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Baron of Dovehold
Necromancer of the 3rd Circle
by Michael Berry
‘Death is not the ‘final frontier’. It only looks that way from one side of the door’
Roeland Koorteweg is a short, slightly overweight man of 46 years. He is half Flaem and half Boldavian. From his father he got his flaming mane if fiery red hair and his distinctly Flaemish name. From his mother he got everyting else. He is always seen wearing a plain necklace of gold and silver and has long red hair tied back in a ponytail. Roeland has modest tastes in clothing and when situations arise that require him to dress as the noble of Glantri that he is, he is always dressed in fine tasteful wizard robes of red and black. He is most comfortable in his immaculately clean white lab coat which he wears around the tower of Dovehold unless he is receiving important visitors.
Being widowed for 15 years, and uninterested in finding a woman in his later years, Roeland is not particularly fussy about his personal appearance or hygiene. With no wife to nag him about getting a hair cut or shaving, Roeland is often found casually sporting a 5 o’clock shadow with his last visit to the bathtub being several days in the rear view mirror.
II. Personality & Quirks
Roeland, the Glantrian noble, is a bit of a rarity in Glantri. He is open and warmly enjoys interaction with the people of his Barony. Petitioners to the Baron are met by Roeland in person rather than shoveled off to minor officials. Much of the way he rules his Barony is a direct result of Roeland and his father’s family being able to trace their roots to the area back to their arrival in the Highlands in the early 6th Century. Roeland has made it a personal point to not feel separate or aloof from his neighbors, or the people he grew up with. Koorteweg is respected and loved by the people of his barony and he feels the same of the people of Doveland.
While Roeland is atypical among the nobility of Glantri, Roeland the Flaemish Wizard is much more the stereotypical Flaem, with one important exception. Roeland is proud of his magical power and is as sure of Flaemish superiority as the haughtiest Flaem. When Roeland is not attending to ruling his dominion, he focuses all his attentions on his research. However unlike many Flaem who specialize in and research fire based magic, Roeland has a personal obsession with the notions of life and death. His daughter, Fredrikka, has long suspected his obsession stems from the tragic loss of his wife in a climbing accident in AC 999.
After a long mourning period after the death of his wife, and after focusing his grief into his research, Roeland today is much the same as he was when he was younger. He is jovial, warm and talkative when among his people. He rarely leaves Dovehold, and only goes to large towns like Kopstar when absolutely necessary and hasn’t been to Glantri City in over ten years. Roeland is uncomfortable in large groups of people he does not know and goes to great lengths to avoid being put in those situations.
III. History & Background
Roeland Koorteweg was born in AC 968 to Flaemish parents in the village of Aarlanderveen. Though both of his parents were mundaners, Roeland showed great magical potential when tested as a child by an official of the Nordling Free Province. When Roeland was 4 years old, Prince Vanserie Vlaardoen XI became the eleventh Prince of the Flaem in Bergdhoven. To celebrate his ascension he created a scholarship program where 11 promising yet financially challenged Flaemish children would be sponsored a year by the Prince to attend the great school for the first eleven years of his rule. Roeland’s father took his son to the great Palace of Linden in 978 to apply for one of the scholarships knowing that his meager earning as a tailor would never allow his son to get the training he believed he deserved. After a rigorous screening and testing Roeland was selected to be one of the class of 978 to attend the Great School under the patronage of Prince Vanserie.
Roeland was a popular student of many of the professors of the School during his 8 years at the Great School. His instructors remember his as a highly intelligent, witty, yet was always respectful. Roeland had many friends at the Great School yet was never truly comfortable with Glantri City itself and rarely left the School unless there was a special event or running an errand for a master. He preferred to study, or take trips into the country with his friends during breaks in the curriculum. During his time at the Great School he took the traditional Flaemish curriculum, which was also required under the Scholarship, and learned many fire based spells and planar magic. Roeland as a child was fascinated with tales of Rodolphus Vlaardoen’s exploits during the 40 Years War and took many electives on combat spellcasting and military applications of spellcraft.
