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TW: emotional abuse + possessive relationships, heavy mental illness themes, demonic possession, flashing color effects, suicidal ideation (non-graphic), unreality/surreal themes

Background image by Stuart Sporn, retrieved here, edited by El.

The Ellendale Edgelord

TLDR: EE goes way back. As in, 2019 back. She didn't really get any characterization other than being a straight-up demon until October 2020, and never lost her deeply problematic foundations as a literal demonization of my persona at the time. I realized this was a problem when, in March/April 2022, I started basically treating her as corresponding 1:1 to me.

What do we make of EE? How do I concisely explain who, and what, she is? Previous versions of this page would have had EE going on a first-person villain rant about how she embodied an entire era of my life and was more than an OC, how she'd dominate and destroy my entire universe and also maybe me. Ranting about the concept of being "edgy" and what that means in reference to both fiction and real mental health. It'd be exaggerated and have very little to do with the entire rest of the page. It doesn't establish her as anything except megalomaniacal and edgy. Which she absolutely is. But reducing her to just being another edgy OC, or an "inner demon" in the sense that she's a threat to me fictionally, is...not accurate, to say the least.

To start off, EE is short for two things: "Ellendale Enforcer" and "Ellendale Edgelord". Occasionally I've backronymed it to other things or said that it doesn't need to stand for anything, it's just her name, but that's what it stands for. Ellendale is a real-ish city that was important to my lore at the time. Edgelord and Enforcer have obvious meanings. It's hard to trace where exactly EE comes from as a character. The first uses of the term "Ellendale Enforcer" happen sometime in early 2018. The term was definitely established as of April, but before then, I don't have stable records. References to the Enforcer as a separate entity from me, more precisely, in reference to the darkest and edgiest moments of my Pokemon Go sona, happen starting in fall 2018. The Enforcer being an extremely powerful entity with godlike power over Ellendale is established in December 2018, while they're still technically a term for my sona, but not really. In December 2018/January 2019, the Ellendale Enforcer is established as a metaphysical entity who is entirely separate from me and my avatar and they get separate lore. It goes something like this.

Basically, in case you aren't up on the lore, Ellendale is an "unincorporated community". It's neither a subdivision nor a separate city. You can actually be addressed in it, but only at the post office. Ellendale used to be a separate entity before the main city annexed it probably sometime in the 1970s. Despite its annexation, Ellendale and its inhabitants still retain a sense of Ellendalian identity. That commitment to what is essentially a city that doesn't exist fascinated me, and I based the Ellendale Enforcer's lore off of it. The earliest versions go something like this: basically, once upon a time, the Enforcer was the anthropomorphic personification of Ellendale's animum, essentially the subdivision's "soul". They maintained order in Ellendale and things were pretty great. Then the main city annexed Ellendale and sealed the Enforcer into another subdivision called Shadowlawn, where they descended into corruption because they just wanted revenge for their annexation. This disconnected Ellendale from reality, leaving it a distorted space that wasn't quite in tune with space and time. I had been obsessed with Giratina and the Distortion World starting in October 2018, so EE has many influences from them. The Enforcer lurked beneath the seams of Ellendale, pretty much your bog-standard corrupting eldritch abomination who descended the area around them into madness and longed to be released to wreak havoc on the rest of the city.

Pay attention to the fact that the Enforcer is directly antagonistic here. This will change. The most important aspect of the Ellendale Enforcer's character is that despite dating back at least as far as Ellendale's conceptualization, possibly earlier, they had a rather complicated relationship with me. Because of my Pokemon Go endeavors, I was the first person to substantially care about Ellendale for decades, or perhaps because they engineered my birth or first spoke to me in 2014 in the form of a Neopet (pay attention to my attributing past characters and my motivations to them. this will be relevant later.), I was mentally linked to them. This gave me some degree of control over Ellendale's weather patterns and general vibe and granted me good luck in my Pokemon endeavors. I proudly wore the title of the Ellendale Enforcer's avatar. But in order to maintain Ellendale's special brand of organized chaos, I, too, needed to be organizedly chaotic. I needed to remain a certain degree of distorted, or as I put it back then, "Like That", or else the Enforcer would get mad at me and order in Ellendale would collapse. I may have gotten major benefits from being their avatar, but I didn't really have a choice in the matter.

That idea magnified over the Enforcer's development as a character. Eventually, over the spring and summer of 2019, it turned directly into them being a demonic figure who was to blame for all of my distortion and who that distortion strengthened. I was fundamentally corrupted and not much more than a vassal to the Enforcer, descending gleefully into depravity and wearing it with pride. It wasn't me. I was actively destroying myself. I looked in the mirror and saw someone who wasn't me looking back. But hey, I was so powerful that who even cared? Around this time, the acronym EE starts being consistently used. It was periodically used previously, but before late April/May 2019, she's generally referred to as just "the Enforcer". I'm not totally sure why I started using the acronymic concept during this time. Perhaps using a personal nickname as opposed to a title let me paint myself as closer to her, or it was in reference to an alternative acronym, perhaps "Ellendale Edgelord" or "Ellendale Entity". This is the point at which EE is functionally codified, and we also start seeing drawings that are definitely of her. She doesn't get a defined design until August 2019, but we start consistently seeing margin doodles of girls with ponytails, Giratina tentacles, and something covering their mouths, often with lines of text attached referencing Ellendale, distortion, or chaos throughout spring and summer 2019.

The August 2019 design has remained fundamentally unchanged since then, save some minor modifications for digital art friendliness and to remove the Team Instinct emblems. It's fascinating for a number of reasons, mostly because it combines other characters and motifs that I liked and uses all of my favorite design tropes all at once for a thoroughly unnerving effect generated by a creature who's trying to be everything at once. I self-described it as a "horrible, distorted mashup of everything I loved" and you can see the influence of other sonas and characters in the Faerie Hissi wing from my sona at the time, all of the Giratina aspects, the armor being pretty much directly taken from Elaphe, and the multicolored hair and flashy weapons bearing a major resemblance to 2015-18 character XP.


Figure 1: Various people EE was before EE was EE. Click to open in a new tab.



