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Misty Kilgore (7 Soldiers) (DC Comics)

Misty Kilgore aka the Princess Rhiannon of Summer’s End


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard.”
– Stéphane Mallarmé


Context

Misty is one of the main characters in Grant Morrison’s 2005 epic Seven Soldiers. She wants to be the apprentice of charismatic mage Zatanna Zatarra.

This profile includes S P O I L E R S about an amazing story. Our recommendation being to read the books before reading our profiles.


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Background

  • Real Name: Princess Rhiannon of the Sheeda.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Melmoth (father), Gloriana Tenebræ (evil stepmother), the population of Limbo Town (descendants of her father), unnamed mother (deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Apprentice of Zatanna, Sheeda royal family.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’1” Weight: 103 lbs.
  • Eyes: Black Hair: Black (w/a white shock of hair at the front).


Powers and Abilities

Misty did not overtly display special abilities for a girl her age.

It is unlikely that Misty was conceived after Melmoth replaced his blood with the Water of Life. He accessed the Cauldron in this way long after he was cast down, and thus long after Misty’s birth. However, since her parents lived for millennia, I assumed Rhiannon also had a superhuman lifespan.

Misty likely has Homo Magi -like potential to learn sorcery. That she can activate her half of Croatoan may be an hint about her potential mystical puissance.


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Croatoan

Croatoan is a fine example of a technology so advanced as to be indistinguishable from magic. Since Zatanna is her role-model, Misty commands the hyper-AI in her die to cast spells by talking backward.

Misty’s half of Croatoan is powerful enough to force the Merlin sprite to solidify. This is a major mystical feat. But it could not to force Zatanna to sleep for more than a handful of Phases. I have assumed that :

  • Misty used Hero Points  against Merlin but not against Zatanna.
  • That Croatoan (as one of the Imperishable Treasures) had magical sympathy with the other Treasures.
  • That while riding the Spell of Seven Zatanna was much harder to affect than she would otherwise be. In DC Heroes RPG terms, the Spell seemed to feed the Soldiers a stream of Hero Points and perhaps a Genre shift.

History

Misty’s life was one of the archetypal, cyclical myths. She was the princess. But when her father the king married an evil new queen, her new stepmother decided she would live forever. Thus, she did not need a princess.

The evil Queen made Misty spin a cobweb dress that took away the girl’s memory. Then she ordered the royal huntsman to take the amnesiac princess to the dark woods and kill her. But the huntsman could not and let her go, because she was too beautiful.

Summer’s End

These myths occur in seemingly endless repetition. But in Misty’s case, this may well have been the last hurrah of this story on Earth. She lived at the end of time, in Summer’s End. There the sun grows ever closer to an undead Earth, populated by the degenerate, toxic humanity of one billion years after our time. All the fairies involved were evil, blasé things.

Born to King Melmoth, the Princess Rhiannon was hugely popular. The Sheeda, the last degenerate shreds of humanity, were fixated upon royalty. The identity of her mother is unknown. But she may have been a woman taken from the past since Rhiannon usually looked like a modern-day human, rather than a Sheeda.

Melmoth later married a new queen, Gloriana Tenebræ. The wicked stepmother had the huntsman Neh-Buh-Loh dispose of the child. She then announced her ’accidental‘ death to an empire stricken with bereavement. She would later cast Melmoth down and ascend to the throne, becoming a full ruler and the Queen of Terror.

No time like the present

But both Melmoth and Misty survived.

Misty Kilgore, Zatanna, Ali Ka-Zoom

The huntsman Neh-Buh-Loh was inexplicably stricken by the very young Misty’s “symmetry and grace”. Instead of killing her abandoned her in the late 1990s. He then brought back the brain of a XXXIst century telepathic savant and passed it as Misty’s to the Queen.

The amnesiac Misty wandered around as your average runaway. She somehow acquired half of Croatoan, an impossibly advanced AI from the New Gods in the shape of two dice. With her magic die, Misty could easily live without a home or a family.

Unbeknownst to her the other die was in the subsecret parts of the New York Underground. It lied on the Foundation Stone – the mystical heart of the city.

Sexy funny magical

Misty was fascinated by the performer-wizard Zatanna, and wanted to become like her. The kid even taught herself to talk backward to perform bigger mystical feats with her magic die. She eventually travelled to the West Coast to meet her after reading Zatanna’s book, Hex Appeal.

After demonstrating her cigam srewop, the teenager convinced Zatanna to accept her as her sorcerer’s apprentice. Little miss cute goth moppet tagged along with Zatara’s daughter for days. Zatanna proved to be an excellent teacher, giving her a solid overview of the systems and responsibilities of magic.

