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Remember the day you first trembled before the Knights of Vengeance! Tracker, Frost, Miranda, go!
~ Raythor leading the first attack of the Knights of Vengeance.

Raythor is an antagonist in the animated TV adaptation of W.I.T.C.H. Initially a loyal soldier and commander in the army of Prince Phobos, he starts out as a minor antagonist in Season 1. In Season 2, he becomes a more recurring antagonist as the leader of the Knights of Vengeance, but by the end of the series, he has redeemed himself.

He was voiced by Steven Blum.

History

The Key

Raythor's only appearance during the first season is in the third episode, The Key. The shackles that had been used on Caleb — when the rebel leader had been captured in the previous episodes — are found at the bottom of the pit where Caleb had been lowered into. Raythor deduces the most likely explanation to be that the only key to the shackles had been delivered to Caleb. (The double agent Vathek, who acts as a warden, had done that. When Caleb escaped with the Guardians, the key was hidden for Vathek to salvage, but Blunk the Passling, looking for things to sell, took it with him). Raythor is determined to prove Vathek's treason. At the same time, he wishes to be promoted to Vathek's position of captain and taunts him about it. Under the orders of Prince Phobos, the castle is thoroughly examined, but the key is not found.

As Vathek's treason seems evident, Raythor prepares to throw him into the Abyss of Shadows, a dreadful and supposedly bottomless pit where no one has escaped from. However, the Guardians and Caleb arrive with the key to rescue Vathek and knock out Raythor. To keep Vathek's position as a double agent from being blown up, the Keeper of the Heart, Will, comes up with an idea. The key is placed in Raythor's uniform, leading him to taking the blame for Vathek's actions. Unable to prove his innocence to Lord Cedric, Raythor is taken before Phobos. He is thrown into the Abyss off-screen.

Knights of Vengeance

By the beginning of the first episode of the second season, A is for Anonymous, several months have passed since the events of The Key. Phobos has been overthrown and imprisoned, while his sister Elyon, the rightful heir to the throne of Meridian, has become the Queen. Her brother's remaining minions are either imprisoned or at large. A mysterious old sorceress called Nerissa recruits some of them to form the Knights of Vengeance.

Raythor has spent these months climbing up the side of the Abyss' cave wall in hopes of escaping it. He has lost some of his muscle mass due to scarce nutrition. When he reaches the top, he is greeted by Nerissa and congratulated for his determination. When she asks for his motivation, he merely replies "Vengeance".

After the Knights of Vengeance have been formed, Raythor competes with Frost over the leadership position. The veteran soldier defeats the brute effortlessly and remains as the Knights' leader for the remainder of the season. For half the season, he leads attacks on those who betrayed Prince Phobos (such as Vathek and Tynar), leaders of the former rebellion (like Caleb, Aldarn, Julian and Drake) and the Guardians themselves. In G is for Garbage, he purchases the Horn of Hypnos from the evil Passling Jeek and uses it to put nearly all the Guardians as well as Matt Olsen and Jeek under his spell. After Irma and Blunk fool the Knights into believing they are hypnotized as well, Raythor makes Will give Irma her Water Guardian powers before tasking the brainwashed heroes with using the Horn on Elyon as well. Irma and Blunk manage to release their friends from the spell and destroy the Horn, however.

Eventually, in the tenth episode, J is for Jewel, Raythor makes the decision of freeing Prince Phobos and the army of Lurdens from the Infinite City, even though he pretended to accept Nerissa's order of targeting Elyon's foster parents. The Knights successfully attack the Infinite City and free Phobos. Under the evil prince's leadership, they attack the Guard and the former rebels. The Guardians arrive to even the odds and finally, Queen Elyon arrives from the meditation chamber and sends Phobos along with the Knights of Vengeance and Lurdens to the dungeons of the Infinite City.

Reformation

Raythor remains imprisoned in the Infinite City for a time. In the 15th episode, O is for Obidience, Nerissa comes before the prisoners of the Infinite City, reveals her secret identity as the Mage and gloats about using the Knights of Vengeance for her own schemes all the time. Raythor is angered to learn this, but he's unable to do anything from behind bars.

