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It's still too early to leave. We haven't yet seen blood.
– Rakshas[3]

Rakshas is an apostle.[2] Having been exiled from the Kushan clan of the Bakiraka at one point in the past,[1] he is presently a member of the Band of the Falcon as an assassin.[1][3][4][5] In addition, Rakshas possesses notable knowledge of the mechanics behind "illicit sorcery".[6]

Appearance[]

Completely black, resembling a cloak that can alter its shape and size.[1] Rakshas is also faceless with the only features being three eyes and a slight protrusion of his nose.[7][2] He originally wore a mask with the spikes on the bottom resembling teeth,[1] replacing it with one with feather-like carvings around the eye holes after Silat destroyed it.[2]

In apostle form, he becomes larger and more monstrous, his tentacles gaining more dexterity, but otherwise looks similar to his 'human' self. When flying, the many amorphous protrusions appear to resemble hundreds of bat wings.[8]

Personality[]

Rakshas' stated motivation for allying with Griffith (whom he sees as "lovely") is so he can keep him away from harm until the day he can cut off his head.[1] Rakshas states this has to do with the way all apostles are enthralled by him.[2] He has an arrogant and demeaning personality, belittling the tapasa for their slow reactions to his movement[1] and marking such evidence for the Bakiraka's fall.[9] Eventually, the apostle does acknowledge that the tapasa are quite fast for their size.[7]

Rakshas is a hedonistic killer who plays with his victims before the kill,[1] which Silat detests.[2] He is also described by Silat as "remarkably persistent" when chasing a target.[7]

Rakshas has a close attachment to his mask, becoming depressed enough to retreat from battle after it was broken by Silat. He also feels sad when it gets pierced during Rickert's first volley during his night ambush at Falconia.[2] Rakshas seems to be a very quiet person, favoring strings of words and short sentences as he notices things,[1][3][4] only taking the time to properly speak when addressing people directly,[2] but his speech devolves as battles become more chaotic.[2]

Abilities[]

Due to his apostle body making him amorphous[1][9][5][10][7][2][8], Rakshas fulfills stealth functions as an assassin under Griffith. Rakshas is seen easily sneaking up on and dispatching Kushan scouts who were attempting to take Griffith's life with Zodd failing to notice them[4] or blowing a dart to an elephant's ear right under the sight of its minder.[5] He excels in remaining hidden until deciding to reveal himself.[3][4][11] Rakshas can also blend into the shadows. In this way, he witnessed the defeat of Shiva from under Zodd's wings.[12] Rakshas also has the ability to move his head to any point on his body. Silat appeared to have won their first battle by slicing clean through his mask, only to find that Rakshas' face and head were not behind it at the time.[7]

His body can form various blade-like appendages used for gripping and slicing.[9][2] It's also very durable, seen when a thrown piece of stone was launched at him,[10] and he came out of the wreckage entirely unharmed.[7] He was also able to withstand a full volley of bolts shot by Rickert's repeater crossbow.[2] He is also very agile and deceptively strong, able to battle evenly with the likes of Silat and the tapasa.[1][9][7][2] What is more, Rakshas is able to move at deceptive speeds, as he moved from a statue away from Rickert to right behind the youth in mere moments.[10]

In apostle form, Rakshas gains the ability to fly[8] and becomes much stronger, capable of smashing through the roof of a house and lifting a horse into the air with a single appendage.[2] In such a state he also turn his cloth into scythe-like tentacles that can slice large animals in half.[2]

Rakshas seems to have an antagonistic relationship with things bright or hot. When set ablaze, he cried that he did not wish to be seen under light.[2]

Story[]

Background[]

A Bakiraka clansman, Rakshas was exiled.[1] Since then, he has been a taboo to the clan.[7] At one point, he became an apostle.[2]

Millennium Falcon Arc[]

Rakshas

Rakshas' first appearance.

Rakshas first makes his presence known when the New Band of the Falcon forms when Griffith liberates Shet, a Western Midland city occupied by the Kushan Empire. Fending off the tapasa sent by Silat, he appears as a black mass covered by a mask. He calls them "slow" and "obtuse", aware that they are tapasa, known as the summit among the Bakiraka. In turn, the tapasa identify it as Rakshas, a Kushan exile. Rakshas turns to Griffith and explains that he also heard of the Falcon of Light from the oracle. He vows to one day decapitate the Falcon, but also to protect Griffith until that day comes. The White Falcon only smiles, showing his accepting Rakshas into the group. The exiled Kushan then turns back to the tapasa. They fight, and Rakshas dodges their attacks weaving between their strikes. Once the apostles dispatch the Kushans, he "kneels" before Griffith in a pledge of allegiance.[1]

During the battle in Lumias, Rakshas is among the War Demons that dispatch the few remaining Kushan who retreated into a forest and intended to hurry back to the Kushan invasion force's headquarters and inform about Griffith's reappearance.[3] During Mule's pledge of alliance to Griffith, Rakshas appears behind the Kushan scouts who try to kill the White Falcon, and threatens that they should not spoil the moment. He proceeds to massacre the assassins, which Zodd can hear from just outside the forest.[4]

233

Rakshas luring the Bakiraka to the man-made beherit.

