|“||Power is not simple, nor is it bound by any law. All living things, be they demons, dragons or humans live by the law of the jungle, the survival of the fittest. But humans choose to avert their eyes, believing that everything revolves around them. …Power itself is the truth that governs everything.||„|
Vearn, The Great Demon King, is the primary antagonist of the Dragon Quest spin-off manga Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai. He is a demonic God who rules over Makai (the Demonic World) and aims to destroy Earth, so that Makai would rise to the surface. He resurrected the Demon King Hadlar and recruited him to build an unstoppable Demon Army, only to be opposed by the disciples of the Great Hero Avan.
Vearn's place among the Gods is not known, but he apparently is a demon deity related in some ways to the God of Demons. In the earliest times, the God of Dragons, the God of Demons and the Gods of Humans shared the world for their respective species: the Demons ended up in Makai, a desolated world where might is the only rule, fitting their vast power, while the weaker mankind inherited the more suited surface of the world.
Vearn strongly resents this, thinking of it as banishment. As millennia went by, he established his realm over Makai, which he had to share with his staunch rival Velther the Dark Dragon King. Vearn fought Velther during millennia for the control of the surface, until they entered a competition to see who would conquer it first. He then kept building his strength and influence, eventually reaching the level of the three main gods.
To become fully immortal, Vearn separated his body in two: one retaining his intelligence and his incredible magic power in which he transferred his soul, and one retaining his astonishing strength which he froze with a special spell powered by a solar eclipse. By doing so, he made sure that only one body would age and wither while the other would remain at its peak, and that he could not die until both of his bodies were destroyed.
At some point in the past, Vearn recruited the dark spectre Myst, who became his closest and most devoted servant and was entrusted with his frozen body, aptly renaming himself Myst-Vearn. Centuries later, he would accept the Death God Kill-Vearn in his ranks as a "truce gift" from Velther. Then, around 100 years before the start of the series, he recruited the legendary demon weaponsmith Lon Berck; who made many powerful weapons made of Orichalcos (the hardest metal of the world) for him, including Vearn's own Staff of Demonic Light; but defected shortly after, unsatisfied.
Vearn finally made his move around fifteen years before the start of the story, after Velther's defeat at the hand of the Dragon Knight Baran. He wanted to create the perfect army to secure his rule after completing his plans and chose the Demon King Hadlar as its furture commander in chief, reviving him when he was defeated by the hero Avan. He personally named Myst-Vearn, Baran and Hyunckel as three of the six Captains of his army and created the gigantic Ki Gan Joh (Fortress of the Demon Rock) which would become its headquarters.
AppearanceVearn is not fully seen until the half of the series, always appearing behind a veil or shrouded in shadows. He then appears as a tall and threatening being with big, glowing eyes and horns all over his head. Yet, Vearn is indeed tall and threatening but much less impressive once seen in person, being as he puts it in a "withered old man".
He looks like a humanoid demon with clawed hands, curved horns, pointed ears, a third eye on his forehead and a wrinkled face. He sports long white hair, with two long locks framing his face and a pointed beard. He wears a long robe, a breastplate, a large cloak attached to his long shoulder pads to expand his silhouette, and a helmet ornated with points that looked like horns and eye-shaped gems that looked like his own, back when he was only half-seen.
When Vearn fuses back his old and young selves for the final battle, he gets rejuvenated and becomes much taller and more muscular, being around thrice as tall as a human pre-teen. His horns straighten, his hair becomes unruly and the locks framing his face get thinner. He now wears trousers and a jacket replacing his robe and cloak, decorated with the same pattern; as well as iron boots, large bangles and smaller shoulder pads.
When Vearn assumes his most powerful form, he unleashes the Kigan Oh (King of the Demonic Eye): a gigantic and hideous monster over thirty meters tall, covered both in black, armour-like skin and scales, with three-fingered hands and prehensile feet, very large shoulders and a huge, bloodshot eye on his upper-torso; with the chest and shoulders covered in rocks forming longs points on his shoulders. The head is entirely formed in rock, with two long horns, points all over his skull and glowing eyes, somehow reminiscent on what he looked like back when he was only half-seen. In fact, Vearn does not really transform into the Kigan Oh, which is formed all around his normal, demonic self; but fuses with it and becomes encased on the giant's forehead. Yet, Vearn and the Kigan Oh become one and the same and the metamorphosis cannot be reverted.
|“||As it is in chess, the true victor moves his pieces such that his last move cannot be discerned by the opponent until this is already too late.||„|
Like your typical Dark Lord, Vearn is courteous, refined, cold and imposing. But he is more importantly very patient and collected, never entirely losing his calm even when the most upset. He is very confident in his own power; although with reason, being every bit as dangerous as he is rumoured to be. He is also very prideful, always telling his foes not to underestimate him and dismissing their attempts as a hopeless struggle. Contrary to most Dark Lords though, he has a real respect for both his subordinates and his enemies.
