Appearance[edit | edit source]
Schierke has dark green hair and is slim and small in stature, standing at roughly the same height as Isidro. Her regular attire consists of a robe and a typical witch's hat – both purple in coloration. Although these items of clothing cause her to stand out in a crowd, she prefers them over anything else, as they were hand-made and given to her by her mistress, Flora, and serve as a memento of her. In addition, Schierke has stated that she performs her magic best when wearing her witch garb, as she finds it easier to concentrate. Usually, she carries a wooden staff which spirals toward the top, curling around completely at the end. Her shoes and her bag, which is slung over her shoulder, match the color of her staff. She is accompanied by an Elf - Ivalera - who usually sits atop her hat.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Schierke is mature for her age, quiet, and withdrawn. As a disciple, she was very respectful toward her mistress and was deeply saddened upon her demise. Presently, she gets along well with most of Guts' party, as well as with total strangers such as Sonia and Isma. As a result of being rather sheltered throughout her childhood, she is disdainful toward the human world and the Holy See's religion, but finds life outside of the forest bearable while traveling with her companions.
Although kind and usually friendly, she sees Isidro as an incompetent monkey and regularly mocks his intelligence, causing some friction between the two which frequently lends itself to comical situations. Initially, Schierke held a disliking for Guts, however this was largely due to her not understanding him. She has since developed an infatuation with him akin to a crush, while Guts for his part seems to treat her like a younger sister.
Guts is protective of Schierke, and the young girl recognizes this. When Schierke's garments are sullied by an intoxicated man during their brief stay at a nearby tavern, Guts punishes him for "staining their girl's nicest clothes," and when Sonia extends an offer to join the Band of the Falcon (Reborn), Schierke thinks of Guts before declining. Furthermore, Schierke is the only person to consistently succeed in bringing Guts out of the berserker trance induced by the Berserker Armor, but she herself notes that the danger and difficulty of achieving this will undoubtedly increase should Guts continue to rely on it. When Roderick asks Guts if Casca is his woman, Schierke hears the answer and feels uneasy. Nevertheless, Schierke recognizes that she has something with him that no one else does: only she can keep him sane under the influence of the Berserker Armor.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Witchcraft[edit | edit source]
Schierke has spent most of her life studying witchcraft under the immensely powerful witch Flora, and thus is highly accomplished in it for her age. This training made her a very powerful asset in Guts' Traveling Party who is valued by everyone. She has helped the group in some of their most dire encounters with the apostles and is able to fight the demons that plague Casca's mind. She played a great part in the Enoch Village and Qliphoth fights against trolls. Schierke has demonstrated the following abilities:
- Od Sensing: Schierke is in tune with the flow of od within her surroundings, allowing her to track people and interact with them.
- Od Manipulation: Following this, Schierke is also capable of redirecting od, usually to the aim of redirecting a person's attentions or making them more malleable to her requests.
- Thought Transference: By using her hair as a catalyst and bestowing one on someone she wishes to communicate with, Schierke can do so telepathically over long distances. She can also use this to open a visual link, allowing her to see what the person on the other end is seeing.
- Astral Projection: Schierke can separate her astral body from her physical one and travel about the astral world this way. This presents the danger of losing her way and going adrift in the astral world, so she must be careful to keep attached to her physical body, represented by a glowing cord. Schierke can accomplish various contextual tasks this way, such as interacting with the Berserker Armor and infiltrating it, allowing her to pry Guts loose from his insane killing sprees.
- Talismans: Though not as adept as her master, Schierke is capable of drawing a protective seal over the Brand of Sacrifice, which weakens its attraction of monsters and spirits.
- Fire Spell: Schierke uses her hair as a catalyst on the flow of od to generate fire. She blows her hair in the air, and every hair burns and transforms into thin fire elementals.
- Elemental Casting: Largely what makes Schierke such a great threat on the battlefield is her ability to beseech elementals, particularly the Four Cardinal Kings, for aid and bind them to herself, allowing her to wield their very great powers. Schierke can become quite the destructive force depending on what spirit she calls forth, such as flooding the town of Enoch and washing away the trolls with the Lady of the Deep Water and incinerating a horde of Daka with the Wheel of Fire. In order to cast these spells however, Schierke must be allowed a considerable amount of uninterrupted time for concentration.
- Astral Barrier: By asking assistance from the Four Cardinal Kings, Schierke is, with time, capable of creating highly powerful barriers that repel astral beings and disintegrate any caught inside. While of great power against beings that originate from the astral world, like trolls, its effectiveness is limited against beings that have a physical body as well, such as Pishacha and Apostles. A barrier of this nature is given its power depending on the threat at the time, so creatures of unexpected size or power, like ogres or kelpies, may be able to enter and threaten allies.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
- Witch's Hat and Robe: Sewn for her by her mistress Flora, Schierke is highly attached to these and feels more in tune with her magic while wearing them.
- Witch's Staff: A wooden staff with a gnarled end, Schierke uses this staff to aid in her casting of magic.
Story[edit | edit source]
Her full story unknown, Schierke spent most of her life in the forest under Flora's tutelage. As shown in the 2016 anime, Schierke sensed the spiritual disturbances caused during the fifth Eclipse and then the Incarnation Ceremony years later.
