|“||The controller of death, that's who I am. Human lives are my toys.||„|
|~ Hellmaster Phibrizzo|
|“||Your own graveyard.||„|
|~ Hellmaster Phibrizzo (answering the question "Where are we?").|
The primary antagonist in Slayers Next (the second season of the Slayers series), Hellmaster Phibrizzo is most powerful of the five Demon Lords created by the Demon God Ruby Eye Shabranigdo. Like the other demons, he wants to destroy the universe and return everything to the Sea of Chaos. To do so, he manipulates the events of Slayers Next from behind the scenes, intending to force the primary protagonist Lina Inverse to cast the Giga Slave, (the most powerful spell in existence) which he could then use to accomplish his goal. He ultimately succeeds but only to meet his demise by the hand of the Creator of All Things, the Lord of Nightmares.
It must be noted that he is one of the very few villains who are never defeated by the series' protagonists and whose downfall is only due to a coincidence.
|“||Taking a child's form is so convenient. With this form, you never suspected me even for a second!||„|
|~ Hellmaster Phibrizzo|
Like any other demon in the series, Phibrizzo is not a flesh and blood being but an evil spirit who resides in the Astral Plane of the Slayers world. As such, he musts create an avatar of himself to be present on the Physical Plane. Being a high-ranking demon, he can shape-shift his avatar to any aspect he wants and makes it imitate any lifeform perfectly.
He is only seen under his aspect of predilection: that of an androgynous little boy of whom no one would be wary, in order to better trick his victims. Under this aspect he looks like a child around ten years old, with pale green eyes, long eyelashes and shoulder-length black hair. He wears a purplish-blue medieval suit with dark-blue ornaments around his neck, his chest and his waist, as well as a belt of tissue and bangles on his wrists.In his true spiritual form, he appears as a huge cloud of dark energy with no distinctive shape, filled with demonic white light and blue lightning. Phibrizzo can apparently expand and alter the shape of his astral body.
|“||I was thinking I could tear the human part out of you. But it seems you can never be a pure demon again. Which leaves me one choice ... To kill you outright!||„|
|~ Hellmaster Phibrizzo (to the former Demon Lord Garv)|
Hellmaster Phibrizzo is perhaps the series’ most sinister character. He is cruel, ruthless, remorseless, devious, vicious and deeply sadistic. He revels in his victims’ suffering and despair, as evidenced when he kills all of Lina Inverse’s friends one by one. To him, killing or tormenting someone, even a fellow Demon Lord, is a game which he enjoys to no end. (However, it must be noted that said Demon Lord was a traitor to the others.)
Like many Dark Lords or other powerful villains, he acts with courtesy and polite manners, albeit generally sarcastic and insincere ones. Yet, he can recognize the potential of his enemies and he admits his surprise whenever someone exceeds his expectations. He is overtly proud and very confident in his own power, often to the point of arrogance. He never brags however, and every statement he makes about his might is proven true shortly after.
His personality somehow fits his child-like appearance, given that he likes to entertain himself when he is bored. He teases his victims and he displays child-like dark humour. In general, he regards all lifeforms as mere toys which he uses in any way he wants and he almost always acts in a playful manner.
He is very patient, being able to wait several centuries for an opportunity to strike and rarely making a move before having elaborated a plan, but at the same time he demonstrates little patience when things do not go the way he wants them to. His eagerness to destroy the world is much greater than that of any other demon. To him, this is not a goal but a dream and even his reason to exist, and he is exhilarated by its apparent success.
Phibrizzo is an extremely intelligent and cunning mastermind, as well as a master of deceit. (Only his fellow Demon Lord, Dynast Grausherra demonstrates similar levels of intelligence.) He achieves his goals through complicated schemes, he understands things quickly and he can easily adopt a backup plan when he needs to. He has a great understanding of human nature that enables him to adapt to almost anyone (even nutcases like Martina). He also proves to be a very convincing actor when he pretends to be an innocent young orphan.
Powers and Abilities
As the mightiest demon in the Slayers world, Hellmaster Phibrizzo is an immensely powerful being; second only to the deities of the Slayers Universe themselves. With no-one alive and well in the world able to match his power, he is never seen fighting for real.
