Emlarlie Nithel IX

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"Some things are better left forgotten. Some things are better left... revised."

Final queen of a forgotten nation called Nithel Island, Emlarlie Nithel IX is an obscure, enigmatic figure at best in modern Ealdremen history. Although she peacefully abdicated the throne to the then-burgeoning Alamo Empire, which then absorbed Nithel Island, Emlarlie IX's rise to power was anything but peaceful. A succession crisis broke out in her childhood with the death of her mother, Emlarlie Nithel VIII, and, within fifteen years, she was left as the sole survivor out of the seven Nithel children orphaned by Emlarlie VIII's death. History struggles to pinpoint exactly what Emlarlie IX was and was not involved in, and if she was a mastermind or a victim of circumstance, but her own gruesome accounts testify that she, in fact, killed all six of her siblings.

Within the Final Nightmare, Emlarlie IX has taken an active role following the end of the galaxy, seeming to manipulate the broken state of Ealdremen for her own agenda. However, her machinations may go back well beyond the end; there is evidence that she knew about Time's Eclipse long before ZGN and Eht Kerleraph clashed and terminated Ealdremen from existence.

Background

"My beloved family, my brothers and sisters, I promised you when I killed you that you would live again in freedom. That day is yet to come, but for now... you will fight for it."

Emlarlie IX was born as the youngest child to Emlarlie VIII, raised in the heart of Nithel Island within its palace. However, around nine years later, her mother was killed in an event that Emlarlie IX's older sister, Fortress Nithel, ascribed to a conspiracy that she eventually came to suspect her siblings of. The vision of a memory thought to be connected to Slum Queen, the eldest Nithel daughter, suggests that Emlarlie IX was imprisoned and left in a decrepit state to the point where she was barely human anymore and was surrounded by bits and pieces of corpses. Details of this memory, such as manacles and cages, are suggested in the "road of no release" that Emlarlie IX literally walks in her path to a distant eclipse.

At some point in her adulthood, according to Emlarlie IX's memoirs, she met Laca-Enser ri Anzu. By this point, the succession crisis would have been well underway, and Anzu, native to a foreign country, came to help Emlarlie IX's cause. Her efforts persisted until the succession crisis ended with the death of Vennarok Nithel II, who nearly killed Anzu by throwing her out of a clocktower when she came to rescue Emlarlie IX from her brother's clutches. When the chaos of the island quelled with the crowning of Emlarlie Nithel IX, she returned for Anzu and brought her to live in the palace with her in secrecy. Their lives went on in this manner until Anzu abruptly left one day and appeared to have died by voluntarily taking the place of Derrin Stormwing I, then a rebel against the Estvoldian colonists subjugating various Raljikkan territories. Shortly after, Emlarlie IX left the throne herself, and Nithel Island came to be absorbed by the Alamo Empire and fell into obscurity with none to remember it. Emlarlie IX's memoirs suggested that she left Nithel Island because she believed Anzu was still alive, and because she was no longer interested in the throne soaked in her siblings' blood.

The Final Nightmare of Arplakoon

"It was agonizing playing pretend with your friends and going back and forth, whacking each other with swords and spells, playing by their rules, practically taking turns for who got hurt and who died."

Although Emlarlie Nithel IX's date of birth would put her in the era of Divided Worlds and the lead-up to the First Galactic War, she is a prominent force throughout the Final Nightmare, the disjointed and reflected nature of the broken world making for a perfect stage for her ambitions.

Shadow of Nicta

Emlarlie IX's first mention came not from her, but in scraps of papers and books that pointed towards her and her siblings. In particular, a scrawled message in a book claimed that Emlarlie "knew about Time's Eclipse, even back then." Her implied presence intensified when bodies of several survivors of the world's end -- Natalya Alkaev, Derrin "Silver" Nightclaw, Joskkur Starcatcher, Ezwellejujakkallid Ishkkeuwekki, Potirezza DiNochiombra, Aurette, and Strisci Madrante -- were discovered with notes on their corpses, each of which cryptically declared that this person would be a certain Nithel (e.g. "I WILL BE EMLARLIE"). Too late, the survivors realized that the various meetings they had with Chesalyn had, in fact, been with two separate people, unbeknownst to the real Chesalyn. Summoning the clones of the dead survivors and fighting alongside Enzo Enumessun, Emlarlie IX dropped her disguise and went head-to-head with the living versions of the survivors and their allies from different timelines of Nicta's shadow.

