Zelas Metallium is one of the five Demon Lords created by the Demon God Ruby Eye Shanbranigdo and a major yet unseen antagonist in the Slayers series. She and Deep Sea Dolphin are the only two female Demon Lords and the only two of them who never directly involve themselves in the plot, preferring to set things into motions and act through their subordinates. Like any demon, her ultimate goal is to destroy the world, so that the demon kind could dwell in the Sea of Chaos.
At the beginning was the Sea of Chaos and its personification, the genderless Lord of Nightmares (referred to as a she in spite of her masculine title). Through her dreams, the Lord of Nightmares created four different Worlds with a Demon God, embodiment of Evil, and a Dragon God, embodiment of Good, in each one of them.
In the Slayers World, the Demon God, Ruby Eye Shabranigdo battled the Dragon God, Flare Dragon Ceifeed during many millennia in a conflict known as the "Shinma War". At some point around 5000 years before the events of the series, Shabranigdo created five Demon Lords: Hellmaster Fibrizo, Supreme King Dynast Grausherra, Chaos Dragon Garv, Greater Beast Zelas Metallium and Sea Queen Deep Sea Dolphin. At the same time, Ceifeed created four Dragon Lords: Aqualord Ragradia, Airlord Valwind, Earthlord Rangort and Firelord Vrabazard.
Shortly after, the two deities defeated one another, Ceifeed having his body destroyed and his spirit scattered everyplace in the world, and Shabranigdo being divided into seven parts which were sealed into human souls.
The Demon and Dragon Lords established themselves in the world and created subordinates; each Demon Lord spawning two high-ranking demons to serve them, one Priest and one General, except Zelas who created one demon to fulfil both roles, this demon named Xellos is as such the strongest high-ranking demon below the Demon Lords themselves.
The War of the Monster's Fall
Over 1000 years before the start of the series, Hellmaster Fibrizo staged a war between several human nations. He then worsened the conflict, before swarming the lands with lesser demons. His objective was to gather enough negative emotions to awake the fragment of his master which he had discovered sealed in the archmage Lei Magnus.
He eventually succeeded and the newly awoken "Demon King of the North" took command of the demon armies in a worldwide war against the dragon kind. So began the "War of the Monster’s Fall," perhaps the worst conflict in history.
During this war countless of dragons, demons, humans and other creatures were killed. The five Demon Lords managed to make the knowledge of Holy Magic (the most useful weapon against them) almost disappear from the world, by destroying many of Ceifeed’s temples. After that, Zelas joined Fibrizo, Dynast and Dolphin in the creation of the Demon Barrier: a gigantic forcefield which separated a huge portion of the world from the other continents. This barrier cut the world in two and prevented the dragons trapped inside from casting Holy Magic, thus drastically weakening them.
The war ended with no defined winner after the death of the Dragon Lord Ragradia. The Demon Lord Garv was fused with a human soul and Lei Magnus-Shabranigdo was sealed forever in the everlasting ices of the Kataart Mountains.
Zelas then retreated into her domain of Wolf Pack Island and ordered Xellos to destroy every existing copy of the Claire Bible, (the source of all knowledge in the Slayers world) so that no one could use it against the Demon Kind. A task he spent the following millennium fulfilling.
Since she never appears in person, little is specifically known about Zelas' personality. She is doubtless as cunning, evil, violent, and malevolent as the other Demon Lords and shares their goal of destruction, though she seems to be very egotistical, prideful, and cocky, refusing to see demons others than their kind to do the deed. She also appears to be ceremonious, dignified, regal, cold, and stern, and she much prefers staying in her domain and acting through Xellos.
Like any other demon in the series, Zelas Metallium is not a flesh and blood being but an evil spirit who resides in the Astral Plane of existence. As such, she must create a projection of herself to manifest on the Physical Plane. Being a high-ranking demon, she can shape-shift her projection to any aspect she wants and makes it imitate any life form perfectly.
Her humanoid aspect differs following the media. The only time she appears in person in the novels, she is described as a young woman with short ginger hair, clad in Amazon-like military attire. With the novels being the base of the entire series, this aspect can be considered as canon. However, she is also depicted as a tall, aristocratic woman with a stern face; sometimes with fair hair and pale skin wearing a purple or red dress, sometimes with tanned skin and white-blond hair wearing a white gown and smoking with a cigarette holder. She is partially seen under this aspect in the anime.
Her true, demonic form is depicted as a gigantic, anthropomorphic she-wolf, easily standing over twenty meters tall, with straight horns and feathered wings, wearing a breast-plate and carrying a huge sword.
