28. Queen's Guard
Mladen the Vanished
Before his “recruitment” as the queen's soldier, this unfortunate Hrothgar was known as Mladen the Vanished.
A second-generation Bozjan refugee born and raised in Doma, Mladen learned the arts of the ninja before joining the Liberation Front. In the days which followed the retaking of Doma Castle, he crossed over to Bozja to pledge his strength to Bajsaljen, where he taught ninjutsu to his new allies and gathered intelligence on the IVth Imperial Legion. Mladen was absent from the ill-fated assault on Castrum Lacus Litore, having been part of a unit deployed to northern Bozja. But tragedy caught up to him nonetheless when he was later enthralled on the southern front.
A solitary man with no living relatives, he would often quip that he could fall in battle with a light heart for there were none to mourn his passing. Perhaps, in some buried corner of his present cursed existence, that thought yet brings him comfort...
Adis the Spirited
Once a noted member of the Resistance, Adis the Spirited now stands hollow and obedient as the queen's knight.
Adis hailed from Dirbenc, a remote region of Bozja. After receiving the standard imperial education, he served in the Garlean army as a centurion until the Bozja incident drove him into the arms of the Resistance. Although a commander of men, the hot-blooded Hrothgar was infamous for charging ahead into the enemy's midst, whereby he would call out rival officers to engage in single combat. Such selfless, reckless bravery inspired his men and demoralized the foe, and no few young Bozjans sought to follow his example. His final act was to fight a rearguard action on the southern front, ensuring the escape of as many allies as possible until the queen's undeniable aether overwhelmed him at the last.
When the survivors reached the safety of Gangos, their wails of grief echoed through the encampment. They had lost the best of them, and the entire company, their faces streaked with tears, wished they could have fallen in his stead.
Tugeim the Swiftram
The queen's warrior is the aether-corrupted form of Resistance member Tugeim the Swiftram.
As a trueborn Bozjan who could trace her lineage back to one of the old nation's ruling families, Tugeim was afforded the rights of a free citizen in imperial society─a privileged position that she discarded in favor of joining the Resistance movement. Ostensibly one of the noble class despised by Misija, she herself never belittled the commonfolk through word or deed, and although her habitual reticence often led to misunderstandings, she was in truth the staunchest supporter of Bajsaljen's efforts to impose a fair and balanced social order.
In battle, this imposing Roegadyn would wade into enemy ranks like a war-goddess incarnate, swinging an axe longer than she was tall with terrifying ease. Enthralled and empowered by the queen, she can now manipulate the forces of gravity itself...
Ratimir the Pale
Even before his transformation into the queen's gunner, Ratimir the Pale was feared among his enemies as a harbinger of death.
A hunter who dwelled in the wilds of Bozja, Ratimir left his simple life to take up arms against the Empire when the citadel was destroyed. As he saw it, imperial hubris had led to the deaths of countless innocents, and he would not leave his countrymen unavenged. Already skilled in the use of a firearm, his was a natural progression to the role of Resistance marksman.
Ratimir's legend began on the night an imperial company assaulted the encampment at Gorava. The surprise onslaught threw the Resistance ranks into helpless confusion, the lack of a coherent defense elevating the offensive into outright slaughter. The survivors rallied and sought to win free of the attackers, but the net was drawn too tightly to escape. As they waited grimly for their demise, one of the advancing imperials suddenly slumped to the ground. From the stygian darkness beyond the flame-lit camp, the sound of a firearm cracked again and again, and each time it spoke, another imperial soldier fell. The death toll mounted, and it was now the aggressors' turn to feel the cold grip of panic.
If they could have pierced that inky veil, they might have spied the determined features of Ratimir as he methodically dismantled the encircling force. When morning came and the weary Resistance troops surveyed the carnage, they found thirty-six imperial corpses with bullet wounds to the head.
Ratimir the Pale. Ratimir, the living legend. How fortunate for the queen to come into possession of so formidable a weapon...