Raphael Sylla or Ralph Sylla posed as Sheffield Institute's newest computer teacher when in fact he is a colleague of Maria Medina and Joel McTiennan who was hired to keep tabs on the W.I.T.C.H. girls. His goal was to uncover what secret the girls are hiding and if it does in fact involve supernatural powers.
Raphael Sylla is very dedicated to his job, spending most of his time working to the point even his supervisors hardly know him. Despite this, he is friends with Joel McTiennan who defends his preference of supernatural cases. He thinks himself very handsome and does win the attention of his female students and a librarian. However, Detective Maria Medina only describes him as scruffy. Raphael's biggest driving force is his love of mysteries and desire to make a career from his passion.
Raphael is skilled in computers and research, enough to pose as an informatics teacher. He's also a skilled mechanic, having refit a classic motorcycle on his own, to the admiration of his students. Despite being liked by the non-W.I.T.C.H. students, his fellow teachers were suspicious of how things would always go his way at their expense.
Raphael is very proud and territorial, staking claims on the things he works hard for and demanding to be recognized by his superiors. If he has been wronged, he will go to any length to get his revenge, even join the side of his enemies.
Raphael was a detective of Interpol, specializing in investigating the supernatural. Due to his reputation, he was approached by Jeffrey Brooke, Director of Interpol's special unit, with a job offer. Brooke wanted to prove the existence of supernatural humans and since he needed more living cases, he asked Raphael to find some. The detective agreed, wanting this to further launch his career despite knowing it would put him against Nora Frieder, another powerful figure in Interpol.
After getting the job, Raphael began looking into strange cases around Heatherfield and came across the report of odd happenings in Green Bay (involving Nerissa's henchman, Khor), with strange phenomena like monster sights and glass tunnels under the beach. He found witness statements from Will Vandom, Irma Lair, Taranee Cook, Cornelia Hale, and Hay Lin. Suspicious of the girls, Raphael began investigating them and came across files of the Elyon Brown case which was handled by his old friend, Joel. He called Joel to his office to talk, being introduced to his partner Maria Medina who mocked Raphael as "scruffy".
Brooke secured Raphael a job at Sheffield Institute as a substitute Informatics Teacher, where he went by the name "Ralph Sylla". On his first day, he was a big hit among the students, excluding Will and Cornelia who noticed him looking at them too much. When "Ralph" found them researching water shadows, he displayed his fascination for legends by recommending useful research guides. Later after school, he began his surveillance of the girls by following them to the Heatherfield Library, then to the dock area. He witnessed Irma knock down a thug through a wire screen door, not sure how she managed it. W.I.T.C.H. entered the building and Raphael remained outside waiting until they finished their mysterious business (talking to Benjamin). Once they left, he tailed them to a wall of crates which they ducked behind. He saw a strange flash of light and when going to investigate, was shocked that they had disappeared (having teletransported away). He was fascinated by this great mystery and looked forward to working it out.
Raphael was walking through Sheffield Institute when he spied W.I.T.C.H. ducking into a storage closet together. Shortly after, Uriah Dunn and his gang entered, asking if "Ralph" had seen the girls. Another bright light turned Uriah's attention to the closet and while he threw open the door, ready to blast the girls with a fire extinguisher, they were gone again.
Once Sheffield Institute was set for a trip to Redstone Academy across the world, Raphael learned that three the girls would be going which would complicate his investigation. He called Brooke to provide an update, but his boss was not pleased by his lack of progress. Raphael defended the difficulty of the task, mentioning the upcoming trip which he thought he wasn't going on. Brooke revealed he had secured him a place on the trip and wanted him to find the proof they needed. When Brooke challenged if Raphael still cared about improving his career, the detective hung up on him. As promised, Raphael was now on the trip team (to the annoyance and suspicions of his colleagues) and left with Principal Knickerbocker and the selected students.
On arrival to Port Nelson, their bus arrived late. They were personally picked up by Redstone's headmaster, Principal Bullford, who brought them to his school while bragging of the amenities. All were shown to their rooms.
