Ereshkigal was the 3rd ranked Dragon Lord. True to her nickname "The Queen of Ice", she was a mage whose powers and personality were represented by the element of frost. She returned into the picture with the Upheaval, and served as the game's primary antagonist up until her defeat in the 6.5 update.
For much of Aion's history Ereshkigal's presence was limited to records of the ancient past. In the 4.8 update it was revealed that she fought against Fregion in the past, and was sealed away following her defeat. After the 5.3 update she takes up a more active role, 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.
The final battle against Ereshkigal takes place in The Veilenthrone in Lakrum (6.5). While seeking the power of the Genesis Relic, she unsuccessfully attempts to absorb its power after being cornered by the Daevas, causing her to be weakened and be slain by the player.
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 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. The book Frozen in Time describes how 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 (4.8), where it is revealed that the newly risen land of Cygnea/Enshar is in truth a giant prison for a powerful being that lies sealed underneath it. Legends speak of a cataclysmic battle between a being known as the power of fire and a being known as the power of frost above the land, which ended in the latter's defeat. As the power of frost was sealed away underneath the land, a junior Dragon Lord was assigned to be her warden.
Knowing the price of failure, the warden took a number of precautions to ensure her prisoner would remain under lock and key. A number of aetheric warding stones were created and shattered across the land to conceal the entrance to the prison itself, each guarded by legions of her undead servants. Ultimately, as a final precaution, the warden submerged the entire land itself underwater, and created three artifacts known as the Sealing Stones to keep it in this state. The Sealing Stones were hidden across the warden's territories and kept the land submerged until after her death, when an elder Dragon Lord catches wind of her secret duty and destroys them, bringing about the Upheaval.
After the Tiamat's death Beritra sets out to locate the power of frost and offer it a tempting deal: freedom in exchange for power. At some point the Daevas put the pieces of the puzzle together and realize that the "power of frost" is none other than 3rd Dragon Lord Ereshkigal. Although the Daevas are able to stop Beritra before he can completely free Ereshkigal, they are unable to prevent the seal binding her from being significantly weakened - causing the 3rd Dragon Lord to slowly begin to wake from her slumber..
In the comic it was revealed that shortly after the events in the Drakenspire Depths Ereshkigal's troops find and invade the structure, successfully retrieving their leader.
Return to Power (4.9 - 5.6) Edit
At the start of the 4.9 update a giant roar could be heard, reverberates across every corner of Atreia. Upon venturing into the Abyss both factions discover that the area has changed drastically: the Core of Reshanta has frozen over, and the remainder of Reshanta 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 fortresses 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 the 5.0 update the war against Ereshkigal's forces in the Abyss had reached a stalemate. When the weakening of the aetheric field surrounding the Tower of Eternity reveals two new lands both factions shift their attention to the land of their origins 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 lightly defended capitals of Sanctum and Pandaemonium (5.3), prompting both races to realize that the weakening of the aetheric field has not only revealed the lands of Iluma and Norsvold but also left Elysea and Asmodae vulnerable to threats from outside; the aetheric field protecting them was one and the same. As hordes of Balaur are suddenly rampaging through the burning streets of both capitals, the Elyos and Asmodians have no choice to but immediately recall all of their forces from the Abyss to defend their homelands (Dredgion Defense instance).
In the aftermath of the attack it is found that scores of Daevas went missing amidst the chaos. The mystery remains unsolved until one day scouts find a giant new structure in the Upper Abyss. Beyond it lies the the entrance to a place of dread and torment 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 (SakraphesKR/EU) had fallen into Ereshkigal's hands. She gathered some her mages and appointed them to tend to the flower; this group would come to be known as the Harvesters.
After Ereshkigal's disappearance following her battle with Fregion the Harvesters desperately looked for their queen. One day they find and resurrect the fallen and, by extension, come into contact with . While seemingly agreeing to work together both sides harbor their own intentions, and when Beritra's plan to awaken and control Ereshkigal is cut short the Harvesters seize their chance. Through their aid Ereshkigal escapes from the Drakenspire Depths and was bought her to a secured location to reinvigorate her powers.
While a number of Ereshkigal's forces kept the Daevas occupied during the invasion of their capitals, some of her other troops rounded up and abducted large numbers of Daevas amidst the chaos. These Daevas were then brought to the Bastion of Souls, where they were gruesomely tortured and then offered up to the Incarna as its 'food'. In the 5.6 update 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 structure the Daevas at last manage to corner and slay some of the Harvesters. One of them however, , manages to escape with the Incarna. Having absorbed sufficient souls and bodies it blooms, fully revitalizing Ereshkigal's powers.
