Carnissa Gardner was the extremely powerful Gardnerian Mage known as the Black Witch.
Carnissa is considered to be the standard of beauty for Gardnerian women. She has long black hair, forest green eyes, and pale skin with an iridescent green shimmer. She is tall and slender and her face is made of sharp angles with a thin nose.
Carnissa was xenophobic and religious zealot who killed thousands. She would use her fire magic to raze places to the ground. For example, she destroyed the entire country of Uriskan. She was intellectually brilliant, artistically gifted, and a ruthlessly effective commander of the Gardnerian military forces.
Carnissa was born at a time when Gardneria saw its borders shrink as the Kelts reclaimed lost land by rounding up and murdering Gardnerians. She set out not only to avenge the Mages, but to finish what her ancestor, Styvius Gardner, had started.
Carnissa was wandfasted to a Gardnerian man and they had three children: Vale, Vyvian, and Edwin. She gave up on actually parenting her children as her powers grew stronger, and turned them over to nursemaids without checking to see if they were being treated well.
Carnissa is widely revered by the Gardnerians as their last "Great Mage." She is seen as a savior who delivered the Gardnerians from slavery at the hands of the Kelts and Urisk. Other races view Carnissa as a monster who ruthlessly murdered thousands during the Realm War. This cruelty is why those of other races who meet Elloren treat her with intense hatred upon seeing her.
Carnissa invaded Keltania and quickly annexed it. Then she aligned herself with the Alfsigr Elves. She shipped the remaining Fae, as well as anyone with even a drop of Fae blood, to the Pyrran Isles and took over the Fae Islands. By this point she had turned into a cruel, religious zealot who wanted to wipe out every other race in the Western Realm, save the Gardnerian Mages.
Just days before her own death, Carnissa ordered the execution of her own son, Vale, and his fastmate, Tessla Harrow, for attempting to save a group of Asrai Fae children from being sent as prisoners to the Pyrran Islands. Carnissa did not want Vale and Tessla's "treasonous acts to tarnish the Gardner family's reputation." So she fabricated a story to cover up their true actions. Carnissa claimed that both her son and his fastmate were killed by Kelts, establishing the false narrative that Tessla and Vale died for Gardneria when in reality, they were murdered at the command of the Black Witch herself. Vyvian and Edwin were two of the few people who ever knew the truth about Vale and Tessla's deaths.
Three days later, she was killed by the Keltic Icaral who rose up to stop her during her push east. They killed each other in the final battle of the Realm War. Most of Gardenia mourned her death, remembering her as their savior and greatest Mage.
Carnissa was a Level Five Mage with affinity lines for fire. She was a rare, incredibly powerful, female Mage. She possessed previously unseen amounts of magic. Carnissa is described as "the only Mage ever to go up against the Lupines with some small measure of success," since the Lupines are resistant to Gardnerian magic.