|Grand Duke Drago|
|Also known as||
Height: Over 10'0"
Hair: Long, Black
|Powers and Abilities||
- "Such a gorgeous man. Your beauty has earned an introduction. I am Grand Duke Drago. Oh, such murderous intent. Man who calls himself D, even your killing lust is exquisite. At the moment, I’m trembling. It’s so pure, so unalloyed. But something else makes my chest quake. D, D, D-who named you thus? I know. No, I know nothing. Your left hand—something inhabits it, does it not? He said so. Said that you were his only—something. He? Who is he?"
- ―Grand Duke DragoThrong of Heretics|[src]]]
Grand Duke Drago (グランデ公爵ドラゴ) is a pure blood ancient Greater Noble who is in a romantic relationship with Countess Genevieve Vasa. He has lived with his lover for thousands of years ruling over the Southern Frontier Sector. They were visited by the Sacred Ancestor who commanded them to participate in his experiments that would benefit both humans and Noble, the experiments of combining the genes of light and dark. With the experiments concluded after the Sacred Ancestor's leave they slept for 5,000 years. One of their experiments from 5,000 years ago visited a well to do family on the Frontier attacking them, one of which is only known as The Man in the Iron Mask who survives the slaughter of his family. He hires D to hunt Drago who has now awoken along with her in modern times. Makes her appearance in Throng of Heretics.
When he first appears he can be sensed very far away as though it was up close rattling the Xeno Clan. They are able to sense from his aura once they board The legendary Tube Express that his murderous intent was very different and perverse in the hunger to drink Noble blood.....their blood. They are held in place by it frozen. Only a Giant dark figure in the distance can be seen disappearing.
Annette felt like she was having an endless nightmare. The whole world was stained with blood. It was a crimson room. There were four men there. They formed an interesting tableau. A man in black far larger than the others had one Nobleman under each arm—the ones who’d identified themselves as Gorshin and Benelli—and in his teeth he held another. Braylow had both eyes wide open, and his look could no longer be described as nihilistic. Bright blood dripped from where the teeth clamped the left nape of his neck, making gigantic blossoms on his upper body.
An odd sound battered Annette's ears.
Slurp, slurp, slurp.
“No . . .” Annette groaned, her hands long since covering her ears. Yet in them the same sound reverberated.
Slurp, slurp, slurp.
It was a sound she’d already heard. Even after Braylow fell to the floor, the sound continue. The giant had Benelli under his right arm, and after raising him high, he pressed crimson lips to the Noblemarfs neck. In that dark, bearded face.....two eyes burned like coals.
There was a movement down by the giant's feet. Even Annette knew what had happened. The only reason she didn't react appropriately was due to common knowledge. Nobles don’t drink the blood of other Nobles. If drained, a Noble would rise no more. Yet why did it appear that Braylow was going to get to his feet again?
With the jerky motions reminiscent of a marionette controlled by just a single string connected who—knows—where, Braylow was straightening his knees when Benelli's body fell to the floor with a dull thud. His pale face met Annette’s gaze. It was a rictus. Her mind began to flee. For her consciousness, it was but a moment.
When she opened her eyes, she was lying on a bed. It wasn’t the room she had been in. Even the pampered Annette had never seen a bedroom this luxurious. Everything was made of gold and lavishly set with jewels, yet it didn’t seem the slightest bit gauche, undoubtedly the work of a genius with sensibilities as fine as cut crystal.
However, even though the room had changed, her terror had not. The figure towering before the bed hid his face with the collar of his cape and a scarf, but from the darkness eyes ablaze with red looked down at Annette.
"You can speak, can you?" said a voice every bit as manly and exquisite as that of the Vampire Hunter in black. Moreover the atmosphere that billowed from the giant was different from that of the youthful Hunter, heavy with stagnant death and the stink of blood. And yet somehow it seemed pure compared to the other Nobility. While she’d witnessed his terrible feeding on the other three Noblemen, Annette felt that her terror wasn't connected to her own death. “You are riding in a moving castle of my creation. As you boarded without permission, I am free to deal with you as I wish. As I did with those three pups.”
