The Children of Arkham are the overarching antagonists in Batman: The Telltale Series. A terrorist organization lead by Lady Arkham, the group comprised of victims of Gotham's criminals, their relatives and hired mercenaries. Their goal is to expose corruption in Gotham, get revenge on the responsible parties and bring the city under their control. The group was the first threat faced by Batman and many to come in the future of Gotham.
Years before Batman's operations in Gotham City, his father, Thomas Wayne, worked with crime lord Carmine Falcone and corrupt Mayor Hamilton Hill to gain control of the city. To get rid of citizens who posed a threat or did not accept their offers, they convicted them to Arkham Asylum. To make sure their "insanity" looked realistic, the trio would inject a psychogenic chemical into their victims, which stripped them of moral filters and cause them to act violently.
It is unknown who founded the Children of Arkham, but the group began as a political group with peaceful intentions. Hoping to expose the trio's use of the Asylum, their voice fell on deaf ears. It distributed what happened to the organization, but it eventually fell into the hands of Vicki Vale, the daughter of the Arkham. Vale reinvented the group as a terrorist organization and adopted the identity of Lady Arkham, a figure she created during her childhood. She tracked down and convinced other Gotham citizens who had suffer the repercussions of the trio's action, mainly those who had lost parents or relatives to the institute, notably Oswald Cobblepot and Roland Desmond.
Using Cobblepot's ties to the criminal underworld as "the Penguin", the group grain resources and mercenaries to bolster their ranks and began preparing for an attack on Gotham. They seized up evidence against the Wayne family, including an account managed by Wayne and Falcone and a video of Oswald's mother. Through blackmail, they managed to get Hill to hand over information on his partners, including the warehouse the trio's chemical was stored. Penguin also hired the skilled thief Catwoman to retrieve these drives and the location of the drugs.
The Children of Arkham's attacks began when six of its members broke into City Hall, murdering a security guard on the way. Making it to Hill's office, they accidentally activated an alarm, which locked the room down. Whilst one member tried to break open the lock with a power saw, their leader destroyed the elevator with C4, cutting off the GCPD. As they continued to break the lockdown, the vigilante Batman arrived and subdued several members. Confronting the leader in combat, he defeated the mercenary and the last member. At least five member of the group would be arrested by the GCPD after the incident.
The next day, the group leaked the account managed by Wayne and Falcone to news outlets in Gotham. The same day, other members of the Children investigated a warehouse owned by Falcone, where the chemicals had been located and were to rendezvous with Catwoman. When she failed to arrive, the group were forced to search for the chemicals themselves, leading to them attracting attention. With GCPD officers arriving, a shootout took place that lead to multiple deaths, including three members.
After the shootout finished, the mercenaries left, leaving evidence to implicate Falcone in the battle and a member to give false testimony. After Batman arrived at the scene, he put together a rough recollection of the shootout. Using trajectory points from a exploded barrel and a dead cop, he interrogated the mercenary. Under interrogation, the member claimed to be working for Falcone and gave a vague description of the chemicals' purpose. After finishing with him, Batman left the mercenary to be arrested by Lt James Gordon and the GCPD. The warehouse would set Batman to investigate and battle Falcone at the Skyline Club, leading to the crime lord's arrest.
Following the successful heist, Lady Arkham and the other members were able to refine the drug to make victims susceptible to suggestions. The day following Falcone's arrest, one of their members, likely Vale herself, intercepted and injected Sgt Renee Montoya the modified chemicals, coercing her into killing crime lord. Unable to disobey, Montoya followed through and was taken into custody shortly afterwards. At the same time, Penguin ordered his men to locate Catwoman, having deduced her identity as Selina Kyle.
Some time after Falcone's murder, Penguin, Blockbuster and his raided the Skyline Club to gather his resources and further evidence of the Arkham conspiracy. As they interrogated one of the criminals, Batman, having learned about their involvement, confronted Cobblepot on their actions. After hearing that his men had located Catwoman, Penguin ordered a group of men to assassinate her. When Batman tried to stop them from leaving, Blockbuster battled and threw the vigilante out of a window, allowing the group enough time to escape. Penguin's men later attacked the Stacked Deck, where Kyle had been located. However, they were defeated by the cat burglar and Bruce Wayne, who had warned her of their attack prior to their arrival.
That night, the Children of Arkham, lead by Penguin, attacked the Mayoral debate between Hamilton Hill and Harvey Dent. Making their presence known, Vale, who hid among reporters, was taken to the stage and injected the candidates with the modified drug. The Children showed a video of "Lady Arkham" proclaiming their cause and footage of Wayne committing Esther Cobblepot. As this took place, Batman and Catwoman infiltrated the building and subdued several members. When GCPD launched their attack, Penguin murdered Hill and attacked Dent, possibly disfiguring him in the process. During the commotion, Batman was able to subdue more members, including Blockbuster, though Penguin escaped in the chaos. Following the attack, the Children of Arkham released the names of Thomas Wayne's victims and officially began their crusade against the city.
In the following week, the Children of Arkham began attacking Gotham in ferocity, ranging from simple crimes to elaborate attacks. Using records obtained from Wayne Manor that Hill provided, the Children of Arkham gained access to Wayne Enterprises' network and access all organizations within the city. Covering up his past as the Penguin, Cobblepot infiltrated Wayne Enterprises to replace Bruce Wayne as CEO, granting the Children access to its resources and finances.
