"Folken of Fanelia is dead." - Folken FanelFolken Fanel (フォルケン・ファーネル), also referred to as Strategos, is one of the main villains of The Vision of Escaflowne and Escaflowne.
Folken is a hard man to read. He hides all his emotions behind a cold mask of indifference and never lets others know of his plans or actions until he acts upon them. Very intelligent, he is suspicious of all his enemies and even those around him. There is a calming effect in the way Folken tends to deal with situations no matter how perilous they seem.
Folken has sky blue hair and red eyes. His right arm has been replaced by a cybernetic prosthetic. He wears gold hoop earrings and has a purple teardrop-shaped tattoo under his right eye.
He carries a katana and tends to wear long dark clothing. As part of Zaibach's forces, his high-collared cloak is worn wrapped close to cover his mechanical arm, while after his switch to the alliance he wears the same type of clothing, but a light green wrap hides his cybernetic arm from prying eyes in place of the familiar cloak.
Folken was a caring and loving brother to the young Van, reading to him, playing with him and forging a bond with his much younger sibling.
After the death of his father Goau, Folken was intended to be the next King of Fanelia by right of dragon slaying. An unfortunate accident during the task cost him his right arm and his life as the Prince of Fanelia. Folken was left to die in the forest after the dragon wandered away. The next thing he knew he was under the care of Dornkirk and his sorcerers, discovering to his horror that he now had a cybernetic arm.
Life during the WarEdit
"Van, you are my brother; we share the same blood. This world is difficult for a... gentle soul such as yours to bear. This world, where man fights against man - no, where every living thing fights to take the life of another! We kill beasts, we kill dragons, we even kill men! Fighting begets fighting, and the slaughter begins anew - such is the way of the world." -Folken Fanel
Under a new identity, Folken Strategos began a new life in Zaibach. A charismatic and brilliant tactician, he became Dornkirk's second in command, operating the Vione and commanding Dilandau Albatou and his Dragon Slayers.
Through the series he attempts on many occasions to persuade Van to join him on Dornkirk's side for the good of Gaea. Eventually he realizes that Van will never side with him and proceeds to hunt for Van as the "dragon" and for his companion Hitomi. To this end, he eventually sends out his two most prized soldiers, the twin cat girls Naria and Eriya.
After a series of events whereby Van attacks the Vione, the two cat girls eventually die in his arms after a 'Negative Reaction of Fortune'. Folken realizes his flawed thinking and chooses to side with his brother, rebelling against Dornkirk, and giving information about Zaibach tactics and weapons to help Van's cause.
"May Gaea find true peace." - Folken Fanel
After escaping the Vione, Folken sends a message to his brother to meet in Fanelia. With prowling land dragons drawn by the negative thoughts and emotions Van is emanating, he has to open his now black feathered wings, the color change from white to black representing that his life has been shortened by the negative reaction to fortune.
After creating a machine to draw the pillar of light, he and Hitomi are transported to the heart of Zaibach where Folken intends to kill Dornkirk. Hitomi warns him that if he does what he intends then he in turn will die, but Folken has accepted his fate and follows through with his plan. When he drives his sword down to kill Dornkirk, the blade catches and shatters, the last shard piercing him fatally through the chest.
- Likely due to his mechanical right arm, Folken holds his sword left-handed. He is the only main character who uses his left hand to hold his sword (Van, Allen, and Dilandau are all right-handed).