Indeed. What claim does Gerun have on history's reins... seated on throne immortal, rent from time?
Venat (ヴェーネス, Vēnesu?) [vɛnɑ] is a member of the Occuria, a race from Final Fantasy XII. An ally of the Archadian Empire and a friend of Doctor Cid, Venat is a major antagonist, although its motives can be viewed as benevolent.
As with the other Occuria, Venat is a shade-like being with a black "face" marked by glowing eyes, and ornate swirl designs around its body. It can choose to appear only to those it wishes to be seen by, and at times appears as a shadow within a cloud of Mist. Though its voice actors are female, Venat is a genderless being.
My council did but guide your hand. Through power of Man, the stones did you perfect.
- —Venat speaking to Cid.
For unknown reasons, Venat objects to the Occurian method of controlling history by giving power to Man as a means to manipulate them. It questions the right of Gerun, leader of the Occuria, to dictate the destiny of Ivalice when by their nature the Occuria are exempt from time and do not live among the mortals.
Venat seeks to free mankind from Gerun and his ilk by giving nethicite to the Archadians so they may overthrow the descents of Raithwall, the Dynast-King the Occuria would put in power. Though the Archadians are a means to an end, Venat does not control them as the Occuria usually control others—Venat considers Cid and Vayne Solidor friends and is considered the same in return. Despite its differing methods and motives, Venat is still doing the same thing the other Occuria have always done: bestow the power of nethicite on a mortal of its choosing and use that mortal to rule the world.
Six years ago Dr. Cid traveled to the Jagd Difohr and discovered Giruvegan, the place where mortals can access the Great Crystal, home of the Occuria. He met Venat who took Cid as its pupil. Returning to Draklor Laboratory, Venat guided Cid to create manufacted nethicite, granting the Archadian Empire vast new power they began to use to conquer Ivalice. Venat often accompanied Cid, but was invisible to others and could not be heard by them, making it appear Cid was speaking to himself, and thus it appeared he had gone mad.
The first two times the party encounters Venat, they do not know what it is they see. Venat possesses Fran's sister Mjrn in the Henne Mines who had been given a piece of manufacted nethicite to test its effect on a viera, releasing the beast Tiamat. It accompanies Judge Bergan at Mt Bur-Omisace, endowing him with power. It is unknown if the slaughter of the war refugees at the mountain was entirely Bergan's doing, or if he was influenced by Venat as Mjrn was. When the party confronts Bergan he declares Vayne Solidor as the new Dynast-King and his wish to obliterate Raithwall's descendants. Balthier first mentions Venat by name at the Phon Coast when he reflects on his past and his father's "madness" to Ashe, but cannot properly recall its name and calls it "Eynah."
At Draklor, the party confronts Cid with the sky pirate Reddas, where the invisible and unseen Venat tells Cid about Ashe's identity and he battles them as a "trial." Though Cid is defeated, Venat protects him as Reddas moves to strike him down, Cid calling to Venat by name revealing the identity of the "shadow" they have seen. Cid invites Ashe to Giruvegan, telling her she can find a piece of nethicite there and he plans to go there as well. Balthier realizes that his father hadn't gone mad, but when he appeared to be speaking to himself he was, in fact, speaking to Venat.
At the Great Crystal Ashe meets with the Occuria, who grant her the Treaty-Blade to cut shards of nethicite from the Sun-Cryst. One of the Occurian "seats" is empty, and the Occuria tell Ashe of Venat's "heresy" and to use the nethicite to destroy it and correct the "damage" it has done to history. Venat was tracking the party's actions, as it tells Cid about Ashe receiving the Treaty-Blade shortly after it occurs.
At the Pharos, Cid and Venat appear after Gabranth fails to slay the party. Cid dismissing Gabranth and Venat protects him when an angered Gabranth attempts to strike him. Cid has Venat re-integrate the Dusk Shard, Dawn Shard and Midlight Shard into the Sun-Cryst, spilling abundant Mist over Ivalice and awakening Cid's ultimate weapon and Vayne's command airship, the Sky Fortress Bahamut. Cid battles the party empowered with Mist and nethicite, but is defeated. Approached by Balthier, Venat moves to defend Cid but Cid tells it to let him pass, his life fading. With the Sun-Cryst's Mist out of control, Reddas destroys it with the Sword of Kings.
With Cid dead, Venat accompanies Vayne aboard the Bahamut. The party confronts Vayne during a battle between the Empire and the Resistance, Vayne using the power of nethicite to become Vayne Novus. With Vayne mortally wounded by Gabranth, Vaan attempts to kill him but Venat protects Vayne as he stumbles out onto the superstructure of the Bahamut's Mist cannon.
Apologizing to Venat for his failure to accomplish their goals, Venat comforts Vayne has not failed, as with the Sun-Cryst destroyed the Age of Stones is over and Occuria have lost their influence over Ivalice. Venat and tells Vayne he shall not face death alone. The two merge, Venat creating copious amounts of Mist around them and fusing parts of the Bahamut onto Vayne's body, creating The Undying. The party destroys The Undying, causing Vayne and Venat to explode in a burst of Mist.
- Main article: The Undying (Final Fantasy XII)
Venat merges with Vayne to become the game's final boss, The Undying.
Venat is voiced by Anita Carey in the English release of the game, and by Narumi Tsunoda in the Japanese version. Venat's English voice actress, Anita Carey, is married to Mark Wing-Davey, the voice of Judge Ghis.
Occurian speech resembles an archaic, poetic form of Received Pronunciation English, which is noticeably absent of particular rhotic vowels in both speech and writing. Venat, like the rest of the Occuria, speaks in iambic pentameter, a commonly used type of metrical line in traditional English poetry and verse drama.
The decision to use metered verse with an unusual rhyme scheme came about as a solution to the problem presented by the voice processing used for the Occuria in the Japanese. The multiple layers of voice in the Japanese had an otherworldly sound, but made it difficult to discern what was being said though helped by the on-by-default subtitles. The localized version has subtitles off by default, so the translators needed something else to differentiate their speech.
"Venat" is derived from Latin word venari, meaning "to hunt".