|Nina Heeate L'andariel|
- "So simple, the minds of men. Rather disappointing, really."
- —Nina Heeate L'andariel
Duchess Nina Heeate L'andariel is an archdemoness, the Lady of the Duchy of Southern Yamato and the leader of the Southern Horde in the Third Age. She's the younger sister of Duchess Vaetris L'andariel of the Eastern Horde. She infiltrated the Southern Horde by posing as Duke Hepnaz L'invrad's Dreadlady Gin'vel. She eventually betrayed Hepnaz and usurped power within the horde and also forced Duke Malphas d'Xuvadon of the Northern Horde to become her pawn by putting him under a geas. Nina intends to unite the four demon hordes in order to pave way for her sister Vaetris's return.
Rise to PowerEdit
Nina was born as the younger sister of Vaetris L'andariel in the Demon Realm. The two quickly formed a close bond and worked together to rise in the bloody hierarchy of various warring demon clans and got to know several demons during this time, including Jahi Gallu. When the time of the Cataclysm came and demons were finally allowed to invade the Land of the Living en masse through the Gate of Darkness, Nina supported her sister Vaetris who took over Eastern Yamato. She eventually became Vaetris's lieutenant, a Dreadlady, while Vaetris assumed the title of Duchess and formed what became known as the Eastern Horde around the areas surrounding the city of Shippuu.
Working as a SpyEdit
Nina was part of a cabal of powerful demons who ambushed Dreadlord Ronove Thanadar a few years after the demon takeover of Yamato as per orders of other powerful demon lords who wanted to get rid of Ronove whose growing power opposed the other archdemons' plans. After Ronove was dealt with and seemingly fell to his death, Nina carried out another mission on behalf of Vaetris. She noticed that Dreadlady Gin'vel of the Southern Horde had been severely injured by Ronove during the ambush, so she intercepted the wounded Dreadlady, who was on her way to to the Soouthern Horde, and killed her.
After the deed was done, Nina used her demonic magic to take Gin'vel's form and pretended to be her. She would keep up the act for quite some time. Gin'vel's master, Duke Hepnaz L'invrad, didn't suspect anything was amiss, and the disguised Nina used her high position as a Dreadladly in the Southern Horde to discreetly send crucial information to Vaetris about Hepnaz's plans. Vaetris told Nina to bide her time and wait for the right time to betray Hepnaz to further Vaetris's ambitious plans.
Nina occasionally excused herself from Hepnaz's presence to pose as Vaetris during the gatherings of the four archdemons and their respective hordes. This way she made sure that no one would suspect that the real Vaetris was actually travelling abroad. This secrecy would help Vaetris with her long-term plans. Nina also set plans in motion to bride several guards in Kageshima, the central capital of Yamato, so that when the time was right, she'd be sure that the right people in the dark city wouldn't stand against her.
A Crimson DawnEdit
- "The Northern horde prepares to take back Vulpengaard, m'lord. With most of their troops near the northern border, most of their southern and east troops seem to be assembling to take back the fort."
- "Very well, assemble the 14th to 25th Mage squads and ten platoons of infantry, and make sure they have the new weapons and armor from our settlements. It's almost time we strike."
- —Nina (as Gin'vel) and Hepnaz L'invrad
Nina, under the guise of Dreadlady Gin'vel, arrived in Hepnaz's throne room in Hyama to inform him about the Akai Tora's victory in the Second Battle of Vulpengaard Keep and that the Northern Horde was preparing to take back Vulpengaard Keep from the Akai Tora forces. Hepnaz ordered her to send in the South's mage squads in order to force the remaining Northern Horde forces to flee to the northern territories while the Southern Horde would claim Vulpengaard for themselves.
"Gin'vel" did as she was told and delivered orders to Hepnaz's lieutenants who immediately assaulted Vulpengaard. The resulting battle was fierce, and the Akai Tora lost several warriors but nevertheless managed to keep the bartizan fort under their banner for the time being. Hepnaz wasn't pleased by his lieutenants' failure, but unbeknownst to him, his seemingly trustworthy Dreadladly was in fact hindering the Southern Horde's attacks subtly so that she could set the stage for the next phase of Vaetris's master plan.
- "I don't really care about your army or what it's doing, nor what you plan to do in Libaterra, but I do care about fealty. You shall bow down to the might of the East, and we shall let you continue living and doing as you wish. Yet the final power lies...with us. When my sister returns, her empire shall be ready to welcome her home. In the meantime, I shall rule in her place. And...I know what you want, and I can get it for you."
- —Nina to Malphas d'Xuvadon
Hepnaz continued scheming until he heard about the movements of the Northern Horde's armies towards Libaterra. Realizing that while the bulk of the North's armies were busy invading Libaterra, he could challenge Malphas d'Xuvadon, the Duke of the North, unopposed and catch him by surprise while Malphas was focusing on the invasion. Hepnaz took his Dreadlady with him and caught Malphas while the archdemon was visiting Kageshima.