Figure 2: EE's codified design and some of its influences. Note: Elaphe's (farthest right) image may not be wholly accurate to her pre-EE self. The image used is from 2020 because due to insufficient file backups, I could not find any art of Elaphe's black-outfit design from before EE influenced it.

Really, the idea of EE as a bog-standard tempting, corruptive demon who, if I embraced my "dark side", whatever that entailed, would drag me and all of Ellendale into ruin remained her fundamental characterization until October 2020. In October 2020, I decided that EE had taken on an unhealthy level of importance in my life for someone who was fundamentally a fictional character, or as I occasionally phrased it, a "glorified Neopet". So I took calling her a glorified Neopet literally and created her as a Neopet, which by necessity, required her character to get somewhat lighter. While her demonic vibe remained the same and she kept her associations with mental illness, the religious and sexual symbolism she had occasionally been portrayed with through 2019 and 2020 mostly subsided. This also changed EE's narrative from being a supernatural entity whose only connection with me was convenience to being, to some degree, part of me, and also established that she and the Ellendale Enforcer were different people.

The new, improved backstory for EE in the Neopets version (also the very first time that her backstory got written down) had the blatant references to Ellendale subtly removed in order to minimize references to real locations, but summarized to her not being the spirit of order in Ellendale itself, but rather the manifestation of corruption that had affected them. While I was mentally linked to the Ellendale Enforcer, my self-loathing had projected onto them as a being in its own right who merged with a growing corruption in Ellendale and took over the Enforcer, leading Ellendale into an age of distortion and chaos. However, because the corruption had sprung from me, I still maintained control over it and was able to use that to purge the corruption from the Enforcer and cast it into the form of a Neopet, who became the revamped EE. This also symbolically removed her from my life as well.

This would all be well and good if it wasn't for the fact that in the actual writing about EE, it was written from EE's perspective and was considered less me casting out an evil entity or abandoning unhealthy thought patterns as me rejecting part of myself. "This Isn't Me", the first story written for EE's petpage, blatantly compared my experiences with gender dysphoria due to me not feeling like my persona, either on or offline, accurately represented me and EE being distraught at being trapped in an unwanted redesigned form. The story further combined our experiences by using the same pronouns for me and EE.

[EE] contemplated how pathetically emo xe probably looked. Some edgy girl wearing a hoodie with eye-covering bangs trying to focus on xyr body to verify xe still existed. Xe would have laughed at this, but it wasn't funny. It was utterly disgusting. Xe seemed to be finished with xyr self-examination, and testing to see if xyr body had solidified, punched the crystal in front of xem, being rewarded with it shattering, the pieces fading out of existence as they separated. Xe contemplated what to do next. Clearly, focusing on things here could bring them into being, so the most logical course of action was to focus on a way out. Xe turned all of xyr mental energy onto obtaining an exit, but no glowing portals appeared and the geodesic dome didn't shatter. Instead, someone appeared before xem. Xe recognized xem. It was xem, or rather, who xe used to be, was supposed to be, should have been. The multicolored highlights on xyr black armor glowed with an intense internal light and xyr ponytail gyrated in a nonexistent wind. The only difference was the serpentine tail, which seemed to fade into darkness as it got further away from xyr torso, replacing xyr legs. Xe wasn't sure who this figure was. Was it xem? Was xe xem? Who was xe? Xe clearly wasn't xyrself, but xe wasn't sure who else xe could be.

...

As the figure disappeared, so did xyr awareness. Xe was left with nothing except more confusion. Did xe exist? Was xyr soul being destroyed and reformed or only transferred or reshaped? If xe was only an idea, did xe even have a soul? And who was the emo kid with no eyes? Was that xem? It couldn't be. Xe needed to become xyrself again, to keep the new idea of xem from fully forming. But how? Xe began chanting a mantra to remind xyrself of the little xe understood of what was going on.

"This isn't me. This isn't me. This isn't me. This isn't me."

[Enforcer] stared at the paper with frustration. No matter how xe drew xyrself, it wasn't right. Xe tried to replicate xyr 2015 art style, to use xyr new anime style, to draw Elaphe in a different outfit. Nothing worked. It still wasn't xem. It wasn't the Faerie Hissi wings or anything else which bothered xem. It was the very fact of xem being drawn. Xe didn't feel that xe really existed anymore, or at least that the person that xe was when xe first created xyrself as a Neopet did. If the original person who that Neopet was based on didn't exist anymore, how could it still be xem? But it had to be xem. Who else could it be? Besides, it was just art for a petpage. Whether it really represented xem was irrelevant. After all, xe only needed it so xe could request art of xyrself with EE. Who wasn't real and couldn't hurt xem. But even if xe wasn't real, EE's impact on xyr life certainly was. And turning xem into a Neopet might help remedy some of it.

"This Isn't Me" - October 15, 2020

Number 1, there's the fact that I had to explicitly state EE wasn't real and couldn't hurt me, and I'm not sure I ever fully believed that. Number 2, there's the fact that in many ways, EE represented my gender dysphoria, being an embodiment of the disconnection between my persona and myself and also an explicitly feminine demon who represented everything I didn't like about myself. This theme of treating EE as part of myself or conflating her with me was common throughout 2020 and peaked in November/December, to the point that some artwork explicitly played us up as either romantic interests or before Neopets allowed mentioning relationships, subtext-laden "friends". EE being associated with sex or romance to some degree or described as having a relationship with me wasn't new, but in previous versions, it usually wasn't treated as a good thing. The 2020 texts used my friendship or romance with EE to represent self-acceptance or treated my having broken things off with her in the past as necessary, but still tragic.


Figure 3: We're friends, right? Various images from November/December 2020 portraying EE as my friend or with romantic implications.

