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|“||One day you will come to realize that the "Eternity" of which I speak is the only compromise capable of saving all souls!||„|
|~ the Mage of the Beginning to Nagi Springfield|
The Mage of the Beginning, also known as the Life-Maker, is an unfathomably powerful archmage said to be of divine nature, who serves as the overarching primary antagonist of the manga Negima! Magister Negi Magi and its sequel UQ Holder. In Negima! she is the supreme leader of the secret society Cosmo Entelecheia, who was sealed away by Nagi Springfield, the legendary "Thousand Master", but who reappears to battle the primary protagonist, Negi Springfield. In UQ Holder, The Mage of the Beginning is still around and the primary protagonist, Negi’s clone Tōta Konoe, sets out to put an end to her threat once and for all.
AppearanceThe Mage of the Beginning appears as a threatening figure standing over three meters tall, clad in black robes and cloaks whose hood conceals her face. Her cloak is torn and floats constantly around her, enlarging her silhouette like an array of dark wings. Flashbacks of the Great Mage War show that underneath her hood, she hid a youthful face with long, clear coloured hair worn in plaits that frame the back of her head, and eyes without pupils.
After her original body was destroyed, the Life-Maker started using the ones who defeated her as her vessels, hence gaining the biological gender, size, aspect and physical characteristics of her hosts. No one knows whether her aspect during the Great Mage War was her original one, but she appears under this aspect when seen in UQ Holder, hinting that it might be what she really looks like. She is also depicted with large bat-like wings at hip level, in a similar fashion to the highest-ranking demon nobility, hinting a demonic origin.
About the Mage of the BeginningNothing is known about the Life-Maker's origins, true nature and real name. Although the narrative in Negima! remains vague about her gender, UQ Holder establishes her as a female. Yet, since she exists by using both men and women as vessels, gender hardly applies to her anymore. She is often referred to as god-like and clearly matches the description.
What is sure is that she is not human, that she is over 2600 years old, and that she created the Mundus Magicus (Magical World - an alternate world full of legendary creatures set on the planet Mars), hence her nicknames.
The Mage of the Beginning is the progenitor of the royal family of Vespertatia, the kingdom said to be the origin of the Mundus Magicus. As such, she is a distant ancestor of both Negi Springfield, the 10-year-old primary protagonist, who is the son of Nagi Springfield and the last queen of Vespertatia; and Asuna Kagurazaka, the primary female protagonist, revealed to be in fact the Vespertatian "Imperial Princess of Twilight". The royal family and their descendants inherited from her the "White of Mars" or "Ancient Magic": a godly power linked to creation, which is among other things the source of Asuna's highly powerful magic-cancelling abilities.The Mage of the Beginning shares some similarities with the equally mysterious Filius Zect, a child-like mage who was part of the Ala Rubra, Nagi Springfield's team, and even Nagi's master. Both are centuries-year-old non-humans, with clear-colored hair, both are extremely powerful and both told Nagi that all his efforts will not solve anything in the long run. (Although it seems that Zect told this because the Life-Maker was speaking through him after being defeated.)
They might be somehow two different aspects of the same thing, one malevolent and the other benevolent. However, the flashbacks have yet to display any sign showing that they know each other, and their similarities might be coincidental.
|“||That is what a human being is. In the end, one can only continue moving forward.||„|
|~ the Mage of the Beginning|
The Life-Maker's personality remains a mystery for the most part. However, the flashbacks show her to be ruthless and bent to fulfil his goals no matter the cost, causing the death of thousands, shooting her foes through her servants, and disposing of traitors without second thought. She also appears to be sarcastic and condescending, as she taunted Nagi even when struck by spells and told him that he was fighting in vain; and callously attacking Negi, without even considering his plan to save the Mundus Magicus.
Yet, she demonstrates a melancholic side, as she is seen contemplating over her long existence and is described by Asuna as a "terrible and sorrowful person"; as well as a surprising fondness for mankind. Interestingly enough, the Life-Maker does not seem to mind her own defeat, likely because she knows that should she fall, she will rise again.
Also, she is particularly gentle with her servants, telling Fate Averruncus that he would be free to do whatever he wants after he fulfils his duties, and that he is fine the way he is, even without pre-defined personality. It is revealed in UQ Holder that she is tormented by everyone's emotions and suffering, which she feels and remembers endlessly due to her empathic powers, and that while it did not drive her to madness it had a lasting impact, Fate even calling her "broken". Apparently, she wants to end all suffering to finally be at peace.
The Life-Maker forbids her servants to kill humans and non-fighters, and Cosmo Entelecheia's primary purpose is to save the denizens of the Mundus Magicus from their home-world’s upcoming collapse. But considering all the deaths and destruction she caused, and her willingness to eradicate everything that stands in her way, it is clear that she is malevolent or very morally ambiguous at best. Furthermore, it can be guessed that she does not really care about the magical population, which she seems to view as a collateral damage in a grander scheme.