He fully recognizes the merit and competence of his generals and is willing to absolve most of their mistakes, as long as they remain worthy of his trust. He also recognizes his enemies as serious threats and is always cautious, unless he is absolutely sure of his superiority. As such, he is prone to spare his enemies or to offer them to join his ranks.
However, this does not prevent him from being cruel and heartless. He has no qualm about disposing of those who betrayed him or failed him. He respects his generals, yet does not care whether their goals differ from his own, forces them to serve him over and over without letting them die, and is not above sacrificing them to get rid of his foes. Similarly, he often spares his foes only to make them witness the destruction of what they stood for.
Vearn believes that strength is the absolute justice and that weak people have no right but to be destroyed. As such, he deems mankind unworthy of the sunlight which he covets. He is extremely resentful towards the main gods, and plans to blow away the entire surface, mostly to put them in a situation of inferiority. Vearn likes to put his enemies in front of their own weaknesses and failures, either to mock them or to make them realize that everything they have done and stood for was in vain. He is as such a master of patronizing speeches, in which he deconstructs every argument used against him to break his foes' spirits, made all the more gloomy in that he is usually right; until the tables turn that is.
Vearn is also a talented orator able to talk many people into his ranks, and a highly intelligent master strategist, who calculates his every move and carefully hides the true extent of his plans, until (apparently) nothing stands in his way; as seen when he reveals his scheme during the final battle.
Powers and Abilities
|“||Although I enjoy watching you weaklings struggle, you should cease your attempts. It was a mistake on my part to have given you even a glimmer of hope.||„|
Unsurprisingly for the God of Makai, Vearn is frighteningly powerful. He is stated to be on the same level than the God of Demons himself and the divine Mother Dragon describes him as a threat that the gods themselves cannot handle.
Magic and Dark Ki
Vearn's magic power alone is second to no-one, being stated several times in the story to be almost limitless and enough to do nearly whatever he pleases. He proved it by magically constructing his immense flying fortress, the Vearn Palace, from a half-stone half-metal material with floating properties which he created himself; as well as the Ki Gan Joh, a gigantic, demon-shaped castle able to move and walk like a living creature.
Vearn is also able to infuse things and people with his own magic to animate them or transform them in any manner; to open gates in space through which he can teleport or fetch objects; to see where he is not physically present, to show it to other people and to make his voice heard there; to erect impenetrable magical fields; to levitate himself or others; and to influence the weather to the point of causing storms and tremors. Besides, as the God of Makai, he holds a huge influence over Evil. It is implied that his influence makes normal monsters and dragons evil and animates undeads as much, and even more so, than Hadlar's.
Vearn is far and away the mightiest spellcaster of the series, able to cast virtually any spell. When he casts the weakest fire spell "Mera", it manifests as a minute flame which erupts in a monstrous flaming tornado, many times mightier than a regular "Merazoma" (the most powerful fire spell). In a similar fashion, he is able to spam a continuous onslaught of "Iora" spells (mid-level explosive spells) to overwhelm his foes, each blast being as powerful as a regular "Ionazun" (the most powerful explosive spell).
Whether he is able to do the same with every other attack spell, (the "Hyado" ice spells, "Bagi" Void spells, and "Gira" heat spells) is not known, but it is fair to assume that he can. Vearn also masters "Mahokanta", the most powerful spell reflector, the "Hoimi" recovering spells, and is able to cast two successive spells almost instantly. His signature and most powerful attack is "Kaiser Phoenix": a unique spell that conjures a gigantic and devastating bird of flame, which attacks his enemies as if it was alive.
- Vearn owns the magical Staff of Demonic Light: an Orichalcos staff which drains his magic power to transform into a spear, with an energy blade able to cut through everything. Vearn wields his spear with exceptional proficiency, compensating for his lack of physical might. The more magic he puts in, the stronger the blade becomes. He can also increase its size and length and even turn it into a shield of variable shape and size, which can withstand every attack.