“P-pups? Those Nobles.....” To Annette, Braylow and the others were Nobles and rightly the object of fear. One glare from them was enough to make her blood run cold. Yet this giant nonchalantly dismissed them as pups. The gruesome sight of him drinking their blood had been proof of that. Annette felt like no more than an insect led out before a wild beast. And then his form appeared to waver for an instant before he stepped out the bedroom door.
The grand duke’s enormous frame quaked for an instant, but it was unclear whether D caught that or not. The giant spoke without once pausing for breath, and it took several seconds for him to finish. However, it was clear he was in a confused state. What was it that startled this ancient fiend risen from the far reaches of time, and how would D counter him? D’s right hand went for the longsword on his back. Both the grand duke’s hands sank beneath his cape. For these two, was battle a dirge for the dead? Eyes on both sides held a crimson glow. D’s eyes. The grand duke's eyes. The dead sang. The prelude to the final battle of Armageddon. Though they hardly seemed to be more than walking, the time it took the adversaries to meet spoke volumes about the unholy speed with which they’d closed.
A golden wind mowed through the hunter’s chest. It was D that spouted bright blood. There was a gleam from the grand duke’s right hand. In it he gripped a strange blade. Looking to be three times as wide as an ordinary sword, his blade had beads of blood from just slicing open D, while its grip was studded with jewels as if in disregard for the comfort of holding it. “Behold,” the grand duke said to him, raising his blade before his face and turning the flat of it toward D. ts steely surface seemed to become a mirror, and something came into view in it. The faces of innumerable humans. There were men and women. There were the old, the hale, and the young. And each and every one of them had a chalk—white face etched with boundless hatred as they stared at D. The cries of the stunned amnesiac harmonized with some strange voices. Voices of hate. Voices choked from the faces that appeared on the blade. A most mournful expression skimmed across the grand duke’s face. The sword drank blood? And D was bleeding? While it was unclear just how much blood he'd suddenly lost, the young man in black dropped to one knee right where he was. Fresh blood streamed down his face and hands, dripping from them. As the grand duke watched that impassively, a look flitted across his face as if he’d suddenly remembered something, and a split second later it became a startled expression.
The Greater Noble's blade was only six feet away. The grand duke was winding up for a swing when he checked himself. A certain voice had reverberated against his eardrums. A woman's singing. That shouldn't have been enough to halt the giant's attack just when he was focused for such a fateful moment. However, through his eardrums the singing voice resounded not in his brain but somewhere else. In his soul. It was a song bemoaning death. A requiem for the dead. However, death was far from the singer. A song from the mouth of one who didn't know death, to let all know of the endless grief for the dead―who would make such a song, and who could sing it?
"Genevieve", the grand duke murmured as if in fear. A woman in a black dress stood just a little behind where the grand duke had first appeared. A scarf the same hue as her dress hid the lower half of her face, which was set with eyes as blue as lapis lazuli and swimming in sadness. The white flowers she clutched to her chest were undoubtedly funeral offerings. Though the two of them were battling to the death right before her, the woman didn't seem to pay them any attention at all as she started forward. Was this really the interior of the train? In a vortex of egregious will to kill, the requiem flowed out plaintively, while the petals of the flowers she carried trembled in an almost imperceptible breeze. Perhaps even the dead would lend an ear.
The woman walked right past the grand duke and began leaving flowers on the grave. Setting aside the old blooms, she placed several new ones there. No doubt she'd been doing this for a very long time. The grand duke gazed at Blue Blood. The hateful visages were fading away. He returned it to the depths of his cape.
"I have lost the urge to fight―we shall settle this next time, D."
And turning his gigantic back, he walked away, vanishing in no time.
- "Where are we? Just as I thought, when he bestowed it on me, I refused to accept it. I told him quite plainly I needed no thanks. Yet he all but forced it on me before taking his leave. He? Who is he? I no longer recall. Nor do I remember what I did here!"
