The Hellions are a villainous organization from City of Heroes. They are a gang of street thugs with an anarchistic outlook and possibly supernatural abilities.

History

At the initial glance, the Hellions appear to be typical malefactors engaging in anarchic lifestyles - however on closer inspection the Hellions are revealed to be a much more troubling entity, namely demon-worshipers. High-ranking Hellions have even managed to gain demonic abilities via embracing the darkness (the nature of the dark forces that empower the Hellions is debatable, but Paragon Police and agents of MAGI have documented many reports of gang members gaining supernatural abilities) and the gang are often seen committing arson: in fact setting fires seems to be a major part of being a Hellion and they enjoy seeing things burn (which suggests that as well as being demon-worshipers many of them are also pyromaniacs). The Hellions have their biggest chapters of membership residing in Atlas Park, Galaxy City, and Perez Park. Atlas and Galaxy swarm with them.

As members rise in the ranks, they are exposed to a quasi-religious dogma, where power is achieved through crimes, or acts of sin. In the Hellions’ worldview, fear, greed, lust, and anger are powers to be tapped into. They openly claim to “worship the devil,” and brandish Satanic images like a blunt hammer, but few realize that their leaders are deadly serious in their beliefs. Members maintain a strict code of secrecy and solidarity, even under police interrogation, and the gang leaders – the Fallen and the Damned – take their secrets to the grave. Members fight for power amongst themselves, to establish their status in the gang’s hierarchy. The lower rungs of the Hellions’ leadership is ever changing, as more ambitious climbers struggle to prove their ability.

Crime's Food-Chain

Sponsors

The gang itself exists mainly due to backing from the high-end black-marketeers known as The Warriors. The Warriors steal artifacts from museums and even dig sites to either sell to high-end, usually criminal, collectors or keep them for themselves. As many of these artifacts are of an enchanted/cursed nature, The Warriors attracted the attention of The Hellions. Initial conflicts resulted in The Warriors holding a clear advantage over the Hellions, magic or no magic.

But thanks to the negotiations of a Mystery Benefactor, the two gangs soon set-up a sponsor-sponsored relationship. The Warriors sell what they can not move to their higher-end clients to the Hellions instead. Additionally, The Warriors are willing to lose whole warehouses to the Hellions in order to wash their hands of evidence when the police start getting close.

All a Warrior needs to do is call a known Hellion contact tell them where their warehouse is and let nature take it's course, the entire shipment will be pillaged or burned by the anarchistic thugs but that also means the police when arriving will not be able to establish what the owners did and didn't have there thanks to the raid. The Hellions know they are being used by the Warriors, but with potential gate-way artifacts to unlock their powers, high-end backers and the occasional open invitation from said backers to raid their own wares, the Hellions have found it most beneficial to work under them.

A less stable resource for the Hellion is The Circle of Thorns - a group of high-end professional modern-day magic-cult, that has been active since the 1960s, but was only exposed as still existing since the turn-of-the-millennium. Though a single Circle mage can wield powers that could devastate a city block single-handedly, it takes time for a mage to adjust to their powers, as such though the Circle are high-end magi, they keep to lower security area neighborhoods prior to gaining full control of their magics; It is in these neighborhoods like Kings Row or Perez Park they have encountered the Hellions. The Circle frequently buy magical artifacts from the Warriors, but occasionally they will buy or sell artifacts to the Hellions as well. The Hellions are often taken advantage of by the Circle of Thorns, for when buying, the Circle are only willing to part with petty mystical knick-knacks, and when the Circle of Thorns are willing to buy from the Hellions, they are doing so because some Warrior accidentally passed down something of real magical power to a Hellion, that the Hellion is not currently aware of. Even though they are being exploited, the Hellions still see Circle deals as a major boon, for what is petty magic to a Circle Mage, is major power-boost to a Hellion. The relationship between the Hellions and Circle of Thorns is tenuous though, Hellions frequently go-back-on-whatever deals they can get away with, and the Circle of Thorns think so little of Hellions they are just as willing to lure a Hellion to a meeting spot to capture them and use them as human sacrifices. The Hellion leader, "Duke" Mordrogar was one of the few Hellions with real magical talent, independent of magical artifacts, after a foiled ritual to summon a bound Arch-Demon named Bat'Zul, Mordrogar decided to ditch the Hellions to become a Circle mage. Upon going to meet the Circle of Thorns, they told Mordrogar he could join if the slew his Hellion body-guards, which he promptly did; The Circle then gave Mordrogar what they called a "spirit thorn" and told him to plunge it into his own heart to become a Circle mage, upon complying, Duke Mordrogar's spirit was sucked out of his body, and it was promptly possessed by one of their magi, who noted that Duke Mordrogar's body was actually mystically inclined - and that was quite unique for a mere Hellion.

