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Band of the Hawk is a mercenary group founded by the "White Hawk" Griffith.

For the evil Band of The Hawk, go here.

History

The Band of the Falcon is originally a very meager gathering of ragtag bandits all drawn to the charismatic, military genius Griffith. Its first principal members include the former coal miner Pippin, a gifted circus performer-turned-soldier Judeau, the former thieves gang leader Corkus, and later, a village girl named Casca.

During their defense of a fortress (which they lost), the band witnesses the defeat of Bazuso by a young but formidable swordsman named Guts; Griffith, impressed by Gut's triumph, decides to challenge him to a duel, defeating Guts and formally inducting him into the Band of the Falcon. Guts is eventually promoted to the Falcons' Raiders (sort of a special force assigned to carry out more demanding and riskier tasks) Captain, a position he occupies for over three years, by which time the band becomes famed as "Grim Reapers of the Battlefield".

Their reputed strength catches the King of Midland's notice, who enlists them in Midland's Hundred Year War against the Empire of Chuder, in which the band ultimately succeeds in reclaiming the fortress of Doldrey for Midland and brings an end to the century-long conflict. For their efforts in the war, the king formally grants the Falcons' commanders nobility; Griffith is elevated to the rank of White Phoenix General and the band is formally knighted as Midland's White Phoenix Knights. Their heavenly ascension is short-lived, however, as Guts decides to leave to make fulfill his own destiny in order to not just remain Griffith's lackey, but to become a true friend that fits Griffith's vision of a friend, fighting for a dream of his own in his own terms. As he readies to leave, Griffith leads him to a duel for his freedom that ends with Griffith's defeat at Guts' hands. Psychologically shattered, Griffith goes into depression and impulsively beds Princess Charlotte. This act, deemed treasonous to the Kingdom of Midland, results in Griffith's capture and subsequent torture under the orders of the king, as well the decimation and defection of the band; all but the most dyed-in-the-wool members remained.

With their leader imprisoned, and their numbers dropped to less than a fifth in a single year, the Falcons find themselves on the verge of collapse despite Casca's capable and competent leadership. Only when Guts returned is the band's morale restored, spurring the creation of the Griffith Rescue Squad and their infiltration of Wyndham, aided by princess Charlottte Windham. However, by the time they rescue Griffith from the Tower of Rebirth, he has been tortured to the point of being inarticulate and crippled beyond healing, a mere ghost of his glorious former self. To make matters worse, the apostle Wyald and his Black Dog Knights begin to pursue the band, having been sent by the King of Midland to eliminate them once all other attempts to do so had failed. They manage to repel the forces, but with Griffith now rendered an invalid, the Falcons are unable to rejoice.

After escaping from the rest of the band in an unattended horse-drawn carriage, the desperate, tormented Griffith, who is now more of an object of a pity than a man, activates his Crimson Behelit and summons the God Hand, instigating the Eclipse, an event that will turn Griffith into a higher being -a member of the God Hand- in exchange for a fitting sacrifice of something he holds dear. The Falcons are then branded for sacrifice, giving Griffith the means to transcend his humanity and be reborn as the final God Hand angel Femto. Only Guts and Casca survive the otherworldly bloodbath, though their suffering is prolonged by Femto's sexual violation of the latter. This results in the regression of Casca's mind to that of an infant and mutation of her and Guts' unborn child by Griffith's seed. Furious over Griffith's act of betrayal, Guts vows revenge on his former leader and declares a solitary war on the God Hand and their apostles. With every Falcon now dead excluding Guts, Casca, and Rickert, who was not present for the Eclipse, the band is informally disbanded. Rickert pays his respects to the fallen by crafting the Hill of Swords in their memory.

Rickert would later discover the tragic truth, encounter a reincarnated Griffith (for the second time) in Falconia and declare his permanent severance of ties to Griffith. Although Rickert could not hate Griffith like Guts did, neither could he forgive his former commander.


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