- "Tell the Shogun that I, Leraje, Hoch des Rot, am waiting for him and that I'll devour his heart and bring his head to my master. All of you will fall before us like your pitiful homeland did!"
- —Leraje Thanadar
Count Leraje Thanadar was a Dreadlord serving under Duke Malphas d'Xuvadon of the Northern Horde. Although he bears the surname of Distreyd Thanadars, he is not related to them. He is the younger brother of Ronove Thanadar and was responsible for giving him amnesia and betraying him in the Night of Blood. Leraje led the army of the Northern Horde until the Battle of Vanna when he lost the title of Dreadlord to Ronove.
A Violent LifeEdit
Leraje lived as an ordinary, bloodthirsty demon in the Demon Realm. He and his brother Ronove Thanadar quickly became known as brutally efficient demons who few dared to mess with. Despite the duo's growing fame, Leraje always felt he always had to contend with Ronove's shadow. He silently promised himself that one day he would surpass his brother in strength. Ronove, who loved and cared for his brother, was oblivious to Leraje's ambitious ideas.
During one night Leraje met Malphas d'Xuvadon, a powerful demon who shared his ideas of destruction and power. The two instantly got along, and Leraje joined Malphas's close circle of lieutenants. Both of them grew stronger over the years, and when the time for the demon invasion of Yamato began, Leraje had become one of Malphas's most trusted officers. He led a charge to Yamato after the Cataclysm and destroyed everything that stood in his way. Occasionally he would team up with Ronove who by that time was working under Omaroch d'Zarnagon. Leraje often taunted his brother's actions and melodramatic speeches but Ronove only thought that Leraje was jesting.
It was around this time that he got to meet several new followers of Malphas such as Distreyd Thanadar XIII, Flavius Severus and Nobuo Iwasaki. There was something about Nobuo that intrigued Leraje, so he chose him as his aide. Maybe Nobuo's drunkenness amused Leraje, or maybe he saw potential in the man: he never told anyone why he had decided to choose that particular Yamatian man. Nobuo, albeit drunk, turned out to be a useful strategist and commander and quickly became Leraje's right-hand man.
Night of BloodEdit
- "Didn't see that one coming, eh? Did you really think that I'd pass up an opportunity like this to increase my power? Too long have I lived under your shadow, but it ends tonight. I'll surpass you and become a legend myself! I'm sorry it has to end this way, though... Nah, just kidding! You're fucked. Have an awful death, brother!"
- —Leraje to Ronove Thanadar
Leraje helped Malphas carve a duchy to Northern Yamato over the years. Once the Northern Horde had gained a proper foothold, Malphas ordered his lieutenants to duel for the honour of becoming his second-in-command. In the end Leraje, who had learned many tricks from Ronove, was victorious and was given the title of Dreadlord. Despite his successes, however, Leraje still felt empty inside. While he had grown stronger over the years, so had Ronove, and that was unacceptable.
When Omaroch turned out to have betrayed the demons by siding with humans and being responsible for the birth of the Godslayer which had devoured the demon god Mardük during the Cataclysm, things began to unravel slowly but surely. Malphas contacted Leraje and told him that while Omaroch's Central Horde was in disarray due to the betrayal, it would be an optimal time to strike and assimilate the horde into the Northern Horde while it was still recovering. However, Ronove was a powerful Dreadlord and Omaroch's supporter so he had to be dealt with first before he could assume Omaroch's title.
The four rival hordes came to an agreement and decided to work together just this once in order to defeat a more powerful enemy, the Central Horde, which they couldn't beat without a joint attack. At night, when Leraje had officially become the Dreadlord of the Northern Horde, the Dreadlords and their elite minions, including Iblis al-Djinn, ambushed Ronove who was relaxing on a remote seaside cliff near Kageshima. Leraje was more than happy to betray his brother because it meant he would finally prove himself stronger than his big brother whose superiority had always bugged him.
Leraje, due to his close familial connection to Ronove, was chosen to meet Ronove first. He managed to lower Ronove's guard enough so that the other Dreadlords could ambush him. Despite being outnumbered, however, Ronove proved to be a capable warrior and injured many Dreadlords. He wasn't counting on his little brother betraying him, though, and that proved to be his undoing. Leraje violently slashed Ronove's face open, and the shock of his brother's betrayal made Ronove fall off the cliff to a seemingly certain death. This event would be known as the Night of Blood.
