- "God is Dead"
- — Darkrai
|Previous Occupation||None known|
|Relatives||Jason LaHote (past counterpart)|
Hephaestus (ヘパエスツス Hepaesutusu) is the alias used by Jason LaHote when he interacted with his past self and his former Guild Akatsuki. He appears to Jason to keep him from killing his entire guild in exchange for the power to stop impending evil in the near future that would eventually render the world desolate.
Possessing more than double the power of Jason himself, Hephaestus is an extremely powerful mage, and is one of the few Colstone users, having devoured one in a desperate moment to combat a powerful entity, despite the consequences which resulted in him losing Wendy Marvell and everyone close to him.
Hephaestus is by far the physically (and chronologically) oldest person shown in the series so far. He bears the appearance of a 'traditional' elderly man in fantasy settings, with brown eyes, a very long white beard, tied with purple bands, and long eyebrows. There are many scars on his torso and head, the two most prominent being a pair of long, perpendicular scars above his right eye, suggesting numerous battles in his past. Despite his age and appearance, Hephaestus is actually quite muscular, and this comes into play when he fights bare handed in battle. Hephaestus' attire is an outfit that consists of a shitagi, kosode, hakama, tabi and warajii. Over all of this, he wears a large haori draped over his shoulders.
Hephaestus is a man whose character was solidly built by the misery of the world. Like his former self, he is serious, focus, and utterly determined. However, unlike Jason, he is cold as ice; rude and dismissive to almost everyone who interacts with him; this is partly due to most seniors ignoring the little thing called "manners", and partly due to his painful experiences.
Because in his time, he has lost everything that he once loved, he has no attachments to speak of; and such, he has absolutely zero problems with using any means to achieve his goals, even skipping across into the category of evil, as long as they justify the ends. When called out on this, he reveals that he doesn't find anything wrong with using extremes, because he has lost everything, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Cane: Something Hephaestus is normally seen with is a walking stick, or a cane. It appears to be very old, made of cut wood, and Hephaestus is more than capable of using this staff as a weapon. He mentioned offhandedly that it's made of mahogany.
- Aster Tataricus (紫苑 shion): It is revealed that the "cane" Hephaestus uses is merely a "shell", used to make him appear old and frail. Even when he can fight with the cane, it's true lethality is shown when he removes the shell, revealing its true form of a standard katana, with a dark purple handle and a circular hand guard. The sword's name in question comes from Hephaestus desire to never forget the guildmates he's lost.
Magic & Abilities
Ways of Combat
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Being an absolute master of the ways of the sword, Hephaestus can cleave through both armoured knights and their horses with ease; his sword is so heavy that it can slice through regular weapons and armour in a single slash; though this does not hinder him in the slightest. Hephaestus battles in a decidedly offensive style—eschewing any type of defensive technique, in favour of speed, and strength; focusing on powerful strikes that "start in a split second" and "end in a split second", meaning that energy isn't miss-used outside the attack. He is extremely patient, mostly due to his old age—this translates into strong slashes which rarely miss, as he is able to see through the opponent's abilities and turn the battle into his favour. Few would hope to come out alive from a fight with him. He is capable of fighting two Fragments simultaneously with a single hand in theory; but it is said that he needn't fight them. His skill in swordsmanship is great enough to take down his opponent with a single precise strike; favouring Iaidō (居合道, Way of Iai), which is a sword style where the user quick draws the blade extremely fast to strike, then re-sheathing it after every attack. This man's speed is so fast that he prevents opponents from reciting magic incantations, however, if one has no need for incantations, then they could hamper his advantage. Hephaestus is able to strike so fast that the opponent does not realize they have been cut until he sheathes his weapon.
Hand-to-Hand Combat Specialist: Even without the use of his sword, or, even, his magic, Hephaestus proves to be a very competent physical fighter. With a single-hand, Hephaestus is able to catch and parry physical blows from the strongest competitors in the past, all without breaking a sweat. His style of combat seems to center around blows that hit fast and hit hard, able to deliver bone-shattering punches with ease. Hephaestus, using precise timing and speed, is capable of ending his battles using only hand-to-hand. His hand-to-hand prowress is to the point that Hephaestus was actually able to take on Gehaburn itself for a short time, despite the beast being stronger than every living combatant facing off against it, able to parry the beast's physical blows and use a brutal series of punches as a way to keep it distracted. It could be said that Hephaestus' physical abilities have no degraded with old age, but in fact strengthened over time.
