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Characters / Trails Series Erebonia Chancellor Osborne

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Warning: spoilers relating to events/reveals that happen during the first two Cold Steel games shall be left unmarked. Certain spoilers relating to the third and fourth game however shall remain tagged.

Giliath Osborne
Voiced by: Joji Nakata (Japanese), Peter Beckman (English)

The leading figure in the movement to reform the Erebonian Empire's feudal power structure. Once a general in the Imperial army, it was thanks to his actions in hunting down those responsible for the Hamel Incident and brokering a ceasefire agreement between Erebonia and Liberl that resulted in the Hundred Days War coming to a close. As a reward for his actions, Emperor Eugent III granted him his now current title as High Chancellor of Erebonia. Becoming the first commoner in history to ever achieve the title.

First mentioned in Trails in the Sky: SC, he makes his formal debut Trails in the Sky: The 3rd and has since been a prominent figure in the series setting before finally taking center stage during the Cold Steel saga. Things are cut short however as the finale of Cold Steel I ends with Osborne being assassinated by Crow Armbrust, an event which kick-starts the Erebonian Civil War.


However, it's later revealed in Cold Steel II that Osborne somehow survived the attempt on his life through mysterious means. Appearing no worse for wear when he arrives in the aftermath of the Infernal Castle incident to congratulate his subordinates for a job well done. Afterwards he orders the Ironbloods to prepare for the annexation of Crossbell State. It's also during this time that he's revealed to be the biological father of Rean Schwarzer.

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    # - F 
  • Abusive Parents: Giving his son a Neck Lift and telling him that it's time to bathe the world in despair is probably not gonna win him any father of the year awards.
  • Action Dad: Considering that he was once a former member of the Imperial Army this should come as no surprise.
  • Action Politician: Finally shows off his prowess in Cold Steel IV and he does not disappoint.
  • Adult Fear: Learns that a group of officers are about to plan a pointless war against Liberl who in response, send a jroup of Jaegers to attack his home, resulting in the death of his wife and his son mortally wounded, and the only way to save his son was to make a Deal with the Devil.
  • Affably Evil: He has a lot of ambitions but he does care a lot for his immediate subordinates, respects his worthy enemies, and even takes time to talk to Rean and reveal more about himself in Cold Steel III despite his busy schedule. In his final battle with Rean and Class VII, he's pretty chill about everything though that's because at this point, Class VII already know what his reasons are. He even names all of them by name rather than just generalizing it as "Rean and everyone else".
  • Anti-Villain: He has hints of him being this trope in Cold Steel III where his reasons for doing the things that he does is to get rid of the curse for good, but it's Cold Steel IV where the trope truly sticks where he laid all the foundations for his plans to get rid of it for good at the cost of his life.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To Olivert who, while sharing the same views about the nobility in general, also opposes him for his rapid expansion within the empire and earn a lot of scorn from the other nations and its own citizens within the empire.
    • To Crow due in part to his Osborne's machinations in Jurai is what eventually lead to Crow's grandfather, the former mayor of Jurai, dying of depression.
    • To Rean. Though it's not until the finale of Cold Steel III that they truly become this as Osborne attempts to sacrifice Altina, one of Rean's students and the only person who truly knows how Rean feels because she's been with him to both Crossbell and North Ambria, to become the Sword of Plot Advancement, only for Millium to do it instead.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Rean isn't exactly his dad's biggest fan. At least until the end of Cold Steel IV.
  • Animal Motifs: As the reincarnation of Dreichels, his animal motif is a lion.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Finally shows off his prowess in Cold Steel IV, wielding his BFS one handed.
  • Back from the Dead: Despite Crow shooting him in the heart near the climax of Cold Steel II, he comes back without any scratches whatsoever at the end of Cold Steel II. It's thanks to Ishmelga who's copying the Divine Knights that allow Awakeners to come back from the dead.
  • Badass Armfold: In Cold Steel III, this is how he responds to Rean approaching him inside a Corrupted Valimar with a giant sword and his Superpowered Evil Side, not even all that intimidated.
  • Badass Army: As revealed in The Third, he has control over seventy percent of the Imperial Army though according to him, that's not a lot when he factors in what the Noble Alliance has. By Cold Steel IV, the army is bolstered by the National Mobilization Act and the Curse to the point of the only force being strong enough to challenge it is the Mille Mirage which is basically every other countries unified.
  • Badass Baritone: Joji Nakata and Peter Beckman both give him a deep and booming voice. And as Cold Steel IV shows, he's one of the strongest people in Erebonia.
  • Badass in Charge: Leader of the Ironbloods and he finally gives us a tiny glimpse of his badassery in Cold Steel III.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Shows no problem fighting in his chancellor suit during the assault on the Black Workshop.
  • Badass Cape: His formal battle attire as revealed in the trailer for Cold Steel IV.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: He got exactly what he wanted in Cold Steel II where he manages to hijack the Phantasmal Blaze Plan and gets to occupy Crossbell. And in Cold Steel III, he manages to get his war against Calvard with Ash shooting at the emperor with a gun made in Calvard, Rean destroying the beast that engulfs the world in darkness, potentially kill off Olivert, Victor, and Toval in the exploding Courageous, and dividing Ouroboros into two groups. He still got what he wants in Cold Steel IV though at this point, it's clear that he's not really a bad guy anymore.
