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A Risen in the guise of a Fighter.
I wish I could be shocked at this, but the dead rose all the time in my future. Friends, neighbors—they all became Risen... And then they had to be taken down.
— Inigo

The Risen (Japanese: 屍兵 Undead), also known as Death Masks (Japanese: 死者の仮面 Mask of the Dead) are a type of undead monster created from human corpses. Originating as the creations of the alchemist Forneus in the ancient history of Archanea, these creatures became known and feared for their brutal antagonism toward humanity as the servants of the Fell Dragon Grima, Forneus's other creation. They primarily serve as an army for Grima and his followers, the Grimleal.



All Risen sport a set of characteristic physical traits: mottled purple skin, glowing red eyes, and a skull-like face mask presumably covering injuries or decay to the host corpse's face. Risen frequently exhale or belch a dark purple smoke, likely tied to the dark magic fuelling their existence, and evaporate into said smoke and leave no physical trace behind when slain. Though undead, Risen appear to have finite "lives" and can be killed in similar ways to humans without necessitating that the body be damaged beyond continued function or repair. Likely as a result of being decaying corpses with a lack of sensation, Risen are capable of certain feats of physical dislocation which no human could successfully do, such as rotating their head a full 180 degrees. With the exception of Revenants and Entombed, Risen practice the same forms of combat as humans.

For the most part, the Risen appear to have no sentience of their own. They are driven solely by aggression, "living" to fight humans with no other drive. They are capable of speech, albeit extremely limited to simple broken sentences slurred through their unfamiliarity with language, though the Deadlords in Infinite Regalia are able to speak fluently. However, they do appear to have a sense of hierarchy based around the dominance of the strong: the Risen's leaders in combat are dictated by their power over their peers,[1] and Walhart inadvertently caused a horde of Risen to follow him as a leader through sheer force in his efforts to fight them as practice.[2] Certain Grimleal individuals such as Validar and Aversa appear to be capable of directly controlling Risen; when under somebody else's command, as opposed to their usual mindless and wild behavior, Risen appear to be capable of practising simple tactics in co-operation with each other.[3]

In ancient times, Death Masks were created manually through the use of a species of shelled insect which were named thanatophages (Japanese: 屍蟲 corpsebug) by Forneus. When presented to a corpse, a thanatophage would lay down roots within, and assume control of, that corpse. Forneus took advantage of the thanatophages' ability by creating masks containing these insects, then placing them on corpses.[4] As of the era of Awakening, this manual process was no longer necessary as Grima's dark powers created Risen through some unexplained process. According to Brady, when Grima is at full power as he was in the doomed future whence he came, the process of converting a corpse or even a still-living wounded individual is automatic.[5] There may be some relation between the creation of Risen and the creation of the Loptrian Deadlords; indeed, the Deadlords who serve the Grimleal are stated to just be powerful Risen.



The Risen originate in the ancient Archanean city of Thabes, where the alchemist Forneus kept a workshop in the lower levels of its labyrinth. Forneus's work was focused on two goals, one of which was finding the ability to resurrect the dead to serve as warriors.[6] His discovery of thanatophages resulted in the creation of the original Risen, which he called the Death Masks.[4] However, the ruling senators of Thabes opposed Forneus's experiments, and when their attempts to stop him—first by convincing him, then by sending soldiers after him—failed, they chose to seal Forneus and his creations away in the depths of the Thabes Labyrinth. They used the Sage's Shield to establish a seal meant to last beyond the collapse of Thabes itself, to ensure that Forneus's Death Masks and his other creation, a perfect lifeform created with divine dragon blood, would never be disturbed.[6]

Eventually, the Thabes Labyrinth was visited by Alm and Celica, the rulers of Valentia at the time. They took the Sage's Shield and broke the seal on Forneus's workshop, in which they encountered the Death Masks, still wandering the depths of the labyrinth. They fought and defeated both the Death Masks and the perfect lifeform, containing their threat for a time. At some point after many years since Alm and Celica's encounter had passed, both the perfect lifeform—now calling itself Grima—and the Death Masks emerged from Thabes to conquer the world.

Grima's reign

This section has been marked as a stub. Please help improve the page by adding information.