Immense Strength: Despite his old age, Hephaestus is in possession of an absolutely unfathomable amount of physical power that is exceeded by almost none. Even unarmed, the old man is an absolutely deadly combatant that one would be incredibly stupid to underestimate; with his immense strength and deceptively high speed, Hephaestus is capable, with a single punch, smashing a hole of reasonable size into the chest of one of the Fragments without much effort being exerted on his part; in fact, he only used two fingers. The sheer power of this single blow was more than enough to send said Fragment careering through several city blocks as well. In fact, he is so powerful, that he is capable of splitting the hydrogen in the air just by merely punching, allowing him to cause a small explosion that inflicts decent damage. Another feat of strength is that he can punch the ground with enough force to cause small fissures. Hephaestus is able to lift and press 200 metric tons, and he can perform other amazing feats such as punching holes right through thick steel, shatter boulders to smithereens and lift objects many times his own size and weight; a shocking display of fearsome power in itself. It is said that none would be able to match him, neither face him, in a battle of pure physical power.
Immense Speed: Despite his advanced age, Hephaestus has shown to be immensely fast, as he moves swiftly enough to instantly close a huge gap of space between himself and the opponent and even seemingly disappear from sight in the span of a millisecond. He moves at such a speed that his foes more often than not can't register his movements, until he's made them; he's also skilled enough to dodge at tremendous speeds, even if he's assaulted from behind. Hephaestus is capable of moving so fast that he can decapitate an entire army of foes without them even having time to react. He often only appears as a crimson shimmer of flames, with only the fastest foes even catching sight of his true figure during a battle. This incredible speed gives him an edge in battle against slower or close-range fighters.
Immense Durability: Despite his old age, Hephaestus is capable of fighting for long periods of time, even when outnumbered, with no visible signs of exhaustion. He is able to take direct attacks from others unfazed. He can endure being impaled on a sword without so much as flinching from the perceived damage, even when the blow is dealt by the likes of Crux Kouga; and in addition to his resilience, he has shown remarkable durability. He can come out completely unfazed by even the fiercest of assaults, with no more than simple scratches. He is able to sustain an explosion of flames that had the power to incinerate all of a mountain and a great area around it; only snarking at the attack.
Immense Intellect: Hephaestus's intelligence is known to be extremely fearsome—it was honed through his rough experiences in the future, and his will to survive somehow influenced it, causing his knowledge to skyrocket with each waking moment that he was in that hellish world. For over a decade, he has, directly or indirectly, influenced many of the events behind the scenes that the main characters have gone through, and always has backup plans ready in the event his initial ideas fail. He has a great talent for analyzing and observing everything in his presence, allowing him to quickly understand a person's pattern of thinking and better use them. He is well-versed in the history, strategy, tactics of the worlds, and is privy to knowledge previously unknown to many.
Immense Magic Power: Being one of the oldest human beings to exist, Hephaestus possesses an exceedingly powerful magical pressure. Its sheer strength is great enough to easily break free from four overlapping and binding spells restraining him. Even Crux, a man known for his high power and arrogance, openly acknowledges Hephaestus's power is superior to his own magical power. Hephaestus can exert his magical power to cause fear in S-class-level combatants and can further physically paralyze combatants of regular mage level and lower simply by gazing in their direction. The Magical Aura (魔力の霊気 Maryoku no Reiki; Literally meaning Aura of Magical Power) that Hephaestus possesses is intricitely linked to his Fire Magic, meaning when it is "flared up", no pun intended, or rather, invoked, it will manifest in the form of a pillar of flames which cascades outwards at the sides; these flames, like his Fire Magic, are very much real, as they can char an enemy with ease as well as set objects in the immediate vicinity in flames without even using his Fire Magic properly. When enraged, Hephaestus's magical power is powerful enough to be felt all around a continent and with tremendous force.
Fire Magic (火の魔法, Hi no Mahō): Fire Magic is the elemental magic that Hephaestus specializes in. Utilizing this magic, Hephaestus can conjure, manipulate, and control the element for various purposes. The aura of his Fire Magic disintegrates everything and anything that the flames touch, changing it into nothing more than ash, and engulfs the surrounding landscape in a blazing firestorm, the heat of which is intense enough to scorch the sky. He has such control of this type of magic that even the fire others create can be manipulated by him simply if he comes into contact with the flames, rendering flames useless against Hephaestus, even those of a God Slayer become his own power. Hephaestus explains this phenomenon is because magic can be changed according to the user's emotions, and Hephaestus' Fire Magic is fueled by his hatred for the world and desire for revenge. Both of these feelings are very strong, and show themselves in his magic, allowing him to create the strongest flames that burn through anything, even other flames. By utilizing his Fire Magic, it has the side-effect of depleting the moisture in an entire area (at least the size of a mountain range) causing the air and the water to dry up. Over a significant period, even a continent can fall victim to its power and be destroyed. Hephaestus is able to conjure this element from various parts of his body or from the nearby surroundings, though it is possible for his blade to utilize this fire as well.
