Ereshkigal is the 3rd ranked Dragon Lord. True to her nickname "The Queen of Ice", she is a mage whose powers and personality are represented by the element of frost.
In Aion 4.8 it was revealed that she fought against Fregion in the past, and was sealed away following her defeat. In Aion 5.x she returns into the picture, seeking to reinvigorate her powers. She deploys her legions to carry out her schemes and deal with the meddlesome Daevas, while she herself seeks to preserve her energy in preparation for her ultimate goal: revenge against Fregion.
A strategist and level-headed thinker, Ereshkigal is known not only for being the best tactician among the Balaur but also for being a mage who possesses power on par with Fregion. Among the Balaur, whose nature is blood and rage, she is an anomaly: where most are driven by their insatiable lust for battle, she instead seeks knowledge and answers; where they would destroy, she prefers to enslave. Her personality and element are in direct contrast with Meslamtaeda, whose violent nature is often perceived to be the very embodiment of everything the Balaur stand for.
Although Ereshkigal's reputation is one of cold-hearted punishment, she is in fact rational and prefers to further her desire for power through strict adherence to her code of honor. She has the mark of Aion on her forehead. According to the The Story of Ereshkigal - The Chosen Drakan she is a special existence among the Dragon Lords.
In the centuries following the Cataclysm, Ereshkigal wandered the coldest and darkest reaches of Atreia's surface. While the other Dragon Lords unleashed their fury on the planet's surface and its remaining denizens, Ereshkigal instead looked for answers. After decades of searching she finally discovered what she had sought after for so long: a small fragment of the Tower of Eternity from which Aion's power still emanated, frozen in a glacier at the edge of the planet's crust. Ereshkigal poured her malice and cruelty into the fragment, and over the course of centuries shaped it into an object of sinister power. When the Abyss was discovered and the Elyos and Asmodians began to emerge from the two shattered halves of the world, Ereshkigal knew that she would one day have the solution to the war.
At some point Ereshkigal appeared before Tiamat after centuries of exile. While the latter expected that the elder Dragon Lord had come to claim her head, Ereshkigal instead handed Tiamat a scepter -- the Scepter of Scales. Embedded in the scepter was a jewel that seemed to radiate darkness. Tiamat raised the scepter and at once hundreds of Draken soldiers ascended and became Balaur. Tiamat’s eyes widened and turned to Ereshkigal, but the elder Dragon Lord was gone.
Other records involving Ereshkigal are spread thin. It is known that she froze the city of Kungalfberg (Beluslan) in the past, and that the permafrost could not be melted despite countless attempts from Daevas of Flame over the centuries.
Awakening (4.8) Edit
Ereshkigal returns into the picture with the Upheaval patch (Aion 4.8), where it is revealed that the newly risen land of Cygnea/Enshar is in reality a giant prison for a powerful being that lies underneath. As it turns out, a cataclysmic battle took place in the past between a being known as the power of fire and a being known as the power of frost. The battle ended in the latter's defeat, and thus the power of frost was sealed away underneath the land both powers had fought above. A junior Dragon Lord was assigned as her warden and, knowing the price of failure, took a number of precautions to ensure her prisoner remained under lock and key. The warden created a number of aetheric warding stones to conceal the prison itself, shattering these across the land while simultaneously assigning several legions of her undead servants to guarding each individual warding stone.
Yet, still not at ease, the warden ultimately decided on one final precaution. She created three artifacts, the Sealing Stones, and used these to submerge the entire continent on which the prison was located underwater, as well as keep it in this state. The Sealing Stones were hidden across the warden's territory, later revealed to have been the lands known as Sarpan, Tiamaranta and Katalam/Danaria. The warden then relocated her headquarters to Tiamaranta, and maintained firm control over much of Balaurea until the Elyos and Asmodians eventually venture to the 'outer shell' of the world and slay her in her own stronghold.
After the warden's death an elder Dragon Lord catches wind of her secret duty, and sets out to locate the power of frost and offer it a tempting deal: freedom in exchange for power. At this point the Daevas realize that the identity of "power of frost" is none other than the 3rd Dragon Lord, Ereshkigal.