A number of members, including Lady Arkham herself, planned out another attack, this time on the busy Mercy Street. They planned to send a rigged train to spread the chemical via a monorail train, which was modified to store tanks and release them on trigger. Requiring more of the drug, they arranged a transfer a number of barrels to a Skyrail depot they had infiltrated. With the handoff taking place on Arkham Island, the operation was interrupted by Montoya, who had sworn to stop them following their use of her. At the same time, several members made another attempt on Dent's life, hoping to murder the new mayor. Depending on Batman's decision, the following situations can take place.
- If Batman chooses to stop their assassination, he is able to save Dent and his assistant, subduing the members in the process. However, the Children of Arkham are able to prepare for Gordon's response, increasing their members at the scene. Along with being able to get their chemicals loaded, they also take a officer hostage, using him as a test subject for the new Arkham drug and executing him following their success.
After hearing members alert the perpetrators of the crime he chose not to pursue, Batman realized the GCPD's communications have been compromised and alerted Gordon. When he learned that Wayne Tech has been responsible, Batman tipped the GCPD off and they removed all Wayne Tech from their operations. With this, the Children of Arkham were unable to monitor their operations, but it also crippled communication for officers.
After running out of the dissolving agent required for the new chemical, Lady Arkham lead a group of the Children to attack an unknown building to acquire more. Successful, they returned to the Skyrail depot with Catwoman, who hand helped with the heist. Having tipped Batman off about the base and knowing he was likely present, Lady Arkham took the thief hostage and threatened to inject her with the new drug unless he surrendered. This lead to a fight between the vigilante and the members present, including Arkham herself. Batman was able to sabotage the plan by destroying their delivery train with sticky bombs. It is unknown how many members were able to escape or were captured by following the group, with the exception of Lady Arkham herself.
In the following days, Children of Arkham attacks dropped, due to the police state imposed by the now insane Harvey Dent. Their last reported crime was the apparent kidnapping of Vicki Vale. After murdering her adopted parents, Lady Arkham used her father's warehouses to store the drug and as a new base for their operations. Using his new position as CEO of Wayne Enterprises, Penguin began using its finances to fund the Children of Arkham and purchase various weaponry. He also provided them with various prototype gadgets and installed a Black Box into the network, enabling them to hack into any Wayne Tech device. In doing so, Penguin discovered Batman's own computer network was connected to the systems and began working to cripple the vigilante's operations by disabling his tech. He also worked to hack into the Batcomputer to learn his secrets, including his identity.
After Batman learned of the Children of Arkham's stockpiling at Vale Water and Heating's warehouse, he informed the GCPD about it. When Dent gained access to the information, he sent his mercenaries to blow up the building. Though it didn't cripple the Children of Arkham's operations, it cut off their supplies and ensured that they would not use it in their operations. It also lead to the public losing trust in Dent, helping chaos spread through Gotham. After discovering how the Children of Arkham were hacking into his network, Batman was forced to decide whether to stop them or defeat Dent and his enforces. Depending on the decision made, the following possibilities occur.
- If Batman chooses to stop Penguin and the Children of Arkham from hacking the Batcomputer, he heads to Wayne Enterprises to stop them. With a number of members patrolling the building, Batman fights he way though to confront Penguin in the CEO's office. After a long fight with the criminal, Batman locates the Black Box and destroys it, saving his gadgets and secrets. Penguin and the members present are then left for the GCPD to arrest.
Depending on the choice made in the previous episode, the Children of Arkham will respond differently.
- If Batman chose to stop the Children of Arkham from compromising his network, they remain underground whilst Dent terrorizes the city with his enforces. One of their members is captured by Dent's men and held hostage in Wayne Manor, where "Two-Face" plans to execute him. After Bruce Wayne manages to stop Dent down, the member attacks him and is gunned down by the police. In his dying words, he assures Bruce that Lady Arkham has not forgotten him and will take revenge on his family.
- Knowing the new tech is effective against Batman, Penguin and other members set up a trap for the vigilante in Cobblepot Park. Holding off GCPD officers, they use drones to patrol the area and take multiple officers hostage. With help from Bruce Wayne, the GCPD are able to disable the transmitter, disabling the drones and other devices in the Park. Following this, Cobblepot is subdued after an attempt on Bruce's life and is arrested by the GCPD, cutting off the Children of Arkham's access to the GCPD.
Whilst Bruce was distracted by Selina Kyle, the Children of Arkham attacked Wayne Manor and kidnapped his butler Alfred, hoping to kill him in retribution Wayne's crimes. Taking him to the Vale house, they filmed a video for Bruce and forced him to suffer the same abuse the Vales had put Vicki through. Following this, they infiltrated Arkham Asylum and prepared to release the inmates.
Having followed clues left by Alfred, Batman tracked the group down and confronted Lady Arkham. Refusing to stop, the Children released the inmates of the asylum and lead the riots, promising the inmates freedom if the killed Batman. Having been informed by the vigilante, the GCPD arrived and brought the rioting under control. With the other members being arrested, Lady Arkham fled to the catacombs of the asylum, where she was defeated by Batman. Following her presumed death, the Children of Arkham's leadership dissolved and the group was officially disbanded.
Though disbanded, the Children of Arkham's legacy affected Gotham, mostly a void in the criminal underworld from Falcone's death. This initiated a gang war between the Maroni and Zucco families, which was eventually ended by Batman, and gave Rumi Mori control of the arms dealing operations in the city. The Children of Arkham's actions also inspired Floyd Lawton to attack former staff members of Arkham Asylum and Wayne Enterprises involved in his parents' release. Alfred Pennyworth would suffer from post-traumatic stress following his kidnapping, which was initially thought to be related to the incident.
- Vicki Vale/Lady Arkham (presumed deceased)
- Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (incarcerated at Blackgate Prison)
- Roland Desmond/Blockbuster (incarcerated at Arkham Asylum)
- Unnamed Sniper (arrested)