Fighting for PowerEdit
Ronove's apparent death made the remnants of the Central Horde fall in chaos, and the horde was easy pickings for the other four hordes which assimilated the survivors into their respective armies. Leraje devoured hundreds of enemies, gaining their strength. He had succeeded in his goals and surpassed his brother but something was missing in his life. He realized he needed more blood, more battles, more violence in general.
With his long-time rival gone, Leraje turned his attention to new challenging foes such as Shogun Hiroshi Takamoto and the Akai Tora who were waging a guerrilla war against his forces. Malphas ordered Leraje to deal with the pesky Akai Tora, and the Dreadlord personally enjoyed slaughtering many Yamatian freedom fighters. Despite his resourcefulness Leraje never managed to completely wipe out the crafty Shogun's forces and thus he was forced to not only fend off Akai Tora raids but also deal with expanding the Northern Horde's territories and fighting against other hordes for power. Matters remained thus for years.
The Age of EmptinessEdit
- "Look closely at your superior who dared to challenge me! His corpse will stay here to remind everyone that this domain belongs to the Lord of the North!"
- —Leraje to the Akai Tora
Leraje was travelling with four bodyguards in Northern Yamato in 1016 AE when he was ambushed by assassins sent by the Akai Tora. The assassins led by Captain Byakuya Kimura defeated the bodyguards after a brutal battle, but Leraje appeared unharmed and mocked their efforts. He ordered the assassins to surrender but they refused and attacked the Dreadlord.
Leraje bested Kimura's men easily and explained that he had let information leak to the camp of the Akai Tora on purpose so that they would send their best men to kill him. He had thus succeeded in luring the best assassins into a trap, and he finished them all off except for one soldier that he let go. He bragged that the Akai Tora would be wiped out soon.
On Death's TrailEdit
- "Don't overestimate the rebels' skills, slave; they're only pitiful fools who struggle against the inevitable. We'll crush them as easily as ants!"
- —Leraje to Nobuo Iwasaki
Nobuo Iwasaki appeared in Leraje's tent to inform him that a large regiment of the Akai Tora led by Samachi Nomura had been sighted near the Libaterran border. Leraje ordered Nobuo to take a group of skilled demons and human slaves to wipe out the Akai Tora, but Nobuo warned his master that his old friend Samachi was a cunning warrior and should not be underestimated. This angered Leraje who said that all "lesser beings" were inferior to demons and that Samachi and the Akai Tora would soon meet their end which they had evaded for too long. Nobuo left the tent, and Leraje continued having fun with a human slave whom he ate.
The Winds of WrathEdit
- "Once Vanna falls, the path to the mainland will have no formidable defence left, and a full-scale invasion of Libaterra can finally begin!"
- —Leraje to Nobuo Iwasaki
Malphas ordered Leraje to begin the invasion of Libaterra. Although he didn't know all of the reasons behind his master's decisions, Leraje was eager to leave the bloody rice fields of Yamato behind and fight against a large army of truly ferocious foes who he saw as a worthy challenge.
He led the army of the Northern Horde to the Tronin Desert in Southern Libaterra. His men quickly took over many of the southern Sarquil towns along the way. Their greatest victory so far came with capturing the town of Kilm where they managed to take Sheikh Miraj al-Zarar captive for questioning as well as secure the Sarquil weapon production for the horde's use.
Now that he had secured the southern desert, Leraje moved his attention to a greater target: Vanna, the heart of the Sultanate of Karaganda. If he could take over the seemingly impenetrable city, the horde would become the undisputed ruler of the desert and could use the city as its base of operations from which to carry on the campaign to conquer the rest of Libaterra. Leraje ordered Distreyd, Flavius and Nobuo to begin preparations for a full-scale siege.
- "You've made your decision, boy, and now you'll have to reap what you sow!"
- —Leraje to Khalid al-Saif
Leraje appeared with his army on the outskirts of Vanna and demanded Vanna's total surrender. Sultan Khalid al-Saif was less than willing to do that even when Leraje revealed that he would execute the prisoners he'd gathered from Kilm if Khalid did not comply. When Khalid remained stubborn, Leraje stabbed Miraj and was about to kill the Sheikh until Ismail, captain of Vanna's guards, boldly challenged Leraje to a duel. Leraje was amused by the man's defiance and accepted Ismail's challenge. He would break Ismail in front of the Sarquil and thus lower Vanna's morale in the process.
