"My destiny is immutable. Every thought I make is pre-determined, every breath I take further proof of my ascension. I raise my sword to the heavens and proclaim Valmasia as my own."
Eline Sakete, otherwise known as the Empress, was the leader of the Umbra Mortem and the spearhead of the army that conquered Valmasia by the year 742. This marked an end of two centuries of Melym rule and the splitting of villages to independant rulers, with the Empress as ultimate authority. Despite her monumental achievement, the Empress committed suicide with the unholy blade Durendal a few short years afterward. Scholars argue over the reasons to this date. Most conclude it was an act of her insanity.
At the time of her death the Empress had reached an old age of 56. Despite this she remained one of the most powerful human being in Valmasia even in old age, ruling through sheer force of will rather than charisma. She is reputed to be among the most powerful human occultists to have ever existed.
Though her personality changed dramatically as she devolved into deeper insanity, there were a few facets that remained consistent for most of her time in Valmasia. Eline Sakete was a proud woman on the surface, yet for most of her life she harboured a feeling of overwhelming paranoia and insecurity. She was a woman who could never freely embrace death, and was always on the look-out for any whom could deal it to her. It was this insecurity that lead to the murders of individuals such as Zeke Stormbringer, Oswald North, Serra & Krystal and Kyle White. This insecurity vanished after her defeat of Judael Loki, a fact that may explain her suicide years later.
Notably, she has killed each of her apprentices by hand. The aforementioned Zeke and Kyle for the threat they might pose in the future, and later on the Ookami known as Mako. She also murdered her tutor and companion, Kaye Le'Dura, whom had helped keep the womans growing insanity in check for a number of years.
Her moods were flippant and prone to changing without much warning. The exception to this was when she spent almost two years locked up inside the Nostvale throne-room; the Empress emerged bright and chirpy with enough happiness to put a performing circus to shame. On the other hand she had been known to fall into violent outbursts and non-sensical rambling.
The only other consistant attribute of her persona was a firm belief in her destiny. Reinforced with every victory she held over the Melym's, Eline Sakete was convinced that she was destined to become something more than human, to ascend and lord over all the lands of Eternia. She frequently spoke of the threads of fate pulling her towards her goal, and the rules she wrote up for Valmasia upon her ascension were known as the Manifest Destiny Clause.
Abilities and ArtifactsEdit
Darkness Magic- The Empress was a master of the Occult, able to delve deeply into the twisted emotions that fuel the power of dark magic. In doing so, this also negatively impacted her personality, however. Her potential was held back by her human form, an imperfect container for occult magic as compared to a yokai. Nevertheless she was one of the most powerful occult magi in Valmasia history, contending for the top spot.
Spirit Summoning- Much like Durendal's previous wielder, Quorin Silvertongue, Eline Sakete maintained a mastery of the spirit realm, able to rip even the most powerful spirits from their restless slumber and bring them to serve once more. The exact prowess of her spiritual arts are uncertain as she rarely applied them.
Water Magic- Likely her second most powerful school, Eline Sakete was a master of water and able to harness the power to flood a small village. Tides answered to her call and she moved in a flurry of water projectiles. One notable application of water magic was destroying the potion shop of Ala and Xezbeth Eutrice with her husband Hakim Najeer, another master water magi, in a single attack.
Blood Magic- The weakest and least practised of her arts, yet still incredibly potent due to her sheer magical prowess. She never mastered blood magic to the point of being able to incapacitate, but the school was used to devastating effect when combined with her other talents.
Shadow Ghoul Command- One of the three gifts of Judael Loki. This granted Eline the ability to command the Shadow Ghouls whom had haunted a long-dormant Alteros, effectively giving her some military strength with which she might begin her campaign. The ability is superceded by Judael, and does not allow her to spawn her own shadow ghouls.
Tainted Arm- After losing her arm to the hellstrom fairy Kri'illu, Eline Sakete used half of the extremely potent dust and travelled to Lorlyn to seek out the most experienced alchemists and blacksmiths she could find. With plenty of crowns and patience she eventually managed to have a crude metallic arm furnished for her. It clicked with numerous gears but provided perfect movement. Another feature was that it enhanced her ability to channel darkness magic, allowing her to use the arm as a focal point to the powerful spell 'Shadow Cannon', which Eline infamously dubbed as her 'Execution Beam' for its ability to annihilate even hardened warriors and scores of mundane troops.
Damocles- The other half of the fairy dust was used in the development of the Damocles. With the assistance of Vincent Arreatt, a mine full of Arcanium and more fairy dust than had ever been in one place at a time, the scholar genius managed to complete the machine after several years in Umbra's thrall. It was a device which amplified the dark magics of Durendal and the Empress' own impressive occult energy, resonating across Valmasia. This was noticeable by humans whom often reported during this time of feeling dark desires or corruption clawing at their mind, but the real target were the yokai who were far more attuned. This machine was used to rally an army of yokai able to rival the Melym forces at Danarium, alongside the Oscuri and the Shadow ghouls. It now resides in Melym Tower, brought there by Demergo after the war. It is rumoured to be non-functioning at the moment.
