The Last King
Soldier, Captain, and Ambassador. Savior of Queens and Princesses. Liberator of Tharbad and Oakwoode.
See Google Docs sheet for current and more readable copy. Below based on 13 advancements.
Attributes: Bearing 12, Nimbleness 10, Perception 4, Strength 12, Vitality 10, Wits 9
Reactions: Stamina 3, Swiftness 4, Willpower 7,Wisdom 3
Skills: (numbers include attribute and edge bonuses)
Armed Combat: Blade (Longsword) 20, Climb 3, Conceal 1, Craft () 2, Debate (Negotiate) 9, Games () 2, Healing () 1, Inquire (Converse) 10, Insight (Men at Arms) 11, Inspire (Arnorians) 12, Intimidate (Fear) 7, Jump 3, Observe (Spot) 5, Perform 3, Persuade (Oratory) 11, Ranged Combat: Bow (Longbow) 8, Ride (Horse) 10, Run 3, Seacraft () 1, Search 0, Siegecraft (Unit Leadership) 13, Smithcraft 3, Stealth (Sneak) 5, Stonecraft 3, Survival (Cold) 1, Swim 3, Teamster 3, Track 1, Unarmed Combat (Wrestling) 8, Weather sense 0
Languages: Westron (Westron) 6, Sindarin (Sindarin) 4, Southron (Umbarean) 2
Lores: Group: Nobility (Arnor) 7, Realm: Arnor (Emyn Weiryn route) 5, History: Wars (Arnor) 4, Race: Men (Military procedures) 5, Race: Dwarves (History) 3, Realm: Angmar (Current events) 2
Edges: Favour of Fortune 2, Honey-Tongued 3 , Lion-Hearted , Strong-Willed 2 , Warwise 3 , Rank 1, Wakefulness , Weapon Mastery
Flaws: Duty , Fealty , Proud
Order: Favoured Weapon , Swift Strike 1
Health 13, Courage 4, Renown 6, Initiative 2d6 + 4
Defense 12 melee, effectively 17 ranged w/ shield, DR 7
Appearance and Impression
Liathan has the stature of a typical Dunedain but an uncommon physique. He stands 6’5" tall but has remarkably broad shoulders and longish arms, giving him the reach of a taller Man, an advantage that he skillfully applies during sword fighting and grappling. His legs are slightly shorter and torso slightly longer than his height would suggest. Distant viewers unfamiliar with Liathan occasionally mistake him for a dwarf if there are no adjacent objects for perspective to help estimate height.
His sheer determination is obviously not visible, yet others can often recognize it (Strong-Willed edge). Liathan stubbornly refuses to accept his own failure (Favour of Fortune edge) and shrugs off blows that would harm less determined Men (Lion-Hearted edge).
Other people tend to like or respect Liathan from the start. He is charismatic, speaking with a deeply resonating voice, which he modulates well, and precise diction (Honey-Tongued edge). The soldiers under his command are inspired as surely as those who disagree with him are persuaded. Liathan remains calm and carefully picks his words even while vigorously disagreeing.
His straight black hair is kept shoulder length – patrol and scouting missions don’t offer many opportunities for hair cuts.
Prior to campaign start
Liathan was born during the winter of 1900 T.A. (making him 40 years old at campaign start, still a young adult among the Dunedain). The name was originally given to his grandfather. It derives from Sindarin (leithian n. release, freeing, release from bondage), but due to limited mastery of the language his great-grandparents pronounced the name wrong so it’s no longer recognizable as such.
Liathan grew up a day east of Fornost on lands owned by Captain Urthel Erhendion. Liathan’s father Beleg was a horsegroom to the Captain. It was anticipated that Liathan would follow the same career until fate led him down a more hazardous and interesting course. Beleg fell ill with a weakened version of the Great Plague during the spring of 1914 but was headed for a full recovery. Liathan, only 14 at the time, travelled to Fornost with the Captain’s soldiers to assist at a minor ceremony while his father was still recuperating. Orcs attacked the estate in the interim, slaying many. The soldiers returned too late to save Liathan’s parents, but they were able to run down the orcs who were still nearby. The Captain subsequently fostered Liathan.
His younger sister Lothiriel was away at the time of the orc attack, visiting family at a small farming village immediately northeast of the Brandywine Bridge. She remained there and married the farmer Will Goatleaf several years ago. Will is hard-working, focused on family and farming, and generally disinterested in anything that happens beyond his village. Lothiriel and Bill recently gave birth to a son named Tom. Liathan tries to visit when his duties bring him through the area, very infrequently because there is not much need for military patrols in western Arnor.
Liathan was originally a wild, reckless brawler when he began his soldier training, eager to slay orcs. The Captain wisely kept Liathan away from orc confrontations for several years to let the rage pass. Liathan still hates orcs, as should any rational Man, but now realizes that it’s far wiser to apply strategy and remain calm. Let the orcs frenzy; it makes them easier to kill!
The 4 Year Fast-Forward
The fall of 1940 marked the beginning of a peaceful time in Arnor. The conspiracy of Lord Saellon and Henry Meade was exposed and crushed earlier in the year, with no evidence that it extended further. Hillmen conflicts faded as farmers relocated from Rhudaur to Cardolan.
