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Laban (ラバン Raban) was part of Midland's court[7] and a military man.[2] During the Hundred-Year War, Laban put great faith in Griffith's abilities.[3] In Falconia, he is a Band of the Falcon member.[6]

Personality[]

Unlike a majority of Midland's court, Laban minds the commoner, and puts himself in danger to ensure that they make their way to safety.[4] He is not only the first noble to support Griffith,[3] but also the first one to notice how conspiscuous he is.[7] He is a good friend of Owen, [3][7][8] who worries about him during his inflitration in Wyndham.[9] Ever since the Kushan invasion, Laban got accustomed to the bizarre, but he is still surprised by the wonders brought by Griffith. As a released Grunbeld rebuilds an array of ancient stones atop a hill, Laban expresses his amazement at his might as well and admits finding him a bit terrifying. Laban also expresses his amazement at riding through the sky using the branches of the World Tree. Despite that, he is not one to be blinded by these events either, as exemplified when explaining the need for a steady army instead of relying on the War Demons.[10] He is also one for learning from the words of others,[8] and offers his when needed, such as ensuring Mule will avoid any further reckless behavior in combat.[10]

Story[]

Golden Age Arc[]

Laban is one of the military Midland figures that discuss the situation with Doldrey alongside the King of Midland. He is surprised when the King orders the Band of the Falcon to capture the fortress, but he expresses that the failure of a single strategic maneuver will not damage overall morale. After the meeting, he talks to Owen about his prior words. Laban goes even further, hopeful that Griffith will emerge victorious, and considers the fact that they are fighting alongside the man who will potentially be recognized as the hero of the century. As they see Griffith mount his horse to leave, Griffith nods his head politely before heading out.[3]

Laban is also one of the people who attend the victory celebration after Doldrey has been captured. When commended by Owen for his foresight, Laban muses on how will Griffith fare in the court after the war.[7] Owen and Laban are left speechless when the Band of the Falcon is awarded the white title, the highest ennoblement title. When Griffith collapses, seemingly dead, they order the guards to seal all the exits.[11]

Conviction Arc[]

Manga E129 Laban associates dream with Griffith

Laban realizes that Midlanders know but one Falcon-Griffith.

In a ravaged Midland, Laban crosses its Western reaches alongside a regiment and a group of refugees from a nearby town. Halted by a landslide, he commands all security forces to rescue the Midlanders, dismounts his horse and wades into the soft mud to help the victims. He makes his way over to a trapped child, but when he turns it over, he finds that the child is on the brink of death. Once all the survivors are extracted from the shifted earth, Laban orders them to be put in wagons and given blankets before mounting his horse and going off alone toward the town the refugees came from. Upon arriving, he finds the streets completely deserted but for rats, confirming that the plague has swept through. An old man who remained behind shoos the rats away and has a brief conversation with the general. Once he leaves, Laban wonders if the calamity spread across Midland was caused by the aftermath of the Hundred-Year War. Instead of having the kingdom focus on rebuilding, the King of Midland dispatched the majority of Midland's forces to search for Griffith, and wonders what happened two years prior. Laban then reflects on the white falcon that appeared in the dreams of Midland's subjects. He realizes that, to Midlanders, there's but one falcon - Griffith. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of his adjutant, who informs Laban that the King's life has been claimed by illness.[4]

Millennium Falcon Arc[]

After the Kushan takeover of Wyndham, Laban and several other men -the Arklow Knights- infiltrate the capital.[9] There, they meet the resistance movement, led by Foss. He commends their work and learns that Princess Charlotte is still alive, though imprisoned on the highest floor of the Tower of Rebirth. Laban regains hope that Wyndham is salvageable upon hearing the news, since they might be able to regain governance over the nobles, who in turn may join the allied nations. The conversation is cut short due to the attack of a crocodile pishacha group, much to the amazement of Laban. The men are saved by Irvine and Locus, who reveals that Griffith will come.[2]

Some time later, Laban relays the news of the stalemate (though regarded as a defeat) between Kushan forces and the Band of the Falcon outside Vritannis. Laban admits to himself that, despite being shocked at the news, he sensed it would be inevitable, and he remembers the prophetic dream of the Falcon of Light. Then, Laban reveals that Princess Charlotte is presently with the Band of the Falcon. Laban explains that Charlotte's being alive has inspired the creation of multiple other resistance groups across Midland. Laban then brings the issue of the women held captive by the Kushan in Wyndham. After learning that any evacuations of Wyndham must be made during the night after a prophetic dream the children had, Laban tells those alongside him they need not worry - the sleeping citizens of Wyndham will also have seen the dream and will know to evacuate. Laban asks the children what will happen when morning comes. They answer that a black shadow will cover the whole city, but the Falcon of Light will appear to dispel it. After this, the children say, the 'true' morning will come.[12]

Manga E293 Arklow Knights

Laban addresses the Midlanders on the upcoming evacuation of Wyndham.

