Vlad is a major antagonist in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. The Emperor of Aldore and by proxy of Paladia, his iron-fisted rule has dragged Paladia through a 700 years of cruel dictatorships.
Although unseen for a significant part of the story, he's the true main antagonist of season two and the overarching antagonist of the Brave Exvius series, as it is his actions that are directly or indirectly responsible for the first three seasons. For most of the story, he appears under his alter ego of Levnato of the Alpha Star.
Different versions of Vlad have also appeared in side stories and events that feature him as the central enemy.
Vlad appears as a middle aged man with blond hair and facial hair. He used to wear a brown cloak that covered most of his body.
As Levnato, he appears as a tall man, dressing like a mage wearing bronze-colored armor. He wears a dark cape and an armored pointed mage's hat that covers his face. He carries an elaborate staff with mechanical components and flowing energy manifested in lights through different sections.
His true form is that of a colossal three-headed, horned ogre, so massive that he towers over the Weapon (whose size is comparable to mountains). His skin is gray and has face-shaped bumps across his body, most of them displaying expressions of agony with many of them moving, further emphasizing the crude, disturbing, terrifying sight of the embodiment of solitude. The crystal on his forehead houses Vlad's original soul, and the magic circle on his back portrays imagery of a robed Vlad.
Vlad's internal composition, however, seems to be bio-mechanical in nature, as evidenced by debris falling from his body.
Vlad is treacherous and uses cowardly means to secure his path to power. Considering his cruel, dirty-handed machinations, Vlad is utterly ruthless, and has no concern for anyone else, willing to do anything to ensure he has absolute power. Intelligent and well aware that the people will rebel, he created the Orders and the Alpha Star hereditary system to portray a false sense of fairness, and thus quell thoughts of rebellion. However, this only allows Vlad to control all the Alpha Star title holders, securing his reign.
Vlad detests monarchies and their hereditary system, as this would never allow him to rule normally. He is obsessed with demonstrating he is the most fit to rule by being the strongest, believing he needs no one but himself to succeed. To further scorn on the royal bloodline, Vlad developed the three advanced versions of the Mirror of Equity sword technique, just to prove he is superior.
His supremacy beliefs run into the realm of megalomania, preaching his philosophy of "Absolute Solitude", positing that he is the only existence worth living in the world and that everything else is meaningless and should be eradicated. When cornered, his despair and selfishness skyrocket, leading him to pursue global genocide to enforce his vision. The party notes Vlad to be an empty man devoid of any real dreams.
As Levnato, he is an enigmatic man who rarely displays what he's thinking. He is loyal to the current emperor and carries his orders efficiently. He only speaks the precise amount that needs to be said at any moment.
Vlad was one of the aides of King Varenis, the leader of Aldore. Before his successor, Rubens, could ascend the throne, Vlad had both assassinated using cowardly means and crowned himself the first Aldore Emperor. When Yuraisha learned of this, both she and her husband secured Raegen, the crown prince, and told Vlad he had died of illness to keep the then-infant safe from Vlad's machinations. Yuraisha raised Raegen with Vlad never knowing the royal blood had survived.
Vlad's dictatorship had not taken full effect yet and increasing pressure on the people of Hess would lead them to revolt. During a tournament to choose the strongest warriors to serve him, Vlad witnessed the now grown up Raegen defeat Ignacio for the top spot by using his signature Mirror of Equity technique. Vlad was impressed and wanted to learn the technique, and thus Raegen taught it to him.
At some point Vlad was being escorted by his guards when they were attacked by monsters. Kagane, a friend of Ignacio, died in service protecting Vlad. Vlad crystallized her soul so it could be put to use eventually.
When Hess declared independence from Aldore, Vlad rejected it and the world of Paladia entered a war. Raegen led the Sworn Eight of Paladia, Aldore's main lieutenants, unaware he was serving the man who had murdered his family. Although Hess was initially the weaker nation, after securing the help of many Espers and capable individuals who would form Hess' Eight Sages, Aldore suffered heavy losses. Raegen unsuccessfully pushed for peace negotiations with Yuraisha, now the Mother of Hess.
