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Divine providence cannot be thwarted... by man's efforts.
– The Slug Baron[1]
The Slug Baron[expl 1] is an apostle nobleman presiding over a territory which Guts visits during his two-year war against demonkind. He ultimately dies in a bout with the Black Swordsman, dragged into the Vortex of Souls as a consequence of being unable to sacrifice his daughter, Theresia, in exchange for new life.[1]

Personality Edit

As an apostle, the Slug Baron is an extremely cruel man, killing supposed heretics and their families for perceived slights, and taking those not immediately executed to be eaten after his experiments.[2] He is also a gluttonous apostle; unable to quell his hunger before the Eclipse, he, along with other apostles including Rosine, feasts on an encampment of injured Band of the Falcon mercenaries.[3] Years later, the Slug Baron enjoys taunting Guts while thrashing the swordsman during their fight, but panics and becomes hysterical when it becomes clear Guts has won.[4]

There is not much insight into his life as a human. Vargas mentions that though the baron was still cruel, he was not sadistic.[2] Theresia additionally indicates that though her father was harsh, he genuinely cared about his kingdom.[1] He was notably susceptible to blind rage; when he found his wife participating in a pagan orgy, he was devastated, and slew everyone except for her. He wanted to kill her as well, but could not, instead opting to take his own life.[5] Later, after being mortally wounded by Guts, he spares Theresia from being a sacrifice to the God Hand, knowing full well that by not sacrificing her he will be sucked into the Abyss for all eternity.[6]

Story Edit

Background Edit

Manga E0H Baron Mother Theresia

The Slug Baron, as a human, with his wife and daughter.

Roughly seven years before the fifth Eclipse, the human who would become the Slug Baron serves as ruler of a hold, during a period in which his land is overrun by pagans. One day, after a lengthy pagan-hunting campaign, he returns to his castle to find his beloved wife willingly participating in a heretical orgy. In a fit of blind rage, the man slays all of the heretical participants until only his wife is left, whom he cannot bring himself to kill. He is driven to despair upon seeing his wife's knowing, triumphant smile, and almost ends his own life before his beherit responds to his despair. Granted an audience with the God Hand, the man sacrifices his wife in order to transcend his humanity and end his suffering; reborn as an apostle, he devours his branded wife.[5]

Soon after his transcendence, the Slug Baron begins spreading the lie that his wife was taken hostage by a group of heretics and killed during a sacrificial ritual. He later places his daughter, Theresia, under house arrest.[1] From then on, the Slug Baron hunts heretics with unnatural enthusiasm; these inquisitions serve only as a false pretense for the Slug Baron to acquire more bodies, which he vivisects, further mutilates, and devours. When his physician Vargas discovers his secret and attempts to run away, the Slug Baron captures the man, mutilates him, and forces him to watch as his wife and two sons are eaten alive. Nevertheless, Vargas eventually manages to escape with the Slug Baron's beherit.[2]

Golden Age Arc Edit

Manga E85 Primary

The Slug Baron during the fifth Eclipse.

On his way to the site of the fifth Eclipse, during the night prior to the event, the Slug Baron, along with Rosine and other apostles, feasts on a group of injured Falcons, fleeing only after the Skull Knight appears and leaving only Rickert alive.[3] Once the Eclipse goes under way, and Griffith offers his comrades as sacrifices to join the God Hand, the Slug Baron is among apostles who manages to take down Pippin. By the time Guts finds himself before the torn remains of his allies, the Slug Baron has hollowed Pippin's corpse and uses it as a lure to ambush the swordsman, though Guts manages to elude his grasp.[7]

Black Swordsman Arc Edit

For the next two years after his involvement in the Eclipse, the Slug Baron resumes his heretic executions, until Guts arrives in his land and disfigures his captain of the guard, Zondark, before escaping with the aid of Vargas.[8] The Slug Baron remembers the swordsman, and later infuses Zondark with a fraction of his being to not only endow his vengeful henchman with supernatural powers, but possess him as well.[2]

Manga E0F Guts Shoots Slug Baron

Guts uses Theresia to mortally wound the Slug Baron.