With the fog that covered the city gone, Laban addresses the Midlanders, instructing them on how they will evacuate Wyndham. He then asks the Arklow Knights second unit to take charge whilst the rest accompanies him to Wyndham Castle. Meanwhile, he observes how everyone - Laban included- are not panicking over the situation. Wasting no time on investigating the events behind the scattering of Kushan empty clothes and discarded weapons, the Knights save the imprisoned women. When faced with the prospect of evacuating tens of thousands, he changes their plans of using the undergroud waterways for using the discarded Kushan garbs, a plan he explains to the other Wyndham inhabitants.[5] Once questioned about the viability of the plan, he asks people to have faith, as everything the children dreamt of came true. When stopped by a Kushan garrison, and as he fears they will have to break through, a Kushan horseman whispers into Laban's ear, revealing his name (Jarif) and explaining that he is a member of the Band of the Falcon's espionage division, and that there are many other Kushan who've pledged fealty to the Falcon. The group continues to walk, but more figures bar their way, having just jumped from a tree: Silat, the Tapasa and several Kushan scouts. Silat reveals that he is aware that Laban and the Kushan regiment behind him are really disguised Midlanders, and he derides Jarif for turning traitor. Laban and the others witness the dialogue between the spy and the Bakiraka member, and resume their way once they leave. Some time later, they meet the Band of the Falcon entourage, and Laban warmly greets Owen, who was one of their leading figures.[8]

Having reached the hills outside Wyndham, the entire Band of the Falcon, Laban, the Arklow Knights, the resistance force and the escaped population of Wyndham watch the advent of a twice-incarnated Ganishka.[13] When the showdown begins, Laban is one of the people tasked by Griffith with protecting Princess Charlotte, the Pontiff and the people of Wyndham.[14] He then witnesses the sight of the War Demons in their released form and is shocked by the implications this may have until Sonia's telepathic voice angrily orders him and the other humans to quell any such suspicions.[15] Laban and the military figures stand their ground against the Ganishka spawns.[16] Later on, they witness the Great Wave of the Astral World[17] and the appearance of Falconia.[18]

Fantasia Arc[]

Manga E332 Laban leads a Band of the Falcon group

Laban leads a Band of the Falcon group.

Laban leads a Band of the Falcon party that intercepts a group of trolls who attempt to ambush a refugee caravan en route to Falconia. He is then warned by Rickert -who was one of the refugees alongside Erica- of the arrival of a cockatrice.[6] After the attack of a harpy group, Laban commends Rickert, who had faced them using a crossbow turret. Rickert recognizes the general, having seen him on the battlefield during the Hundred-Year War. Laban, however, does not recognize Rickert, and is surprised to hear that the boy was a member of the original Band of the Falcon. Laban reminisces about the war, noting that it seems tame compared to the changes the world is experiencing, as the convoy continues its way to its destination. Yet -he adds- there is no call for despair. It eventually emerges from the forest onto a plain, where Rickert notices several crystal formations littering the grassland. Laban explains that they are called Wing Stones, and that they serve to ward off evil. Laban then points out the World Spiral Tree, and he explains that the grains, trees and flowers in the fields around them are always able to be harvested, and many people believe the Spiral World Spiral Tree blesses them. The caravan begins to approach its destination: Falconia, a place where, as Laban says, people can live their lives as people.[19]

Once there, Laban admits that he cannot explain what happened that day, and that the royal capital was "reborn". He agrees with the notion of the legendary city said to sleep beneath the capital having come back. A group of Kushan Band members led by Jarif greet Laban, who tells the astonished caravan refugees there is not time to people to fight each other. Laban brings them to a refugee bureau, where he instructs them to register themselves. Laban invites Rickert into his office, where he presents him with a letter of recommendation for several local guilds and the army as well as a pass into the castle and a reccomendation for an audience with Griffith. He instructs Rickert to drop by the castle the following day. Laban notices that Rickert has misgivings upon hearing that he will be able to see Griffith.[20]

Laban and Mule are two of the Band of the Falcon members that fight against the jötnar.[21] After the fight, they witness Griffith's evocation and discuss the likely aftermath of the victory. Sonia then informs Griffith that she has found an array of ancient stones atop a hill which forms a portal that teleports the army along the branches of the World Spiral Tree. They return to Falconia in triumphant fashion just in time for the morning sun.[10]

Some time later, a council of Falconia officials assembles to discuss various matters relating to the capital city and nation of Midland. When Owen makes known the policing and socio-economic issues of Falconia, Laban states that the citizenry should nonetheless be united after witnessing Griffith's soul ascension ceremony by realizing the insignificance of doctrine interpretation differences.[1]

Gallery[]

References[]

  1. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 41, "Dawn of an Empire"
  2. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 27, "Demon Castle"
  3. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 7, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (1)"
  4. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 17, "Revelation (1)"
  5. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 33, "Silent Darkness"
  6. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 37, "Covered Wagon"
  7. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 8, "Moment of Glory"
  8. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 33, "Exodus"
  9. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 29, "Ball"
  10. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 40, "Triumphant Return at Dawn"
  11. ^ Berserk :: Volume 8, "Tombstone of Flames (1)"
  12. ^ Berserk :: Volume 33, "Precognitive Dream"
  13. ^ Berserk :: Volume 33, "End God"
  14. ^ Berserk :: Volume 34, "Unleash Evil"
  15. ^ Berserk :: Volume 34, "Inhuman Battlefield"
  16. ^ Berserk :: Volume 34, "Chaos"
  17. ^ Berserk :: Volume 34, "Fissure"
  18. ^ Berserk :: Volume 35, "Falconia"
  19. ^ Berserk :: Volume 37, "Paradise"
  20. ^ Berserk :: Volume 38, "Capital City of Humanity"
  21. ^ Berserk :: Volume 40, "Jötunn"
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