- ―Grand Duke DragoThrong of Heretics|[src]]]
The Grand Duke is a physical and mental powerhouse. Like he is physically able to sustain and endure well beyond most Greater Nobles he also does so mentally. Like many others who have participated in the Sacred Ancestor's experiments the brutality of it has left a lasting life changing affect on him. His mind's defenses are first to try to remove memory of it. This leaves him unstable though. Once he remembers, he is able to recall how much he empathizes and cares for humans and Nobles. The noble reasoning which is to help both doomed species have at least some survive the inevitable end that has been calculated. For many Nobles they do not truly care about the outcome, they are more interested in the glory of their own success of getting results where ever the one they hold high could not.
- "The great one said so, too. There may very well be Nobles who would doubt that. I readily pledged my support. Although I never dreamt it would stretch over so many long, cruel years, I'm fine with that. Someday the great one's ideal will be realized. The humans subjected to these experiments were glorious stepping stones, I thought. "
- ―Grand Duke DragoThrong of Heretics|[src]]]
The brutality they inflict, and the suffering they cause don't mean anything to them so they are not damaged by the violence of it. Drago is not like them, every cut, every plea, every drop of blood spilled, burns into his mind. Caring and enduring every act of violence and suffering is many times harder. This is seen in how he remembers the names of those sacrificed, as he seems to be the one who carved them on the gravestones set aside for that purpose. He did consider destroying himself but Genevieve sustains and fortified his purpose and drive like she has done for so many others. This gave him a renewed strength to endure seeing it to its conclusion on blind faith alone.
His self shame and near nihilistic thoughts seems to extend to his ability to drink the blood of his own kind turning them like Nobles usually do humans. It also speaks to his titanic physicality which is so far in another league it allows him to do this to lesser Greater Nobility.
- "The Xeno Clan I am familiar with. As I am with the name of the grand duke's poor excuse for an heir. What business do you have with the girl? Your request is denied. You would do well to remember your station, stripling."
- ―Grand Duke DragoThrong of Heretics|[src]]]
He is an extremely caring person able to empathize how others are feeling and see through their eyes and feel what they feel not just humans but Nobles as well. This extends to how he fights and gives him the ability to anticipate their actions with ease. He like most Nobles is a proud Noble warrior. He burns for combat and is easily excited by a worthy foe challenging him. This is especially so since most Nobles are no more than pups to him now after 10,000 years.
He seems to have a long lasting love for Genevieve. His breath is taken away every time she makes her appearance and any thoughts of her. She has become the strongest sustaining force in his life. They share the same interests and the same skill set working hand in hand on everything they do. From constructing the Iron Castle, to life changing decision making, to experimenting to find a success the last hope for all life as they know it. How Genevieve's husband fits into all this seems to have become a dark secret for both. It is clear though their bond and the time they spend together working on their shared projects dwarf that relationship. She is the more preferential thought on his mind and the last thing he thinks of even in death.
He like the Countess has a long lasting shame from his actions especially with the experiments, but unlike her much more bright and positive approach he has an equal negative use of this powerful shame. This is why Blue Blood is the perfect weapon for him as seen by the Sacred Ancestor. The shame he feels is channeled into using the hatred he has caused as a weapon and also as a means to vent this shame possibly. It is his way of giving reverence to those souls' sacrifice and hatred.
- "Genevieve.......now I will finally be released....."
- ―Grand Duke DragoThrong of Heretics|[src]]]
- "After five thousand years of this, however, I realized every time I performed an operation I injured myself, I immediately knew the cause. When it dawned on me that I empathized with humans, I considered destroying myself. It was Genevieve who stopped me. She told me that if I were to die then, no one would be saved. And so we began again. Believing in tomorrow. Even if it was a tomorrow that might never come."
- ―Grand Duke DragoThrong of Heretics|[src]]]
The Grand Duke is an ancient Greater Noble from over 10,000 years ago he was living which would mean most likely before humanity's fall when the nukes destroyed their civilization. At this time the Nobles were still in hiding and the strongest and smartest of Greater Nobles who were leaders resided in the Crystal Palace. Its unknown if this is the case. Although Duke Gilzen and his followers like Valen made clear they were from there. Drago's followers, the Black Mask Special Guards, never seemed to speak and Countess Genevieve may also have just refrained from speaking the language, since it is a well kept secret. A secret Gilzen or his followers may not have cared to keep.
