The God Hand is a quintumvirate of demon sovereigns who act as executors of the Idea of Evil's will, by virtue of their desires being intrinsic to the entity. As the most powerful of demonkind, they reign over apostles as their masters, and are responsible for granting normal beherit bearers their reincarnated status of being, in exchange for a sacrifice. They have orchestrated many significant events that have largely affected the course of humanity, as well as the state of the macrocosm.
Each member of the God Hand was once human and is a previous owner of the Crimson Beherit, which distinguished them as individuals destined to be reborn as the demon sovereigns they currently serve as. In 216 year increments, they each attained their proper forms during the festival known as the Eclipse.
In the distant past, Void manifested at a temporal junction point alongside four inhuman beings distinct from his current kinsmen and was witnessed by an unidentified man clad in the Berserker Armor. While the fate of the other four is unknown, Void continued on over the ages to recruit apostles and future members of the God Hand with opposition from the Skull Knight.
Golden Age Arc
During Griffith's year-long imprisonment beneath the Tower of Rebirth, the God Hand appears before their future kinsman in a vision, referring to him as "King of Longing" and informing him of their impending audience with him at the proper place and time. As they foretold, the God Hand formally meets with Griffith during his Eclipse, and more explicitly explain the reason for their audience with him: so that he may join their ranks as the fifth Guardian Angel of the God Hand, for the price of sacrificing the Band of the Falcon, as preordained by causality. After Griffith's inexorable sacrificing of his comrades and rebirth as the fifth angel Femto, he rapes Casca to spite a restrained Guts, inducing shock and ultimately amnesia within the former. Almost immediately after the act, the Skull Knight encroaches on the Eclipse and escapes with Guts and Casca in tow, unscathed by Femto's efforts to stop him. Despite the unforeseen intrusion, the God Hand hails the birth of their fifth and heralds an age of darkness.
Black Swordsman Arc
The God Hand is summoned by the cry of the Count's beherit, activated by the lethally wounded apostle in his bout with Guts. They offer to grant the Count new life, so long as he agrees to sacrifice his daughter Theresia to demonkind. Ultimately unable to commit the deed, the Count is dragged into the Vortex of Souls.
Roughly two years following the birth of Femto, a series of calamities sweep the kingdom of Midland, providing a proper context for a millennial temporal exception known as the Incarnation Ceremony – where someone in the divine domain who signifies "the Falcon" will be incarnated in the Physical World. With the onset of plague, famine, mercenary bands-turned-robbers, natural disasters, and ultimately Kushan invasion in the kingdom, droves of Midlanders seeking refuge flock to the city of Albion. Additionally, a dream is imparted in the masses foretelling the coming of the "Falcon of Light", who will save them from their misery.
At an indeterminate time, the God Hand appears before an ostracized, forlorn man bearing a beherit, just as he is about to lose consciousness while buried alive beneath a pile of corpses deep within a hole. They offer to grant him his wish in exchange for something, and then show the outcast a vision of the greater world he has never known, enabling him to perceive himself and understand his incomparable pain and anguish. Upon realizing his pitiable circumstance, he cries out to the five angels and, with nothing else to give, offers himself and the world around him as an initial and deferred sacrifice, respectively. In exchange for his initial sacrifice of himself, he is branded and granted a beherit-shaped egg form, so that he may in time obtain his ultimate wish of hatching his "perfect world" upon fulfilling his deferred sacrifice.