Millennium Falcon Arc[edit | edit source]
Having observed the actions of Griffith from afar, Schierke first appears before Guts' group when Farnese and Isidro are ambushed by trolls while protecting Casca. She told the group to huddle around her to create a barrier to keep the trolls from lunging at them, then using a fire-imbued hair strands to drive the creatures off. Schierke then tells the group to leave while they can, hypnotizing Isidro to assume himself as a monkey when he unintentionally groped her in his attempt to keep himself from tripping. Watching the group from afar as Guts and Serpico find them, Schierke assumes their ability to see her magic may stem from the overlapping of layers while noting the strange presence she senses from Guts and Casca.
The group stumbles upon Schierke's house as Morgan sought Flora's help. The young witch attempted to drive them off with golems before Flora telepathically instructed Schierke to stop attacking their guests and give them entry into the mansion. Though Schierke did not trust the group, she ends up being sent by her mentor to help them deal with the trolls attacking Enoch Village, giving Guts' allies magical relics to protect themselves. Once at the village, Schierke uses her power to summon the Four Kings of the World to protect the villagers after they take shelter in a Holy See church. She later participates in the rescue operation to retrieve Casca and Farnese from Qliphoth, the home of the trolls. In the process, she summons a spirit of darkness to protect herself and her allies from the trolls, and is alarmed to sense the sudden presence of the Skull Knight flying past her, followed by the sudden appearance of something powerful and evil surfacing where Guts is.
But when Schierke returns to the Mansion of the Spirit Tree, she finds it under attack by the apostles serving in Griffith's Band of the Falcon (Reborn). Schierke is forced to leave Flora to her fate to guide Guts to the Berserker Armor her mistress has been preparing for him. When Guts loses control of himself, Schierke astral projects herself into his mind to save him and learns of his pain as consequence. With no home to return to, Schierke remains by Guts' side to help him control the Berserker Armor with her magic.
Schierke is greatly disturbed by the happenings at the Spirit Tree, but remains a confident ally. When the group travels to the beaches outside Vritannis, she is present to hear the Skull Knight's warning to Guts about the negative effects of the Berserker Armor, and later helps defend against an attack by several Kushan pishacha. She later witnesses the Moon Child's appearance on the full moon and the aid this renders.
When the group reaches Vritannis, Schierke renders assistance to the group in finding Farnese, who has traded her freedom for a boat for them to get to Elfhelm. When Vritannis is attacked by the Kushan invasion, Schierke contributes to the fight by summoning the fire elemental, the Wheel of Flame, and torching a horde of Daka. She later summons the same spirit to protect Guts from the Kundalini's water beam, aiding in the defeat of it and its master Daiba.
Fantasia Arc[edit | edit source]
Schierke resumes teaching Farnese magic at her request, and assists in the mission to wipe out the Sea God, inhibiting several tentacle beasts and accompanying Guts on his expedition to its heart. Schierke mainly provides defense for Guts while he clears out the many internal monstrosities with the Sea God.
Schierke's tutelage of Farnese comes in handy when the Sea God moves to attack the ship, as Farnese succeeds in creating an astral barrier that incinerates the Sea God's tentacles on contact.
When the group reaches Elfhelm, Schierke's experience with magic helps the party navigate the many barriers in their way and to combat the beings that Morda and her group send their way. She later forms a budding friendship with several witches on the island, Kukka in particular. She is later selected by the Flower Storm Monarch to aid her in delving into Casca's mind and restoring her sanity.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Schierke (meaning "unspoilt wood", from Low German schier, "bright, pure" and diminutive suffix "-ke"; cf. English sheer) is the name of a village located in the Harz Mountain range of Northern Germany. In the present day it is part of the state of Saxony-Anhalt and is now considered part of the town of Wernigerode. Schierke lies below the highest mountain in the region - the Brocken - which for uncounted centuries has been connected to legends and fairy tales concerning witches, devils and other supernatural beings. The summit of the Brocken is held as the traditional place of revelry for witches on Walpurgisnacht - the 30th of April. Modern-day Schierke is host to a festival every year on Walpurgisnacht.
- The name Schierke is a homonymn of Circe, an enchantress from Ancient Greek mythology who was involved in a number of well-known epic tales, most notably the Odyssey.
- Whilst the incantation Schierke uses to summon the Four Kings comes from the Kabbalistic Cross, the spell she uses to fend off the trolls is a part of the Formulation of the Pentagrams, Hermetic incantations of the various Hebrew Kabalistic names of God. Both are a part of the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram. Some of her rituals are similar to those in "Modern Magick" by Donald Michael Kraig.
References[edit | edit source]
- ^ Berserk, Volume 28, "Garrison"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 29, "Meager Supper"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 33, "Bubbles of Futility"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 24, "Witch"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 24, "Mansion of the Spirit Tree (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 24, "Mansion of the Spirit Tree (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 24, "Elementals"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 25, "Arcana of Invocation"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 26, "Companions"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 26, "Flames (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 26, "Flames (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 27, "Depths of Hellfire"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 28, "Proclaimed Omen"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 28, "Familiars"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 28, "Boy in the Moonlight"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 29, "Colonnade Chamber"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 31, "Blaze Rod"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 31, "Bursting Flame"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 32, "On Board"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 36, "Sea God (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 36, "Sea God (3)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 38, "Landing"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 39, "Fire Doll"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 39, "Witch Village"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 39, "Flower Storm Monarch"
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