Erica Nidhogg

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Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies. Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare seize the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain, In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp, Dare its deadly terrors clasp! When the stars threw down their spears And water'd heaven with their tears: Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger Tyger burning bright, In the forests of the night: What immortal hand or eye, Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
-The Tyger, William Blake

"I'm a simple beast, really."
Erica Nidhogg
Player: User:Iron Ghost
Origin: Magic
Archetype: Tanker
Security Level: 50
Personal Data
Real Name: Erica Nidhogg (ne Thialfi. Legally changed in Philadelphia Superior court)
Known Aliases: Erica Thialfi (Birth Name), Dragesdatter (Official Title), Maiden Havoc, Wings
Species: Magically Altered Human
Age: 24
Height: 7'8"
Weight: *scrawl*
Eye Color: Red
Hair Color: Green
Biographical Data
Nationality: American Citizen with criminal record (Probation contingent upon service as a registered superhero)
Occupation: Agent of MAGI
Place of Birth: Johnstown, PA, USA
Base of Operations: Salamanca, RI, USA
Marital Status: Currently Dating (Valkisintharsis)
Known Relatives: Lars Thialfi (Father, Deceased), Yutte Sorensen (Mother), Nils Thialfi (Brother), Nidhoggur (Ancient Dragon/Contractual Parent)
Known Powers
Invulnerability, Tactile Pyrokinesis, Flight, Altered Physiology, Heightened Senses, Limited Superhuman Strength
Known Abilities
Types 58 WPM, Speaks Fluent Danish
The Nastrond Armor(A suit of armor consisting of bronze plates bolted to Chainmail), Magically Inscribed Ring that temporarily grants her human appearance, Ordinary Sledgehammer
All observations made upon Licensing. Subject is notoriously secretive.
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Erica Nidhogg was born Erica Thialfi on July 1st, 1984 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania to Danish immigrants Lars and Yutte Thialfi. Just a year earlier, her father had accepted a post with the Central Intelligence Agency as a member of it's elite group of occultists, the Astrum Argentum. The Astrum was composed powerful magicians in the service of the government and at the time were charged with foiling Soviet espionage within the United States. Lars was no exception and was in fact a skilled Gallowsman. A wizard/runesinger of the highest order in the old Scandinavian traditions. Prior to the birth of his daughter, Lars Thialfi sought to safeguard her future through occult means. He called up Nidhogg, a primordial creature of ruin and entropy and master of the destructive side of nature, to safeguard his daughter and spare her the withering effects of his touch. It was pure hubris that made him think that he could outwit the ancient wyrm. Term after term the hoary old dragon outwitted the runesinger, tricking him into unwittingly agreeing to deals that would bind his unborn child to Nidhogg's service. He is capable of only destruction and wanted nothing in the world more than the one thing denied to him: Progeny. Now a powerful wizard was offering up his first born on a plate? It was simply too good to refuse.

Erica grew up fairly normally. Though small and shy, she was a happy and well-adjusted girl in a stable and loving family. The old dragon kept his end of the bargain and as a result Erica was energetic, optimistic and was never sick a day in her life. More of a bookworm than anything else, she was always content to remain in the background and shied away from attention at every opportunity. After she spent her high school years dedicated to academic pursuits, she struck out on her own, moving out of her parents home shortly after graduation and enrolling in Pierce College while working full time as a Court Clerk and later Stenographer in Philadelphia. Determined to make it on her own, this state of affairs continued for a few years until her twenty-first birthday when the Dragon's pact entered it's final phase.

