Princess Emeraude(エメロード Emerōdo) is both the sovereign ruler of Cephiro and a Goddess-like figure whom all the inhabitants pray to for peace, prosperity, and protection. She is also the first person to summon Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, and Fuu Hououji to the mystical, otherworldly realm of Cephiro, to become the legendary Magic Knights.
She is named after the Mitsubishi Emeraude.
The ruler and former Pillar of Cephiro, Princess Emeraude had the appearance of an ethereal, beautiful young girl, with a wealth of extremely long golden hair, flawless porcelain skin, and large, soulful blue eyes. However, given that the people of Cephiro had the power to "will" what they look like, she might actually be centuries old. Guru Clef states that he has watched over Emeraude all her life, so she cannot be over 745 years old. Her usual attire seemed to be an elegant, cream-coloured gown, and on her forehead she wore a dainty, delicate green-jeweled tiara, which signifies her rights and royal duty.
As the Pillar, it was her duty to spend every waking moment of her existence praying wholeheartedly for the well-being of Cephiro and all its people. However, Princess Emeraude fell hopelessly, and tragically (given that it was doomed right from the start to never have a happy ending) in love with the high priest, Zagato, who was, very ironically, supposed to aid her in her prayers for peace and prosperity. Her love for him eventually caused her to constantly think of him and him only, directly conflicting with her responsibilities as the Pillar, since she could not think of only Cephiro anymore.
Knowing that her own death is the only way she can stop being the Pillar and leave Cephiro free to choose someone more suited, Princess Emeraude decided to summon the legendary Magic Knights, the only ones capable of killing her. Zagato, who had in turn fallen madly in love with her, discovered how she felt about him, and rightly guessing her intentions, quickly abducted her and imprisoned her in a water dungeon (resembling a large peony in an underwater cavern beneath Zagato's court in her own palace), thinking that if he kept her locked up, she would not be able to summon the Magic Knights(and end her life). This, however, did not stop Princess Emeraude, who gave the call for the Magic Knights, and they arrived to Cephiro shortly after, effectively sealing her own fate. Believing if he destroyed the Magic Knights, he would be able to keep Emeraude safe and that by sheer will everything would turn out alright, Zagato sent his minions, one by one, but each one failed to carry out the task. In spite of all this, Zagato, who often visited Emeraude, flatly told her that there was only one thing in the world that he cared about - Emeraude herself.The Magic Knights believed that Princess Emeraude's duties as the Pillar were disturbed due to her capture and imprisonment, and that getting rid of Zagato would free her and allow her to resume her duties. However, the result of their eventual killing of Zagato ended up being the polar opposite.
Once realising that her lover was dead, Princess Emeraude went into a state of shock. It eventually evolved into anger and pure hatred, causing a dark, sinister side of her to emerge. The kind, gentle and exquisite young girl transformed into a tall, regal, equally beautiful, but cold and murderous young woman who only wanted revenge for the man she had loved - forgetting that it was she who had summoned the Magic Knights in the first place.
When the Magic Knights came to confront her after defeating Zagato, she attacked them almost immediately, summoning her own Rune God and relentlessly pursuing them. Upon spotting Zagato's fallen sword, she grabbed it, caressed it lovingly, and claimed that she would use it to avenge his death. With neither sympathy nor mercy, she directly stabbed Hikaru/Rayearth in the shoulder, and even laughed cruelly upon seeing Hikaru fall on her knees in pain and hurt.
At the last moment, the Magic Knights received a vision of the real, good Emeraude, who informed them of the real situation: the actual reason for their summoning was so that they would kill her, relieving her of the task of being Pillar, and so she could be at peace and be with Zagato forever.
Initially, the stunned, utterly horrified Magic Knights could not bring themselves to do so. However, they saw that the vengeful, merciless version of Princess Emeraude was all ready to kill them, and that the very land of Cephiro itself was literally falling apart under her rage. They also heard Clef's telepathic pleas to them to grant the tormented Princess her true wish. The pure, good version of Princess Emeraude appeared before them again and begged them to grant her the "one and only selfish wish of her life", and send her to "where she may think only of Zagato" and be with him forever. Tearfully, the Magic Knights finally gave in, joining their powers together and reluctantly killed the Princess by running her through with their sword. Princess Emeraude died with a genuine, heartfelt smile, gently saying "Zagato...finally...I am yours, and only yours, my darling", and used the last of her power to send the Magic Knights home, back to the exact moment they disappeared from Toyko Tower. The last image of her they see is her purified adult self in Zagato's embrace, smiling sweetly and thanking the Knights for granting her last wish.
However, it was revealed that, even in death, Princess Emeraude continued to watch over her beloved country of Cephiro, given that her spirit returned twice in the second season: first, using the last of the power left in her tiara to unleash a mighty light that banished the evil witch, Debonair, back to where she came from, and vaporised all the monsters that Debonair had created to distract the others while she attempted to steal the tiara herself, knowing that doing so would allow her to conquer Cephiro. Second, to choose the new Pillar of Cephiro; both Hikaru and Eagle Vision had simultaneously entered the room in which her tiara was encased. She only said, "The new Pillar...is you," not specifying to whom she was referring. Given that both Hikaru and Eagle came out of the room alive (though unconscious), it can be theorised that what she meant was that either one of them could become the Pillar, as only one worthy of becoming the Pillar could enter and come out from the room alive.