- Vearn can channel his magic power through his staff to unleash his most devastating attack: "Calamity Wall": a tremendous wall-shaped wave of pure magical energy, which runs along the ground and obliterates everything in its path.
Vearn also masters the Ki (life-force). He only uses Dark Ki that stems from his evil nature and inflicts wounds that cannot heal immediately, even with the most powerful recovery spells. He can fire blasts of Dark Ki of variable might, and frontal or circular waves of Dark Ki able to level his surroundings.
He can also infuse demons with his Dark Ki to resurrect them or save them from death. In this case, he can rejuvenate and empower them as much as he wants, and/or revive them over and over, as he did with Hadlar. Finally, his demonic nature and his three hearts enable him to heal any non-lethal wound in a matter of seconds, should it be severed limbs.
When Vearn fuses back with his young half, he regains his tremendous physical strength which far outstands that of any character. He can tear Orichalcos apart with no effort and the pressure caused by his smallest movements is enough to blast huge holes into stone and crush a whole group of fighters against a wall. Vearn also gains immense speed and spryness, becoming an unmatched hand-to-hand fighter.
Such strength and speed grant him two unique moves: the "Phoenix Wing", a palm thrust able to deflect back any spell or Ki blast and push away physical blows; and the "Calamity End" (perhaps the incorrect romanization of "Calamity Hand"), which concentrates all his strength and energy into a hand chop able to cut anything no matter the defence.
In this state, Vearn becomes impossibly stronger than before. He is now able to use all his unique techniques at will, including "Calamity Wall" for which he no longer needs his staff. He also becomes able to use a powerful telekinetic attack, and to fire beams from his third eye that seal those who lack the power to face him into magical spheres called "Irises".
Even worse, he gains access to "Tenchimato" (the Universal Demonic Stance) a fearsome battle stance that renders him virtually invincible: By remaining motionless in a defined position, Vearn focuses his power and becomes able to counter every attack, no matter the number of opponents, by unleashing three techniques at the very same moment: a defence move, a regular attack and a magic spell. He is always seen using "Phoenix Wing", "Calamity End" and "Kaiser Phoenix" but he could easily use other moves following the situation. However, this technique requires so much energy that he needs a short length of time to recover after using it. In the meantime, he becomes hardly able to move and nearly defenceless.
- When driven into a corner, Vearn tears out his third eye, the Kigan (Demonic Eye) source of his magic power and plants it in his chest, unleashing the Kigan Oh and assuming his most powerful form. Under this form, his strength, speed and overall might skyrocket and his blows become much harder to dodge due to his sheer bulk. He is never seen casting spells under this form but it can be guessed that his normal self still can. He is also able to channel his energy into his shoulders to propel himself and to fire huge waves of energy from his third eye. The Kigan Oh seems impervious to attacks, including those targeting his third eye, which is protected by a stony eyelid. It appears that he can only be destroyed by targeting Vearn's demon self.
Role in the story
Faceless leader of the Demon ArmyVearn is first mentioned by his second-in-command Hadlar, when the latter confronts his old enemy Avan on Delmarine Island, home of the main protagonist Dai. After Dai manages to drive Hadlar away, he retreats to his headquarters of the Ki Gan Joh but cannot bring himself to tell Vearn about Dai, whom he labels as his top priority.
After the disciples of Avan defeat the Beast King Crocodine, Vearn personally orders Hyunckel, Captain of the Undead Division and former disciple of Avan, to get rid of them; but he himself ends up defeated. Then the Demon Army sets a full-scale ambush to eradicate the disciples but they are once again defeated and Flazzard, Captain of the Elemental Division, is killed.
Since Crocodine and Hyunckel, who joined the heroes' ranks, know the location of the Ki Gan Joh, Vearn sends Kill-Vearn to move it away; and later personally confronts his remaining generals when Kill-Vearn reveals that Dai is a Dragon Knight and the son of Baran. Pleased by the prospect of having two Dragon Knights in his ranks, Vearn announces that should Baran bring Dai by their side, he would make him his new second-in-command; retrograding Hadlar as a punishment for his repeated failures.
