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Griffith, as an invoker of the Eclipse, is compelled by the God Hand to sacrifice.

At this great time of blessing... I bid thee welcome to this distant setting, this abstract time. [...] Thee, honorable child consecrated by the laws of causality. [...] We art kinsmen...
– Void, to Griffith[1]

The Eclipse (蝕; literally "occultation"), also known as an occultation ceremony, is a rare sacrificial ceremony occurring once every 216 years, during which a new member the God Hand is to be born.

Overview[]

Only those possessing the Crimson Beherit are able to trigger the Eclipse. Apostles eagerly anticipate the Eclipse, traveling to the designated site of the "promised time" in advance, and ominously awaiting the event at its predestined setting.[2] After the Crimson Beherit is activated upon its owner reaching a point of profound despair, it creates a dimensional plane known as a "temporal junction point" in which the Eclipse takes place. The bearer of the Crimson Beherit is then presented the choice of offering as sacrifice what is most precious to them, in exchange for kinsmanship with the God Hand as a demon. The event's demonic conductor(s) play their part(s) in compelling the invoker so as to realize the invoker's pre-ordained decision. With the invoker's utterance of "I sacrifice," their rebirth as a God Hand member is initiated. Consequently, their sacrificial offerings are consecrated as such and left to the ravenous apostles present.

As the feasting on the sacrifice(s) proceeds, the gestation of the newly conceived "child of darkness" undergoes. The invoker is overcome with a surge of sensations derived from the slaughter of their sacrifice(s)[3] before they assume their proper form.[4] After the invoker's rebirth is complete, the event is soon after brought to a close,[5] unless the newborn Guardian Angel of Desire has other theatrics in-mind.[6]

Background[]

Legends tell that, in the ancient Midland empire ruled by Gaiseric, disaster destroyed the imperial capital city and was brought forth by four or five angels. All that remains are traces of the fallen kingdom that were buried under the land which Wyndham would come to be built upon. The ruins of the ancient imperial city and its littered dead, all bearing the Brand of Sacrifice on their foreheads, could be found at the bottom of the Tower of Rebirth.[7]

Void alongside four inhuman beings at a temporal junction point believed by Guts to be an Eclipse.

In the distant past, Void manifested at a temporal junction point alongside four inhuman beings distinct from his later kinsmen and was witnessed by an unidentified man clad in the Berserker Armor.[8] Having experienced the aforementioned event as a phantasm by way of a "blood memory" imbued in the Berserker Armor, Guts is personally confident that the event was an Eclipse.[9]

Story[]

Griffith, having invoked the Eclipse, is flanked by approaching apostles.

Griffith's occultation is alluded to in a Holy See prophecy which states that the appearance of a red lake when the sun "dies five times" heralds the birth of an angel signaling the beginning of an "age of darkness".[10] In a fierce battle with Guts and Griffith, Zodd recognizes Griffith's importance after noticing the young man's Crimson Beherit and so spares him.[11] The Eclipse occurs a year after Griffith is rescued by the Band of the Falcon from his crippling imprisonment in the Tower of Rebirth.[12] On the eve of the occultation, apostles pilgrimage to the event's pre-ordained setting while killing part of the Band of the Falcon on the way.[13] After reaching a point of despair so great as to make a failed attempt at suicide, Griffith activates his Crimson Beherit after Guts commits what Griffith in that moment considers the unforgivable act of touching him.[2]

The beherit transports Griffith, Guts, and flanking Band of the Falcon members into a temporal junction point where the God Hand manifests,[2] with Zodd seemingly being the only present apostle to remain outside the tornado-like portal. Though the intervening Skull Knight believes that Zodd remains guard at the Eclipse's gateway to simply hold the knight off, Zodd clarifies that he additionally has no interest in the "indulgent spree".[14] After the God Hand separates Griffith from the rest of the band, they show him the "reality within [his] conscious realm", relying on his distressed mental state and most burgeoning desire to ultimately compel his offering of the Band of the Falcon as sacrifice.[15][16] Consequently, the band members are marked with the Brand of Sacrifice by the God Hand member Void, and the present apostles assume their monstrous released forms to slaughter and devour all band members but Guts and Casca.[17] When Griffith's transfiguration is complete, he emerges as the fifth and final God Hand member, thenceforth christened Femto.[6]

The "red lake" of prophecy, containing the ravaged remains of sacrificed Band of the Falcon members.

Though the Skull Knight defeats Zodd and manages to rescue Guts and Casca,[5] Guts loses his left arm and right eye while attempting to stop Griffith from sexually violating Casca.[18] When the Holy Iron Chain Knights discover the "red lake" of the ravaged Band of the Falcon members' remains, their commander, Farnese, considers it to be the fulfillment of the Holy See prophecy.[10] The mage Flora also senses the occultation and sends her pupil Schierke to confirm the aforementioned prophetic fulfillment.[19] Days later, Guts awakens and learns that Casca's mind was broken by what she endured during the Eclipse.[20] The ordeal sparks Guts' rage-fueled quest for revenge against the apostles and God Hand, especially Femto.[21] Having transcended his human form during his occultation, Femto exists as an incorporeal being in the Astral World following his occultation.[22]

The scenery of Griffith's occultation is revisited several times. One such instance is when Schierke attempts to reach Guts' ego during the swordsman's battle with Grunbeld at the Mansion of the Spirit Tree.[23] Another instance is when the Flower Storm Monarch, Schierke, and Farnese delve into Casca's mind, wherein Casca's dreamscape contains various indicia of the Eclipse as she experienced it.[24]

Notes[]

References[]

  1. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "Advent"
  2. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 12, "Eclipse"
  3. ^ Berserk :: Volume 13, "God of the Abyss (1)"
  4. ^ Berserk :: Volume N/A, "God of the Abyss (2)"
  5. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 13, "Escape"
  6. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 13, "Birth"
  7. ^ Berserk :: Volume 10, "Thousand-Year Fiefdom"
  8. ^ Berserk :: Volume 41, "Phantom Death"
  9. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 41, "Leaping Monkey"
  10. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 14, "Black Swordsman, Again"
  11. ^ Berserk :: Volume 5, "Nosferatu Zodd (4)"
  12. ^ Berserk :: Volume 9, "Fugitives"
  13. ^ Berserk :: Volume 10, "The Eve (2)"
  14. ^ Berserk :: Volume 13, "Storm of Death (1)"
  15. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "The Castle"
  16. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "Parting"
  17. ^ Berserk :: Volume 13, "Quickening"
  18. ^ Berserk :: Volume 13, "Afterglow of the Right Eye"
  19. ^ Berserk :: Volume 24, "Magic Stone"
  20. ^ Berserk :: Volume 13, "Awakening to a Nightmare"
  21. ^ Berserk :: Volume 14, "One Who Hunts Dragons"
  22. ^ Berserk :: Volume 18, "Spirit Road (2)"
  23. ^ Berserk :: Volume 27, "Depths of Hellfire"
  24. ^ Berserk :: Volume 40, "Awakening"

Appendices[]

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