Erica called in sick the day before her birthday. She was suffering from a high fever and wasn't feeling up to work that day. As evening fell, her condition rapidly worsened and she checked herself into a local hospital. Her fever continued to escalate, when a routine blood test showed evidence of leukemia, an oncologist was called in to verify the test results and she was rushed into an emergency MRI. The results were stunning to say the least. Within an hour, the leukemia had spread to her lymph nodes and branched out to every system in her body. Believing they were about to witness a new medical condition, she was moved to the ICU and kept under emergency observation as the tumors in her body continued to metastasize at a rate previously thought to be impossible. Her prognosis stated that she was unlikely to survive the night. At midnight, she opened her eyes and began howling in pain as a pair of horns pushed out of her forehead and leathery wings grew from her back. Her skin yellowed and she grew to monstrous proportions. Driven wild by the pain, she fled the hospital leaving a trail of destruction in her wake. Before fleeing to the woods, she bit an oncologist, knocked over two nurses, toppled an ambulance with the paramedics still inside and caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of structural damage to the hospital.

She remained in the forest surrounding Philadelphia for three days. Drinking from streams and preying on the local wildlife, before she was able to get back enough of her presence of mind to return to civilization. Making her way back to her childhood home in Johnstown, she returned to her parents and showed them the transformations that had so suddenly and violently taken place. Lars had never told his family about the magical side of his life and his involvement with the intelligence establishment. Until then, his wife and children believed that he had been employed by the Department of the Interior, though this had only been a cover story. Now, as he told his loved ones of the hidden life that he'd kept secret for so long, Erica lashed out one more time, nearly strangling her father. Fortunately for all parties, her brother Nils was able talk her down from her destructive moodswing before she could cause serious injury. Unsure of how to handle her newfound ferocity, she returned to Philadelphia and surrendered herself to the authorities. Pleading guilty to several counts of Destruction of Public Property and Aggravated Assault, she was sentenced to five years of probation and public service contingent upon her completion of a Freedom Corps training program. Erica packed up and traveled to Paragon City to make a new start. Pennsylvania held too many bad memories and her parents marriage fractured beyond repair almost immediately thereafter.


There are times in our lives
When our hearts fear our minds
We can't afford to ignore
What our hearts are beating for
My Soul wants to go one way
But my heart and mind playin' a tug of war with me baby!
-Nikka Costa, Tug of War
At her core Erica is at heart a sensible, practical person who is working to recover from a great, personal catastrophe. She is first and foremost a highly competent individual. The sort of practical homebody who would otherwise be found in an office or cubicle quietly attending to the business of running society, collecting a paycheck and finding someone to settle down with. You see her everyday selling cars, delivering mail, talking on a payphone and silently waiting in line at the DMV. She has her share of flaws and a couple of quirks and at the end of the day tries to do the right thing (even if she doesn't always succeed). A hardcore introvert, Erica values her privacy first and foremost, almost defining the antithesis of the "rockstar superhero". She never consents to interviews or makes public statements and nor does she maintain a blog. Preferring to think of herself as a "quiet professional", she disdains all public attention and feels most comfortable with a tightly-knit group of close friends. Scrutiny of any kind makes her intensely uncomfortable and noticeable body image issues make her very conscious of any wandering eyes that happen to fall upon her for too long. Nonetheless, Erica remains an emotional anchor. The stable, emotionally mature person that groups rely upon but never center around...

...On the surface. In truth, this is more due to an attempt on her part to maintain as much normalcy in her life as she can and indeed, still identifies as human. Though she maintains the same outward mannerisms that she has since her more normal days, this is little more than an unconscious facade. Her transformation has stripped away the wall between action and instinct to reveal something that is both pure and terrible. In effect, her conscious mind and previous personality serve only as a control system for the magical bio-weapon that she has become. Erica is purpose built for violence and it shows. She displays a level of aggression that she never did before gaining her powers and can be confrontational to a fault. She suffers from an ingrained need for conflict and can get very much on edge and cranky if she goes for two long without the sting of battle. As such, she's felt a certain amount of alienation from herself and to date has had trouble reconciling this new side of her personality with the person that she remembers herself as.

