If he's going to sacrifice everything for his dream, if his dream is to fight and cut away his own path, then I want to be his sword.Casca is a former unit commander of the Band of the Falcon and an estranged companion of Guts.
Originally a callow peasant girl living in a remote mountain village, she develops into a well-attuned warrior upon joining the Band of the Falcon and aids greatly in the group's storied successes during the Hundred-Year War. Following Guts' departure and Griffith's subsequent imprisonment, she is forced to assume position as the band's leader, succeeding in preventing the complete annihilation of the Band of the Falcon and rescuing Griffith from the Tower of Rebirth. Crippled from his horrifying year-long torture and demoralized by his fall from grace, Griffith ultimately invokes the Eclipse, in which he is reborn as the fifth God Hand member Femto and rapes Casca to spite Guts. Having physically survived the ordeal, she regresses into an infantile and largely mute amnesiac.
Prior to the events of the fifth Eclipse, Casca proves a determined and capable leader within the Band of the Falcon who merits the respect of her comrades in arms. So great is her leadership that she is able to rally the band behind her in their moment of utmost peril and prevent the complete annihilation of the fugitive band for a year following Griffith's imprisonment. She fosters morale among the rank and file of the band, who in turn affectionately call her "Big Sis". Even amidst the Eclipse, Casca does not allow the Falcons to panic, commanding them to assume formation and contribute what they can.
Casca's hardened appearance and austere attitude can be seen as unfeminine, prompting Judeau's initial observation that she "gave up on being a woman in order to become a mercenary". In actuality, her womanhood forms an integral part of her identity; she wears men's clothing for its practicality in battle, rather than because of any inherent desire to do so on her part. Occasionally, her status as a woman is the source of her perturbation, though she masks such doubts with an exterior of sternness, lashing out with physical violence in moments of vulnerability. Beneath this guarded exterior, however, Casca yearns for acceptance as both a warrior and as a woman, which she originally desires from Griffith.
Her loyalty and devotion to Griffith seed within her a yearning for strength, wanting to serve as his able sword in the pursuit of his dream. Because of this, she initially harbors resentment for Guts, jealous of the swordsman's superseding importance to her idolized leader. Eventually, Casca comes to acknowledge the unrequited nature of her admiration for Griffith, while also developing equal affection for Guts, growing beyond her dependence on Griffith's dream. Notably, when Griffith resolves to duel Guts in an attempt to prevent him from leaving the band, Casca interjects, questioning her leader's challenge – an action Judeau notes she would have never taken previously, as she considered Griffith's will akin to gospel. She later begins falling in love with the swordsman after his acknowledgment of her as both a capable warrior and as a woman, cultivating a relationship based on mutual honesty rather than one-sided reverence.
Femto's rape of Casca during the Eclipse inflicts severe psychological trauma upon her, which causes her to regress to a largely mute, infantile state in which she is unable to truly think or feel. Though capable of a primitive form of empathy, she is left unable to process people's feelings beyond immediate situations; she does, however, display motherly affection for her demon child and the Moonlight Boy, becoming distressed when they suddenly vanish or are in harm's way. In fragmented form, Casca remembers fondly her days as a Falcon, though deeper within her psyche, her mental imagery becomes starkly hostile and revolting – a defense mechanism safeguarding her most repressed memory fragment.
Casca is born the only daughter of six children in a remote mountain village. As a young lowborn girl, hardships such as starvation and potential abduction are a normal fact of peasant life for Casca, giving her a pessimistic view of the world. At twelve years of age, her parents send her off to work as a castle maid for a seemingly courteous nobleman. En route to the castle, the noble reveals his lustful intentions, chasing Casca from their carriage and pinning her down in an attempt of rape. Just as she begins submitting to her attacker, Griffith appears on horseback and slices off the noble's ear, expressing his disdain for the man's sense of entitlement and superiority. Rather than eliminate the pedophilic noble himself, Griffith extends his sword to Casca, telling her to wield it if she has something to protect; as the nobleman lunges for her neck, Casca takes up the sword and places it inline with her attacker's chest, piercing through and killing her attacker. Filled with unease from her first kill, she is calmed by Griffith and entranced by the marvelous nature of her savior from then on. With her attacker dead and her chances of being reintegrated into her village low, she decides to join Griffith's Band of the Falcon, having now learnt to stand up for herself instead of just enduring.
