|Iwaku Mythos Character|
Paorou during Gabriel's Era (Top) and after. (Bottom)
Slain for his role as the Tyrant during the Dark Reign. Never reappeared.
His assumed full name is Kabe Paorou (Kanji : 壁 保楼, read as :カベ・パオロー in Japanese, or Bì Bǎolóu in Mandarin).
He is also known by other nicknames - the 'Mad King', 'Crimson Cape', 'One-eyed Madman', 'Chosen of Skhone, the Bread God' and 'Red Lord'. He also went by a different name prior to these, 'The Zealous One'.
He was one of the major movers and shapers of the Mythos - causing or part of almost all the great events that changed Iwaku over the years. This not surprising, considering that he was once a close confidant of old king Gabriel Zero. He is well known to anyone who has stayed long enough in the realm of Iwaku. His rivals have included Asmodeus, Rory and even Gabriel Zero himself.
Paorou first came to Iwaku as a traveler from a distant world. At this point in time, It was the very first iteration of Iwaku - when a petty fight was on-going between beings of awesome power. Despite the young Paorou's pathetic powers in comparison to the mystical power houses that were Gabriel Zero and Razilin - he interrupted their fight, catching Gabriel Zero's eye. Little did the young fool know that the battle was actually a proxy for an even greater battle, to rewrite Iwaku into the world that it would soon become.
Engulfed by reality-rending waves after the first great battle of Nerf Castle, Iwaku was reborn under Homac's will. The heavens itself began to write down the events that would rock this world, and assigned Gabriel Zero as the first Guardian.
Paorou, still confused as to what had happened, pursued Razilin to the darkest corners of the world - the dark knight screaming 'Viva la Revolution!' as he went. It was only when he was stopped by Arsenal, the first Reality Bender Paorou had ever seen with his own eyes.
The soldier and demigod then accused him of aiding the Dark Knight. Then he sent him to be abused by Archetype. But such was the tenacity of the young man that he repeatedly thwarted Arsenal... but was repeatedly caught and abused for escaping.
This persistent youth interested Gabriel Zero, who offered his hand in friendship. As further proof of friendship, Gabriel gave him the trademark visored helmet that he used up until the start of the Admin War. Paorou says that it was given to Gabriel by a man known as 'Grandpa Paorou'.
Prideful and arrogant, the young man made enemies out of many Iwakuans back in the day - the Blood Dancer, Shadow Form, Dragon Man, Arsenal, and even had quarrels and brawls with his comrades, Denku, Orochi, and even Gabriel Zero himself.
However, his brash and impulsive nature, and his contributions to the repeated (
destruction) recreation of the unstable land called Insanity made him the best candidate for it's ruler. The Council of Iwaku at that time agreed with Gabriel Zero's decision, and appointed Paorou as the sole ruler of Insanity.
His rise to power made him the butt for many accusations - like Razilin's revolutions and the various troubles of Iwaku. Paorou took this with stride and suggested that the council appoint a second man in his position, to assure them that he was not abusing his power. The plan worked, and Orochi was made as Paorou's partner in crime.
What many people did not realize was that Paorou was working closely with Gabriel Zero, acting on things in ways Gabriel Zero should not be seen doing. He was the dark part of the Guardian - and Gabriel Zero appreciated this. The two kept this arrangement secret for as long as his tenure.
At this point, the 'Mad King of Insanity' used his newfound power and esteem to draw in more people from beyond Iwaku. This led to him calling in his brother, Captain Nic, and the Interstellar race - the Teknikans to live on Iwaku. Others came, but did not stay permanently like he did.
Not merely pleased with this, Paorou started the Bread Cult and a lesser known one, called the Zealous Ones. Taking on his idea, Gabriel Zero created a Cult for the glorification of feet. Many others followed, and this of course would renew strife in Iwaku. The Bread Cult and his station of power were pretty much controversial for many periods in the history of the Mythos.
On top of this, He was becoming increasingly interested in Iwaku and it's relation to all the the worlds beyond it. And not known to many, began to study it's nature from an outsider's perspective. He remembered Arsenal and the powers he could use, and wanted to truly learn the secret behind his eyebeams. It was here when he first began discussing and researching his treatise.