Appearance and Behavior

Civilian Appearance and Behavior

Those who have seen the needles eye, now tread
Like a husk, from which all that was, now has fled
And the masks, that the monsters wear
To feed, upon their prey
Wandering stars, for whom it is reserved
The blackness of darkness forever
Portishead, Wandering Star

Blowing off some steam at Pocket D
When not "on", Erica Dresses fairly conservatively in either casual or business attire depending on the situation. Usually with a blouse and a pair of slacks or skirt. Oftentimes, she'll just wear a shirt and khaki flares in more casual settings. She is also quite partial to earth tones as well as the color purple. Her sense in civilian clothes is easily described as plain, the idea being to offset her harsh appearance as much as possible. She attempts to affect an outwardly polite and cheerful disposition even though she tends to be somewhat of a shut-in. Most often, she can be found in her apartment in Salamanca fussing over her large number of potted plants or watching movies. This is done mostly to give her something to spend her time on besides battling the various criminals, gangs, infernal wizards, aliens, evil corporations and terrorists that continually threaten Paragon City. Without her green thumb, Erica would be good at nothing so much as she is at hurting people and finds this to be an acutely frightening thought. Given her unusual appearance, she makes no attempts to conceal her identity. Quite frankly, it would take a hell of a lot more than a pair of glasses to allow her to blend in with the rest of society.

Combat Appearance and Behavior

Some people, they call me monster
Some people, they call me saint
My Talent feeds my darker side
yet no one will complain.
-Cake, The Opera Singer

"Alright... We're doin' this!"
In battle, Erica dresses very severely in order to inspire fear and confusion in her enemies. Most often, she'll be seen in bold or dark, colors or a suit of armor forged for her by Nidhogg. Her prowess comes more from talent than any learned skill as she fights, moving with a predatory grace born of a natural killer instinct. A tactical prodigy, Erica has an inborn understanding of conflict and close combat maneuver making her able to read her opponents and guess their likely actions and reactions. Where most would see only the chaos of battle, Erica moves with an intuitive understanding of the flow of conflict. In most cases, she's even able to judge the outcome of a fight before the first blow is struck. With unmatched ferocity, she then makes fiery assault after fiery assault upon her opponents. All the while, she enters an almost euphoric state where all barriers between instinct and action melt away. She experiences an emotion that she does not have a word for as all feelings of stress and anxiety leave her to be replaced only be raw ferocity and a genuinely ruthless energy. All hesitation, doubt and worry are momentarily stripped from her mind to reveal something pure and terrible lurking beneath her normally sedate personality. She temporarily forgets everything but her current target, her friends and the larger situation around her. For a time, she moves beyond mere aggression and literally becomes raw, focused violence. The results are usually somewhat spectacular.



Jungle warfare turned urban combat
Conversations tapped, operations turned black.
too late to turn back
Survival is how well we adapt to change in habitat
The intelligence they lack
Are the concepts we grasp
Pains of our past etched in man's fiber
History transcribed by hands of these liars.
dälek, Gutter Tactics

Human? Only marginally. Erica has been physically molded in the image of the dragon Nidhoggur, who considers her something akin to his daughter. Altered to serve as his Agent on Earth, he has gifted her with increased Size and Muscle Mass as well as the hallmarks of any mythological dragon: Wings, horns, mastery of flame and a reptilian tail. In addition to these features, she stands just shy of eight feet tall and is broad shouldered and well muscled. Though her body maintains the layout and structure of a baseline human in her default form, she is gradually evolving into a new and unique being. As time passes, she moves further and further from normal human physiology. The trend is always the same: She becomes less human and more of something rugged and wild. Not long after her transformation, she lost the ability to draw nourishment from vegetables and grains. Soon after, she began to develop redundant copies of her vital organs. Eight months ago, she learned how to breathe fire and six months ago retractable spikes pushed their way out of her knuckles. No part of her morphology is ever static as her body constantly strives to make itself better, stronger, tougher or more efficient than it was before. These changes are fundamental and reflected emotionally, mentally and physically on every level down to her genetic structure.