Golden Age Arc
Years later, having become the Band of the Falcon's second most formidable warrior and a forefront unit commander within the band, Casca confronts Guts under Griffith's orders when the swordsman defends himself against an ambush party led by Corkus. She and Guts battle until Guts knocks her off her horse, thereafter realizing he is fighting a woman. When Guts overpowers and prepares to end Casca, Griffith intervenes, incapacitates the swordsman, and then has him taken back to the band's encampment. He orders Casca to sleep bare with an exsanguinated Guts for two days to provide the swordsman with warmth. Though Casca prevents vengeful band members from killing Guts after he recovers, she expresses no favor for the swordsman; on the contrary, she becomes envious of him due Griffith's strong desire for and eventual enlistment of the swordsman into the Band of the Falcon.
In three years time, the Band of the Falcon, having earned the trust and approval of the king of Midland, is enlisted by Midland in its century-spanning war against Tudor. During a battle between the Falcons and Tudor's Blue Whale Knights, Casca silently suffers from menstruation in her bout with Adon Coborlwitz, eventually fainting and falling off a cliff. Though Guts manages to save her, he is shot off his horse by Adon and the two are sent freefalling into the river below. Guts manages to drag Casca out of the chill water and into a nearby cave. Realizing a fire would merely alert the Blue Whale Knights to their position, Guts takes Casca's soaked clothes off and instead rewarms her with his own body heat.
When the rain finally ceases, Casca wakes and immediately attacks Guts, flustered by her womanly shortcomings as a soldier. Subduing and tiring her out, Guts asks why she became a mercenary to begin with, to which she explains the reason for her idolization of and devotion to Griffith as his sworn sword, as well as the jarring effect her leader's desire for Guts had on her. Their conversation is interrupted by the movements of Tudor troops near their location; realizing enemy forces would soon home in on the cave, they decide to depart after sunset.
After the two are found by Adon and his soldiers, Guts decides to buy time for Casca to return to the Falcons, and in a remarkable act of survival manages to defeat all mercenaries in the hundred-strong Tudor legion. After he is found by the band and tended to at their encampment, Casca learns of his growing detachment from the Falcons' collective "campfire of dreams" and intention to eventually leave the band, to her dismay.
Later, during the Battle for Doldrey, Casca succeeds in defeating Adon in a perilous rematch and leads the successful recapture of the fortress from within. For their successful recapture of Doldrey, the Band of the Falcon is formally enlisted as Midland's White Phoenix Knights, and its unit commanders are knighted and raised to the peerage.
On the morning of Guts' departure from the band, Casca goes against Griffith's challenge of dueling Guts for the swordsman's freedom – a notable deviation from her usual unquestioning adherence to Griffith's will. Having developed affection for Guts, her heart is rended after Guts defeats Griffith, as she witnesses a disconcerted Griffith kneel in defeat and Guts decisively leave the band. Guts' departure unexpectedly compels Griffith to impulsively bed Princess Charlotte, resulting in the White Falcon's imprisonment for crimes against the royal family and the labeling of the Band of the Falcon as outlaws. With the abrupt disappearance of her leader, Casca is forced to take leadership of the band when they are attacked by Midland's army and driven away.
For a year, Casca leads the Band of the Falcon through its tumultuous fugitivity, often times overcome with exhaustion and despondence due to her role. When Guts returns and aids in fending off a raid led by Silat, Casca takes him away from the rest of the Falcons to vent her ire for his momentous defection a year prior. After a brief sword-fight with him, she attempts to take her own life, deciding to leave the responsibility of leading the band to him. After Guts in turn saves and comforts her, the two reconcile and proceed to make love, finally acknowledging their feelings for one another and cementing their new relationship.
Casca forms a rescue team and leads the infiltration of Wyndham to rescue Griffith. With the help of Princess Charlotte, the group is able to reach Griffith's cell in the lowest level of the Tower of Rebirth. Upon finding the White Falcon, they discover the horrifying injuries inflicted on him during his year-long torture. Fighting their way through a wave of alerted Wyndham soldiers, the rescue team is able to reenter the sewers, thwart an ambush by Bakiraka assassins sent to kill Griffith, and escape Wyndham to a farm outside the city.
