I've waited decades for this ever since you imprisoned me I've longed to return the favour

—Nerissa confronting and trapping the council of Kandrakar, N is for Narcissist

Nerissa is a major antagonist from the comic book W.I.T.C.H. and the animated series of the same name. She's the primary villain of the Second Arc, Nerissa's Revenge. In the animated series, her aliases (i.e. Trill and The Mage) made several appearances during the first season, but her true nature was not revealed until second season.

History

Chronology: Comic Book

The previous keeper of the Heart of Kandrakar, Nerissa was consumed by the immense power the Heart gave her and eventually began to descend into evil. The Oracle sensed this and decided that she was no longer fit to keep the Heart. When he entrusted it to Cassidy (who was then the Guardian of Water), it drove Nerissa over the edge. Mad with jealousy, she turned on her fellow Guardians and killed Cassidy. When she was defeated, she was sentenced to be sealed in a coffin located in Mount Thanos until the day all of the Aurameres were joined together. That eventually came to pass through the efforts of Luba, who was convinced that the girls were unworthy of their status as Guardians.

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Awakened from her slumber, Nerissa got her teenage looks back, created the Four Knights of Revenge, and tricked Will into giving her the Heart, declaring war against Kandrakar. After losing strength in the battle with the Guardians in Kandrakar, Nerissa re-absorbed the magic she used to create her Knights of Revenge, destroying them automatically (except Shagon and Khor , who reverted back to the geologist and the dog, Miska). In the end, the Guardians combined their powers and directed them at Nerissa at once, vanquishing her for once and for all.

One of Nerissa's more insidious powers is her ability to change the girls' dreams, turning them into nightmares. The dreams may occasionally affect the real world as well. At the beginning of the second arc, Will's arm is branded with Nerissa's special seal (shaped like the Heart of Kandrakar, but with one scar-like line crossing it) during a dream. It is implied that Hay Lin is less susceptible to these fiendish assaults, since her grandmother, Yan Lin, was Nerissa's best friend before their group was dispersed. One sequence sees the team confronting their tormentor in the so-called "World of Nightmares", entering a "mutual dream" by going to sleep in the same room. This is another episode which stresses the importance of unity – the girls manage to survive the dream because they are together, as opposed to being attacked one by one. They succeed in trapping Nerissa in the Heart, and then wake up. However, they find she was only defeated in the realm of dreams, and that they still had to face her in reality. Kadma revealed that Nerissa was very musical and had written "Nerissa's Trill" (the song from their nightmares). In the TV series, she probably got the pseudonym "Trill" the kitchen maid from her song.

Chronology: Animated Series

40 years prior to the events of W.I.T.C.H., Nerissa served as the leader of the Guardians of the Veil and the Keeper of the Heart of Kandrakar. However, the Council of Kandrakar feared that the power of the Heart was corrupting her, and took it from her believing that doing so would save her from her newly discovered obsession for power.

Desperate to regain the Heart, the ambitious Nerissa confronted the new holder of the Heart, Cassidy, the Guardian of Water. The pair fought, and Nerissa accidentally sent Cassidy plummeting to her death from the top of a mountain. As punishment for Cassidy's death, Nerissa was sentenced to a lifetime of imprisonment in an ice cave on Mount Thanos. When the Veil was raised, a portal opened in Mount Thanos and Nerissa used it to escape to Meridian. Later, the Mage helped her, hoping that her guilt and an act of compassion would reform her.

Nerissa laid low during Phobos' reign (before and during season 1). She created a new identity that of a good natured red-headed lady called Trill, and used her cunning and magic to gain employment in Phobos' castle, from where she helped the resistance by smuggling people into/out of the castle and by passing on information. Her true nature was not revealed during this time and she actually helped the Guardians a lot saving them at least once from getting caught by Phobos.