First, he wanted to see if he could bend reality to his whims. He found that it was significantly more difficult in other worlds, because they had a well-defined set of rules present. (For earth, physics, etc.) Suddenly, he realized that Iwaku by itself was very magical and conducive for his reality bending. To sum up his thoughts, reality on Iwaku was more 'malleable' than the other worlds.
Second, he had a very foolish experiment: He empowered those he identified as his alternate world equivalents, making them more powerful, or imparting forbidden knowledge to them. His actions would normally have changed the world itself by this very method. The worlds he had visited were marked by his meddling - his actions almost always lead such worlds into great wars analogous to the Admin War.
He also realized that not all of his 'alternate selves' could achieve what he had achieved. He had a strange sort of egocentric will, aware of his place in fate and a desire to change it. This was not something they could seem to understand, as Paorou himself could not explain it to them. There was something in them missing.
Paorou was not known to stay and watch to see the full effects of what he has done. However, he does 'return' to some of these worlds out of fascination. It is believed that this is what drove him to create Project Marienkind and the treatise on Reality Bending.
After seeing the alternate worlds, he wanted to recreate his newfound understanding of Reality Bending to others. He found that only he and a few other of his alternate selves were 'Authors', those with an abnormal will. On Iwaku, there were many such Authors, probably due to the malleable reality of the world. These Authors had an innate potential and instinct in them that allowed them to bend reality to their whims. However, these were not all necessarily realized.
He wanted to see if he could recreate Reality bending on Non-Authors - hence the training of child soldiers in a facility outside the border of Iwaku. This was Project Marienkind - where he wanted to create an artificial Reality Bender. Among the researchers he assigned to lead the project was one Doctor Nylock.
However, this project was not promising. It entailed the birth of a child from a woman, codenamed 'Marien', who should, theoretically have reality bending abilities. Countless tests had failed, and Marien grew weak due to her special condition. What followed is unknown, as all data had been purged.
The facility and what exactly occurred there, was lost to history. Pon is presumed to be from this facility, suspected to be one of the child soldiers.
Massacre at the C-Box
During Paorou's travels, Gabriel Zero had invoked the ire of a rival world, and was shamed on their territory. As he returned to his chambers, his councilors and comrades soothed and calmed him. Despite this, he was still angry and seething from injury, so he asked Paorou to enact vengeance on them. The mad king did so with a sneer. He then manipulated The Legion into attacking their lands - so that he would not raise so much as a finger to attack them. While a clever plan, the enemy had caught on to his trail after holding off the assault from the legion.
Outraged, they charged and stormed Iwaku's gates, bringing with them some of the legion's members. The Iwakuans, not aware of Paorou and Gabriel's agreement, were shocked and unprepared. There was a short skirmish at the region, as there was no other way to effectively enter Iwaku or attack key points. This was called the massacre at the C-Box.
Confused, the Iwakuans turned to Gabriel and Paorou, who volunteered to lead the defense. With the advice of Marz, Gabriel granted Paorou the honor of using the sword of Iwaku on his behalf. While the king was injured and this was thought of as the best course of action by a majority of the nobles, the hermits and sages did not approve of Gabriel's decision. The Mad King jeered at them and strode off to the warzone of the C-Box, the sheathed blade in his hand.
While Rory disguised himself and negotiated with the leaders of the enemy camp, his efforts were suddenly shattered. At the C-box, the man caped in crimson unsheathed the blade of Iwaku. It turned from a beautiful pure crystal blue into a pulsating reddish bronze. The bejeweled blade coursed with burning blood, twisting it's straight edge into a serpentine blade. The transformation was erratic, and painful to watch. Then at last, a wicked eye opened on it's hilt.
The serpentine blade was born on that day. With one swing, Paorou decapitated and mutilated a hundred men. His strokes carved up the burning earth, overturning mountains and upturning soil. He felt the immense power course through him - and laughed wildly. "This is the power of the absolute!", He cried, not ceasing in his barrage. The C-box was a burning monument of madness, as the mad king tore apart his opponents and innocent bystanders alike with wild, cruel arcs.
