The Kingdom of Midland (ミッドランド王国, Middorando Ōkoku) is a monarchy under the influence of the Holy See. As its name implies, Midland is geographically central to the continent on which Berserk predominantly takes place. After its Hundred-Year War with the Tudor Empire, Midland enjoys a brief peace among its rival nations. Following the king's death and Kushan Empire's subsequent invasion of the kingdom, however, Midland begins diminishing in prominence. Midland regains preeminence following the Great Roar of the Astral World, after which Falconia surfaces atop the land where Wyndham once sat as its new capital, and as the sole safe haven in Fantasia for humanity; as such, Midland is thought to be one of the only domains in Fantasia to have retained some semblance of government, law, and order.
Story[edit | edit source]
Founding[edit | edit source]
Approximately a millennium ago, in lands that would come to comprise the Kingdom of Midland, small city-states and tribes were in constant conflict with one another – a time referred to as the "age of warlords". As a consequence of incessant warfare, famine and plague, a third of the collective population died. Order would finally be instituted following the entrance of Supreme King Gaiseric, whose prior accounts continue to elude history. Gaiseric was able to raise an army, and through sheer force, subjugate the numerous nations under what would become the world's first empire.
It is said that Gaiseric – referred to as the "Skull King" due to the skull helmet he donned in battle – forced laborers gathered from throughout his empire to construct a large capital city, aptly named "Midland" as a "land in the middle of nations". The Skull King lived a life of luxury while continuing to demand increasingly inordinate taxes of his people, with the capital city in time becoming a hotbed of decadence. It is said that an imprisoned sage incessantly proclaimed the Skull King's sins while being tortured in the Tower of Conviction. The ancient city was eventually destroyed by way of natural calamity in a single night.
After Gaiseric's fall and the destruction of his imperial capital, his empire eventually was splintered into the various nations which now exist. Gaiseric had no known children, and as such, no direct successor, though it is believed the Midland royal family is the only family in the world carrying the Skull King's blood. The Tower of Rebirth is said to have been erected as a means of hiding Midland's shameful past under the Skull King's rule.
Hundred-Year War[edit | edit source]
For a century's time, Midland found itself at war with the nation of Tudor, following Tudor's invasion of Midland territory. Midland's border fortress, Doldrey, was seized by Tudor and in turn used as a crucial base of operations in the invading nation's war effort against the kingdom. However, when Tudor begins collapsing from within due to contention regarding claims to the throne, Midland uses the opportunity to strike and reacquire their seized fortress. Rather than commission the Midland Regular Army, the King of Midland instead enlists Griffith's Band of the Falcon, which succeeds in reclaiming Doldrey – a feat thought to be impossible even by Midland's esteemed White Tiger Knights – thus bringing an end to the Hundred-Year War.
For their efforts in the Hundred-Year War, the king formally ennobles the Band of the Falcon as Midland's White Phoenix Knights. In a power play following his promotion, Griffith enacts a scheme which successfully disposes of most of his political opponents in Wyndham, including the Queen of Midland. Griffith's eventual seduction of and fornication with Princess Charlotte incenses the king, resulting in the revocation of the White Phoenix Knights' nobility, Griffith's year-long torture and imprisonment in the Tower of Rebirth, and the Band of the Falcon being exiled as enemies of the state. A year later, Griffith is rescued by a small party of remnant Falcons, spurring the king to give chase to the White Falcon for years to come.
Kushan Invasion[edit | edit source]
Following the Hundred-Year War, Midland enjoys a two-year peace; however, plague and natural calamity eventually befall the kingdom. The dying, decrepit king continues to dedicate Midland's resources to finding Griffith, rather than mending the damages of the Hundred-Year War, all while people throughout the kingdom fall victim to disease and famine. With the king's eventual demise, the Kushan Empire uses the opportunity to strike Midland in its moment of internal collapse, invading the nation and seizing Wyndham. Griffith, with his reborn Band of the Falcon, resurfaces and begins liberating holds throughout the kingdom, in the process rescuing Princess Charlotte from the captivity of Emperor Ganishka. The Band of the Falcon, under the authority of the Midland royal house, later intervenes during the invasion of Vritannis, saving the city and Holy See Alliance from complete annihilation at the hands of the Kushan. It is at this point Griffith is officially recognized by Princess Charlotte as her betrothed and the Supreme Commander of the Midland Regular Army, and by His Holiness the pontiff as the Falcon of Light, their savior.
In a final push against the Kushan, Midland's Supreme Commander and his Band of the Falcon venture toward Wyndham to liberate the royal capital. Enraged by his defeat in Vritannis, Emperor Ganishka descends into the Man-Made Beherit and transforms into a gigantic demon god, toppling both Wyndham and Kushan soldiers beneath his colossal feet. As the Band of the Falcon battles the emperor's familiars on the ground, Griffith ascends to Ganishka's head. There, as Femto, he uses a space-tearing attack from the ambushing Skull Knight's Sword of Beherits to trigger the Great Roar of the Astral World, which manifests in Ganishka's place the World Spiral Tree and gives rise to the city of Falconia.
New World[edit | edit source]
Following the Great Roar and influx of astral beings into the world of man, Griffith's new capital city of Falconia stands as the sole safe haven in the new world of Fantasia from malevolent creatures pervading the lands. Falconia proves to be a seeming boon for humanity, large enough in scope to take in innumerable refugees and affording its denizens peace and prosperity.
Notable Locations[edit | edit source]
- Lumias – A southern Midland fief where the reborn Band of the Falcon skirmishes with and drives away the Kushan. It was governed by Mule's father, and then shortly by Mule himself following the deaths of his father and brothers.
- Shet – A western Midland city which Griffith and powerful subordinate apostles liberate from Kushan occupation.
- World Spiral Tree
Military[edit | edit source]
- White Tiger Knights (formerly)
- White Dragon Knights (formerly)
- Black Dog Knights (formerly)
- Toumel Knights (formerly)
- Band of the Falcon / White Phoenix Knights (formerly)
- Band of the Falcon (currently)
References[edit | edit source]
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 10, "Thousand-Year Fiefdom"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 18, "Zealot"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 7, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 8, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (6)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 8, "Moment of Glory"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 8, "Tombstone of Flames (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 17, "Revelation (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 27, "Demon Castle"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 27, "Sleeping Princess Awakens"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 32, "Midland Regular Army"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 34, "Fissure"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 37, "Paradise"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 23, "Reunion in the Wilderness"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 22, "Onslaught of the Kushans"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 30, "Divine Revelation"
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