At this late stage in her development, very little of Erica's humanity remains in terms of the physical makeup of her body. By now, almost completely a dragon, she's been known to revert to the form of the mythic dragons of old during times of extreme emotional distress... though it's doubtful that she has any conscious control over this ability.


Before shooting troops was cooler than hula hoops,
high noon was your basic who's who of brutal truth.
Hot summer gun or box-cutter slow dance
turn a young'n to a dozen paper dolls holding hands.
And tricky was a wooden horse pushed up on your porch
so chicanery was yours to engage or ignore.
I was on the latter but a lot adopt pawns,
so we carried lawn chairs and buckets of popcorn.
-Aesop Rock & El-P, Gun For The Whole Family
Erica is both the contractual daughter and chosen weapon of eldest of dragons, Nidhogg (Literally, corpse-tearer or Striker in the Dark). A primal entity so old as to resemble something like a god and representing the destructive and merciless aspects of nature. Forest fires, tornadoes, the process of natural selection, plagues, kudzu-choked forests and the genes that give you cancer all fall within his purview. He spends his days gnawing at the roots of the world ash from his lair in the realm of Niflheim.

Illustration from a manuscript showing Nidhogg chewing the roots of the world tree

A primal and terrible intelligence that predates the universe, long ago he was considered an entity of great dread and was known by many names: The Striker in the Dark, The Eater of the Weak, He who gnaws at the roots of Ygdrassil. None the less, Nidhogg is neither evil nor good. Rather, he is simply a part of the system and maintains the balance between creation and destruction. Similar to the way that periodic fires clear dead foliage and deposit layers of rich ash on the floor of a forest. In doing so, he keeps the world from choking itself with it's own expansion. Erica, now technically an abomination carries out the same function on earth that her "father" does in the realm below. Whether she realizes it or not, she labors to keep the world from caving in on itself. An amoral force of nature coupled to an essentially decent and compassionate mind has led Erica to cause of heroism where she now battles those who would remake the world in their image or destroy it outright.

Spoiler warning: Details about a player-created storyline, or information currently unrevealed about a character, follow.
It should be noted that Nidhogg does not exert any direct control over Erica even is she now mentally more than a little bit like her spiritual father. Nidhogg did not want a servant or slave but rather a being that shares his physical and spiritual hallmarks. Erica retains her free will and identity as a being that is separate from yet of the same essence as that of the old wyrm. Currently known only to Nidhogg himself. He has grown tired of existence, his own boundless rage turning in upon itself. Despite all this, it's simply not in his nature to destroy himself but to survive indefinitely through fire, flame and the end of all things on into the next version of the universe. In finding Erica, he'd hit upon a solution that very contradiction. An unborn human child of pure heart carefully stolen from her own father. Nidhogg knows that when his time comes and the world is on the brink of destruction, his own flesh and blood will stand in his way. With a bit of luck, she will succeed in destroying him and take his place while he at last rests in non-existence.
Spoilers end here.

Current Activities

Extremely active during the second Rikti War, Erica threw herself fully into that conflict... at the insistence of the U.S. government. Erica was pressed into service as a brevet Major with the United States Marine Corps after the Might For Right Act was illegally and quietly reactivated just days prior to the start of the invasion. She was one of the metahumans selected due to the public nature of her identity, the considerable offensive capability that she wields and her probationary status. In short, she was picked because this set of circumstances combined to make her eminently controllable. Erica already had one foot in the Zig and with no desire to ever see the inside of it's cells, she gritted her teeth and went about the day's work. Officially, she was made a military intelligence officer and charged to provide senior officers with accurate, in-depth knowledge of Rikti weapons and capabilities. Unofficially, she was part of the Pentagon's presence in the War Zone. Not only was she actively combating Rikti Transformationists, she was keeping an eye on Vanguard. As she worked with them to stem the invasion, she was also busy calculating their strengths and noting their weaknesses. Needless to say, she hated it. The lies, duplicity and double-dealing conflicted endlessly with her more noble aspirations. So, at the conclusion of major hostilities she took the most vicious recourse that she could think of: She sued. Naming the Department of Defense in her lawsuit, Erica spent two weeks tossing lawyers through their windows (figuratively speaking). Facing a public relations disaster of epic proportions (for press-ganging super-powered felons), the military chose to settle out of court in a bid to keep the matter away from the eyes of the public. Erica was able to walk away with a tidy sum of cash in the low seven figures and a prototype Sukovsky HARDsuit that was later returned so as to avoid being beholden to the government. Since this incident, Erica has taken a position independence in regards to public institutions. In her mind, she now works for no one but those who need her.