Raphael continued his mission by keeping tabs on Taranee, Cornelia, and Hay Lin, following them around the Redstone campus. On one occasion, he almost succeeded in eavesdropping on their conversation, though was interrupted when a few local boys nearly hit him with their frisbee. This drew Knickerbocker's attention and she reminded him of dinner, to which "Ralph" declared he would go get ready for. He was secretly annoyed for having missed his chance to hear with the girls had been talking about.
While the girls were busy with a volleyball game, Raphael slipped into their dorm room, though would find nothing of use to him. He was seen by Cornelia which made the Guardians suspicious of him. Raphael later found them the three in the computer lab, trying to look him up on the internet though they lied that they wanted to use a photo editing program. Humoring them, "Ralph" agreed to show them the program on his own laptop, not realizing Hay Lin used her magic to steal his passcode. Now seeing the girls suspected him, he went to watch their volleyball game, noting the tension between Taranee and "Cornelia" (actually an Astral Drop).
Raphael noticed too late when Taranee left the game and went searching for her all over the campus. He returned to his own room and arrived just in time to see Taranee slipping away, realizing she'd been in his space. It was now time for him to act and after tracking Taranee and "Hay Lin" (an Astral Drop) into the woods, he ambushed them and took the drop hostage. He demanded Taranee tell him of her powers and when she burned him to protect the drop, he now had the evidence he wanted. He asked Taranee about her friends and she lied that she was the only with powers. Seeing no more reason to hide, Raphael revealed his true name and that he was an agent specializing in paranormal cases, intent on observing them whether they liked it or not. That evening, Raphael confidently walked up to all three girls who knew he was their enemy. He mockingly asked them to make sure Taranee stayed out of trouble.
With time, Raphael found evidence that Cornelia and Hay Lin also possessed supernatural abilities, for which he called Brooke to report. According to Raphael, the finds exceeded their expectations and Brooke called this a major success for their department. Brooke told Raphael to watch the girls closely and that they would begin Operation: Round Up once they returned to Heatherfield.
Raphael joined the school for their tour of the Redstone Park to watch shooting stars. Approaching the girls, he mockingly asked what they would wish for to which Cornelia declared she wanted a star to land on him. Raphael laughed this off but Cornelia got the final word as she used her earth powers to trip him, to his shock. Seeing he was outmatched, Raphael used a different tactic, slipping a tracking chip into Hay Lin's backpack so he could follow the girls from a distance. When it was time to leave, Raphael watched "the girls" (Astral Drops) board their bus but he also saw what he thought were illusions of the girls (the real ones) running off. He was confused about both of these and, deciding the tracker did not work, he threw it away. Raphael continued to monitor the fakes at the park, though found nothing of use.
The next day, it was finally time for the Sheffield Institute students and teachers to go back to Heatherfield. While waiting in line to board the plane, Raphael asked Taranee if she was ready to go home and she turned this question back on him in a threatening manner. He declared he was not scared of her, but quickly realized that she had secretly set his bag on fire. Raphael was left trying to put out the flames while security was called in to check his luggage.
Shortly after returning to Heatherfield, Raphael was called to meet Principal Knickerbocker in her office. She started by complimenting his good work as a substitute teacher but when he encouraged her to say the issue, she admitted that the original computer science teacher had returned, thus "Ralph" was no longer needed. He accepted this graciously and bid her farewell, though secretly he was agitated at the loss of his cover.
Raphael was contacted by Brooke's other agent, a psychic named Mr. Riddle, who called to meet him outside of the school then carelessly asked if he was blowing his cover by showing up. Raphael declared he had lost his place in Sheffield Institute, so Riddle told him it was time to go back to being a full-time agent. Brooke had sent along an invitation for them to talk about W.I.T.C.H., though as he feared Frieser's spies, he wanted to have it in the public venue at the inauguration of the new Heatherfield amphitheater.
