|Cornelius Q. Baigan, Jr.|
|Series||Final Fantasy 4|
|Combat Styles||Royal Guard, Snake Arms|
|Force:||Forces of Ruin|
|"Only fools would oppose the almighty will of Baron."|
|Baigan prepares to defend Baron's borders -- by any means necessary.|
What makes a man a monster?
Baigan, one of the great figures of Baron, was once a good man. Though at times stuffy and inflexible, the honorable Guard Captain and royal confidante has been recognized as one of those rare men who possesses gifts in both war and politics, able to serve as both warrior and administrator, and thereby maintain order and Baron's prestige. Well-spoken and possessed of a courtier's cunning, still no one ever doubted his loyalty to the King or integrity, or imagined that he might lust for power. Indeed, Baigan was more than willing to accept the menial task of ensuring the day-to-day working of his country, serving as liaison between people and King, rather than go gallivanting off through valleys and forests in search of glory. Such men are the uncelebrated heroes of great city-states. Baigan might have remained such a person, had he been stronger.
But in his pride, Baigan buried his fears and smothered his questions, blinding himself in his need to believe in the order he strove to construct, and the chinks in his moral armor went unnoticed -- until a darker and far more cunning mind used them to his own advantage.
Baigan's strongest traits are twofold: love of order, and love of authority. As a child, Baigan idolized his father, then Guard Captain, and the King that had appointed him. Though proud of his noble upbringing, the young Baigan sought not superiority over others but responsibility for them, seeing it the duty of the privileged to protect those less fortunate. Though always aloof and never doubting the divine right of King and aristocracy to rule, he was well-intentioned, and began training for the position of an officer in the guard out of a sincere desire to be of service. This sentiment changed abruptly when Baigan's father, on a routine mission, was cowardly backstabbed and unexpectedly slain by a nameless thug.
Part of Baigan's mind cracked on that day. Nothing within his worldview could make sense of this turn of events: that the noble and just could die in filth, alone, felled by an inferior. Not only was the tragedy itself difficult to bear, but Baigan's staunch assumptions about the natural order were threatened violently for the first time. Refusing to accept such brute senselessness, Baigan hardened, unconsciously protecting himself -- and his aristocratic preconceptions -- with his self-possession and manipulative abilities, and becoming an relentless adversary of anything he perceived as chaos. In the public eye, this forged him into redoubtable ally of justice, and, when he later advanced to take his fallen father's place at the King's side, a highly esteemed man. In private, however, shaken and oddly unsure of himself for all his talent, he became a resentful and unreflective person, and nothing came to disgust him more than men who sought to rise above their station. Justice, for Baigan, was people knowing their place.
Cecil Harvey refused to know his place.
Though he acquired a dubious respect for Kain Highwind, given the Dragoon's pedigree, the next major threat to Baigan's worldview was the King's fostering of the orphan Cecil, a man of unknown blood. Yet Baigan swallowed his distaste, purely because he trusted the King's decision. Though he befriended the Dark Knight, and Cecil was perhaps none the wiser, Baigan's main motivation was not friendship itself but ensuring harmony in the court and expressing his respect for the King. Whether father or King, Baigan's concept of social order always assumed a figure at the top, through whom Baigan's acts and life were validated. This is likely why, despite his moderate guile, Baigan lacks a villain's megalomania; he seeks recognition as much as the power to achieve his goals.
For a while, this mostly-steady harmony served Baron well. Cecil rose in the ranks, Kain became a great Dragoon, and Baigan was respected as -- though a lesser warrior, perhaps -- a pillar of Baron and the King's right-hand man. Though Baigan masked his inner sentiments at times, for the most part he was pleased to further the power of Baron, and forgave the implicit insolence of his peers. Years passed, the men grew, and in time, Baigan even came to respect Cecil Harvey as a worthy soldier of Baron, if not accept him as a nobleman.
But all this was premised upon the King's goodwill, and as soon as the King began to change, Baigan began to change with him. When Cecil began to fall out of the King's graces, Baigan took no notice of the royal person's increasingly erratic behavior or imperialist tendencies. None of it was inconsistent with Baigan's own beliefs. Though he had not sought alliance with the Empire in the past, seeking to protect Baron as an independent nation, when the King showed interest in the prospect, Baigan's faith in the King led him to defend the proposal unflinchingly.
Perhaps a part of Baigan knows, deep down, that the King has changed radically, and that he is no longer the man he once was. But with the King, so too did Baigan change. When at last Baigan turned against Cecil and Kain and felt the tremendous satisfaction of purging them from the court, his long-buried resentment erupted like a noxious cloud, and in his vicious delight Baigan realized that this is what he wanted all along: a world without these unworthy men, thugs who would only stab him when his back was turned. For Baigan, Golbez is an infinitely preferable commander of the Red Wings, and the power the Guard Captain has received for his allegiance is only a symbol that he has made the right decision.
Now defender of Baron's borders and the highest-ranking Baronian below the King and Golbez, Baigan's own love of order has risen to a maddened pitch. As much an attack dog as a commander, he takes personal pleasure in wielding the serpentine powers at his disposal to crush those that would resist Baron's dominance. Ironically, though hard and uncompromising on matters of justice, he is not a heartless man, and still thinks of himself as noble and magnanimous, a part of him still clinging to his aristocratic ideal of noblesse oblige. Yet what was once a quiet internal inconsistency has become full-blown hypocrisy. A peasant begging Baigan for help might be aided on one day and then ruthlessly punished for a perceived infraction on the next. Now the embodiment of his neuroses, Baigan has abandoned his humanity.
If there is any hope for Baigan, it is that he has not yet realized what he has become.
