23. Rostik Liubasch
A key figure of the Bozjan Resistance, Rostik fights to free his country from the tyrannical clutches of the Empire.
He is the son of an elite gunbreaker who served Bozja in its days of independence, and there can be little doubt that the path he has walked has been in the footsteps of this great man─a man of whom Rostik himself remembers scarcely a thing.
In those days, the Garlean Empire marched mercilessly and inexorably on the scattered small countries in the southern reaches of Ilsabard. Fearing for his son's safety, Rostik's father entrusted the child to his elderly master before departing for the front lines, from which he would never return.
Though hailed as a hero by his people, the man's bravery was ultimately in vain, and once-proud Bozja fell under the imperial yoke. The young Rostik vowed that he would one day be strong enough to defend his beloved homeland, and devoted himself to training as a gunbreaker under the selfsame master who once taught his father, eventually being conscripted by the imperial army. I will be my nation's shield─or so he swore to himself. Yet Rostik was doomed to suffer a fate as tragic as his father's─if not more so. While he was serving the Empire, the Bozja incident occurred, and his beloved homeland was razed to nothingness.
After the fall of the citadel, Rostik awaited his chance and fled the army. For a time, he fought like a beast thirsting for vengeance, launching reckless strikes against imperial forces from seemingly every direction. Yet there was a limit to what one gunbreaker─no matter how skilled─could do against an entire army. One day, Rostik was ambushed by an imperial regiment, and suffering grave wounds, was left to die alone deep in the forest.
In a turn of good fortune, before succumbing to his wounds, he was discovered by Bajsaljen, who had seen the gunbreaker fall in battle against their common foe, and took him in, tending to his injuries. Persuaded by the cerebral Resistance leader to abandon his rage-driven quest for revenge, Rostik now fights to protect his countrymen, imparting his impressive skills to a new generation of gunbreakers as a mentor to his subordinates.
So it is that the art of the gunbreaker, once in danger of extinction, came to be preserved through the years. Indeed, the high-ranking Resistance officer Marsak and Thancred, the “Scion” who he met through a curious twist of fate, are among Rostik's countless pupils. Rostik continues his fight to this day, that he might see his techniques handed down to posterity, and his nation one day reborn.