Player Character: Roland
Player character from the Adventures of Thorn campaign.
Roland's History (written by Roland)
Roland comes from the southwest side of the Dagalethe Mountains, in a farming village called Gealand. Gealand is made up of a storage barn, blacksmith shop, tavern and meeting hall. The rest of the area is comprised of various farms and huts that the serfs work and live on. The farms and serfs are here for the sole purpose of supporting the Keep with supplies it needs.
Twice a year a caravan would come to town and collect their payment for the Keep. Every serf was to bring their payment to the storage barn to be shipped to the Keep. Payment was dependent on land size and what was grown on the land. If the payment were not enough you would have to provide a servant for the Keep until it was deemed your payment was met in full. If you could not provide someone you were forced to leave your land, usually with a few cuts and bruises. After all, Lord Velruz provided us with much needed protection and a place to live, the least we could do is provide him with the things he needs. That is what we were told every time the caravans came.
Folo the blacksmith made and repaired farming equipment and shoed horses. For this he was paid with food and on occasion, gold from travelers passing through. Folo is also the barkeep when it became too dark to work. There is no profit to be made at the tavern and often it runs dry, until a merchant caravan comes through. The tavern consists of two tables and a counter where the weary farmers would come to clear the dust from their throats. The meeting hall is a large building with no windows and wood benches for seats. Here all town business is conducted, festivals held, and on Saturdays trading between local farmers. The only source of hard currency was merchants that would stop in every few months to buy excess stock and sell their wares.
Roland lived with his father, four brothers, and three sisters in a small three room hut. His mother died while trying to give birth to what would be a fifth brother. They all worked the farm, but Roland was unsatisfied with his lot in life. He wanted more and he knew there was more then this valley in which he lived. His father thought he was a dreamer and wasted his time on books, when he should be putting his mind toward work.
One day the caravan came which was strange because the spring festival wasn't for a full month and the caravans were not due to arrive for another two weeks after the spring festival. Word spread that all the village folk were to meet at the meeting hall as soon as they heard word of it. We call gathered at the meeting hall waiting for what good word came from Lord Velruz and the Keep. One of the soldiers took the stage, he said, "I bring to you a proclamation from Lord Velruz. (Haradan) Slavers are moving towards the Keep, so to protect the Keep and all of you people we will be taking DOUBLE payment which will have to be here at morrows noon. ALL villagers will be with their stock when we pick them up. That is all." Folo protested saying that was too much; he was quickly beaten down and shackled. No one spoke another word about the unfairness of the payments.
The next day came, the soldiers took inventory and more often than not a servant. Then the soldiers told us that every able man was to come with them to help defend the Keep. This totaled about half of the villagers and three of my brothers. Anyone that resisted was killed on the spot and families were told to leave these lands. After all that Lord Velruz has done for us over the years one should be punished for being so thankless and spineless.
The Spring Festival came but there wasn't much to be festive about, with most of the men gone from the town. Two weeks later a large garrison from the Keep came to our town and with it some of the town's men, along with one of my brothers. Kantlon my eldest brother, who told us that a major battle took place at the Keep in which two of my brothers were taken away by the slavers. He also told us that the slavers were coming this way and that is why the army is here and we are to have another town meeting with all the town's folk. The next day all the villagers gathered at the meeting hall to be addressed by five heavily armored men.
The largest of the men said, "I am Bandoran from the Keep. I have come here because the slavers are headed this way and we are going to stop them and drive them back to their god forsaken land never to return. All men will be called to arms to help us achieve this end. You WILL house, feed, and care for a group of men that will be posted on your land until the slavers arrive. All livestock and crops will be brought into town and passes out accordingly. Today a group of men who will be stationed on your land will come and help you make all this happen. That is all."
