TOTEM is an international terrorist organization that stands out among others of their ilk through their aggressive use and recruitment of metahuman agents. They have been highly successful during the 1980’s at locating and drawing in metahumans, which gives this otherwise insignificant group the raw power it needs to have a legitimate chance to attain its goals. Those goals include seizing control of one or more of the somewhat unstable governments of South America. They draw their membership and support on a worldwide scale, both for political and social reasons.
In practice, TOTEM uses terrorist tactics of explosions, hostages and threats in South/Central America (to destabilize their opposition) and internationally (to draw attention to their cause and to instill fear in those who would try to stop them). They steal money and equipment to fund the war, either though direct theft, kidnapping, extortion or smuggling all across the globe. Finally, and most damning, they kidnap young metahumans and brainwash them into the cause. Some have joined freely based on their political ideology, but many of the TOTEM metahumans are young adults stolen from around the world and twisted into weapons for this terrorist cabal.
No one knows the true leadership of TOTEM, whether it’s one person or a cabal, human or metahuman, or even if the cells are acting autonomously. TOTEM members are fanatically devoted to their cause, and the organization has something of a cult feeling to it. Intercepted communications have them referring to one another as Brothers and Fathers, but captured members of the organization will not clarify the group’s structure, even under telepathic probes. This leads many to believe that the TOTEM leadership includes at least one mentalist capable of inserting such blocks and artificially instilling such loyalty.
While TOTEM has hundreds, if not thousands of purely human members who are well equipped and devoted to the cause, the most visible members of the Front are the older metahumans. The original core team of the early 1980’s evolves into field leaders for younger variants.
Metahuman Operatives encountered by the Vanguard include:
- The Grand Vizier
- The Hound
- A shrinking metahuman possessing the powers of increased density and disintigration
- A villain with ice powers
The heroes have also encountered normal Totem operatives armed with a special weapon that does devitalization damage in addition to normal damage