Raegen planned to end the war by sealing the Sages into Crystal, making the Sworn Eight the leveraging power in the world, forcing Aldore to the negotiating table. Vlad feared the Sworn Eight's power and growing popularity and expelled them among a large landmass and its people to the realm of Lapis, a "parallel world" to Paladia. Now with no one able to oppose him, Vlad was free to enact his dictatorship. His cruel regime would be succeeded by like-minded individuals spanning a foul legacy of 700 years of oppression, with most of Aldore (except Gungan) suffering under their rule.
To sustain his iron grip for eternity, Vlad utilized a soul replicating technique that allowed him to not only live eternally, but also to fuse his soul with his eventual successors extending his influence towards every future ruler of Aldore, making them an extension of himself, and thus becoming Paladia's eternal ruler. Knowing that being the eternal leader of the world publicly would cause rebellious sentiment to grow, he devised the Orders and the Alpha Star hereditary system to create an impression of fairness. However, Vlad's soul takes control of all of them behind the scenes. To preserve the farce, it is likely that Vlad participated and won the Order of Aldore tournament, and if so, he has held his rank for at least 10 years. As scorn to the royal bloodline he developed the three stronger variants of the Mirror of Equity technique just to prove his superiority.
Vlad raised Quadis in a virtual reality world made of visions, complete with family and bride, to mold him to be his next vessel. At the proper time he made all of it disappear to hurt Quadis emotionally so he could overcome solitude and become stronger as a result. Quadis "killed" the Emperor and seized the throne, but in truth he only destroyed a copy while Vlad continues to "serve" him under the guise of Levnato of the Alpha Star.
The Emperor mentions Levnato when he scolds Hyoh for his failure to defeat Lasswell, a person of Hess bloodline who has arrived from Lapis alongside the remaining Sworn Six of Paladia. The Emperor believes Hyoh has the potential to surpass Yego, Zeno and Levnato himself. Hyoh unleashes his power, demonstrating he is not done yet. Pleased, the Emperor expects Hyoh to succeed.
Levnato notifies the Emperor that Lasswell has passed the first round of the Order of Aldore, which the Emperor deems the most entertaining tournament he has seen in a long time. The Emperor questions if "he" has also progressed, which Levnato confirms. The Emperor rejoices that Lasswell's party is unaware of a traitor amid their ranks.
As the Order of Aldore unfolds on its later stages, the Sworn Six of Paladia, in conjunction with Hess' Four Sages, try to assassinate the Emperor by casting a force field that nullifies his Paling, thus making him vulnerable to damage. Mombert tries a suicide attack on the Emperor, but this ends up in failure. Raegen duels the Emperor, striking him so fast he's unable to finish enchanting his spells. The Emperor shields himself with concentrated defensive magics and has Raegen fight his Elite Forces as a test. Raegen defeats them, and as he's about to fight the Emperor once more, he's joined by the rest of his comrades who all launch a barrage of attacks on the Emperor, believing victory is possible.
Their joy is cut short when Levnato, who had been watching from the sidelines, interferes, and swiftly rejects Raegen's attacks with a spell of his own. He reveals that he doesn't need incantations to cast powerful magics, and that the Emperor is capable of the same feat; the Emperor had been holding back to put on a show for the public. The Emperor bombards his opponents with powerful spells, but the Sworn Six are teleported away by the Children of Hess.
Later on during the open war between Aldore and the Children of Hess, the Emperor summons the Orders to secure the ancient Weapon that will ensure their victory. Levnato leads them towards Rubiena, now aided by Sakura and Nichol, Lasswell's friends who joined the Orders to help Hyoh.
As both forces spread around the continent, Lasswell's group encounters Levnato and Physalis. Levnato proposes they team up as "Alpha Stars", to which Physalis happily agrees. As the parties fight, Lasswell defeats Physalis and makes his way towards Levnato. He has Fina and Lid distract Levnato so that he can charge his Final Mirror of Equity, but Levnato cowardly attacks the Children of Hess to force Lasswell to stop and subsequently injures him with a spell.
Physalis protests against his methods, and Levnato retorts their orders are to win by any means necessary and instructs her to eliminate Lasswell. Physalis punches Levnato, staggering him, proclaiming that while she loves Aldore she cannot condone their cruelty. Levnato retreats, saying she can do as she pleases, all but securing Physalis's betrayal and eventual joining of Lasswell's group. Following Lasswell and Physalis's duel against Sakura and Nichol, Levnato finds the Weapon and activates it, forcing it to spread tentacles that snatch Physalis into the Weapon's interior to serve as the beast's core as her hybrid heritage makes her the perfect vessel.