En route to the Midland border, the group realizes they are being pursued by the dreaded Black Dog Knights. Though their laid traps fail to deter the Dogs, the squad eventually rejoins another Band of the Falcon unit and combats their chasers. The Dogs' apostle leader, Wyald, eventually transforms into his true form in his bout with Guts, attempts to rape Casca, and grabs a defenseless Griffith in retaliation when Guts decisively overpowers him, disclosing the full extent of the White Falcon's grievous injuries to the band. Soon after, Zodd abruptly arrives and shockingly tears his fellow apostle in two, afterwards imparting a message to Griffith – foreshadowing the return of the Falcon's lost beherit – before flying off.
At the Midland border region, the remnant band members come to terms with the gravity of Griffith's injuries and discuss their futures. While Casca replaces his bandages, Griffith uses his feeble strength to force himself on her; though initially opposed to his advance, she is overcome with pity for his weakened, fragile state and gingerly hugs him as he relents. Outside of Griffith's carriage, Casca pleads with Guts to again leave the band if he is truly Griffith's friend and equal. Having mustered enough strength to commandeer his resting carriage, Griffith abruptly flees from the area, with Guts and the Falcons in pursuit of him. When Griffith wrecks the carriage and lands in a lake, Guts and the others rush to his location, as a solar eclipse begins and ominous figures approach in the distance. As soon as Guts reaches him, the Falcons are all whisked away into an alternate dimension by Griffith's returned Crimson Beherit.
Numerous demons are present to greet the Falcons, welcoming them to the nocturnal feast coined the "Eclipse". Four profound entities emerge from within the dimension afterwards, introducing themselves as the God Hand and revealing the purpose of the Eclipse: for Griffith to offer his comrades as sacrifices in order to join their divine ranks, as has been preordained by fate. Proving to indeed be an inevitability, Griffith, having weighed his options as an invalid and reaffirmed his dream and ambition, offers his former comrades as sacrifices, therefore triggering the branding and unilateral slaughter of the band.
A mass-scale massacre of the band is initiated, with most of them being slaughtered by an inundation of materialized apostles. Judeau comes to Casca's rescue on horseback as Pippin mounts a last stand against one of the demons, demanding that she survive as the band's leader. As the two ride and ceaselessly combat apostles, Judeau continues to place himself in harm's way to protect Casca, sustaining mortal injuries after shielding her from a whip-like apostle's lashing. Heavily injured, Judeau tells Casca to carry on alone, but is reprimanded by the commander and told to stand on his feet. In spite of her urging, Judeau slowly goes numb before eventually succumbing to his injuries. With his death, Casca is surrounded and stripped bare by an onslaught of lustful apostles.
After all but Guts and Casca are dead, Griffith, reborn as the fifth God Hand member Femto, immediately descends down towards an ensnared Guts and motions a demon to bring her to him. Femto then proceeds to rape Casca in front of Guts, intent on forcing the latter to watch as his lover begs him to look away. After Femto finishes with Casca, the Skull Knight breaches the Eclipse and is able to escape the temporal junction unscathed with Casca and Guts in tow.
After she wakes in the blacksmith Godot's cave, it is revealed that, due to the trauma she suffered from the Eclipse, Casca has repressed all of her prior memories and capabilities, and is now but an infantile shell of her former self. Four days later, she gives birth to her and Guts' demon child – the infant having been tainted by Femto's violation of Casca – before it fades away into the Astral World at sunrise.
Two years after Guts leaves her in Godot's cave, Casca wanders off after Erica lets her out and ends up in the company of a harlot named Luca, whose group is among the refugees traveling to Albion. Along the way, the refugees are ambushed by would-be assassins targeting the Holy See inquisitor Mozgus. Casca nearly gets herself arrested when she interacts with a pleading assassin, though Luca dispels any suspicions of her being associated with the attackers. Intent on keeping her safe from men who would take advantage of her defenseless state, Luca takes in Casca and issues her the false identity of "Elaine", wrapping her face in bandages to mask her as a syphilis-infected prostitute.
Not long after reaching Albion, her presence as one branded begins to rile restless spirits of the dead; her cover is blown when a cult dedicated to the Goddess of the Flame, believing her to be a witch, conducts a ritual to marry her to their leader. Pandemonium breaks out when the pagans are possessed by the vengeful spirits of their many sacrifices and the Great Goat is turned into a pseudo-apostle. Luckily, having been propelled to find her after receiving a vision of her burning, Guts arrives to save Casca from the Great Goat's clutches. Despite Guts entrusting her safety to Isidro, Casca ends up being captured by the Holy Iron Chain Knights and taken to the Tower of Conviction.