Phibrizzo possesses all the abilities of any high-ranking demon, including but not limited to: retreating into the Astral Plane, striking someone in the Physical Plane from the Astral Plane, teleporting his earthly avatar wherever he wants and making it fly, seeing and talking where he is not physically present, making people and objects levitate or appear out of nowhere, creating a sub-dimensional space, changing the weather, and so on and so forth.
He has also proven himself able to teleport several people from one point to another, to create or recreate huge structures and objects like an entire city, sometimes including it into his earthly avatar, to completely brainwash anyone, to transform objects and people, to increase the power of someone or something beyond its maximum, to open gates between worlds and to leave part of his body behind when he retreats into the Astral Plane or into the Underworld. He only displays it once, but he also possesses immense physical strength and speed, befitting a Demon Lord of his level.
In the Slayers Universe, Magic works by drawing power from the gods, the higher beings, or the world itself. As such and like any other demon, Phibrizzo can only use Black Magic spells as they draw power from the demons themselves. (Whether or not he can use the spells that draw power from his fellow Demon Lords is unknown.) There are two spells that use his own power: the Laguna Blast (a highly destructive pillar of dark energy) and the Laguna Drive (a necromancy spell that creates undead who retain their intelligence and personality).
As his name implies, Phibrizzo has complete control over Death and the souls of the departed. He is able to kill anyone by simply breaking a Death Orb: a golden marble representing the life of someone he is thinking of. Moreover, he can separately destroy someone’s mind or spirit without harming their body and vice-verse. He can also encase people in a green crystal that drains its victim’s life-force and kills said victim if it gets broken. He can also raise thousands of people from the grave as undead identical to the people they once were, but who are bound to serve him and can be turned into mindless puppets.
As a demon, Phibrizzo can only be killed if his Astral body is struck through his earthly avatar. As a Demon Lord, only a spell drawing power from a superior being can harm him.
He attacks by firing bolts or waves of black energy which he can make erupt from the ground, or shape like tentacles to capture someone. He can also fire yellow energy balls of variable size from his fingertips, create a defensive pillar of blue energy around him, and engulf someone in a blaze of dark fire. Finally, he can use the souls of the dead in a devastating attack where countless red rays erupts from the ground and overwhelm the targets.
When using his full power, he is surrounded by a manifestation of his astral form and he can fire much stronger blasts of the dark energy that constitutes his astral body.
Birth and background
At the beginning was the Sea of Chaos and its personification, the genderless Lord of Nightmares (referred to as a she in spite of her masculine title). Through her dreams, the Lord of Nightmares created four different Worlds with a Demon God, embodiment of Evil, and a Dragon God, embodiment of Good, in each one of them.
In the Slayers World, the Demon God, Ruby Eye Shabranigdo battled the Dragon God, Flare Dragon Ceifeed during many millennia (a conflict is known as the Shinma War). At some point around 5000 years before the events of the Slayers series, Shabranigdo created five Demon Lords (Hellmaster Phibrizzo, Supreme King Dynast Grausherra, Chaos Dragon Garv, Greater Beast Zelas Metallium and Sea Queen Deep Sea Dolphin) with Phibrizzo as his second in command.
At the same time, Ceifeed created four Dragon Lords. (Aqualord Ragradia, Airlord Valwind, Earthlord Rangort and Firelord Vrabazard) Shortly after, the two deities defeated one another, Ceifeed having his body destroyed and his spirit scattered all around the world, and Shabranigdo being divided in seven parts which were sealed into human souls.
The Demon and Dragon Lords established themselves in the world and created subordinates; each Demon Lord spawning two high-ranking demons to serve them, one Priest and one General, except Zelas who created one demon to fulfil both roles, and who is as such the strongest high-ranking demon below the Demon Lords themselves. Also its worth noting that Supreme King Dynast Grausherra created two Priests and two Generals. The first two having been killed during the "War of the Monster's Fall," he later created another pair to replace them.