Powers and Abilities
The Mage of the Beginning is far and away the most powerful character introduced in the series, being way over Nagi Springfield and Jack Rakan, the two mightiest members of the already incredibly powerful Ala Rubra. She was able to create an entire world, with fauna, flora and civilisation, where the most skilled mages can only create restricted pocket dimensions. Not to mention the many human-like construct mages whom she gave life to and whom she could resurrect, or the alternate reality she created: the "Cosmo Entelecheia" (or "the Eternal Garden") in which everyone lives the happiest possible scenario of their life.
She has a constantly active power of Empathy called "Resonance", making her feel every emotion, positive or negative, of everyone in the world. She also seems able to foresee the future in some way, given that he was apparently aware of her upcoming defeat against Nagi Springfield.
The Life-Maker is also able to create magical techniques beyond human-level, such as the mandala-like multi-barrier which she granted/taught to all her followers. Moreover, she likely masters all the Elements (the source of all attack spells) as well as any type of Magic, and seems to have a limitless knowledge about magical spells, artifacts and people, given the powers/knowledge she granted to her construct mages.
The Mage of the Beginning is able to warp reality, likely because of the "White of Mars". She channelled this ability into several key-shaped staffs called the Codes of the Life-Maker, which she gave to her highest-ranked followers. These reality-warping powers allow their bearer to make attacks disappear, to relocate (teleport) anyone to a defined place, to create a different dimensional plane, to cast people into the "Cosmo Entelecheia" and to summon them back under their command, and apparently to bend time and space themselves. Whether or not she can warp reality in both worlds or only in the world she created has yet to be explained, though her Codes of the Life-Maker are able to influence magic and artifact from outside the Mundus Magicus.While the Mage of the Beginning’s "White of Mars" is based on the power of Light, she also masters the power of Darkness, the base of the "Magia Erebea" (Black Magic): a technique devised by the dreaded vampire sorceress Evangeline McDowell stated to be similar to the Mage's power, which allows its user to absorb their own spells, and sometimes the enemy's spells to boost themselves.
The Life-Maker mostly uses Darkness-themed attacks that can bypass even the mightiest defences: a piercing dark beam able to strike several targets at once; a devastating giant wave of dark energy; an immense array of pentagrams that hurls a tremendous onslaught of dark beams at his foes. She is also able to move her cape, like actual wings or tentacles, and to use it in battle for both defensive and offensive purposes.
Finally, she reached the level beyond immortality called “Ceaselessness” which means that not only she can live forever, but that she is to return whenever she gets destroyed. If someone were brave and mighty enough to kill her, they would gain her power of "Resonance". The more they struggle, the more she controls them, and when their spirit finally shatters, she returns to life through them. And killing her seals her host’s doom. Only the "White of Mars" can destroy her for good, meaning that only one of her descendants can perform such a feat.
In spite of her nearly absolute power, the Mage of the Beginning is not entirely all-powerful, given that she still had to follow the rules of magic to create the Mundus Magicus and that she needed to perform a ritual involving Asuna's magic-cancelling power to erase it, implying that she herself cannot use the magic-cancellation or more likely that she cannot use it on a worldwide-scale. However, the Mage's power seems to increase when there is a lot of magical energy concentrated at her disposal.
The exact date of the creation of the Mundus Magicus is not known, nor what the Mage of the Beginning did before or since this world's creation.What is sure is that 600 years before the start of the story, the Life-Maker turned a noble European little girl named Evangeline Athanasia Katharine McDowell into a vampire, in a yet-unexplained experiment linked to "Ceaselessness". Centuries later, having become an extremely powerful, day-walking, vampire sorceress feared in the entire world, Evangeline caught up with the Mage and seemingly killed her; only for her to reapper later.
At some point, the Life-Maker gave life to Primum Averruncus, and built the secret society Cosmo Entelecheia, knowing that the Mundus Magicus would soon collapse. Cosmo Entelecheia ignited the Great Mage War and attempted to use Asuna's power to erase the Mundus Magicus, only to be nearly wiped out by the Ala Rubra. As everything seemed won after Nagi's victory over Primum Averruncus, the Life-Maker personally entered the fray, piercing Nagi and Primum with a dark beam and nearly wiping out the entire Ala Rubra with a wave of dark energy. Against all odds, she was defeated by Nagi Springfield and Filius Zect (though Zect mysteriously vanished into dust shortly after the battle).Everyone believed the Life-Maker to be dead, but that was not the case. She reappeared few years later using the body of none other than Filius Zect as her new vessel. She then gave life to Secundum Averruncus, Septendecim Adad and Nii Atur, and later to Tertium Averruncus (the soon to be called Fate) to rebuild her forces.
She ordered his team to walk the Mundus Magicus and to send as many souls as possible to the "Cosmo Entelecheia", this time town after town, using the conflicts that still plagued the Mundus Magicus after the war to go undetected.
Ten years before the start of the story, the Ala Rubra confronted Cosmo Entelecheia once more in the city of Istanbul. This time, the Mage of the Beginning was sealed under the roots of the magical World Tree in the campus of Mahora, thanks to Nagi's sacrifice.
Role in Negima!
