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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 is the true main antagonist of season two and the overarching antagonist of the Brave Exvius series, as his actions are directly or indirectly responsible for the conflicts in the first three seasons, and even indirectly for the events of War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. For most of the story, Vlad 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.

Profile[]

Appearance[]

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.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

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 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 as evidenced by debris falling from his body.

As Dark Rain, Vlad resembles an older Rain. His hair has grown on the right side of his face and his eyes shine in a crimson light. Dark Rain is barechested, wearing a black robe known as the Void Cloak with a fiery and bloody red pattern. His cloak overlaps with two shoulder protectors and long dark sleeves. He wears armored gauntlets and a belt tying from across the left side of his chest to the right side of his waist.

He wears a metallic belt on his waist from which a flowing black skirted fabric sprawls covering the back of his legs. He wears dark pants and armored leggings. His signature weapon is the Emperor's Glaive, a double-headed spear that materializes blades of pure magic power, its design reminiscent to a Lightsaber Staff.

Personality[]

Vlad is treacherous and uses cowardly means to secure his path to power. Considering his cruel, dirty-handed machinations, Vlad is ruthless, and has no concern for anyone else. 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. This 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 worthy existence 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 is 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.

As Dark Rain, Vlad suffers from a superiority complex. Thirsty to prove that he is superior to the Aldore bloodline, he causes unfathomable destruction in his wake to lure his opponents into fighting him. He resents the weak and only wishes to fight the strong to demonstrate his power to the Aldore bloodline. His "Absolute Solitude" did not truly satiate him, as his drive is to rub his self-proclaimed supremacy on the object of his scorn. He scorns on democracy and is disgusted that the masses would choose their own path, being determined to settle himself as the one true ruler.

Story[]

Seizing power[]

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.

Civil war[]

When Hess declared independence from Aldore, Vlad rejected it and the world of Paladia] plunged into 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 world's leveraging power, 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.

Dictatorship[]

To sustain his iron grip for eternity, Vlad used 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. Knowing that being the eternal leader of the world publicly would incite rebellious sentiment, 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 as 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 continued to "serve" him under the guise of Levnato of the Alpha Star.

The Emperor mentioned Levnato when he scolded Hyoh for his failure to defeat Lasswell, a person of Hess bloodline who had arrived from Lapis alongside the remaining Sworn Six of Paladia. The Emperor believed Hyoh had the potential to surpass Yego, Zeno, and Levnato himself. Hyoh unleashed his power, demonstrating he was not done yet. Pleased, the Emperor expected Hyoh to succeed.

Levnato notified the Emperor that Lasswell had passed the first round of the Order of Aldore, which the Emperor deemed the most entertaining tournament he had seen in a long time. The Emperor questioned if "he" had also progressed, which Levnato confirmed. The Emperor rejoiced that Lasswell's party was unaware of a traitor amid their ranks.

As the Order of Aldore unfolded on its later stages, the Sworn Six of Paladia, in conjunction with Hess' Four Sages, tried to assassinate the Emperor by casting a force field that nullified his Paling. Mombert unsuccessfully tried a suicide attack on the Emperor. Raegen dueled the Emperor, striking him so fast he could not to finish enchanting his spells. The Emperor shielded himself with concentrated defensive magics and had Raegen fight his Elite Forces as a test. Raegen defeated them, and as he was about to fight the Emperor once more, he was joined by the rest of his comrades who all launched a barrage of attacks on the Emperor, believing victory was possible.

Their joy was cut short when Levnato, who had been watching from the sidelines, interfered, and swiftly rejected Raegen's attacks with a spell of his own. He revealed he did not need incantations to cast powerful magics, and that the Emperor was capable of the same feat; the Emperor had been holding back to put on a show for the public. The Emperor bombarded his opponents with powerful spells, but the Children of Hess teleported the Sworn Six to safety.

Later on during the open war between Aldore and the Children of Hess, the Emperor summoned the Orders to secure the ancient Weapon to ensure their victory. Levnato led them towards Rubiena, now aided by Sakura and Nichol, Lasswell's friends who had joined the Orders to help Hyoh.

As both forces spread around the continent, Lasswell's group encountered Levnato and Physalis. Levnato proposed they team up as "Alpha Stars", to which Physalis happily agreed. As the parties fought, Lasswell defeated Physalis and made his way towards Levnato. He had Fina and Lid distract Levnato so that he could charge his Final Mirror of Equity, but Levnato cowardly attacked the Children of Hess to force Lasswell to stop and subsequently injured him with a spell.