The duel took place later that day, and Leraje toyed with Ismail at first. His arrogance almost turned out to be his undoing when Ismail tricked him into attacking and slashed at his throat. The stunned Leraje fell down, seemingly defeated by his foe's cunning strategy. However, Ismail was distracted by a person he recognized as a potential traitor, and this gave Leraje enough time to stand up and cut Ismail down while mocking the defenders of Vanna for their foolishness. However, at the same time a few warriors from Vanna used the duel to their advantage and managed to liberate some of the captives from the demons with help from the Sirithai.
The wounded Leraje returned to his army, pondering why he couldn't regenerate as quickly as before. He didn't know yet that Khasra III had sealed off the demons' regenerative abilities during the Second Battle of Vulpengaard Keep. Leraje had to leave his subordinates in charge of the horde for the time being while he would spend time healing the more severe wounds which Ismail had inflicted on him. He was pleased to see that his army tested Vanna's resolve, and he took it for granted that Vanna would fall in a matter of days or less.
However, Leraje had underestimated his enemies. The defenders of Vanna had aid from the heroes of the Grand Alliance, the Blades of Lysse, the Akai Tora and the Forgotten, who managed to defeat the Dominator, a demon colossus bred specifically for breaking into heavily protected cities, as well as the entire second legion. Marcus Sarillius used a powerful demon-repelling blade, Dusk, to spread chaos in the horde's ranks. This setback merely angered Leraje, however, and he gathered the entire horde for the final push. He was done playing with his quarry: it was time to fight seriously and put an end to the siege once and for all. He also wished to strike down Marcus who had humiliated his horde.
- "Your vision is blurring in my grip, Sarillius, and you'll be covered in gore just like this pathetic world of yours will be in the end. You see, there are weak men and strong men in this world. The strong men take everything and the weak men die. That's how the world was designed and how it'll always be!"
- —Leraje to Marcus Sarillius
Leraje had healed himself enough and personally led the charge into the city. By the time he and the first legion had entered Vanna, they realized they had been purposefully led in so that they could be trapped within and separated from the main army. Leraje only laughed at this idea, however, because he was a greater demon and thought he could easily defeat Vanna by himself if he had to. His wounds hadn't fully healed, though, so he couldn't quite use his full powers yet. This didn't stop him from tracking down Marcus's scent.
Meanwhile the heroes managed to defeat the demons' powerful siege engine, the Helepolis, with help from Azriel al-Zarar and an earth elemental. Likewise Nesa Mikoto's mages succeeded in burning advancing demon flyers to a crisp with powerful spells. Leraje was ambushed by forces which had deliberate led him to Marcus. Despite these surprises Leraje remained confident that he would beat everyone and subdue the city before nightfall. As Leraje had assumed, the horde managed to break into the city from all fronts due to the defenders getting tired and losing men.
He ended up dueling Refan d'Zarnagon, a half-demon who resembled Omaroch a great deal. Leraje proved to be far more powerful than Refan who used demonic powers in the fight. Their battle was interrupted by a familiar face from the past which shocked Leraje: Ronove was alive and well and was now in front of him. The uneasy feeling which Leraje had had during his duel with Ismail finally made sense. He had sensed his brother's presence.
However, he quickly noticed that Ronove wasn't himself: apparently the fall during the Night of Blood had somehow erased Ronove's memories and skills. Leraje lamented the fact that he couldn't fight against a fully powered Ronove and had to contend with defeating a weakling. He easily knocked Ronove unconscious and decided to finish him off once he had killed the half-demon Refan.
Marcus, Khasra III and various other warriors tried to stop the Dreadlord and aid Refan but in vain; Leraje either knocked them out or skewered them while gleefully lecturing them about the difference in power and how the weak are fated to die on the battlefield. Leraje even grabbed Dusk from Marcus and began using it to destroy anyone who stood in his way.
Despite Refan's struggle, the Dreadlord was leagues ahead of him in power and subdued him. Before Leraje could decapitate the half-demon with Dusk, however, Ronove entered the fray once again, this time with far more precise attacks than before. Leraje slowly realized that Ronove had somehow regained his memories after having been knocked out, and the Dreadlord was pleased that he could finally defeat his brother with full strength.