The Duke of the South challenged Malphas directly, gloating that while Malphas's Northern forces were busy elsewhere, his Southern armies were taking over the North's territories. While savouring his victory over having outwitted Malphas in his own game, Hepnaz failed to notice his Dreadlady plunging an enchanted dagger through his back. The old archdemon realized too late that he had been betrayed, but the last thing that crossed his mind wasn't shock at the betrayal but the fact that he had been so close to winning and now his victory had been robbed from him.
Malphas was puzzled by this sudden change of events but was still on his guard. It was then Dreadlady Gin'vel transformed, revealing her true self: Nina Heeate L'andariel, Dreadlady of the Eastern Horde. She used her demonic pheromones to confuse Malphas long enough to intimidate him with her cunning and sweet words before she tricked him into kissing her elven ring. When Malphas did so, Nina announced that the ring had in fact been enchanted and whoever kissed it would fall under a geas which would force the kisser to obey the one wearing the ring. Malphas had now become Nina's puppet, and she had finished the Northern Horde takeover which Hepnaz had begun.
However, Nina couldn't help but flirt with the now annoyed and even more confused Malphas, stating that if the Duke did what he was told and helped Vaetris rise to power, Nina would find a way to compensate him for his troubles. She claimed she would let him do whatever he wished in Libaterra as long as he didn't forget who he was now serving. Malphas, realizing the severity of the situation, didn't dare test if Nina had been bluffing about the geas; if he acted against her and the geas was in fact real like she claimed, the magic of such a powerful spell would kill him instantly. And so the Duke of the North was forced to become the Eastern Horde's slave in everything but name.
Nina was pleased by this turn of events. Now that she had assassinated Hepnaz and tricked Malphas into serving her, she was effectively in charge of three demon hordes: the East, the South and the North. Now only the Western Horde remained independent, but she would make sure to make even them see things her way so that she could set the stage for Vaetris's return to Yamato.
- "Do you seriously think I'd explain my masterstroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? I had another minion in the Barca manor, and she delivered this scepter to me four days ago. I'm afraid you were too late; the plan has already been set in motion. Your silly little adventure kept both the Sinlarine necromancer and Thanatos Barca busy long enough, and even in the end they never figured out what was truly going on. I thank you for providing me with that necessary distraction; in so doing you've ensured my victory."
- —Nina to the Dresdens
Nina was the mastermind behind Jezebeth's infiltration scheme in Illunii as well as convincing Persephone Barca to side with the group which also included Naga and Kadru Vishahara. The demons searched the hidden elven city for the ancient elven artifacts for Nina's long-term plans, and eventually Jezebeth, posing as a lowborn elven servant, managed to locate said artifact, a scepter, in the laboratory of Thanatos Barca. Kadru was sent back to deliver the scepter to Nina while Jezebeth continued setting the stage for opening a portal to the Demon Realm so the Eastern Horde could invade the city by surprise.
To achieve these goals, Jezebeth succeeded in sending Persephone and Naga to Etheril to search for two tomes of necromancy which were needed for the portal-opening ritual as well as locating and bringing back the Sinlarine necromancer Deidra Finian whose presence was also crucial for the ritual to succeed. Jezebeth, under Nina's orders, manipulated Thanatos to hire a group of outsiders, the Dresdens, to bring back Deidra and Persephone too to increase the chances of locating the tomes of power in the process.
Ultimately the Dresdens succeeded in their task, and Naga, Persephon and Jezebeth each manipulated them in their own way, which led to the deaths of Deidra and Thanatos and the shattering of one of the elven scepters as they had hoped which opened the portal to the Demon Realm. The shattering of one scepter also empowered the other scepter which Kadru had already delivered to Nina by then.
The Dresdens proved to be far more cunning adversaries than the demons had assumed, however, and succeeded in banishing Jezebeth, capturing Persephone and closing the infernal portal. It was then that they ended up activating the demonic communication orb and came face to face with Nina's image. Nina greeted the heroes and mocked their efforts, revealing that she'd been behind Jezebeth's scheme. Even though the heroes had succeeded in closing the portal, they had failed to stop Kadru who had already delivered the one last remaining enchanted scepter to her. Nina victoriously showed the heroes the other elven scepter which she was holding in her hand, further mocking them for their failure.
However, Nina's gloating and revealing her plans, while initially cliché, actually served another, more cunning purpose: she was actually using her exposition to keep the heroes glued to the jewel and distract them long enough so that Naga, who had turned into a giant snake, could ambush them and collapse Thanatos's underground laboratory on them, thus killing off the heroes which would serve as the ultimate insult to them. The orb was destroyed and the manor collapsed, but the Dresdens managed to save themselves in the nick of time from being buried alive by cutting their way through Naga and emerging outside as the laboratory collapsed behind them.