Attack of the Queen (5.8) Edit
The Daevas soon pinpoint Ereshkigal's location to the Divine Fortress and commence the assault. At the start of the 5.8 update both factions advance their air fleets towards the Core, but Ereshkigal soon reveals 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, / conjures up an alternative plan and, together with the (Archdaeva) player, creates a weapon based off Fregion's flame to destroy the frozen passageway to the Core. A second assault is ordered, and although both airship fleets are able to penetrate into the Core this time it turns out that Ereshkigal had already accounted for an attack from above. On an artificial island located above the fortress Brigade General activates an Aether nullification struction, sending both the Aether-powered airships and the Daevas crashing into the island. Although the Balaur immediately come swarming by the numbers, the player and his unit manage to infiltrate the Frozen Monolith amidst the chaos and ultimately vanquish Nergal in combat.
With Nergal gone the path to the Divine Fortress is open, where the Daevas once again confront , 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 located inside the structure: the Mirash Sanctum. It turns out that some of Ereshkigal's Harvesters were resurrecting her fallen soldiers in this place, explaining the Dragon Lord's seemingly infinite troops. When scouts learn that Ereshkigal currently is away from the Divine Fortress the Daevas invade and destroy the facility, vanquishing its overseer and putting an end to Ereshkigal's unending supply of troops.
Scarring of Atreia (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, she depletes a substantial amount of her powers to destabilize and fracture the Abyss, sending its numerous 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 before the destruction is complete the Archdaeva player appears and, just like their past self, sacrifices him/herself to prevent complete destruction. Thanks to the (old) player's sacrifise the lands of Poeta/Ishalgen, Heiron/Beluslan as well as both capitals manage to survive the disaster, 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 following the destruction of the Lower and Upper Layers, Ereshkigal flees to the land of Lakrum.
In Lakrum both factions find that Ereshkigal's forces have seized control and consolidated themselves around the fortress at the edge of the region. Through initial advances it is learned that apparently an object with great powers resides within the fortress, but that Ereshkigal has been unsuccessful in seizing it so far. Thus begins a deadly race to reclaim the land and advance on the 3rd Dragon Lord before she can succeed.
With the help of an Elyos/Asmodian scholar named Atis/Rith the Daevas are able to steadily reclaim the land, and ultimately uncover the presence of the Primeth's Forge. In the structure they find Ereshkigal's troops working on some sort of gauntlet under the command of , commander of the Dredgion fleets that attacked the Daevic capitals and one of Ereshkigal's last remaining officers. After an intense battle the Daevas see her slain, but unbeknownst to everyone another presence makes off with the gauntlet amidst the chaos.
Fall of the Queen (6.5) Edit
By the time of the 6.5 update the Daevas had successfully reclaimed Lakrum and retaken the fortress from the Balaur, trapping Ereshkigal inside the structure with the last of her troops. When the Daevas advance into the fortress they find an ancient Jotun temple known as The Veilenthrone within, which holds the object Ereshkigal is after: a powerful artifact said to contain the very essence of Aion itself, known as the Genesis Relic.
In a true race against the clock the Daevas manage to defeat the last of Ereshkigal's elite bodyguards, forcing a direct confrontation with the 3rd Dragon Lord herself. Her power is overwhelming, but the Daevas manage to stand strong and slowly gain the upper hand. In a last ditch effort Ereshkigal tries to absorb the power of Genesis Relic directly, but without the safety of the Primeth Gauntlet the relic rejects her, corrupting and weakening her being. Seeing this the Daevas push their assault to the limit, and soon enough a terrible roar could be heard across the land of Lakrum and beyond. In the silence that followed the Daevas found the confirmation that the end had come to a conflict that began with the Upheaval and had claimed countless victims since.
The 3rd Dragon Lord was no more.
- 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 prior to her fight with Fregion suggests that she may have anticipated a defeat. 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 hid Ereshkigal and sealed her away instead of killing her suggests that the Arch Dragon Lord may have been aware that the Incarna was in Ereshkigal's possession.
- The book The Sixth Dragon suggest that Ereshkigal's fight with Fregion may have been brought about due to a clash in ideologies. This affirms the findings of other books, which have suggested that the Dragon Lords (much like the Empyrean Lords and Elyos/Asmodians) have fallen apart due to inner strife.
- 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's files reveals that these voice files are tagged as "ereshkigal". 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 (at least partially) responsible for the Drakan becoming Balaur. 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 as a simple silhouette in the cutscene for Dredgion Defense's campaign quest in 5.3. Its full reveal happened in the trailer/introductory cutscene for 5.8.