The War of the Monster's Fall
Over 1000 years before the start of the series, Phibrizzo manipulated the politics from the shadows to stage a war between several human nations. He then worsened the conflict, before swarming the lands with lesser demons. His objective was to gather enough negative emotions to awake the fragment of his master, which he had discovered sealed in the archmage Lei Magnus. He eventually succeeded and the newly awoken "Demon King of the North" took command of the demon armies in a worldwide war against the dragon kind. So began the "War of the Monster’s Fall", perhaps the worst conflict in history.
During this war countless dragons, demons, humans and other creatures were killed, including Phibrizzo’s Priest and General. The five Demon Lords managed to make the knowledge of Holy Magic (the most useful weapon against them) almost disappear from the world, by destroying many of Ceifeed’s temples.
After that, Phibrizzo enlisted Dynast’s, Zelas’ and Dolphin’s help to create the Demon Barrier: a gigantic force-field which separated a huge portion of the world from the other continents. This barrier cut the Slayers World in two and drastically weakened the dragons trapped inside.
The war ended with no defined winner after the death of the Dragon Lord Ragradia. The Demon Lord Chaos Dragon Garv was fused with a human soul and Lei Magnus-Shabranigdo was sealed forever in the everlasting ices of the Kataart Mountains.
Garv’s new human soul made him desire to take over the world instead of destroying it, thus he became a traitor to the demon race and he went into hiding. The four remaining Demon Lords kept the Demon Barrier active until the end of Slayers Next when it disappeared after Phibrizzo’s death.
Role in Slayers Next
During the first half of Slayers Next, the primary protagonist Lina Inverse and her friends are harassed by demons who seek to kill them. They are also always interrupted by Martina Zoana Navratilova: the spoiled and borderline schizophrenic princess of Zoana, who follows Lina wherever she goes hoping to get revenge on her. (Lina destroyed her hometown because she captured her friend Amelia during the first episodes.)
They soon meet Xellos, the “trickster priest,” a mischievous and fun loving, but mysterious and very knowledgeable man who seems much more powerful than he makes it appear. Xellos tells them about the Claire Bible, the source of all knowledge in the world, which the gang resolves to find. At the same time, they investigate to know why they are always attacked by demons.
Xellos, who is never far behind, guides them and provides them with clues. (Which often prove false, because he led them to a dead-end for the sake of fun.) Xellos even protects the gang from troublesome demons on some occasions, but always without them knowing it.
It eventually appears that the demons are sent by Chaos Dragon Garv, a renegade Demon Lord bent on world domination, who wants Lina dead at any cost. Garv cannot take care of her himself because he fears his siblings, so he sends his strongest servants to do the work.
To end this Lina musts defeat Garv, who is far more powerful than her. The only spell that could work would be the Giga Slave: a spell which draws power from none other than the Lord of Nightmares that Lina used in the past. However, Lina can only cast an incomplete, unreliable Giga Slave and needs to learn the complete spell to stand a chance against a Demon Lord: another reason for her to find the Claire Bible.
After many dead-ends and embarrassing situations, Xellos leads the gang to the Temple of Sand: an endless desert in another dimension, where the whole Claire Bible is written on countless huge lithographs. There, they meet Auntie Aqua, the keeper of the Claire Bible who leads them towards the lithograph they are looking for.
Auntie Aqua shows Lina a lithograph where she learns more about the Lord of Nightmares and the risks of the Complete Giga Slave. Indeed, the spell is so powerful that it could obliterate the entire world if the caster does not fully control it.
The protagonists are then attacked by Chaos Dragon Garv himself, who cannot be found by the other Demon Lords in this different dimension. Garv reveals Xellos’s true nature as a high-ranking demon, and asks him about a plan hatched by another Demon Lord called the Hellmaster. This plan involves using Lina against Garv, explaining why he wants to kill her so badly.
The are all saved by Auntie Aqua, who appears to be the remnant of the Dragon Lord Ragradia, and they manage to flee the Temple of Sand. Now the group’s only solution is to reach the Dragon’s Peak, where they could find the True Claire Bible instead of a written copy.
The final stage of the planThey soon find themselves in a deserted town, where they meet an orphaned child who lives around, and who tries to steal Lina’s wallet ... An error he shall regret very soon. Upon learning that the boy knows the way to the Dragon’s Peak, Lina accepts not to punish him (and even pays him a lot) in exchange for a map.
