Kromede, also known as , is an Asmodian Daeva and former Shadow Judge. Once a paragon of beauty, virtue and diligence, corruption took a hold of her mind as she became aware of the sway she held over others, and started using this knowledge to amass ever-greater amounts of riches and artifacts. This eventually led to her downfall and one of the greatest scandals in the Shadow Court's existence.
She appears as a playable character in Kromede's Trial, and is faced as an enemy in both Fire Temple instances. While her overall role in the game is minimal, her story of love and betrayal is known to many Daevas - Asmodians and Elyos alike.
Kromede's early history is detailed in the book Femme Fatale of History 9. Blessed with both beauty and wit, she charmed all those around her from a young age and quickly finished her training, becoming the youngest Daeva to ever be appointed as a Shadow Executioner. She fulfilled her duties brilliantly, and quickly rose to the rank of Shadow Judge.
What most people did not know was that Kromede was obsessed with perfection, and that as her rank rose she started using her duties and even the Shadow Court itself as tools to pursue her own interest in legendary items with great powers. At some point a fellow Shadow Judge takes note of the Court's sudden interest in seemingly insignificant cases, and eventually comes to suspect Kromede. Although Kromede held firm control over the Court at this time, the fellow Judge contrived a cunning plan. He manages to plant the seed of suspicion and distrust in Kromede's mind, and as she proceeds to shirk her admirers the net around her steadily closes.
Before long one of the dismissed admirers, a clerk named Robstin, turns on her, revealing information that prompts a full investigation led by one of the Court's Senior Judges, Kaliga. Kromede is found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment in a crystal (much like Munin). On the way to Altgard however the transport is attacked, and Kromede mysteriously vanishes.
"As it turned out, Kromede had not taken her love from quite everyone. She had continued to secretly court someone, promising her exclusive love and proving it by shirking all her other admirers (...) The confession, the sentencing, the final request--it was all a sham, one final manipulation to sway the minds of her accusers. Thus Kromede easily escaped justice with the one man who had finally proved her equal, the one man who could save her--the man who had also doomed her."
Love & Betrayal
Kromede's next appearance is in the Kromede's Trial instance. The details of what happened after her escape are unknown, except that she is with Robstin now who at some point has become her lover. From what can be gleamed from Kromede's Trial it can be surmised that at some point the two are discovered by Kaliga, who instead of reporting their whereabouts offers Kromede a deal. As it turns out, Kaliga had long since become corrupted himself, and sees Kromede as the ideal accomplice and pawn for his plans. Kaliga assures their safety if Kromede fulfills a number of errands for him, and takes Robstin into custody to ensure her compliance.
Eventually Kromede is tasked with stealing from a shrine belonging to the Siel's Spear Legion. Kromede is reluctant but complies on the condition that this is the final request, and that Kaliga won't harm Robstin. The Judge agrees, but when Kromede returns with the item Kaliga betrays her.
When Kromede wakes up she finds herself in the dungeons underneath Kaliga Manor, but manages to escape with the help of . Robstin is executed before Kromede has a chance to save him, prompting her to go a revenge crusade in which she kills everyone in the Manor before ultimately bringing down himself. A distraught Kromede asks Kaliga why he did this, considering that she had done everything he had asked of her, but Kaliga just replies by saying that the long life of a Daeva can get quite tedious. In his dying words he reminds Kromede that the world will remember her as a corrupt Judge instead of him, and perishes while laughing. With everything lost, Kromede escapes from the mansion before the Archons get there.
Mistress of the Fire Temple
According to the campaign quest A Blazing Rescue, a disillusioned Kromede wandered Asmodae in exile for years until she eventually came to Morheim, lured by rumors that the Sky Temple of Arkanis houses a powerful Daevic weapon. Although Kromede had lost everything - her dignity, her future and her lover - she still had one thing left: her original desire for legendary items with great powers.
Kromede's initial efforts to take over the Fire Temple prove uneventful, and ultimately she is sealed inside the temple's deepest recess along with its Protector, a Daeva of Flame named . Since then many have ventured into the Fire Temple, but barely anyone returns. At this point the (Asmodian) player is asked to infiltrate the structure and free Agnita.
As the player would later discover, Kromede had managed to overpower Agnita and sealed her inside an object: a chalice. Unable to leave, Kromede decided to make the Fire Temple and the many riches it held her new home. Although most who ventured into the temple were slain there were some exceptions - most notably an Elyos Guardian named Denvalis who she then seduced and made into a watchdog over Agnita's Chalice: .
After freeing (Asmodian)/confronting Denlavis (Elyos), the player and his group venture deeper into the complex and at last come to face with the Fallen Judge herself: . Her beauty long since turned to vanity and virtue to evil, she puts up a fierce but ultimately miserable struggle. Kromede meets her end amidst the riches that marked her life and downfall, and is defeated as a shell of who she once was - and could have been.
- In the Smoldering Fire Temple instance (an event version of the Fire Temple which is supposedly set a number of years after the events of the original) Kromede is still alive and well. An explanation for this (and many other similar cases) can be found in the words of Israphel during Aion 3.0, where it was alluded that the world of Atreia is "reset" to its default state each time minor disturbances occur.
- Despite her limited role in the game, Kromede has remained a rather popular NPC. She is the only character in Aion to have received three instances dedicated to her (Fire Temple, Smoldering Fire Temple and Kromede's Trial), as well as a rather detailed backstory that is explained via an in-game book and several quests.
- Kromede also appears as a playable character in another game developed by NCSoft, MasterxMaster. In this timeline a group of mercenaries/adventurers from another world arrives at the Fire Temple and, after an initial battle, Kromede decides to follow them to their world. She meets and gets along with the other members of the unit, and ends up joining them on missions to liberate a post-apocalypse Earth.
- Her final words upon being defeated in the MxM's version of the Fire Temple are: "Robstin, I..."
- During some of MxM's missions (set in the game's desert areas) she remarks that the environment reminds her of Asmodae, but she expresses no particular interest in going back.
- She acquires an interest in the ability of SOL (the game's energy resource) to function as an alternative to Aether, and researches this in her spare time. She also sometimes hangs out with a Shugo and Fire Spirit who ended up in this dimension.
- While she is usually friendly, taking this as a second chance at life, traces of her evil self sometimes (temporarily) resurface.
- In MxM the bow she uses in Aion is revealed to be named Adjudicator.