Bio: Roland Shepard, formerly Roland Smith
Current age: 41 (as of 1018 Fall of Magatheren)
Born 977 Fom to Tucker and Mary Smith
Joined the military: 989
Retired from military: 1009
Became a Pistoleer of the King’s Guard: 1009
Father-Tucker Smith (deceased)
Mother- Mary Smith (deceased)
Brothers- Markus Smith, 58; wife: Teresa Smith, 54
Orlando Smith, 49; wife: Rosalind Smith, 44
Sebastian Smith, 36; wife: Olivia Smith, 36
Viola Cesario, 24; husband: Orsinio Cesario, 32
Height- Six feet, three inches
Weight- Two hundred pounds
Hair Color- Light brown, hair is usually long, falling down to about his shoulders. If he is appearing for a formal ceremony Roland will pull his hair back in a ponytail otherwise he just allows it to fall where it will. Typically attempts to stay clean shaven but allows his facial hair to grow while he is on long campaigns.
Eye Color- Hazel
Identifying marks/scars- One diagonal (his right to left) scar that splits his left eyebrow. One diagonal (his left to right) scar on his chin. Several scars on his forearms from battles. Numerous scars on his body from stabs and training accidents.
Clothing- Roland generally wears blue denim pants, boots, a collared flannel shirt, broad-brimmed hat, and either a poncho with green designs or a brown duster.
Primary- Two revolving pistols strapped to either hip (typically only uses one at a time). Each pistol holds six rounds and can be fired an indefinite amount of times without damaging the weapon or losing accuracy. Can kill a target from fifty yards and put a hole in a one inch steel plate from forty yards. Fatal up to one hundred yards but not at all accurate. While he prefers to use only one pistol at a time Roland is quite capable of firing both of his weapons simultaneously very accurately. It is also the sign of a Pistoleer to be able to use both pistols at the same time and can be very intimidating to their enemies; some will even surrender upon seeing a man with two pistols. Roland can draw, cock and fire one pistol in an eighth of a second.
Secondary- One lever action rifle that he uses for long distances that his pistol can’t make. Holds five shells at a time and can be fired an indefinite amount of times without damaging the weapon or losing accuracy. Can kill a target up to five hundred yards and put a hole in a three inch steel plate from three hundred yards. Fatal up to two miles but not accurate.
Melee/Just in case- One cutlass that he attempts to keep near him in case something happens. Prefers the thicker blade of the cutlass over many other swords but is proficient with nearly every bladed weapon. Keeps two knives on his person, one on the back of his belt and one in his boot for emergencies. He also keeps a small, one-shot pistol up his sleeve that is connected to a spring. Received an ornamental cavalry saber when he became a Pistoleer, useless in battle but is required to wear it at ceremonies or official business.
History: Roland Shepard was born the third son of a wealthy nobleman in upper class Achonia. Being born the third son Roland would never rise far in his own family or the government. His parents were careful to keep this concealed from him until his seventh birthday. Roland’s parents had taught him enough about politics that even by the ripe old age of seven he knew that he would never amount to much as a nobleman. He might marry the daughter of a lesser nobleman but if he chose to follow this path it would be the high point of his life. Knowing this he beseeched his father to allow him to take up the sword and begin learning martial arts and weaponry. For a while he was perfectly content with his lot in life as the third son of a wealthy nobleman, he would never want for anything. However, when Roland turned twelve he joined the Achonian military, requesting his father’s permission.
Being the son of a nobleman Roland received an education on how to read, write, do arithmetic and politics. Upon his seventh birthday he began receiving weapons (fencing) and martial arts training. When he joined the military he continued his fencing training and began to learn how to use projectile weapons as well as military strategy and history. Once he was accepted into the Pistoleers Roland spent the first five years in special training. He received more specific training for his weapons, especially his revolvers, and more battle techniques and strategies. Roland is not the fastest shot in the Pistoleers or the most accurate but he has an uncanny sense for military tactics and courage. Even though he is not the best Roland is still a far sight better than most people.
Favored Military Weapons and Tactics:
Since Roland typically has fewer men than his opponents he generally prefers hit-and-run tactics over conventional warfare. His willingness to use unconventional tactics has lead to his many promotions. Roland's favored weapons are the Repeater Cannon (a large cannon that can fire many rounds one after the other) and the Hitcha (a cart that holds roughly five hundred arrows that can be fired simultaneously and have explosives wired onto the ends). During battle he can use these weapons to devastating ends.