While at the Great School, Roeland became closer and closer to one of the students that arrived at the Great School with him under Prince Vansarie’s sponsorship. Anke Meijer was from a family of farmers in the Hiboux Free Province and Anke and Roeland immediately hit it off and were part of a large group of friends that socialised together. As both got into their late teens what had been a strong friendship grew into something more, a deep passionate love. Both Anke and Roeland passed their graduation test in 986 and were married soon after. Upon graduating the Great School with honours in 986, both Anke and Roeland were due to serve Prince Vanserie for 5 years as all the scholarship recipients were. Anke was selected, due to her stellar academic reputation at the Great School, to be a magical tutor for Prince Vanserie’s 4 year old daughter, Juliana.
Roeland was offered a choice of assignments. To serve in Bergdhoven as an auditor in the taxation department or to fill an opening in Vanserie’s Division. Roeland chose without hesitation to serve in Prince Vanserie's Division and was assigned command of the 2nd Banner at Ft. Ylourgne in western Glantri, whose commander had been severely wounded in the ongoing campaign against humanoids led by the new Prince and Viceroy of Ylourgne, Jaggar Von Drachenfels. Prince Jaggar had launched a campaign in the region to avenge his father Morgaithe who fell in battle in AC 983 against the orcs tribes south of Ylourgne. Roeland saw a year of savage action against the Orcs. Anke would occasionally get permission to travel to Ylourgne to visit her husband and on one of the visits she became pregnant with their first child. Prince Jaggar ordered no quarter be shown to the Orcs and finally by AC 987 the campaign ended as the orcs were slaughtered to the last man, woman, and child. The same year Anke gave birth to a girl which she named Fredrikka. Anke was released from the Prince’s service and joined Roeland at Ylourgne. Roeland was decorated for his service and well regarded by Prince Jaggar and when Roeland’s five year term of service ended, he had seen enough blood, orc and human, to remove any youthful notions of the honor and noble nature of war and declined another enlistment and an offer of Prince Jaggar to attend Fuhrburg Military Academy and took his wife and child back home to Aarlanderveen in AC991.
The next eight years were happy ones for the Koorteweg family. Roeland was welcomed back home as a hero, and local boy done good. Anke and Roeland bought a large home on the outskirts of Aarlanderveen with his savings from army. Roeland over the next 5 years came to own one of the largest herds of sheep in the area and became a prominent citizen of the village. Fredrikka was found to have substantial magical talent like her parents and when she turned nine she was sent by her parents to study at the Great School. However tragedy struck the Koorteweg family 3 years later, in AC 999, when Anke fell to her death while mountain climbing with some old friends and classmates in the Glantrian Alps.
Roeland sank in a depression that lasted for several years and he withdrew from the outside world, losing all interest in living. This depression lasted for 3 years an old classmate and friend of Roeland who had heard of Anke’s death and Roeland’s depression paid Roeland a visit. The friend was an admirer of Anke’s beauty and enjoyed Roelands analytical mind and jovial nature during his years at the Great School and was sorry to hear of Anke’s death and Roelands pain. He told him that there might be a way for Roeland to see Anke again and asked him if he might be interested in exploring the possibility. Roeland obviously was humbled by the concern and told him he would be interested. The old classmate told Roeland about the science of Necromancy which in spite of its unsavory reputation and a abode of evil misanthropes had the possibility, if Roeland could manage, to unlock many of the secrets of life and death. Roeland accepted and was sponsored into the secret craft of Necromancy.