In the tower, Mozgus, having observed her Brand of Sacrifice and denounced her as a witch, places Casca inside an iron maiden in an effort to bleed her to death. Her branded presence begins to rattle the spirits of the tortured dead and triggers a tidal wave of manifested spirits, which proceeds to consume the living. Casca survives under the protection of her demon infant, though the child expends its life force in doing so. Believing her death will end the torrent of manifested malice in Albion, Mozgus conducts a witch trial in which he sentences her to burning at the stake; however, Isidro is able to make amends for his earlier blunder by freeing her from the stake. After Casca's rescue, the Incarnation Ceremony continues to run its course, bringing about Femto's incarnation in the form of Griffith at sunrise. Following the ensuing influx of Kushan soldiers, Guts mounts a horse with Casca in tow and rides for Godot's hut.
Millennium Falcon Arc
Returning to Godot's home, Guts encounters Griffith atop the Hill of Swords. When the swordsman attacks Griffith and is forced to do battle with Griffith's new protector Nosferatu Zodd, Casca enters the fray just as Zodd reemerges from Godot's destroyed mine, and is nearly crushed by the resulting debris. As if by instinct, Griffith unwittingly protects her; given pause by his involuntary act, he orders Zodd to cease his battle with Guts and departs. With the destruction of Godot's mine, and therefore a lack of secure shelter for Casca, Guts sets off in the winter with a new destination: Puck's homeland of Elfhelm, where Puck states Casca will be safe to stay.
During their winter journey, Casca initially sticks close to Guts, having acknowledged him as a protective figure. After Guts momentarily falls victim to spiritual possession and nearly strangles her to death, she becomes perpetually fearful of him and begins wandering away from his proximity. Their relationship is only further strained when the swordsman submits to his inner darkness and sexually assaults her. Only when Farnese, Serpico, and Isidro find and accompany them in their travels does Casca begin to open up again, particular to Farnese, who acts as her caretaker thereafter.
The group sets their destination for the port city of Vritannis, in order to acquire a ship. Casca and Farnese are later abducted by trolls and taken to the border realm of Qliphoth when the group protects Enoch Village from a troll invasion as a favor for the witch Flora, ultimately rescued by the rest of the traveling party. On the beach before entering the port city, the Skull Knight reunites with Guts, telling him of the Flower Storm Monarch, who can potentially mend Casca's broken mind. Soon after, Casca has her first known encounter with a mysterious "Moonlight Boy", who displays a particular interest in her and Guts.
She remains in the background for much of the ensuing chaos from the Kushan attack on Vritannis. The group eventually manages to board Roderick's ship, the Seahorse, and sets sail on the western sea.
Another encounter with the Moonlight Boy is had on a solitary island the Sea God resides under. After Guts succeeds in defeating the deity, a pod of grateful merrows escorts the Seahorse to the island of Skellig. En route to the island, speculation is made regarding the nature of the Moonlight Boy when he again disappears. Upon reaching Skellig and arriving in Elfhelm, the party rests for a night and is then escorted by archmage Gedfring and the attendant Danan to the Flower Storm Monarch's cherry tree palace, where Danan transforms into and reveals herself be the very sovereign the group has sought.
After sentencing Puck and Magnifico to a day of community service when the two's plot to overthrow her fails, Danan asks Schierke and Farnese to accompany her and Casca in the "Corridor of Dreams". Once in a mushroom filled chamber, Danan explains to Farnese and Schierke that the Corridor of Dreams ritual requires them to astral project themselves into Casca's mind and find a resolution for the incident responsible for their companion's mental state.
The two initially find Casca's dreamscape to be a series of childish scribbles, representative of her current fragmented psyche. Guided by Danan's cherry blossom petals, they discover a fractured doll representing Casca's current state, and trek onward collecting memory fragments to gradually repair the broken effigy. After climbing a miasmic mountain hovered by a black sun, the two sorceresses arrive at a thorned cocoon containing Casca's last memory fragment. They are briefly overcome by visions and tumultuous emotions elicited by the fifth Eclipse, which ultimately condense into a heart covered in thorns – the final fragment. When Farnese places the heart inside the now repaired effigy, the dream is ended and Casca awakens in the real world.