- Tanzou no Kami (鍛造の神 lit. Forging God, or God of the Forge): One of Hephaestus' simplest Fire spells that combines with it his use of Sword Magic. Generating a massive amount of fire, Hephaestus coats his blade in the element, enhancing it's cutting power drastically by giving it his flames ability to "burn" through anything, effectively creating a blade that cannot be blocked, much like blades of wind, however, this is even more formidable. It's name comes from the fact that he uses the fire to forge his sword into the perfect weapon, and it is a play on his own name, Hephaestus, the God of the Forge.
- Salamander Flame (山椒魚炎, Sanshōuoen): Salamander Flame is a "defensive" spell that engulfs Hephaestus' own body in his specialized Fire Magic. The heat that these flames give off is great, and people seem to feel dehydrated just by being near Hephaestus when this is in use. The flames are malleable, bending to Hephaestus' mind and can take whatever form he wills them to, even "grab" a target, though naturally, this damages them greatly. Despite the heat, the flames do no damage to Hephaestus himself, and thus he refers to this as a "perfect defence".
- Flaring Up (めらめら Meramera): Another simple spell that Hephaestus manages to utilize quite brilliantly. He builds up magical power which turns into an erupting force of flames, however, he controls the blast, creating a cylindrical force that spirals upwards in a giant pillar, and then outwards for about two feet, annihilating everything in it's path. This is just an example of the variety one can perform with that simple spell.
Sword Magic (剣の魔法, Ken no Mahō): Sword Magic is a Magic which, as the name itself suggests, is focused around the use of swords, with those weapons acting as mediums for Hephaestus to perform particular attacks. Many of such moves are shown capable of going past the physical reach of the blade employed in their use, threatening foes at short-to-mid range. He is an extremely talented user of Sword Magic. Through the use of this Magic, Hephaestus is capable of using his sword to perform different Magical attacks. This is usually done in combination with his Fire Magic, which can make him deadlier in close melee combat or, when combined with him.
- Casus Mors (
天地灰尽, Keisu Morusu; Latin for "Abyss Death"; Japanese for Heaven and Earth End in Ashes): An exceedingly powerful Sword Magic spell and one of the few "Secret Techniques" that were developed in the past to combat Ancient Ones; when utilizing it, Hephaestus gathers magical energy upon his blade, and adds his own Fire Magic to the mixture. It is a technique that manifests flames; a conceptual crystallization weapon that interprets the flames that razed the world of the future in an attack-like fashion—essentially, it is the landscape of the future crystallized as a sword technique; it is further powered up by gathering magical particles throughout the atmosphere and converging them upon the blade, allowing the flames to focus and cause Hephaestus's blade to take upon a unique appearance as the fire shines a number of colours, forming an aurora, which appears either as a diffuse glow or as "curtains" that approximately extend away from the man which evolve and change constantly. Each curtain consists of many parallel rays, while sometimes, it appears as a "corona" of diverging rays, an effect of perspective; over-all, it is a beautiful sight to behold. The creation of the attack promotes a calm breeze away from Hephaestus's sword, which turns into a strong continuous gale and expels colourful bands of multicoloured energy. To unleash the attack, Hephaestus attacks the opponent with a single, godspeed slash that exceeds any regular velocity, ending with a slash of concentrated fire and heat that incinerates whatever it touches out of existence. Because it is so powerful, Casus Mors is usually reserved for a finishing move; as to end a battle in one blow.
Healing Magic: Hephaestus possesses a high-level of skill in healing magic, in addition to his formidable battle skills.
- Healing Field: An unnamed ability shown when Hephaestus rescused Akatsuki from Crux, he created a healing field of pure magical energy around the fallen Akatsuki members. As long as this field is active, anyone inside can be considered a "patient", and "on the operating table" as it proceeds to stitch up and heal their wounds, utilizing the magical energy the field is made of out to regenerate old cells and close wounds. (unnamed)
Memory Transfer Magic: On the brink of death, Hephaestus made a drastic choice in order to convince the power-obssessed past incarnation of his, Jason LaHote, to avoid devouring a Colstone. Through this, Hephaestus showed the ability to transfer his memories to Jason, delivering the memory of every hell he'd ever experienced, along with the emotions he'd experienced in this moments, to Jason, before dropping dead. (unnamed)
- According to Japanese floriography, the name of Jason's sword means "I won't forget you" or "remembrance".