Physalis protested against his methods, and Levnato retorted their orders were to win by any means necessary and instructed her to eliminate Lasswell. Physalis punched Levnato, staggering him, proclaiming that while she loved Aldore she could not condone their cruelty. Levnato retreated, saying she could do as she pleased, all but securing Physalis's betrayal and eventual joining of Lasswell's group. Following Lasswell and Physalis's duel against Sakura and Nichol, Levnato found the Weapon and activated it, forcing it to spread tentacles that snatched Physalis into the Weapon's interior to serve as the beast's core as her hybrid heritage made her the perfect vessel.

When Lasswell's group infiltrated the Weapon to save Physalis, they found the Emperor alongside the Orders. The Emperor revealed his intentions to have the Weapon drain the energy of all the Crystals, and later all living beings in Paladia, so that he could live eternally as the single being in existence, completing his "Ultimate Dictatorship" vision. Physalis used the Weapon's power to teleport everyone away, and Levnato remained the only member of the Orders "loyal" to the Emperor.

On the way to the Weapon, Raegen's group faced Levnato. The Sworn Six overpowered the Alpha Star who was forced to use a power-enhancing drug. As Raegen tried to fend Levnato, Citra used her own life force to strengthen Raegen enough to defeat the Alpha Star. As Citra lied dying, Yego took the drug from Levnato, which contained the Tear of Provenance as one of its ingredients, using it to save Citra.

Levnato was taken for dead but survived, appearing in the nick of time to save the Aldore Emperor from Hyoh and Sol's relentless attack. He unleashed a powerful spell to kill Hyoh, but Sol took the blow at the cost of his life. Levnato and the Emperor teleported away to the Aldore Tower, but first ended up in a church that the Emperor recognized, but could not remember in full. Levnato considered the possibility of a small flaw in the teleportation spell, and the two resumed their return to the Aldore Tower.

Back in the Aldore Tower, the Emperor entered a chamber to restore his lost magical powers, which also restored his lost memories from the virtual world. The Emperor not only regained his powers, but became stronger, impressing Levnato. Quadis was still defeated, and Levnato absorbed him back into himself. Levnato unmasked himself much to the surprise of the Sworn Six and began to charge his strongest spell to kill the party. At this point the events diverge:

Original timeline[]

In the original timeline, Vlad's spell blasted the party with Rain/Hyoh taking the blunt of the attack. Vlad fired another volley, severely weakening the party that was already weakened and wounded by their fight against the Exostars and Quadis. Lasswell remained the only one who could barely fight. Vlad offered to let them retreat as it would be a shame to kill them, claiming he respected their worth.

A wounded Rain tried to convince Lasswell that Vlad was faking it and has exhausted himself to the point Lasswell could beat him. Lasswell's kindness took the better of him and he dropped his weapon, allowing Vlad to kill him, leaving Rain the only survivor. Rain was saved by Akstar, a powerful swordsman who also opposed Vlad, but could not beat him due to a crippling illness.

Rain spent the next five decades trying to find allies to fight Vlad, but all his attempts failed. Wounded and tired, he was found by Aldore Soldiers ready to execute him. Dark Fina saved him, having stored power for the two of them to travel in time to a period where they could make a difference.

The two devised 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 hoped to prevent the two major factors that had led to Vlad's victory: the Exostars' Mirrors of Equity injuring the party and depriving them of their strength, and to give Lasswell the resolve to put away his emotions to defeat Vlad.

Future Rain and Dark Fina traveled through time and visited the original Akstar, warning him of the events to unfold. He agreed to be sealed in Crystal. Future Rain used transformation magic to disguise himself, and reported his missing limbs as an effect of an illness.

New timeline[]

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 was in a more favorable position to fight Vlad. As the mad Emperor launched his spell, the Rain of this timeline blocked it with a defensive power Akstar had granted him, actually his disguised future self from the alternate timeline.

Vlad retreated to his sky fortress, Grandore, to try and lay waste to the world by bombarding it with magic cannons. The party pursued him via a transfer gate. Vlad telepathically revealed his machinations to ensure his eternal sovereignty. The remnants of the Exostars used their techniques, causing an instability that divided the parties, stranding Lasswell, Physalis, and the Sworn Six in an alternate room. Kagane defeated the Exostars after regaining control of her actions, and put an end to her monstrous incarnations.

Lasswell's party found memory crystals and learned of "Akstar's" origins and the events of the original timeline. Rain's party reached Vlad who prepared to bombard the world. Rain was barely able to block his spells until Dark Fina and "Akstar" attacked him. Though Vlad blocked the onslaught, this gave Lasswell's party enough time to arrive and a battle ensued with Vlad cornered. He could not believe he was losing and wondered if the royal bloodline was stronger than he had thought. The party rejected this as only three of them were of royal blood, and claimed it was their combined bonds, not their origin, what strengthened them. Vlad adopted a monstrous mage form, but was defeated and vanished. With the timeline changed, Akstar/future Rain and Dark Fina disappeared. The party celebrated their victory, but Vlad was still alive; they had only defeated a copy while his original soul was safe. Forced to fight his opponents in person, Vlad revealed his true form, a monstrous, colossal three-headed ogre-like creature towering over mountains themselves.

