Character Character Name: Zelgadis Greywars Fandom: Slayers [Slayers @ wikipedia, Zelgadis @ wikipedia, Zelgadis @ KanzakaDex (wikia for the mangaka)] (despite spelling variations, all reference the same character) Timeline: Slayers Evolution-R, episode 13 Crimes: Grand larceny, attempted murder (and murder, of monsters and other dark beings), attempted parricide, property damage, destruction of ancient artifacts, kidnapping, assault and battery, disturbing the peace, summoning elemental and astral creatures, jellyfish speak. Accomplice to: murder, grand larceny, massive property damage, cheating at Brass Rackets, assisting Lina Inverse in evading justice.
Personality: There’s a lot to Zelgadis Greywars as a person, but most people never get to see the majority of it. They often find themselves blocked right at the surface, both literally and otherwise.
As a chimera, Zelgadis feels that he is set apart from the rest of humanity. He is one third golem, which gives him grey-blue stone skin and wire for hair and gives him great strength and endurance; one third brau demon, which grants him great magical capacity as well as enhanced senses and speed; and one third human. He was turned into a chimera by his great-grandfather, the infamous magician Rezo the Red Priest, after Zeldagis asked for power, and since then he has been a changed person. Previously naively loyal and kind-hearted, Zelgadis considers the human side of his personality to have been buried beneath the stone and wire of his new body -- although, in truth, there is more of his old self in his new body than he realizes.
Zelgadis is ashamed of what he has become. He wears a hood and mask along with a full body cloak in order to hide as much of his appearance as possible, as well as acts cold and aloof with everyone he first meets in order to keep them at arm’s length. Once called a “heartless, magic using swordsman,” Zelgadis identifies with that description and actually likes it. He is seemingly content to be seen as no more than that; it beats being thought a freak or having people close enough to know that being different is uncomfortable for him.
Because he considers himself less than human, Zelgadis’s life is devoted to finding a cure for his condition -- at least, that’s what he’ll tell you. The reality, like everything in his life, seemingly, is not so simple.
Indeed Zelgadis is dedicated to finding his cure. He has spent years searching far and wide, tracking down every obscure and esoteric magical rumor in order to see if it could possibly lead to a way to reverse his transformation and make him human once more. Every search ends in disappointment which has led to a great degree of bitterness. And while ironically his “cursed” body has allowed him to travel to far more places and do more things, as well as win greater battles, Zelgadis considers himself to be a failure at the most important goal he has set for himself.
In spite of this, there are certain people that Zelgadis allows into his life and even doesn’t mind spending time with, though he may admit it only under the most extreme duress if at all. The only problem with this is that one of his cohorts-by-force is the violent sorceress Lina Inverse, another is a stupidly naive princess who has a crush on him, and the last is an idiot swordsman pretty boy. Alas, welcome to his life. But nevertheless these friends have saved his life and Zelgadis has saved theirs and the bond they share is, he is loathe to admit, quite deep. Although that only means he’ll team up with them for important situations, including a cure for his chimeric condition and, sometimes, getting roped into saving the world. It’s not as though he sets out to do the latter, but he has shown time and again a desire to help and protect the few true friends he has in the world. And the simple fact is that by the time Lina and her merry band have their claws in him for a few days he’s usually neck deep in mortal peril and much too involved to just turn around and let himself ignore it. Heartless as he may wish to come across, Zelgadis still has enough pride and honor to do what must be done for the greater good.
He’ll just continue to pursue his own goals right after risking life and limb for said greater good, thanks. Or during, if he can. But even this is subject to negotiation -- when given the chance to see the true Claire Bible, which may have been the only hope for his cure, Zelgadis didn’t even try to follow Lina into its lair, knowing that the fight at hand and the ultimate goal of stopping the Mazoku took precedence. (His official version is that he was a little busy avoiding certain death at the moment.)
Although he prefers to maintain a calm, sometimes stoic demeanor, Zelgadis does have a few hot buttons that will elicit a hot-tempered reaction. Someone mocking him, as Xellos continually does, especially someone more powerful than he is, is the quickest way to get on his immediate and everlasting bad side. Although Zelgadis has no choice but to work with Xellos (or rather, be dragged into working with him) on occasion, he makes clear that he absolutely does not approve. Also, generally speaking, people who he considers naive and superficial irritate him -- however, as shown with Amelia, they also can grow on him given enough persistence.
The same determination which Zelgadis shows in relation to seeking his cure is also exhibited in other areas of his life -- you could call it stubborn and be equally as correct. Once he throws down the gauntlet of battle, or happens to find himself in the line of fire as often is the case, he refuses to quit until the day is won. Even at the potential cost of his own life, as shown in Next and Evolution-R, Zelgadis refuses to quit the battlefield until his side is victorious. However there are less appealing sides to this characteristic; Zelgadis can be hard-headed (if you’ll excuse the pun, which he never would!) to a fault, absolutely refusing to budge on whatever issue he has decided is so vital. Not terribly patient, he has no time for delays or the “frivolous” things most of his friends get involved in. Even when it’s clear that his views have changed over time, as they do with Amelia who he comes to care for an protect, he would be damned to actually show that he’s changing his mind. Only in moments of gravest danger is Zelgadis able to drop his barrier and let his true self show through.
