Lord Roland Volair
Position in Realm: Advisor to Queen Neomi Raintree
Race: At least half human (The rest is Fae, although actual percentages of the mix are a matter of some debate, most guess it is 50/50)
Appearance: Tall, athletic, pale skin, straight jet black hair that hangs to his shoulders, eyes a brilliant emerald green flecked with gold. He is very softspoken and one typically needs to pay close attention to catch all the subtle inflections.
Beyond this basic description, any distinguishing physical features are wholly unknown as Rolandís body always seems hidden from view under his long deep purple (almost dark enough to be black) cloak. As well, he often wears a very long dark forest green scarf with golden embroidery that covers the lower half of his face. The only hint most have of what is under the cape comes from his right hand which is always seen encased in a wicked looking heavy silver gauntlet. To the general public, this is the only part of Roland to ever be exposed.
Personality: Roland is calmness personified, almost disturbingly so. Nothing seems to ever upset him or catch him off guard. He is easily mistaken as being totally emotionless, but nothing could be farther from the truth. His expressions are understated. He is reserved and measured in his behaviour, not wanting to let anyone get too close.
History: Roland was always a strange boy. People say his mother was one of the faeries, and that is why she had to leave after his birth. Growing up, he tended to keep to himself and spent a great deal of time playing in the woods near the Raintree family palace. His father, Mallik, served King Richard faithfully as one of his personal guards. When the monsters launched their surprise attack on the kingdom, Mallik was one of the first to answer the alarm, but by then it was too late. He was overwhelmed by the creatures. His death was not in vain though; fourteen year old Roland escaped unharmed.
Roland took to the woods, the only sanctuary he had ever known. Most villagers were frightened of the deep tangle of trees, but not Roland, it was his second home. Roland had learned very young that he experienced the world differently from other boys. Light and colour were more vibrant. He danced with shadows and ran in the deepest darkness without tripping. Over time, alone in the forest, Rolandís affinity for nature grew. Something in his blood spoke to the world around him. He could hear voices on the wind; he felt the heartbeat of the trees, and even the pulse of the Earth in the rocks. After a few years, he returned to the castle and joined the ranks of the dark army. He knew the time to start his revenge had come.
Roland gained a reputation as a quiet and capable soldier. No one understood how he was able to fight as he did: never breaking a sweat, barely moving until the last moment. The whole time his enemy seemed to become more and more distracted, even fearful, giving Roland the opportunity he needed. Rolandís mysterious technique gained him considerable prestige, and by the time Neomi was brought back to the kingdom, Roland was one of the monster kingís top soldiers. It had always been Rolandís plan to dethrone the king himself, but when he saw the princess, now grown into a beautiful young woman, he knew immediately that a new plan was needed. By helping return the princess to the throne, Roland felt he would honour the memory of his Father. He would follow in his familyís steps and serve the rightful heir to the throne.
If and how Roland actually helped is unclear. No one even knows if he was really involved, although some have suspicions. How did Neomi manage to get that poison past the monstrous guards and tasters anyway? Roland always gets an almost unperceivable smile on his face when posed with these sorts of questions. As with nearly everything else in Rolandís life, he prefers it be kept a mystery.
- Rolandís mental state cannot be read or touched by any means. His mind and body is totally cut off, even from the most powerful of psychics. This makes him handy as an adviser as he is immune to any form sort of mind control tricks that could jeopardize his office. One can always be secure that Rolandís thoughts are entirely his own.
- Roland can control and shape the natural world: be it making a tree grow in a minute as much as it would in over a hundred years, or calling up great rocks from beneath the Earthís surface to form a quick and sturdy barrier. By his command, roots can rise from the ground and bind peopleís legs, roses can twist around him to form a thorny barrier, and water will rise from a riverbed and change course. This control does in no way extend to animals or insects of any form.
- Roland is able to create and manipulate darkness and shadows. This means he could shroud himself in the blackness of deepest night even when standing in an open field at noon, and he can alter all the shadows in a room to disorient people. Rumours circle that Lord Volair is able to even step through shadows like a door, and that he moves through a world of darkness, so that he can appear anywhere at any time. These rumours are not true, although Roland enjoys them as they scare the pants off the local citizens of the kingdom. The truth is that Roland often cloaks himself in darkness so as not to be seen. Because of this, when he does appear, he often appears to be stepping forth from the shadows as if he were walking out of them. Really though, it is more akin to taking off a blanket than stepping through a door as Roland was there the entire time, he was just hidden.
- Rolandís most subtle and devious power is that of illusions. Roland is able to make a person see that which isnít there. This could be anything from as simple as making a door appear as a solid wall, to making the inside of a run-down shack appear as a bedroom fit for a king. This power can also be used more directly on people for sometimes disturbing results. If someone charges at Roland, he could distract them by making the person seem as if they are suddenly covered in spiders. Or perhaps the attacker sees that Roland is accompanied by a large three-headed fire-breathing dragon. Or, maybe for fun, when Roland sees two guards on duty, he will make each of them see the otherís head explode causing blood and brains to rain down while the body falls limp to the ground. The panic and potential madness caused by such illusions makes the ability a powerful tool, even if the objects arenít real at all.
Equipment: Rolandís cloak and scarf are nothing special, merely gifts from his father. His armour though was left for him by his mother and is not of human origin. It looks like polished silver, is harder than any steel, is lighter than silk, and makes no noise at all. The only sound Roland makes when he moves is the swishing of his cloak, for this reason, most people assume his armour is restricted to the gauntlet. Those who fight him though soon learn this mistake when their blades are stopped before ever touching flesh.
Under his cloak, he carries two swords: one is 99 centimetres (39 inches) long, and the other 68.5 centimetre (27 inches) long.
Abilities: Roland is trained in close quarters combat. He specializes in both sword fighting and unarmed combat. He is stronger and more agile than most people would expect from one of his build. He is also an accomplished horseman and field doctor. The latter was a result of his time alone in the forest where he taught himself about the medicinal properties of different leaves and roots. Needless to say, Roland is also a master when it comes to survival skills.