  • Balcony Speech: Makes one during the Divertissment chapter in Cold Steel II, announcing who the new government general of Crossbell is.
  • Beard of Sorrow: He doesn't show it but he is hiding a lot of tragedy in him.
  • Benevolent Boss: His Ironbloods are like his children.
  • Best Served Cold: Delivers this towards Ishmelga for ruining his life. He doesn't do this towards Lechter's father despite him being the one who gave the order to raze Osborne's house but instead made him go through a secret trial and executed him there; mainly because he knows that it's all Ishmelga's fault.
  • BFS: His main weapon on foot.
  • Big Bad: Finally takes the position in Cold Steel III after years of buildup.
  • Black Knight: His Divine Knight is the black one of the seven.
  • Blood Knight: A political example. He's excited by the prospect of Olivert opposing his radical plans to reform Erebonia.
  • Body Double: He makes Duke Cayenne think that the reason Osborne survived is because he may have had a body double on that day. It's subverted because that's really him who got shot.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: In Cold Steel IV, despite cornering the heroes on multiple occasions and could have captured or killed off all of them with nothing but an order, Osborne just lets them go to take a shot at him. It turns out that in reality, Osborne's trying to lose on purpose and give Class VII a chance once they've finally found out the truth at the Luna Sanctuary Mirror.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Tells Ash to shoot him in the head, only for the emperor to stop Ash as knows that it wouldn't work.
  • Bring It: During his boss fight, he taunts the three teams to bring it on when they start swapping from one team to another, claiming that whatever they're doing to him is nothing.
  • But Now I Must Go: Leaves Rean, content that he finally killed off Ishmelga and they finally have a father and son talk before he disappears alongside Rutger and Arianrhod.
  • Cartwright Curse: Lost his wife and nearly lost Rean a few days before the Hundred Days War.
  • The Chessmaster: Has plans within plans that even killing him wouldn't even put a stop to those plans. And then he just casually shows up and declares that he's the victor of the Civil War and against Ouroboros. He also out gambits a being not from Zemuria and is behind all the terrible things that have happened at Erebonia.
  • Coat Cape: His attire for his final battle has him wearing a white Badass Longcoat as a cape.
  • Commonality Connection: One of the reasons the Emperor trust him so much is that they both lost loved ones because of the Curse and are trying to destroy it.
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: He's shot and apparently killed in the middle of his public address rallying Erebonia to take up arms against Crossbell. His killer wasn't even doing a good job of hiding. Keyword is also "apparent."
  • Cool Old Guy: From Millium's point of view as he apparently bought Millium a present for a job well done that Millium did.
  • Cool Sword: He wields a BFS that can be ignited with black flames and he uses it with one hand.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: His wife's death, his son's near death experience, the Hamel Incident, and the War of Hundred Days really took a toll on him. Before then, he used to be a nice and approachable guy and a promising commander of the army.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Although unexplained at the moment, Osborne's words during Rean's flashback indicates that he was quite reluctant to leave behind his then five year old son.
    • The third game implies it was to keep Osborne's many political opponents from realizing Rean was still alive after the Hamel faction seemingly killed him so he wouldn't be targeted again or otherwise have them attempt to use him as leverage against Osborne, at least until Rean was older and strong enough to protect himself.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was once a good man and a general in the army until one day his house was raided by Jaegers in an assault that killed his wife and left Rean mortally wounded and thus requiring Osborne to transplant his own heart to save his son's life. After the incident and leaving Rean with Teo, Osborne changed and eventually became the Blood and Iron Chancellor he's known as today.
  • Dark Messiah: His overall plan is to get rid of the curse of Erebonia for good. Unfortunately, this also means that so many lives will be taken thanks to Osborne directing the people's wrath towards Calvard thanks to Ash becoming his scapegoat.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When dealing with Cayenne after he comes back from the dead, he claims that Cayenne's getting old and that he's getting blind or that Cayenne didn't realize that he may have had a body double and that figuring those things out are the least of Duke Cayenne's worries.
  • Deal with the Devil: The 3rd reveals what players might have suspected after SC, which is that Osborne is working with Ouroboros. This is quite possibly where he got Millium and Airgetlam from. Whether or not he's aware that Ouroboros' aid is likely to cease as soon as they get their hands on the Sept-Terion du jour is unknown but he seems ambitious enough that if he knows, he wouldn't care.
    • Subverted in Cold Steel II as not only did he outmaneuver Ouroboros by faking his death, he subverted one of the branches of the Thirteen Factories in to process. He also has one of his subordinates injure Vita, kill her familiar, and declare his intention to seize control of the Society's Phantom Blaze Plan. By the end of the game, it makes you wonder who was the devil in this bargain. Enough that by Cold Steel III, many players are convinced that he was the devil in the bargain when Ouroboros ends up joining forces with him to realize the "Great Twilight Plan" rather than the "Phantasmal Blaze Plan".
    • Played straight in Cold Steel IV where it's revealed that, he made a deal with Ishmelga to become his Awakener so that Ishmelga can save Rean's life.