These sorts of interactions are not uncommon for Hellions tend to make few allies - hated by the forces of law-and-order, and exploited by those higher in the criminal food-chain than they. But there is one group that actually align with the Hellion's occasionally - The Outcasts. The Outcasts are in essence a mutant brotherhood gone bad. At early ages mutants tend to be harassed and ostracized and so they decided to form their own gang for protection and moral support, the gang quickly turned semi-anarchist due to society seemingly giving up on them. Not all Outcasts have powers, some are just born with cosmetic mutations such and technicolor skin, or dilated eyes. It was due to this, that they made a pact wit the Warriors and Hellions. Being exposed to magic tends to stimulate any latent genes in a mutant, even artifacts with used up charges or non-destructive magical enchantments can awaken real powers in a mutant and so the Outcasts bargain with Hellions and Warriors for otherwise, all-but-useless magical artifacts. If a Hellion make a bad deal and gets a magical artifact whose enchantment has been drained, or is not destructive, they can at-least make a good deal of money passing it along to The Outcast, for even being in proximity to such auras can cause a butterfly-effect that will allow an Outcast to toss fire-balls, ice-blasts, electrical bolts or the like, where otherwise it would be useless. Something as minor as a lucky-coin that always lands heads-up, or a idol that ensure good-harvests just needs to sit in an Outcast's presence for an hour or so and their genetic codes will rapidly mutate further allowing them offensive powers. Because of this the Hellions see Outcasts as a major resource, however they also tend to flee almost as soon as they deal is complete as Outcasts with active powers tend to over-shadow most Hellions.

Rivals

Hellions also regularly engage in fights with rival street-gangs such as the Skulls and are one of the more numerous and easily defeated opponents a low-level hero or villain will face, though their leaders can be more of a challenge. The Skulls are thugs that mirror the Hellions in structure as they regularly work for the Marcone Crime Family, just as the Hellions do for The Warriors.

It does not take much, either, for Hellions to get The Outcasts to come in and help them, as they are reliant on them to rapidly mature their powers. However just as the Hellions have regular customers in The Outcasts, the Skulls have regular customers in The Trolls gang - The Outcasts indebted to the Hellions for the sale of magical artifacts, and The Trolls indebted to the Skulls for selling them the super-power drug 'Super-Dyne'.

The Warriors and The Family, largely have no issues with each-other specifically but the feuding of their supplicants has lead both sides to occasionally swoop in and settle matters for their pawns. The Outcasts had no real issues with the Trolls at-first, but since being dragged into the territory disputes have decided to see the other as a rival for operating areas, the Outcasts armed with elemental projection and the Trolls armed with super-human strength, both eager to test out their powers on each-other. The Hellions and Skulls gang-war has dragged those they have ties to into the dividing lines as well. The feud, in addition to basic malcontents, is mainly over territory as there are only so many low-security areas in Paragon City that one can reasonably do criminal-business in without having heroes leap in at any moment, making such territories a precious commodity and leading the Hellions and Skulls into an ever escalating turf-war.

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