Baran (in Japanese: 光帝バラン, Kōtei Baran), also known as the Emperor of Light, is an antagonist seen only in the manga Fist of the North Star.
Years ago, Baran stole some medicine hoping to keep his sister Yuka alive. But she refused when he had blood on him, and Yuka died of her illness wanting to pray to God. Angry at God for the tragedy, Baran went to Raoh who was fighting a challenger to his rule, and begged him to be taught Hokuto Shinken. However, Raoh refused him as the art is passed from father-to-son and learn it from observation. One day, Baran stumbled upon a catatonic girl. When he gave her his cloak, Raoh ordered Baran to end her misery, but he refused and was deserted.
In Blanca, Baran wanted to turn the land itself into a graveyard. When bandits were harassing Luseli, Baran kills the punks and says it was he who saved her and not God. At that, Baran wanted to lead a life superior to God in his country.
In the present, Baran is first seen helping a baby boy from his illness, and holds him high while the mother prays to him. Kenshiro suspected Baran was using Hokuto Shinken and Baran preached to his "children". But one villager speaks out against him calling him a fraud, but Baran presses his middle finger into the villager's heart. For his punishment, the villager is killed through the Hokuto Shinken effects while Baran is praised like a deity. One soldier, Orga tries to extricate Luseli recanting his belief in Baran, but Baran tears the soldier's face open showing he doesn't need God.
Baran still wants to prove his love for Luseli by conquering Sava and Blanca and stops her from committing suicide. But when Luseli says she has an unwavering love, Baran suspects her secret lover being Satora. Baran also blamed Satora's change of heart on the will of God. Tortured by visions of his sister, he is informed of Satora's infiltration of his city.
When Satora arrives to rescue Luseli, Baran stops him wanting to kill him at anytime; But Baran's real target is Kenshiro insulting him as a "messenger from God". Baran uses a technique which Kenshiro recognizes as the Zanei Katsu Ken. Baran further taunts about how Luseli's prayers are ineffective.
Calling God a myth, Baran dominates the fight and insults Luseli as the image of Yuka. Luseli tries to call off the duel knowing that the fight would not make Yuka's spirit happy. Knowing Satora can save Luseli from his clutches, Baran blasts a technique similar to the Gosho Ha at Satora. Kenshiro then dares the false messiah to beat him if he wished to replace God, but Kenshiro breaks his hand.
Kenshiro then stops Baran's Gosho Ha and shows he can never become a God, before blasting his own Hokuto Gosho Ha at the false messiah. Angrily using Luseli as a shield, Baran orders Satora to kill Kenshiro to show his love for her. Raoh's son, Ryu offers to sacrifice himself showing an icy stare that almost made him kill the catatonic girl. As he is about to kill him, Baran instead hugs Ryu.
Knowing his path was nothing but a torturous one, Baran suspends every execution and releases the King of Blanca. Taken to a post, Baran is denounced as a duplicitous fraud and shot with arrows. Knowing he died a pathetic death, Baran tells Satora to protect Luseli and has shown to Ryu that he would die a great man.
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