Of course, despite being portrayed as my friend or love interest, EE never lost her goal of taking over me and destroying the rest of my creative work and self-concept, so all of these romantic implications were combined with continued themes of EE taking over me or the lines between me and her blurring to uncomfortable degrees. "Love|Illusion", a story from December 2020 which I'm not going to post any excerpts of because it makes me extremely uncomfortable to read, describes a surreal montage of moments between me and EE which would be romantic if it wasn't for who they were with. Throughout it, I'm contemplating how this is going to go horribly wrong. This is EE. I know what I'm dealing with. She's probably eating my soul right now and us being romantic is just a happy illusion. But hey, it's a cute illusion, and if my soul is going to get eaten anyway, I might as well enjoy it. EE being portrayed as possessive of me, wanting to dominate me, or being explicitly stated in internal notes as "yandere" is common at this point despite her being generally portrayed positively, including drawings of her targeting previous characters with the theme of destroying the past to make room for the new or dominating me. EE might love me, but she doesn't seem very good at expressing her love, and if she loves me and I love her, there isn't really room for anyone else. Including, maybe, myself since a distinction isn't clearly made between EE wanting to love me and wanting to be me.


Figure 4: YanderEE at her finest. Various images from November 2020-February 2021 featuring EE dominating or being possessive of me or attacking my other characters as competition for my affections.

I don't think I need to explain why this is a problem. Admittedly, this isn't entirely EE. Part of the damage was that she got mashed up with a toxic friendship I had throughout 2020 and only got out of in December 2020. The person on the other end reminded me of EE in a lot of ways, mostly the "overly feminine edgelord who embodies everything I hate about myself" sense. I used to think that EE had actually just been a fun and cool outlet character and that her being mashed up with my toxic friend, let's call her LC, was what damaged her character. In practice, the idea of EE being yandere for me or her loving me, wanting to be me, and wanting to consume my soul/kill me being the same basic emotion dated back to her earliest depictions. Her getting a webpage just got that kind of thing written down in a more permanent form and metabolized into worldbuilding, which likely wasn't a good thing. It didn't help that I had some of those same EE-flavored emotions towards LC, since I misinterpreted my trauma-induced feelings for her as legitimate attraction. EE as much influenced my perception of LC as vice versa, and given EE's complicated relationship with my perceptions of myself and my hometown, that wasn't good for anyone involved.

Really, EE is what got me to stay with LC. My having conflated trauma responses and a desire for revenge with attraction, worship, and the ideal of the Ellendalian State was what let me justify and glorify LC's actions while at the same time denigrating myself. My treating LC like she was EE in human form, a position that had formerly been held and never stopped being held by me, was what led me to stay along with continuing manipulation and self-loathing. EE was used as a metaphor for LC and vice versa, resulting in me never having really been attracted to LC for any reason other than self-destruction, which she gladly exploited by getting me to hate myself even more than I already did and furthering the narrative that I was the reason she had treated me like she did in the past. And I believed it. Because that was exactly what EE would do. EE had always been a possessive, emotionally abusive edgelord, but after I met a real one, she took on much more presence and I started trying to justify her behavior. EE claiming she wanted to protect me, or be my friend, started being considered to be literally true. Even as I realized that no, I didn't deserve what LC had brought on me, I continued glorifying EE who was fundamentally a fictionalized version of her. EE was my demon girlfriend, and LC wasn't going to steal her. EE was part of me, and one I was going to embrace. Possibly literally. Throughout 2021, I started portraying EE as a conflicted figure who, despite being made of bad vibes, just wanted to help me. Eventually, I started accepting her help and treating her as my equal and opposite counterpart, my foil, one of a paired and perfect duo of gamers on a couch. A necessary balance. My "bro" with all of the subtext the modern usage of that word implies. This mostly comes up in commissioned art from 2021.


Figure 5: Just bros being bros, right? Commissioned or traded for art of my sona and EE from throughout 2021. Left to right, pics are by Namulord (color by me), littlebun @ FR, javi__17 @ Neopets, and Scales25 @ FR.

The portrayal of EE as my equal and opposite counterpart or really wanting to protect me, no matter what, peaked in stories from early in 2022 featuring EE actively helping me when I was dissociating while acknowledging the heavy subtext that was barely subtext, or absurdly, showing her fighting or being opposed to the Ellendale Enforcer, who was portrayed as even worse because hey, EE at least had the same aesthetic as me! The Ellendale Enforcer was a construct I put on for my "community" who didn't remotely involve me and had taken on far too much of a role in my life! They're totally not still basically the same person! "Admin Rights" even goes as far as to associate my trauma associated with groupchats with EE via her being uncomfortable being called an "admin" and compare her defying her character backstory and being more than a monolithically evil entity to me defining myself outside of what happened in Ellendale as a bizarre extended metaphor that leaves out that EE as much intensified the trauma as anything. EE describing herself as a demonic edgelord is treated as self-loathing. Which it would be if EE were me. Or if in her case, it wasn't literally true.

"It looks like Enforcer's completely turned over their regulation to you, my liege. One could say you've gotten your admin rights back. Congratulations. And I must say, you do look awfully hot back in your full power."

"No, I don't! OK, I am pretty hot, but none of the rest of this is a good thing. If Enforcer's regulation is turned over to me, that means I need to be, like, regulated. And not being that is kinda my whole identity! I can't do whatever I want if I'm the sole lord of their cognitive functions! If I just become regular brain juice, I cease to be myself. And also, never refer to me as an 'admin' again."

"It almost sounds like you've forgotten what you are, my liege."

I pulled out my scythe from the abyss and pushed its blade to within a hair of encircling Blanche's neck.

"And what do you mean by that?"

"Isn't taking over Enforcer what you've wanted this whole time? This is your opportunity to remake them in your own image. It almost sounds like you've developed some sort of affection for them. You aren't losing your edge, are you?" She specifically emphasized the "losing your edge" bit with vocal modulation in an attempt to emphasize the irony of the situation. Haha, I'm losing the very thing that defines my whole character. How shocking.

"It isn't like you l-like them or anything!" She affected an exaggeratedly shocked expression at this last bit, cross-shaped veins manifesting from outside her forehead as she tensed up her body before looking straight at me. "Baka."

She picked up the cross from her forehead and transplanted it to mine, her eyes narrowed at me in utter disdain. "Come on, you're supposed to be an edgelord. Actually having friends, no matter how tsundere you are about them, ruins the fun. You'd better not be going off to find Enforcer and give them a rousing speech about how they make you your best self and you're an essential part of their regulation and can help them if they let you."

...