In the 22nd episode, V is for Victory, the Guardians are starting to get desperate to stop Nerissa, who has created the Seal of Nerissa. They approach Phobos with a deal: in exchange for his freedom, he must swear an oath on the power of Kandrakar that once Nerissa has been defeated, he will not use the power of the Seal for himself. While Raythor objects vocally against that, Phobos agrees. At the same time, Raythor is approached by the invisible Hay Lin. The Air Guardian tells the honor-driven soldier that Phobos in not worthy of his loyalty, but Raythor doesn't believe her claims of the Prince's treachery.

Eventually, Phobos steals from Nerissa her Seal and imprisons her inside it. He breaks his oath, claims the seal for himself, and releases his minions. Raythor is being approached by Hay Lin again. Having now witnessed his lord's dishonorable nature, the veteran soldier swears to aide the Guardians in taking down Phobos.

Raythor acts as a double agent for the Guardians — like Vathek did for the rebellion, ironically — and convinces two of his fellow Knights of Vengeance, Gargoyle and Sandpit, to also switch sides. In accordance with the Guardians' plan, Raythor would have to trick Phobos into attacking Kandrakar, thereby forfeiting all the power the prince had obtained on the broken oath to the Guardians.

Raythor manages to do his part, and the Guardians' plan is about to succeed. However, before Phobos can enter Kandrakar, Cedric (who has seen through the Guardians' plan all along) swallows him along with the Seal. The snake-man gains all the powers the Seal contains and grows to enormous size. He declares his intention to conquer the universe and demands loyalty from the rest of Phobos' minions. Raythor, Gargoyle and Sandpit are the only ones who don't side with him and make their reformation public knowledge. They heroically participate in the ensuing last fight.

At the end of the series, Raythor has become a captain in Queen Elyon's royal guard, having finally found a monarch worthy of his honor and loyalty.

Personality

Raythor's most definite traits are honor and loyalty. As a knight whose main purpose for existence are those two traits, he treats words of honor with utmost seriousness. As such, his main motivation is to loyally serve his master. His only condition for servitude is that the actions of his master can be considered honorable, even if they lean more towards evil than good. As such, if he witnesses his master to be extremely dishonorable and treacherous, he will no longer serve that person. However, he has to witness the treacherous act with his own eyes, not merely hear about it from another person before he can forfeit his oath.

However, Raythor's honor does not necessarily involve the methods. He is pragmatic and willing to use any means to aid his master, as shown is his tactics as the leader of the Knights of Vengeance. His tactics involve deception against the super-powered Guardians and the more heavily numbered army compromising of the Guard and the former rebels. He even acts as a double-agent against Phobos after he switches sides.

Even though Raythor is loyal to Prince Phobos until the series' end, he holds no similar devotion to Nerissa. In F is for Facades, angered that Caleb, Aldarn, Julian and Drake have been awarded with medals for their heroics, he leads the Knights into capturing them without consulting Nerissa first. However, he still states that she will get to decide their fates. When the sorceress orders the Knights to make Elyon's foster parents a target of their vengeance, Raythor pretends to accept this, but chooses to release Phobos instead.

Raythor also possesses great determination and courage, as shown in his months-lasting ascend from the Abyss of Shadows, where no one had escaped from before. He also dares to oppose a kingdom and its army with a small band, not to mention the super-powered Guardians. He also does not hesitate to oppose Cedric, who has grown to an enormous side from a power-boost, instead of joining him under a threat of death.

Raythor appears to be extremely proud to some degree. In his initial appearance, he is arrogant and certain that he will be promoted to Vathek's position. After his time in the Abyss, he becomes more reserved. While he possesses a gruff and truculent exterior, he is not intentionally hostile towards anyone who does not warrant his aggression; only to individuals he or his master views as an enemy or threat to their cause.

Abilities

While Raythor does not have any magic, he is a veteran soldier with a keen knowledge of the battlefield. He is also skilled enough a swordsman to duel evenly against Caleb. While not as physically strong as the other Knights, his mind and discipline make up for it and allow him to fare against stronger opponents like Frost.