When Baran defects from the Demon Army as well, a displeased Vearn scolds Hadlar, whom he holds responsible for Baran's failure; as he knew that Dai was a Dragon Knight but did not share the information, out of petty interest. He then lists the number of Hadlar failures and warns him that he will not forgive another defeat.
Vearn enters the scene
Vearn is not seen until Hadlar, who turned himself into a Hyper Demon, manages to defeat Dai though without killing him. Extremely pleased by Hadlar's new resolve, Vearn shows himself to him and comforts him in his rank of second-in-command of the Demon Army. He then rewards him with five chess pieces made of Orichalcos, from which he can give birth to five immensely powerful Orichalcos Warriors to replace the fallen Captains, the Shinei Kidan. (Orichalcos Royal Guard.)
As the disciples of Avan are invading the Field of Death, where the Demon Army's real headquarters are located, and busy fighting the Shinei Kidan; Vearn witnesses the battle opposing Hadlar to Dai and Baran who joined forces. When Baran drives Hadlar into a corner, Vearn decides to detonate the Black Core (a bomb which absorbs dark magic until it explodes with the power of an atomic blast) he secretly implanted into Hadlar's body when he first resurrected him, not caring about the fact that Hadlar can no longer resurrect.
As both Hadlar and Baran attempt to suppress the Black Core's explosion, Vearn sends Myst-Vearn to detonate it. Although Baran sacrifices his life to contain it, the subsequent explosion blows up the entire Field of Death and reveals the monumental, flying Vearn Palace, which takes off.
In spite of the grief caused by Baran's death, Avan's disciples resolve to defeat Vearn once and for all. At this moment, the Great Demon King in person appears before them; ordering Myst-Vearn and Kill-Vearn to stand aside while he deals with them alone, out of consideration for their bravery. He then incinerates Baran's corpse with a "Mera" spell, triggering the outrage of Dai, who jumps at him… only to get struck down by a Dark Ki blast.Vearn then proceeds to thoroughly annihilate the entire party, effortlessly repelling their strongest attacks and countering all their attempts. Disgusted by Vearn's social Darwinist-like assertions, Dai stands up and manages to wound him by channelling the Dragon Knights' "Draconic Aura" into his Orichalcos sword. Yet, Vearn heals himself and unveils his own weapon: the Staff of Demonic Light, easily breaking Dai's sword before casting "Calamity Wall" to finish them all off.
As Crocodine and Hyunckel sacrifice themselves to protect the others, they are all saved by Hadlar of all people, who casts them into the ocean, away from the God of Makai. Furious at Vearn for ruining his duel with the Black Core, Hadlar attacks him with the intent to kill and manages to drive him into a corner, as Vearn carelessly exhausted a great deal of his power against the disciples of Avan. However, Hadlar is restrained by Zaboera, Captain of the Sorcerers Division, and only escapes execution thanks to the sacrifice of Block, Rook Warrior of the Shinei Kidan. Vearn dismisses this, knowing that Hadlar has not long left to live, and watches with satisfaction as the divine Mother Dragon is taking Dai away, seemingly to the afterlife. The following days, he proceeds to launch five tower-shaped projectiles on different parts of the world, obliterating everything they land in.
Vearn later warns all the leaders of the world that he is about to execute publicly Hyunckel and Crococodine, expecting the disciples of Avan and their allies to gather there to rescue the former Captains. He has Myst-Vearn and Zaboera hiding a huge regiment of very powerful monsters from Makai on the place of the execution, to ambush and crush his enemies. Backed up by their allies who hold the monsters away, the five disciples of Avan cast "Minakator", (the most powerful anti-Evil spell in existence) vastly amplified by a holy five-pointed star, on the Vearn Palace which they invade.
Invading the Vearn Palace
As the disciples prepare to enter the palace, they get ambushed by Hadlar and the Shinei Kidan, who challenge them for a last battle, which Vearn gladly watches and comments. He later commends Kill-Vearn, who just trapped Dai and his friend Pop inside a blazing inferno. As the other protagonists are dealing with Myst-Vearn and Kill-Vearn, the God of Makai waits for Dai and Princess Leona to reach his throne room, taunting them as they approach.On their way, Leona is captured by the Magic-eating Furnace which moves the Vearn Palace, which was attracted to the powerful artifacts Leona carried; and Goroa, the monster who watches over it. Goroa then attempts to kill Dai himself, under Vearn's disappointed watch, but is no match for the Dragon Knight, who has just awoken the Dragon Crest inherited from his father in addition to his own, and ends up destroying the whole furnace.