Glaedr- A powerful ring forged by Kri'illu and later taken by Eline Sakete. It corrupts the wielder and speaks insanity to them, driving them in further into depravity; a part that Eline was already walking at this time. Not much is known about the ring other than that it was created by a fusion of fairies, and grants its wielder great darkness amplification.
Durendal- One of the three gifts of Judael Loki. With Durendal Eline was able to rally the villains of Valmasia, power the Damocles and convert several important allies including Uriel Melym. As a sword and a magical artifact it is rivalled only by Dawnbringer. For more information see Durendal.
The War of Umbra MortemEdit
One of the most infamous and most recent wars in Valmasia's history, the War of Umbra Mortem lasted beyond a grizzling decade and plunged the country into immuteable darkness.
- The war began with Judael Loki taking an interest in Eline Sakete, whom had become a fugitive of the law after her murder of Kyle White. The angel approached her in Frostvale under the guise of a Nivis, and after a tense confrontation they were whisked away to the angel's realm.
- Eline attempted to kill Judael but the angel proved immortal in his realm. After much squabbling Judael gave to Eline the legendary Durendal, and dominion over Alteros. The price was slavery. Though reluctant to accept she did not have much choice-- fortunately Judael rarely exercised his right during the war.
- Sitting upon the throne of Alteros, Eline used Durendal to unleash a pervasive darkness across the land. Like an invisible, smothering smog, it reached into the hearts of the greedy, corrupt or desperate. They were called to Alteros, and they would make the first members of the Umbra Mortem. Among them was the enigmatic Siris Nefarum, Zurian and his Neo Tenebris Aurora, and later on Hakim Najeer.
- A few years passed before war was finally declared. This time was used to gather more supporters and to plan. Eventually news was announced of a large reserve of Arcanium found beneath Nostvale, and the time to strike loomed closer.
- The Oscuri arrived. Appearing in Alteros as if they were always there, words were growing tense between the Umbra and the servants of Azrael until Kokb'ael arrived. With his ghastly intentions towards the world-- including the oscuri and the Mortem-- the two were able to ally together and defeat the imperfect yokai, cementing an alliance.
- Nostvale was besieged. The village fell easily, garrison slaughtered and walls taken by the Mortem. Excavation began on the arcanium even as plans were drawn and discussed. Vincent Arreat and several researchers were kidnapped in the coming years while the rest of Valmasia formed a counter attack.
- The Black Gate was established to defend against Danarium. A massive structure blocking off the Sarab desert, restricting entrance to Nostvale and beyond.
- Few skirmishes occured until the next siege. The soldiers of Danarium, under Meilin Melym, seemed content to bide their time and not attempt to harry forces. In turn the Umbra Mortem consolidated their strength. It looked to be the beginnings of a cold war until the war machine that was Danarium finally rallied to assault in a two-pronged attack upon Alteros and Nostvale.
- Alteros weathered the assault easily, yet it was a success on Danarium's behalf-- most of the powerful oscuri remained in the fel palace, whereas only a distraction force approached them. The majority of the forces beat upon Nostvale's door.
- The troops of the Umbra Mortem were clearly outmatched and being pushed back heavily. Kaede, Alastair and Meilin had cornered Eline Sakete and her husband Hakim within their palace, and it seemed a hopeless situation. Yet the power of the soon to be Empress and her betrothed managed to defeat the three most powerful warriors of the Duratus, leaving two dead and the Queen escaping. This prompted a retreat by Danarium's forces, leaving Nostvale to survive.
- A swift counter-attack would be necessary. Eline forged alliances with those that she could, including Uriel Melym and the Kaor yokai Demergo. In this time the Damocles was completed, and Valmasia experienced sporatic waves of dread as the machine was tested. Finally the day came to assault Danarium and win the war in one foul swoop.
- Damocles was activated and a huge number of yokai were gathered, with even more as a result of Demergo's influence. They marched upon Danarium through the forest, but the defenders were more than prepared. Eline Sakete kept them clumped together, showing some lack of actual military tactics, and in turn they were heavily bombarded by magic from the tower of Danarium, leaving most of the yokai in tatters before the fight even began.
- Even so, the fight was heavily in the Mortems favour. Uriel and Meliudas fought and defeated each other, leading to the latter joining with the former. Hakim Najeer confronted the king and defeated him, whereas Eline Sakete fought against Meilin Melym. The day was won and the Umbra Mortem sat victorious, overthrowing the Melym rule of two centuries. To some extent, at least, as Uriel would be offered the throne soon after.
- The Manifest Destiny clause was drafted. Although princess Lailah escaped, she was eventually rooted out and exiled. It seemed that nothing could stand against the Empress.... yet the regime fell as quickly as it had been born, following her somewhat mysterious suicide. Durendal was lost from the scene of her death and it is speculated whether she was really dead at all.