- "Are you suggesting that I, the head judge of the Dark Star Courthouse, have been paid off by bribes? To think that I would be suspected of such by one of my own colleagues…how sad."
- ―Hanma Baldured[src]
Hanma Baldured, later taking the alias Nikolay Tolle, was the head judge of the USE Dark Star Bureau and the apprentice of Ma. Conducting a corrupt court system, Hanma accepted bribes to declare people guilty in trial, presiding over the witch trials in Levianta. He later accepted his master's son Gallerian into the bureau, aiding the young man in his pursuits.
Hanma was born sometime during the EC 900s; he eventually married a woman and had a daughter with her, naming the child Lilith. Becoming a judge in the USE Dark Star Bureau, Hanma met and befriended a fellow judge named Gandalf Marlon. Through Gandalf, Hanma came to meet his lover, the sorceress Elluka "Ma" Clockworker, whose procedures on Lilith caused her to become an emotionless, voiceless, and ageless shell of her former self.
During this time, Hanma divorced his wife and took care of Lilith on his own. Struggling with raising her while at the same time trying to excel in his career, Hanma eventually made a deal with Ma that he would become her apprentice to learn magic that would help him succeed. In exchange, he allowed Ma to take custody of Lilith, whom Ma would turn into her subordinate, Postman. Obtaining the position of head judge, Hanma gained a reputation for accepting bribes to rule in the client's favor.
Saving the Master
After Ma was found guilty of witchcraft in EC 944, Hanma decided to take advantage of the court's rule that a person could only be given the death sentence once by trying "Elluka Clockworker" guilty and faking her death. When the plan was discovered, Hanma was instead forced to arrange for Ma to take on a new identity altogether. Additionally, to protect Gandalf, Hanma hid his friend's relationship with Ma.
Presiding over the trial of "Elluka Clockworker" later that year, Hanma tried Ma for her charges, which included her murder of Mata Corpa and her theft of the Marlon Spoon. After declaring Ma guilty, he allowed Gandalf a moment to speak with her when he ran up to stop her from being dragged away. As Gandalf accused him of taking a bribe indict Elluka on false charges, Hanma maintained the ruse of a corrupt judge and mocked Gandalf for thinking Elluka could get away with her connections.
As he and Gandalf talked further, Hanma proclaimed that money was the best lawyer in hell, to Gandalf's outrage. He then tried to persuade him to stay by his side during his career as friends, pointing out how he'd protected him. When Gandalf furiously rebuked him, Hanma only left, laughing. Not long after, he had "Elluka" executed and his master Ma took up a new identity as the playwright "Kayo Sudou". With his friendship with Gandalf in ruins, Hanma soon found himself presiding over many more farcical Witch Trials from then on, proclaiming them all guilty.
In EC 958, Hanma tried Lana Ray for the charges of communing with forest spirits in the Millennium Tree Forest, and additionally for being suspected of obtaining a magical charm for malicious purposes. During the trial, he allowed her lawyer to refute the claim that Lana was using the charm for malicious purposes. Sometime after, Hanma adjourned the court after announcing the day he'd give his verdict.
Later that year, Hanma met with the other Dark Star officials to discuss the six candidates for entering the bureau. He decided to accept them all; when one of his colleagues pointed out the candidate Gallerian Marlon was on the list, Hanma began arguing with them on accepting him in spite of his lineage to Gandalf and the "witch Elluka", pointing out how they should be neutral in this matter as he hadn't even attempted to learn magic as well. Putting a stop to Höðr's complaints, Hanma announced that the bureau was accepting all six candidates and the meeting was adjourned.
In EC 960, Hanma left for Marlon to attend Queen Viwirtz's wedding and look into a World Police branch there as they began searching for "Elluka's" unknown male apprentice, leaving Gallerian to preside over the trial of "Kayo Sudou". After returning to Levianta, he learned that Gallerian had acquitted Kayo and called him into his office. After discussing his departure to Marlon, he explained to the boy how they had to try guilty all alleged witches, questioning his reason for not doing this. He was amused by Gallerian's reasoning that it would be useful to recruit someone knowledgeable about witches, reminded of his own situation.