  • Death from Above: One of his crafts has him holding his sword with two hands, jumping up and stabbing his sword to the ground, creating a shock wave that harms anyone near its radius.
  • Death Is Cheap: Comes back from the dead at the end of the civil war in Cold Steel II, all fine and dandy. In Cold Steel III, Eugent tells Ash that shooting Osborne in the head isn't gonna do much either. It's revealed in Cold Steel IV that Ishmelga and his fragment version of the Great One is the reason why he's able to come back from the dead.
  • Despair Event Horizon: His wife's death and Rean nearly dying was enough to abandon the kid to his foster younger brother to start his crusade.
  • Determinator: The biggest in the franchise after Ishmelga makes him his Awakener by constantly keeping him at bay and actually possessing his own will for 14 whole years in-game. Anyone else near him slowly succumbs to the temptations of the curse by Ishmelga feeding on their insecurities. When Rean finally completes the Great One complete with Ishmelga's curse, he can barely hold it down before he pulls off his Heroic Sacrifice in the normal ending of Cold Steel IV.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Ends up talking with Rean one last time in the boundary between life and death then walks away with a smile on his face, accompanied by both Rutger and Arianrhod who also have smiles on their faces.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: He physically dies in Rean's arms where Valimar carries Ishmelga. This is averted in his spirit form where he has a conversation with Rean one last time.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In his backstory, he warned against the other noble military members to not start the Hamel Incident. They respond by raiding his house, killing his wife and nearly killing Rean. Osborne didn't take it well to say the least.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Probably the only time that he never saw coming was the Emperor volunteering to get shot instead of Osborne.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: After Rean reforms the Great One and is suffering from the curse in the true ending, Osborne tells Rean to eject the Great One completely out of him so they can finally kill the curse. Ishmelga's not amused to say the least.
  • Doting Grandparent: He's this to Millium. Even he didn't expect Millium to pull off her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Dual Boss: He's fought for the first time in the series alongside Arianrhod at the Black Workshop in Cold Steel IV. They're also ARCUS linked with each other.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In the true ending, after he is defeated and absorbed by Rean, Osborne instructs Rean on how to get rid of Ishmelga from him. To say he gave Ishmelga, the source of the curse of Erebonia, a massive middle finger to his face is a massive understatement.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: His first on-screen appearance is from Sky The Third where he discusses things with Olivert but isn't in the center stage at that point in the story. He's mostly a background character throughout the series and only finally steps up in Cold Steel III to be a prominent character.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: His Rush attack in his Divine Knight fight ends with him destroying the world and reducing it to rubble as seen in space. For massive damage, negative status effects, and debuffs.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Whether they're jaegers, artificial children, former nobles, and even the group that he screwed out of the Phantasmal Blaze Plan and convert it to the Great Twilight Plan, he will use everything for his plans.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When he first shows up in The Third at Liberl, he's able to do it with no one the wiser, ends up talking with Olivert who he invites to his group, and ends up respecting Olivert's decision despite the two of them opposing one another.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For one, he still loves and is proud of Rean despite the two opposing each other. Shows to be genuinely fond of his Ironbloods as well, as well as his surrogate younger brother Teo Schwarzer for taking good care of Rean.
  • Evil Chancellor: He's set up as this, being the High Chancellor of Erebonia while also serving as the leader of the reformist faction that wants to end the power of the aristocracy by any means necessary, trading on a platform of aggressive expansionism. As there are lots of Nobles among the heroes of the series, this would be a bad thing. At the same time, see Villain Has a Point. Subverted as he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Evil Counterpart: He's what happens if Cassius Bright turned into a Well-Intentioned Extremist and decided to take matters into his own hands rather than joining the Bracer Guild.
  • Evil Is Bigger: There are probably only a few people who are somewhat near his height and build and most of the people he's associated with are smaller and shorter by comparison. Best shown in the group shot at the final chapter of Cold Steel III.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He's voiced by Joji Nakata, so of course he has a deep voice. Even his English voice actor has a rather deep booming voice fitting for a man known as the Blood and Iron Chancellor.
  • Evil Virtues: If one takes a look at the trope name's page, he's got it all; in fact, he'd be a hero of his own right if it wasn't for the fact that he's also become cynical, and the death of his wife, his son's near death experience, Hamel, and Hundred Days War took a toll on him.
  • The Extremist Was Right: He's ultimately proven correct when his methods, which are very extreme that ended up starting a world war with against Calvard and the rest of Western Zemuria, ended up being the correct choice in the long run as it ends up freeing Erebonia and the rest of the world from Ishmelga's curse. Enough that the Grandmaster acknowledges that the end of the world has been averted for at least three years.
  • A Father to His Men: Towards the Ironbloods. He offers them praise whenever they do a job well done and shares an almost parental relationship with each of them. Special mention goes towards Millium, as he favors her enough that he decides to use Altina as a substitute for her in the creation of the Sword of Demise.
  • Failure Gambit: His entire plan in Cold Steel IV has him counting on Rean and Class VII to best him in combat to have Rean absorb the Great One in the hopes of Rean being able to get rid of Ishmelga for good. He succeeds in the Golden Ending.
