. In particular, the famous “tree rape scene” comes to mind as both horrific and immoral. Although the Birchman is not a character actually interested in sexual relations with any species other than other plant life, the scene was an influence because of the sheer horror and brutality of it. Let me state that, for the record, I am not an advocate of rape in any form.
The second big movie influence on the character is the classic 1962 British horror movie, The Day of the Triffids. As a child, my Dad would replay this movie over and over, being the big horror buff that he was/is. His fascination with the movie rubbed off on me, especially considering my high childhood interest in carnivorous plants such as Venus flytraps. For those that do not know, The Day of the Triffids was both a novel and a movie that told the story of intelligent plant-life that came to Earth from outer space and, basically, began overrunning the entire planet. This movie was a huge influence on my imagination as a child and has, since, influenced my creation of the Birchman.
Other movies influenced this character as well. Creep Show was another big influence, especially the character Jordy Verrill who was played by Stephen King himself in the first Creep Show. Basically, the character comes into contact with what he refers to as “meteor shit” and it turns him into a moss man. By the end of the movie, Jordy can’t handle the horrors of his new form and he commits suicide. The sequel Creep Show 2 was also a big influence since, the skits between each short story, told the story of a kid who’s newly purchased Venus fly trap makes short work of some school-yard bullies. Great stuff and very influential on my creation of the Birchman!
Other than that, some assorted influences include fantasy beings such as treants, the video game character Woodman (from Megaman 2), the talking trees from the Wizard of Oz, and the feel and atmosphere of other films such as the Blair Witch Project. All these came together to influence my creation of this character in City of Villains.
- The Birchman’s name was inspired by the Mastodon song, “Colony of Birchmen”.
- The Birchman is my first dedicated villain character in City of Villains.
- Almost all of the environment disasters cited in this character’s wiki are based on actual facts.
- If you are offended by this character, then that is a good thing.
- My band, Minotar, has a song that the Birchman would love called, Ashes of Creation.
- My favorite plant is the Venus Fly Trap.
- The Birchman is also inspired by some actual childhood nightmares of mine.
- No, I am not insane. Or, am I?
- Global Handle: @USA Steel
- ↑ Censored - This page was censored by the admins many years ago because it pushed the boundaries of horror.
- ↑ Top Polluters in Calcasieu Parish - For more information about the pollution of Calcasieu Parish, go to the Mossville Environmental Action Now, Incorporated webpage.
- ↑ The Green Pitcher Plant - This plant species is critically endangered in real life. If man does not do something to reverse this status, the Green Pitcher Plant will no longer exist on this planet. For information about the status of this plant species, visit the Center for Plant Conservation homepage
- ↑ Steakview Packing Company - Company name was changed to preserve the fictional aspect of the Birchman. The events involving this character (i.e. the Birchman) and said company are completely ficticious and not intended to further defame the company on which it is based.
- ↑ Clean Water Act Violation - This violation made headlines in North Carolina. To read the actual news story, view the EPA’s agricultural enforcement cases.