The God Hand's plan comes to a head when Guts and Casca's branded presence causes a tidal wave of malice to manifest in Albion, made of corpse mounds and the blood of those who died there, devouring droves of refugees in its path. After the Tower of Conviction partially collapses, Void, Slan, Ubik and Conrad manifest rudimentary forms from the dark spirits atop the resulting hand-like structure. The Egg begins playing its role in fulfilling its wish and hatching the "perfect world", ascending the tower and taking a dying Demon Child within himself. After a majority of the refugees are consumed by the torrent, forming one large concentration of thought and desire, the tower begins to overflow with the dark torrent as it flows toward the God Hand and hatching Egg. Whereas Void, Slan, Ubik and Conrad continue spectating, Femto's essence begins overtaking the Demon Child's vessel within the Egg, transforming it into a rapidly maturing human fetus. With the large concentration of both the living and dead's ultimate desire – salvation – the Egg sacrifices the mass of dark souls, thus fulfilling his delayed sacrifice of the world around him and subsequently hatching his figurative "perfect world" – an incarnated Femto in the form of Griffith.
Millennium Falcon Arc
Femto, as Griffith, becomes the spearhead of the God Hand's schemes, unchallenged in the Physical World and an ideal executor of their agenda due to his established reputation as the savior of the Hundred-Year War. Reeling in the allegiance of multiple apostles and creating a new Band of the Falcon, Griffith begins liberating Midland from Kushan occupation and verifying his status as the masses' desired Falcon of Light. In an effort to reach a status of being surpassing that of the God Hand, as a means of opposing Griffith in particular, the rogue apostle Emperor Ganishka lowers himself into a reincarnation vessel, from the deepest depths of the Astral World reincarnating a second time and transforming into a sky-scraping eldritch abomination. Griffith and Zodd ascend toward Ganishka's head, where Griffith, in his God Hand form Femto, is ambushed by the Skull Knight. Having anticipated the would-be-assassin's appearance, however, Femto uses the space-tearing stroke from the knight's Sword of Beherits to split open Ganishka's twice reincarnated form and trigger the Great Roar of the Astral World – giving birth to the global Interstice of Fantasia and manifesting the World Spiral Tree in Ganishka's place.
Following the Great Roar of the Astral World, Void, Slan, Ubik and Conrad are present in Fantasia. Griffith uses the Great Roar as a catalyst for raising Gaiseric's old capital city as the renewed Falconia at the foot of the World Spiral Tree – the sole safe haven in Fantasia from the many malign astral creatures now roaming the world of man.
Powers and Abilities
The God Hand comprises the most powerful five of demonkind, so dominant that even the strongest of apostles are unquestionably subservient to them. They each possess specific reality-altering abilities, including spatial (Void, Femto), physical (Slan, Conrad) and metaphysical (Ubik) manipulation. Though they are cognizant of causality's flow, and have unparalleled foresight for most possibilities, they themselves are not full-fledged gods, and cannot anticipate everything.
Having molded their proper forms out of huge swells of collective human negativity, the God Hand exists in essence anywhere large concentrations of human thoughts swirl. Though extremely powerful within the divine domain of the Astral World, their powers are seemingly lessened on occasions when they choose to manifest rudimentary forms elsewhere. Following the Great Roar of the Astral World, however, they are able to manifest proper forms in Fantasia.
- The actual "hand of the Great God" associated with the God Hand is a right hand whose thumb is occupied by Void, index finger by Femto, middle finger by Slan, ring finger by Ubik, and pinky finger by Conrad. The five angels' positions on the hand of God have thus far proven to be consistent.
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Promised Time"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 11, "One Who Comes Flying..."
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 24, "Magic Stone"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 13, "God of the Abyss (2)"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 12, "All the Inhuman Monsters"
- ^ Berserk, Volume TBA, "Illusive Death"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Storm of Death (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 10, "Infiltration of Wyndham (1)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 13, "Escape"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (4)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (6)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 18, "Spirit Road (2)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 17, "Revelation (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 17, "Revelation (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 17, "To the Holy Ground (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 20, "Unknown One at the Bottom of the Deep"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 19, "Iron Maiden"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 20, "Shadow of Idea (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 20, "Shadow of Idea (3)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 21, "Falling Sky"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 21, "Arrival"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 33, "End God"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 34, "Fissure"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 34, "Phantom-Reifying World (Fantasia)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 35, "Falconia"
|Four Kings of the World|