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Moriko Halfwolf was the mother of Maika Halfwolf and a researcher obsessed with the Shaman Empress. She is deceased during the events of Monstress.

Personality Edit

Moriko was respected and feared by both the Cumaea and the Arcanics alike. She was a strong, dangerous woman who clearly valued knowledge, independence and power. Her fascination with the Shaman Empress bordered on obsession, and she seemed willing to go to any ends to achieve her goals; endangering her friends on a perilous journey to the Isle of Bone and even deliberately conceiving a child in order to manipulate the power of the Shaman Empress

Seizi Imura remembers Moriko as a fearsome and determined woman and Maika remembers her mother as a woman who never said please, undoubtedly due to her upbringing as the daughter of the Wolf Queen.

Moriko initially viewed her daughter as little more than a weapon, treating Maika with coldness to harden her and make her comfortable with the realities of war. Moriko seemed able to expertly suppress her humanity, teaching her infant daughter to fight, normalizing murder and punishing her harshly for showing any weakness.

However, this ruthlessness within Moriko did not last, and she came to care greatly for her daughter after realizing that her attempts to control Maika were futile.

Appearance Edit

Moriko was an Arcanic with a remarkably human appearance. She closely resembled both her sister the Warlord and her daughter Maika; sharing their long, straight, black hair and tanned skin. Moriko was often depicted wearing practical expedition gear when at the tomb of the Shaman Empress, but otherwise wore fine clothes, typically emblazoned with the eye motif associated with the Shaman Empress and the Old Gods.

Background Edit

Moriko was the daughter of the Wolf Queen and sister to the Warlord. She was presumably raised in the Dawn Court alongside her sister and grew up among the Ancients. At some point in her history, Moriko became estranged from her family and left the Dawn Court to pursue her fascination with the Shaman Empress, earning the enmity of her sister.

At an unspecified time, Moriko set up a small base in the coastal town of Thyria where she befriended the infamous Imura Brothers, even naming Seizi Imura as Maika's goddess-father. During this time, Moriko made the perilous journey to the Isle of Bone in pursuit of answers about the Shaman Empress. Upon her return, Moriko stole a bone from the island's Ferryman and concealed it within the walls of her apartment in Thyria.

With her knowledge learned from the Isle of Bone, Moriko sought to conceive a child with the last living descendant of the Shaman Empress in order to control her power. Maika was this child, and Moriko raised her in isolation for many years, teaching her survival skills and combat to prepare her for the war to come.

When Maika was a young girl, Moriko lead a research team composed of Maika, Yvette Lo Lim, Arekanara'el and Leu Han on a fateful expedition to the tomb of the Shaman Empress. Within the ruins, the party found a mysterious mask of immense power, later revealed to be an artefact created by the Shaman Empress to control monstrum. Although the events that occurred after the discovery of the mask remain unclear, it seems apparent that Yvette betrayed Moriko and the others in order to keep the mask for herself. Arekanara'el and Leu Han suffered an unknown fate, Maika was captured and taken as a slave, and Moriko was killed; though the exact nature of her death remains unknown.

Volume 1 Edit

Though Moriko never appears physically, Maika often reflects on her mother and remembers her in fragmentary episodes, though she remains unsure of Moriko's intentions surrounding the Shaman Empress or whether Moriko would actually approve of her actions. Through these memories, Moriko often indirectly provides advice, important information and assistance in times of crisis for Maika.

Moriko's untimely death is one of the many mysteries that drives Maika in her pursuit of answers. Maika frequently retraces her mother's steps to attempt to piece together the past and consults her memories of Moriko when faced with adversity or considering her next move.

In a critical confrontation with the Mother Superior, Maika was almost defeated until she remembered Moriko whispering the name of the monster within her. This enabled Maika to convince the monster, Zinn, to fight alongside her and temporarily defeat the Mother Superior in combat.

Volume 2 Edit

The Blood Fox's Illusion

The Blood Fox's horrific illusion of Moriko's pregnancy.

Maika continues to experience more memories of her mother, though these tend to be harsher, crueler memories that present a darker, more manipulative impression of Moriko's character. In one such memory, Moriko asks the infant Maika to select a suitable makeshift weapon from an array of common objects. She then punishes Maika through a demonstration of strangulation with a scarf when she chooses wrongly.

In another memory, while Moriko was travelling with Seizi, she was beset by a party of assassins sent by her sister, the Warlord. Moriko killed every assailant, leaving none alive to reveal Maika's existence to the Warlord. Thus, Moriko managed to temporarily protect her daughter from the Dawn Court, even after her death.

It is also revealed that before Maika was born, Moriko traveled with Seizi and his crew to the Isle of Bone, the prison of an insane ancient known as "the Blood Fox" who was said to possess incredible knowledge. When Moriko arrived, she demanded information about the Shaman Empress. The Blood Fox, swayed by a vision of Moriko's future child releasing him from his chains, decided to give her the information she sought and divulged the whereabouts of the last living blood relative of the Shaman Empress.

The Blood Fox reveals that Moriko deliberately conceived Maika with the intentions of controlling the power of the Shaman Empress. However, it is revealed through Maika's memories that Moriko soon found it futile trying to manipulate Maika and came to love her, despite her initial dark intentions.

Navigation Edit

[v · e · ?]
Characters
Volume 1
Main Group: Maika Halfwolf  •  Kippa  •  Ren
Cumaea: Sophia  •  Yvette  •  Atena  •  Desteria  •  Needle  •  Flay  •  Hammer  •  Tong
Dawn Court: Queen of Wolves  •  Warlord  •  Monkey King
Dusk Court: Corvin  •  Tanno
Other: Tuya  •  Moriko Halfwolf  •  Shaman Empress  •  Ilsa  •  Monstrum
Volume 2
Main Group: Maika Halfwolf  •  Kippa  •  Ren
Brothers Imura: Seizi  •  Kenzi  •  Syryssa  •  Old Tooth  •  Jan
Isle of Bones: Blood Fox  •  Ferryman
Dawn Court: Queen of Wolves  •  Warlord  •  Monkey King
Dusk Court: Tuya
Other: Moriko Halfwolf  •  Shaman Empress  •  Zinn
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