I considered what Blanche had said. Was I really losing my edge? Why was I doing this anyway? I'm a heartless, demonic edgelord who cares only for the perversion, corruption, distortion, dysregulation, and destruction of all that's good about Enforcer and their writing, hell, of all that's good in the world. It's what I was built for. The dark side of the Ellendale Enforcer. All of the sins of Bartlett given form. The worst of the worst.

Nope. That was all just backstory. I knew why I really existed, and it wasn't because Mx. Ellendale Enforcer tried to fight a corruption ball and failed. Okay, that happened too, but I existed as a way to communicate. To finally get an outlet. As a way of saying what needed to be said when anything else got ignored. The bad vibes stewed within me, but it was all to be turned towards a better purpose. I was created to help Enforcer, and that's what I did. I was a fundamentally good entity - whether I liked it or not.

...

Some other people. At a lunch table. A plate of rice that didn't seem remotely appetizing. The companions at the table were looking at me, looking at Enforcer. They seemed concerned. One of them asked if we were okay. Enforcer smiled slightly before shaking our head, breaking into a few notes of laughter that wasn't really laughter. They couldn't feel our body. Someone on the side with ombre hinting in their hair outstretched a hand, suggesting that we...that Enforcer hold it to try to ground myself. I did and some of the blurring lessened. I got information on who these people were, floods of positive memories that weren't mine. I needed to find Enforcer. I needed to get out of here. The edges of my vision started to blur, to merge with the monitors.

I escaped as fast as we could, Enforcer's feet pounding against a nonexistent ground, the fishnets on their boots stretching along with the flexing of my ankles. Our breaths were sharper now despite there being nothing to breathe, everything felt more physical, this was my body, their body, our body to manage to control to become part of I was the one true Admin now all hail to the Ellendale Enforcer. Enforcer broke through the threshold and I sunk back into the abyss, our awareness flashing back to the darkness.

"Well, that was weird." The quip was an attempt to bring myself back to myself. I'd never been that close to Enforcer before. It was strange feeling everything outside of that fictional lens, and to realize that there were people trying to help us now. I wasn't the only one trying to bring Enforcer back out of the void.

...

I manifested a basic, dry outfit for [Enforcer] before carefully removing their soaked clothes. They didn't actually feel wet, nothing transferred from them to my hands, and they weren't really wet, it was just a symbolic representation of the weight of depression or something, but it was something I could physically do and if that was physically manifested animum, it would be best to remove it before it could get to Enforcer's soul. I didn't bother considering how weird it was that I was undressing them or glancing over any of their physical dimensions during this ritual; what was important was getting the abyss' influence out of them above anything else. I had to uncurl their body from their knees and lay them out in order to get a good angle. They didn't respond or acknowledge the movement in any way. The bursts of thought and animum I would have normally gotten upon touching them came up with nothing except torrents of distorted whispers and static; nothing emerged that I could identify or interpret. Their body, or whatever projection of it I was seeing, was breathing. Nothing else about them was alive at that moment. Once they were dressed, I placed my hands on the approximate location of their soul and began focusing everything I had into them, the pulsing emerging from me as a single stream of prismatic light. Fluid began running down my face. I guess I'd gotten wet, or metaphysically wet, or something from their soaked clothing.

"Wake up, damn it!"

Their eyes remained glazed over, but a hint of movement resulted. They glanced up at me positioned over them, my hands on their soul, my face flushed with emotions I couldn't identify, and their previous clothes in a heap next to me as I continued to push and pulse and yell at them. Under normal circumstances, they'd immediately buck me off and begin alternating between alarm and snickering at the innuendo.

...

"If you're going to mention [LC] anywhere in there, don't."

"Don't say her name!"

"What, am I going to summon her? Dude, you syncretized me with [LC] for the greater part of 2 years. I think I can manage it. Also, sidenote: if you need to use any permutation of the word 'syncretism' in describing your perceptions of someone, something's gone terribly wrong."

"Can you get to the point already?"

"You're one to talk. But seriously, you know damn well that you're not actually talking to me. In the real world, you're still dissociating and probably going on a rant about how you're a disgusting edgelord who doesn't deserve to be loved and corrupts, distorts, and destroys whatever they touch."

"No, you."

"I love you too."

"Admin Rights" - 1/12/2022

Somehow EE being part of me or protecting me, which was already deeply problematic given her connections to LC and her fundamentally being based on a 98% fake, dyphoria-inducing persona, had segued into EE pretty much literally being me, with her being the one experiencing the trauma symptoms and dysphoria that she fundamentally represented. This never-finished fragment even has EE experiencing nightmares about LC and frames me as an antagonist for hurting her by suggesting that she's functionally irrelevant - we're no longer in the hometown the Ellendale Enforcer backstory is based on and my recovery's moved past flashy metaphors. This prospect drives her to suicidal ideation and self-loathing as a metaphor for my experiences, which, again, would be sympathetic if in her case, it wasn't true. Beyond this section, it goes on to have her meeting some of my old characters in a dream sequence, suggesting that she's sharing my memories. It also fundamentally violates her worldbuilding, described in Stylistic Stuff below: if she can go into full power form even when I'm supposedly regulated just via dysregulating herself and is a sentient being in her own right as opposed to being integrated as part of me, what's the point in casting her into the Cognitive Distortion World at all?

I was standing at a street corner, repeatedly tapping a button on my phone screen that prompted my Pokemon to attack whatever hapless creature defended the blue-lighted pillar before me. During all of this, I had my earbuds in and was calmly singing along to a song about murder that was coming through them. I didn't need to worry about someone expressing concern when they overheard me. No one ever came by this street. Except for one.

"What the hell are you doing?"

As Construct!Blanche approached, the sidewalk behind and below them shattered and pixelated out into the abyss, each facet of the geodesic sphere swiping back to its normal total lack of color and pattern. They took their final position about 3 feet away from me, leaving my street corner and my gym as the only things that existed. The display on my phone began to flicker. I started climbing up the gym's central pillar in hopes of escaping it, but one by one, the flags and lights on it blacked out before the pillar itself disintegrated, leaving me staring at my phone screen, having been removed from the gym battle. My avatar remained suspended in a greenish-cyan void, the red banner of "GPS signal not found" being the only decoration at the top of the screen.