Ronove, however, kept mocking Leraje and told him that Leraje was still a weakling who was nothing without his big brother. This tactic worked as intended because Leraje got furious and released all his powers in order to finally show Ronove that he had grown stronger than him.
The duel ended quickly but not in the way that Leraje had intended. Despite years of training and devouring countless people, he was still no match for Ronove who defeated him without using his full powers. As Leraje fell down and lost consciousness, he ceased to be the Dreadlord of the Northern Horde; Ronove as a victor claimed the title as per customs of the horde.
After the Battle of Vanna had ended in the Alliance's and Sarquil's defeat, Leraje's body was carried back to the horde's camp. Whether Leraje survived the duel or not remains unknown but he had suffered a humiliating defeat nevertheless even though the Northern Horde itself had been victorious in the end.
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- Count Leraje
- Used by Leraje's subordinates.
Leraje looks like a young man with green-ish hair, and his face bears a complex tattoo. He wears the red armor of the Northern Horde and looks quite fancy with his jewellery. Few have seen his true, demonic form, because he prefers staying in his human form.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Leraje is cruel and loves to see people suffer. He is willing to slaughter even his own allies by the dozens to reach his goals. He loves battle above anything else and thus he usually remains in his human form to make fights more challenging.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- "One shouldn't underestimate the power of higher-level demons. You might be able to fool the grunts, but I assure you that the Hoch des Rot and Dreadlord Leraje are in a different league as far as power and detection skills are concerned. If you face them in combat, you will die."
- —Omaroch d'Zarnagon to Steve about Leraje
Leraje is quite powerful and very fast. He often feigns weakness so that he can catch his opponents off guard. His nails can grow in an instant, and he uses them to impale his unsuspecting opponents. Only other high-level demons can match him power-wise. He does not possess any magical ability and only relies on his demonic reflexes, strength and instincts.
Distreyd Thanadar XIIIEdit
Despite having similar surnames, Leraje and Distreyd XIII are not related. The Thanadar line actually took the surname from Leraje's clan, and Leraje could not be arsed to complain about it because he was still in the Demon Realm at that time. Leraje likes bossing Distreyd around, though, because he feels that Distreyd is incompetent as a servant of Mardük and because Distreyd is only a mere human, in other words a lesser being when compared to a full demon like Leraje. Distreyd does not like Leraje's pompous attitude, but he tolerates it because he does not want to lose his head to that bloodthirsty demon.
Leraje is Flavius's superior. Although the Dreadlord respects Flavius's intellect and success in battles, Flavius sees Leraje as nothing more than a beast who he is forced to tolerate for the time being. Flavius is willing to use every opportunity that Leraje gives him to test new siege weapons, and this is likely the only reason why Flavius still bothers hanging around Leraje.
Some almost consider the relationship between Malphas and Leraje as a relationship between brothers or even one between father and son. Whatever the case may be, Malphas sees many traits of himself in Leraje and is pleased by the relatively young demon's progress. The two trust each other, maybe because they have a similar nature, and oddly enough Leraje has never dreamed of usurping Malphas's position. Maybe it is because Malphas is so much powerful, or perhaps there is some respect involved too. Malphas does not grant any special privileges to Leraje and expects him to do his duties well enough or face punishment. Currently Malphas is trusting Leraje enough to give him full command of the armies of the Northern Horde, and Leraje is all too eager to please his master and conquer Libaterra as proof of his worthiness.
Nobuo despises Leraje with all his heart. He sees the Dreadlord as a cruel and arrogant being who has arrived at Yamato uninvited. Still, Nobuo has learned to coexist with his cruel master who constantly keeps taunting him. Nobuo still cannot be sure why Leraje tolerates him and why he was chosen to be the Dreadlord's right-hand man when there could have been more capable officers. One of Nobuo's theories is that his drunkenness makes him speak things straight and that Leraje might appreciate such honesty.
Despite being brothers, Leraje always envied Ronove who was better at everything. This jealousy turned into malice over the years when they fought together, and it eventually made Leraje betray Ronove in the Night of Blood, thus inadvertently giving Ronove amnesia. Leraje's greatest wish is to defeat Ronove in a fair fight and thus prove that he has finally surpassed his brother in every way. Ronove, on the other hand, trusted Leraje until the night of betrayal, which shattered whatever love he had felt for Leraje.