Then the Dragon Knight and the Great Demon King finally do battle, and this time Dai's power matches Vearn's, to the point that he gains the advantage and survives both to a spear strike combined with "Kaiser Phoenix" and later to "Calamity Wall", thanks to all the experience he inherited from the previous Dragon Knights. Vearn then plays on his fears of being rejected by humans to talk him to his side, but he refuses. Dai finally casts "Draura", a devastating energy blast that only a Dragon Knight can cast, but Vearn uses his Staff of Demonic Light to shield himself. Then Leona uses a special item to replenish Dai's power and he casts a second "Draura" over the first one to blast Vearn away.
As everything seems over, Vearn reappears. He claims that he cannot be killed and orders Myst-Vearn to return the half-body he protected, fusing back with it and regaining his peak condition.
The Final Battle
|“||Why are you humans willing to throw away everything for a meaningless, momentary victory?||„|
As Dai is hitting him repeatedly with the "Raiden" lightning spell, Vearn releases the sixth and final tower-shaped projectile, destroying the entire area where Dai's remaining allies were standing. It is then revealed that each of these towers, called the Pillars of Vearn, contain a gigantic Black Core, far more destructive that the one infused in Hadlar. Vearn dropped the six pillars to form a worldwide six-pointed star (a powerful Evil-amplifier), in order to magnify the simultaneous explosion of the six Black Cores and obliterate the entire surface of the world, leaving only Makai under the sun.Vearn used the execution to lure the protagonists where he would drop the final pillar, expecting the disciples of Avan to storm his palace. Then, dropping the final pillar would destroy the battlefield below the palace, trapping the disciples inside and obliterating their remaining allies. As such, no one would be able to stop the imminent explosion. As everything seems lost, (Vearn even gets the congratulations of a reluctant Velther) it happens that the protagonists' allies escaped the blast in time. Indeed, the young fortune-teller Merle, who developed a telepathic link with Pop after a near death experience, was able to warn everyone. She uses this link to contact them and rekindle their hope, revealing that the others managed to stop the Black Core by freezing it with a "Hyado" ice spell.
All those who can then teleport to the different pillars to freeze the Cores, but there is little time left and too few people aware of the threat. Just when Vearn is about to detonate the Cores before the time limit, the people trapped in "Iris" spheres become able to levitate and to attack the bewildered God of Makai. Vearn destroys Leona's sphere, which was responsible for it. He then recognizes Dai's pet, the winged slime Gome, as a Tear of God: a divine item able to grant wishes for the pure of heart, which Dai wished alive years prior, who just granted Leona's pleas for help. Infuriated, Vearn crushes Gome in his fist, but before disappearing, he is able to grant Dai's final wish to reach out for every human in the world. This allows the entire population to rush and stop all the Black Cores, in spite of the highly powerful monster set by Vearn to guard the last one.
Impressed, Vearn acknowledges the merit of mankind… Before stating that this is all in vain and that after he kills all the remaining opposition, no one will be able to prevent his next scheme to obliterate the surface. The situation remains gloomy, since despite his injuries the Great Demon King is still too powerful for Dai’s team. Dai then decides to fuse back his two Dragon Crests into one to vastly increase his might, despite his fears that he might no longer be able to control his destructive power. Vearn then traps all the other protagonists within the Heart of Vearn Palace, so as to fight Dai one-on-one… An error he shall soon regret.Dai proceeds as planned and becomes so powerful that Vearn finds himself subjected to throughout, and very much deserved, beating. Fearing for his life, the Great Demon King unleashes the Kigan Oh and transforms one last time, gaining the upper hand once more. As the Vearn Palace, which ascended into space, is collapsing all around them, Vearn overwhelms Dai, going as far as withstanding a point-blank "Draura" without damage, and nearly kills him.
The gods then provide Dai with the Dragon Knights' sword, which he uses to destroy the Kigan Oh's arms, but the eye resists his attack and retaliates with a huge blast of Dark Ki. Dai eventually manages to reach his sword, which was still stuck in Vearn's chest. By pulling his sword downwards, Dai cuts the Kigan Oh in two, winning the battle once and for all. Vearn's corpse explodes, with all his remains burning in the atmosphere as shooting stars; while Dai falls back on Earth when he is rescued by his friends.