The name "Risen" was coined by officials of the Halidom of Ylisse in a war council shortly after their first appearance in the world, and subsequently entered common usage in describing them, both in the actual timeline and in Lucina's doomed future.[7]

In the doomed Grima-ruled future from which Lucina and the other children originated, the Risen were the dominant force, constantly terrorizing and hunting the surviving remnants of humanity in Grima's name.[8] At roughly the same point as Lucina's arrival in the past to avert Grima's future, they began to also appear in the past, time-travelling with Grima in pursuit of Lucina and her friends and first dropping onto Ylissean territory through portals in the sky. In the aftermath of their first appearance west of Ylisstol and their subsequent attack on Prince Chrom of Ylisse, Risen started spreading across both the Ylissean continent and neighboring Valm, terrorizing the people both autonomously and, on occasion, under Grimleal command.

In gameplay

Unlike the monsters of earlier games, most Risen in Awakening function identically to usual generic human enemies. They almost universally possess the same classes, stats and weapons as their human counterparts, and are distinguished primarily with semi-unique portraits and battle models granting them their undead physical appearance. The exceptions are Revenants and Entombed, which function using their exclusive talon weapons; while the Blessed Lance and Blessed Bow deal bonus damage to Revenants and Entombed, Risen of any normal class do not receive bonus damage and are treated as normal human units in terms of effective weapons.

In Awakening, Risen comprise almost all of the enemy units in Chapters 1, 2, 13, 22, 24, and 25, Paralogues 3, 12, 16, 17, 19 and 21, and in the DLC episodes The Golden Gaffe, EXPonential Growth, Infinite Regalia, Harvest Scramble, Hot-Spring Scramble, Death's Embrace, Five-Anna Firefight, Roster Rescue, and the Future Past series. Additionally, hordes of Risen appear on the world map to be fought in skirmishes, and can be summoned through use of a Reeking Box.

In Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Death Masks are encountered in the Thabes Labyrinth dungeon in Act 6, starting from the sixth basement floor. They function exactly the same way as they do in Awakening, except that Death Masks are among the strongest generic enemies in the game. All Death Masks have very high HP, and those in infantry classes tend to have enhanced movement, and they often wield poisoning weapons.

Other appearances

Fire Emblem Cipher

There are currently six cards in Fire Emblem Cipher which feature generic Risen. The Risen cards are governed by special rules that are shared by no other card in the card game, in that they have zero deployment cost and the player is allowed to both possess in their deck and deploy into battle as many as they want at once, the idea being to have an overwhelming number of them. They have no attack or support power of their own, but they can enhance or be enhanced by certain cards depicting Chrom, Aversa, and Grima.

Two of these cards, both from booster series 14, depict situations that do not happen in Awakening. One card depicts a female Dark Mage, but all Risen Dark Mages in Awakening are male. Another card depicts a Cleric, but there are no Risen Clerics in Awakening.

Fire Emblem Cipher data for Risen
TCGCipher B08-047aN.png Grotesque Soldier, Risen




Attack: 0 Support: 0 Range: 1 Deploy Cost: 0
Class: Mercenary Tier: Base Class Change Cost: --
Army of Risen: [Special] You may deploy this card even if there is already an ally "Risen" in play. You may have more than 1 "Risen" in play.
[Special] You may have more than 4 copies of this card in your deck.
Attack Emblem Despair Emblem: [Support] Deploy one "Risen" from your Retreat Area.
Card #B08-047aNArtist: Aogachou
TCGCipher B08-047bN.png Grotesque Soldier, Risen




Attack: 0 Support: 0 Range: 1 Deploy Cost: 0
Class: Fighter Tier: Base Class Change Cost: --
Army of Risen: [Special] You may deploy this card even if there is already an ally "Risen" in play. You may have more than 1 "Risen" in play.
[Special] You may have more than 4 copies of this card in your deck.
Attack Emblem Despair Emblem: [Support] Deploy one "Risen" from your Retreat Area.
Card #B08-047cNArtist: Aogachou
TCGCipher B08-047cN.png Grotesque Soldier, Risen




Attack: 0 Support: 0 Range: 1 Deploy Cost: 0
Class: Soldier Tier: Base Class Change Cost: --
Army of Risen: [Special] You may deploy this card even if there is already an ally "Risen" in play. You may have more than 1 "Risen" in play.
[Special] You may have more than 4 copies of this card in your deck.
Attack Emblem Despair Emblem: [Support] Deploy one "Risen" from your Retreat Area.
Card #B08-047cNArtist: Aogachou
TCGCipher B14-040aN.png Grotesque Soldier, Risen