Powers and Abilities
Like all of the other Demon Lords, Zelas Metallium is an immensely powerful being, able among many other things to retreat into the Astral plane, to act on the Physical plane while she remains in the Astral, to teleport, transform, and make levitate her earthly avatar (as well as other things and people), to create things, to change the weather and to open a sub-dimensional plane. Being a Demon, she can only cast spells of Black Magic (which draws powers from demonic beings); it can be assumed that she has access to all spells of Black Magic save from those using the powers of her fellow Demon Lords and her creator, but this was never fully explained.
As the Beast Queen, Zelas is very likely to have full control over many beast-like monsters and demons. She also displays the power to fire deadly energy blasts, since the two spells drawing her power are the Zelas Brid: a huge red energy beam whose trajectory can be changed and the Zelas Phalanx: the same but multi-targets.
Role in the story
Role in the novels
Zelas Metallium is first mentioned in the novels when it is said that Hellmaster Fibrizo "borrowed" Xellos from her service, although it is never said if she complied willingly or not. Though, since she shares the goal of her "sibling" she likely accepted. She briefly appears in person alongside Deep Sea Dolphin much later in the story, after Dynast Grausherra successfully awakes the part of Ruby Eye Shabranigdo dormant within a young mercenary named Luke. As Luke has yet to get fully corrupted by the Demon God, this leads to a war between demons following the fully corrupted Lei Magnus Shabranigdo and those following Luke-Shabranigdo. Zelas and Dolphin appear to the primary protagonists, the sorceress Lina Inverse and the swordsman Gourry Gabriev, being ordered by Luke-Shabranigdo to guide them to the dimensional void where he awaits them for a battle to decide the fate of the world.
Role in the anime
Zelas never appears in the anime, of which her main enforcer Xellos is a very important character. As such, she is mentioned whenever Xellos explains his motivations. At first and just like the novels, she accepts to delegate Xellos to Fibrizo's service until he is destroyed. However, the following seasons are anime exclusive.
In the third season, Zelas sends him outside the recently fallen Demon Barrier to find Valgarv, Chaos Dragon Garv's renegade right hand, to bring him back to their side or kill him if he refuses. After that, when Dark Star Dubranigdo (Demon God of one of the three other worlds, who defeated and absorbed the Dragon God) was brought to the Slayers world, Xellos was ordered to take part in the fight against Dark Star, since Zelas and her fellow Demon Lords wanted to destroy the world themselves. (Perhaps because Dark Star would lay ruin upon it without returning it to the Sea of Chaos like the demons wish.) At the very end of the season, Xellos is seen reporting everything to his Lady but Zelas' reaction is not displayed.
In the fourth season, Xellos is sent to assist the warmongering efforts of the country of Ruvinagard, and especially the efforts of Marquise Gioconda to use the Claire Bible to create a perfect Zanaffar Armour: an immensely powerful artifact which can cancel magic by severing the links to the Astral Plane and can also summon a huge beast of light. In the fifth season which directly continues the plot of the fourth, Xellos still upon Zelas' command waits for the soul of the archmage Rezo the Red Priest (one of Shabranigdo's hosts), who survived the destruction of Shabranigdo's fragment, to awake. When Rezo possesses the body of Prince Posel Colba Taforashia, to free the population of the kingdom of Taforashia from a magical slumber he cast upon them to protect them from a plague, Xellos arrives and attempts to awake Shabranigdo's fragment (whose body was destroyed but whose soul survived alongside Rezo's). However, since Shabranigdo's fragment cannot be fully restored, Xellos joins the party's attempts to destroy it.
Role in the Video Game
Zelas Metallium appears as the central antagonist of the non-canon Super NES video game. In this game, Zelas captures Lina Inverse in order to create multiple clones of her with the exact same powers, to make profit of her immense magical abilities and create an army. An amnesiac Lina Clone escapes and reunites with the real Lina's comrades from the novels and anime, beginning a quest to retrieve her memories. The protagonists eventually confront Zelas, who fights them under her gigantic true form, but they manage to defeat her. (They probably manage to destroy her earthly projection and force her to retreat in the Astral Plane to regenerate, like Lina & co did to Dynast Grausherra in the novels.)
Although Zelas is the primary antagonist and the de facto final boss of the game, defeating her unlocks a bonus quest in which the protagonist travels to the Kataart Mountains to fight Lei Magnus-Shabranigdo.
- Another popular yet also rebuked theory states that Zelas is best friend with Lina's older sister Luna Inverse, due to a picture representing Luna accompanied by an anthropomorphic wolf who looks enamored. Not only Luna is a Knight of the Dragon God Ceifeed, and as such an enemy to the demon kind, but said anthropomorphic wolf was stated by Kanzaka to be Dilgear: a werewolf and former minor villain who willingly became Luna's "pet" of sort.