Nina, believing the Dresdens to have perished, was by then sailing in a ship towards Oreinashi, the capital of the Western Horde. She chatted with one of her escorts, Sloth, and told her to bring her sisters on deck so that they could land on the West's capital and deliver her gifts to Duke Pazuzu, Lord of the West.
Nina briefly posed as Dreadlady Gin'vel to catch the West's guards by surprise, and the guards predictably took them in, intending to deliver them to the Duke's harem. However, when the captain of the guard treated Nina harshly, Nina finally got fed up enough by his misogynism and killed him on the spot while revealing her true form to the Duke and the remaining guards.
After a brief skirmish, the amused Pazuzu ordered Nina and his guards to stop fighting while he figured out that Nina was Duchess and had thus assassinated Hepnaz and usurped power in the Southern Horde. He asked her to tell him why she had come. Nina revealed the enchanted elven scepter which Kadru had brought her from Illunii earlier, presenting it as a friendship gift to Pazuzu while asking him to listen to what she had to say about a potentially profitable alliance between the hordes.
Nina also had another gift up her sleeve but would first ensnare the Duke of the West with her silky words in preparation for the next stage of Vaetris's complex plan. She could feel that victory would soon be within her and the East's reach but she also knew not to underestimate Pazuzu who would be a cunning adversary who she had to treat with respect to succeed in what she was trying to accomplish.
A Cry in the DarkEdit
- "Have your forces advance as planned to...reinforce their rear when it is time. We shall show them the benefits afforded to those who submit."
- "And those who refuse?"
- "Make them understand the futility of their disobedience."
- —Vaetris L'andariel and Nina about the Northern Horde
Nina contacted Vaetris via their magical communication orb, and the sisters exchanged information about recent events on their respective ends. Nina explained that her minions led by Lust had arrived in Alent where Vaetris was currently hiding in, and Vaetris decided to seize the moment and contact Nina's minions to further her own plans in the city. Vaetris ordered Nina to prepare the Eastern Horde's army to "reinforce" Malphas's Northern Horde once the time was right.
- "You may think this operation is child's play for someone of your talents and that you needn't use all your powers, but it's quite the opposite, in fact. I wouldn't have sent one of my top operatives to Trinity Gask if this mission wasn't of utmost importance to our horde's plans. My Sister and Lust are already busy in Alent, and it'd be a shame if we couldn't keep up with their progress."
- —Nina to Sloth
Nina used the communication orb once again, this time talking to Sloth who had teamed up with Jezebeth and Persephone. The demons exchanged pleasantries, and Nina gave the demon infiltration team orders to locate the mysterious Malperdy by any means possible and locate the artifact she was seeking. She ended the conversation with pleasantries, expecting to hear from their success soon.
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- Another name Nina is known by. It refers to her ability to defile--and corrupt--the minds of her opponents over time. Some rumours say that the title actually refers to Nina's true, demonic form.
- Her title while she was working under Vaetris in the Eastern Horde.
- Nina used this alias when she posed as Duke Hepnaz's Dreadlady whose identity she had stolen. She discarded the name when she usurped power in the Southern Horde.
- Lady of the South
- Nina's title after usurping power in the Southern Horde.
Nina has blazingly red hair and cold, cruel yet alluring eyes. She has a curvy body in her human form, and quite long nails. She likes to wear revealing yellow armor.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Calm, manipulative, sadistic. She derives pleasure from pain. She seems to have some feelings for Malphs, delighting in teasing him and making him fluster, but whether that means it could lead to something more or is just manipulation on her part remains to be seen.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
A skilled mage who can shapeshift to many forms with ease.
Nina considered Gin'vel to be the weakest of the Dreadlords, and she killed her when given a chance. It was all part of a plan to assume a false identity in order to slowly take over the Southern Horde without Hepnaz's knowledge.
Nina acted under the guise of Gin'vel and fooled Hepnaz into trusting her. When the old archdemon last expected it, she struck him down easily, showing how much she had grown in power. Hepnaz was nothing more but an obstacle to Nina's rise to power, and she tolerated him only because Vaetris told her to wait for the opportune moment to strike.
Nina enjoyed teasing and outwitting Malphas with her actions. She also openly flirted with him in order to confuse him. Malphas has mixed feelings of Nina. On the one hand he's furious that he was tricked by a demoness, but on the other hand he can't help but feel attracted to her beauty and cunning.
Vaetris and Nina seem quite close, willing to work together for the same goal for a very long time. Nina's loyalty to her older sister seems absolute, but as is always the case with demons, it's possible Nina has plans of her own which she hasn't set in motion yet.