When Lasswell's group infiltrates the Weapon to save Physalis they find the Emperor alongside the Orders. The Emperor reveals his intentions to have the Weapon drain the energy of all the Crystals, and later all living beings in Paladia, so that he can live eternally as the single being in existence, completing his "Ultimate Dictatorship" vision. Physalis uses the Weapon's power to teleport everyone away, and Levnato remains the only member of the Orders "loyal" to the Emperor.
On the way to the Weapon, Raegen's group faces Levnato. The Sworn Six overpower the Alpha Star who is forced to use a power-enhancing drug. As Raegen tries to fend Levnato, Citra uses her own life force to strengthen Raegen enough to defeat the Alpha Star. As Citra lies dying Yego takes the drug from Levnato, which contains the Tear of Provenance as one of its ingredients, using it to save Citra.
Levnato is taken for dead but survives, appearing in the nick of time to save the Aldore Emperor from Hyoh and Sol's relentless attack. He unleashes a powerful spell to kill Hyoh, but Sol takes the blow at the cost of his life. Levnato and the Emperor teleport away to the Aldore Tower, but first end up in a church that the Emperor recognizes, but is unable to remember in full. Levnato considers the possibility of a small flaw in the teleportation spell, and the two reassume their return to the Aldore Tower.
Back in the Aldore Tower, the Emperor enters a chamber to restore his lost magical powers, which also restores his lost memories from the virtual world. The Emperor not only regains his powers, but becomes stronger, impressing Levnato. Quadis is still defeated, and Levnato absorbs him back into himself. Levnato unmasks himself much to the surprise of the Sworn Six and begins to charge his strongest spell to kill the party. At this point the events diverge:
In the original timeline, Vlad's spell blasts the party with Rain/Hyoh taking the blunt of the attack. Vlad fires another volley, severely weakening the party that was already weakened and wounded by their fight against the Exostars and Quadis. Lasswell remains the only one who can barely fight. Vlad offers to let them retreat as it would be a shame to kill them, claiming he respects their worth.
A wounded Rain tries to convince Lasswell that Vlad is faking it and has exhausted himself to the point Lasswell can beat him. Lasswell's kindness takes the better of him and he drops his weapon, allowing Vlad to kill him, leaving Rain the only survivor. Rain is saved by Akstar, a powerful swordsman who also opposes Vlad, but can't beat him due to a crippling illness.
Rain spends the next five decades trying to find allies to fight Vlad, but all his attempts fail. Wounded and tired, he is found by Aldore Soldiers ready to execute him. Dark Fina saves him, having stored power for the two of them to travel in time to a period where they can make a difference.
The two devise their next plan. Rain would disguise as Akstar, get close to Lasswell and teach him the three advanced Mirrors of Equity he had mastered after facing the Exostars, and then reveal himself as Zeno of the Beta Star to give Lasswell the impression of a betrayal, hardening his heart. By doing so they hope to prevent the two major factors that led to Vlad's victory, the Exostars' Mirrors of Equity injuring the party and depriving them of their strength, and give Lasswell the resolve to put away his emotions to defeat Vlad.
Future Rain and Dark Fina travel through time and visit the original Akstar, warning him of the events to unfold. He agrees to be sealed in Crystal. Future Rain uses transformation magic to disguise himself, and reports his missing limbs as an effect of an illness.
The events play similarly as in the original timeline, with the main difference being that the Exostars are faced at Rubenia rather than at the Aldore Tower, and with Lasswell and Raegen both learning the advanced Mirrors of Equity, the party is in a more favorable position to fight Vlad. As the mad Emperor launches his spell the Rain of this timeline blocks it with a defensive power granted to him by Akstar, actually his future self from the alternate timeline.
Vlad retreats to his sky fortress, Grandore, to try and lay waste to the world by bombarding it with magic cannons. The party pursues him via a transfer gate. Vlad telepathically reveals his machinations to ensure his eternal sovereignty. The remnants of the Exostars use their techniques, causing an instability that divides the parties, stranding Lasswell, Physalis and the Sworn Six in an alternate room. The Exostars are defeated by Kagane who regains control of her actions, and puts an end to her monstrous incarnations.