...Or that his arms have become sentient and endowed with quirky personalities. He hasn't realized that either.
But he will.
|The Obsidian Ring||February 16th, 2013|| As the shadows darken over Fluorgis and spirits fall, and the flickering of the city's power and malfunctioning of water pumps lead to fearful rumors that the Fire Crystal itself is being suppressed, a Legion of lookalike detectives uncover a startling lead. A hooded figure has been spotted on high rooftops unleashing plumes of darkness into the air, leading to the thickening of the black clouds -- and, perhaps, the increasing incidence of Heartless.
The mysterious villain is spotted fleeing to the Sky Port, even though most flights are grounded due to the treacherous skies, apparently aware the jig is up. Acting quickly, the city of Fluorgis puts out a public alert to apprehend the fugitive. A crucial confrontation approaches. Will the force behind the Shadows Over Fluorgis be revealed at last?
|Manhattan Restoration: Mining for Shards||January 10th, 2013||The heroes come to the Woodlands in order to get one of the Manhattan Shards... but run into a bit of trouble.|
|Pillaging the Dwarf Woodlands||January 4th, 2013||With Manhattan devoured by darkness and Xanatos Enterprises thwarted for now, Baigan plots to once again make his move in the name of Baron, aiming to restore the kingdom's glory and secure its territory after his setbacks on the Dias Plains and at Balamb Garden. In dire need of resources and in hatred toward all adorable forest critters, Baigan has set his sights upon an unsuspecting target: the Dwarf's Woodlands in Phantasia, with its plentiful lumber and precious metals and stones. All that's required is to secure the location for long enough to loot it and scurry away through a Portal with their ill-gotten gains, and then to use it to further enhance Baron's navy and air force... and adapt the technology stolen from Xanatos. Will Baron's vile plot succeed with its ranks blostered by new allies, or can our scattered heroes intervene in time to save the woodlands from total devastation!?|
|A Dangerous Game||January 2nd, 2013||As though team-building exercises were not in themselves inherently ill-advised, Baigan forces the polar opposites which now occupy the ranks of Baron's officers to cooperate in play, with predictably disastrous results. Yet were it not for the presence of a certain masked wanderer, the results might not have been /quite/ so disastrous...|
|Noblesse Oblige||December 30th, 2012||Baigan and Melody sit down to dine and discuss pleasantries when Riku ports in and kicks over a bowl of stew like he just don't care. Needless to say, both Baigan and Melody are wildly impressed. But when all is said and done, Riku has an opportunity to see the human side of Baron -- such as it is.|
|Baron Ascendant||December 26th, 2012||With Manhattan fallen into darkness and Xanatos Enterprises thereby undermined, Baigan intends to secure Baron's 'safety' -- read: power and influence -- once and for all. Without mighty technology to oppose them, the only question is what battleground to choose, and who to send on the mission. But a new cadre of Baron's elite have formed, ready to take on these challenges...|
|Dark Bonds Forged||November 26th, 2012||At a loss at how to proceed and further the cause of Baron after the debacle that was Avira's rescue, Baigan intrudes on the recovering Morrighan and stalwart Kaydin to help assuage the Dark Knight's existential crisis. Having identified Xanatos and Manhattan's technology as their primary threat, they remain somewhat despondent about their prospects. Yet a mysterious visitor arrives, promising Ruin upon their foes...|
|A Confluence Of Fate||November 24th, 2012||Chaos erupts in Baron as a number of plots crash together in the halls of power with all of the grace of a freight train.|
|Raid on Balamb Garden||November 10th, 2012|| Enraged by his defeat at the Dias Plains, Captain Baigan has vowed to destroy the meddling mercenary force SeeD, and is bringing to bear the might of the Red Wings in an all-out assault on Balamb Garden. To supplement his kingdom's forces further with expendable Heartless, he has, in the name of his King, formed an alliance of convenience with the sinister vizier Jafar, for it has been discovered that Balamb now shelters the Princess Jasmine, object of the Shadow Lord's ambition and desire.
SeeD's strength shall now truly be put to the test. Will those fools who dare defy the almighty will of Baron prove another Mysidia and be routed? What shall become of the brave Princess? The Water Crystal silently sheds its light... a single mote upon it depicting the Princess's location.
|A Sinister Plot||November 4th, 2012||Ambassadors from Alexandria pay a visit to Baron's court. What could have summoned them from their distant land? And can the tale that is told them be believed...?|
|Snakes on a Plain||October 26th, 2012||Even in this new World of Ruin, mighty Baron's ambitions know no bounds. Baigan, Captain of the Guard, believes that his kingdom can only be secured through preemptively seizing control of the Eastern Continent, the lynchpin of which is the Dias Plains, through which all land travel must pass. The hamlets and townships of the plains send pleas across the worlds begging for assistance, and Mysidia, fearful of Baron's dominance, has supplied them with the funds needed to hire the famous mercenary group SeeD. The uneasy peace between the kingdoms is shattered, and the threat of darkness looms greater. Who shall emerge triumphant?|
|Xarbucks Chaos||October 25th, 2012||Baigan, Scarmiglione, and dark knight Kaydin engage in reconnaissance to further the glory of Baron and end up in Central Park's closest Xarbucks, where Maira is just trying to get a cup of coffee. When Negaduck bursts onto the scene and Sarafina bursts through the door, everything collapses. And by everything, I mean the Xarbucks.|
|Fortune Favors the Bold||November 25th, 2012||Ivo's lucky day gets just a little luckier.|
|The Almighty Will of Baron||September 30th, 2012||In a world newly forged, where do a mighty kingdom's borders lie? Wherever the strength and resolution of those who lead and defend see fit to place them.|