At some point before the experiments the Countess met and married a Noble named Count Crodon Vasa. How this came to be or where the Greater Noble is or if he is even still alive is not mentioned. At some point she also met Grand Duke Drago. It would seem after her husband but again is unknown. The two appeared to have become very close as well and lovers. Was this before or after she was married it began is unclear but since it is such a dark secret for her it seems this happened after. The reason she stays married to the Noble is not clear.
Some time after this the Sacred Ancestor approached them and commanded them to help perform the experiments of combining the genes of light and darkness for the betterment of humans and Nobles who they have determined will not survive unless there is a success with these operations.
The grand duke agonized over it for 70 long years according to him before he accepted. She seems to have accepted to do it all along though. They conducted these experiments that were particularly brutal over 5,000 years with no success. They did hear there was one but it wasn't one of theirs. Many of these test subjects died over the years, while many others didn't quite die. The humans made living dead souls were sealed and enchanted into a weapon made by the Sacred Ancestor called Blue Blood. Others were locked down stairs that lived but still weren't considered a success. Others that died were given graves which both the Duke and Countess agonized over. The countess began leaving flowers at some point making a ceremony out of it where she sings to the dead to ease their pain and hatred leaving fresh flowers everyday.
When the experiment ended the two slept for 5,000 years.
One of their experiments from 5,000 years ago paid a visit to a rich family on the Frontier. One of the family members was the father now known as The Man in the Iron Mask who gives this account:
“One million dalas, as agreed.”
The bag set on the table shifted slightly. Due to the gold coins that filled it, it looked as soft and lumpy as clay. The owner of that bag sat in a wheelchair ﬂanked by bodyguards, one of whom swallowed hard and said, “That’s a hell of a payday. For that much, you could run a whole town on the Frontier for a hundred years.”
“On the other hand, make a mistake and that million dalas won't be worth dirt to you, ” the man in the wheelchair said in a horrible monotone that made the guard wince. “Even someone as famous across the Frontier as D can ’t take on Grand Duke Drago and expect to come away unscathed.”
“I know that name, " D replied.
The secretary who sat at a desk a good distance away punching their conversation into a typewriter pressed her hand to her chest and slumped over the machine. Her expression had dissolved in rapture—for she ’d heard D’s voice.
“But I‘d heard he’d died in the distant past,” the Hunter continued.
"A little over five thousand years ago, or so they say, ” the man—his em— ployer—concurred with a nod.
Though he is described here as a man, that could be determined by his voice alone. The head that emerged from his gorgeously embroidered robe was fully contained by an iron mask. Not only that, but the hands that poked from his sleeves were also sheathed in gleaming silver gauntlets all the way down to the tips of his fingers. From the tremble in his voice, it was clear that his monotone was actually due to restraining the fierce emotion from his voice.
“Indeed, he was destroyed. But what he built still lives somewhere out on the Frontier. The legendary Tube Express, for example. It seems this enormous train, like some sort of huge hotel or perhaps a factory of sorts, races through
transparent tubes at nearly the speed of sound. As to why he would construct such a thing, whether purely for sightseeing or for some other purpose—even now views vary, and any conclusions are fog-bound. One theory has it that it was built for conducting outrageous experiments, but that remains unclear.”
“What’s gone won’t be coming back,” D said. It was a tone that could permeate rock. “Why dig it up again? ”
“A dozen days ago, I gave a traveler lodging at my home. That was the first mistake. At first blush he looked to be a timid man, but at night his true nature suddenly became apparent and he killed my entire family. I asked him then who he was, and he told me he was a human who’d been trans- formed by Grand Duke Drago. Five thousand years ago he was abducted by the grand duke and used as a guinea pig in certain experiments. As a result, he said his veins flowed with the blood of a Noble who by day might walk in the light of the sun without harm. And when he called on our house, it had been by the sunlit hours of day. Oh, if only I had noticed then. His face was fine as any peach blossom, his eyes calm. His neck was fully exposed and free of fang marks. But that doesn't absolve me of sin. My children were against letting him stay with us. No doubt a childish instinct or something let them see through him. I'd scolded my children, told them our family had a tradition of showing compassion to strangers, and invited him in. Compassion? Tradition? What had I done?
