|Died||102 EE (age 39)|
|Birth Place||Moon Hill, Ende|
Noa Rylie (RAI-lee) is the protagonist of Metal Shadow Prelude. She goes by numerous names, including Moon-child and Winter Queen. She was the escaped wife of Dr. Dragon and a woman prophesied to bring about the end of the world until her death at the hands of Dragon's other wives. She is now one of the nine heroes destined to battle the Black God in their next life.
The Children of Enigma made a prophecy some years before Noa’s birth: “On the night of a full moon, a drum will beat six times near Moon Hill, and a blue-haired child will be born. This child will destroy the world in two successive nights.” Since Noa was born under the prophecy's exact circumstances, she was locked into the cursed fate of the Moon-child for the rest of her life.
The chapel she was born in was destroyed by a thunderous storm the night of her birth, and all the clergymen who had helped deliver her spent their lives protecting her. She was rescued by a group of Clandestined who happened to be passing by, after they heard her crying amid the rubble. The Clandestined did not believe in the Children’s prophecies, but they saw value in parading Noa as the Moon-child, so they took her as their own.
Noa was raised to be a silent and subservient doll. She was traded from one wealthy family to another for favors and services, until she ultimately ran away. In Wilde Passage she befriended the Un-Sin and roamed with them into adulthood. It is her days in the wild that eventually made her strong enough to fulfill the prophecy, though she never sought to do so.
Years later Noa returned to civilization and became an arena warrior, where her skills and reputation brought her infamy. At some point she met and wed Dr. Dragon. Noa became a superior specimen with the aid of Dr. Dragon’s research and technology, which were based around the Arts. At his behest, she conquered the very Clandestined who had tortured her in her youth, becoming the Queen of Purgia. She maintained a short rule, evading or dismantling any rebellions against her while building Dragon’s army of subjects through kidnap and torture. The citizens, stricken by fear, called her the most ruthless tyrant since Godden himself.
Noa is a tall, slender woman with an athletic build. Her hair is vivid blue and splays out over her shoulder, its end strands always appearing soaked, and her skin is very pale. Her eyes are of the same blue hue as her hair.
After Van removed the parasite from her, she lost the blue in her hair; it is actually jet-black. At one point in the Prelude her eyes also turn gold, though they are naturally blue.
Her wardrobe starts off consisting of queenleather and a Godden-marked cloak, all of which are torn for undescribed reasons. She changes into an Agency-issued uniform which eventually reaches the same condition, and acquires a Sin cloak which gets destroyed.
Condescension is the core of Noa's character. As long as a person understands they are beneath her, she can cooperate with them. If they dare to put themselves on her level, she will challenge them mentally, physically, and socially, acknowledging them if they are worthy and crushing them utterly if they are not.
As a result of this, Noa has a reputation as a proud, mighty woman who has no real concern for her fate or the fate of others. This comes as a result of her twisted past as a Clandestined plaything, and her fate as the Moon-child. Throughout the Prelude, she displays sociopathic behavior and battle lust.
However, she has a human side, as depicted when she wept over discovering she was not actually going to have a child, or when she occasionally showed Van affection and Elf Squad trust.
The "Winter Queen" is not new to battle, having trained with the Un-Sin as a child, fought as a gladiator as a young woman, conquered Purgia, and slain countless half-men and Clandestined heading into her middle-age. In fact, it is her disposition to want to destroy anyone who doesn't serve her, or even then. She has typical strength, but superior speed and magic. Her battle form applies more willpower than average, and her skill is on an extreme level.
- Snow summoning
- Sensory telepathy
- Jewel draw
- Ice energy ball
- Natural telekinesis
- Telekinesis reflect shield
- Freeze powers
- Magic wolf tattoo
- Night Mare cloak
- In the original draft of Metal Shadow, Noa was Dr. Dragon's abomination. She murdered him in cold blood after discovering the truth about her origins and that the child she was having for him was nothing more than his experiment.
- Noa died at birth. As Adrock explained, this is why she was the only plausible host for Gineden's spirit: spirits can only possess someone who wants the spirit or is dead. The spirit's possession brought baby Noa back to life.
- It is implied throughout the Prelude, though never directly stated, that Noa was abused as a child in various ways by the Clandestined. This includes sexual abuse, which explains her initial abhorrence of Dr. Dragon's unsolicited "impregnation" of her.
- Noa's history, personality, and appearance are inspired by San from Princess Mononoke.