“I am who I am. The pain of others, I do not feel. The sorrow of others does not touch me. Death feeds me. Death pleases me. I am the essence I consume. You fools will become corpses here, because I wish it to be.”
Nergal (ネルガル Nerugaru) is the main antagonist of Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken, and is the only character in the series who belongs to the Dark Druid class. He wields the strongest dark magic tome in his specific game, Ereshkigal.
Nergal was not always evil. Prior to the events of the game, he met Athos in Nabata and they quickly became friends. They were equal in knowledge and power, and together discovered the desert village of Arcadia, a place where dragons and humans coexisted peacefully. Athos and Nergal were both surprised that such a place could exist, and upon invitation from the village leader they stayed there for hundreds of years learning from the dragons' vast libraries. They constructed an oasis for the villagers and hid the city behind a veil of sandstorms.
Nergal and Athos eventually drifted apart in their beliefs. Nergal discovered a magic which could take the life force, or quintessence, of other living creatures and turn it into power. He began experimenting with small creatures, and as he grew more confident he used this same technique on ever more complex animals, eventually taking the life of a human. Athos and the village elders discovered Nergal's secret deeds and urged him to stop, but Nergal would not listen. Athos and the Divine Dragons managed to strike him down, and Nergal was banished from Arcadia. He vanished and slowly built up his power again to avoid the eye of Athos.
If the player clears several side-quest chapters of Hector's campaign, it is revealed that Nergal was in fact the father of Ninian and Nils because of a relationship with a dragon, Aenir, and sent them through Dragon's Gate on Valor to protect them when his wife was kidnapped. Afterward, he turned to dark magic to make himself stronger so he could open the Gate himself and reclaim his children. However, Nergal lost himself in the darkness and forgot why he even wanted to open the gate in the first place, only remembering that he needed power and that the Gate must be opened.
Nergal was the one who called Ninian and Nils through Dragon's Gate a few hundred years after he was banished from Arcadia. He did this so that he could use them to call more dragons into this world, and then harness their quintessence so that he may become the most powerful being in the world.
He is responsible for the creation of Morphs (i.e. Sonia, Limstella, Ephidel) golden-eyed beings that travel the world looking for the quintessence of powerful individuals to give him even greater strength so that he may call dragons through the Dragon's Gate, where he keeps hold of Ninian, Nils, and Eliwood's father Lord Elbert at the beginning of the story. He stirs up war in Lycia by using an assassin group called the Black Fang, which he controls through one of his morphs, Sonia.
In the last chapter of the game, Nergal uncovers his face from the turban that hides it to reveal a wound along his forehead and a burned right eye. He exclaims that the person he had thought to be his truest friend, Athos, had inflicted the wound upon him. In his final moments, Nergal draws three dragons from Dragon's Gate in a final desperate attempt to destroy his foes.
“An avaricious fiend who turns death into power.”
Tome - A
*Enemy only, joins unequipped
- Vs. Eliwood (Eliwood's Story)
Nergal: So you're here, Eliwood. I thought losing Ninian might distract you. Have you forgotten her so quickly? How heartless.
Eliwood: I haven't forgotten. I'll never forget. It was my mistake that killed Ninian. Because of that... I will fight. I will not run away and hide in sorrow... I'm going to put an end to all this!
- Vs. Eliwood (Hector's Story)
Nergal: Did you know, Eliwood? What happened to your friend Hector? What he was thinking as he fought by your side?
Nergal: Heh heh... It's a pity. If only he had been free to return to Ostia.
Eliwood: I know that I've caused much pain for my friends. But that is why... I will not lose here today!!
- Vs. Lyn
Nergal: Little girl from Sacae... You'd do well to vanish. One such as you is no match for me.
Lyn: The nomads of the plains do not abandon their fellow tribespeople. Eliwood and Hector are my dear friends... Their sorrow is my sorrow. Their anger is my anger.
Lyn: Nergal! In my friends' names, I will cut you down!
- Vs. Nino
Nergal: Uhn? Who do you think you are?
Nino: You will pay! You stole my family from me, and you will pay, Nergal!!! I will avenge them all!
Nergal: Now, I see... You're Sonia's...
- Vs. Jaffar
Nergal: Hmph... It's you, Jaffar? Turning your sword against me, your master? Do you forget who raised you? You are worthless.
Jaffar: ...Wrong. I am a man.
Nergal: Oh, really? If so, then I will give you a man's death!
- Vs. Renault (Hector's Story)
Renault: ...Nergal, do you remember me?
Nergal: Hah. You are... Renault. So you're still seeking out a wretched existence?
Renault: I went astray. I listened to your honeyed words... I dreamt of the impossible... the return of a lost soul. But...what you gave me was... a puppet... It was soulless...nothing more than an empty vessel!!
Nergal: Just an empty vessel... Isn't that what you wanted? You desired to bring back your dead friend. You were my experiment, and I completed my morph. I'm grateful, Renault. Thanks to you, I gained power.
Renault: You villain... You cursed him! Your crime can never be forgiven! I will end you with my hands. In the name of my lost friend!
- Vs. Hector (Eliwood's Story)
Nergal: So you've come, Hector of Ostia. Your existence itself was my greatest miscalculation. If it had only been Eliwood, this could have been over. So, my little miscalculation, I will erase you. And leave no trace remaining.
Hector: Do your worst!!
- Vs. Hector (Hector's Story)
Nergal: I cannot understand you, Hector of Ostia. Why would you do all this for Eliwood? Is this miserable thing called friendship worth dying for?
Hector: I don't expect you to understand. You've forgotten what it means to be human! Nergal! My connection to you… it's over! I'm finishing everything up right here!!
- Vs. Athos
Nergal: Heh heh... Athos... Take a good look at me! At my tremendous power!
Athos: Already...words are useless. As an old friend... I will fulfill my duty.
“Why? Why must I lose? Gaa... Not like this... I will not die...like this. With my last breath... tremble...and...despair. Hwah ha ha... Ha... ha ha ha...”
—Nergal's death quote
“Why? Why must I lose? More power... I must be...stronger... I... Why? Why did I... want power? Gaa... Not like this... I will not die...like this. With my last breath... tremble...and...despair. Hwah ha ha... Ha... ha ha ha...”
—Nergal's modified death quote if two Kishuna Chapters visited and Kishuna defeated.
“Why? Why must I lose? More power... I must be...stronger... I... Why? Why did I... want power? ......Aenir? ...Don't...under...stand... but... Gaa... Not like this... I will not die...like this. With my last breath... tremble...and...despair. Hwah ha ha... Ha...ha ha ha...”
—Nergal's modified death quote if all Kishuna Chapters visited with Kishuna slain.
Nergal was the name of the Mesopotamian god of war. According to one myth, Ereshkigal, the goddess of death, tried to reprimand Nergal for ignoring her messengers. He in turn attacked her and would have killed her, but Ereshkigal offered to marry Nergal and make him king consort of death.
- In the conversation with Limstella before the Lords arrive in Victory or Death, Nergal's map sprite is a regular Druid rather than a Dark Druid.
- When Nergal blinks, his wounded eye spasms shortly.
- It is possible that Nergal is Roy's grandfather if Eliwood marries Ninian ( In Hectors Campaign if you unlock several side quest it is revealed that Nergal is in fact the father of Nils and Ninian )
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, his SpotPass team may be based on his collection of Morphs in the Final Chapter of Rekka no Ken.
- Nergal is one of two characters with unique sprites dependant on which direction they're facing. The other character to share this distinction is Chrom.