Mundus Magicus Arc
The Mage of the Beginning is first seen during flashbacks of the Great Mage War displaying the final battle during which she was seemingly destroyed. Later as Fate Averruncus and the remnants of Cosmo Entelecheia try to repeat what happened twenty years ago, they are thwarted by Negi Springfield and his team, the Ala Alba.As Fate and Negi are fighting, Fate starts to experience flashbacks of his birth and his first years of duties, back when the Mage of the Beginning used Filius Zect as a vessel.
After Fate admits defeat and agrees to help Negi in his alternate plan to save the Mundus Magicus, they are both pierced by a dark beam, just like Primum and Nagi before them, and the Life-Maker's ominous figure appears.
Apparently, having both worlds merging and Cosmo Entelecheia's hideout (with Asuna's captive) appearing over her prison enabled the Mage to awake, and she created a projection of herself onto the battlefield.The Life-Maker restores every fallen members of Fate's (former) team and resurrects all her deceased followers, who then prepare to finish off the Ala Alba, starting with Negi and Fate.
As everything seems doomed, Evangeline McDowell (who has become Negi's teacher) uses the connection between Mahora Academy and the Mundus Magicus to save her disciple, soon followed by the Dean of Mahora and every surviving member of the Ala Rubra.
Evangeline encase them all in everlasting ice with a powerful spell she especially devised for such enemies, but it has no effect on the Life-Maker who enters the fray. She paralyzes Evangeline and Rakan, swats away the Ala Rubra like nothing and grabs Negi by the neck.The newly-freed Asuna then jumps to the rescue and slices the Mage's projection nearly in half with her Pactio artifact, a huge, demon-banishing Claymore sword. Negi and Asuna then combine their power into the Claymore and manage to dispel the archmage’s onslaught of dark beams and to destroy her projection, which is highly vulnerable to anti-magic.
As her projection is fading away, it is revealed that the Life-Maker is now using Nagi Springfield himself as her vessel. Nagi briefly regains consciousness and asks his son to come and kill him.
The final chapter of the story mentions a tremendous battle which involved everyone in Negi's class, during which the Mage of the Beginning's forces besieged Mahora Academy, the campus where Negi is teaching English. Negi managed to defeat the frightful archmage once and for all, and was able to free Nagi from her control.
However, none of this is seen for real, due to the abrupt ending of the manga (caused by a dispute between the author and the editor), and most of the mysteries surrounding the Life-Maker are left unexplained.
Role in UQ Holder
The story unfolds about eighty years after the end of Negima!. It is most likely set in the second timeline, in which the Mundus Magicus was saved at the cost Asuna Kagurazaka being sealed for over a century so that her power could fuel the restoring process; instead of the timeline set at the end of the story, in which Asuna travelled back to her era, and in which the Life-Maker was later defeated for good.
Negi's project to terraform Mars and sustain the Mundus Magicus was accomplished and giant towers leading into space are now serving as bridges between the three worlds. Magic was revealed to the world ten years before the start of the story and has begun to spread, with expensive applications enabling non-magic people to spell-cast. Evangeline Mc Dowell has become the founding leader of "UQ Holder" ("Eternity Holder"): a group of immortals tasked to protect the population from supernatural threats, and took under her wing the primary protagonist, Tōta Konoe, a clone of some sort of Negi whom she turned into a vampire to save his life.
The Mage of the Beginning is first mentioned in a flashback set twenty years before the start of the story, by a bounty-hunter who fought against her, only to be overwhelmed by the armies of shadow demons that she spawned, and saved by Negi Springfield and the Ala Alba. It seems that she was about to unleash a spell that would have destroyed the entire solar system, but little is known about it.
Tōta eventually hears that Negi is registered in the Mahora Martial Art Tournament set to take place soon.Upon seeing his registration form, and identifying his signature, Evangeline triggers a spell meant to react to her, and meets a projection of some sort of Negi and Nagi, whom are trapped in the Mage of the Beginning's grasp. It is clear that Evangeline knows more about it that she lets know, but she refuses to answer Tōta's questions.
After Tōta is nearly killed by Cutlass, a strange girl who calls him "brother", Evangeline’s own master, the Vampire Queen Dana Ananga Jagannatha takes Tōta and his friends to her castle outside the time-and-space continuum, to train them. Dana teaches Tōta to use both the "White of Mars" and the "Magia Erebea" and to combine them, while telling him about Evangeline’s past and the Life-Maker’s nature.
A few months later, Evangeline takes Tōta to Amano-Mihashira Academy City, the former Mahora Academy, to meet Negi’s surviving students: The now elderly Ayaka Yukihiro, the robot-girl Chachamaru Karakuri, the ghost girl Sayo Aisaka, the half-demon sniper Mana Tastsumiya (still a teenager and now Dean of Mahora), and the Demon Princess Zazie Rainyday. They tell him that Negi was spotted appearing in space for a few second, and reveal that he disappeared after defeating the Mage of the Beginning and is about to fully become her new vessel anytime soon.
It appears that Negi would rather die than suffering such a destiny, but that not even killing the Mage for good could save him. It also appears that UQ Holder is at odds with Ala Alba, now led by Fate Averruncus, who claims that Negi can still be saved by Tōta’s power. Tōta later asks his friends for help, as he tries to figure a way to save Negi without having to choose between UQ Holder and Ala Alba.