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Quote1 You put your faith in me, love. A little gratitude. That's all it takes, see? To let me in. The knowledge that -- however mighty you get -- you'll always owe it to me. I am the worm that eats your heart. Quote2
Mother Righteous[src]

Mother Righteous is one of the four clones created by the original Nathaniel Essex. Unlike the other three individuals Mister Sinister, Doctor Stasis, and Orbis Stellaris, who are clones of Essex himself, she was designed after his late wife Rebecca. In order to combat the eventual ascension of a machine Dominion, each Essex variant tackled the problem through a different approach. Mother Righteous specialized in magical studies and the collection of artifacts, becoming a mysterious and mischievous dealmaker.[2][3] She is marked with the suit of Hearts on her forehead.[4]

History

Secret Dealmaker[]

Mother Righteous (Earth-616) from Legion of X Vol 1 1 001

Introducing herself to Legion

The entity known as Mother Righteous was a creation of the original Nathaniel Essex, physically and psychologically modelled after his late wife Rebecca. Among the four versions of Essex designed in the late nineteenth century to explore diverse approaches to combat the impending rise of machine dominions,[2][3] Mother Righteous became aware of her true nature from the beginning and eventually discovered that the memories of her creation were false.[5] Created to explore the mysteries of magic, Mother Righteous became a formidable sorceress with a connection to the Astral Plane.

As a master manipulator, she orchestrated events by making deals of power in exchange for loyalty and gratitude.[4] Over the ensuing decades, besides becoming aware of the three other Essex variants, Mother Righteous observed the dormant mutant Apocalypse, analyzed the Scarlet Witch's newborn children, studied the vile Darkhold, and conversed with Belasco, the ruler of Limbo, about his plans.[5]

Mother Righteous (Earth-616) Immortal X-Men Vol 1 6 001

Summoned by Shaw

As part of deal with Ora Serrata, the Arbitrix of Arakko, Mother Righteous summoned a god that would bring chaos to Arakko and justify the need for authoritarian law-enforcement. Ora Serrata accepted the deal and received Tumult, the Trickster Chimaera, an amalgamation of various mythical tricksters and gods of mischief. After Ora Serrata's scheme with the Trickster God was exposed by Nightcrawler, she was humiliated and tried to walk back on her deal. However, Mother Righteous held her soul in her grasp, forcing the Great Ring member to kneel and thank her.[6] Simultaneously, Mother Righteous also approached Legion and Blindfold in the Altar on the Astral Plane, promising him great power.[1] She used her powers to have Blindfold show Legion his glorious potential future. In return, she asked only for gratitude. Legion rejected the gift, and Mother Righteous turned her attention to Banshee,[7] who accepted a deal to bond himself with the Spirit of Variance, becoming "Vox Ignis", her loyal herald.[8]

Mother Righteous (Earth-616) from Legion of X Vol 1 10 002

Revealed to be Essex

Mother Righteous continued to spy on Legion however, despite being disappointed by the defenses inside his Altar that protected him from her influence. When Warlock visited the Altar, she noted that an aspect of Nimrod, the ultimate Sentinel of Orchis, was attached to him.[9] Nimrod used Warlock's unique connection to Krakoa to infest the island, while also launching a simultaneous astral Technarchy attack on the Altar as a distraction. Mother Righteous showed herself to Legion again, urging him to take her deal. However, he was psychically incapacitated by his father Professor Xavier,[10] who dealt with the invasion. After this, she approached a severely mutated and psychologically tortured Nightcrawler, offering a deal to him as well after revealing her origins. He and many other mutants had been genetically corrupted by his mother Margali Szardos under Orchis' orders[4] and, secretly, with Mother Righteous' assistance.[11]

Sins of Sinister[]

Mother Righteous (Earth-616) from Sins of Sinister Dominion Vol 1 1 002

In her Sanctum Malefica, Mother Righteous was astonished by a new section of her library. The archive had a collection written by a version of Mother Righteous from a timeline corrupted by Mister Sinister. For a millennium, this Mother Righteous assembled the Reliquary Perilous to preserve her knowledge about that reality after a reboot expected to be ignited by the Moira Engine. The library's new section was a partial accomplishment of her plan. Gifted with knowledge about her alternate existence, Mother Righteous approached the Quiet Council of Krakoa to inform them about Mister Sinister's schemes and the Moira Engine. She also had information about Professor Xavier, Emma Frost, Hope, and Exodus having been already perverted by Mister Sinister. As they were sent to the Pit of Exile as a precaution, Mother Righteous was trusted and thanked by the Quiet Council for her contributions.[12] Another consequence of the spell was the disappearance of Vox Ignis, since the Spirit of Variance was retroactively erased from existence.[11]