Hanma thus allowed Gallerian to try and gain Kayo's favor, although cautioning him and giving him a 30 day suspension as ostensible punishment. The following year, Hanma accepted a bribe from the Yarera Family to have Jorm Zusco released from death row. Months later, the man tried Loki Freezis for his attempted murder of Gallerian and his slave killings in Maistia. Bribed by both the Yarera and Freezis families, Hanma gave Loki 30 years imprisonment and failed to restore order in the ensuing chaos of the courtroom.
In EC 964, Hanma allowed Gallerian to enact reforms within the bureau after the latter attained the rank of 5th class senior judge. Later that year, the man was visited in his office by Ma, to his surprise, and he learned that she planned to leave the country. Understanding how Gallerian didn't need her anymore, having enacted the reforms he had failed to succeed with, Hanma and Ma ended up reminiscing on her trial 20 years prior. Hanma then suggested Ma leave, explaining that the World Police would be coming for them both soon, having discovered his true identity.
After suggesting she leave from the back, the two discussed their respective plans and promised to keep in touch if they survived. Later that day, Hanma presided over another trial and was interrupted by Justea's special forces, come to arrest him for being Elluka's apprentice. As they prepared to take him in, Hanma cast ice magic to freeze everyone inside and departed, laughing. His position was taken up by the deputy head judge.
A Second Chance
Later that year, Hanma reconvened with Ma; when she gave birth to her daughter, Nemesis Sudou, in the Millennium Tree Forest, she handed the infant off to Hanma and instructed him to kill her when he had the chance. Conflicted and reminded of his own daughter, Hanma instead decided to raise Nemesis himself. Adopting a new identity as an artist named "Nikolay Tolle", Hanma began living in a tent by the Lake of Amusement and watched over Nemesis while she grew up in an abandoned house in the forest.
As she grew, Nikolay taught Nemesis how to live in the forest and instructed her in a small amount of magic, although she lacked the ability for more advanced spells. When Nemesis adopted a small Ziz Tiama, "Ziz-san", he taught her how to telepathically communicate with it. One day in EC 978, Nikolay agreed to again watch Ziz-san, expressing his concern over Nemesis' membership of Zeus and imploring her to instead go to school. Nemesis then brushed him off and went home.
Several days later, Nikolay discovered that Nemesis had caused the sinking of the S.S. Titanis with her ziz tiama, and that she was being pursued by the Dark Star Bureau's private police force PN. Scared for his own life and feeling guilty for his corruption, Nikolay froze the lake, trapping Ziz-san inside.
As Nemesis arrived, asking for help, so did her pursuers, Bruno Zero and Shiro Netsuma. Recognizing him from Loki's trial, Nikolay conversed with Bruno, learning that they were there without Gallerian's knowledge. Denying any connection to Nemesis and even handing Bruno a chart of the members of Zeus, Nikolay also restrained Nemesis with his ice magic. Met with Nemesis' shock at his supposed betrayal, Nikolay argued that she'd betrayed him first by sinking the Titanis due to being Ma's daughter. He then watched as Bruno and Shiro took Nemesis away.
At some point, Nikolay reencountered Ma and, earning her anger for not killing Nemesis as ordered, was driven from the forest. Moving into a mansion on the outskirts of Yatski, Nikolay reunited with his servant Höðr, having him search for Nemesis. Following the news on the radio, Nikolay learned of Nemesis' exploits as a member of the Tasan Party during the Leviantan Civil War.
In EC 989, Höðr brought Nemesis to the mansion and Nikolay, on his deathbed, lied that Ma drove him out of the forest due to him betraying Nemesis. As Nemesis revealed that she learned about his past as Hanma Baldured and asked why he had betrayed her, Hanma admitted to not remembering why, guessing that Nemesis' theory of him being afraid of her was probably closest to the truth. Offering to be shot as revenge for getting her friends in Zeus arrested, Nikolay was killed by Nemesis.
Later on, Hanma's soul entered the Heavenly Yard before being pulled down due to Nemesis' destruction of the Third Period in EC 999. As Riliane Lucifen d'Autriche got attacked by members of the Tasan Party at the Lucifenian Royal Palace, Hanma froze the palace floor, foiling the soldiers. Later on, he again saved Riliane by freezing the Tasan Party soldiers underneath Evil's Theater.
