About Placeholder of Doom
Rodren Rares knew he was a shell of his former self, a pitiful drunken mockery of the fine upstanding Sable Company Marine who had once soared through the skies of Korvosa; But it had all been for Taya, she had been his world, and when little Dhella was born everything was perfect, without them life was a bitter dark thing that only brought pain. Only alcohol dulled the pain, made everything dim, flat and forgiving.
Now he was looked little more than a beggar, a tangled mass of beard, tattered clothing covered in a hundred kinds of stain. So when his purse was lifted in the market and seeking the thief he looked into the eyes of his Taya, but young, far too young, he was too addled to do anything but stare. But of course she was not Taya, Taya had taken her own life after "loosing" their little girl in the market. She could only be his Dhella!
His little girl lived, and for all these years he had failed her, failed her mother, failed everyone. But no more, he would find his baby, and seek revenge for Taya, let her finally rest easy. He traded his last two bottles of brandy for a sharp knife and sheared off his unruly hair and beard, he sluiced himself down with half remembered magics. Then he returned to the Sable Company and took back his dearest old friend.
Pren, the hippogriff who had served him so well and lost a leg to a pirate ballista that nearly killed them both. He had let Pren down as much as everyone else, too ashamed to visit the noble beast, and still Pren greeted him with enthusiasm and affection.
"I am sorry Pren lad, I am so sorry. But I think, no, I know little Dhella is alive. I need you, will you help me again? Neither of us is what we were, but its got to be enough. Right?"
1.) Rodren was an arrogant young man, but now despises his former self and regards himself both then and now as an utter failure. He is often self mocking, but also tends to overestimate others and compensate for his own failings.
2.) Rodren has only survived thanks to the care of his former comrades and is deeply grateful to them. He does not believe he deserves to be reinstated as a Sable Company Marine, but he loves the Corps and is still deeply loyal.
3.) Years of heavy drinking and lethargy have aged Rodren prematurely, though he is only twenty nine he moves, looks, and feels considerably older.
4.) Rodren is an alcoholic and a depressive, but the belief his daughter lives is enough to snap him back into action. He will not touch alcohol lest he descend again.
5.) The old Rodren was fiercely confident in his own competence, and when caught up in the moment this unconscious self belief can return.
1. Save Dhella and give her the kind of life she deserves. Preferably finding her a guardian, or an institution he can trust to care and provide for her - since he does not trust himself to keep free of the booze.
2. Find a way to either regrow Phen's missing leg, or prove that he does not need it so the hippogriff can return to active service with the Sable Company.
3. Be of some use to the Sable Company to repay their grace, perhaps as a Stable master? He does not dare to hope he can be a Marine again.
1. Rodren believes his family disowned him, but they did so in name only. Many fortunate windfalls, or generous friends were orchestrated by his mother and father.
2. Rodren frequently cheated on Taya, despite loving her deeply, but has not thought of another woman since her death. He suspects that his infidelity was known to Raya and contributed to her taking her own life. He could not be faithful to her in life, so he can only be faithful to her after her death.
1. Ernesco Verlaine, father of Taya, a former blacksmith who was so successful he transitioned into a business man and civic leader. Ernesco wanted to kill Rodren, but upon tracking him down and seeing the wretched state of the man his anger dissipated, nothing he could do would punish Rodren more than he was punishing himself.
2. Tegral Pertrescu, a Captain in the Sable Company who was Rodren's best friend. He took care of Phen, though truthfully the Sable Company would have anyway, and has given money to Rodren several times, though this was really from Rodren's parents. Tegral is arrogant, ambitious, and dodgy, and secretly rebelled in Rodren's fallen state.
3. Esharra Feld, owner of the Drunken Griff, a bar frequented by the Sable Company, who has given Rodren work, and a bed frequently. She was one of Rodren's lovers in his "glory days" and has attempted to pull him out of his slump, again, and again. Rodren killed her abusive father for her and helped get her hired at The Drunken Griff.
4.) Lerissa Calwyn, an elderly cleric of Erastil who tends to the Sable Companies hippogriffs and helped Rodren master the early stirrings of his magic back in the day. Since then she occasionally casts remove poison to sober him up and kicks him somewhere painful before giving him a torrent of abuse that amounts to "pull yourself together!"
5. Samirra Verlaine, Taya's sister never forgave Rodren for her sisters suicide, and has arranged for the drunk to be beaten and harassed a half dozen times. If she discovers his "comeback" she will want to send him back down.
1.) Chasing down a Shiver smuggler's boat alone in his arrogance Rodran intended to claim the credit and seek promotion. Instead the smugglers turned out to be well prepared and equipped with a ballista mounted in their boat. Only a desperate aerial roll by Phen saved Rodren from taking a ballista bolt through the heart, but the hippogriff lost his right foreleg to the bolt. Crashing into the Jeggare River Rodren was barely able to haul Phen to the nearby shore.
2.) The day Dhella disappeared, or more precisely the next morning when Rodran returned home and learnt of her disappearance from his frantic wife. The sound of her sobs cutting into his sore head, and the terrible knowledge that if he had not been with Esharra he might have been able to find Dhella before it was too late.
3.) Being brought to identify Taya's ruined body after she leapt from Castle Korvosa blaming herself for her daughter's disappearance. The world going quiet, dimming, the terrible pangs in his chest as his stomach fell. Being dragged away by his brother Marines.
Nothing frightens Rodran more than falling back into alcoholism and letting Dhessa down. But he is also afraid of worms and other squirmy small invertebrates, sometimes dreaming of being drowned in sticky squirming things.