Mother Righteous (Earth-616) from X-Men Before The Fall - Sons of X Vol 1 1 001

With Nightcrawler still succumbed to Orchis, Legion approached Mother Righteous in the Astral Plane for help. In exchange for her help in ending Szardos' corruption, Mother Righteous was granted gratitude after she showed Legion the conversation she had had with his alternate self. As the Legionaries rescued Nightcrawler from the Orchis Forge, Mother Righteous forced Nimrod to confront his paradoxical existence and betrayed Szardos by sacrificing her. The corrupting spell was broken in the Savage Land, but Mother Righteous was asked to return the Hopesword Szardos had crafted from Nightcrawler's sense of hope. Mother Righteous refused to comply and attempted to consume Legion to ensure that she would become a Dominion. Legion tricked her by evacuating the Altar, empowering Nightcrawler with the Hopesword and moving to a place where she could no longer sense him. In anger, Mother Righteous obliterated Nightcrawler and the Legionaries, who were resurrected with no memories of their confrontation.[11]

Fall of X[]

Mother Righteous (Earth-616) from X-Men Before The Fall - Sinister Four Vol 1 1 001

As one of her many interventions, Mother Righteous had also been making deals with the Black Priestess Selene before her death. During Judgment Day, Sebastian Shaw, a member of the Quiet Council, discovered Selene's actions and summoned Mother Righteous himself in order to make deals with her as well.[13][14] Simultaneously, Mother Righteous revealed herself to another variant of Essex, Doctor Stasis, who was an associate of the anti-mutant organization Orchis in hopes of extending her influence.[3] In London, they met again for dinner to discuss a possible partnership. Mother Righteous shared information about the alternate dimension perverted by Mister Sinister she had access to with Doctor Stasis in exchange for his devotion. Mother Righteous and Doctor Stasis then returned to the Milbury House where the original Nathaniel and Rebecca Essex once lived. With his assistance, Mother Righteous performed a ritual to resurrect Selene and guarantee her association with Orchis.[5] With Selene resurrected due to Mother Righteous' machinations, Shaw executed a plan to fill Mister Sinister's former seat in the Quiet Council and extend his influence with her. In addition to this, Mother Righteous also performed a ritual to have Destiny assassinated by Mystique as a way to reduce their influence in the Quiet Council and approve the revelation of Mister Sinister having tampered with Krakoa to the rest of the world,[15] which culminated in anti-Krakoan sentiment and the erosion of the Quiet Council.[16]

At some point prior to the Third Hellfire Gala, Mother Righteous used the thank-yous of the Krakoan people by Storm to fuse slivers of many mutants into a mutant-bodied homunculus of herself.[17] On the night of the Gala and Orchis's attack on Mykines, she trapped the Atlantic Krakoa and send it to the White Hot Room. During the events of the Gala, Charles Xavier was coerced by Orchis to use his telepathic abilities to forcefully deport all mutants through the nearest Gateways, which Orchis had hacked to all point to Arrako.[18] Mother Righteous used her own hack of the Orchis' hack to send them to the White Hot Room instead, where she could not follow herself and had to send her homunculus in her place, which she remotely operated from the Sanctum Malefica.[17]

White Hot Room[]

Mother Righteous (Mutant Duplicate) from Immortal X-Men Vol 1 18 001

The group of mutants in the White Hot Room constructed a makeshift society, while attempting to ascertain their location and that of the Five, led by Hope Summers, Exodus, and Destiny. After not being among the original group, Kafka discovered Mother Righteous while on patrol. She claimed to have been subjected to the same coercion to enter the nearest gate, also claiming to have been hiding her mutant nature out of fear of persecution similar to that of the Scarlet Witch. She then revealed the presence of the Atlantic Krakoa in the White Hot Room to be used as refuge.[19]