  • Faking the Dead: Given revelations in Ao, it's more or less universally assumed that he survived but chose to allow people to believe he was dead. Cold Steel II confirms his survival and it turns out the reason why Osborne can't die is because he has no heart as he transplanted that to Rean.
  • False Flag Operation: Olivert implies that Osborne secretly destabilizes surrounding states via Jaegers and other means in order to create an excuse for Erebonia to annex them.
  • Famous Last Words: Notably he has two of them: one in physical form and one in spiritual form:
    Osborne in his physical form: "Come, Rean Schwarzer." *cue battle cry*
    Osborne in his spiritual form: "Give my best regards to Millium, Claire, Lechter, and Rufus. Well then, farewell my son."
  • Final Boss: Of Cold Steel IV's normal ending.
  • Foil: Serves as one to Cassius Bright. Both men are commoners who served as decorated military officers who were well respected by their peers until they retired (Though Cassius does come back) and are highly competent individuals. However, the similarities end there as both men couldn't be any more different than each other if they tried, such as their relationships with their children who are both protagonists of their respective series. Estelle gets along with her father whereas Rean could care less about Osborne thanks to his actions.
    • In a way, he's also a foil for Dreichels The Lionheart, his previous incarnation. Both want what's best for Erebonia, both ended up being in high positions of their areas (Dreichels is the emperor, Osborne is the High Chancellor second only to the emperor), both are Awakeners to a Divine Knight, both ended up victorious in their Civil War, and both are stalked by Ishmelga, the curse of Erebonia. However, they couldn't even be more different from each other as Dreichels went in the Civil War to liberate people from their suffering while Osborne was out of the civil war till it was over, Dreichels had to liberate villages and cities while Osborne will make cities and villages be a part of the empire through underhanded but peaceful tactics, and Dreichels knew about the curse of Erebonia and resisted its influence but doesn't tell anybody about it until Lianne just sees Ishmelga in the act while Osborne didn't even know about the curse except through voices inside his head and wanted to tell someone about it but never did because he'd be thought as crazy till it was too late and had to make a deal with Ishmelga to save his Rean's life and fully exposes himself to the emperor.
  • Foreshadowing: The ending of Cold Steel III and his plans are already foreshadowed a long time ago back during The 3rd when Olivert claims that Osborne is going for a revolution and start wars left and right. Osborne agrees with the things he says. In fact, he claims that this is the first stage.
    • In Cold Steel IV, his Dual Boss fight with Rean and New Class VII has him ARCUS linked with Arianrhod which is strange since Osborne was the one who screwed everything up for Ouroboros that they ended up having to work together and Arianrhod isn't known for using an ARCUS, let alone linking up with the man who hijacked their plan. It's a sign that Lianne Sandlot trusts and loves Osborne, the reincarnation of Dreichels.
  • Four-Star Badass: Was a Brigadier General in the Imperial Army prior to becoming Chancellor. And the last games show that he most definitely is a badass.
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: Just before their last exchange, he laments that he would have loved teaching his sword style to Rean, had the two were given the chance to live their lives normally.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He was just a kid who used to live at Ymir with his adopted younger brother and decided to enroll at Thors, ended up rising up in the military, and had a wife and son. Then his life went to hell and ends up becoming the High Chancellor of Erebonia who was able to conquer so many places with minimal bloodshed, out maneuver an ancient conspiracy, started a world war and nearly brought the western continent to its knees, and actually laid the foundations for killing his long time stalker and the curse of Erebonia.

    G - N 
  • Generation Xerox: His backstory and current situation shares a number of similarities with his son. Both enrolled at Thors Military Academy at the age of 17. Both are considered outstanding individuals that many look to as examples and as leaders, and as well as being masters of a distinct fighting style and as well as being the Awakener to a Divine Knight. It's also revealed in Cold Steel III that much like Rean, Osborne himself was taken in by a Baron Schwarzer as his adopted child. He even grew up together with a younger sibling (Teo) who admired him.
  • Genius Bruiser: He is one of the smartest people of Western Zemuria enough that he's able to be on top of the deals that he makes with cities and towns that end up getting absorbed into the empire and as Cold Steel IV shows, he's really good in a fight that it took three teams just to even beat him on foot and even then, he's still standing until the time came for the Divine Knight duel to commence. And by the time that duel is over, all four of the soldats are kneeling on the floor.
  • Good All Along: Cold Steel III hints at this though it's Cold Steel IV that cements it as it's clear that he could have actually been a very cunning and powerful warmonger but instead chose to do the things that he did in order to solve Erebonia's problems and get rid of the curse for good.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Walks towards the afterlife with a smile on his face after his final conversation with Rean.
  • Graceful Loser: When he gets shot by Crow at the climax of Cold Steel I, he gracefully accepts his loss, but then it's also going according to his plan anyway and Death Is Cheap for him. He also takes his loss well against Rean but that's because he was trying to lose on purpose in the first place.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He's already been establishing himself as a major power ever since Sky First Chapter where the first Big Bad of that game attempted a coup because of Erebonia becoming way too huge in its military power. And then there's the Crossbell arc where he conquers the place at the end of Ao. He then becomes the proper Big Bad of Cold Steel III.
