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A name applied to varying parts of the Balkans over the past two millenia. It has generally referred to portions of the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, stretching further inland according to the local influence of its rulers and the whims of external ones (including Rome and Vienna).

It is best known in English for its use in Twelfth Night, where Viola asks,
What country, friends, is this?
to which the captain replies,
This is Illyria, my lady.

This writeup pertains to the Angel tv series character. Spoilers for Season Five await, so please be careful.

Illyria was first among the ranks of the Old Ones, pure demons from the Primordium Age, and was the ruler of a kingdom that included California. Her power was so great that she was one of the most respected Old Ones, and she ruled from her castle Vahla Ha'Nesh, located in what would come to be modern-day Los Angeles.

In time the greed and avarice of other Old Ones grew to the point that they decided to murder her.

As shown in an illustration of a monument of her true form, which decorated her castle of Vahla Ha'Nesh, Illyria used to be a truly awesome force. If we assume the monument was life-size, it would have had to been at least six times as large as a tall and muscular human. Her head and torso were humanoid, but instead of arms she possessed five flexible tentacles which were ambulatory enough that she could grasp and manipulate weapons with them. Because she had feet like an eagle's,she was able to perch upon uneven surfaces.

Fortunately for us, and not for It, Illyria's body was destroyed and her undying spirit was contained within a sarcophagus guarded by Drogyn the Battlebrand. Drogyn was an immortal tasked by the Powers that Be to guard undying Old Ones within the Deeper Well, which was fashioned to be a prison for the hateful demon gods. As was foretold, Illyria was able to escape from the Well, still confined within her coffin. Her self-styled priest, the wily human scientist known as Knox quietly arranged for the sarcophagus to be sent to the science division of Wolfram and Hart.

Knox had already entered into an arrangement with Dr. Sparrow to poach Wolfram and Hart's clients from under their noses, though whether Knox actually would have honored their deal is debatable at best. Dr. Sparrow held up his end, though, and bartered with Charles Gunn to have the sarcophagus forced through customs in exchange for making Gunn's mental modifications permanent.

Once the sarcophagus arrived at Wolfram and Hart, it opened in front of Winifred Burkle, infecting her with the undying soul of Illyria. Angel and the others rushed to find a cure for Fred before it was too late, but learned that the cure would require them to draw out Illyria and wipe out most of the human beings in between Fred and the Deeper Well. Spike and Angel decided that Fred would not want to be indirectly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands.

Once awakened and embodied within Fred, Illyria was ready to restore her rule of California.

Aware that Illyria had killed Fred, but unable to destroy her shell because it looked like Fred, Wesleyagrees to help Angel eliminate Illyria. Unbeknownst to Angel, Wesley had modified their Mutoid Generator to only absorb excess power from Illyria, not kill her. Once Wesley draws off her excess power, Illyria iss greatly weakened, and is no longer as strong as a True Demon nor able to Manipulate Time or Talk to Plants. Still, considering she is able to destroy several members of the Circle of the Black Thorn in combat, her skills are still impressive. Illyria is infuriated by the loss of so many of her powers, and was quick to assume that others wanted to permanently kill her to take her title away.

Illyria is well aware that she can never be what she once was. Her brutal beating at the hands and feet of Marcus Hamilton, a Child of the Senior Partners, was a painful reminder of that fact.

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