Attack: 0 Support: 0 Range: 1 Deploy Cost: 0
Class: Pegasus Knight Tier: Base Class Change Cost: --
Army of Corpses: [Special] You may deploy this card even if you already have an allied “Risen”, and you may have 2 or more allied “Risen” at once. [Special] You may have 5 or more cards with the same card name as this card in your deck.
Attack Emblem Despair Emblem: [Support] Choose 1 “Risen” from your Retreat Area, and deploy it.
Card #B14-040aNArtist: Aogachou
TCGCipher B14-040bN.png Grotesque Soldier, Risen




Attack: 0 Support: 0 Range: 1-2 Deploy Cost: 0
Class: Dark Mage Tier: Base Class Change Cost: --
Army of Corpses: [Special] You may deploy this card even if you already have an allied “Risen”, and you may have 2 or more allied “Risen” at once. [Special] You may have 5 or more cards with the same card name as this card in your deck.
Card #B14-040bNArtist: Aogachou
TCGCipher B14-040cN.png Grotesque Soldier, Risen




Attack: 0 Support: 0 Range: - Deploy Cost: 0
Class: Cleric Tier: Base Class Change Cost: --
Army of Corpses: [Special] You may deploy this card even if you already have an allied “Risen”, and you may have 2 or more allied “Risen” at once. [Special] You may have 5 or more cards with the same card name as this card in your deck.
Monster-Healing Staff: [Activate] [Tap this unit] [Flip two bond cards] Choose 1 Monster card from your Retreat Area, and add it to your hand.
Card #B14-040cNArtist: Aogachou
Some card information translation provided by Serenes Forest.
For more detailed strategic information on these cards, see their TCG wiki article on Risen .


  • Despite the Risen taking on a variety of classes, the only classes shown in cutscenes are Fighter, Archer, and Dark Knight, the latter two only in Awakening's opening sequence.
  • Risen classes that wear full-face helmets, such as Cavalier and Warrior, do not have the traditional Risen mask in their battle models; instead, they have a red glow within the grills to symbolize their affiliation. Oddly, the General and Great Knight classes still have the Risen masks, despite wearing full helmets.
  • In Awakening, despite the Risen not being officially named by characters in Chapter 1, selecting one with the cursor will reveal their name prematurely.
    • Similarly, Robin and Lissa's C-support mentions the Risen by name despite being unlockable before Chapter 1.
  • A Risen mask makes a cameo appearance in Thrust to the Future of Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE.
  • In Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, the player is able to obtain the Death Masks' mask as the Dubious Mask item. When equipped by any unit, they wear that mask in battles.

Etymology and other languages


Names, etymology and in other regions
Language Name Definition, etymology and notes
English Risen Used in the context of describing the rise of the dead into an undead state.
Japanese 屍兵
• Officially romanized as Undead on the Awakening Background website; literally, "corpse soldier". In Shadows of Valentia, internal labels for Death Mask data also use this term.
• Corpse. Internal character for the Risen portraits.
Spanish Resurrectos Resurrected
French Ombre Shadow
German Untoter Undead
Italian Risorti Resurrected

Death Masks

Names, etymology and in other regions
Language Name Definition, etymology and notes
English Death Mask Probably refers to the masks used to create them.
Japanese 死者の仮面 Mask of the Dead
Spanish Máscara letal Lethal mask
French Masque funèbre Funerary mask
German Totenmaske Deadmask
Italian Maschera morte Dead mask
Dutch Doodsmasker Deadmask
Simplified Chinese 死者的面具 Mask of the Dead
Traditional Chinese 死者的面具 Mask of the Dead