During Griffith's plan to rescue Charlotte under the guise of an all-out attack on Wyndham, Rakshas appears before Silat and two tapasa, dodging their attacks. Silat suspects that Rakshas has infiltrated Wyndham to assassinate Ganishka, but Rakshas denies this allegation and climbs onto Wyndham's battlements. Silat and the tapasa then give chase.[9] Rakshas lures the Bakiraka to where the daka were being created. Once they witness the birth of a daka, Rakshas, having hid himself away from the clansmen until they witnessed it, explains the process to the three Bakiraka. Rakshas makes his exit telling them that Ganishka is not human.[6]

When the Kushan continue to force their way through toward Vritannis, Rakshas is one of the Band of the Falcon members who startle the Kushan elephants. The War Demon flies near to an elephant and pierces one of its ears with a dart.[5] During the final battle against Ganishka after his second incarnation, Rakshas conceals himself under one of Zodd's wings as Griffith flies to the top of Ganishka's god-like form,[12] being a witness to the events that caused the Great Wave of the Astral World.

Fantasia Arc[]

Rakshas loses his head

After Griffith establishes Falconia, Rakshas appears behind Rickert on the neck of a giant headless statue. Rakshas says that, while losing one's family is lamentable, Rickert's own family will be safe and cared for in Falconia if he were to die. Rakshas slithers down the body of the statue and moves along the ground like a shadow, appearing directly behind Rickert once again, and moves a small blade toward the boy's throat. Suddenly, Silat and two tapasa intervene by attacking the would-be assassin.[10] Silat attempts to begin conversing with Rickert but decides against it when he senses Rakshas moving. Silat throws two chakram at the assassin, who catches and sends them flying back at Rickert. But before they can strike, the tapasa intercept them and attack Rakshas, who tosses them about with tendril-like arms. As they are thrown around, however, the tapasa restrain Rakshas' arms, allowing Silat to stab Rakshas' mask, which splits in half. However, Rakshas had created a "false" body out of his cloak to wear the mask while the real Rakshas slithers behind and attacks Silat. While the tapasa break free, the strange being laments the loss of his mask, claiming that he will return with a new mask once the moon is risen. As preparations are being made by the young mercenary and the Bakiraka later on, the maskless Rakshas stares down at Falconia from a large falcon-shaped statue.[7]

True to his word, Rakshas resumes his hunt with a new mask, but falls into a trap set by Rickert and Silat. Although he manages to fight them off, Rakshas is doused in flames by the tapasa using Rickert's modified water-spraying machine. The shock and pain cause Rakshas to enter his apostle form, taking to the air while using the blood of a horse he killed to put out the fire and then capture Erica.[2] The girl is rescued by Daiba, who distracts Rakshas with snakes and rats attacking his cloak. Rakshas tries to fly after Rickert and the others as they escape using Daiba's garudas. However, Rickert fires a rocket at Rakshas from point-blank range when he attempts to catch up to them. This stops the assassin from his pursuit, allowing them to escape.[8]

Gallery[]

Notes[]

  • In relation to the naming theme of the Kushan, and his mask's design, Rakshas is almost certainly named after a race of Hindu mythological beings known as the Rakshasa. Fittingly, Rakshas seems to be amorphous and stealthy, as Rakshasa in myth were illusionists and shapeshifters.

References[]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Berserk :: Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (2)"
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Berserk :: Volume 38, "Night Battle"
  3. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 23, "Flag of the Flying Sword"
  4. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 23, "Night of Falling Stars"
  5. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 32, "Great Invasion (2)"
  6. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 27, "Demon Knight"
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Berserk :: Volume 38, "Capital City in the Moonlight"
  8. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 38, "Soaring Escape"
  9. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 27, "Daka"
  10. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 38, "Twilight Assassin"
  11. ^ Berserk :: Volume 33, "End God"
  12. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 34, "Soaring"

Appendices[]

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