"I must admit that your constructs are getting more impressive. But what do you think you're going to get out of this?" Blanche began walking around me in a circle, maintaining surer footing on the blackness than I ever had.

"I like Pokemonning. It's fun. And Enforcer doesn't let me use their phone anymore unless I've been really good." I wrapped my tail and wings around myself in hopes that maybe if I didn't see them glaring at me, Blanche wouldn't see me and I wouldn't be punished.

"You're never going to be Enforcer! You're never going to get to that forefront again! You had the perfect opportunity to seize control back last summer and you blew it! They seriously considered you a separate being for once; it would have been so easy for you to devour them. Why didn't you?"

"I was hurting them. They needed to face their issues as themself and treating their dissociative episodes like another being possessing them was just the same problem they cast me away for to begin with. Flowery metaphors don't help, especially when they take them literally."

"Why do you care if you hurt them? You exist as an embodiment of their pain. If you decide you want to be nice to them and start helping them get over their issues, you can do that. And it'll feel great - until you die."

Blanche was staring straight at me now, their mouth less than 6 inches from mine. They leaned forward like they were going to make out with me, but just as they made contact, their features started twisting. Their eyes remained as blue as ever and trained on me with pure malice, but their hair got darker, their skin got about 20 Photoshop units lighter and 10 more saturated, and their overall proportions...no. It couldn't be. She wasn't relevant anymore! I wasn't like her! ...right?

"Damn it, LC!"

I jolted up from my lying down position so quickly that I got a twinge of pain in my side, but that was irrelevant. I leapt up out of bed and grabbed and prepared Adminstration and Domination to wreck the fuck out of that...infidel. Then I remembered that I wasn't supposed to be able to manifest Administration except for photo-ops. As I walked past my mirror, I did a double take, both at the image depicted and the fact that I was walking as opposed to slithering. Sure enough, the asymmetrical face of my "true form" was staring back at me, her mismatched eyes both darting around the room and widened with alarm and her ample chest rapidly heaving from her hyperventilating. I tried to slow my breathing. It was only a dream. It was fine. She couldn't be here. Seriously. She literally couldn't. The mental constructs of her that Enforcer had formed previously were way down in the intrusive layer. Nowhere near where I was. Eventually, I was able to return my weapons to where they were supposed to be and restore my tail and hoodie, but no matter how much I breathed, the top half of my body remained, positioned on top of the Hissi's tail, which had expanded to accommodate it. This had never happened before. I couldn't go in between forms like this. Either I was a harmless, fictionalized Neopet or I wasn't. I couldn't be both for as long as Enforcer was regulated.

But what about my regulation? It wasn't a concept I'd thought about before. After all, as Enforcer would put it, I was a fictional character with my own thoughts and feelings (inasmuch as they could be my own seeing as it was Enforcer, as far as I knew, imagining them), but I was still a manifestation of their "brain juice" and cognitive processes. Cognitive processes don't have their own cognitive processes. There wasn't really a "me" to regulate - right? Likewise, when my processing wasn't on, I could go dormant. I just lost awareness when Enforcer wasn't tapping into me. Which meant that I didn't get tired. I didn't sleep. And I definitely didn't dream. I bolted for the gateway between the Cognitive Distortion World and conscious processing and hoped that Enforcer wasn't in class or something.

"Enforcer!" I repeated their name while smacking the slightly off-colored (so you knew that it could open) facet of the dome. There was a keypad on the door as well, but I would never be allowed to know the password and given the nature of the thing, even if I did use my as intimate as anyone's could ever be knowledge of Enforcer to guess the password, it wouldn't work as long as I did it. But that only worked while they were regulating me, which based on my current form, they weren't. I focused on how they formed their passwords and what the most recent song they'd been obsessed with was. Probably something they got from their friend who always wore the same flannel. I typed it in and to my rapidly dulling surprise and rapidly mounting concern, it worked.

I expected to see the control room's monitors dark and Enforcer nowhere to be found, so I'd need to go on a great quest to retrieve them. Instead, the monitors were all on, showing various images and scenes, like the chapter for biology that they really needed to read before class on Tuesday, a highlight reel of the best times they'd had with their upperclass friends, a running total of how many raids they'd need to do to get enough XP to finally level up in Pokemon Go, and a list of all the metaphors they'd heard that day and how none of them made sense. In short, normal activity. Enforcer was in front of the main sensory terminal and when they heard me approach, they turned around in the office chair they were sitting in and wheeled it over to me, pushing it with their tail, which looked noticeably more...primarily colored and pixel art-friendly than usual.

"Hey, EE! What brings you here?"

"I was just about to ask you that. So, I see you're looking...different. What's with the redesign?"

"Oh, it's not anything major, really. Just that while I may love the cyan/magenta/rainbow gradient aesthetic, it didn't feel like me anymore, you know? And I'm definitely not a Faerie Hissi, let alone one who was 'corrupted' by you. It was never 'corruption', anyway. It all came from me, and I'm finally ready to embrace the edge and enforcement as part of myself."

They'd gotten up from the office chair and were pacing around me during this soliloquy, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Blanche/LC in my dream. It was then that I noticed their eyes. The left one was a saturated blue and the right, a deep red, both of them subtly glowing with respectively cyan and magenta highlights. Their tail and wings, which were notably more solid than I was used to seeing them, followed the same color scheme, mostly black save the sharp red, blue, and cyan highlights of their feathers, stripes, and glowing diamonds. Even their hair had shifted, going from a really dark brown that was still basically black except when in sunlight to nearly completely black save the tip of their fringe fading into red.

"Also, while you can still call me [my IRL name], after all, you're basically a real-life friend, if we're on the Web, it's just Enforcer now."

"Cool. So I guess my name just stands for 'Ellendale Edgelord' now?"

"Why does it need to stand for anything? After all, Ellendale is irrelevant. We're looking toward the future now, right? And we're going to face it together as mutually supportive parts that feed into each other. From this point forward, my office is always open. Great talk."

