- "Only Garlean rule can bring order to Eorzea. It falls to us to deliver the misguided masses from their ignorance."
- —Gaius van Baelsar
Gaius van Baelsar (ガイウス・ヴァン・バエサル, Gaiusu van Baesaru?), also known as The Black Wolf (漆黒の王狼, Shikkoku no Ōrō?, lit. "The Pitch Black King of Wolves") is a male Hyur, and is the secondary antagonist of Final Fantasy XIV, first appearing on the final quest of the main storyline. His rank within the Garlean Empire's army is Imperial Legatus, and is one of the generals leading the invasion into Eorzea.
He wears full-body armor with a sort of projectile weapon attached to the back of his left hand. He also carries a gunblade named Heirsbane (No. IX in Japan), said to have spilled the blood of nine aspirants to the crown.
- "Impressive. . . . As you wish."
- —Gaius accepting the Circle of Knowing's silent challenge to fight him
Gaius is the Legatus of the XIVth Legion, the Imperial force occupying Ala Mhigo. Prior to the events in the game, he was already well known amongst the Empire's armies due to his abilities as a commander and sensibilities as governing administrator.He was was once a close friend of Midas nan Garlond, the father of Cid nan Garlond.
When the Ala Mhigan Resistance tries to sneak into Ala Mhigo by stealing an airship on Silvertear Falls, he intercepts the group and kills them. He makes his introduction by easily lifting the body of a dead fighter with a single hand to fool and hit the player's Path Companion. Gaius then attempts to kill the player off, only for Yda, Papalymo, Y'shtola, and Thancred to arrive to stop him. Fighting off the four, Gaius ends the fight by summoning a blast from an Imperial Dreadnaught, injuring the player and the four Circle of Knowing members.
Seventh Umbral EraEdit
- "Oppose van Darnus and Meteor, if you wish. It is the only hope you have of sparing Eorzea from complete obliteration."
- —Gaius Van Baelsar
As revealed in one of the Seventh Umbral Era sidequests, via a echo of a Gridanian soldier who eavesdropped a conversation between him and Nael van Darnus, Gaius saw Nael's plans to cast Meteor upon Eorzea as a senseless act of genocide. When he later attempts to kill the player character, Gaius is stopped by Cid and takes his leave after hitting the traitor's arm with a blast of his arm weapon when provoked.
Once the companies discover the construction of Castrum Novum, the player finds Gaius during his/her investigations on a wrecked Garlean airship in Mor Dhona. The Legatus congratulates his skill in defeating his troops and allow the player to leave with some Garlean schematics related to the lunar transmitter - the machine that can control Dalamud - and return it to Cid, as that is the only hope Eorzea has to survive Meteor.
He then explains that this is no mercy act, and affirms that Garlemand will annihilate the primals and dominate Eorzea with or without Meteor, but he fears that Dalamud is much more than what even the Empire believes it to be, and Nael van Darnus has his own agenda with Meteor. After Nael's defeat, Gaius once again appears during the pilgrimage to awaken The Twelve. He congratulates the player over the victory against the White Raven, and tells the current position of the VIIth legion, as he still hopes Dalamud can be stopped so the Empire may claim over Eorzea -- and not just its remains. However, the Seven Umbral occurs with the empire forced to fall back when Bahamut appears and devastates the land.
- "Eorzea, a plighted realm ridden with false gods. Twice now it has eluded the empire's grasp, twisted beyond all reckoning. Rotten nigh to the core. Yet it must be saved."
- —Gaius Van Baelsar to his subordinates
As shown in the E3 2013 trailer, Gaius is sent back to Eorza with reinforcements to attempt another conquest of Eorza.
- Futures Perfect (level 46 main storyline quest).
- Two Vans are Better than One (Twin Addler company quest).
- Alive (Maelstrom company quest).
- Don't Hate The Messenger (all versions).
- Living on a Prayer
"Gaius" is derived from Greek word Gaia which means "earth". Additionally, "Gaius" is a common Roman given name. It was the first name of many famous Romans throughout history, including Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, and Caligula. "Van" is based on German word von which means "from", and is used to show that someone is of noble descent.
- His armor closely resembles suits worn by the Archadian Judges of Final Fantasy XII, and in particular, Ghis's.
- He was known amongst the community as Zulvan since his first appearance, but a post on the company page changed his name.
- Gaius's Japanese voice actor is Akio Otsuka, who voiced Gabranth in Final Fantasy XII. He said jokingly that he thought he was playing a Judge again due to the similar armor.
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