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For the original Band of the Falcon, see Band of the Falcon.

The angel is the Falcon of Darkness. The master of the sinful black sheep, the king of the blind white sheep.
– The prophetical description of Griffith's leadership of the reborn Band of the Falcon[3][4]
The Band of the Falcon,[5] named after its original namesake,[2] is an army founded by the White Falcon Griffith following his incarnation,[6] comprised of both humans and apostles. It is the primary military force of Falconia. Furthermore, platoons from the band act as protective escorts for travelers seeking refuge through the treacherous lands of Fantasia.[7]

Story

Conviction Arc

Manga E175 Zodd Kneeling

Zodd kneeling before Griffith in servitude, the first of the reborn band to pledge allegiance to the White Falcon.

The reborn Band of the Falcon owes its beginning to the metaphysical reunion between Griffith and Zodd prior to the Incarnation Ceremony. As the apostle sits atop a hill musing over his desire for the "absolute strongest", Griffith appears before him in his consciousness as the Falcon of Light and wounds him into servitude, afterwards instructing the Immortal to seek out the refugee city of Albion, where his desired one would in time arrive.[8] At Albion, by way of the city's manifested sacrificial malice in a mock-Eclipse, Griffith is incarnated and whisked away by Zodd.[9]

Millennium Falcon Arc

Manga E184 Pledge of Allegiance

The Band of the Falcon reborn anew following Griffith's incarnation.

Griffith and Zodd set out for the Hill of Swords, where Griffith reunites with Guts and Zodd does fierce battle with the Black Swordsman.[10] With an abrupt ending to their reunion, Griffith sets out with Zodd to fulfill his dream of acquiring his own kingdom.

In the process of liberating the western Midland city of Shet from Kushan occupation alongside Zodd, Griffith is met and assisted by the formidable apostles Locus, Grunbeld, and Rakshas, all of whom recognize him as the Falcon of Light and pledge their allegiance to him.[4]

Liberation of Midland

Manga E235 Princess Rescued

By way of Locus and Irvine's diversionary assault on Wyndham, Griffith and Zodd are able to rescue Princess Charlotte.

The Band of the Falcon continues liberating holds throughout Midland from Kushan occupation, acting as the kingdom's most preeminent resistance force. Soon after, Griffith recruits the young seer Sonia, who acts as the band's medium,[11] and the Midland noble Mule Wolflame,[12] the former due to her gifts of telepathy and battlefield-wide surveillance and the latter for the addition of his remnant resistance force to the band's human cavalry.

At a later point, after being granted entry by Rakshas, Locus and his lancer unit, accompanied by an archer unit led by Irvine, lead a diversionary charge on Wyndham, drawing out the apostle Emperor Ganishka. Griffith and Zodd then use the opportunity to rescue Princess Charlotte from the Tower of Rebirth and fly away with her in tow. With the successful rescue of the princess, the Band of the Falcon retreats.[13]

Defense of Vritannis

Manga E282 BotF Arrives

The Band of the Falcon arrives to defend Vritannis from Kushan invasion.

Amid the Kushan siege of Vritannis, just as Emperor Ganishka and his large invading forces begin to decisively overwhelm the Holy See Alliance armies, the Band of the Falcon intervenes and launches a sneak attack on the Kushans' flank, swiftly turning the tide of battle.[14] As his forces continue to dispatch the Kushan, Griffith makes his way into Ganishka's mobile palace, where he is able to bring the emperor to heel before agreeing to have their final showdown in Wyndham, allowing his adversary to withdraw.[15] After the battle, Griffith's authority comes into question by Holy See Alliance officials,[1] but with Charlotte's bestowal of the title "Supreme Commander of the Midland Regular Army" to her betrothed White Falcon and the entranced pontiff's recognition of Griffith as the prophesied Falcon of Light, all suspicions are assuaged and the Band of the Falcon is granted peerage in the Holy See Alliance.[16]

Battle for Wyndham

Manga E301 Chaos

Humans and apostles, united as one under the Band of the Falcon flag, combating Ganishka's spawn.

Vexed by his previous act of submission, Ganishka descends into his Man-Made Beherit and reincarnates a second time[17], consequently assuming a sky-scraping, demonic beast form and destroying Wyndham beneath his feet.[18] The Band of the Falcon's War Demons meet the emperor's newly-formed spawn, assuming their true demonic forms to properly combat the advancing enemies. With the revelation of Griffith's command over such monstrous beings, human members of the band begin to question the true nature of their commander.[19] Sonia telepathically reminds them that the War Demons are the ones fighting and bleeding for their cause, as they stand idly by, and that may they be human or apostle they are all members of the Band of the Falcon, thus renewing the band's sense of unity.[20] Together, human and apostle Falcons combat the spawn, as Griffith and Zodd ascend towards Ganishka's head. There, Griffith (in his God Hand form of Femto) is ambushed by the Skull Knight and uses the would-be-assassin's space-tearing sword stroke to split open Ganishka's twice reincarnated form,[21] thus triggering the Great Roar of the Astral World and manifesting the World Spiral Tree in place of the emperor. He soon after reappears atop Zodd to usher his forces to his newly-formed city of Falconia.[22]