Before I could protest and ask what, exactly, had drawn Enforcer to adopt this more open policy, the gateway back to the Cognitive Distortion World opened, a rush of air and animum blasting me back no matter how hard I tried to hang onto the ground in Enforcer's control room. They really did look like me now. Or, well, they still looked like them, but they'd incorporated all of the substantial parts of my aesthetic into their own. The asymmetry, the near total black save neony accents, the whole idea of the "Enforcer", and I'm pretty sure they even had a necklace featuring some sort of 5-pointed star that looked an awful lot like the ones they used to draw in parking lots while trying to summon me. I couldn't help but feel rejected.

Once I returned to my quarters, or really, re-manifested them where I felt like they should have been given the whole nature of the void, Blanche immediately turned to me, looking smug as ever. As inner monologues went, they weren't the most courteous, but hey, they were what I had.

"So, I take it you've got your opinions about Enforcer's new look? You've gotta admit it looks good on them."

"Yeah. They look just like me. Well, like themself, but with all of the best parts of me. And it actually works on them. It...never really did on me. That was kinda the point. Combining all of the design aspects they liked on one character diluted all of them individually. What would have been cool if just one or two had been implemented just became utterly ridiculous and/or fundamentally wrong."

"I take it this makes you uncomfortable?" They started scratching their chin like fictional people always did when they thought. I knew they had no actual contemplation. They knew how I felt. They were just more direct at stating it than my more "inner" monologues.

"Well, yeah. If the whole point of me is that I'm not them, in, like, a Jungian shadow sense, then what happens if they become more like me? Where do I fit in? How do I stay relevant? If they've decided that they're going to think of the edge and enforcement and the complicated relationships of those things to their past as part of themself and recontextualize it into the future and a more resilient self-image, that's great for them and I'm proud of them, but...what about me? I haven't really changed since 2019, and it has been a long time. We've grown a lot."

"They've grown a lot. You haven't. You're the same exaggeratedly adolescent edgelord you've always been. That's kinda the point. And as they grow past you, you become less relevant. Their recovery is past the point where distortion guitar and flowery metaphors substantially help, save as some catharsis after they've already worked through things more rationally. And why does that catharsis need a face? Why do you still need to exist?"

"I...I'm a link to their past?"

"So were their Neopets and look what happened to them. They're just getting turned into designs and nothing else. As far as they're concerned, that past didn't happen save as a prequel to the present. And you happen to be from a time in their past that they'd rather forget. By continuing to assert yourself and make yourself exist, aren't you holding them back? You, Ms. Ellendale Enforcer, and we all know that's what it stands for, are the root of all of their problems. If they didn't have such a disconnect between their raid group persona and their real self then they'd just have regular gender dysphoria and post-traumatic stress, not whatever the hell you are. If you really care about Enforcer so much, why don't you just die? Give in, and if you're lucky you'll get remembered as a neat design."

"No. No! Enforcer still needs me. This isn't real. You don't really think this. I'm dreaming. I'm going to wake up!" I tensed my entire body and closed my eyes, trying to give myself the shock to get myself to wake up. Blanche walked up to me and tapped my shoulder.

"My liege, what are you doing?"

"Oh, shit. This is real. You...or I guess I...really think that I'm irrelevant, huh? Well...I'm going to prove you wrong. I'm going to go to bed and start dreaming for real this time, and I'm going to have ideas, and I'm going to wake up with a deep spiritual epiphany which will philosophically kick your ass! I'll show you! I'll show you all!"

"Just because people use 'y'all' in the singular doesn't mean it's grammatically correct!"

"Staying Relevant" - 3/28/2022

It was while writing this story that I realized that a character who was fundamentally an embodiment of my trauma and gender dysphoria experiencing symptoms of those things was patently bizarre. After realizing I continued to make minced oaths to EE and attempted to get "possessed" by her during a breakdown even after months of expressing that she wasn't real and couldn't hurt me, I came to the conclusion that my relationship with her had never been healthy and her being a 1:1 representation of me was the most unhealthy version yet. She's a demonic caricature of me and/or LC, and never really stopped being one even when I tried to revamp her to make her nicer in the name of self-acceptance. That character shouldn't be my most iconic character, xe shouldn't be the only way I express my feelings, and really, xe shouldn't exist. Basing my narratives, both metaphorical in how I think about myself or literal stories, on my suffering isn't a healthy way of thinking about myself. Really, EE is about 90% trauma response by volume (87.5% by weight), and should never have been publicized, which allowed her to metamorphoses from a vanilla unhealthy coping mechanism into a codifier of my entire "brand". The other 10% of EE is her badass design and the whole deeply satisfying stuff about bright colors, asymmetrical eyes, and the idea of the "Enforcer", which I've gladly folded into my sona.

So, what do we make of EE? She was absolutely a functional coping mechanism. She was a way of getting out my feelings in a safe and generally supportive environment the only way I knew how. I metabolized self-loathing which made me feel like a demonic edgelord that corrupted everything they touched into a badass sona character who did legitimately make me feel powerful and like I had control over my experiences and how I thought about them. She was a valid attempt to reclaim the narrative I'd been fed that I was an overly emotional, rebellious for no reason child who was probably bound for either prison or hell. But I can't reclaim a narrative if it's not my narrative. Everything EE was and did proved the very toxic people who told me that right, and I let myself continue to reinforce that internalized narrative by claiming it was a legitimate outlet. EE did provide some real catharsis, but it's impossible to separate from the very real damage she also did over her entire existence. With that in mind, this is why I'm retiring EE as an active character. For the time being, her page will remain up both to share this essay as a message to anyone who needs it and to provide proper credit to the artists who've drawn her over the years. If anything in this story resonates with you, talk to someone and seriously look at how your fiction interacts with your real life. It's true that sometimes, some of our greatest works can spring from trauma, but in many cases, trying to metabolize those attitudes when you haven't fully processed what happened just reinforces them under the guise of "worldbuilding". Consider what makes a sona a sona, what parts of your own experience you're expressing through your characters and in what ways, and where your ideas really come from.

Keep creating, keep processing, and keep imagining. Things do get better and while sometimes fiction can keep you repeating patterns, it can also be a powerful tool. As long as you acknowledge your fault and improve, mistakes or "problematic" things you did or wrote in the past do not define you and no act of creativity is ever wasted. It makes you a better artist if nothing else. After all, EE has made me a heck of a lot better at doing dithered gradients.