(Former) Soldier of Achonia- Once Roland joined the Achonian military he was required to stay out of the way until he turned fifteen when he was big enough to go into battle. Before he was fifteen Roland was required to endure rigorous amounts of rifle, small arms, and sword training. After turning fifteen he was able to join the main military force. Because of his family’s status Roland changed his name from Smith to Shepard so that he would not receive preferential treatment and be bumped through the ranks faster. In his tenure as a soldier he also fought in the War of the Faithful, defending his gods. Roland was in the military until he was about thirty-two; he left with the rank of captain due to his skill and ability to keep a level head during combat. He was offered many more promotions but tended to decline them so that he could stay in battle with his men; he would only accept promotions if his superiors allowed him to do what he did best. During small skirmishes with Sonorus and Astorisia he was able to win battles against larger foes because of his willingness to use new and different tactics.
(Current) Pistoleer- After winning a sizable battle against a Sonorous raiding party Roland finally caught the attention of Arthur, Achonia’s king. Roland was given the option of continuing his service in the military or joining the king’s guard. He quickly decided to become a Pistoleer, serving under Arthur for a year before his king’s murder. Roland was one of the few people to be on the investigation of the former king’s murder. While it is widely believed that the murderer could not be found it is a closely guarded secret of the Pistoleers as to who the assassin was.
His boots clicked as he walked down the tiled corridor. Huge stained glass windows dotted the hallway, allowing light through to illuminate paintings and tapestries that depicted glorious scenes in Achonia’s history. One was of the forging of the first pistol, another of the first Arthur and his knights, then, the melting down of the knights’ swords and making of their revolvers. There were images of battles that Achonia had been in, battles with the Fallen, skirmishes with Astorisia and Sonorous and the huge clashes of the War of the Faithful.
Walking below these paintings he couldn’t help but feel that he had accomplished hardly anything in his life. He may have fought during the War but his were small skirmishes, nothing compared to the paintings that lined the walls. Roland’s battles had always been smaller, and hadn’t always ended in victory. But somehow he had caught his King’s attention. When the Pistoleer had first arrived at his house Roland feared that he had done something wrong, that he was to face his death, or worse, excommunication from Achonia. Instead he informed him that the King had been watching him, and that he was impressed.
As he continued down the hallway he still wasn’t sure why he had been brought to the castle. In truth the Pistoleer had told him very little about why he needed to be here. Sadly, Roland suspected it was that he was going to be forced to take a promotion and be taken away from the field of battle.
Finally he arrived in front of the two huge doors that lead to the King’s courtroom. Two knights stood in front of the doors, they wore full plate armor and carried spears that could run a man through. Roland knew that even though they looked only ceremonial they would be two of the best warriors in all of Achonia to have this duty. Both of the men opened the door, one of them stepping in before Roland could, “I now present Roland Shepard, captain of the fifty-second regiment, the Hero of Oakfield. Roland joined the Achonian military at the age of twelve, entering into full service at fifteen. He has been awarded the medal of valor three times, the red badge of courage five times, he has been nominated for Hero of Achonia twice and one once. Many times he has beaten back forces significantly larger than his and recently decimated a Sonorous raiding party. He has nominated many of his men for numerous awards, many of which have been awarded. He has never had a deserter and many men request to his regiment.”
Roland felt his face begin to turn red; he didn’t know that they had planned on reading his service record to the King. Taking a deep breath he looked around surreptitiously. There were only thirty-one people in the room, the twenty-nine Pistoleers…and the King. Then the King stood, he may have been in his early seventies but Arthur was still an imposing figure to behold. Despite his advanced age he still stood well over six and a half feet tall, age couldn’t bend him. His eyes were still bright and clear, an icy blue staring out at the world. Even his hair refused to give in and go gray, retaining its dark brown color. “Roland Shepard, I’ve been watching you for some time. I’ve never been once to mince words so I won’t. I want you to become one of my Pistoleers.”
For a moment he just stood there, not completely sure that he had heard the king correctly. Being a Pistoleer was the highest honor and privilege that any citizen of Achonia could ever hope for. And it was being offered to him. “I…thank you my king.” Roland immediately fell to one knee, his hand going to the hilt of his ceremonial sword.
“Haha!” The King laughed, a deep hearty laugh that came from his stomach, “You won’t be thanking me after your training and I begin sending you on missions. But you are welcome.” The King walked to the side, grabbing a huge sword and hefting it with one hand. Walking back to Roland he placed the gigantic sword on one shoulder, “Roland Shepard, son of Tucker Smith,” Roland’s eyes opened wide, how did they know? He switched sides, “I dub thee Sir Roland Shepard.”