Realizing that everything would be over if they were to face two Dragon Lords at once, the Daevas immediately launch a full-scale assault on the Drakenspire Depths. Through blood and sacrifice they are able to stop Beritra before he is able to complete the relic capable of fleeing Ereshkigal, but unbeknownst to them they only managed to stop Ereshkigal's immediate resurrection. The seal binding her was significantly weakened from the fight between Beritra and the player -- to the point where Ereshkigal slowly begins to wake from her centuries long slumber...
Return to Power (4.9-5.6) Edit
Some time after the events of 4.8 a giant roar is heard which reverberates across all of Atreia. Upon venturing into the Abyss both races discover that the area has changed drastically: the Core of Reshanta has frozen over, and the remainder of the Abyss has been buried underneath a thick layer of permafrost. At the same time they find that Ereshkigal's legions have invaded the Upper Abyss, and took up a fortified position near the three fortresses surrounding the Core after destroying the fortress of Roah and Asteria. Ereshkigal's armies raise havoc in the Upper Abyss, keeping the Daevas' attention away from her true intentions.
By the time of Aion 5.0 the war against Ereshkigal's forces in the Abyss had reached a stalemate, and when the weakening of the aetheric field surrounding the Tower of Eternity reveals two new lands (Iluma and Norsvold) both factions shift their attention to the land of their origin and its potential secrets. At this point Ereshkigal sets her cruel plan in motion. She dispatches two of her Dredgion fleets to launch a surprise attack on the capitals of Sanctum and Pandaemonium (Aion 5.3), causing both races to realize that the weakening of the aetheric field has not only revealed the presence of Iluma and Norsvold but has also left Elysea and Asmodae vulnerable to threats from outside. As hordes of Balaur are suddenly seen rampaging in the burning streets of the once safe capitals, both races have no choice to but immediately recall all of their forces from the Upper Abyss to defend their homeland (Dredgion Defense instance).
In the aftermath of the surprise attack it is reported that numbers of Daevas from both races have some missing. Eventually scouts uncover a new location in the Upper Abyss, an entrance point that leads to a place that would come to be known as the Bastion of Souls, and it is in here that a horrible truth is revealed.
In the distant past, a magical flower known as the Incarna (KR/EU: Sakraphes) had come into Ereshkigal's possession. She gathered some her Witches and created a group to tend to the flower, the Balaur that would later come to be known as the Harvesters. After Ereshkigal's disappearance the harvesters desperately looked for their queen, ultimately coming into contact with Orissan and thus Beritra. While agreeing to work together, both sides maintained their own intentions. Beritra's plan to awaken and control Ereshkigal by means of a soul relic was cut short by the Daevas, and as the 4th Dragon Lord was forced to flee the harvesters seized their chance. They helped Ereshkigal escape from the Drakenspire Depths after the events of 4.8 and bought her to a secured location. It is here that a significantly weakened Ereshkigal orders the harvesters to prepare the flower.
While a number of her troops kept the Daevas occupied during the invasion of their capitals, her other forces abducted large numbers of Daevas amidst the chaos. These Daevas were brought to the Bastion of Souls, where they were tortured and ultimately offered up to the Incarna as its 'food'. The player and his/her unit attack the Bastion of Souls, where it is learned that the first expedition sent before them has long since fallen and shared the same fate as the captives. After traversing the many horrors found inside the Daevas manage to slay some of Ereshkigal's witches, but their efforts ultimately are in vain as one of them, , manages to escape with the flower. Having absorbed sufficient nutrients it blooms, fully revitalizing Ereshkigal's powers.
Attack of the Queen (5.8) Edit
Now aware that Ereshkigal is at the Divine Fortress, the Elyos and Asmodians commence the assault. At the start of Aion 5.8 both factions advance their air fleets towards the Core, but Ereshkigal soon shows herself to the invaders and begins to obliterate the fleets while in her dragon form, forcing the remainders into a hasty retreat.
Realizing that a frontal assault will not work, Viola/Peregrine conjures up an alternative plan and, with the help of the Archdaeva player, creates a weapon based on Fregion's flame to destroy the frozen passageway connecting the Upper Abyss to the Core. A second assault is ordered, but although both airship fleets are able to penetrate into the Core this time it turns out that Ereshkigal had already considered an attack from above. Brigade General activates a fortified defense structure, trapping both the airships and Daevas in a gravity well and sending them crashing into the island. Although the Balaur immediately come swarming by the numbers the Daevas manage to stand strong. While most manage to regroup and keep the majority of the Ereshkigal's Atasin legion occupied in the area around the Divine Fortress, the player manages to infiltrate the Frozen Monolith with a small detachment and ultimately vanquish Nergal in combat.
