Pathfinder: A New Hope
Marcus is an imposing man with a squared off jaw and broad shoulders. He stand a full head taller than most men, and is impressively muscled from years of training for knighthood.
He wears his long black hair up, with a long mane hanging from a topknot. His eyes are a deep steel gray, and his voice is a low, scratchy whisper from a wound he suffered as a boy.
Marcus Rangvald is an aasimar of the North, much like his oldest friend and training partner, Cyrus Steelheart..
The Rangvald family were once of a long line of Northern warriors, fighting against the Linornms, giants, and other evils of the cold lands, in the earliest days of man. Yet as storied as their family name, the Rangvald family never amassed great wealth, lands, or titles. It was only when the child Marcus was born, along side a noble child of House Steelheart, did the Rangvald family name come to know the respect it so deeply felt it deserved.
Marcus and Cyrus grew up side by side, with Marcus being welcomed into House Steelheart as one of their own. They played, attended tutoring, hunted, and trained to one day be knights of the realm. The chaotic nature of the north always threatened the small fiefs the nobles held in the cold lands, and to be blessed with two gifted children with the blood of angels was a godsend.
Cyrus’ training began to shift towards the faith of Iomedae, and was anointed into the faith upon reaching manhood. Marcus meanwhile, being still of lowborn blood despite his blessing, was groomed to be a commander in the prestigious order of the Aurora Riders- the cavalier defenders of Losthome.
Eventually Cyrus left Losthome and headed south in search of divine inspiration and purpose; a true paladin in search of his destiny. Marcus, beholden to serve, watched as his friend left with the blessings of all; blessings Marcus began to resent, for what had Cyrus done to deserve such accolades? Perhaps this was a continuation of the legacy of the Rangvald family not getting its due respect for their loyal service to their kinsmen.
War- the horde came from the East, driving all in its path to seek refuge in the settlements of the Linnorm Kings, settlements such as Losthome. Cyrus rode out with the Aurora Riders as the vanguard to meet this threat at the behest of his liege, Lord Steelheart, the father of Cyrus. It was whispered that when Marcus rallied his knights before leaving Losthome, his last words were “…AND SO, WE THE LOWBORN SONS OF THE NORTH, WILL RIDE OUT TO DEFEND THE NOBLES YET AGAIN, WHILE THEIR SONS QUEST FOR GLORY IN FOREIGN LANDS…” words deemed treasonous by some, and worthy of losing his knighthood by all.
The Aurora Riders rode deep into the lands overrun by the horde, and tales of hobgoblin armies, frost giant lords, and devils from the pits of hell itself stalked the lands. Yet the order of cavaliers pressed ever onward, with word of their victories reaching Losthome time and time again. After hearing that the riders had fought their way to the root of the horde. Lord Steelheart rode out with a full regiment of warriors from Losthome and surrounding settlements to aid the Aurora Riders. Lord Steelheart was pleased the riders had been blessed with victories to this point, but cursed the impetuous leadership of Marcus endangering all his men.
And so, when Lord Steelheart arrived, the scene was astounding to him. The hobgoblin war party had been routed, along with their giant tribe companions. A grim sight of hobgoblins bound hand & foot, lay beheaded in a row of gruesomely efficient execution, along with no less than a score of frost giants.A lone rider of the Aurora knights was found gravely wounded amidst the carnage. He spoke of a battle between a devil and Marcus, and how the battle was saved by a company of knights that rode in to cut down the horde alongside the Aurora Riders. When the battle was done, Marcus stood triumphant over the smoking remnants of the devil, and the mysterious knights praised him with more gusto than his own soldiers.
The knights rounded up captured and wounded enemies and ritualistically executed them, with Marcus vigorously taking part. Several of the Aurora Riders objected to this brutality, but were cowed into silence; most participated freely, yet 2 poor, brave souls were cut down but their fellow riders!
The last thing the wounded Aurora rider was able to relate before passing was the Aurora Riders removing their tunics, and dropping their banners into the campfires before riding away with the mysterious armored knights. A lone rallying cry was shouted…
“LORD MARCUS AND HIS GLORIOUS AURORA RIDERS, YOUR JOURNEY TO PURIFYING THE LAND BEGINS NOW… ONWARD MY NEW BROTHERS, THE ORDER OF THE NAIL DEMANDS MUCH OF THISE WHO WOULD BE HELL KNIGHTS!”
Marcus, and the rest of the Aurora Riders have not been seen or heard from since…