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Cassidy's death

During this period she also took over the identity of her former protector, the Mage (who had since died), and became the lover of the future rebel leader's father, Julian. Together they had a child, Caleb, who became the leader of the resistance. Nerissa later revealed that she had given birth to Caleb specifically for the purpose of him becoming the rebel leader (In the comic book continuity, Nerissa did not take on the identity of the Mage who only appears in the animated series, and is not related to Caleb who was created rather than born, and has no parents). Caleb did not learn of his relationship to Nerissa until season 2.

After Phobos' downfall, Nerissa became the primary antagonist and began to move against the Guardians. She freed some of Phobos' minions and set them against the Guardians. Also, she attempted to subvert and disrupt their daily lives on Earth.

Nerissa and Cassidy

In her identity as Trill, Nerissa also befriended Elyon, giving her a necklace that she claimed had once belonged to Elyon's birth parents. Unbeknownst to Elyon, the necklace was slowly siphoning her powers, and when she was tricked into hating her parents and throwing away the necklace they had left for her, her powers went with it. (Nerissa could not have taken Elyon's powers by force, but was able to steal them as they were given away freely. And, because it was given to her freely, she could teletransport it back to her hand if someone tried to take it away from her.) Nerissa then revealed her true identity, also revealed that Elyon was the Heart of Meridian, and trapped Elyon inside the necklace, which was now the psychical embodiment of the Heart of Meridian. 

With the power of the Heart of Meridian, Nerissa became far stronger. She ceased using Phobos's minions and fashioned her own out of fire, ice, and Matt Olsen (who was transformed into Shagon), and Mr. Huggles (who was transformed to Khor).

While the Knights kept the Guardians busy, Nerissa was set in re-forming her old Guardian group: Halinor, Yan Lin, Kadma, and the revived spirit of Cassidy. She found the weaknesses in their characters (also called by Nerissa "the chink of your soul") and exploited them in order to take control of their minds. In "M is for Mercy" Nerissa took control of Cassidy's mind. She said, "Compassion is a powerful thing, especially when it fuels desire. The desire for something you cannot, should not have is the chink in the armor of your soul and all I need to make you mine." Cassidy's compassion for her mother got the best of her. Then in "N is for Narcissist" she took over Halinor's mind. She said, "Fear is a powerful thing, especially when it fuels betrayal. The need to do anything, no matter how treasonous, to smother a burning flame of your own fear, is the chink in the armor of your soul and all I need to make you mine." Halinor didn't believe that the Guardians could protect Kandrakar when the Knights of Destruction attacked, but she could, so when she went to siphon the aurameres into herself and become a Quinto Guardian, Nerissa disguised as the Mage corrupted her. In "Q Is For Quarry" Nerissa corrupted Kadma. Kadma's belief that she could take the Heart of Meridian and control it was what corrupted her. Nerissa says, "An arrogance that convinced you that no power, no matter how awesome, was beyond your control is the chink in the armor of your soul, Kadma, and all I need to make you mine." Yan Lin could not be corrupted so Nerissa created an altermere that could be corrupted. She threatened to put Yan Lin's altermere into oblivion unless she surrendered herself to Nerissa. Yan Lin's altermere chose existence and was corrupted.

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Aided by the Seal of Nerissa (formed by combining the Heart of Meridian with the Heart of Zamballa), she then drained her Knights of their power (destroying two of them in the process) and used it to re-energize her Guardian mind slaves, restoring their youth and power.

Nerissa used the former Guardians to fight the current Guardians in an element versus element battle in which Will had promised not to retreat. At first Nerissa's Guardians, powered by two Hearts, had the upper hand, until Will realized that the former Guardians were strong when fighting their opposite elemental number, but lacked the

Nerissa trapped in the Scepter of Phobos (Seal of Nerissa)

free will necessary to diversify their attacks in order to fight against a different element. This change of tactics allowed the Guardians to defeat Nerissa and force her to retreat.

When the current Guardians next fought Nerissa, they were able to break her mind control over the former Guardians. Once Cassidy was freed by Irma (she was thrown in a pool and Irma used her skill to influence minds to dispel Nerissa's brainwashing), the others soon followed. However, before they could press home their advantage, Nerissa absorbed the former Guardians into her Seal, allowing her to access to all of their powers. Only the intervention of the newly freed Phobos prevented her from turning her new elemental powers against the Guardians, and she was forced her to retreat once more.

Nerissa's final defeat came on Halloween, when she attempted to steal the power of the Heart of Earth. After cornering and capturing Napoleon the cat (one of the Regents of Earth and also Lillian's familiar), Phobos (disguised as Napoleon) drained Nerissa of her powers and took the Seal of Nerissa, "later the Scepter of Phobos", for himself. He then trapped Nerissa in the Seal along with Elyon, Yan Lin, and the other former Guardians.

Nerissa remained trapped in Weira's jewel, which was the jewel version of the Heart of Meridian as she chose power over harmony, and was passed into the hands of Julian and Caleb. Nerissa remains trapped inside, living out her dream of conquering the universe without realizing that it is an illusion.

Personality

Nerissa is calm and calculating, and she will step on or over anybody in order to further her cause. She even gave birth to a son so that he could overcome her enemies and lay down the foundations for her rise to power. She has an unshakable belief that it is her right to take control of the universe and to reshape it in her own image, and to attain absolute peace across the universe, even if by force.

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Nerissa is also a very skilled actress, as she was able to fool everyone, including the Oracle that she was the Mage and Trill without giving away suspicion, until she purposely exposed herself. She was also able to fool Kadma and Will when she was running away from them in order to get Kadma to absorb the Heart of Meridian into the Heart of Zamballa, and fool the Guardians that she did not want them to rescue Yan Lin. It is obvious from that she also has a lot of patience, as she was forced to wait approximately 14 years to get the Heart of Meridian.

In the comic series, Nerissa does not seem to show any feeling of guilt or remorse for what she did to Cassidy and her friends, even going as far as to call her friend Kadma a fool. She shows little feelings towards her Knights of Revenge, keeping them simply for her own use. This can be seen as she ultimately destroyed them by reabsorbing their energy for her own gain. She attacked Kandrakar solely for revenge towards the elders and shows little respect for them, declaring that they cannot and will not stop her.

Despite her moral and ethical flaws, Nerissa, does show signs of remorse. Despite her calm exterior she is prone to fits of emotion (as shown when her son Caleb refused to join with her) and, although she does not show it, Nerissa is consumed by feelings of guilt over Cassidy's death and in one episode when Halinor and Yan Lin say to her "Are you going to destroy us like you destroyed Cassidy, does her memory mean so little to you?" Nerissa responds with strong emotion: "You have no idea what she meant to me" before screaming "This is not over" and fleeing, leaving Yan Lin, Halinor and the Guardians alive even though she could quite easily have destroyed them showing that she still harbors a strong sense of friendship, regret and care for her former friends.

These feelings are later further highlighted in the fact that she had purposefully gathered her former teammates together and went the extra mile in recruiting them despite not actually needing to due to her remaining sense of camaraderie with her former team, as seen when she went through the trouble of summoning Cassidy's ghost and apologizing to her for her death and going through the trouble of creating a Altermere of Yan Lin to corrupt to complete her team and sharing the powers of her Seal with them despite her own obsession of hoarding power for herself which should have lead her to instead make herself into a Quinto Guardian rather than splitting it between them.

This shows that despite all of her vile actions and her supposed "destiny" to remake the universe and bring about universal peace and her fanatical belief in her conquest, Nerissa is in truth an incredibly lonely person and despite her claims that she does not regret her abhorrent actions towards her old friends, she in truth misses them dearly and desires and yearns for their companionship once more. And as seen in her prison dream world, Nerissa also loves and misses/yearns for both her son and her former lover, as seen where she sees herself ruling the cosmos together with her family, albeit with the two of them under her thrall via mind control.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

