Sir Roland Howe
One of the last remaining knights of Old Neverwinter, this prickly old warrior stands with the Sons of Alagondar against the Lord Pretender.
Class: Fighter (Knight)
Role: Martial Defender
Affiliation: The Royal House of Neverwinter, The Sons of Alagondar (Graycloaks)
Languages Known: Common, Dwarven
“I’m too old for this shit.”
Sir Roland Howe is a Knight of Old Neverwinter, one of only two who still remain in the city. He is 53 years old, and has lived in the Jewel of the North all his life. Since the arrival of Dagult Neverember, self-proclaimed Lord Protector of Neverwinter, Sir Roland has been affiliated with the Sons of Alagondar, an insurrectionist group whose aim is to preserve the legacy and true bloodline of the once great city. He has no love for Neverember or the Lord Protector’s private army, the Mintarn Mercenaries, but he loves his city, and will do anything to protect it from opportunistic scoundrels who would twist the recovering city to their own ends.
Roland was born in 1426 DR, the Year of the Dozen Dwarves, to Rickard Howe, a city watchman, and Kira Bellamy, a skilled blacksmith. They lived in the South Docks District, and though they were not poor, they were far from well off. His childhood was split between helping in his mother’s smithy and exploring the streets and alleyways of Neverwinter. His greatest thrill was seeing the Knights of Neverwinter walking or riding through the streets, and he dreamed of one day joining their noble ranks. As he got older, young Roland would seize every spare opportunity to practice what he called “swording” with his mother’s stock, though the weapons were nearly all much too large for him.
One day, while 14-year-old Roland was “swording”, one of his mother’s customers walked in, a knight named Sir Jory Cousland. Though Roland was untrained and still rather clumsy, Sir Jory saw potential, and took the boy on as his squire. For seven years, Roland studied the ways of combat, valour, and honour. He was taught to ride, and joust, and how to attend court, but where Roland truly excelled was in melee combat. He favoured the broadsword, combining its heavier weight with more brutal tactics to make up for its lack of manoeuvrability. At the age of 21, Roland was knighted, fulfilling his lifelong dream. Both his parents were extremely proud of him. Rickard gave him an Eye of Neverwinter pendant, which had been given to him by his father when Rickard had first joined the Watch. Kira presented him with her masterwork – a broadsword created lovingly in her own forge. He was granted an estate in the Blacklake District where he lived with a few servants. His parents preferred to stay in their little house near the docks, but Roland made sure to send them a percentage of his salary every month.
The Cataclysm and Recovery
When Mount Hotenow erupted, Roland was away from the city. On his way home from accompanying a diplomatic envoy to Waterdeep, he saw the explosion from leagues away. He arrived within sight of the city just in time to watch the only home he’d ever known covered in a blanket of fire and ash.
As soon as it was safe to return, Roland joined the few survivors and those Neverwintans who had also been abroad during the disaster, and began to pick up the pieces. The top priority was the building of the wall, to isolate the newly opened chasm from which Spellscarred monsters were pouring daily. After the completion of the wall, Roland joined the men and women who patrolled it, making sure the people and what was left of Neverwinter stayed safe.
In 1462 DR, ten years after the eruption of Mount Hotenow, Roland stopped staying in his Blacklake estate. Although the house was largely unscathed by the Cataclysm, Roland has spent the last seventeen years renting a room at the Driftwood Tavern, spending most of his nights there. The reason for this is unknown to all but a few.
The Present Day
Roland was sent by Madame Rosene, leader of the Graycloak faction of the Sons of Alagondar, to join forces with a party of talented adventurers, newly arrived in the city. He has fought at their side, and has come to respect each of them for their skill and their apparent willingness to aid his city. He will continue to travel with them for as long as their actions help the people of Neverwinter.
Roland still retains the broad shoulders and the physical fitness of his younger days, due in no small part to his years building and defending the wall. He has piercing blue eyes, salt-and-pepper hair, and a beard to match running along his jawline and chin. From his right forehead, over his nose, and ending on his left cheek he has an old scar, courtesy of his time defending the wall from the Plaguechanged monsters that emerge from the Chasm District.
He wears studded leather armour over his old knight’s uniform, and around his neck he wears the gold medallion emblazoned with the Eye of Neverwinter that his father gave him. This same eye is painted on his left shoulder pauldron. His weapon of choice is the broadsword that his mother forged for him on the occasion of his knighthood.
Personality and Relationships
Roland is a rather dour fellow. He complains of his aches and pains, mutters under his breath, and constantly refers to others as “sonny”, “lassie” or “kid”, including those that are technically older than him, such as longer lived humanoids like elves, half-elves and dwarves. When he is called out on this, he replies only with “It’s not the years that count. It’s the mileage.” Roland is not in a romantic relationship, and refuses to talk about anything of the kind. He has, however, been known to open up slightly when he’s drunk or when he is alone with a person he feels he can trust. He likes and respects the other members of the party, and is happy working with them, even though he doesn’t always show it.