Nerissa

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Nerissa
Nerissa animation.jpg
Publication information
PublisherDisney
First appearanceA is for Anonymous/Comic Issue 16
Created byElisabetta Gnone
In-story information
Place of originEarth
Team affiliationsC.H.Y.K.N.
Notable aliasesTrill, The Mage/Several other humans
Abilities
  • Quintessence
    *Electrokinesis
    Flight (whilst young)
    Glamouring (reality warping)
    Teleportation
    Dream Invading
    High knowledge of spells
 
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Nerissa
Nerissa animation.jpg
Publication information
PublisherDisney
First appearanceA is for Anonymous/Comic Issue 16
Created byElisabetta Gnone
In-story information
Place of originEarth
Team affiliationsC.H.Y.K.N.
Notable aliasesTrill, The Mage/Several other humans
Abilities
  • Quintessence
    *Electrokinesis
    Flight (whilst young)
    Glamouring (reality warping)
    Teleportation
    Dream Invading
    High knowledge of spells

Nerissa is a fictional character from the comic book W.I.T.C.H. and the animated series of the same name. Her aliases made several appearances during Season One, but her true nature was not revealed until Season Two.

Nerissa was once the holder of the Heart of Kandrakar, but it was taken from her because she was corrupted by its power. Mad with jealousy and rage, she turned on her fellow Guardians and killed Cassidy during the battle. For her crime, she was sentenced to be sealed in Mount Thanos until the day when the five elements were united in one body.

When this came to pass, Nerissa reverted to her teenage form and began her plan to destroy Kandrakar and take back the Heart of Kandrakar which she believed rightfully belonged to her.

As the former holder of the Heart of Kandrakar, Nerissa has the same powers as the current holder Will.

Contents

Chronology: Animated Series

Some 40 years prior to the events of W.I.T.C.H., Nerissa served as the leader of the Guardians of the Veil and as 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.

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 (pre 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.

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.

In her identity as Trill, Nerissa also befriended Elyon, giving her a necklace that she said had once belonged to Elyon's birth parents. Unbeknown 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.) Nerissa then revealed her true identity, and trapped Elyon inside the necklace, which was now the physical 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, rock, and the forms of Matthew Olsen and Mister Huggles, naming them the Knights of Destruction.

While the Knights kept the Guardians busy, Nerissa set about re-forming the original Guardians: Halinor Clarkson, Yan Lin, Kadma Starlighter, and the revived Cassidy. She found the weaknesses in their characters and exploited them in order to take control of their minds. 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 and used it to re-energize her Guardian mind slaves, restoring their youth.

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 they were strong when fighting their opposite elemental number, but lacked the 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 spell of 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, Phobos (disguised as Napoleon) drained Nerissa of her powers and took the Seal of Nerissa, later the Sceptre of Phobos, for his own. He then trapped Nerissa in the Seal along with Elyon, Yan Lin, and the other former Guardians. The former of whom had since learned to reabsorb enough of her powers from the Seal to allow her to exact punishment on the trapped Nerissa for her treachery.

Nerissa remained trapped in Weira's jewel, which was the jewel version of the Heart of Meridian, 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.

Chronology: Comic Book

The previous keeper of the Heart of Kandrakar, Nerissa was corrupted 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 and rage, she turned on her fellow Guardians and brtually killed Cassidy; by tricking her without notice and shot a beam at her until she fell off of the mountain that she and Nerissa were fighting on and perished. When Cassidy was killed off, Nerissa was sentenced to be sealed in a coffin located in Mount Thanos until the day all of the Aurameres were joined together in one body. That eventually came to pass through the efforts of Luba, who was convinced that the girls were unworthy of their status as Guardians.

Awakened from her slumber, Nerissa proceeded to create the Knights of Revenge-Khor, Tridart, Ember and Shagon-and kidnapped Caleb, who had a copy of the five powers within him. Absorbing this, Nerissa was able to reacquire most of the power she lost and got her teenage looks back. She then managed tricked Will into giving her the Heart, declaring war against Kandrakar. Nerissa with her Knights of Revenge, travelled to Kandrakar and began their battle but she was severely weakened. In order to regain it, Nerissa began reabsorbing her Knights' power but Shagon, full of hatred for Nerissa's manipulation and use of them, betrayed her and struck her down before he was absorbed. Once again old, Nerissa attempted to escape but the girls combined powers and destroyed her at last.

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.

Powers

As the former holder of the Heart of Kandrakar, Nerissa has all of the same powers as the current Guardian Will, although she is much more experienced in using them, and much more aware of their true potential, than her younger counterpart.

Her elemental power is Quintessence, which can bestow life on inanimate objects. It can also be used like conventional electricity, allowing her to attack an opponent using powerful lightning bolts and to form an electrical shield around herself. She is also an illusionist able to change her own appearance and to twist the minds of others to her will.

Nerissa also possesses a terrifying ability. She can manipulate the dreams of others. She displayes this ability in the episode "E is for Enemy" when she attacks 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.

She also seems to possess the power of Telekinesis, as during her time as posing as the Mage she was able to levitate the Tonga Tooth that she had taken from Blunk claiming that there was a spell on it. She has a high knowedge 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 CH.Y.K.N.), and presumidly many other whilst posing as the Mage.

Nerissa supplemented her powers using the Heart of Meridian, which she stole from Elyon, allowing her to teleport freely, even between dimensions, and greatly enhancing all of her existing powers to the point where she was able to raise the dead (as she did with Cassidy's spirit) and create new life (as she did in order to create Ember and Tridart). 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 enhancing her powers in all respects, and raising her control of Quintessence to the level where she was able to turn Cassidy's spirit into flesh. Nerissa later gains control over all the elements when she absorbs her former friends into her Seal.

Personality

Nerissa is calm and calculating, and she will step on or over anybody in order to further her cause. She believes that she is the true owner of the Heart of Kandrakar and went to great lengths to obtain it. She also tried to destroy Kandrakar in order to get revenge on them for banishing her to Mount Thanos.

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 Yan Lin says to her "'Does her (Cassidy's) memory really mean so little to you?" Nerissa responds "You have no idea what she meant to me" before screaming "This is not over" and fleeing, leaving Yan Lin and the Guardians alive even though she could quite easily have destroyed them.

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 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 stop her.

See also