  • Heartbroken Badass: His backstory consists of him losing Kasia and nearly losing Rean. This is also the same guy who managed to nearly bring the world to his knees in one day thanks to the military technology advantage the empire has and laid the foundations for killing the curse of Erebonia for good.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: His entire image of being a ruthless expansionist warmonger is all a facade in order to ensure that Ishmelga doesn't catch on to its lack of complete control over Osborne.
  • History Repeats: During the finale of Cold Steel II, Osborne looks down on Duke Cayenne, triumphant while Cayenne's pinned down at the floor with his loss. As revealed in Cold Steel IV, it turns out that a reincarnation of Dreichels was able to win against a descendant of Orthros.
  • Hope Crusher: At the beginning of Cold Steel IV, it's revealed that Juna, Kurt, and Altina ended up being horrified when Osborne brought out Ishmelga and captured their teacher. Even Class VII were still reeling from the effects of Rean getting captured by the enemies before New Class VII had said anything about Osborne's Divine Knight.
  • Horrifying the Horror: In Cold Steel IV, he also ends up horrifying the curse of Erebonia after Osborne instructs Rean on how to get rid of Ishmelga.
  • Humongous Mecha: As revealed in Cold Steel III, he is the pilot of Ishmelga, the Black Divine Knight.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Downplayed. Most of the commoners see him as a great reformist, but the ILF is made up of commoners who were hurt by his policies.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: If he could just kill the curse of Erebonia just by killing himself, then he'd do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, he needs to do a lot of complicated plans to fully bring Ishmelga down.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: His wife's death and his son's near death experience are his biggest failures in life.
  • I Let You Win: It's made clear in Cold Steel IV that Osborne wants Rean to win in order for him to survive that by the time after his final battle occurs, Osborne tells Rean how to eject Ishmelga out of his body so they can deal wit him once and for all.
  • Invincible Villain: No matter what anyone does, it seems like nothing can put a dent in his plans. Olivert foiling his attempt to invade Liberl in SC? Doesn't matter, he never intended for it to succeed anyway. Getting assassinated in Cold Steel I? No problem, he survives unscathed and shows up at the end of the Civil War, declaring victory over both Vita and the Noble Alliance, proceeding to annex Crossbell and turn his son Rean into his Unwitting Pawn. And then it turns out he's not even human, and even a shot to the head can't faze him. It all comes to a head in Cold Steel III where despite the heroes' best efforts, he manages to declare war against Calvard, potentially kill off Olivert, and spread the Erebonian curse over the entire continent. The game then ends with him triumphantly holding Rean by the neck. He finally bites the dust in Cold Steel IV but also sticks one against Ishmelga, the true main bad guy of Cold Steel IV.
  • Irony: According to Craig, he was one of the leaders of the military who opposed any kind of conflict. Then the tragedy of his home burned, his wife killed, and his child nearly dying took a toll on him. He ends up starting the biggest war on Western Zemuria against Calvard.
  • Karma Houdini: Ends up getting what he wants at the climax of Cold Steel II and III with the only casualty being Millium and the Nameless One. Karma finally catches up to him in Cold Steel IV, with him dying and his name going down in history as one of the worse tyrants and war criminals in Zemurian history and nobody who knows better can say otherwise. Noteworthy thing however is that he welcomes it.
  • Killed Off for Real: He dies at Rean's hands in Cold Steel IV.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Anytime he shows up, the situation always ends up being so serious that there's no room for levity.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: In Cold Steel III, during the flashback where Craig reveals Osborne's past, Osborne is shown alongside Craig and Vandyck and all three were quite dashing.
  • Large and in Charge: He has a very imposing presence and he's unquestionably the real power in the Erebonian Empire.
  • Large Ham: He's usually more subdued, but when he starts chewing the scenery only Olivier can match him.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The fact that he's not dead and that he's Rean's biological father is something that Cold Steel III casually mentions.
  • Leitmotif: "Majestic Roar" and "Celestial Coalescence" for his boss fights on foot and on his Divine Knight respectively.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: He wasn't planning on having Ash attempt to assassinate the emperor, even going so far as to point at his head to tell Ash to shoot him there, but he's willing to capitalize on it.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Ever since his first debut he averts this as he remained something of a background politician throughout the series. It's not until Cold Steel IV that Osborne finally shows off his chops as a former general in the Imperial Army.
  • The Lost Lenore: His wife Kasia is this to him, having lost her after an attack on his home by Jaegers and even nearly lost Rean during it as well.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Reveals himself to be Rean's biological father at the end of Cold Steel II.
  • Master Swordsman: He's a master of the Hundred Swords Style used by the military, which incorporates attributes from the Vander and Arseid styles among others. In more practical terms, he is able to handle both New & Old Class VII at once.
  • May–December Romance: His wife Kasia was 10 years his junior. Because of this, he was actually shy about confessing his feelings to her till Vandyck decided to help get them together.
  • Mundane Utility: He probably didn't even need to summon his Divine Knight just to go to his son and snap him out of his berserk self but ends up doing it anyway, partly because he wants to give his son a Neck Lift.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Him dying at Rean's hands is just the beginning of him giving Ishmelga the middle finger over and over again till Ishmelga finally dies at Rean's hands in the true ending.