Over the next few years Roeland transferred all his grief into his studies and absorbed like a sponge all he could learn about Necromancy, even reenrolling in the Great School and taking classes in the School of Necromancy there, all while secretly progressing up through the circles of the Secret Craft. His daughter, also at the Great School, was greatly relieved by her father’s emergence from his grief and depression. Though she didn’t approve of his choice of studies and his outlet for his grief she hoped that his research might give him some peace and even some happiness. Roeland attended the Great School as a graduate student for two years before returning to Aarlanderveen in 1004 to begin putting his studies to work. His daughter having graduated the Great School the same year, seeing her father had found some purpose with his life, decided to see the world and left Glantri to try her hand as a freelance adventurer.
The Great War with Alphatia came to Glantri the year after Roeland came back to Aarlanderveen and he found himself involved in local politics as a rumor that the area was being established as a dominion set off scores of debates. Roeland knew that if the area was made into a dominion that Kristina Wilhamine would most likely be the Baroness. She was a famous wizard and daughter of Erik Wilhamine who, like Roeland, was a respected and prominent citizen of the area. Roeland threw his support behind the proposal which helped sway those undecided and in AC 1006, Aarlanderveen and the surrounding area became part of the new Barony of Doveland. Erik, who was his daughters Seneschal, turned to Roeland to help with the new Barony. Roeland was more than happy to help and assisted Erik in whenever he was asked. After Thar’s invasion in 1007 and knowing that Thyatis was doomed and unable to hold off the Alphatians a massive draft was instituted in Glantri in AC 1008. The people of Dovehold answered Erik Wilhamine’s plea for troops and raised two full banners of troops and Roeland Koorteweg was selected to be their commander. The banners were assigned to and formed the basis of the 72nd Glantrian Division. The division never saw action and was disbanded with the troops returning to Doveland after Alphatia sank and the war ended.
With the end of the war the Barony of Dovehold came vacant and open for an Awards Festival when Kristina won the Viscounty of Castelbianco. Roeland was pressured by Erik and the local population to enter the Awards Festival. Reluctantly he agreed and after hard campaigning at the Capital and the surprising support of Prince Morphail was selected be the 2nd Baron of Doveland. Soon afterward his daughter returned in the company of a band of adventurers who had rescued her from a band of Bhuts. The years since the end of the Great War have been quiet ones and have allowed Roeland to go back to his researches. He is hording resources to begin study for the 4th circle of Necromancy but may be a few years before he can afford the steep expenditure needed to fund his fees and research. He hopes to learn more about the notions of life and death and unlock the secrets and perhaps be able to see or speak to Anke again. Her body has been moved to a crypt beneath the tower of Doveland and Roeland goes down into the dungeon every night and speaks to her and beholds her everlasting beauty in hope of being able to share a laugh and a kiss with the love of his life.
IV. Web of Intrigue
Roeland is not interested in the politics of Glantri so he instructs his spokesman to vote with House Linden on all matters. Roeland has the complete support of his people and faces no internal issues or opposition in his dominion.
Roeland is being watched however by a curious party, the Prince of Boldavia, and High Master of the Secret Craft of Necromancy, Prince Morphail. Morphail was informed of the sponsorship of Roeland and of Roeland ‘unique’ interest in the powers of Necromancy. Morphail is watching Roeland to see what Roeland secrets might be to unlock or advances Roeland might discover. Other than the Prince of Boldavia and the undead nobles of House Igorov, Roeland has no personal allies or enemies of his own in Glantri political circles.
V. Statistics & Style of Magic
Statistics: 14th-level Wizard: Str 11, Int 17, Wis 13, Dex 9, Con 15, Cha 18; 3rd Circle Necromancer, AL - Neutral
Languages: Flaem, Thyatin, Boldavian, Averoignian
Weapon Proficiencies: Staff (skilled), dagger (skilled), sling (skilled)
Skills: Military Tactics (I), Military History (I), Alternative Magics (I), Alchemy (I), Human Biology (I), Horse Riding (Dex), Leadership (Cha), Planar Geography(I), Bravery (W)
"Pfff... I’m served by undead flunkies who only think of their next meal. I want more scholars … thinkers...like that Flaem Roeland Koorteweg."
(Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany)