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Rogate Turvoldsen


  • Novice: Rogate as a young man.
  • Competent: Rogate at the beginning of the Nine Arrows Great Faring.
  • Veteran: Rogate as he was before being slain by Kor-Daen clansmen deep under Wundrak.

Prophetic Verse

Battle-Borne is but one of three

Ill-chosen he stands the last alive

Death alone his fear and geas

Ever for glory doth he contrive

In renewed Clan power he believes

But upon his brow doth strife arrive

Rogate Turvoldsen was born as one of a set of triplets, a particularly rare occurrence. This is normally seen as a good omen and a sign of prosperity. Sadly, this did not turn out to be the case. Rogate's mother Ursla had the misfortune to go into labor as battle raged below the walls of Caer Rukia, a Herodi border fortress that was at that moment under attack by a larger than usual raiding party out of neighboring Orithain. The attackers never penetrated the walls of the fortress, but due to the local physickers being pulled away for battlefield medicine, Ursla did not receive quality medical treatment and did not survive the difficult birthing. Rogate was pulled from his mother moments before she bled to death.

Rogate’s father, Turvold, was known as a great warrior and a champion swordsman among the Herodi and was a Huscarl in the service of the Laird. He had taken leave to return home for the birth of his children, but of course was pulled into defending the Caer when the raid occurred. Turvold fought as a champion is expected to and slew many, but was wounded in the leg which lamed him. He returned home on a stretcher to discover his wife dead, and three infant sons squaling for milk.

Turvold's leg did not heal properly, and unable to uphold his status as a champion he eventually lost his place among the Huscarl. With his finances dwindling, Turvold took his small family and a hired wet nurse up into the highlands above Rukia to a sparse stoneholt owned by his forebearers for generations to live out the remainder of his days upon his modest pension.

Left with little to do, Turvold became a harsh instructor to his three sons even as toddlers, determined to push each of them to renew the family's standing among the greatest warriors of the Herodi. The eldest son Vermogen was his favorite; the boy showed great promise and learned his sword lessons easily without complaint, but was slain by a wild boar while wandering alone in the forest. Further embittered Turvold became even harsher of a taskmaster with the remaining two sons.

Ausfall, the next oldest, struggled under his father's demanding regimen and though not unskilled with a sword was by no means remarkable. Unable to please his father and the recipient of constant criticism and comparison to his dead brother, in his mid-teens Ausfall was found dashed upon the base of a cliff one sad day. Folks said he had been slain by some monster of the forest but Rogate secretly wondered if his troubled brother had perhaps ended his own life by jumping from the cliff.

Turvold tripled his determination to hone his last surviving son, trying to make him into the greatest swordsman of his generation. Where Vermogen had been an effortless student and Ausfall reluctant, Rogate was tenacious. Under the mounting demands of his never-satisfied father Rogate annealed like a fine steel into a willing, aggressive, relentless, and merciless master of the blade. Rogate's swordsmanship became truly extraordinary, his reflexes and efficiency astounding, his attack routines indomitable.

Finally, even the perfectionist Turvold had to admit that his son's form was perfect and there was little more to be gained by further training. Turvold's health was also declining thanks to years of alcohol abuse and lack of self-care. Thus he gave to his son the last thing of true value remaining to him, his own sword. A masterpiece of honed metal purchased at the height of Turvold's wealth and stature, a blade fit for a master. His final training for his son was characteristically brutal; he made Rogate dig a grave for himself next to his fallen brothers and pointing at the hole gave one last command: "Ye come back here cloaked in glory, or ye come back dead."

With that Rogate set out. Due to the ruggedness of the mountains the quickest route from Caer Rukia to the Laird's seat at Caer Coinig is somewhat roundabout, going northwest to Caer Hafiard and Caer Dirklof before turning southwest to Caer Verdton and finally Caer Coinig itself. It's a journey of over five hundred miles as the crow files with plenty of ups and downs through mountainous terrain. It takes more than a zweiblich (fortnight) of hard walking to do it on foot.

