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Author Topic: [Hobbit] Haleth  (Read 4057 times)

Haleth

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Haleth
« on: February 03, 2014, 03:09:00 PM »

HALETH



NAME:  Haleth, meaning “hero”.
NICKNAMES (IF ANY):  Occasionally he gets “Hal” for short, usually from those that know him well.
DATE OF BIRTH AND AGE (AS OF T.A. 2941):  3rd of February, T.A. 2888 (53 years of age).
PLACE OF BIRTH:  Harrowdale, Rohan.
RACE:  Man.
GENDER:  Male.

HAIR COLOUR AND APPEARANCE:  Haleth's hair is an unremarkable shade of light brown – far from the blond and golden hues so coveted and admired by the Rohirrim – and it has been generously peppered with grey over the years, along with his facial hair.  In his youth Haleth kept his hair long, cutting it at his shoulders and decorating it with braids, but now has taken to instead wearing it cropped short.  It is easier to manage this way; it keeps the hair from his eyes and requires little to no attention.
EYE COLOUR:  Blue, but in certain light tones of grey creep in.
BODY TYPE AND HEIGHT:  Haleth stands at 6'4” and is of a solid build, with the musculature to be expected of a soldier, guard and once-upon-a-time King's Rider.  He is not so heavily built as to be slow and yet not so wiry as to be ineffective.  His hands are generously ridged with callous, his legs strong from many years of riding and his eye true from afternoons spent hunting and fighting from horseback.
OVERALL APPEARANCE:    Age has not yet bent Haleth's back or taken the strength from his arms but wrinkles, particularly around his eyes and brow, mark the passage of time and now line what was once a smooth and handsome face.  As a minor noble of Rohan, and as the prince's sworn guard, he wears well-made and durable clothing, though it remains practical and understated, most often in shades of brown, green, burgundy or grey.  His woollen tunic, supple leather boots and linen breeches are often accompanied by fur and leather leg wraps which make it easier to feel a horse's flanks beneath his legs.  When on duty (which in truth is much of the time) he continues to wear the mail and leather armour of the King's Riders of Rohan, though he is no longer in his home province nor does he guard the king.  It does not sit so easily on Haleth these days but old habits die hard and he takes comfort in what he was before and what he hopes, to some degree, he continues to be. 
DISTINGUISHING MARKS:  Though he of course has numerous small scars, accumulated from hunting and other activities, there are none of note.  It is worth mentioning, however, that Haleth is missing part of the little finger on his left hand, where it was accidentally severed at the proximal interphalangeal joint (second knuckle) during a training exercise as he endeavoured to join the Muster of Rohan.
WEAPONS:  Whilst training to join the Muster of Rohan, and then honing these skills as one of the King's Riders, Haleth is familiar with sword, axe, spear, mace and bow.  The sword he carries has an ornate pommel decorated with horses, the creatures the Rohirrim revere above all others.  It is fairly short and has a rounded tip at the end, meaning it is designed for slashes dealt from horseback rather than thrusting or stabbing on foot.  This weapon was gifted to Haleth by the royal family of Rohan when he entered the King's Riders and he set aside the more basic sword his father had given him, much to his regret now.  A simple Rohirric axe hangs at Haleth's sword belt and this he is comfortable wielding both on foot or astride a horse – and with throwing it, of course.  The rider also carries with him a bow.  It is light, simple and rather small, having been designed to be fired from horseback and to allow for powerful blows over a short distance.  It is very basic when compared to the bows of Elves, or even to those the men of Gondor wield, but it out-ranges the bows Orcs carry and complements Haleth's battle tactics nicely.
FACE CLAIM:  Liam Neeson.