Around ten years later, Nemesis confronted Ma regarding Hanma's apparent betrayal, and was shocked to learn that Hanma was supposed to kill her when he had the chance and instead chose to raise her, having possibly projected Lilith onto Nemesis.
Personality and Traits
Hanma was a corrupt but conflicted man. Originally driven by his career, Hanma seemed willing to stoop to many unethical means to achieve his goals, such as handing over his own daughter to obtain magic abilities, accepting bribes as a judge, and presiding over the corrupt and vicious Witch Trials. He similarly deceived many people as the apprentice of Elluka Clockworker, and skirted the law on several occasions as well as accepting bribes, bringing his sense of justice into question. He similarly could appear flippant or mocking in the face of those confronting him over his misdeeds, sometimes laughing when leaving his victims to their fate.
Despite this, Hanma deep down wished to make reforms on the corrupt system he had been trapped into, and was burdened with regret to have sacrificed his friendship and family for the sake of maintaining his position. Similarly, he lacked the will to kill Nemesis and assumed a much quieter, humbler life in raising her, even disapproving of her illegal activities, horrified by her murders, and wanting in some small part to atone for his past misdeeds. After quitting the Dark Star Bureau, Hanma also demonstrated an affinity for drawing. He also frequently made observations on the weather, likely due to his ice magic powers.
Skills and Abilities
Hanma was well-versed in law, able to attain the position of head judge for the Dark Star Bureau. Aside from this, he was also a cunning and capable criminal, able to perpetrate his corruption without being caught and avoid the World Police's pursuit of him for some time. Aside from this, Hanma was trained in the magical arts and could wield ice magic powerful enough to freeze an entire courtroom, and could presumably use telepathy as well. Later in life, he learned how to live in the forest and survive on his own; he also had some degree of skill as a sketch artist.
Ma: Hanma's master. Despite what she did to his daughter, Hanma had a great loyalty towards Ma and bent the law as much as he could to save her; after she began consulting for the Dark Star Bureau, Hanma ostensibly kept his distance from her but still ended up serving her loyally by the time he fled the courthouse. Despite this, he became conflicted about her orders towards Nemesis and began to go against her will in regards to her.
Gandalf Marlon: Hanma's friend and fellow judge. Wishing for them to be together over the course of their careers, Hanma ultimately sacrificed their friendship in order to save Ma, willingly damaging their relationship in order to keep up the ruse.
Gallerian Marlon: Hanma's subordinate and charge. Loyal to him due to his being Ma and Gandalf's son, Hanma displayed a bias towards the Gallerian and aided him in the early years of his career as a judge, treating him fondly before he ultimately left the Dark Star Bureau.
Lilith Baldured: Hanma's daughter. Hanma loved his daughter, but eventually as he struggled raising her alone he decided to sacrifice her for the sake of pursuing his ambitions as Ma's apprentice. Despite this, Hanma came to deeply regret this decision and missed his daughter while raising Nemesis.
Nemesis Sudou: Hanma's surrogate daughter. Unable to kill the child as requested, Hanma instead took care of Nemesis and raised her to young adulthood, seeing her as a replacement for the daughter that he lost. His parenting was, however, hands off. Over time he became afraid of Nemesis and her bent towards breaking the law, although still unable to strike her down or bring her to custody himself. In the end, despite being shot by Nemesis, the two parted on peaceful terms in the wake of how their relationship had soured.
Conceptualization and Origin
- Hanma's name contains all but one character of the Japanese spelling of the word "hammer", ハンマー (hanmaa).
- His surname, Baldured, contains the characters of the Japanese spelling of Baldur, a god in Norse mythology.
- In-universe, the real Nikolay Tolle was a famous Lucifenian painter during the EC 490s.
- Deadly Sins of Evil: Judgment of Corruption (first appearance)
- Deadly Sins of Evil: The Muzzle of Nemesis
- Deadly Sins of Evil: Master of the Heavenly Yard
- Master of the Heavenly Yard (album) (mentioned only)