“He said he wouldn't make me one of them. Told me to put my family to rest. And as he left, he added something. That the Grand Duke Drago who’d made him what he was had sped about the Frontier in a train that resembled a huge castle. Though the train and the tube around it have vanished be- neath the sands, they neither rust nor decay. Even now it lies quietly beneath the sand, awaiting the hour of its resurrection. Naturally, its master Grand Duke Drago too is merely in a long slumber, awaiting his own hour of resur- reaction in a coffin secured somewhere in the train.
“My mission in life is set. D, find where that train rests out on the Frontier and drive a wooden stake through Grand Duke Drago's heart as he slumbers there. And once the grand duke's been destroyed, drive another one right through the center of his ashes. In all eternity I can never make up for my sin, but once you’ve done this the souls of my three children, my wife, my
parents, and a score of our servants will be able to take their place with God at last.” The man in the iron mask trembled violently from head to foot. It was a mad spasm of grief and anger. There could be no doubt it would become lunacy in a matter of seconds.
A black-gloved hand grabbed the bag
“You’ll take the job, then?” the employer's other guard said, the words escaping in a tone of relief.
“I'll contact you periodically, D told him, and then he turned his back to the man.
“I'll, go too ” his employer said, his voice following the Hunter. "I'll go, with you. Let me drive a stake through Grand Duke Drago’s heart. Please, take me with you."
D slipped out the door.
The voice continued to howl madly. “Vengeance for my children. Vengeance for my parents and my wife. Rip the grand duke's heart out and let me drink its gushing blood. ”
Was the iron armor intended to deny his employer his freedom? Beneath that mask, did he gnash the fangs of a Noble?
The grand duke makes his appearance when he is seen riding in his Legendary Tube Express by the Xeno clan. Curious about him and vaguely remembering him, they are drawn to board the train when they see an opportunity. Approaching the train they are hit with his aura which terrifies them. This terror only further motivates them. As Gorshin, Bernelli, and Braylow get on they are hit again by his aura and the perverse hunger it communicates to them his desire for Noble blood. They are stalked kind of like Nobles usually do to humans only this time the way Nobles react to it is very different. They all try to ready their weapons but are easily knocked out and carried away by the duke bare handed.
Annette who had been with them is also taken. Before she can get a baring on where she is she hears the grand duke feeding on the Xeno clan. Even she who is not at all knowledgeable of Noble culture knows this is unheard of for a Noble to feed on other Nobles and is horrified. She is some how put to sleep either by the terror of it overwhelming her or the Duke. Just as she is, she witnesses the Xeno clan beginning to rise having been turned with the Greater Kiss of Nobility.
She wakes up later where the duke has a conversation with her telling her of his intent with her to continue his experiments. He also tells of the past of his experiments. They are interrupted when the Duke feels D's approach. This puts Annette at ease shattering her fear. The duke is also put at ease by her reaction as he genuinely wants her to be at as much ease as possible until he begins operating on her.
He puts Genevieve in charge of being a guardian to Annette, until he can deal with D at least.
Later when D arrives he is floored by his appearance not only just because of how eye catching but his semblance of the Sacred Ancestor. This triggers the trauma done to his mind from the experiments and memory of it is discarded by his defenses. D recognizes this and is also caught by surprise seeing the human graves and the care put into them that seems to be a collective effort by the Nobles.
The two face off with the grand duke's arm being cut off but D also takes damage. Just as D starts to exert his dominance in the fight the duke draws Blue Blood. Its ability to draw blood and feed on it from his opponent catches D off guard. Every pore from D is left dripping of blood where a significant amount has been drained by Blue Blood.