Basic Guardian Powers

  • Spell Casting: The power to cast spells; a "spell" being the word used to signify the means employed to carry out a magical action. Nerissa was quite knowledgeable about spells, as she was able to place a spell on Blunk's Tonga Tooth, enabling her to track its folding movements, and she summoned the Annihilators to attack Meridian.
    • Glamours: Spells that change one's appearance to look like another person, though it can also be used to change a person's age or clothing; unlike shape-shifting, glamour spells creates an illusion around the body, whereas shape-shifting causes a physical change. Nerissa made frequent use of glamours, posing as the Mage and Trill respectively. However, because she isn't actually changing the shape of her body, her shadow can still be seen in her true form. This allowed the current Guardians to find out who she was when she transformed into the Oracle and tried to get the Heart from Will.[1]
    • Mind Control: Nerissa used magic to enthral her former teammates, and she cast an infatuation spell on the boys at Heatherfield.
    • Dream Manipulation: Nerissa employed dark magic to control and manipulate the dreams of others.[2] She displays this ability when she attacked the Guardians in their dreams. She even causes these dreams to manifest in real life, drenching Cornelia with water and taking most of Irma's voice away. When the Guardians faced her in a "mutual dream", they were able to defeat her and create a psychic backlash, which knocked her from the dream plane.
    • Curses: Nerissa claimed to have cast a devastating curse on two talismans that allowed folding and used magic to disrupt the Oracle's powers.
  • Limited Shape-shifting: Using the Heart of Kandrakar, the Guardians can magnify their powers and alter their appearance to their benefit. When the Guardians transform, they change form, height and grow wings.
    • Enhanced Strength: The Guardian of Quintessence seemed to have degree of enhanced strength when transformed. While it was not clearly displayed, it is assumed that Nerissa has a degree of superhuman strength and durability, much like Will does.
  • Regeneration: According to the Oracle, the nymph Xin Jing gifted the Guardians with the power of regeneration to allow them to withstand the physical strain of transforming from one state to another. Apparently, every time the Guardians are touched by the power of the Heart of Kandrakar, they become stronger; they are afforded supernatural longevity (e.g. this allowed Yan Lin to serve as a Guardian for longer than any ordinary mortal could have) and little physical imperfections disappear overtime (e.g. Taranee's eyesight improved because of this gift).[3] The Oracle also states that this gift can be refused.
  • Tele-transportation: In order to travel to another place in the same world, each Guardian can teletransport. Teletransporting is a difficult ability to learn and one can materialize into another solid object if not careful enough. If a Guardian teletransports while not connected to an Auramere or a mystic Heart then they will drain their life force.

Individual Guardian Powers

As the former keeper of the Heart of Kandrakar, Nerissa possessed the power of quintessence, and had all of the same powers as the current Guardian Will, although she was much more experienced in using them, and much more aware of their true potential than her younger counterpart. After her imprisonment and subsequent release Nerissa supplemented her former Guardian powers/abilities by using the Heart of Meridian, which she stole from Elyon , allowing her to teleport freely, even between dimensions, and greatly strengthening and enhancing all of her existing powers and abilities to even greater power levels. Later, Nerissa tricks Kadma, the former Guardian of Earth, into merging the Heart of Meridian and the Heart of Zamballa, and takes control of both Hearts, fusing them together to become the Seal of Nerissa. Further strengthening and amplifying all of her powers in all respects and raising her control and manipulation of Quintessence to the power level where she was able to turn Cassidy's spirit into pure flesh and blood.