Liathan resumed command of the Tirir i-Galen, welcoming the opportunity to work closely with Captain Erhendion for the first time in years. Angmar’s orcs were sparsely scattered so the Guardians spent most of their time chasing away small bands or orcs and hillmen. (This didn’t need the full talents of the entire party, so Turin, Llewellyn, Rusceryn, Sairin, and Celegduin moved on to whatever it is their players wanted.) Liathan remained in command of the Guardians for the next 2 years.
The Tirir i-Galen’s explorations into Angmar confirmed that the orcs and hillmen north of Arnor posed no real threat. There were no major battles but many smaller skirmishes that helped the Guardians gain practical experience. Time revealed that the Army of the North did not need 2 captains (Liathan and Urthel Erhendion), offering Liathan his first vacation after years of constant military service.
Liathan spent a month in Gondor during 1942. The warmer weather was welcome after 2 years in Angmar. He carried some diplomatic messages but spent most of the time relaxing. After restraining himself from dueling the obnoxious Prince Faramir for the 4th time – it seemed to be a weekly occurrence with Faramir being particularly annoying on Tuesdays – Liathan decided it was better to return home than to kill the Prince.
The trip home included pauses in Tharbad and the Shire to visit friends that he hadn’t seen for 2 years. Liathan also made an extended visit to his sister Lothiriel’s farm. He returned to Fornost just before the winter of 1943 set in. Prince Arvedui planned to place Liathan back in command of the Guardians come the spring of 1944, for an excursion far east over the Misty Mountains to explore the edges of wainrider territory.
Liathan spent the winter as Fornost’s primary sword trainer.
Spring 1944: game resumes as Celegduin comes riding into Fornost.
Thoughts on the other PCs
Celegduin: Deceptively strong for a woman; with a little more practice she may rival Turin in combat. She is an able quartermaster and the Wardens under her care have never wanted for supplies. Celegduin, although intelligent, never exhibited much interest in tactics nor leadership, making Liathan concerned that Prince Arvedui made a rash decision to have her lead the Guardians of the Green into Angmar. Liathan has never expressed this concern to anyone, hoping that Celegduin is a natural, and made sure to give her a crash-course before relinquishing command. Liathan hopes for her success so he can focus on the larger issues posed by the apparently growing Shadow.
Llewelyn: An exemplary scout, and amazingly agile despite his voracious appetite. Liathan never hesitates to send the hobbit on solo missions, confident that he has the skill to covertly observe enemies and the discretion to know when to report back rather than push his luck. Based on his experience and friendship with Llewellyn, and to a lesser extent the archers Llewellyn recruited, Liathan considers the inhabitants of the Shire to be the full equals of Man.
Rusceryn: A genius. Rusc’s value as a soldier at one time seemed questionable due to his limited swordsmanship, but his boundless knowledge and diverse magic helped Liathan realize there are many ways to win a battle. Liathan wonders why Rusc has been so patient with Meridiel’s father; a soldier who has served Arnor so well deserves more respect.
Turin: A great yet reckless swordsman. He comprehends the value of tactics and has skill, but after a fight has begun seems to enjoy fighting almost as much as accomplishing the mission. The younger man’s patience will increase with time if he doesn’t die prematurely; Turin has already collected some grievous battle injuries.
Sairin: Liathan has had limited dealings with elves, but Sairin is curiously unlike the others. The residents of Imladris were introspective, reserved, almost shy – belying their true nature and wisdom. Sairin, though, is far coarser. Is this elf woman unique in acting like a brash teenage Man, always trying and failing to prove her superiority? Or do the elves’ sheltered lives and complacency cause all of them to be this insecure when away from home?
Liathan is supremely confident. He’s great at some things and fully aware of it.
Not arrogant, though. Liathan’s greatness does not diminish the greatness of others. Others can be great in similar ways or in a different manner.
Not overconfident, either. A small handful of enemies somewhere might be better with a sword. He’d just find another way to defeat them.
Others who aren’t as good at their jobs probably can’t help it. Liathan will try to help them become better.
Liathan would be overjoyed if all Arnorian soldiers surpassed his skill with the sword, but he isn’t naive enough to hope for it.
Forgiveness and Tolerance
Failure is generally forgivable, especially for difficult feats. There is no shame if you push yourself in an attempt to grow or to help others.
Sloth, excessive greed, allying with the Shadow, etc. are far more serious, being failures of character rather than of skill; a Man can learn a skill but can’t change his innate nature.
Has grown to love travel and meeting new people. Different groups have much to learn from each other. Wonders why all races, Men included, are focused inward. The Numenorians and Elves journeyed all the way to Middle Earth in earlier ages, but now they rarely bother to know what’s 3 days beyond their homes. Liathan has witnessed such insular behavior from royalty, soldiers, even his own brother-in-law.
Sword: Brunmaer (“old, useful”, describing circumstances where the sword was found and first used against the wight)
Warhorse: Edhelant (“Elf-gift”)
Guardians of the Green (“Tirir i-Galen”)