STRENGTHS:  Now that the bright, bold flames of his youth have died down, Haleth has acquired certain strengths beyond that which time and experience alone has granted him.  He is patient, seeming to have a never-ending well where others run dry, and he is kind, empathising readily with those around him.  Haleth's loyalty breeds in him a sort of selflessness, a willingness to sacrifice not only his life, if needs be, but also his happiness for the benefit and honour of Rohan.  This is both a strength and a weakness in the rider.  Haleth is hardy, having seen fifty-three years and yet spent very few days in poor health, and is resourceful.  The rider also has a gift for breeding, training and understanding horses.
WEAKNESSES:  Haleth is illiterate, as the Rohirrim tend to rely on oral tradition and song.  This puts him at a disadvantage in Gondor and he is stubborn enough to have no interest in learning his letters.  In fact, Haleth generally makes for a better teacher than student.  His undying loyalty is also a double-edged sword, cutting both ways.  In one sense loyalty anchors him and gives him purpose, in quite another it has resulted in other non-royal folk (such as his wife) being brushed aside, even in times of need.  Haleth can also be prideful; proud of his prince, proud of his kin, proud of his horses and proud of Riddermark.  He is less proud of himself, however, though he can at times (usually only if he is drunk and/or brooding) paint himself as the martyr who gave up all in the name of Rohan.
ASPIRATIONS:  Whatever dreams Haleth conjured in his youth – visions of strong sons, of a comely wife, of remaining by the king's side – have all long since slipped away, leaving only a desire to serve the royal family of Rohan.  This he hopes to achieve by protecting and guiding Thengel, even if that means he cannot live in his beloved motherland of Riddermark. 
FEARS:  Dying on Gondorian soil, as small a thing as it may seem.  Haleth could still be considered in his prime but, with the autumn of his life fast approaching, it is only natural he begins to come to terms with the inevitable and what repercussions his death might bring.  He fears passing before seeing Thengel in his rightful place, as King of Rohan, as the leader their homeland both deserves and needs, yet fears just as much the possibility that the prince might refuse the throne altogether.  Haleth also spooks at the notion of ever having to make another terrible choice – he made one regarding his wife, and another regarding his loyalty and whether it was to the prince or the king – and he sincerely hopes he is never again put in such a position.  For though he knew Fengel to be corrupt, greedy and entirely insatiable, though heh as been assigned as the personal guard of the prince, he was still technically a member of the King's Riders and thus he feels there was a certain treachery in his aiding Thengel's escape.  He made the right decision, he only needs to see how happy and content Thengel now is to know what he did was just, but he still resents that it came to fleeing, that Fengel could not be changed.  Last of all, Haleth fears his eyes will fail him before the rest of his body does, as happened with his father.
PERSONALITY:    Haleth is a reserved and honest man, and as softly spoken as his mother had been before him.  It is a very rare occasion that he will raise his voice either in anger or in pain.  There is a steely resilience in him, formed from both his life experience and in his growing up on the borders of Rohan, all but surrounded by the White Mountains.  The men on his father's land waged a constant war with the Orcs and the wind that rolls off the hills is bitter and cold.  Yet Haleth finds time to appreciate small wonders and beauties in the world, a lesson taught to him by his wife Holdwyn in the short time that he knew her.  When he was young, he believed he could see where all roads would end, but life has jostled and rocked him that many times that he now contents himself to be lost in the current, making no predictions and counting on nothing but himself and the goodness of others.  Haleth's loyalty to Thengel, and his dedication to Rohan, are his obvious anchors in this unpredictable world and act as the compasses that guide his actions.  Though he speaks little of it, he takes time every day to offer up prayer to the Vala Oromë the Hunter, whom the Rohirrim call Béma.

HISTORY: 

Haleth was the firstborn son to a minor lord named Aldor, whose seat was in Harrowdale.  Their hall lies approximately ten miles to the south of Edoras, nestled in a valley cut from the White Mountains by the Snowbourn River.  Haleth was followed into the world by a brother named Brego, four years younger than himself, and three years after that by a sister named Hild.

As is true of most children in Rohan, Haleth knew the feel of a pony's back well before he was accustomed to standing on his own two feet.  Riding came as easily to him as walking or breathing, and he spent much of his youth high-tailing it through the valley, chasing the wind and racing his brother and sister.  There was honour in his father's work, in keeping the peace in their small territory, in minding the tenants on his land (Aldor made for a benevolent landlord) and in breeding fine horses for plough and battle alike.  Yet, somehow, Haleth longed for something more and his eyes were always drawn to the north, to where he knew Edoras lay.

Dernhild, Haleth's thoughtful and softly spoken mother, passed away during his eighteenth winter, having succumbed to the flux.  In truth she had been in poor health since the birth of Hild.  “A woman's battle is in the birthing bed, and she nurses old wounds the same as any war-torn man” was all his father would say of it.  It was perhaps partly in his grief, loathing the absence of Dernhild's sweet singing in their hall, that Haleth begged his father to allow him to join the Muster of Edoras.  Aldor consented, having seen his children trained with both sword and bow from a young age.  All Rohirrim must be ready for the call of war and be prepared to defend the country that they love – this was most especially true of those who live and die in the shadow of the Orc-ridden White Mountains.  With this small triumph, Haleth moved to the hill fort of Edoras.  It was to be a temporary arrangement, until he had sufficient training beneath the First Marshal of the Riddermark, and Brego would learn to manage their father's affairs until his brother's return.