He declared his intentions of omnicide to enforce his absolute solitude belief, leaving the world in despair at the terrifying sight laid bare on their eyes. Grandore began to collapse and the party evacuated. Forces of Hess and Aldore bombarded Vlad from airships, but the cannons inflicted no damage, and Vlad wiped out the opposition with magical blasts of light.

Milo came for the party with the Invincible, as they noticed a Crystal on Vlad's head, the party realizing Vlad's original soul must reside in it, and if destroyed, Vlad would be finished for good. With their plan set, Milo drove 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 encountered copies of the Sworn Eight of Paladia, created from the data obtained from when the original eight gained immortality. The party defeated the copies, but they regenerated. 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 at the cost of losing their immortality. They left Raegen out so that he could watch over the future. The five defeated the copies but exhausted themselves, leaving them out of the fight.

Further traveling on Vlad's torso, Nichol discovered a cavity they could use to navigate the inside. The party approached the face when a part of Vlad's body fell apart as debris, jettisoning several crystals. Rain decided to take them as they could be useful. Reaching Vlad's face, the party defeated Vlad's soul in the Crystal. Vlad trapped them in a space made by his soul's remnants and vowed to kill them even if he was to die as well, and spawned smaller versions of his ogre form. The party witnessed Vlad's ultimate opposition and his delusions: he was exactly as the space in which he had confined them in: blank and empty. The party fought to reject his solitude doctrine.

The party defeated the ogre monster, but it spawned into three copies of Vlad himself, which barraged the party with powerful spells. Devoid of power, Rain evoked the power of the Crystals he had gathered, summoning forth Sol, Crimson, Kyanos, and Mirfas. Lasswell summoned the Magus Sisters, Krowa, Regina, Pris, and Atole. Raegen summoned Mombert, Hess' Four Sages, Yuraisha, Rowen and Sophia. The visions encouraged the party while restoring them to full power. The combined forces launched a relentless assault on the ogres, destroying them for good, prompting the visions to disappear, declaring they would always be with the party.

As the last fragment of Vlad's soul manifested, the remnant became hysterical, going on unstable rants full of contradicting claims. Following a final struggle, the party finished Vlad off for good, terminating his reign of terror.

The Return[]

A Vlad from an alternate continuity in which he had triumphed over the party established his Absolute Solitude ideal after taking over Hyoh's body with the power of Blood Awakening. He found himself unsatisfied, as despite living alone for several years, he could not quell his true one desire: prove his dominance over the Aldore bloodline for his enemies to lie defeated. Over time, his desires materialized a Crystal with the power to teleport him to the main reality in which his other self was defeated, his enemies alive, and democracy was taking root in Paladia.

Disgusted at the idea the masses could decide their future and with the object of his hatred alive, Vlad, now under the guise of Dark Rain, decided to attack his enemies to prove that he was superior all along. As Raegen's inauguration as President was unfolding, Vlad assaulted the avenue in Visectrum intending to kill him. Sakura and Nichol adopted protective measures and had the soldiers evacuate the civilians under a refuge in the arena. Vlad filled the arena with powerful enhanced monsters, which the party battled. Although Raegen tried to reason with his enemy, believing him to be a dissenter, Vlad further provoked Raegen into battling him, culminating with the two men fighting on the empty streets of Visectrum as they activated their Blood Awakening. Vlad unleashed his Blazing Dominion, devastating a significant part of Visectrum while heavily injuring Raegen before retreating.

With Raegen forced to rest and the party flabbergasted at the mysterious foe, Vlad demanded that Rain face him, threatening to further level Visectrum. Rain faced him along Lasswell and Fina, and the trio put a decent fight but were overwhelmed by Vlad's combination of Blood Awakening and his naturally immense Magic power. Dark Rain exposed his true identity and motivations, which the trio at first refused to believe, but soon realized his words to be true based on his power and his acquisition of Rain's body from an alternate timeline. Rain and Lasswell were overpowered by Vlad despite Fina's Blessing of Light. Fina prayed to bring the false Akstar back to oppose to mad former Emperor.

Gameplay[]

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.

Spoilers end here.

Behind the scenes[]

Vlad may have been inspired by Emperor Sheev Palpatine, the major antagonist of Star Wars. Both were influential politicians who 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. Interestingly Hyoh is largely based on Darth Vader. As Dark Rain, Vlad dresses similarly to Sith Lords using a black robe, while his signature weapon is reminiscent of a Lightsaber Staff.

Gallery[]

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