Soon after, the boy meets Martina, who throws a tantrum and begs him for another map. The boy takes pity on the crazed princess and agrees to lead her to the peak for free.
The protagonists finally reach the Dragon’s Peak. Lina manages to find the Claire Bible and learns the Complete Giga Slave a last. Meanwhile, Garv comes out of hiding and critically wounds Xellos, who is forced to retreat. With their best protector gone, the gang (joined by Martina and the little boy, who both cannot fight and remain out of sight) must fight the Demon Lord themselves.
Lina, who fears the power of the Giga Slave, manages to strike Garv with the Ragna Blade: another, less dangerous spell that uses the Lord of Nightmare’s power. However, Garv is only wounded and prepares to land the finishing blow on the exhausted sorceress. Then, to anyone’s surprise, someone strikes Garv from behind with a dark energy blast; and this someone is none other than the little boy who guided them, or to call him by his name: Hellmaster Phibirizzo, the leader of the Demons Lords!
|“||So at last, the puppet master appears ... is what I would like to say||„|
|~ Hellmaster Phibrizzo|
Stating that Garv can never be a pure demon again, he remorselessly incinerates him with a mere snap of his fingers, before revealing his plans to the protagonists. When he learned that Lina performed an imperfect Giga Slave, Phibrizzo recognized an opportunity to fulfil the goal of all demons, including himself: to destroy the world and return it to the Sea of Chaos. So he devised a complicated scheme:
- First he let Garv’s spies "know" that he was planning something which involved Lina Inverse against their master, so that Garv would target Lina.
- Then he ordered Xellos to escort Lina and her friends, protecting them against Garv’s underlings and "guiding" them to the True Claire Bible, the only way for Lina to learn the Complete Giga Slave.
- Phibrizzo would appear posing as an innocent child, and would gain Lina’s trust in order to follow her, so that he would be able to strike when Garv would show up.
- Xellos being too strong for the other demons, Garv would be forced to take care of Lina himself. Xellos would then retreat, leaving Lina with no other choice than to cast the Giga Slave.
- Finally Phibrizzo would kill Lina when she casts the spell, causing the chaotic energy to run wild and obliterate the entire world.
Phibrizzo did not expect that Lina would learn more than he wanted her to, therefore refusing to cast the Giga Slave, but he does not care. If Lina could avoid casting the spell against Garv, it will not be that easy against him. Having understood Lina’s feelings for her friend Gourry better than Lina herself, Phibrizzo kidnaps the swordsman and teleports away, telling the gang to come to the city of Sairaag, in order to save him.
It must be noted that Sairaag is the city where the final battle of the first season took place, and where Phibrizzo built one of his temples shortly after.
On their way to Sairaag, the gang meets Sylphiel: a priestess living in Sairaag, who helped them in the first season and who was looking for them. She tells them that the major part of the city, which had been destroyed by the first season’s primary antagonist, has suddenly reappeared and that all the victims, including Sylphiel’s father, have risen from the grave. Undoubtedly, this is Phibrizzo’s doing. They also meet Zangulus: a skilled mercenary swordsman wielding a magic sword, who is a rival of Gourry.
They are later attacked by a highly powerful armored warrior, who appears to be Gourry himself. Phibrizzo got bored, so he brainwashed him and staged this fight just to liven up things a little. The battle is long and hard-fought, because Phibrizzo increased both Gourry’s skills and the power of his Sword of Light, way over their already high usual level. Finally, Phibrizzo takes Gourry away once again, and Lina explains the situation to the two newcomers.
Upon reaching Sairaag, the protagonists are greeted by Sylphiel’s father, who explains them that all the revived people are in fact undead raised by Phibrizzo to be his servants. The gang then try to enter Phibrizzo’s temple, but it has been added to the Demon Lord’s earthly avatar and therefore, they cannot enter nor blast open a hole in the walls.
Later this night, Lina, joined by Zangulus and Sylphiel, manages to enter the temple by using the Ragna Blade spell. Once inside, they levitate into the bottom of a deep chasm where Hellmaster Phibrizzo awaits them. They find a monumental green crystal, which contains the souls of all the living-dead population of Sairaag, and confront their enemy at last.