  • My Greatest Failure: He fails to save wife from dying, his son nearly dying, Hamel, and the Hundred Days War after he warned the nobles in the military to not even do the Hamel Incident. All of which happens within a few days.
  • Necessary Evil: He has to do his morally questionable acts for the greater good of the world from the curse of Erebonia.
  • Neck Lift: Does to Rean in the final scene of Cold Steel III, telling him that it's time for the world to be plunged in despair.
  • Nerves of Steel: Isn't even fazed too much that Crow shot him in the heart at the climax of Cold Steel I, only complimenting the boy and only pulls off a Badass Armfold when Rean in his Superpowered Evil Side is approaching him menacingly, looking like he was waiting for him.
  • Never Found the Body: Claire reveals halfway into Cold Steel II that Osborne's body mysteriously vanished after he was shot. It's a clue that he's only Faking the Dead.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: To wit, shooting him in the heart with a BFG only inconveniences him at most. And in his final battle, it literally takes three teams just to beat him on foot and yet he's still standing strong when the ritual finally starts for the Rivalry to take place in their Divine Knights. And at this point, Rean has Valimar with the other four Divine Knights powers absorbed in him, Crow's Ordine, his students soldats, the ARCUS links from his friends, and McBurn's gift. By the end of the Rivalry, the four soldats are kneeling on the floor, Crow and Ordine can no longer participate in the final duel, and it takes a Single-Stroke Battle with Rean to finally bring him down.
  • Noble Demon: What makes him different from most of the big bads from the other Kiseki franchise is that his quest is a noble one where he wants the curse of Erebonia gone for good, he doesn't discriminate recruiting even nobles for his plans, is A Father to His Men, abandons his son to his foster younger brother who can actually raise him good, and has points that even Olivert agrees with.
  • No Body Left Behind: After he's defeated by Rean, his body disappears as he's no longer empowered by Ishmelga.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He's known as the Chancellor of Blood and Iron, is known for his political savvy, aggressive expansionist policies and one of his key achievements was creating Erebonia's massive railway system. Sound familiar?
  • No One Should Survive That: What Rean throws at him, stating that he should have been dead from that fatal shot to the heart. Turns out he has no heart, as it currently resides in Rean after Osborne had it transplanted into order to save his life.
  • Not So Different: Ultimately, he and Rean have a lot of things in common. This is later lampshaded with the two of them talking at the boundary between life and the beyond where they both have no issues about sacrificing themselves first before anyone else. More humorously, Osborne was evidently as clueless around women in his youth as Rean is.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: He's usually a background character that the other characters in previous arcs have always been wary of. But the first time he shows off his chops is when he gives Ash an armlock, putting the boy down after he shoots the emperor. He shows off how terrifying he can be when he starts bringing out Ishmelga but its when he brings out his sword on foot that the cast finally realize that he's not one to be trifled with, even after knowing that he's a former military general.

    O - Z 
  • Old Friend: To Olaf and Vandyck during his time in the military. He's also this to Teo Schwarzer as both grew up together thanks to his adoption by Teo's father after the death of his parents.
  • Ominous Walk: After summoning Ishmelga, he ends up slowly advancing towards Rean who is struggling from Crow holding him back. It's also how he starts his S-Craft on foot.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: Holds his BFS with just one hand, even executing his S-Craft with just his right hand. He does however use both hands for his other crafts.
  • One-Man Army: It takes three teams to actually take him down in gameplay on foot. And even then, he's still in tip-top shape before Osborne fights Rean, Crow, and a member of new Class VII in a Divine Knight battle. He finally falls after engaging in a Single-Stroke Battle with Rean.
  • Overarching Villain: His presence and influence throughout the series is felt by the characters. He's the reason why Richard decided to initate a coup to militarize the entire country of Liberl, he's the reason why Olivert decided to form the third way to minimize the fallout that he's causing, and he's the reason why Jurai, Crossbell, and North Ambria are under Erebonian rule.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: His Limit Break in his Divine Knight takes 47 seconds long of him just using a Pillar of Light that destroys Zemuria. For massive damage in gameplay to all party members that is.
  • Parental Abandonment: His parents died in an avalanche when he was thirteen years old, which is why he was adopted into the Schwarzer family. Teo regarded Osborne as a gentle and reliable older brother which is why they were close as Teo calls Osborne "Giliath-niisan". Then he does the same to Rean because of the things that he does throughout the story.
  • Parental Substitute: As revealed in Cold Steel III, he's this to Claire, Lechter, Millium, and Rufus. Millium even affectionately refers to him as "gramps".
  • Pet the Dog: According to Millium, he bought her a teddy bear present after a job well done, one that she still cherishes and reacquires it at the Eisengraf in Roer.
  • Pillar of Light: His Limit Break in his Divine Knight.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Osborne has no problems using whatever resources he has in order to advance his goals, and he even includes himself if it helps him winning, best shown when he gets shot by Crow at the climax of Cold Steel I.
  • Reincarnation: It's revealed during Cold Steel IV that he is a reincarnation of Dreichels. Valimar acknowledges him as such before asking whether he should address him as Dreichels or as Giliath Osborne.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Claire speculates that she and the other Ironbloods are this to him since he wasn't able to properly raise his own son.