While drunk on the high of his terrible newfound power, Paorou was suddenly sealed in the Tower of Iwaku. From above, a single airship bearing Rory and the Sages of Iwaku stood vigil over the ashen ruins of the region. The announcement was made soon after : "No more. This is a ceasefire. We will ignore Iwaku ever existed," their enemies proclaimed.
The massacre at the C-Box had finally ended.
The End of Gabriel's Era
The massacre at the C-box shed some light on Paorou and Gabriel's secret agenda. The sword was forcibly confiscated from the man caped in red, who finally surrendered it without resistance. Resentment lingered amongst the nobles - especially about Gabriel's decision. The wounded king was implicated, despite Paorou's attempts to claim responsibility for the madness at the C-box. Further trials and accusations from the nobles came about in the years following the tragedy. Gabriel's credibility was shot and his stable seat of power had now become shaky.
Gabriel conversed with Paorou in private, telling him that he could already see his reign ending. Among his nobles were hungry wolves, just waiting to tear him apart and take his throne. As such, he told Paorou to take the Sword of Iwaku, and toss it into the lake of Woodrat. This was so that no one could ever use it again - and so that the massacre will have become nothing but a distant memory.
Obviously, Paorou was against this - but his long time friend was exhausted from his service to Iwaku. Gabriel made his farewell to his two trusted princes, Asmodeus and Rory. The old king of Iwaku slept as he was carried onto his ship, and left for a voyage to his new promised land. As the ship left, the mad king pulled the sword from it's sheathe, and tossed it into the lake. The hand of the goddess Kaoru then reached out and grasped it mid-flight, fading into the water as it appeared.
The reign of the Two Princes had begun.
The Cult Wars
Asmodeus and Rory now had the entirety of Iwaku to manage, with the exception of Paorou's region of Insanity. The mad king said nothing to each of them, respecting their power and letting them do what they wanted. He simply nodded when they split the land in two, with Asmodeus taking the rich Roleplay Lands, and Rory taking the capital. Then, as they went about their first acts of noble duty, the Lord of Crimson just watched.
Rory built on the infrastructure of the old, and he was popular with the townsfolk. However, he was an ineffectual leader, and his cronies were accused of being lax. On the other hand, Asmodeus was a radical, destroying the old and creating a new world in his image. He was incredibly ambitious, setting his sights on all of Iwaku, even Paorou's Insanity. Seeing Paorou and Reality Benders as 'relics' of the old age, he revealed to all the power of Confluence.
While they did so, Paorou simply watched, and fought in minor cult skirmishes to control the denizens of his Insanity. A particularly large skirmish occurred between his bread cult and the ISAF; one involving the great demon Shintaro Kago. This battle occurred and ended at Nerf, causing the monument to crumble even further. This battle, however, ended with the alliance of the ISAF to the Mad King. This shaped Insanity into the Warmachine it would become in the future.
It was only when Asmodeus completed a tower in the lands of Insanity, that Paorou finally acted against him. Leading a force of Bread Cultists, he besieged and destroyed the tower in a large skirmish with a bodycount far beyond any bloody cult war prior. Asmodeus' lieutenants came in too little and too late, and his great tower was demolished. Such was the battle that even the unaligned cults were involved, taking various sides.
Suddenly, Paorou was cut into 4 pieces by Asmodeus himself, showing the power of Confluence over his Reality Bending. For a time, Paorou was believed dead.
Peace talks occurred at Venun Hill - but was signed between cults. However, Asmodeus did not honor the ceasefire. A few days later, P.U.L.S.E. guild captain and popular Rory loyalist King Weavel, was supposedly assassinated by the Emissaries.
His partner, Colie, was rescued from death by none other than the mad king himself.
The Admin War
The Admin war is the single greatest event in Iwaku's history, literally shaking the world to it's very core. As Paorou has been the most important central figure in the war, this section will deal with events he directly participated in. For his plots and schemes regarding his comrades, refer to their own pages.
Paorou fought because he believed it was his fate to fight, and that all this was a result of the Cycle governing Iwaku. He was reborn because of the Cycle, and he believed that Rory and Asmodeus' fight was long ordained. At the beginning of the war, Rory and Paorou were allies. The lands of Insanity, and the Rory-loyalists were working side by side to quash Asmodeus' attempts at making his new world. At first, the Mad king and the ISAF were the ones doing all the fighting, evenly matching Asmodeus' forces and towers with superior numbers and coordination.