Her Victory was to be short lived, however. A few weeks after putting the matter behind her, Erica became very spooked for some reason and left for parts unknown. Exactly why she has gone to ground is not known and the location was not revealed to anyone. What is known, is that immediately before leaving, letters dated September 10th were sent to her closest associates revealing her intent to return but little else...

Having returned from her time away, and unwilling to speak much on the subject. Erica has returned to Paragon City where she continues to fight evil in all of it's forms. Just recently, she has stumbled upon Nidhoggur who had found a way to cheat and circumvent the curse binding him to Niflheim. In doing so, he had occupied the very body of the man who had sought a pact with him so long ago: Lars Thialfi. Shocked by the revelation and prodded into a rage, she ultimately failed to enact her revenge on the being that was now both her physical and magically bonded father. For now, she nurses her anger and plots her next move.

Skills and Abilities


War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate craft awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other.
-Cormac Mccarthy
Despite their supernatural origins, Erica's powers all operate within the purview of the material world and have a decidedly non-supernatural mechanic. Partly due to the fact that she's a creature of the physical world and partly attributable to Nidhoggur's desire to create a being that could exist independent of his patronage and grow beyond him.

Dragon Skin

Dragon Flame (Fiery Melee/Pyre Mastery)

Erica's control over flame is the purest expression of her connection to the violent side of nature and her draconic heritage. Fire consumes everything in it's path and when finished, leaves only a layer of ash that in turn replenishes the soil and allows new life to take over. This power is described as tactile in that it cannot be used to create flame ex nihilo but rather can be used to produce thermal energy that emanates from her body.

Dragon Blood

Dragon Flight

For the first year and a half of her life as a metahuman, The large, leathery wings upon her back remained mostly non-functional. In recent months, they've experienced a noticeable growth spurt and now permit flight at speeds of over one hundred miles per hour. In flight, she uses her tail to help steer as well as shift her balance, thus permitting exceptional maneuverability.


Weaknesses and Limitations

Despite her much vaunted resilience, subfreezing temperatures affect Erica the way they affect any normal human. In the snow, she is exceptionally uncomfortable and takes great pains to keep herself warm whether through magical means, increased activity or merely bundling up. If left exposed to extreme cold for too long, she will go into shock and hypothermia as quickly as a normal human and not long after, die. Sonic attacks have also proven effective in the past. Erica's heightened sense of hearing has sometimes proved a liability as extremely loud and/or high pitched noises have been known disrupt her thoughts and cause her physical pain. Additionally, her mind is virtually without defense against mental intrusion. Her psyche is an open book to even a marginally skilled telepath and this has lead to serious injury on multiple occasions even leading up to near death during a recent and public battle with Mother Mayhem.

Spoiler warning: Details about a player-created storyline, or information currently unrevealed about a character, follow.
Unbenknownst to herself or anyone else, her skin can be easily pierced by objects made of the bone of poisonous snakes.
Spoilers end here.

Shortly after her transformations she also lost the ability to digest vegetables and grains. If it isn't highly processed or doesn't come from an animal, she can't eat it without becoming physically ill for about a day.


Did you know that Erica Nidhogg...

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