  • Retired Badass: Served in the Imperial Army as one of Principal Vandyck's subordinates and made it to the rank of Brigadier General before the Emperor appointed him as Chancellor. He's also a Thors alumnus which speaks for itself.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When Craig narrates to Rean what he knows about Osborne, he mentions that the military found Osborne's home burned down, his dead wife, and a ton of dead jaegers. Considering Osborne's prowess, it's clear that he killed all of them.
  • Say My Name: In a flashback in Cold Steel IV while his house is burning and he's becomes Ishmelga's Awakener, he screams the latter's name in anger.
  • Sequential Boss: Like True Zoro-Agruga before him, the climactic battle in Cold Steel IV involves using all of Class IV, split into 3 groups and swapping out after bring him down to certain HP intervals. After he hits 0, he summons his Divine Knight for a 1v3 battle against Valimar, Ordine, and New Class VII's Panzer Soldats.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: His suit as he is a chancellor isn't too shabby.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Engages one with Rean in their final duel at the Final Rivalry.
  • The Slow Walk: It's how he starts his S-Craft in Cold Steel IV.
  • Start of Darkness: He used to be a bright and optimistic man according to the people who knew him. Then his house was raided on because he didn't approve of the raid at Hamel and couldn't stop the Hamel incident.
  • Skunk Stripe: He has a prominent lock of white hair.
  • Skyward Scream: Ends up screaming at the sky while seeing his house burning, his wife dead, and Rean nearly dying thanks to a wooden splinter piercing his heart, begging for anyone to help out his son.
  • So Proud of You: He's very proud that Rean grew up to be a strong, capable man.
  • State Sec: He created the Railway Military Police to help break the monopoly on power held by the Imperial Army at the same time that he created the railroad network. He also has a group of dedicated followers dispersed throughout the Empire called the Ironbloods.
  • Stab the Sky: When he uses his Limit Break in his Divine Knight, "Dirge of Erebos", he stabs the sky and a pillar of dark energy flows out to the sky, enveloping the entire world in darkness and destroys the world.
  • Strong and Skilled: He is a Master Swordsman and as Cold Steel III shows, he doesn't need his sword to put you down. Just ask Ash and Rean.
  • Taught by Experience: The reason why he had Vulcan's entire jaeger squad exterminated leaving Vulcan as the Sole Survivor is because of the last time jaegers came to his house and burned it to the ground with his wife dead and his son impaled by a large object in his chest.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Lechter seems to believe that if Osborne's death wasn't staged, it was this. This is later on confirmed by Osborne by explaining that he has no heart right now because he transplanted it to Rean. This is also his real goal in Cold Steel IV, while laying the foundations for truly killing the curse of Erebonia for good.
  • Tragic Hero: From Craig's point of view at least, he is one thanks to his wife's death and the Hamel incident.
  • Trapped in Villainy: If he could get rid of the problem of Erebonia just by himself, he'd do it right away. Unfortunately, thanks to a Deal with the Devil, he can't do it because he's got no way of getting around it. Killing him isn't even going to inconvenience him at all.
  • Undying Loyalty: Olivert suspected that Osborne isn't loyal to the emperor. He's wrong, as it turns out Osborne actually respects him, especially since they both lost the love of their lives. In fact, Osborne is the first one to be surprised when the emperor sacrifices himself to be shot by Ash in order to cure his curse.
  • The Unfought: Players don't get to kick his ass whatsoever throughout the entire series and Cold Steel III is no exception because if Rean ever tried to fight his dad, Osborne would just easily control his rage and heart; which he does at the end of the game. Averted by Cold Steel IV where he turns out to be one of the most powerful people on Zemuria on foot, requiring three teams to actually take him down in gameplay. And that's still just a warm-up for him before he engages Rean, Crow, and new Class 7 in their mechs on his own.
  • Unpleasant Parent Reveal: Very unpleasant to Rean who is shocked at the fact that the chancellor of Erebonia who has been annexing countries left and right, and is the reason why Crow wanted to revenge, is his father.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: To the people who knew him before he became chancellor, he was an approachable, kind man. Then his wife's death, his son's near death experience, Hamel, and the Hundred Days War ruined him.
  • Victorious Loser: At the end of the Cold Steel series, he ends fulfilling his objectives despite losing in his duel against Rean.
  • Villain Ball: Somehow manages to hold this in Cold Steel IV where he lets Rean and his company go despite the fact that he could perfectly capture them or wipe out his enemies in one go especially given his track record from the previous games. Turns out this is done on purpose because he doesn't really want to deal with a power vacuum if all the world leaders had died at Pantagruel and that was more on Cedric. And more importantly, he wants to lose the battle so he can win the real war which is to get rid of the curse of Erebonia for good.