The dead Merlin of the Ghetto, Ali Ka-Zoom, then interrupted their road trip. He guided them to the villa of the Undying Don so both women could start playing their full role in the Spell of Seven.

Seven Unknown Men in a swamp

While at Villa Rocco, Misty encountered Sheeda troops for the first time she could remember. These knelt before her and followed her orders. Misty started slowly recovering her memories. Minutes later she and Zatanna ran into Neh-Buh-Loh. The huntsman was carrying the Cauldron of Rebirth that had just been repossessed from the now-dead Don.

Lamenting his previous weakness and decision to let the Princess of the Land at the End of Hope live, Neh-Buh-Loh recounted his tale. He then told both women to run before he would annihilate them. Zatanna had the overwhelmed Misty conjure the winged super-horse Vanguard, and they rode away from the carnage at great speed.

Zatanna went to the hovel of the miser, Cyrus Gold, in Slaughter Swamp. Therein was the mystical heart of the magics that were unfurling as part of the Spell of Seven. Zee and Misty found the spinning wheel where the Princess Rhiannon had been forced to spin away her memory. It had presumably been built by the Time Tailor for the Queen of Terror.

The Harrowing is coming

Sensing the nature of the place, Zatanna told Misty to get away with Vanguard and be safe in Tibet along with the other super-horses. Zee then confronted Zor the Time Tailor, the eighth of the Seven Unknown Men. She prevailed by taking over the narrative.

However, Misty spent at most a few days with Vanguard in the Himalayan ruins of Glorias. The Harrowing then started, and both Ms. Kilgore and the super-horse sensed it. Riding Vanguard, who led a herd of his kin, Misty flew to L.A. to pick Zatanna up, then to Manhattan to face the Harrowing.

Over New York City, the super-horses engaged Sheeda forces, and Vanguard flew away to recover his mistress.

The Harrowing

Misty had reached the conclusion that the only way to stop the Harrowing was to replace Gloriana on the throne and order it to halt. She cast a sleep spell over Zatanna and started rallying invading Sheeda troops to her. But Zatanna was riding the Spell of Seven and emerged from the sorcerous sleep within seconds.

Rhiannon had already walked away. She soon encountered Klarion, also wandering in the middle of the war zone. Klarion was holding the other die that was Croatoan and tricked her into lowering her guard. This allowed his cat Teekl to kill Misty’s honour guard and steal her die.

With a cackle, Klarion rode away, now holding the full power of Croatoan, the Fatherbox.

Seven Soldiers

Misty ran back to Zatanna. Her plan was completely falling apart and she thought Klarion had just stolen the only thing that could defeat the Queen of Terror.

The teenager reached Zee just in time to witness her complete the Spell of Seven. The Seven Soldiers destroyed Gloriana Tenebræ and foiled the Harrowing. Klarion then hijacked Castle Revolving and used the Fatherbox to take over the Sheeda throne.

Misty likely remains Zatanna’s apprentice. However she has not been seen since, which is a shame.


Notes about names

Rhiannon

Misty’s real name is Rhiannon. This is the Equestrian Goddess of the Welsh myth, as told in the Mabinogion. Fittingly this goddess is “the maid of Annwn”, which in Seven Soldiers becomes a pun between Welsh and English (“Annwn” -> “Unwhen”, another name for Summer’s End).

Rhiannon’s key symbol is she rides a white horse, as Misty did with Vanguard.

Rhiannon is sometimes considered to be a local variation on the Gaul goddess Epona, a psychopomp. However, it is Ali Ka-Zoom who plays that role in Seven Soldiers.

Melmoth

“Melmoth‘ is a reference to Melmoth the Wanderer, a classic Gothic Horror novel by C. Maturin. The novel’s John Melmoth is not unlike the deposed King of the Sheeda. He is a scholar who sold his soul for a century and a half of extra life, and dealing in curses.

Having Melmoth and Frankenstein clash is thus thematically consistent, since they are two of the biggest Romantic, Gothic Horror figures, along with Lord Ruthven. ”Melmoth” seems to be his actual, Sheeda name.

Gloriana Tenebrae

“Gloriana Tenebræ” can be loosely translated as “she who bears the glory of all darkness”. She is the mythic Evil Stepmother, and keeps biting into apples. Asides from the Biblical symbolism about morality, this also crosses over with the poisoned apple in fairy tales. And with Avallon being translated as “the land of apples”.

While Melmoth is a Romantic villain, the Queen of Terror is a postmodern one. She’s efficient, flexible, moving through subtle disguises and manipulations, glorifying lies and twisting basic human values. And yet she does all of this because she must ensure the survival of humanity in its darkest, final hour.


Description

Little miss cute goth moppet, in her early to mid-teens. She’s a quiet girl, almost spooky.