After a possessed Zondark is presumed to be defeated following his ambush of Guts and Vargas, the Slug Baron goes out to personally abduct Vargas after the man parts ways with Guts. Following Vargas' capture, the Slug Baron sentences the revenge-driven man to death and sets up an ambush at the execution ground in case Guts arrives to save the man.[2] Aware of the trap, Guts stands back while Puck tries in vain to save Vargas and is captured. The Slug Baron later gives the capture elf to Theresia as a pet.[1]

After nightfall, Guts enters the Slug Baron's castle and faces him directly. The destruction caused by their battle breaks open the doors to Theresia's room, allowing Theresia to leave her room for the first time in years. Theresia wanders into the throne room and is grabbed by Guts, who uses her as a human shield to mortally injure the Slug Baron. Despite Puck's pleas to stop, Guts continues to sadistically stab the Slug Baron until the apostle's spilled blood flows towards his beherit (which Guts was carrying and dropped mid-battle). Not wanting to die, the Slug Baron begs for help and activates his beherit, transporting everyone present to the realm of the God Hand.[4]

Manga E0H Slug Baron Taken

The Slug Baron being dragged into the Abyss.

The God Hand appears, and while a brief encounter between Guts and Femto ensues, the Slug Baron insists on sacrificing Guts for the swordsman's killing of previous apostles. However, Void explains to the Slug Baron that the already sacrificed swordsman's life cannot be offered again, adding that that the sacrifice needs to be someone dear to the apostle if he wants to continue living. Femto then points to the only person present that the Slug Baron may offer as sacrifice: his daughter, Theresia. Ubik then shows the girl the truth behind her mother's death. Unable to sacrifice his daughter in order to save his own life, the Slug Baron is dragged into the Abyss by a chain of souls of which Vargas' soul is a part. Once the Interstice ceases, the lifeless Slug Baron reverts to his human form, and his bifurcated, lifeless body is seen laying atop a pile of rubble.[6]

Abilities Edit

Manga E0D Slug Baron Enters Zondark

The Slug Baron becoming a part of Zondark

Pseudo-Apostle Siring: The Slug Baron is capable of infecting others with his spawn in order to amplify their strength, speed, and fighting ability, as well as take possession of them.

Partial Transformation: Unusual for an apostle, the Slug Baron shows the ability to flexibly transform parts of himself to his slug-like true form from his base form, shown both in Vargas' flashback and his first in-person assault on Guts.

Regeneration: In the case of both his spawn and himself, the Slug Baron will not take damage and can simply regenerate his damaged parts. This does not apply to his head or heart, however, as the Slug Baron is unable to regenerate from injuries dealt to his head after Guts damages it slightly, and he is later unable to reattach his head after Guts severs it from the rest of his transformed body. According to the Slug Baron himself, each time a limb of his is chopped off, he grows bigger as he regenerates, resulting in him getting larger and stronger the more drawn out a battle becomes.

Immense Strength: Largely owing to his sheer size, the Slug Baron is capable of burrowing through the stone floor of his castle in his true form and can smash through stone pillars easily. His monstrous strength is capable of temporarily incapacitating Guts.

Notes Edit

Explanations Edit

  1. ^ Kentarou Miura refers to the Slug Baron as such in an interview for the Berserk Official Guidebook, referring to the apostle as ナメクジ男爵, in which ナメクジ means "slug" and 男爵 means "baron".

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d e Berserk, Volume 2, "Guardian Angels of Desire (3)"
  2. ^ a b c d e Berserk, Volume 2, "Guardian Angels of Desire (2)"
  3. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 10, "The Eve (2)"
  4. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (4)"
  5. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (5)"
  6. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (6)"
  7. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Fetal Movement"
  8. ^ Berserk, Volume 1, "Guardian Angels of Desire (1)"