Nerissa Crossnic is a fictional character from the comic book W.I.T.C.H. and the animated series of the same name. In the first season of the animated series, her aliases made several appearances during Season One, but her true nature was not revealed until Season Two.
Nerissa was once the holder of the Heart of Kandrakar, but it was taken from her because she was corrupted by its power. Mad with jealousy, she turned on her fellow Guardians and accidentally killed Cassidy by shooting her off a cliff with lightning during a fight for the Heart of Kandrakar. For this crime, she was sentenced to be sealed in Mount Thanos until she was freed by a portal (Or in the comics, the occurrence of all elements combined in one evanescent being). She went trough the portal to Meridian where she met the Mage, who had hoped that she would reform if shown compassion.
After the Mage's death, Nerissa took over her identity and manipulated events in Meridian from behind the scenes. In the animated siries, she also disguised herself as a red-headed lady named Trill. Taking up work in Phobos's castle in order to feed information back to the rebels, and to become close to Elyon once she was returned to the throne. In season two, she successfully siphons all Elyon's power into a jewel, which becomes the jewel version of the Heart of Meridian.
As the former holder of the Heart of Kandrakar, Nerissa has the same powers as the current holder, Will.
Chronology: Animated Series
Some 40 years prior to the events of W.I.T.C.H., Nerissa served as the leader of the Guardians of the Veil and as the Keeper of the Heart of Kandrakar. However, the Council of Kandrakar feared that the power of the Heart was corrupting her, and took it from her believing that doing so would save her from her newly discovered obsession for power.
Desperate to regain the Heart, the ambitious Nerissa confronted the new holder of the Heart, Cassidy, the Guardian of Water. The pair fought, and Nerissa accidentally sent Cassidy plummeting to her death from the top of a mountain. As punishment for Cassidy's death, Nerissa was sentenced to a lifetime of imprisonment in an ice cave on Mount Thanos. When the Veil was raised, a portal opened in Mount Thanos and Nerissa used it to escape to Meridian. Later, the Mage helped her, hoping that her guilt and an act of compassion would reform her.
Nerissa laid low during Phobos' reign (before and during season 1). She created a new identity that of a good natured red-headed lady called Trill, and used her cunning and magic to gain employment in Phobos' castle, from where she helped the resistance by smuggling people into/out of the castle and by passing on information. Her true nature was not revealed during this time and she actually helped the Guardians a lot saving them at least once from getting caught.
During this period she also took over the identity of her former protector the Mage (who had since died), and became the lover of the future rebel leader's father, Julian. Together they had a child, Caleb, who became the leader of the resistance. Nerissa later revealed that she had given birth to Caleb specifically for the purpose of him becoming the rebel leader (In the comic book continuity, Nerissa did not take on the identity of the Mage who only appears in the animated series, and is not related to Caleb who was created rather than born, and has no parents). Caleb did not learn of his relationship to Nerissa until season 2.
After Phobos' downfall, Nerissa became the primary antagonist and began to move against the Guardians. She freed some of Phobos' minions and set them against the Guardians. Also, she attempted to subvert and disrupt their daily lives on Earth.
Nerissa used the former Guardians to fight the current Guardians in an element versus element battle in which Will had promised not to retreat. At first Nerissa's Guardians, powered by two Hearts, had the upper hand, until Will realized that the former Guardians were strong when fighting their opposite elemental number, but lacked the free will necessary to diversify their attacks in order to fight against a different element. This change of tactics allowed the Guardians to defeat Nerissa and force her to retreat.
When the current Guardians next fought Nerissa, they were able to break her spell of control over the former Guardians. Once Cassidy was freed by Irma (she was thrown in a pool and Irma used her skill to influence minds to dispel Nerissa's brainwashing), the others soon followed. However, before they could press home their advantage, Nerissa absorbed the former Guardians into her Seal, allowing her to access to all of their powers. Only the intervention of the newly freed Phobos prevented her from turning her new elemental powers against the Guardians, and she was forced her to retreat once more.
Nerissa's final defeat came on Halloween, when she attempted to steal the power of the Heart of Earth. After cornering and capturing Napoleon the cat (one of the Regents of Earth) Phobos (disguised as Napoleon) drained Nerissa of her powers and took the Seal of Nerissa, later the Sceptre of Phobos, for his own. He then trapped Nerissa in the Seal along with Elyon, Yan Lin, and the other former Guardians.
Nerissa remained trapped in Weira's jewel, which was the jewel version of the Heart of Meridian, and was passed into the hands of Julian and Caleb. Nerissa remains trapped inside, living out her dream of conquering the universe without realizing that it is an illusion. Nerissa was voiced by Kath Soucie.
Nerissa is calm and calculating, and she will step on or over anybody in order to further her cause. She even gave birth to a son so that he could overcome her enemies and lay down the foundations for her rise to power. She has an unshakable belief that it is her right to take control of the universe and to reshape it in her own image.
Despite her calm exterior she is prone to fits of emotion (as shown when her son Caleb refused to join with her) and, although she does not show it, Nerissa is consumed by feelings of guilt over Cassidy's death and in one episode when Halinor and Yan Lin say to her "Are you going to destroy us like you destroyed Cassidy, does her memory mean so little to you?" Nerissa responds with strong emotion "You have no idea what she meant to me" before screaming "This is not over" and fleeing, leaving Yan Lin, Halinor and the Guardians alive even though she could quite easily have destroyed them.
She also was not completely heartless, as she genuinely cared for Caleb, having offered him a choice to join her and refusing to let Phobos hurt her son. Also, when Narissa believed she had won and had been able to conquer worlds and unite them under her reign, she had imagined her former lover Julian and her son Caleb at her side, congratulating her on her victory and ruling beside her, indicating she did care and hold high regards for them (though her conquest were merely delusional visions she had while being trapped in a crystal forever).
Nerissa is also a very skilled actress, as she was able to fool everyone, including the Oracle that she was the Mage and Trill without giving away suspicion, until she exposed herself. She was also able to fool Kadma and Will when she was running away from them in order to get Kadma to absorb the Heart of Meridian into the Heart of Zamballa, and fool the Guardians that she did not want them to rescue Yan Lin. It is obvious from that she also has a lot of patience, as she was forced to wait approximately 14 years to get the Heart of Meridian.
In the comic series, Nerissa does not seem to show any feeling of guilt or remorse for what she did to Cassidy and her friends, even going as far as to call her friend Kadma a fool. She shows little feelings towards her Knights of Revenge, keeping them simply for her own use. This can be seen as she ultimately destroyed them by reabsorbing their energy for her own gain. She attacked Kandrakar solely for revenge towards the elders and shows little respect for them, declaring that they cannot stop her.