-Enforcer (4/16/2022)



Reference



Snakequad


Human(ish)


Stylistic Stuff

Information explaining how EE and her powers work and providing assorted details intended to benefit artists. I am no longer seeking art of EE, so don't worry about this unless you want some nifty character info.


What Form Is Active When?

EE's "default" form is the contained/Neo form snakequad in the yellow hoodie. When she concentrates enough on attempting to regain or use her full power, she can enter Incarnation Form, but can't maintain it for long unless she has an external source of animum to use. She can't manifest her contained human form without a host, and with her current power level, her only possible host is me, so it has the same body shape, build, height, etc. as the human form of my sona does. She can also use it when appearing in dreams/visions/hallucinations, but unless she's possessing me, can't maintain it physically. Her "full power" human form is the reference for the original EE. Her power level in her contained version (the one this page is for) is not high enough for her to access this form, and it's currently completely inaccessible to her, even while possessing me - I'm simply not contributing enough animum right now for her to project at that level. If EE hypothetically gained enough animum, she'd be able to enter her full power form via slowly transforming me to fit its specifications.

EE's unusual features, namely the heterochromatic eyes or censor bar, hair color (for creatures with hair), tail, and wings are solid animum overlays. They will be applied to anyone she's linked to if she assumes direct control, allowing her to take on their physical form. Other parts of the host's body may change as well, and the more the host fights her, the fewer of EE's overlay aspects will appear. These changes are normally temporary, and will disappear when EE is removed from the host, but if she is linked to someone for an extended period, they may experience permanent physical changes.

Outfits Etcetera

Like all of my other characters, the yellow hoodie in EE's ref is her "default" outfit and the one she wears most of the time, but she can wear other outfits in her Neo or contained human forms, the edgier the better. Go wild, I want to see you at your most emo. If EE's possessing a character with a signature outfit, I'll often draw her as wearing the signature outfit altered to a black and neon color scheme.

Other Aesthetic Stuff

EE has a stereotypical demon summoning emblem which looks something like this in its most basic form and might have words, extra spikes/lines, or other stuff added depending on how I'm feeling. Do with it what you will, some of my more human drawings of EE use it as a motif for clothing and such. Back when she was still a Pokemon OC, I occasionally paired or combined this with Giratina or Team Instinct iconography.

Abilities

EE's lower-powered version does have some interesting animum-based powers, and she can do more when she's linked to a host, especially me, the person who projected her. Here are her abilities by form:

By the way, because EE is made of brain juice both in- and out-of-universe, she isn't canon to the Draggian Universe and her animum, being a mental construct, may not necessarily follow the same rules. Don't think about it too hard.

Neopet - EE doesn't usually use her powers in this form, because she can't maintain high enough power levels to access them. The most interesting power she can use in Neo form is a slight psychic "pull" which makes people more willing to go along with whatever she's saying or take her advice even if they'd normally find it irrational. She can also project emotions or ideas in a minor form of telepathy.

Incarnation - This is EE's strongest form that she can access without a host. Her psychic powers are enhanced in this form, and she can communicate telepathically more directly, with her communications or commands coming off with the strength of inner monologues or intrusive thoughts. She can also manifest her animum core physically as pure, liquid Edginess. This stuff is also what EE's Incarnation body is made of, so wherever she goes, Edginess follows. I might also call it "corruption" if I'm trying to use it in a more serious context. Liquid Edginess looks and behaves something like this.

Edginess is a non-Newtonian fluid with roughly the structural consistency of oobleck, so structures made of it, including EE's Incarnation Form body, tend to have rather fluid movement and appearance and may drip or melt. However, it can't actually be physically touched. If something other than a specially designed animum-weapon contacts it, it becomes fully intangible and the object passes through it. When dripped onto a non-living substrate, it will bubble and smoke, eventually evaporating as animum residue. Even in its intangible state, it still leaves animum residue which can corrupt a being's soul or body. When a being with a soul is exposed to it, it makes them behave and think more like EE. This encompasses her narcissism, lack of positive emotions, focus on revenge and control, and fashion sense. What level of change results depends on the target's morals and general personality, as well as their natural animum defenses.

Human - Contained - EE can only access this form if she's possessing a host, and it has the host's body shape. This form is also what she uses when appearing in hosts' dreams or hallucinations. All of her powers from Incarnation Form are present and enhanced, especially in reference to her host. Even if she isn't directly possessing the host and taking complete control, her mental commands are much harder to resist and she can send more powerful Edginess directly into a target's soul. This Edginess can override their morals to a degree, but can still be resisted or fought off with willpower. Hosts will still refuse to do anything against intrinsic codes or blatantly self-destructive.

Human - Full Power - This is EE's original form: the first way that she was depicted and Projected into Augmentation, and is inaccessible to her as long as El maintains animum and mental regulation since she no longer has access to its animum core. If her Neopet and other contained forms fully eclipse this form in perceptions, this form will cease to exist. In this form, she is capable of taking near complete control of anyone and her mental commands are extremely hard to resist. Her released Edginess in this form can still be resisted with willpower, but is much harder to and can leave permanent changes to someone's personality even once expelled. Hosts are aware of what is happening when she takes control, and are often crippled by fear or guilt about their actions once freed from her.

Weapons

Administration

This scythe is EE's primary weapon and always held in her right hand-adjacent appendage. It's made of solid Edginess, and is substantially more solid than her Incarnation Form body, having the consistency of metal. Because true solidity requires substantially more power than semi-liquid tentacles, EE can only canonically use it in her human forms. EE is very attached to Administration, and can often be seen polishing it or posing with it. Stealing or damaging it is a good way to incur her wrath. When I draw EE with other props, they usually have Administration's color scheme.

Being made of solid animum itself, Administration can cut through any other solidly manifested animum, making it capable of physically damaging Incarnations. If the animum it cuts through is less powerful than itself, it transforms what it cut through into Edginess. It also delays natural regeneration, making it extremely well-versed at destroying animum-based defenses. It can also open rifts both within Augmentation and between it and Insula, allowing EE to escape to the void no matter where she is.