  • Villain Has a Point: Despite being perfectly willing to ally himself with Ouroboros, he does have a very strong case against Erebonia's ruling nobles, who are trying to hold on to all the power while the common people are in much the same circumstances as they've been in for centuries when every other nation on the continent is seeing a massive movement toward more significant wealth and quality-of-life equality, which does not escape the notice of the common people of the Empire. Most of his reforms are aimed at improving conditions for the bulk of Erebonia's population. He's just not too concerned if a few citizens get harmed along the way, or about the people whose countries get taken over. Enough that in the epilogue of Cold Steel IV, Jurai doesn't want to leave from the Erebonian empire after being with them for ten long years and wants to remain as a Special Economic Zone. This is despite the fact that Crossbell ended up being free from Erebonian rule (though it was less of liberation and more of "giving it up willingly".
  • Villain Respect: Anyone who's willing to challenge him and his ideals for the greater good will earn his respect. Anyone who's only in it for only themselves would not get any of it.
    • Despite the fact that he was assassinated by the man, he respects Crow for actually managing to kill him in broad daylight. Though admittedly, he knew he was gonna come back from the dead anyway.
    • He could have stopped Olivert's plans at any moment but he decides to let the crown prince take a shot at him and his reforms, claiming that he should go easy on him as a warm up.
    • He praises SSS and their strength of heart yet manages to give them an Armor-Piercing Question of whether Crossbell can actually pull off the same thing that happened in Liberl during the Hundred Day War. He even starts remembering about what he said to SSS when they meet up again in Cold Steel IV and claims that it's been a long time since they've had that conversation.
    • He respects Aurelia's skill for her swordsmanship and hopes she can reach the pinnacle one day before he starts summoning his Super Robot.
    • Meanwhile for Musse, he respects the Mille Mirage movement and gives them his blessings before the group escape from the Black Workshop.
  • Walking Spoiler: Considering he was supposed to have died at the climax of Cold Steel I only for him to reappear at the climax of Cold Steel II, and plays a huge part in III and IV, it was inevitable with him.
  • We Can Rule Together: In Star Door 8, he proposes an alliance to Olivert because they both oppose the Noble Faction's decadence, but the prince refuses and instead forms his own less extreme faction.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's doing all of these bad things that have happened throughout the series to release Erebonia from its curse of repeated tragedies to make sure it never happens again. It just so happens that so many people will have to die for them.
  • Wham Episode: Cold Steel II is this for him in that no one expected him to be a father, let alone the father of the protagonist, but also the fact that he didn't seem too pleased with abandoning him suggesting there's a much deeper reason for the actions he's been doing throughout the series up to this point.
    • Cold Steel III takes this past eleven and break the dial! In short order: manages to get his declaration of war for Calvard by having Ash shoot the emperor (though that was something Osborne didn't expect, but still used very well) with a gun made by Calvard, enact a new law where every citizen must enlist in the army, wake up a corrupted divine beast, plans to have Altina die only for Millium to do it, and revealing himself to be an Awakener!
  • Wham Line: In Cold Steel II when he reveals himself to be alive:
    Osborne: He would gain nothing. Which is why it's rather fortunate I'm very much alive.
    • Then there's one that he declares in Cold Steel III which came out of nowhere:
      Osborne: Heed your master...Ishmelga.
  • Willfully Weak: It's clear that in his fights against Class VII, he's been holding back his true strength by visibly not using his BFS with two hands especially since he's wanting to lose. He still gives them one hell of a fight despite giving them the handicap.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: His faction won the Civil War without him even lifting so much as a finger as his Ironbloods, especially Rufus, took care of it for him. And in Cold Steel III, he already won even before Rean and the others even tried setting foot in the Gral of Erebos. He only starts exerting some effort by calming Rean's heart down after he loses control of his Superpowered Evil Side because that's was originally Osborne's heart.
  • World's Strongest Man: He's so powerful, he makes Arianrhod look like a chump by comparison. And this is with him deliberately trying to lose. Imagine if he decided to go all out instead.
  • Worthy Opponent: Considers Olivert as this especially since at one point in The 3rd, he offers the latter to work with him to oppose the Noble Alliance. Olivert refuses since he's very much afraid of Osborne's policies. His reaction when seeing the Courageous destroyed in the sky is just him closing his eyes and remembering Olivert's determination during The 3rd when he shoots the flowers in the sky.
    • By Cold Steel IV, he sees Musse as this, while musing that she was a better opponent to deal with than Olivert according to one of the screenshots of the game.
  • Would Hurt a Child: His entire plan in Cold Steel III is to have Altina sacrificed to become the Originator Zero Sword to destroy the Nameless One and spread the curse of Erebonia. And then there's his first boss fight where he's willing to harm Altina and new Class VII.
  • Xanatos Gambit: During the Civil War, it really doesn't matter what anybody else does or even whether Osborne himself survives because he still wins. Best case scenario: (which happened) is that he survives and the Noble Alliance is neutered as a political and military force, he gets his revolution and Crossbell is added to the Empire as a new occupied territory. Worst case scenario: He dies but becomes a martyr to the reformist cause which the Ironblood continue in his name and the Noble Alliance is still crushed because none of the factors contributing to their downfall required his personal survival.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: One of his attacks has him sending a beam of light towards his enemies, sucking them near him, and unleashes a slash that sends them flying away from him.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Osborne carried out his plans to eliminate Erebonia's curse knowing full well that if he succeeded, he'd be publicly remembered as one of the world's worst tyrants and warmongers.


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