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Am I fated to rot and whither... even as I breathe?
Duke Aldous Byron Bardorba (アルドゥス・バイロン・バルドルバ, Arudusu Bairon Barudoruba?) is a character from Vagrant Story. Though he appears in only a handful of scenes, the Duke's influence controls much of the game's events. A hero of the Valendian Civil war and now an aging political figure, he has long retired from fighting in battles, but his grip on the Parliament is unrelenting. He is 64 years old and 175 cm tall, is married and is the father of his cherished child, whom he calls "his soul", Joshua. Yet for all this, he is wiling to be shockingly cruel to complete his goal. He is also found to have financed the Müllenkamp cult.
Years before the birth of Joshua, the Duke had a first son, Sydney Losstarot. After some kind of near-fatal incident, Sydney was on the verge of death. To save the child's life, the Duke passed on his Blood-Sin tattoo to Sydney, thus giving him great power over the Dark and the evil city of Leá Monde. With this, their souls were also interconnected. If Sydney were to die, the Duke would go with him. In order to repay his father, Sydney vows to dedicate his life to ending the curse of Leá Monde and finding the proper harmless person to pass the Blood-sin over to. To that end, he founds the cult of Müllenkamp, with the Duke's funding and protection.
At the start of Vagrant Story, Sydney attacks his father's home in the Graylands, though it is never explained why. The Duke, perhaps with prior knowledge of the attack, is far off in his secondary residence. Upon hearing of the event, he orders his men to burn down the house, with his entire family inside, just to hide Sydney's powers. He gives a second order to his shocked courtiers: that his son Joshua is not to be harmed under any circumstance.
After the battle between Müllenkamp and the Order of the Crimson Blades in Leá Monde, nearly all of the greedy men who desired the power of the Dark are defeated. Sydney passes off the Blood-sin to the relatively harmless Ashley Riot, who will not misuse its power. Appearing to his father in the guise of Ashley, Sydney tells him that their mission is complete. Taking a dagger, the Duke kills Sydney, and through their connected souls, the Duke dies along with him in a double-suicide. Before his death, the Duke regrets being a poor father to Sydney and bringing such a burden onto his child. Joshua survives the events of Vagrant Story unharmed as per the Duke's wishes.