Paorou tricked the goddess Kaoru into staying at Nerf, where she was presumed to be killed or sealed away. Then he himself stepped in to instantly destroy the Coatlbara, a demonic superweapon, and personally fought against Pon - a wanderer drawn to Iwaku. At first, the allegiances were clearly defined.
But such was the intrigue and the twists involved. Allegiances changed instantly: The ISAF giving up on the Rory-Paorou alliance, Asmodeus being defeated by Jack, then Rory plotting behind Paorou's back. Even then, the mad king refused to stop fighting. He espoused the nature of the cycle during this war. This war had to happen.
At Paorou's victory charge, which was supposed to smash down Asmodeus' final ARC tower, he was suddenly surrounded on all sides. It was then Paorou truly revealed himself as the villain of the war, first revealing that he had kept the Sheathe of Iwaku. The sheathe had the capability to grow to any size, allowing him to drop a tower on his opponents.
Then, he caused one of the greatest atrocities in the entire war: He had made his army a living bomb. Surrounded on all sides, the fanatics exploded into blood and gore, taking the entire battlefield with them. It rained blood on that day.
While his enemies were shocked and stunned, Paorou headed towards the lake, and revealed his true goal: The Sword of Iwaku. At the lake, Paorou defeated the old sage Woodrat, and took the sword from the lake. He then fought with Asmodeus, and showed him the power of the sword.
Paorou then explained his plan: he would destroy this world literally, and when there are none left alive, he would have sole dominion of the malleable reality. From that malleable, unchallenged reality, he can freely create his utopia. The 'reformed' angel saw truth in his twisted madness and joined him, proving his loyalty by taking arms against the Warmaster, who had come to stop them. Paorou, surprised at what had occurred, had gained an unlikely ally.
He then went with Asmodeus, to return to Nerf to destroy Iwaku. However, Rory's fleets stood in their way. After fighting through their aerial blockade, where Paorou made full use of the sheathe and the sword, he fought and killed the goddess Genesis. The blade tore her apart instantly - but Paorou's lack of knowledge regarding her allowed her to be reborn. After destroying the three ships, and foiling Rory's defense efforts, the duo finally end up at Nerf.
Asmodeus takes his final stand at the gates of Nerf, while Paorou goes within. Rory and his team break through the castle, first defeating Orochi, then Nic, and then Soulless. Fluffy, Kitti and Rory then face the mad king in a final battle, where he reveals that he will destroy Iwaku by piercing the core with the sword, thereby killing it. The final battle goes underway, with Paorou easily defeating Kitti, and finally landing a hit on Rory.
He is, however, forced by Jack into what looks like an 'Earth'-based alternate dimension, where his reality bending powers are lost. He still beats on Porg with his larger weight, but loses his cape and the sheathe as a result. Paorou find his way back to the portal leading to Iwaku, and continues the process of drilling.
It is then that the lord of all Iwaku, Homac finally makes his move to stop Paorou personally. However, his lax nature has made it too late for him to do anything. Paorou has already stabbed the core; Iwaku, and Homac begin the process of dying. The final act of the reborn goddess Fluffy, is to take the life of her own husband in front of Paorou's eyes. As the mad king makes a last move to Kill Rory and secure his spot as the 'last observer' of the world, the trickster reveals his true plan all along.
Iwaku's energies were not disappearing or stagnating - it was moving towards a new vessel, procured by Rory's machinations. Paorou suddenly laughs at the notion of someone like Rory easily outdoing his schemes at the final moment, and goes to sits on his throne, as his castle crumbles around him. He then says that Rory is even worse than himself - but that is probably what the new world needed all along.
The mad king is then crushed by debris as Rory makes his escape.
At the epilogue, however, it is revealed that Paorou is still alive after all the survivors have left for the mirror Iwaku. As technically, he is the only living sentient being on old Iwaku - he has achieved the status of 'Last Observer'. His dominion now absolute, the mad king uses up all his energy to revive all those slain in the war, and then falls into a deep slumber.
He was supposedly 'still alive' at this point.
