Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of ValentiaEdit
Its origins hail back to even before the start of the Archanea Series, being initially creation of a Thabean alchemist named Forneus, who discovered how to raise the dead as perfectly obedient soldiers using insects called thanatophages. By taking advantage of the thanatophages' ability to control corpses, Forneus created masks containing the insects, then placing them on corpses, resulting in the creation of the original Risen, which he called the Death Masks. However, the ruling senators of Thabes decided to seal Forneus and his creations away in the depths of the Thabes Labyrinth, never to be disturbed.
Fire Emblem AwakeningEdit
These creatures wouldn't be seen until much later on, in the doomed future from which Lucina and the other children originated, where the Risen were the dominant force, constantly hunting the surviving remnants of humanity who were killed and added into their ranks by Grima. When they are introduced in Chapter 1, they spawn at roughly around the same time as Lucina's arrival in the past across both Ylisse and Valm, later being revealed that many of the Risen that spawned in the current time actually came from the future through the portal that Grima created to prevent Lucina and the other children from altering the past.
In the aftermath of their attack on Chrom, the name "Risen" was coined by the Halidom of Ylisse in a war council shortly after their first known appearance, and subsequently used to describe them, both in the actual timeline and in Lucina's doomed future. They later went on attacking the population either by themselves or under the control of the Grimleal.
Risen have human qualities to them, but it is very likely that they seem to fade as time passes. In the DLC Death's Embrace, most of the Risen thank their killers for ending their torment upon being killed. Chrom also notes that after the battle, they "sounded more human than Risen". They may also appear to have a desire to belong, as they always seem to be attacking places where groups of people like to gather, as shown in Hot-Spring Scramble.
Risen usually carry little sentience, and speak in fragments rather than full sentences; however, as time passes their words become much clearer, and they can speak in full sentences without struggling to say words.
People can also create Risen themselves. In Henry's supports with the Avatar, Henry brings back a severed Risen arm and eventually creates a large Risen army with it. Algol also has some experience with creating Risen, as he created loyal, unquestioning Risen assassins, in addition to a masterpiece of his own. How he managed to achieve this is unknown, but it is known that he had spent a lot of time doing so - he used the temple he'd built to produce them and claims that he'd raided so many villages (resulting in a lot of test subjects) that he's lost count.
According to Brady, even wounded people can potentially become Risen. When a Risen is slain, their bodies turn into dark dust that dissipates quickly.
While Risen are composed of various human classes and are mostly male dominated, there are also female Risen that correspond to female-exclusive classes such as Pegasus Knights and Valkyries. They often wield weapons suited to their classes, the rank of which depend on the game difficulty or chapter, but they can also carry other weapons they may drop when they're defeated. There are also grunt Risen, Revenants and Entombed, that can attack with strong Claws and Talons. They are sometimes led by the more powerful Risen Chiefs (屍兵将, Shikabane Heishō lit. Corpse Soldier General in the Japanese version).
Risen may also pop up in random locations once every hour of in-game time, and disappear from those locations. Completing a chapter or paralogue can allow Risen to spawn without waiting, but they do not have a 100% chance to appear. Using a Reeking Box will spawn them at the player's location immediately, provided there is nothing else occupying that location.
Due to their random spawning pattern, the following may happen should they appear with one of the following:
- Risen and Risen: The player fights two groups of Risen at once, with the two commanders being in the spots they may spawn in individually. After defeating both groups, the player receives 3000 Gold and a random B-rank weapon or a stat boosting item.
- Risen and Merchant: A Merchant appears on the field, usually in a place close to the player's position. If the Merchant survives the skirmish, the player will receive an item from her and she will open her shop afterwards; if the Merchant does not survive, she will disappear with the Risen.
- Risen and Outrealm Team: The Outrealm team will act as your allies for the duration of the skirmish. Any casualties suffered on the team will not affect the ability to parley with them afterward unless the leader is felled, in which case the team will vanish along with the Risen.
- The Risen's name likely comes from the fact they were humans who were killed and reanimated by Grima and therefore have "risen" from death.
- Though they are officially given the name Risen in Chapter 2, selecting one with the cursor in Chapter 1 will reveal their name prematurely.
- Usually, Risen wear Death Masks when faced in battle. However, Risen Generals and Great Knights still have the Death Mask on them despite their human counterparts lacking physically visible faces.
- The Risen are briefly mentioned by Owain in Fates during his A-Support with Leo.
- According to the Drama CD, Risen apparently are capable of retaining some knowledge they had from before their death, as they were capable of targeting Yarne's Beaststone due to Kjelle teaching them beforehand.
- Unlike the undead creatures from other Fire Emblem games, who are all created through magical means, Risen are created through more organic and scientific methods.