  1. "The Risen's apparent leader, judging by strength." — Help description for Risen Chiefs, Fire Emblem Awakening
  2. "Useless husks! Do you bend the knee to me already? Pah! I've no use for blind obedience. I need you to face me!" — Walhart, Fire Emblem Awakening
  3. "They made a stealthy approach, milord. I've never seen Risen behave like this. Either they are learning our ways, or someone is commanding them..." — Frederick, Fire Emblem Awakening
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The critical component in the death mask is a particular shelled insect.
    I have come to call these marvels of nature thanatophages.
    Placed on a cadaver, thanatophages set down roots and assert control.
    " — Forneus, as recorded on tablets in the Thabes Labyrinth, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
  5. "In the future, our wounded often turned to Risen just as we were tryin' to heal 'em. It really stinks havin' to kill the very people you've been fightin' to save... Ya just gotta remember these folk ain't turnin' back, no matter what." — Brady, Fire Emblem Awakening
  6. 6.0 6.1 "In Thabes lived an alchemist named Forneus, much praised for his genius. In time, he would be feared by all.
    Two matters consumed Forneus, and he spent his life in their pursuit.
    The first was how to wake the dead and control them as his army.
    The second was the creation of a singular, perfect being.
    We senators sent forth messengers to Forneus. None returned.
    Next, the Council dispatched soldiers. Still none returned.
    Thus, the Council chose to seal Forneus's workshop with him inside it.
    The seal they used was made to last until the city crumbled to sand.
    Here lies sealed the workshop of the demon alchemist Forneus.
    " — Tablets in the Thabes Labyrinth, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
  7. "Chrom: Gods, have the Risen spread this far?
    Robin: "Risen"?
    Frederick: We needed a name for this new threat, so the council gave them one.
    " — Chrom, Robin and Frederick, Fire Emblem Awakening
  8. "In the future, almost no corner of our world is safe for humans. Risen prowl the land as masters of all. The people cower in terror, helpless." — Lucina, Fire Emblem Awakening