After she started accepting that she was Rhiannon, her skin acquired a blue-ish tinge very similar to the other descendants of Melmoth, the witch-people in Limbo Town. Then it shifted slowly to become alabaster white, with completely black eyes.

It is unclear how much control she has over her appearance, and whether she can revert to her modern human appearance.


Personality

Misty is a goth teenager who wants to be just like Zatanna as she continues to grow up. She even manages to capture a large part of the witty, deadpan speech patterns of her role-model. This results in amusing cynical remarks and glib repartee on her part. However, Misty has a distinct West Coast teenage girl slant to her speech that Zatanna lacks.

Misty mostly speaks when spoken to or when she feels like making a deadpan remark. The rest of the time she prefers to wander around silently, looking at stuff with considerable curiosity.

She’s unusually quiet when she’s not busy coming up with wiseass remarks. As Stevie Nicks once said “She is like a cat in the dark / And then she is the darkness”.

Other traits

Misty has classic tastes – she likes cats and chocolate.

The revelation that she was the Princess Rhiannon was hard for her to overcome. But once she did she tried to both act out the fairy tale structure (the good Princess comes back and reclaim her throne as the Evil Stepmother is killed) and save the world.

It is only after Klarion stole her magic die she realized in her young head her plan did not make sense. If she replaced Gloriana, she would have no choice but to conduct Harrowings to save her desperate realm.

Since Misty seemed pretty smart, it is possible she realized this too late because she was still in the process of recovering her memories about the Sheeda. Or maybe she was just as overwhelmed as most teenagers would be in similar circumstances. But she certainly did not seem evil.


Soundtrack

Oh well. Since I did the inevitable reference anyway, some old hippie people music.


Quotes

“I love the way you write about magic. It’s so, like, down-to-earth and non-preachy. Could you teach me, how to do it like you ? I’d even pay and everything…”

“.ixat raeppA”

“You got me now. Sorcerer. Apprentice. Deal ?”

“I asked my magic die to find you and it did. Didn’t you think it was weird nobody but you could see me there ?”

“Interesting store. The immediate threat of violence is a real incentive to browse.”

Cass: “Your apprentice glides silently around the room in a way that makes my chakras incredibly nervous.”
Misty: “That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”
Zee: “She’s learning to be a superhero.”

“Yaaaah !! Shapeless thing alert !”

(Suddenly understanding Zatanna’s plan based on her lessons) “Misdirection. That was the first rule. This is all about distracting him away from me.”

(Touching the corpse of a Sheeda war spider) “ It’s been all the way from the dawn of time to the last days and back… and it won’t get to do it ever again… I feel so sad.”
Zatanna: “Are you okay, babe ?”
Misty: “I don’t think so. It’s like they killed one of my favorite toys.”

(In a daze) “I… can’t think of anything… My stepmother is the queen of some place called Summer’s End… Gloriana Tenebræ, the Queen of Terror…”

“No, your fashion sense is really cool. It’s part of your magic. My die will protect me from the cold, but… can I keep one of your jackets ?”

“They survive… *we* survive… by preying on other’s people’s cultures and achievements. Oh, look ! Black flowers. One day they’ll cover the whole Earth. The sun will be red and all the seas will have turned to fog.”

(Echoing the Whip’s writings) “Is this it ? Is this what it’s like to be a super-hero ?”

“Zatanna ! My step-mother’s about to invade the Earth. I thought of you.”

(In a panic) “He took my die ! It was the only weapon I had against her ! It’s all gone wrong ! Now she’s here ! She’s here to eat the whole world and no one can stop her !”


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Princess Rhiannon of Summer’s End

Dex: 02 Str: 01 Bod: 03 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Runaway, apprentice
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 009 HP: 025

Skills:
Animal handling (Horses): 04, Occultist: 02, Thief (Stealth)*: 02

Advantages:
Credentials (Sheeda Empire, High), Near-Immortal.

Connections:
Zatanna (High).

Drawbacks:
Age (Young), Uncertainty, Misc.: Misty is an amnesiac for much of the story.

Equipment:
Croatoan [BODY 35 SPIRIT 35, Sorcery: 30, Limitations: Sorcery can only be used at half power (15 APs cap) unless it is solely used to affect another Imperishable Treasure. Drawback: Directly using Croatoan may only possible for somebody with some Sheeda blood, or maybe someone who is a royal person, or both. Drawback: Fewer APs than intended may get used by the die if the wielder is not certain his action is correct].
Misty lost her magic die to Klarion, however. Having both dice presumably has some sort of effect (lifting some or all Limitations ?), but this is undocumented.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Seven Soldiers metaseries (2005), especially Zatanna 1-4.

Helper(s): Darci.

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