Zelgadis also has a great deal of loyalty -- a quality retained from his human self. The first group he was with following his transformation remained his comrades even after Zelgadis chose to leave the group for the reason of going against his great-grandfather; when he comes across them later in the series there is evidence of a bond, if a businesslike one. And not only is Zelgadis loyal to Lina and his other companions, fighting for them and even participating, however begrudgingly, in their side quests and other diversions that he deems unnecessary,; but is also loyal, in a sense, to Rezo the Red Priest whom he hates as the one who turned him into a chimera. Despite his rage toward Rezo, in Evolution-R Zelgadis fails to destroy the jar containing the last pieces of Rezo’s soul despite being told that there is no hope for his cure. Although Lina prevented others from intervening and forceably stopping Zelgadis from destroying Rezo, Zelgadis ultimately chose on his own to allow his great-grandfather’s soul to survive. Whether this loyalty is drawn from Zelgadis’s boyhood -- and human -- days serving a kind-hearted Rezo, to family ties, or simply a hope that his cure will still be a possibility is unknown -- although Zelgadis would undoubtedly claim the latter.
All this is a lot to say about a man who can, more often than not, be seen with crossed arms at the fringes of a group, or silently sipping coffee apart from his dining companions. Zelgadis is a complicated and multi-layered man -- and that, at least, he might agree with.
Abilities: Enhanced abilities: Being a chimera, Zelgadis has several enhanced senses and abilities. Due to his stone body, his weight is greatly increased (approximately 1 ton) and he has great strength and toughness. He has been shown to lift items that were nearly impossible for any normal human. Additionally, his skin is difficult to pierce or harm without magical means; in fact trying to injure his skin with a fist or mundane weapon typically harms the attacker.
Zelgadis also has greatly increased senses and speed due to being one-third Brau demon. He has long, pointed ears that are able to pick up sounds at a much more sensitive level than human ears. He also has greatly increased reflexes and speed; in canon he is shown to cross significant distances more or less instantly. This is a lesser version of a Mazoku’s ability to teleport.
As a chimera, Zelgadis has to eat less frequently than a human and often drinks only coffee to sustain himself. He also has enhanced endurance and rarely tires, although the extent is not specified.
Swordsmanship: Zelgadis typically uses a sword along with magic in order to fight. His swordsmanship combined with enhanced strength and reflexes makes him a formidable opponent. In Next, Zelgadis is able to hold his own in a match against a possessed Gourry Gabriev, holder of the Sword of Light, who is widely shown to be one of the great swordsmen in the world. Zelgadis frequently uses a magic spell, Astral Vine, in order to enhance his blade and allow it to pierce and harm beings whom are normally invulnerable to attacks from mundane weapons.
Magic: As a chimera, Zelgadis has greatly enhanced magical capacity. He is able to cast a great variety of spells due to his greater pool capacity, the total amount of magical energy available to a person. This allows him to cast multiple spells at great strength before tiring.
In the Slayers universe, there are four main types of magic: Black magic which are primarily offensive attacks with a few summoning spells, White magic which focuses on healing and spiritual attacks, Shamanistic magic which is further divided into earth magic, air magic, water magic, and spirit magic, and Chaos magic. Shamanistic magic is Zelgadis’s primary area of expertise in magic, however he is able to cast spells from all categories except for Chaos Magic, in which he has never trained. The spell list, by category of Black, Shamanistic, and White magic can be found here, along with a description of each known spell. That said, magic users who are particularly talented have been shown to create or enhance their own spells, given proper materials and training.
Of the Black magic spells, Zelgadis has not been shown to cast the strongest offensive spells, such as Lina Inverse’s Dragon Slave. High level Black magic calls upon one of the Mazoku Lords, and Zelgadis has not been shown to utilize them, although given practice it is probable that, in canon, he could do so. He is, however, shown to be able to cast summoning spells, which can call a demon servant, whom the user controls, from beyond dimensional barriers. This ability is shown in canon to break dimensional barriers, as the summon has to break through the astral plane to manifest in the user’s dimension.
Within White magic, Zelgadis primarily uses the healing abilities, at which he is shown to be proficient. He is able to heal himself and others following a battle. He has not been shown to use Resurrection, which is a high-level shrine maiden spell used to raise the dead or near-dead. Simple White magic, such as Lighting and simple flares and blocks, are well within his abilities -- in fact, these abilities are shown in canon to be used by magic users whose powers are sealed because they take little magical capacity.
Primarily, Zelgadis focuses on Shamanistic magic, specifically spirit magic and earth magic. He rarely uses water magic and only focuses on lower level fire magic spells, but is capable of using all of the listed spells in Shamanistic categories. Specifically of note is his ability to harm spiritual/immoral beings using spirit magic, as well as summon spirit creatures (see above). The strongest of these spells is the Ra Tilt, which can destroy a lower-level Mazoku in a single hit (even higher level Mazoku experience discomfort, if hit). Strong spells such as the Ra Tilt and summoning spells require a chant to cast; this takes time and can be interrupted before completion.
Multifandom Test: Zelgadis would have an interesting relationship with Nicholas D. Wolfwood from Trigun. Although at first Wolfwood’s friendliness would be off-putting to Zelgadis, he would come to appreciate the man’s laid back humor and good heart. Wolfwood would not ignore or fear Zelgadis’s appearance; in fact he would mock it with good humor and a degree of friendly affection, which Zelgadis would have to struggle to find annoying. Finding out about Wolfwood working with Knives would anger Zelgadis and his sense of honor, but he would also, on some forever unspoken level, understand being willing to give everything up to meet your goals even if Zelgadis has actually been shown not to be willing to do the same.