Agares Blight

Agares Blight

Illustration by Ishikawa Fumi (石川史) for Suikoden II

Japanese (Romaji): アガレス・ブライト (Agaresu Buraitoi)
From: Highland Kingdomii (current Higheast province, Dunan Republic)
Lifespan: SY 408 – 460 (53 years)
Titles: King of Highland

Born in 408iii, Agares Blight became the 22nd king of Highlandiv at the age of 27, following the death of his father, Robert, in the middle of the Jowston-Highland War. Although not a talented ruler, he was a hopeful pacifist who disliked combat and so sued for peace, ending the war soon after his reign began. He continued to maintain an uneasy peace with the City-State of Jowston over the years.

He was married to the noble Sara by the time he took the throne in 434 and his son, Luca was born the same year. The marriage was an arranged one, although Agares still felt love for his wife. Indeed, some of Agares’ desire for peace may have been entrusted to him by his wife.

In 443, nine years after Agares took the throne, the Blight royal caravan was attacked by what was ostensibly a group of bandits, although the equipment and training of the brigands indicated they were trained by Muse. There, Agares abandoned his wife and son Luca and made for the capitalv. Although later rescued by the Highland Army, Luca would always hold his father responsible for the events and their repercussions, including the madness and eventual death of Sara. Realising Luca’s hatred, Agares would begin to gradually distance himself from his son. Meanwhile, Agares was always distant and unaffectionate with his step-daughter Jillia, who was conceived during the violation of Saravi.

Although the continuing peace agreement with Jowston was said to have regarded as his highest achievement, Agares’ pacifist policies led to fierce opposition from within the military and he would later reluctantly entrust the command of the military to Luca in order to reduce the dissatisfaction of the army. Despite this, it is said that the prince was not necessarily any more talented in that area than Agares. Older generals such as Han Cunningham would continue to support Agares, while younger generals such as Seed and Culgan supported Luca and his appointment as commander of the Highland Armyvii. Agares would devote his time to political affairs following this appointment.

By the time of the Dunan Unification War in 460, Agares found himself unable to silence the hard-line factions opposed to his peaceful policies. As the war raged under Luca’s direction, Luca and Jowy Atreides plotted to overthrow Agares, both for their own purposes. Nominating Jowy for knighthood led to the Knight’s Oath ceremony where Agares drank the Wine of Fealty, containing the blood of the oathbearer as was the traditionviii. However, Jowy’s blood was heavily poisoned, causing Agares to collapse in pain. Realising what had happened, Agares spat out his protestations, trying to appeal to Luca’s memories of his mother and quell his violent ambitions, which only served to enrage Luca as he recalled Agares’ “cowardice”. Agares soon died on the floor of L’Renouille Palace.

His delegating of military authority and the eventual war that broke out during his reign, coupled with his assassination, means that history remembers Agares as a weak-willed ruler who made the first step towards the Highland Kingdom’s destruction.