42. Gilbrisbert Quo Buteo
Meet The Puppetmaster (23, 37)
Birthplace: Sal Ghidos, Dalmasca
A senior centurion of the IVth Legion Zealots, Gilbrisbert was a provincial citizen who received an imperial education. Though a brilliant student, his overweening manner won him few friends, and he took instead to the company of tomes, channeling his keen mind towards the study of forbidden magicks. In the course of his research, he acquired a copy of the Scriptures of Germonique, the sacred texts of the outlawed sect of the selfsame name. Curiosity piqued, he sought out the remnants of the sect, who initiated the willing youth into their arcane secrets.
In the olden days of the Kingdom of Dalmasca, the vast majority of the populace were adherents of the Church of Iocus, the state religion tracing its origins to Saint Ajora. Other faiths were tolerated, this being an acknowledgement of the diverse nature of the nation's peoples, yet the members of the Sect of Germonique alone were branded heretics, and were exiled if not executed. Wherefore were these individuals the subject of such brutal oppression? At the heart of it lies the sect's contradiction of church doctrine.
Whereas the church held that Germonique is the betrayer who slew Saint Ajora, the sect considered him the true savior. And whereas the church taught that Ultima, the High Seraph, is a servant of god, it believed that Ultima herself is god, from whom comes the gift of auracite─miraculous stones with the power to solve all of mankind's woes. Yet far from aiding mankind, these relics wrought disaster wheresoever they appeared and were regarded with fear by other citizens. This fear manifested as violence towards the sect, which fought back by committing indiscriminate acts of destruction across the kingdom.
So it was that the Sect of Germonique was designated an extremist cult. Its leaders were put to death, while those followers who refused to renounce their faith were banished. Yet beyond the borders of Dalmasca, the sect found a way to survive. And one day it welcomed a man named Gilbrisbert into the fold. Using an auracite fragment as a bargaining chip, Gilbrisbert enlisted in the IVth Legion, where, in exchange for the sect's preservation, he struck a deal to form a unit wielding the relic's power: the Zealots.
Members of the sect believe that, by sacrificing their lives, they will be taken unto heaven to join Ultima. Thus do they willingly offer up their flesh in a ritual that transforms them into the demonic Lucavi in battle─a ritual made possible by the power of the auracite fragment. Gilbrisbert is all too happy to assist his Zealots in this endeavor, and not only does he transform them; he also brings them under his control. For this twisted predilection, he has earned the reviled epithet of the puppetmaster, although it appears he has embraced it as a badge of honor.