Just as she was dispatched, however, her soul flew from her body, and none other than both ZGN and Eht Kerleraph manifested, contending for her spirit as it vanished into the dark. Though the survivors pursued her and attempted to turn her back as she quite literally walked along the path of her life, she denied their words, even as Natalya attempted to invoke a mention of a certain "crow," and she disappeared.

Penumbra of Nicta and Dralvarus

"Imagine that -- you could've just been a background character in someone else's story, but look at you now. A protagonist in your own right -- with dead parents and everything! That certainly seems common enough among your friends."

After the survivors returned to Anamnesis with more questions than answers, Emlarlie IX made a personal appearance in the dream of Hjördís Ermentrud, who heard a chorus that lured her into Emlarlie IX's presence. A short but unsettling conversation revealed that Emlarlie IX was somehow cognizant of Hjördís' past, even details she had not told anyone, at which point Emlarlie IX turned hostile, seeming to need Hjördís dead for some purpose of hers. When Hjördís refused to fight her, however, Emlarlie IX demonstrated a terrifying and one-of-a-kind ability to "narrate" her victory or anything else she wished to have happen, not even casting spells to warp reality and instead simply stating what she desired. In this manner, she killed Hjördís and left her body for Alvarus the Netherlord to take.

Following Hjördís' death, Emlarlie IX announced to the remaining survivors that they would need to venture into the Shadow of Dralvarus if they hoped to see her again. Her revealed presence urged Joskkur, Oscare Iono, and Zrakati Firescale to look further into the Nithels with the help of Chesalyn, suspected to be Emlarlie IX's oldest sister, Slum Queen, under a new identity and without her memory. Through the eclipse, the four returned to the "road of no release" that Joskkur had seen Emlarlie IX walk, and here, among other details about the Nithels (such as Emlarlie IX's accounts of how she killed them), they resolved that Chesalyn truly was Slum Queen -- or, perhaps, her real name, Thessalyn Nithel. At this point, Emlarlie IX appeared before them, threatening for them to allow her to erase Chesalyn's memories of being Thessalyn Nithel. While Oscare rebuked Emlarlie IX for this and became increasingly hostile, Joskkur interrupted with a spell to erase Oscare's memory of what they had discovered. Seemingly mollified, Emlarlie IX removed Chesalyn's memories as well, removing them from the road of no release with a simple "wish" for her dear sister to have sweet dreams and enjoy the luxury of "forgetting" in her part of "forgive and forget".

Trivia

Meta History

Emlarlie Nithel IX is actually one of the oldest characters in Chrono Stars in terms of a meta creation date. Her earliest mentions date back to within a year of Chrono Stars' creation, where her name was "Emla". The other Nithel siblings had counterparts as well, but were not siblings until significantly later in Chrono Stars' meta history. Because they were always part of the same story meta-wise, they were made siblings, similar to how characters such as Dokani the Necromancer, Ainori the Heir, Thorn the Courtyard-Keeper, and Felaji the Servant were not biologically related in their original story, but because they shared a native story, were made biological relatives in Chrono Stars' modern incarnation.

Emlarlie IX has always walked with a cane, even in her oldest prototypes from Chrono Stars' early history.

The traditional monarchists that Emlarlie IX was affiliated with were a group called the "Nithel Liberators" in the draft immediately before the tabletop game. Longer before that, their name was "Shatter the Sanctuary". She and the other proto-Nithels part of this group were also all born morphers rather than humans, which was changed when canonical timelines changed in such a way that would make this impossible.

Meta Insights

As stated in the Final Nightmare, Emlarlie IX's personal name means "storm-silence," or "the calm before a storm."

Although she did not personally appear until the Final Nightmare, Emlarlie IX's agendas and actions have been in place well into the lore of Chrono Stars long before any player knew she was relevant. Knowledge checks, out-of-game information expositions, and wiki mentions of her date back to 2016, three years before her name was even mentioned in the game.

As early as the first battle encounter with her in Shadow of Nicta, Emlarlie IX demonstrated some of the abilities she would later use when "narrating" Hjördís' death with no chance of reprisal; Oscare and Five, because their players were not present for the encounter, were automatically placed under her control.

On the rare occasion that Emlarlie IX rolls dice, every modifier she has is a multiple of 9.

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