TV Series
  • Electrokinesis: The ability to manipulate, control, and create pure electrical-energy; such as lightning or static electricity. This power allows the owner to control all forms of electrical power, being it static electricity, thunder and lightning, magnetic force, electromagnetic forces, or electrical pressure.
    • Electric Energy Blasts and Balls: The ability to conjure concentrated bolts of lightning into a straightforward attack, such as beams, rays, bursts, balls or blasts of lightning. Users can also shoot lightning bolts from their eyes and hair, and physically capture lightning bolts and use them as weapons.
    • Electrokinetic Shields and Barriers: The ability to employ electrical energy as a defense mechanism, such as a shield, force field, or a standard wall of energy.
    • Electrokinetic Vision: The power to project electrical energy from one's own eyes.
    • Limited Atmokinesis: The ability to summon lightning storms.
  • Technopathy: The ability to bring electrical appliances to life, granting them distinct personalities and the ability to speak. Once in such a state, only magical creatures can hear and converse with such appliances.
  • Animation and Reanimation: By uttering the word "Quintessence", the Guardian who commands the fifth element can animate and/or levitate objects by imbuing it with life, simulating telekinectic abilities; Nerissa most likely did this when performing acts of telekinesis when posing as the Mage. Nerissa can also create new life, as she did in order to create Ember and Tridart. Nerissa's ability to use Quintessence is so advanced that she was able to raise Cassidy's spirit, which she then bound to the mortal plain by using the Heart of Meridian, and later restored her former teammate to a physical body by using her life-granting abilities., they change form, height and grow wings.
Comics

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  • Energy Projection: The ability to project and manipulate pure energy. This energy can be projected in the form of beams from one's hands, or concentrated into energy barriers or shields.
  • Spiritual Awareness: The power to possess an increased awareness/sensitivity to the paranormal. Nerissa could sense the upcoming threat the Guardians of W.I.T.C.H. posed to her, and had used unknown means to see through Khor's eyes.[4]

Weaknesses

  • The Aurameres: The Guardian's powers are derived from the Aurameres, and should these objects be destroyed they will be rendered powerless.
  • Mortality: Despite their mystical attributes, the Guardians are still human and share many of the same weaknesses as non-supernatural beings (e.g. age, blood loss, suffocation, etc.). However, the Guardians can get around this weakness through the use of magic.
  • Magic: The Guardians are susceptible to the powers of magic. This is inclusive of mystical objects such as the Star of Threbe[5] or the Horn of Hypnos.[6]
  • Overexertion: It has been shown that if a Guardian uses their elemental powers and is not connected to an Auramere, it will drain their life force, making them much weaker. This may be why Nerissa aged so much faster than the rest of "C.H.Y.K.N.".
  • Team Balance: Yan Lin reveals that when the Guardians argue and are not united, their individual powers diminish in strength and they are more vulnerable.[7]

Equipment

Trivia

  • In the books, her outfit was seen to be a long, teal dress, with pink high heels that go just past her ankles. In the TV series, this colour was changed to pink, making her the only one of the series to have no teal parts to her outfit This was possibly inspired by the Pink dress she wears in the Comics
  • Nerissa's ambitions, goals and actions resemble those of several major marvel comic villains.
    • Her minions the Knights of Destruction/Four Knights of Revenge, function very similar to Apocalypse's Four Horsemen.
    • She even manipulates and brainwash individuals into joining her, and dispose of them the moment she has no use for them anymore, like Apocalypse.
  • In the animated series, Greg Weisman revealed at CONvergence that he envisioned Nerissa as bisexual, that she and Cassidy were lovers,[8] and later in a Q&A he revealed that C.H.Y.K.N. likely knew this, but they did keep it secret, and that they were dating when Nerissa killed Cassidy.[9] This was confirmed by the producers of The Legend of Korra during Comic Con as they spoke of the difficulty of adapting Same Sex relationships in cartoons.
  • Nerissa is a very talented actress holding two identities at once no one even suspecting she was The Mage or Trill for years not even the clairvoyant Oracle.
  • Nerissa seems to possess the power and ability of telekinesis, as during her time as posing as the Mage, she was able to telekinetically levitate the Tonga Tooth that she had taken from Blunk while claiming that there was a spell on it. She has a high knowledge of spells, as she was able to place a spell on Blunk's Tonga Tooth, enabling her to track the folding movements, and knowing spells to control the minds of other (as she did with the other members of C.H.Y.K.N.), and presumably many others whilst posing as the Mage.

Gallery

References

See also

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