See also

Fire Emblem Awakening
Playable characters AnnaAversaBasilioBradyChercheChromCordeliaCynthiaDonnelEmmerynFlaviaFrederickGaiusGangrelGeromeGregorHenryInigoKellamKjelleLaurentLibraLissaLon'quLucinaMaribelleMirielMorganNahNoireNowiOliviaOwainPannePriamRickenRobinSay'riSeveraStahlSullySumiaTharjaTikiVaikeVirionWalhartYarneYen'fay
Non-playable characters HierarchHollandKe'riNagaOld HubbaPhila
Bosses AlgolAnguillaArdriAversaBovisCampariCanisCassiusCervantesChalardDalenDaltonDracoEquusExcellusEzraFarberGallusGangrelGarrickGeckoGrimaGyralIgnatiusJamilLepusMarthMorristanMusMustafaNelsonNombryOrtonOvisPherosPorcusPriamRaimiRisen ChiefRoddickRugerSimiaTigrisValidarVastoVictorVincentWalhartXalbadorYen'fayZanth
DLC characters AlmCatriaCelicaEirikaEldiganElinciaEphraimEstIkeKatarinaLeifLynPrince MarthMicaiahPallaRoySeliph
SpotPass characters Shadow Dragon CaedaGharnefLindeMerricMinervaNavarreNynaOgmaPrince MarthTiki
Gaiden AlmBoeyCelicaClairCliveDeenLuthierMycenNomahValbar
Mystery of the Emblem AthenaCatriaEtzelHardinHoraceKatarinaKing MarthLegionMaliceNorne
Genealogy of the Holy War G1 ArdenArvisAyraDeirdreEthlynJamkeLewynQuanRaquesisSigurd
Genealogy of the Holy War G2 AltenaAresArthurCedFeeJuliaJuliusLarceiSeliphUlster
Thracia 776 DagdarEyvelFinnLeifMareetaNannaOlwenRaydrikSaiasSalem
Binding Blade CeciliaLilinaLughPercevalRaighRoyShannaSophiaWoltZephiel
Fire Emblem EliwoodFlorinaHectorJaffarKarelLynMatthewNergalNinoSerra
Sacred Stones AmeliaEirikaEphraimInnesL'ArachelLuteLyonMarisaMoulderSeth
Path of Radiance AshnardElinciaGeoffreyIkeLuciaMiaMistSorenTitaniaZihark
Radiant Dawn Black KnightBromEdwardLeonardoMicaiahNepheneeSanakiSephiranSigrunSothe
Others CamusIshtarLinusLloydNarcianOliverPetrineSelenaTravantUrsula
Regalia and personal weapons AmatsuArmadsBalmungBook of NagaDouble BowExcaliburFalchion (Exalted FalchionParallel Falchion) • ForsetiGáe BolgGoddess StaffGoetiaGradivusGrima's TruthGungnirHauteclereHelswathMercuriusMissiletainnMjölnirMystletainnNidhoggNoble RapierParthiaRagnellRapierSol KattiTyrfingValflameWolf BergYewfelle
Chapters Main story path Pm: Invisible Ties • P: The Verge of History • 1: Unwelcome Change • 2: Shepherds • 3: Warrior Realm • 4: Two Falchions • 5: The Exalt and the King • 6: Foreseer • 7: Incursion • 8: The Grimleal • 9: Emmeryn • 10: Renewal • 11: Mad King Gangrel • 12: The Seacomers • 13: Of Sacred Blood • 14: Flames on the Blue • 15: Smoldering Resistance • 16: Naga's Voice • 17: Inexorable Death • 18: Sibling Blades • 19: The Conqueror • 20: The Sword or the Knee • 21: Five Gemstones • 22: An Ill Presage • 23: Invisible Ties • 24: Awakening • 25: To Slay a God • Endgame: Grima
Paralogues Pr1: Sickle to Sword • Pr2: The Secret Seller • Pr3: A Strangled Peace • Pr4: Anna the Merchant • Pr5: Scion of Legend • Pr6: A Man for Flowers • Pr7: Noble Lineage • Pr8: A Duel Disgraced • Pr9: Wings of Justice • Pr10: Ambivalence • Pr11: Twin Wyverns • Pr12: Disowned by Time • Pr13: Rival Bands • Pr14: Shadow in the Sands • Pr15: A Shot from the Dark • Pr16: Daughter to Dragons • Pr17: The Threat of Silence • Pr18: The Dead King's Lament • Pr19: Irreconcilable Paths • Pr20: A Hard Miracle • Pr21: Ghost of a Blade • Pr22: The Wellspring of Truth • Pr23: The Radiant Hero
Xenologues Champions of Yore 1Champions of Yore 2Champions of Yore 3The Golden GaffeEXPonential GrowthInfinite RegaliaLost Bloodlines 1Lost Bloodlines 2Lost Bloodlines 3Smash Brethren 1Smash Brethren 2Smash Brethren 3Rogues & Redeemers 1Rogues & Redeemers 2Rogues & Redeemers 3Death's EmbraceFive-Anna FirefightRoster RescueHarvest ScrambleSummer ScrambleHot-Spring ScrambleThe Future Past 1The Future Past 2The Future Past 3Apotheosis
Locations YlisseFerox (Arena Ferox) • Outrealm Gate (Outrealms) • Plegia (Dragon's Table) • YlisseValmChon'sinRosanneValm
Groups, objects, and concepts AwakeningEinherjarFire EmblemGrimleal (Deadlords) • RisenShepherds
Related topics Ancient LettersDouble DuelDownloadable contentName chart Nintendo Dream comics • Other games (GaidenGenealogy of the Holy WarShadow DragonNew Mystery of the Emblem) • Pre-release information (Unused content) • Unit Gallery (Soundtrack) • SpotPassStreetPassTimelineWorld map
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
Playable characters Alm's
DLC EmmaRandalShadeYuzu
Non-playable characters ForneusHalcyonIrmaLima IVLipricaMassenaMila
Bosses ArgentumAurumBarthBerkutBlakeBrigand BossCerberusThe CreationDeenDeltheaDesaixDolthDumaFernandGarthGarciaGazelleGharnGriethHadesHestiaJamilJarth*JedahJeromeLawsonMagnusMarlaMikhailMuellerNaberiusNuibabaRineaRudolfSlaydeSonyaTatarrahWolffXaizorZaksonZeke
Regalia and personal weapons Beloved ZofiaFalchionGradivusMercuriusParthiaRoyal Sword
Acts P: Alm and Celica • 1: Zofia's Call • 2: The Pilgrimage • 3: War of Deliverance • 4: Land of Sorrow • 5: Together to the EndAct 6
Locations ValentiaDuma's OrdealsMila's OrdealsRigel (Fear Mountain ShrineSecret ShrineLost TreescapeDuma TowerDuma Temple) • Zofia (Deliverance HideoutDragon ShrineNovisRamSylvan ShrineTemple of MilaSeabound ShrineThieves' Shrine) • ArchaneaThabes
Groups, objects and concepts Death MasksBook of Valentian RevelationsDeliveranceMila's TurnwheelTerrors
Related topics Ancient LettersName chartDownloadable content • Other games (GaidenShadow Dragon & the Blade of LightAwakening) • Pre-release information (Unused content) • SidequestsSound TestTimelineWorld map