After the Admin War, 'Old Iwaku' has become Paorou's 'Insanity'. It is his domain, and his rule here is unquestioned. The Bread cultists who recognize him as their leader are citizens and guardsmen of Insanity. Most of the people who live in Insanity are normally those who would have otherwise been hated or shunned in the mirror world. (most likely due to their allegiance.)
However, Paorou had good relations with Rory, thanks to Orochi his ambassador. Some bread cultists actually live in the new Iwaku, or 'mirror' Iwaku. While still feared as a villain, the general Iwakuan populace have relegated him to "a neighbor they wouldn't want to mess with", rather than an outright monster they have to get rid of. However, some resentment still lingers, especially among those who had participated in the war.
During the Dark Reign, Paorou saw the cyclical destruction facing the world of Iwaku once more, and decided to act, imposing his will on the Iwakuan populace along with 4 other powers.
He acted as the head of the tyrannical regime, trying to keep the dying world of Iwaku alive. However, he knew this was a futile plan, and sought out those who could change the status quo by moonlighting as a Trismegistan Inquisitor.
Once he heard that Asmodeus held the key to ending the Cycle, he partook in a plan to indirectly help them succeed. Many schemes and intrigues occurred during the events of the Dark Reign, one of them being Jack Shade's acquisition of the Sword of Iwaku. Paorou did not agree to this plan, as he had wished the blade to fall into Asmodeus' hands instead.
He was slain once by Jack Shade when he revealed this plan, but regenerated due to his role as a Cyclic Guardian. Knowing now that even the sword wasn't enough to destroy him in the current broken cycle, he sought to have a proper final battle with Asmodeus' company, accepting his role as the villain to be overthrown.
He was finally slain and freed from the Cycle, at the end of the world where his role was to be deposed. He accepted this final death and has not reappeared in the future iterations of Iwaku ever since.
Paorou has built up his powers over the years of his stay on Iwaku. As such, he had great power in Iwaku, both literally and politically.
The Treatise on Reality Bending
Paorou created the first documentation and explanation for Reality Bending. His treatise covers the idea of 'generally' accepted reality and the Reality Bender being an anomaly. As such, the burden is on the Reality Bender to somehow overcome generally accepted reality to allow himself to manifest his own views in that world.
The bender must first build dominion over reality, until he/she can achieve 'true dominion', where he/she is able to define and redefine the world's values and truths on a whim. True Dominion usually means that his will is generally unquestioned, making the Reality Bender akin to a god.
On Iwaku, this is much simpler as 'reality is malleable'. There are no defined rules or physics that all Iwakuans adhere to, hence making Confluence users and Reality Benders incredibly common. It is assumed that Confluence is an Iwaku-only phenomenon as it is similar to reality bending, but happens to side with a 'budding' generally accepted reality.
However, the very same treatise also comes to the conclusion that Reality Bending is not absolute. There are universal mechanics that even Reality Benders can never ever change. This was proven when Paorou discovered the true nature of the Sword of Iwaku. (See Absolutes)
Paorou's trademark power is his 'eyebeams' - a result of him bending reality to allow the spontaneous creation of energy. By default it is a powerful laser beam fired from his eyes, using light-transferred heat to burn his opponents. However, it has become more sinister and abstract as he began to explore his own powers.
Currently, the Eyebeams are a manifestation of Paorou's own 'perception' (the reality he wants) forcing it's way into the current reality as rays of light. As it is not yet 'generally accepted' reality, people see it simply as golden beams of light.
They do not necessarily come from his eyes anymore - the firing points appear in a close proximity around his form rather than from his appendages or eyes. This ability may have come about after he was cut into four pieces by Asmodeus.
For those with a strong will, the damage is concussive. This is explained by two opposing perceptions clashing, without the other overwriting the other. For those who do not have such a resistance, the beams burn right through their flesh and armor. This represents Paorou's 'perception' overcoming their reality.
The more powerful version of this ability is called 'Manifold Perception' (多種知覺 Japanese : Tashu Chikaku | Mandarin : Duōzhǒng zhījué ) in which he fires volleys of 'perceptions' over a wide area, overwriting and destroying opposing realities with a barrage of eyebeams.