The five men left and the whispers started. We went back to our farm and found fifteen men already cutting down the crops, even though they weren't supposed to be harvested for a couple more weeks, and loading them into wagons. One of the men walked over to us, he was wearing regular clothes, a mace strapped to his side, and a scythe in his hand. The man greeted my father saying, "Hi, my name is William. My men and I will be staying here during this trying time. We have already started packing the wagons and if there is anymore store around we would be thankful for you to let us know where they are." T Roland this William didn't seem like the rest of the men from the Keep, he was too nice and kind to be a man of war. Weeks passed and Roland spent much time with William, William interested Roland with his knowledge and his philosophy that one must be strong in the mind as will as in the body to be a truly great warrior and protector of the people. Roland found out that William was a priest who worshipped Heimdal the Guardian, and was not a henchman for the Lord, but a mercenary with the Black Legion. The more time Roland spent with William the more he wanted to be just like him, the more Roland wanted to go to Tilith and become a Knight of the Horn, and the more he wanted out of the life he was destined to lead. Roland also took a great interest in the teachings of Heimdal, he liked the idea of being a protector and helping the innocent. The turning point in Roland's life was when William showed him his holy symbol. It was a horn, but not just any horn, it was a beautiful polished white horn with gold inscriptions on both ends and an eagle etched on each side inlaid with old. The feeling Roland had when he touched it will never leave him as long as he should live. From that day on Roland knew he would follow William anywhere an be just like him.
Word came from scouts that the slavers were here. The battle lines were drawn and Roland took a place in between his father and William, with only a hoe for his weapon. Roland barley recognized William, as he was dressed for battle. William wore white platemail armor, a winged helm, a mace strapped to his belt, a huge two handed sword strapped to his back, and his horn slung across his chest. Roland looked across the battlefield at the opposing army and became very frightened. The charge came without signal or warning, Roland braced himself to keep from fleeing, he wanted to show William that he could be brave even though he was scared shitless. Then he heard it; a sound like he'd never heard before, it was William blowing his horn with all his might. With that note brough a feeling inside Roland that he couldn't explain and before following William on the charge he knew Heimdal was with him in this battle.
As they met the enemy Roland saw them tossing nets over his head; William sliced a slaver from head to crotch with his mighty sword. Roland tried to hit a slaver with his hoe but missed and dodged the mace that the slaver was wielding. Roland's father was caught in a man catcher, but Roland could do nothing to help him at this point Roland swung again this time hitting the slaver but with the shaft of the hoe and not the blade, breaking the hoe in two. The slaver swung again and missed, then Roland saw William point at the slaver and say "DEATH", and the slaver dropped. William told Roland to finish him off, so Roland grabbed the slaver's mace, sat on top of him and proceeded to hit him in the face with his mace. When Roland was sure the slaver wasn't getting up anymore, he looked up at William and was awe inspired. Roland saw William standing over a fallen warrior swinging asway with such passion and assurance cutting down slavers with his might two handed sword, to Roland, William looked like a god himself. Roland turned to purse the attack, getting ready to stand he saw something out of the corner of his eye. Roland felt a tremendous pain in his head and saw white, and then all went black for Roland.
Roland woke to his head pounding; he didn't hear sounds of battle anymore but the moans of the wounded and dying. Roland realized that something was lying on top of him, he pushed with all his might and it rolled off of him. Roland leaned up and saw he was still on top of the slaver he had killed, and then saw that the body that was on top of him was that of William. Roland sat there and cried until he felt a hand on his shoulder, it was his brother Kantlon. Kantlon told him that the slavers took their father and when the battle started turning sour for them, they started to kill who they could and then fled. Most of the warriors followed them. Together Roland, Kantlon and his three sisters buried William. At the funeral Roland vowed to return William's equipment to the Knights of the Horn, and become what William was, and when strong enough retrieve his father and two brothers.
Roland traveled to Tilith with a merchants caravan knowing his sisters were safe with Kantlon minding them. Upon reaching Tilith he went to the Knights of the Horn and told them his story and returned William's armor, weapons, personal effects and finally and reluctantly his holy symbol. Roland trained with the knights for two full years learning their ways and the ways of Heimdal. When Roland was ready to leave for medrius and join the Black Legion, he was given a holy symbol. It was not an ordinary holy symbol, but Wiliam's very own horn.