The journey was hard, but Rogate's fitness saw him through the worst of it. And he made a friend of sorts, a traveling companion he met outside of Caer Dirkloff also on foot and heading in the same direction. Most folk couldn't keep the pace Rogate was setting, but this man kept up without complaint. Naming himself Finnan Farendeross, the very large berobed and bearded man claimed to be a Wundvolding on his way to Fallenheim. He gave no reason to be in Herodi lands or for taking such a roundabout route or for having no obvious trade or really any plausible explanation for being on that road at all. But Rogate was not raised to be a thinker. As the two speed walked, they talked. Finnan had an odd way of asking leading questions, and for his part answering questions with a different question. Rogate's tale came forth in due course, though Finnan never seemed to reveal anything concrete of his own story.

Rogate's tragic past, and his intent to march boldly before the Clan Laird, demonstrate his sword skills, and of course be named to the Huscarl on the spot by a stupefied Laird were all laid bare. The little details of how he planned to gain admittance to the Laird's Hall in the first place, or the possiblity that a display of flourishes may not be enough to get an unknown out of nowhere selected to the most elite crew of warriors to be found in Herodi lands were absent, of course. Finnan was not that interested in Rogate's future plans however; he seemed most intent on the circumstances of Rogate's birth as a triplet amidst a battle, and that both his brothers had since died.

Upon arriving at Caer Coinig, Finnan just sort of accompanied Rogate to the grand entrance to the Laird's Hall. Rogate might have thought it odd that the guards at the gates and at the hall itself snapped to and opened their passage very promptly without question or remark, and a very un-Herodi like solemnity. Striding into the main hearth before the Laird's seat, Rogate started to speak when the Laird himself stood up and came down the dias to great...Finnan. It was soon revealed that Finnan was not some random traveler, but a respected elder Druid. It was further revealed, before Rogate could even get his mouth open to execute his very clever plan, that Finnan believed the young blade to be a man referred to in prophesy as the Battle-borne, destined to go forth on a Great Faring to protect the fates of all the Machtig. Reserei, a powerful Laird in his prime and an unusually devout man swore upon the spot to give Finnan whatever aid was within his power.

Before the sun had set again, Rogate was on Reserei's personal longboat speeding down the Ordecar river, heading to Lake Pargo and thus Fallenheim where the Druid said he must be before the solstice a couple of weeks hence. And Reserei came along, claiming he had business in Fallenheim he'd been putting off. On the journey, Rogate had a significant amount of one on one time with the Laird, a rare honor for one such as he with so few prospects. As it happened Reserei recalled Rogate's father, having as a boy seen Turvold train other Huscarl when he lived in Caer Coinig. Reserei allowed that Rogate's dream of being a Huscarl was certainly possible, but pointed out that service to the Druids in a Great Faring is a much higher honor and obligation; he implored Rogate to focus on leading the Faring to greatness in the name of all Machtig and especially the Herodi. Rogate avowed that it would be so.

Soon the Nine were joined in Fallenheim and launched upon their quest by a Grand Convocation of the Druids, a rare and significant event. From the first moment of joining, Rogate sought to take control of and lead the Nine Arrows, but was never successful at being more than just one voice among many. In particular the immovability and self-determinism of Saemund was a constant obstacle and goad for Rogate. And in truth, while his father taught him an incredible amount of skill with a blade, Rogate's education in all other areas was almost entirely lacking, leaving him poorly equipped to truly lead. Thus, the naturally brooding Rogate was set to brooding extra-hard and began to develop a constantly furrowed brow to match his increasing frustration with the group's unwillingness to follow his orders.

Rogate's grueling and tragic formative experience left an indelible mark upon the young man's soul. He is more like an automaton at times than a man, conjured forth to seek status rather than raised from childhood. Only comfortable when there is fighting to be done, ill prepared for life outside of combat. When he is not wielding his weapon, Rogate looms and broods seeking an opportunity, an excuse to draw steel and demonstrate the one thing he's good at. He is unnecessarily competitive, driven to prove himself better than those around him, compelled to demonstrate worthiness and dominance, and he is very vulnerable to receiving praise from those in positions of authority. He is motivated to do things to seek glory and recognition and achieve his father's mandate of re-establishing the family's legacy rather than for personal or moral reasons.