Unknown to many is his vow with the world of Iwaku, having signed a contract written in the words that formed one of its many cycles. He is similar to Chaos in that he is a Cyclic Guardian, tasked to protect the world in exchange for the power it grants. The power he gained is 'Cyclic Regeneration' : if his body is destroyed within the world of Iwaku, the land itself will rapidly heal him, creating new limbs and organs for him if needed.
Before the Admin War, Paorou never received a single grievous blow, and never triggered this ability. However, after Asmodeus cut him into four quarters, his morphology and the manner in which his powers manifested was visibly changed when he revived. Some suspect this is the real reason he began to become obsessed about the Cycle, and suddenly became acutely aware of the world's condition.
Crimson Jin (真紅神)
Paorou's steed, which was born out of his reality bending. It is pronounced Shinku Jin in Japanese, and Zhēnhóng Shén in Mandarin. The name supposedly means 'Crimson God'. It is said that it represents his 'creativity' - born out of one of the 4 quarters he had been cut into by Asmodeus. He has been seen riding it ever since the Admin war.
The Crimson Jin is a white and red dirt motorcycle that generates 'lightning wings' from it's rear wheel. It allows him to fly, with a strange trajectory akin to a zigzagging lightning bolt. These lightning wings can be used as shock blades and to increase his spread for running people over.
The Crimson Jin is literally part of Paorou, and is rumored to be nothing more than a visual effect to explain his flight.
Paorou's base of power is his Kingdom of Insanity, where he has achieved True Dominion. This means he is the strongest reality bender in the area, his existence short of being the laws of physics himself. As such, even Confluence users will find that the 'generally' accepted reality is his reality. His power here is only surely trumped by an Absolute Relic.
However, these 'laws' are not yet well defined. It can be argued that Paorou left reality 'malleable' so he can still change it further when challenged.
Thus, both confluence users and Reality Benders still pose a threat to him in a large group. A group of like-minded individuals with a unified goal and strong will have a large possibility of overthrowing his dominion in Insanity. While the task is incredibly difficult with Paorou as the 'Last Observer' of the Old Iwaku, it is still possible.
The Tower of Iwaku
The sheathe of Iwaku which has no predetermined size. It was created to house the Sword of Iwaku, which had no predetermined form. As such, it can become a giant tower and a small needle. Paorou made full use of this sheathe in the Admin war, changing it's size and clubbing large swaths of his enemies with it. At the end of the war, it was stolen from him by Porg.
In his hands, the Sword of Iwaku turns from a beautiful crystal blue into an insidious, bronze, wavy sword. A grotesque eye opens on it's hilt, reflecting Paorou's perceptions. The tip of the sword is forked, making it similar to a serpent's tongue. In this form, it is called 'Ouroboros' - The serpent biting it's own tail.
In this form, the sword that maintains the ability to cut through and theoretically kill anything that exists in Iwaku. In addition, it has the ability to become a sentient, tentacle like blade. It can stretch forth an undetermined amount of length, and can whip around at Paorou's whims.
It's strength lies in the killzone it theoretically creates simply by being active. Opponent's will have great difficulty dodging as soon as they enter Paorou's range. In this form, Ouroboros was observed to be able to cut a warship in half. (Thought it arguably simply 'killed' the warship's hull rather than literally cut it's entire length.)
However, since Paorou is far from omnipotent, this added ability has had flaws. He was not able to completely kill the goddess, he could not hit Rory with the blade due to him phasing out of time and space, and his blade did not 'kill' the energy that encompassed the world of Iwaku. Certain abstract things he cannot really fathom, and things hidden from his sight have a chance of surviving this blade.
It is suspected that this weakness is how he survived Jack Shade's own use of the Sword, while it was in the form of Mordred.
Paorou's knowledge of the Absolute Laws, and his treatise on Reality Bending come from the fact that he originated from a world outside Iwaku and continued to travel to and from it to understand it from an outside perspective. This made him encounter the alternate worlds, where he found that the nearest worlds adjacent to Iwaku were almost literally just mirrors of it. It is rumored he also altered their events, leading a few to recreate similar 'Admin Wars' with different contexts.
This is a list of characters suspected to be Paorou's alternative self or equivalent. Whether they became central to their world's fate may or may not have been through his meddling:
Paorou-sama is a shameless self-insert of Paorou.