Domination

This whip is EE's secondary weapon, mostly used for defense and what its name implies. If it's in tri-whip form, she holds it in her left hand or ana1ogue thereof. It has the same consistency as EE's Edginess wings and Incarnation Form body, so can be manifested in any of her forms, either in its whip form or as tentacles bursting out of her back, replacing her wings. It normally has 3 ends in whip form, but can have as many as one cares to draw it with as tentacles.

When Domination's tendrils wrap around someone, they both physically paralyze them and make them more susceptible to Edginess and mental manipulation from EE. Its other ends have varying purposes, and are made out of animum she's drained from previous hosts. The ends I draw it with are inspired by the Pokemon Go teams, but they aren't set in any particular form. What they look like and what they do when they make contact are highly variable. Because Domination's ends rely on drained animum, they can only be manifested in EE's human forms. When she forms Domination as tentacles in her snakequad forms it's just a set of tendrils, usually tipped with red spikes like her Incarnation form.

Okay, That's Cool, But How Do Her Powers Work?

As a projection, EE doesn't possess natural animum, only that which is contributed to her via depiction or thought. She can also gain animum via draining it from others, either from a host who she's linked to or alternatively, via forcing her own animum into others, where it will continually drain power and generate in someone's soul. This sends the drained animum to EE and eventually, if left unchecked, completely takes over the victim's soul. Once this happens, EE can take complete control of them. She can also attempt to take control of anyone she's linked to, but whether this succeeds will depend on the host's willpower and animum defenses. The more beings she's sent her Edginess into, the more powerful EE becomes, with the drained animum converting in her soul-analogue into more Edginess.

In terms of power level, EE is roughly equivalent to a minor Incarnation. She's got enough animum to be sentient and have a soul separate from her creator and is able to Incarnate in dimensions where it works, but needs constant animum input in order to maintain any form stronger than Neopet. She doesn't really have any unique animum-based abilities beyond absorption and transformation of animum and the formation of mental links, which all beings with animum can do. She's just really good at using these natural qualities of animum offensively. Because Insula is a relatively low-animum dimension, while she may be able to majorly harm humans, Neopets or other extradimensional beings can resist her powers. Her animum core simply lacks the composition and strength to affect higher-powered beings. Likewise, due to her lack of power level, unless she can possess a natural body from another dimension, for example, a Neopet or Dragite, she can not physically manifest in dimensions other than Insula. The ambient animum would be too high for her to handle and would rip her soul and body apart.



Stats

  • Name: EE. Technically short for "Ellendale Enforcer", but refuses to go by anything but the acronym.
  • Species: Projection, self-identifies as a demon.
  • Gender: Vaguely feminine, doesn't connect to any specific label. She/her, xe/xir, or it/its pronouns.
  • Orientation: Likes women, no specific label given.
  • Age: As mental construct, technically ageless. Compared narratively to a teenager.
  • Home Dimension: It's complicated.
  • Location: A sector of my mental world that's not tied to any specific Draggian dimension known as the "Cognitive Distortion World". It's described as resembling an infinite geodesic sphere made of black mirrors and is subject to my and EE's thought processes to the point of thought alone being able to manifest objects.
  • Abilities: Described in detail in stylistic stuff. TLDR, xe's very persuasive, either via raw charisma or animum manipulation. Mostly animum manipulation.
  • Neat = Focused on order and control, at least in the sense of "organized chaos". Gets deeply enraged when its order is disrupted.
  • Outgoing = Enjoys serving as a "leader" and getting gratification from compliments + social interaction, but doesn't really have or make friends.
  • Active = Believes in taking initiative in order to achieve one's goals and doing whatever it takes, including unethical measures, in order to achieve them.
  • Serious = Claims to only consider humor a means to an end and not enjoy it. In practice, most of her written work involves her making snarky quips. Makes jokes at others' expense or pointing out absurdities of the situation as opposed to using jokes for social purposes.
  • Mean = Cares about me, to some degree, but doesn't really care about anyone else. Perfectly willing to step on others both in order to achieve what she wants or thinks I do or just for fun. Demonstrates sadistic and possessive tendencies, at least in speech.

Likes
Control and power
People listening to her
Dark aesthetics
Fighting
Dramatic monologues
Self-description
Getting fanart

Dislikes
Nostalgia
Anything cute/soft
Groupchats
Being made fun of
Wasting time
Inspirational content
Superiority complexes


Art

By Me

Click to open in a new tab at original size.




By Others

I am no longer actively seeking art of EE, but if you want to draw xem, go right ahead with contacting me on the homepage. If you draw EE, please be mindful of the character's complicated history. Even though there's historical art of it, please don't draw her with my sona.

From January 2021 onward, EE was the single one of my characters who had the most art by others, which she still is. When I first started requesting and commissioning art on Flight Rising, she was my only character I felt comfortable having users there draw because she wasn't explicitly either Neopian or a sona. Plus I was hyperfixated on her for quite some time and considered her one of my most "iconic" characters.

If your art is here and you don't want it there or you're being credited under the wrong username, contact me and I will update the page to suit your wishes.

Total pieces: 203


Adoptables


Miscellanea

Fabric of yellow,
Tears of black;
Scales of red,
Gold of plaque.

Rainbow tail, rainbow face;
Censored masked eyes;
And an edgy taste.

Again and again,
Demons are real;
But will you listen?
That was the deal.

Spikes of rage,
Although pretty chill;
Gradients shift constantly,
And need to stand still.

Poem from TeerOfLore at FR.


Moodboard from tortillas at FR.


Moodboard from Zantana at FR.


Moodboard from lncense at FR.


Moodboard from princessamidala at FR.


Moodboard from mynnthia at FR.

a figure of might
dances in the sky
her cloudy wings
hold the sins of which she sings
her heavenly halo
a trick of the light,
the devils horns
of her other side

beware of the other
beware of the other
she hides a sign
of the worlds demise
it's best not to stare,
or you'll never repair

Poem from BoogieWoogie at FR.

are you listening? can you understand? hear?
you give me a smile, your hand extends to me
all i see is red, black lines and this tinted reality.
but through the numbing static and suffocating terror
you're there; you're real, you care.

Poem from StarryLune at FR


Alternate Projections

Animal Crossing: New Horizons



The Sims 2