With Nergal's demise the way to the Divine Fortress is open, where the Daevas once again find Orissan, this time resurrected as a Guardian General. After defeating him control over the Divine Fortress is relinquished to the Daevas, who discover the entrance portal to a hidden facility inside, the Mirash Sanctum. It turns out that Ereshkigal's soldiers were being resurrected through this place by a subset group of her Harvesters, the Soulcallers, explaining the Dragon Lord's seemingly limitless amount of troops. Upon learning that Ereshkigal presently is not at the Divine Fortress, instead having left for a place known as the Citadel of Ice, the Daevas invade and destroy the facility, ultimately vanquishing its overseer Kirshka in combat and putting an end to Ereshkigal's unending supply of soldiers.
The Third Disaster (6.0) Edit
By the time of Aion 6.0 the continued interference of the Daevas had become a serious headache for Ereshkigal. The Elyos and Asmodians had wrestled back control over the Abyss, her supply of troops was no longer infinite following the destruction of the Mirash Sanctum, and with the deaths of Nergal, Kirshka and Orissan she had lost three of her most trusted officers. Ereshkigal realizes that she needs more power, and thus sets her cold eyes on the Tower of Eternity. In an effort to gain access to the Tower and put an end to the Daevic menace once and for all, Ereshkigal depletes a substantial amount of her powers to destabilize the Abyss through a large-scale spell, sending the floating islands crashing into Elysea and Asmodae. Many of the Atreian lands and lives perish in the third catastrophe to occur since the Cataclysm and the Upheaval, but the Archdaeva player appears and, just like their past self, sacrifices him/herself once again to prevent complete destruction. Poeta/Ishalgen, Heiron/Beluslan and both capitals manage to survive the disaster thanks to the Archdaeva's sacrifice, as do the Balaurean lands of Inggison/Gelkmaros and Cygnea/Enshar. Seeing that her plan has failed and that the Divine Fortress is now completely open to attack, Ereshkigal has no choice but to flee, and retreats to the land of Lakrum.
- NCSoft has released a number of official comics which detail the events that took place between Aion 4.9 and Aion 5.3 from Ereshkigal's perspective. [Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 (End)]
- The fact that Ereshkigal ordered her troops to tend to the Incarna in the past suggests that accounted for a possible defeat when she would move against Fregion. Even if she died, the flower could be used to resurrect her as it has the power to call back souls. Likewise, the fact that Fregion sealed Ereshkigal instead of killing her suggests that the Arch Dragon Lord may have been aware of this secret Ereshkigal was keeping.
- The contents in the book The Sixth Dragon suggest that Ereshkigal's fight with Fregion may have been brought about due to a clash in ideologies.
- The 4.8 campaign identified Ereshkigal's gender as female for the first time. Several in-game books however continue to refer to 'her' as 'him' (the game originally listed 'her' gender as male).
- A female voice can be heard talking to the player during one of the Enshar campaign cutscenes (Asmodians). Digging through the game data files reveals that these voice files have "ereshkigal" in their filenames. It is also suggested that it is her voice we are hearing when Ahserion calls out and a female voice replies.
- It is strongly suggested that Ereshkigal has unlocked the secret behind Ascension, and is (partially) responsible for the Balaur's transformation from the Drakan into their present state. Besides the Scepter of Scales mentioned above, both Ahserion and Orissan can be seen calling upon her and her powers in the game for their (manual) ascension. This process does not seem to have been perfected yet, though, as Ahserion's ascension took a very large amount of time and Orissan went back and forth between immortality and mortality -- in both cases the Daevas were able to defeat them because of such a "flaw".
- The Shulacks found in the Aturam Sky Fortress carry Ereshkigal's seal on them, on which one of the NPCs elaborates by saying that Ereshkigal prefers enslaving sapiens and having them work towards her ambitions over destroying them. In doing so she is the only Dragon Lord to still resemble the original Drakan, whose goal was to "rule" instead of the present-day Balaur who apparently only seek to destroy.
- Her human appearance was first released in the Aion 5.5 (Korean) trailer.
- Ereshkigal's dragon form makes a first appearance in the trailer for 5.8.