The Noble explains this ability showing D the countless souls imbued with in the blade that power it. Their hateful faces screaming and cursing D. The Duke starts winding up for the killing stroke when he feels Countess Genevieve Vasa's approach. Her singing, mystical aura, and dazzling appearance instantly takes his breathe away along with eases the pain and dispels the hate and killing lust of Blue Blood, D, and the grand duke with ease along with replacing the flowers at each grave with fresh ones as she does.
The duke leaves saying he no longer has the will to fight and they will have to settle this later.
The Xeno clan now having been made servants of the Duke come to him later on after an encounter with D. They tell him of his power and how they have taken his left hand for the duke to examine. They also tell of how they can't heal from the wounds they sustained saying the hunter had cut through the very fountain of life. The Duke is also impressed but is aware of this ability having already healed himself from the very same with ease.
He tells them to come to him where they are again terrified resisting this order which angers him momentarily. He roughly handles them biting them. They are instantly changed given more power and the ability to now heal from their wounds, and no longer have the usual vampire weaknesses.
After this he now turns his attention to Annette. He begins his operation on her looking to cut into her with his scalpel, but he is begged to stop by Genevieve. She begins physically fighting him laying blows into him that toss him left and right with monstrous strength. She tells Annette to go now and escape. Begrudgingly she does where she runs into Pikk. As they make their way out they are nearly captured by the duke but Left Hand topples the Noble unexpectedly giving them the last bit of time to escape to another car on the train.
Apparently Left hand had been examined by the duke and run through with a blade. He played dead long enough then slipped into his pocket. Jumping out he topples the Duke and then makes his escape with Pikk and Annette after.
At the peak of the story the Grand Duke is challenged by his failed experiment who seeks his revenge after Annette is returned to him and he begins to operate on her. After a lengthy battle the duke's dominance of the battle is interrupted by Gillian who makes his appearance known along with Quake Resden. Gillian explains his intent on taking Annette and later control of the train and replacing him as it's master. The battle begins where the Duke's overwhelming skill and strength is too much for Gillian but he counters this with having Quake Resden provide support with his ultra-intense vibrations blasting the giant. He is also hit by the failed experiment Pomerolo. The duke draws Blue Blood and attacks Gillian draining his blood when the blade is parried. Gillian has Quake hit him with his power while he uses mimic to learn the ability of the blade and uses its power against the giant.
The Duke continues the fight enduring his own power being used against him covered in blood, using his strength to overwhelm Giliian asserting his dominance and nearing to do a killing stroke. But he is thrown again off balance by Quake's power just enough for Giillian to get a stab in from his blade using the abilities he gained from Blue Blood to kill the duke by passing his defenses to being killed by a normal blade.
The giant gives a last thought to Genevieve. Saying her name and that now he will finally be released becoming a mound of ash afterward.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Success Powers- He exhibits power on this level in all stats. He physically exceeds D in regeneration, showing to recover from wounds faster and is not affected as much by poison, showing to be immune. D matches him in strength, speed and everything else but exceeds the duke in power as seen when Gillian is unable to copy D's abilities due to his power being way too much for him but is easily able to take the abilities of the Duke and Blue Blood.
Daywalking- He can easily walk in the daylight with out any affect to him at all.
Greater Kiss of Nobility- The grand duke has the ability to not only feed on Nobles but also turn them like humans or any other species. He can make him his servants imbuing them with his power including various states. He can further enhance their power afterward making them immune to the Fountain of Life being severed and most other vampire weaknesses. Anyone in this state can daywalk as well.
- "''Records say this train carried its own special guards. No telling how many there might be in total, though. Might be as many as ten thousand. Might be a million. Records say he was a pro at manipulating pocket dimensions. No doubt that’s the reason we couldn't find him during the day.''"
- ―Left HandThrong of Heretics|[src]]]
- "Do you understand, D? Do you see the faces on the sword, hear the screams of those he sacrificed in his experiments? They curse their fate, and curse the God that granted it. Though they have died, they cannot pass into the land of the dead. Because they were not given a peaceful death. But it is not God who has taxed them so. Not the fragile God in which the humans place their faith. He did it. Ah, they should curse him for all eternity. I saw his experiments with my own eyes!"
- ―Grand Duke DragoThrong of Heretics|[src]]]