After it is revealed that Hikaru is the new Pillar (Emeraude's tiara having morphed into a sword made of fire for Hikaru), she abolishes the Pillar system in memory of Princess Emeraude.
Powers and Abilities EditAside from her powers of meditation and prayer as the Pillar, Princess Emeraude is also shown to be able to project herself in a non-corporeal form, such as when she appears to the Magic Knights at the Spring of Eterna. She also has the power to heal, as seen when she healed Zagato's wound using a small ball of light. In the fight against the Magic Knights, it was revealed that she also had her own Rune God, and was more than their equal, having tremendous powers of destruction, being able to completely destroy Zagato's castle with only one blow, unleashing potent energy blasts that even Fuu's usually-reliable protection spell, Winds of Protection, was no match for, and causing thunder to roar, lightning to flash, and the very land of Cephiro to literally fall apart, using only the power of her anger and hatred. Indeed, Rayearth himself stated she was "incomparably stronger than anyone else".
Even in death, Princess Emeraude's powers appeared to have lost none of their potency, given that her spirit was able to repel the seemingly all-powerful Debonair from the castle and vaporise hordes of regenerative monsters, by unleashing a potent, bright shine of pure, transcendent light through her tiara; its power completely stunned everyone, and seemed to set the entire land of Cephiro alit with its glory. Debonair herself cursed Princess Emeraude for that attack of light, confessing that it had not only banished her (hence foiling her plans), but had also "weakened her powers". She also caused Hikaru and Eagle to experience vivid visions of her life story, from the beginning where she was crowned Pillar of Cephiro, to the end where she was tragically killed by the Magic Knights, simply because she had fallen in love. Presumably, she wanted the next person who was worthy of becoming Pillar to fully understand the commitment that was required, and the price he/she would have to pay for it, so that when he/she would know exactly what he/she is doing when becoming the Pillar, and her and Zagato's tragic love story would not be repeated.
Princess Emeraude was also revealed to be Ferio's older sister. The one scene of them interacting was when she had become the Pillar, and Ferio was still a child. Ferio begged her to erase his memories of him being the Prince and her younger brother, so that he would not grieve for her for becoming the Pillar (her duty as the Pillar was such that she was forbidden to see him again, given that he might distract her from her responsibilities - something that was to be avoided at all costs), and so that he could leave the castle. Though it pained her greatly (she broke down in tears), Princess Emeraude granted his wish, but also gave him a jeweled orb that was actually a communicator, so that she could hear his voice wherever he went, and therefore would never forget him, revealing that both of them shared an intimate relationship before she became the Pillar and was hence forced to end it.
After his memories were willingly stripped, Ferio left the castle and, amidst his wanderings throughout Cephiro, grew into manhood, but was always intrigued by the mysterious jeweled orb that he always carried with him, and developed a habit of confiding his secrets and ambitions to it. In a strange twist of fate, Ferio returned to the castle (which was now forbidden to him), and snuck into his older sister's room, thinking that he will find the answers to the secret of his orb there. He was stunned to discover that it actually had a twin, but before he could explore further, the guards caught him. Very fortunately for him, his sister defended him happily when he was held up for punishment (there was actually a hint of joy and relief on her features upon seeing him, the brother she loved dearly, again). She claimed she had given pair of jeweled orbs to him as a gift, thus saving him, and he left the castle again (this time, with an additional jeweled orb, but also with increased puzzlement and wonder). Ferio later gave one of the communicator orbs to the Magic Knight of Wind, Fuu, with whom he later falls in love with, and maintains contact with her through her orb.
Later on, when the Magic Knights were facing Inouva's true form, Ferio regained his stripped memories (his sister's memory spell faded because of her diminishing powers as Pillar), and heard his sister's voice coming from his own orb, telling him how to kill Inouva. Ferio quickly relayed the information to the Magic Knights, and they managed to kill their enemy. After Princess Emeraude died, Ferio returned to the newly-built castle, and reassumed his role as the Prince of Cephiro.
Though he was deeply upset by his beloved sister's death, Ferio neither hated nor blamed the Magic Knights for it, knowing that she was at peace now and could be with the one she loved forever.
Her role in the OVA is not much different. In this version of the series, she still falls in love with Zagato, which leads to the near destruction of Cephiro. She is trapped within a dream world with an illusion of the now-dead Zagato. She spends all her time in this world usually with her head at his lap, smiling. When the Knights finally destroy the illusion she is trapped in, she is able to come to the real world and return all the beings from Cephiro to their rightful place. She claims that she will help Cephiro start anew and disappears. Also in this version, Eagle Vision is portrayed to be Emeraude's brother, instead of Ferio.