|Neo Band of the Hawk|
Neo Taka no Dan
|Also known as||
Band of the Falcon
The Neo Band of the Hawk consists almost entirely of powerful Apostles, the first of whom joined Griffith almost as though summoned to his side and who became the leaders of their respective squads. Zodd is Griffith's personal mount and bodyguard, and has so far only left his side on Griffith's orders to assault Ganishka at Vritannis. Grunbeld leads the heaviest-hitting Apostles in charges, using their great strength and brutality to their advantage, while Locus leads a squad of lance-wielding Apostles. Irvine seems to stand alone as an archer and a sniper, going and doing as he pleases to act in defense of caravans or assaults on Kushan. Rakshas is an assassin, and he too seems to act on his own.
Apostles by themselves are usually capable of mass slaughter on their own at least and destroying armies at best. Even considering the other Apostles seen before their appearances, the Apostles making up the Neo Band of the Hawk are incredibly powerful, and with their array of powers are lethal opponents in any situation.
With the capabilities of Apostles for untold destruction, this is less terrifying than their might when coordinated as an army. Griffith's squad of some hundred Apostles was able to utterly and brutally annihilate Ganishka's army of tens of thousands of Kushan and Daka within an hour or so.
The Neo Band of the Hawk are not invulnerable. During Locus' assault on Windham to draw Ganishka out, the Apostles were able to make quick work of the Daka soldiers, but had some trouble with the elephantine Pishaca familiars. What's more, none of the Apostles at all were able to even hurt Ganishka when he utilized his own Apostle form at Windham or at Vritannis, including Zodd, and all were helpless against his attacks.
Guts has also slain several of them, notably during their attack on Flora's home. At first already mortally wounded and exhausted, Guts was further beaten to near death by Grunbeld. Once he had obtained the Berserker Armor, however, these injuries made very little difference as Grunbeld was utterly overwhelmed and nearly killed by Guts, even after entering his own Apostle form.
After Griffith's regained physical form in the physical world via Incarnation Ceremony, he started to form a new Band of the Hawk that is mostly composed of Apostles that include Nosferatu Zodd, Locus, Irvine, and Grunbeld among his inner circle with the rest composing the Demon Army whose inhuman abilities put them on par with the demonic armies of Emperor Ganishka. The fallen Bākiraka Apostle Rakshas also joined the New Hawks, though claiming it is so that he will slay Griffith once the time comes. Griffith later recruits the young seer Sonia and the Midland noble Mule Wolflame to join his band, the former due to her gift of sight and the latter for his army to fight alongside the other human members Griffith either recruited via his superhuman charisma or drafted from Kushan prisoners of war. In the case of the latter, given a choice to follow or die, the Kushan captives are used as frontline infantry for three battles before those who survived are offered a position in the Band with all the privileges of loot and glory. Because of his deeds during the One Hundred Year War, Griffith wins the loyalty of the Midlanders before rescuing Charlotte and her maid.
After rescuing Vritannis from the Kushan army's attack, Griffith manages to win the nobles of Midland and other kingdoms over as he reveals his betrothal to Charlotte and his band now overseeing Midland's military force while requesting soldiers from other countries when he is anointed by the Pontiff of the Holy See. But Griffith manipulated these turn of events to cement his kingdom as he and his forces face Ganishka. It was at that time that the Apostle members of the band assume their true forms in the final battle, the people briefly horrified before Sonia convinces them to help fight their mutual enemy. Soon after Falconia's creation in the aftermath of the World Transformation, the Apostle members of the Neo Band of the Hawk are given the task to bring humans outside the city into its wall while given a home in the arena of Pandemonium.
The general public seems aware that there's no continuity between the first and the second Band of the Hawk, however it is generally unaware of the final fate of the first Band. As the bloodied events of the Eclipse are known to those present at the event and the Holy Iron Chain Knights who came across the aftermath, the general public presumably believes that the Hawks met their demise or disbanded between the year long persecution following Griffith's imprisonment and his return two years later with new followers.
- Certain members of the Neo Band of the Hawk bare similarities to those in the Band of Hawk: Sonia having affections for Griffith like Casca, Mule serving as a retainer like Rickert, Grunbeld and Irvine having similar combat roles to Pippin and Judeau, and Locus being a polar opposite to Corkus.
- As the first Band held briefly the position of a named Army in the Midland Military, the White Phoenix Army, and Griffith held the noble title of the White Phoenix General, the second Band received similar privileges as the natural leaders of the Resistance against the Kushan empire.