The Final Showdown
|“||Allow me to show you why they call me Hellmaster.||„|
|~ Hellmaster Phibrizzo|
Phibrizzo explains that he encased Gourry in another one of his green crystals, which is draining his life-force, and that the only way to free Gourry is to kill Phibrizzo himself.
Meanwhile, Lina's remaining friends Amelia, Zelgadis and Martina are attacked by the entire undead population, now reduced to mindless warriors, and by Phibrizzo’s army of lesser demons. They try to flee through the underground tunnels but not to avail.
While one group is fighting their countless attackers, the other one is unleashing their strongest attacks against Phibrizzo, who is not even scratched. The Demon Lord effortlessly withstands Lina’s Dragon Slave, but Sylphiel cast another one at him to everyone’s surprise, and the two spells make him disappear in an anguished cry ... Or so they think.
In fact, Phibrizzo left part of his earthly avatar behind and retreated into the Underworld, avoiding the attack. He congratulates Lina and Sylphiel, stating that this double Drag Slave could have been dangerous for him. He then teleports Zelgadis, Amelia and Martina into his temple and creates five golden marbles. Phibrizzo breaks one of these marbles and Amelia suddenly drops dead.
Phibrizzo explains that someone dies whenever he breaks a Death Orb; and that until Lina casts the Complete Giga Slave, he shall kill all her friends one by one.
The horrified remaining protagonists see Sylphiel die, shortly followed by Zelgadis, without being able to do anything. Zangulus then says he surrenders, and kneels down before Phibrizzo, begging him to spare his life ... one second before jumping for a surprise attack. But Phibrizzo saw through his acting, and he breaks his Death Orb with a smile, before sending him flying with a mere punch. Zangulus dies in Martina’s arm and the distraught princess, who has fallen in love with Zangulus, is the last one to die. With her last breath, Martina encourages Lina, telling her to admit her love for Gourry at last.
Phibrizzo then encases all the corpses in green crystals, explaining to a broken Lina that he only killed her friends’ bodies and that their spirits are still alive ... for the moment. It is only when he threatens to destroy Gourry’s crystal, which would have killed the swordsman-in-distress, that Lina finally casts the Complete Giga Slave.
Phibrizzo attacks Lina and seemingly destroys her. The chaotic energy out of control then engulfs the temple and the recreated part of Sairaag, along with all its living-dead population. Back in the temple, an overjoyed Phibrizzo revels in all this destruction, but then the chaotic energy suddenly retreats and Lina reappears, surrounded with a golden aura, with her cloak and hair floating and her voice magnified. It is only revealed now that a complete and correctly cast Giga Slave does not use the Lord of Nightmare’s power, but instead summons the Mother of All Things herself, into the caster’s body.
Bewildered, Phibrizzo throws a fit, and desperately ask why the Lord of Nightmares created demons to destroy their world if she does not want the world to be destroyed. But the Lord of Nightmares is neutral and does not care the slightest about a conflict between demons and dragons which she did not consciously create. Now nearly mad, Phibrizzo reaches the conclusion that Lina’s body is too small for she whom he calls "mother", and resolves to destroy it to set her power free. He hopes that the world would be destroyed, even if he must die in the process.
Phibrizzo uses all his power and launches a huge, dark energy blast at the Lord of Nightmares. Irked by his incessant rantings about destruction, the Goddess of the Universe destroys him instead, tearing his body apart before engulfing him in a wave of chaotic energy.
Lina’s friends are resurrected and witness Phibrizzo’s last moment, as the Demon Lord is vainly trying to escape. Then, Xellos, who has witnessed the entire battle, appears, kneels down before the Lord of Nightmares and explains them the situation. The Golden Goddess tells them that those who cast the Giga Slave have their wish granted at the cost of their own life. She then departs but Gourry chases after her, wanting Lina back. Witnessing his devotion, the Lord of Nightmares grants his wish and frees Lina, who beats Gourry down; furious that he has touched a weak young girl like her.
Everything is back to normal.