Lasswell's party finds memory crystals and learns of "Akstar's" origins and the events of the original timeline. Rain's party reaches Vlad who prepares to bombard the world. Rain is barely able to block his spells until Dark Fina and "Akstar" attack him. Though Vlad blocks the onslaught this gives Lasswell's party enough time to arrive and a battle ensues with Vlad cornered. He cannot believe that he is losing and wonders if the royal bloodline is stronger than he thought. The party rejects this as only three of them are of royal blood, and claim it is their combined bonds, not their origin, what gives them strength. Vlad adopts a monstrous mage form, but is defeated and vanishes. With the timeline changed, Akstar/future Rain and Dark Fina disappear. The party celebrates their victory, but Vlad is revealed to be alive; they only defeated a copy while his original soul was safe. Forced to fight his opponents in person, Vlad reveals his true form, a monstrous, colossal three-headed ogre-like creature towering over mountains themselves.
He declares his intentions of omnicide to enforce his absolute solitude belief, leaving the world in utter despair at the terrifying sight laid bare on their eyes. Grandore begins to collapse and the party is forced to evacuate. Forces of Hess and Aldore bombard Vlad from airships, but the cannons inflict no damage, and Vlad wipes out the opposition with magical blasts of light.
Milo comes for the party with the Invincible, as they notice a Crystal on Vlad's head, the party realizing Vlad's original soul must reside in it, and if destroyed, Vlad will be finished for good. With their plan set, Milo drives the Invincible near Vlad's midsection so as to avoid the beams of light, leaving the party to navigate the gigantic structure to reach the head.
On their path they encounter copies of the Sworn Eight of Paladia, created from the data obtained from when the original eight gained immortality. The party defeats the copies, but they regenerate. Sieghard uses a sample of the drug used by Levnato on himself and the rest of the Sworn Six, minus Raegen, to boost their battle power but at the cost of losing their immortality. They leave Raegen out so that he can watch over the future. The five defeat the copies but exhaust themselves in the process, leaving them out of the fight.
Further traveling on Vlad's torso, Nichol finds a cavity they can use to navigate the inside. The party approaches the face when a part of Vlad's body falls apart as debris, jettisoning several crystals. Rain decides to take them as they might be useful. Reaching Vlad's face, the party defeats Vlad's soul in the Crystal. Vlad traps them in a space made by his soul's remnants and vows to kill them even if he is to die himself, and spawns smaller versions of his ogre form. The party witnesses Vlad's ultimate opposition and his delusions: he is exactly as the space in which he has confined them in, blank and empty. The party fights to reject his solitude doctrine.
The party defeats the ogre monster, but it spawns into three copies of Vlad himself, which barrage the party with powerful spells. Devoid of power, Rain evokes the power of the Crystals he had gathered, summoning forth Sol, Crimson, Kyanos and Mirfas. Lasswell summons the Magus Sisters, Krowa, Regina, Pris and Atole. Raegen summons Mombert, Hess' Four Sages, Yuraisha, Rowen and Sophia. The visions encourage the party while restoring them to full power. The combined forces launch a relentless assault on the ogres, destroying them for good, prompting the visions to disappear, declaring they'll always be with the party.
As the last fragment of Vlad's soul manifests, the remnant becomes hysterical, going on unstable rants full of contradicting claims, descending into insanity. Following a final struggle, the party finishes Vlad off for good, terminating his reign of terror once and for all.
Vlad is faced regularly nearing the end of Season 2, both as Levnato of the Alpha Star and when unmasked. He uses multiple spells both elemental and non-elemental and employs physical attacks after unmasking, mostly through the Mirror of Equity techniques. Vlad regularly buffs himself with stat boosts, HP barriers or damage reduction. Vlad's ogre form and crystal form serve as the final bosses of season two.
Vlad arguably has the most forms out of any boss of the series: Levnato, unmasked Emperor Vlad, monstrous magician, ogre, crystal, and crystal remnant, for the grand total of six different boss variants.
- Vlad may have been inspired by Emperor Sheev Palpatine, the major antagonist of Star Wars. Both were influential politicians that achieved power through treachery, manipulation and deceit and exploited a far-reaching war to cement their hold into power. Both attempted to cheat death to further perpetuate their rule. Both tried to use a genocidal weapon to achieve their purposes. Both were skilled in their respective supernatural abilities (Palpatine was strong in the Force, while Vlad was an adept magician). Finally, Vlad's fully robed appearance under his proxies resembles that of Palpatine's. Hyoh is himself largely based on Darth Vader.