Returned to her former self, Casca greets and expresses gratitude to Farnese, Schierke, and Ivalera. She describes her broken state of "Elaine" as being similar to a daydream, in which she could only observe the group's journey, unable to truly think or feel; additionally, she mentions having vague memories of her past, and being unable to remember anything immediately following a visit to see Griffith in the Tower of Rebirth. Danan – having telepathically contacted Guts and asked him to meet them underneath Elfhelm's great cherry tree – celebrates the successful restoration of Casca's mind by granting her an elfin makeover, in preparation for her reunion with the person she misses. Leaving the Corridor of Dreams to reunite with Guts and remembering her past with increasing clarity along the way, as soon as Casca sees Guts, she is overcome with horrifying memories of Griffith's ravaged body and the fifth Eclipse, causing her to scream in terror.
In the days of the original Band of the Falcon, Casca is respected by her comrades as both a leader and formidable warrior, said to only be surpassed by Griffith in sheer skill prior to Guts' enlistment. Her expert swordsmanship, honed reflexes, natural agility, and above average strength allow her to battle and defeat male opponents much larger than herself. For a moment, a sleep-deprived Casca is even able to hold her own against the highly-skilled Bakiraka assassin Silat.
Though mostly defenseless in her puerile state, she has displayed spurts of her former self in precarious situations; such instances include manifesting her inborn agility to deftly traverse down the side of a cliff, and rediscovering her swordsmanship to swiftly dispatch a group of would-be bandit rapists, even though she has not practiced in years.
- The Berserk Official Guidebook states that circa the Fantasia Arc, Casca is 24 years old, 165 cm, and 50 kg. (NOTE: The Berserk Official Guidebook is highly questionable in its veracity.)
- Casca is the only known female member of the original Band of the Falcon.
- Casca was conceptualized as Kentarou Miura's ideal woman – a "brown female warrior" who is "strong, but still feminine", qualities Miura found attractive at the time.
- Casca lacks confidence in dancing, having only ever danced at her village festival as a child.
- Casca has several symptoms of dissociative amnesia, including the fragmentation of her memory, disruption of her perception and sense of self, and intense recollection of a traumatic memory when in thematically-similar situations.
- Casca's puerility manifests as a fascination with animals and shiny objects, including Puck.
- Casca has repeatedly fallen near bodies of water, causing Guts to note that "anytime she stands next to water... nothing good ever comes of it."
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 5, "Sword Wind"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 18, "Tower of Shadows (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 19, "Ambitious Boy"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 27, "Departure of Flame"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 9, "Comrades in Arms"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 13, "Escape"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 7, "Casca (3)"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 6, "Casca (2)"
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 9, "Fugitives"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 10, "Thousand-Year Fiefdom"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Birth"
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 13, "Awakening to a Nightmare"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Promised Time"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 4, "Golden Age (5)"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 8, "Moment of Glory"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 9, "Wound (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 6, "Departure for the Front"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 7, "Ready to Die (1)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 8, "Morning of Departure (2)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 40, "Beneath Sun-dappled Trees"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 14, "Demon Child"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 28, "Boy in the Moonlight"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 39, "Fragments of Memories"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 40, "Forest of Corpses and Thorny Cedars"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 4, "Golden Age (4)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 6, "Casca (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 7, "Returning Alive"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 7, "Bonfire of Dreams"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 8, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (5)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 9, "Demise of a Dream"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 9, "Confession"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 10, "Sparks from a Sword Tip"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 10, "Flower of the Royal Palace of Stone"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 11, "Forest of Atrocity"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 11, "The Immortal One, Again"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Warriors of Twilight"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Eclipse"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "All the Inhuman Monsters"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Separation"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Storm of Death (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Storm of Death (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Afterglow of the Right Eye"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 17, "To the Holy Ground (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 19, "Reunion"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 19, "Cliff"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 19, "Iron Maiden"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 19, "Blood Flow of the Dead (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 21, "Leaping Fish"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 21, "Arrival"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 22, "Reunion on the Hill of Swords"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 22, "Unchanged"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 22, "Prologue to the War Chronicle"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 23, "Winter Journey (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 23, "Fangs of Ego"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 25, "Qliphoth"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 26, "Retribution"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 28, "Proclaimed Omen"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 32, "Setting Sail"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 37, "Spring Flower of Days Long Passed (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 39, "Great Gurus"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 39, "Flower Storm Monarch"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 39, "Corridor of Dreams"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 40, "Awakening"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 23, "Overflowing Time"
- ^ Berserk Official Guidebook
- ^ Berserk, Volume 18, "Witch"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 35, "Solitary Island"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 19, "Ambush"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 33, "Bubbles of Futility"
|Four Kings of the World|