He is also experienced as a leader and a strategist, as shown by him remaining as the leader of the Knights throughout the second season.

Quotes

In two hours, if the key's not found, I'll have your job, and you'll have a one-way trip to the Abyss of Shadows. (laughs)
~ Raythor gloating to Vathek.
They say you'll fall forever. Of course we'll never know, but you will. Say hello to the other conspirators for me!
~ Raythor about to throw Vathek into the Abyss of Shadows before the Guardians intercept him.
You dare challenge me?! The Knights of Vengeance can have but one leader. (Frost: And it will be Frost. Look at you, Raythor. Barely half the man you used to be.) Which would still make me twice the soldier you'll ever be! (Frost tries to attack Raythor who dodges his punch) You've always relied on brute strength. (continues dodging Frost's punches) If you started using your brain now, you'll only hurt yourself. (dodges for one more time Frost who collapses out of exhaustion) (Nerissa: High marks, Raythor. But if you're their leader, what will you lead them towards?) Vengeance. We strike against those who swore an oath to Prince Phobos, and yet betrayed our master.
~ Raythor asserting his leadership over the Knights of Vengeance.
Tynar recruited countless loyal Guards to betray our Prince to the rebellion! So, vengeance must rain upon him!
~ Raythor revealing the Knights' reason to capture Tynar.
Quite an honor, eh Aldarn? (Aldarn: Raythor! I arrest you in the name of the Queen!) (Sandpit engulfs and restrains Aldarn) Yes, you could take me in, or perhaps we could take you. (Aldarn: No! Stop! Caleb!) Have no fear. Your fellow rebels will join you soon enough.
~ Raythor ambushing and capturing Aldarn with Sandpit's help.
Was I to do nothing as they honored those four pieces of pond scum? And this is vengeance. Nerissa cannot help, but be shared.
~ Raythor justifying to Miranda his decision to capture Aldarn without Nerissa's consent.
(Nerissa: It's time we punish those who made possible Queen Elyon's rise to power: Alborn and Miriadel. They protected her, hid her on Earth. They must pay.) (Raythor shares a look with Tracker before stepping forward and kneeling) We will show no mercy. (Nerissa: Then go. Bring the infidels to their knees.) (Nerissa teleports away) (Frost: So how do we lure those two out of the palace?) We don't. Nerissa means well, but she thinks small. Why strike at minor targets, when it's Elyon who's truly earned our vengeance? (Miranda: The Queen's too powerful. How are we to…) To conquer a Queen requires more than Knights. It requires… a Prince.
~ Raythor pretending to accept Nerissa's orders before deciding to release Prince Phobos instead.
Finally, vengeance will be ours!
~ Raythor rejoicing after Prince Phobos is freed from his cell.
That voice! You're… (Nerissa sheds off her disguise of the Mage) Nerissa! Quick sorceress! Set your Knights of Vengeance free before the Guards return. (Nerissa: Never was all that interested in your vengeance. I only gathered the Knights to distract the Guardians.) Disloyal hag!
~ Raythor learning that the Knights of Vengeance were all along Nerissa's pawns.
No, my lord! That power is rightfully yours! You should not have to bargain for it or bind yourself an oath to these traitors! It is beneath you!
~ Raythor protesting to Phobos making a deal with the heroes.
Come to gloat, have you? (Hay Lin: No. Come to ask why you're still loyal to a prince who had you thrown into the Abyss of Shadows.) I made a vow to serve him, and I always keep my vows. (Hay Lin: Even if he doesn't keeps his?) He does.
~ Raythor being questioned by Hay Lin about his reasons for serving Phobos.
He has no honor. No honor at all. He has forfeited my service. I stand with you, Guardian. So swears Raythor.

~ Raythor secretly joining the heroes after Phobos has broken his oath not to keep the Seal of Nerissa for himself.
The Knights of Vengeance are honored that our service is prized. Gargoyle, Sandpit! Show this Lord where your true loyalties lie!
~ Raythor making his redemption public knowledge by defying the empowered Lord Cedric.

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