Fantasia Arc

The Band of the Falcon acts as the primary military force of Falconia following the Great Roar of the Astral World. When refugees from across Midland flock to Falconia, the band additionally acts as protective escorts for travelers, fending them from the malign astral beings of Fantasia.[7]

In a council meeting, Griffith notes to officials of Falconia that the standing (human) forces of the band, comprised of soldiers and mercenaries from noble families, will see itself shorthanded in five to ten years. As part of Griffith's goal of creating a "second empire" for humanity, he and Locus propose the admission of refugees into the band, as a means of lessening growing tensions among the differing peoples of Falconia, via the promotion of unity through military comradeship. Additionally, they note that the admission of refugees into the band will provide them a foundation to create their own wealth.[23]

Strength

Manga E298 Unleash Evil

The War Demons are the many "beaks and talons" of the band.

Some of the most renowned and powerful warriors of legend serve within the Band of the Falcon. Nosferatu Zodd, a veritable "god of the battlefield",[8] serves as Griffith's most immediate lieutenant and mount, while also having natural command over lesser War Demons he occasionally functions with. The Moonlight Knight Locus acts as commander of the Falcon's lancers; on his own he is able to dispatch hordes of daka,[24] and together with his unit of lancers is capable of carving straight into vast enemy lines.[14] The fabled warrior Grunbeld has command over a unit of giants, who in their true apostle forms become behemoths capable of immense destruction.[19] Acting as more peripheral offensive forces, Rakshas and Irvine typically fulfill stealth and long-range functions, respectively: the former a highly-skilled assassin and the latter one of the greatest archers in the world.

By far the Band of the Falcon's most powerful asset is Griffith himself. As one unchallenged by mortal opposition, akin to the author of his own tale,[25] he acts as the band's assurance of success in nearly all of their endeavors. Griffith's military genius coupled with the devotion of his Falcons has brought about the band's unparalleled might on the battlefield. His magnetic od and charisma attract people of all walks to the band and continuously inspire those under his command to fight with vigorous passion for his cause. Both humans and apostles are unquestionably loyal to the White Falcon, ready to fight to the death for their commander.[20] Even members of foreign origin, such as Kushan pledges, fight in the band of their own volition.[26][27]

Members

Notes

  • Sonia reveals that it was actually liberated Midlanders who came up with the name "Band of the Falcon" for Griffith's new army, naturally named after the original. The legendary exploits of the original Band of the Falcon are still fresh in the minds of many, and with the White Falcon's return to the battlefield, "Everyone asked Lord Griffith to name it so."[2]
  • During the Kushan invasion, Kushan pledges who survive the brunt of battle three times are given the choices of conciliation or death. If conciliation is chosen, they are given promotional opportunities within the band like any other Midlander. This law within the band is an improved version of the Kushans' own use of "war slaves", with the difference being the band's incentivizing of pledges' allegiance, in contrast to the Kushans' reliance on solely fear and coercion.[26]
  • As noted by Rickert,[28] the reborn Band of the Falcon's flying sword emblem differs slightly from the original's, with the wings being spread wider apart.

References

  1. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 32, "Midland Regular Army"
  2. ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 23, "Flag of the Flying Sword"
  3. ^ Berserk, Volume 14, "Black Swordsman, Again"
  4. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (2)"
  5. ^ Walter Bennet (sender), Puella (translator). "Writing Miura". "'Falcon' or 'Hawk', both mean [鷹] in Japanese. In some dictionaries, 'Falcon' is translated as [隼(はやぶさ)], but there's almost no difference. I used 'Falcon' from the great name of the 'Millennium Falcon' ship in Star Wars." SkullKnight.net.
  6. ^ Berserk, Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (1)"
  7. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 37, "Paradise"
  8. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 17, "Revelation (3)"
  9. ^ Berserk, Volume 21, "Starting a Journey with Resolve"
  10. ^ Berserk, Volume 22, "Reunion on the Hill of Swords"
  11. ^ Berserk, Volume 24, "Witch"
  12. ^ Berserk, Volume 23, "Night of Falling Stars"
  13. ^ Berserk, Volume 27, "Sleeping Princess Awakens"
  14. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 32, "The Flight"
  15. ^ Berserk, Volume 32, "Gust of Wind"
  16. ^ Berserk, Volume 32, "Hero"
  17. ^ Berserk, Volume 33, "Fog of Death"
  18. ^ Berserk, Volume 33, "God of the End"
  19. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 34, "Inhuman Battlefield"
  20. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 34, "Medium of the Falcon"
  21. ^ Berserk, Volume 34, "Fissure"
  22. ^ Berserk, Volume 35, "Falconia"
  23. ^ Berserk, Volume TBA, "Dawn of an Empire"
  24. ^ Berserk, Volume 27, "Demon God"
  25. ^ Berserk, Volume 28, "Proclaimed Omen"
  26. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 23, "Wings of Light and Darkness"
  27. ^ Berserk, Volume 38, "Capital City of Humanity"
  28. ^ Berserk, Volume 38, "Bridge of Parting"
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