Riddle suddenly cut the conversation and hustled Raphael into the van, not explaining anything until they were further away. At a safe distance, Riddle declared that W.I.T.C.H. were listening to them and while Raphael declared him nuts since he didn't see anyone, Riddle claimed to have sensed them with his powers. Later in the evening, Raphael joined Riddle in their wiretapping van to hear the phone conversation of their targets. This revealed that W.I.T.C.H. did hear the conversation and planned to intrude on the meeting at the amphitheater, prompting Raphael to want to cancel the meeting. Riddle mocked him for being scared of these "little girls" and while Raphael declared the girls were powerful, Riddle was confident he could face off with them at the meeting. This confused Raphael who believed the mission was only to observe them, though Riddle declared that that was only his job as Riddle was tasked with capturing the girls now that Operation: Round Up had begun. For that reason, they would continue the meeting with Brooke and capture W.I.T.C.H. there. Raphael was furious that such big decisions were being made without him, declaring that the girls were rightfully his to capture after all the work he put into tailing them. Riddle rejected this claim, attacking Raphael with his psychic powers to display how weak he truly was compared to Riddle. He declared Raphael would have to accept his new role of being their bait, whether he liked it or not.
However, Raphael did not accept this betrayal so easily. On his last day at Sheffield Institute, he informed the students of his leaving, to their displeasure. Will and Cornelia were ecstatic but Raphael approached them with a veiled warning to "not be caught unaware". This was the most he could offer them. Following this, Raphael ditched his meeting with Brooke and instead went right to Frieser, telling her everything as a way to get revenge against Brooke. Now backed by Frieser, Raphael reunited with McTiennan and Medina and all four of them stormed Brooke's secret lab using Raphael's clearance ID. There, they found Brooke and Ridldle studying "Will" (actually her Astral Drop) to see if she had powers. The two were outraged by Raphael's betrayal but he defended they backstabbed him first, trying to take credit after Raphael did all the dirty work. While Medina freed "Will" and McTiennan kept a gun on Brooke, Frieser confronted her rival about kidnapping an innocent girl for his own purposes. The man defended that he would use her as his proof to their superiors that supernatural people existed and could be put to "good use". Riddle then pulled his own gun on Frieser and the group was locked in a deadly stalemate.
At this point, the Oracle - having watched everything - decided he had to intervene and whisked the whole group to Kandrakar. He greeted them in the Hall of Nothingness, removed their weapons, and explained why he had brought them all to this new dimension. Through a viewing crystal, they were shown the play in Heatherfield's theatre as a metaphor for their own action, using and deceiving one another until a Deus ex Machina must step in to solve everything. Such an idea frightened the group but the Oracle assured he was no high being and his only method to stop the fighting was to use a memory erasing spell.
The Oracle erased the memories of the whole group (minus Astral Will); they would no longer have any memories of what they learned about W.I.T.C.H. After that, he sent them all to their homes where any evidence of their meetings with the Guardians would also be gone. It is unknown what Raphael or any of the others did after having their current investigations erased. None of them were seen or mentioned again.
In the TV series, Raphael showed up alongside his boss Mr. Riddle, watching the girls' final battle with Cedric (via glamour screen). Later, he appeared as the new computer science teacher at Sheffield Institute.
In the planned 3rd season of the Show, Sylla was meant to be introduced as a hired mercenary by Mr. Riddle, to keep an eye on the girls and attempt to take the heart of Kandrakar. He also would have known the girls are the Guardians, thanks to Riddle using his telepathy to discover their identities.
|Arc 3: A Crisis on Both Worlds|
|Heroes:||W.I.T.C.H. (Guardians) · Orube · Yan Lin · The Oracle|
|Villains:||Ari · Yua · Maqi · Jamayeda · Astral Drops · Mr. Riddle · Raphael Sylla · Joel McTiennan · Maria Medina|
|Items:||Heart of Kandrakar · Aurameres|
|Planets:||Earth · Kandrakar · Arkhanta · Basiliade|
|Issues:||025 · 026 · 027 · 028 · 029 · 030 · 031 · 032 · 033 · 034 · 035 · 036|