She assisted the displaced Krakoans in locating the remaining members of the Five, before using a magic ritual to pull a mutant soul from the Waiting Room, restoring the Resurrection Protocols. Through scrying, Mother Righteous sent Hope and Exodus to the location of Jean Grey.[20] She used the opportunity to make an attempt on the life of Destiny, who was aware of Mother Righteous's true origin and now able to act against Enigma.[21] Ignorning Destiny's warnings, Mother Righteous led Jean to the heart of the White Hot Room, where she mortally wounded the it in an unsuccessful ascension attempt. Mother Righteous was the last of the four clones to attempt Dominionhood but failed due to the Enigma.[17]

Fight Against Enigma[]

Destiny, Exodus, and Hope detained the duplicate Mother Righteous in the White Hot Room, while Xavier manipulated Orchis in order to find her original counterpart on Earth. Realizing that her life force was tie to that of the homunculus, Mother Righteous agreed reluctantly to facilitate communication between the mutants in the White Hot Room and the group pursuing Enigma from No-Place X.

Personality

Mother Righteous is modelled off a type of narcissist her creator Simon Spurrier finds especially toxic, those who pretend to care about the lives of others while making everything about themselves. As such, she pretends to be kind while waiting for a moment to exploit those she has helped. [22] Beneath the surface she is dismissive of magic, which she considers weak, and cosmic mysteries like Jean Grey's connection to the Phoenix Force. She views her life through the lens of a story, and seeks easy solutions to her problems.[17]

Attributes

Powers

Quote1 Your story's mine to unwrite. A thousand times you thanked me. That's my power. With every grateful word, you give me dominion over your soul and your flesh. And anything in it. Quote2
Mother Righteous (Sinister Timeline)[src]

Mother Righteous possesses an extensive command over the occult arts, delving deeply into supernatural studies. As a dealmaker, she employs cunning tricks to entice her victims with promises of power through mystical ideas, artifacts, or entities in exchange for their gratitude, devotion, and faith, often through the phrase "Thank you, Mother Righteous."[6] She secretly uses this to bind her victims and to pay the cost of her magic.[23][17]

  • Sorcery: Exhibiting extraordinary prowess as a sorceress, Mother Righteous exhibits the ability to weave powerful magical spells and rituals. These incantations can manipulate the natural world and conjure both demonic and divine entities, bound to fulfill her desires.[1] Numerous glowing, floating lanterns adorning her back serve as repositories for the information, items, and entities she has amassed to offer in her trades and employ in her rituals.[7]
    • Mystical Influence: By ensnaring her victims in binding deals, Mother Righteous establishes a perpetual hold over their souls. These deals are sealed through expressions of gratitude. As a result, she gains the power to mystically track, torture, control, and even absorb the life essence of the indebted individuals.[6][11]
    • Astral Projection: Mother Righteous can project her consciousness onto the astral plane, allowing her to manifest and communicate with others without being physically present.[6]
    • Summoning: To enrich her trades, Mother Righteous adeptly calls forth both demonic and divine creatures. For instance, she summoned the Spirit of Variance and bonded it to Banshee, as well as materialized the trickster god Tumult to serve Ora Serrata's interests.[6] Later, Mother Righteous revealed that she also had a God of Sunrise and Sunset, Life and Death at her command and is able to use its power to revive others from the dead.[5]
    • Teleportation: Using mystic spells, Mother Righteous is able to teleport to different locations.[13]
    • Energy Blasts: Mother Righteous wields the capability to unleash beams of immensely destructive force, capable of obliterating those in her vicinity.[11]
    • Resurrection: One of her remarkable feats involved successfully resurrecting her associate Selene through a potent ritual.[5]
    • Story Magic: Mother Righteous envelopes herself in a spell that avoids suspicion from others and allows her to easily gain people's trust.[17]

Weaknesses

  • Mother Righteous' power requires set-up and she needs to constantly replenish debts and favors through deals, as she uses them up for her major spells. A single "Thank you" is not worth much, so she must accumulate them to do anything significant.[17]
  • Mother Righteous' power is an ancient type of magic used back since the dawn of human civilization, but it went out of style when people figured out the loopholes. It has been so long since then that nobody remembers those loopholes anymore, but extremely ancient and skilled users such as Selene still do; thus, Righteous' power is useless against them.[24]
  • Mysterium: As a magic user, Mother Righteous is weak to mysterium.[24]

See Also

Links and References

References

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