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Stride Volakia, also known as the Wolf of the Empire, the Sin Archbishop of Pride and Death Wish, is a major antagonist in the Japanese dark fantasy franchise Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World. Although he does not appear in the main 2014 light novel series, he acted as the main antagonist of The Love Ballard of the Sword Devil, the third volume of the spin-off light novel series Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World Ex.
Stride was born as one of the many children of the Emperor of the Volakia Empire. However, as he was sickly, he never became the heir and his existence was never officially acknowledged by the Empire. At some point, he joined the Witch Cult, an organization dedicated to exalting the The Witch of Envy. The Cult was led by the Sin Archbishops, a small group of individuals who each possessed a power known as a "Witch Factor." Each Witch Factor was related to one of the seven deadly sins, and each Archbishop represented one of the sins. Stride Volakia possessed the Pride Witch Factor and was subsequently referred to as the Sin Archbishop of Pride.
As his title entailed, Stride was an incredibly prideful man. He saw himself as inherently superior to all others and as such often underestimated his opponents. Although he never displayed use of it, Stride presumably had access to the Authority of Pride. Around forty years ago, Stride summoned an evil dragon that almost laid waste to the Kingdom of Lugunica. However, in an ironic twist of fate, Stride himself was devoured by the dragon.
From a mere glance, Stride Volakia could easily be recognised as a man of status of around thirty years of age. His features, which helped distinguished his importance, were uncommonly sharp and noble. He had long, rich deep-purple hair that had a silky look to it and reached past his shoulders. His slim body had, ever since his youth, been riddled by illness that made even the simplest of physical activities gruelling for the Wolf of the Empire. His voice betrayed his imperialism and thus also his connection to the meritocratic Empire of Volakia.
In reflection of his physical appearance and noble carriage, Stride wore clothing of princely refinement. His outfit, that was primarily black, consisted of black trousers, black shoes, a light grey shirt, a black cravat, a white waistcoat over the shirt, and a black long coat over the waistcoat that had notched lapels and rolled cuffs. Some of his clothing had purple lining that matched the color of Stride's hair. On his left shoulder, Stride had a large black feathery decoration. On each of his ten digits, Stride wore a magical ring that he could use to afflict curses on his enemies.
- Witch Cult Gospel: As a member of the Witch Cult, Stride was the owner of a copy of the Witch Cult Gospel. Each Witch Cult Gospel was a replica of the Tome of Wisdom, a book that had been in the possession of the Witch of Greed Echidna. The Tome of Wisdom would provide exact details of future events concerning the Witch of Greed, essentially bestowing Echidna with a form of precognition. Unlike the original Tome of Wisdom, the Gospels of the Witch Cult were imperfect replicas, meaning that, although they detailed the future of its owner, the events conveyed were subject to change and the information provided was often up for interpretation. The Gospels took the form of small black books that could only be read by their owners.
- Stride Volakia is the only known Sin Archbishop to perish before the beginning of the story. Furthermore, he is the only Archbishop to never display use of his Authority.
- Aside from the Witch of Envy, Stride Volakia is the only individual to supposedly possess a Witch Factor who isn't named after a celestial body.
- Throughout real world history, many societies and cultures revered the color purple as something that denoted royalty and refinement. In fact, in some societies, it was forbidden for ordinary citizens to wear the color. The use of the color purple in Stride's design is therefore likely meant to highlight him as someone of nobility and high standing.
|Capella Emerada Lugunica · Louis Arneb · Lye Batenkaitos · Pandora · Petelgeuse Romanée-Conti · Regulus Corneas · Roy Alphard · Sirius · Stride Volakia|
|Witches of Sin|
|Carmilla · Daphne · Echidna · Hector · Minerva · Pandora · Satella · Sekhmet · Typhon|
|Black Serpent · Great Rabbit · White Whale|
|Gusteko Assassin Organization|
|Elsa Granhiert · Mama · Meili Portroute|
|Balleroy Temeglyph · Bean Argyle · Heinkel Astrea · Kurgan · Melaquera · Miles · Reid Astrea · Roswaal Mathers · Sphinx · Ton, Chin, and Kan|