|Karin Désirée de La Vallière|
|Title|| Former Commander of the Manticore Knights|
Duchess de La Vallière
|Runic name||Heavy Wind|
|Height||About 5'8" to 6'0"|
|Occupation|| Former Commander of the Manticore Knights|
Duchess de La Vallière
|Dislikes||Rude behavior; will not tolerate breaking rules|
|Voiced by||Yoshiko Takemura (Japanese)|
Karin Desiree (Tristanian: Karin Désirée, English: Karin Desiree) is the Duchess de La Vallière (also known as Karin of the Heavy Wind) and is the mother of Éléonore de La Vallière, Cattleya de La Fontaine, and Louise de La Vallière.
Maiden name was Karine Désirée de Maillart. She has a sister who is older by two years. When she was around 14 or 15, she became a knight and became acquainted with Princess Marianne, who was then 13.
Most of the article written below is from the novel and manga.
The Duchess would cover the lower half of her face with an iron mask to conceal that she was a woman. Rumors that she was a very beautiful person. According to the rumor, she was also quite a beauty in male attire.
The Duchess was formerly the commander of the Manticore Knights. During her time she stops Eustace's Revolt before General Gramont could help. Troops in Germania ran in fear if word that she was coming. She eventually settles down and marries Duke of La Vallière. Even the Duke would get nervous when he hears she going put on her armor and is going to punish Louise. She would wear the armor to scare Louise.
Though during her time as Commander she hid her gender. She is the strongest Wind mage to have ever served in Tristain according to records. Her favored tactic in battle is to summon a Square-class windstorm to attack the opponent, and use vacuum blades/Cutter Tornado to cut through both her storm and her opponent. Her familiar is a manticore.
When Louise first comes back to the estate. The Duchess acts as a moderator between Éléonore and Louise. Later on, she reacts in disgust as Saito and Louise are kissing in the small boat floating down a river.
In the novel A Duet Of Recollection (Volume 11, Chap 3)—his would have been in the end of "Wings of Freedom" in Princess no Rondo—Saito and Louise save Tabitha and her mother, the Duchess hears that Louise disobeyed a direct order from Henrietta not to cross the border. Crossing the border would constitute a act of war. Duchess would not tolerate anyone disobeying the Queen orders even though the Queen wished to reduce the punishment. The Duchess, riding her manticore, goes to punish Louise personally. She casts her namesake spell injuring Louise and her friends. Saito then moves to stop it, and gets heavily injured. The spell is stopped by Louise's dispel. The Duchess was shocked how easily Louise stopped her spell. The Duchess found out that Louise was a Void user. The fight was defused by Henrietta. Henrietta had to use her healing spell to heal Saito and Montmorency went to Louise to heal her. They all went back into the estate to discuss about Louise. There she finds out her daughter possess the Void.
Karin is known as the Strongest Wind magic user in Tristain's history. Her wind spells are stronger than most mages magic, and her affinity to Wind is so close that she only needs 20% of the normal incantation to achieve the same effects as other mages. At 100% incantation, only Void spells and high level Firstborn/Spirit magic surpass Karin's destructive power.
Karin's fighting style is very flexible; according to the KSS she's shown to just blow opponents away using brute strength (due to superior attack power to just about every other non-Void mage), to casting a increase-speed spell on herself and match evenly with about 20 other mage knights using only her speed-enhanced reflexes and her wandsword. (when using the wind spell 'levitate/flight' or 'haste' (different from the Void version), the mage cannot use any other spells when it is active; hence Karin's limited to her wandsword)
She prefers head on fights and using her prodigous magical power to overpower her opponents as fast as feasibly possible, as compared to using indirect attacks/tricks/traps to cut her opponent down. Close combat or casting from distance doesn't matter for her, she's a master at both and shows no preference to closing in or keeping away from her opponent. In Karin's youth (KSS-period) she's the kind to 'fight first, ask questions later', but by the time of the series, she has gotten rid of that mentality. Also, now she has the 'Rule of Steel', in direct contrast with how she was relatively more rebellious 30 years ago (towards her comrades; definitely not towards the Tristainian Royal Family as even back then Karin is unfailingly loyal to the Tristainian Royal Family).
Her signature move is her 'Heavy Wind' (translation differs, alternatively it can be 'Hurricane', 'Tornado', or some other impressive sounding Wind phenomenon) a Square class spell. By current day, she has improved her spell by lacing powerful vacuum blades into her Heavy Wind attack, and not even Derflinger can absorb the vacuum blades fast enough before they cut into Saito.
The only 'downside' to her magic is that it's too powerful. Karin held back as much as possible in Volume 11, and she still blows the entire side of the lounge into shreds as she tried casting.
Karin is also the ONLY human mage to date in Zero no Tsukaima that's explicitly described in the narrative that can cast spells without incantations (she still needed a wand though). Though that's limited to the spell she's most familiar with (ie, the Heavy Wind) and only in cases when she's sufficiently emotional (in the KSS it happened once, when she's 'tsun'-ing at Louise levels about Centurion's comment of her flat chest).