After almost three years in the capital (and having lost part of his left little finger during this time) Haleth returned home to Harrowdale as one who could be called on when required by the king.  For several months he settled back into a way of life he had all but forgotten and reacquainted himself with his family and his friends.  It was during this time that Aldor began to insist, quite forcefully, that his firstborn son choose a wife.  The minor lord presented a selection of appropriate women, all daughters of men with a similar standing to himself, and allowed Haleth to make his pick.  Ever the subservient son, duty-bound to his honourable father and only surviving parent, Haleth chose a demure woman, one he knew to be good with horses.  Holdwyn was three years younger than himself and from Underharrow, a small hamlet south of Harrowdale.  They were married out of duty, and out of suitability, rather than love.  His new wife was gentle-hearted and honey-haired, with round hips, plump thighs and a soft mouth made for small, knowing smiles.  Being one of five children herself, it was anticipated that Holdwyn would bear Haleth sons and daughters alike, filling the hall with shrill voices and childish laughter.  Until then, the young bride simultaneously mended the hole in Haleth's heart and brought mirth into the quiet hall once more by means of her beautiful singing voice.  In time, Haleth would have grown to love her.

Scarcely six months had passed when a messenger summoned Haleth to Edoras.  He travelled alone to Meduseld in some trepidation, expecting to be sent in envoy to foreign lands or thrust into battle, only to discover that instead he had been singled out for a place with the King's Riders.  It was an honour, one that came as a great surprise, and it sealed the young man's position in Rohan's military forces.  As one of those charged with protecting the king, Haleth's place was now in Edoras at Fengel's side.  That meant staying close to the king both day and night, listening to the poison that erupted from his greedy lips and saying nothing.  He was not paid to advise, after all, only defend the royal's person.  Returning home, Haleth broke the news to his delighted family and uprooted his now pregnant wife.

The death of Holdwyn was predicted by none.  When her first labour pains restricted her to bed in the early hours of the morning, Haleth was given a day of leave from his duties and went to hunt with some of his companions.  It was a tradition, thought to keep the man's mind from his wife's burden.  The party returned as the sun was setting and word was swiftly brought that no bairn had yet been born, so Haleth allowed himself to be taken to the mead hall, where the band of riders about him proceeded to eat, drink, laugh and be merry.  The hours of the evening and then the night clocked by, eventually Haleth fell asleep at the table like a drunkard – though he had nursed each of his pints distractedly – and was shaken awake in the inky darkness of pre-dawn by one of the midwife's assistants, a small slip of a girl.  He was told to come, and to be quick about it.  The first thing that hit him as he half-stumbled, panting and anxious, into their small home was the smell.  It reminded him of the scent that followed a skirmish with Orcs, it reminded him of filth and blood and steel.  A  woman's battle is in the birthing bed.  His ears were met with the faint, pained cries of his wife.  Quiet, much too quiet.  The midwife told him that the baby was breeched and that Holdwyn was dying.  The woman could not be saved but the child might be, if they cut it from her.  Haleth refused to give permission for his wife to be smothered and butchered in their bed.  After spending a handful of short hours fruitlessly soothing and reassuring the exhausted Holdwyn, Haleth returned to his duties, putting Fengel first, and in doing so condemned his wife to die surrounded by strangers.  The king was sitting down to lunch when Haleth received word that Holdwyn had perished, the child too, which she had at last managed to birth before expiring.  He never asked its gender.

Strangely Haleth could not say he was heartbroken, being left a terrible sort of numb in the following weeks.  He felt sorrow, certainly, and he mourned and grieved for the woman he was only coming to know and for the child he never met or held or even saw.  Haleth himself took Holdwyn's body back to Harrowdale, to lay her to rest within earshot of the roar of the Snowbourn River that he knew she had loved.  When he returned to Edoras he was not the same man, though quite how he was different was difficult to pinpoint.  Always Haleth had been thoughtful with his words, but now he was all the more careful.  He laughed less, though he smiled as much as he ever had.  Most of all, there was a care about him that had not been there before.  It was duty that saw him through the worst of his grief and he spent more time with the horses of the guard, having always shared a special connection with the creatures, notable even for one of the Rohirrim.  Haleth recalled that it was Holdwyn's gentle approach to, and understanding of, horses that had made him choose her.  Perhaps if he had selected another candidate his life, Holdwyn's too, would have panned out differently.  The man brooded and prayed.

Haleth was Fengel's man before he was ever Thengel's.  Indeed, his earliest memories of the prince are of a young boy with unruly brown curls and wide, earthy eyes; of seeing him only when he supped with or was summoned by the king.  It wasn't until the royal lad had seen his first decade that Haleth came to know him better.  Fengel grew greedier with every passing year, spoilt as he had been from birth, and Haleth found it more and more difficult to hold his tongue.  Several times he was reprimanded for speaking out of turn.  Thus when he was charged with the duty of protecting Thengel (technically removing him from the King's Riders) he assumed it was a jibe by the king, some attempt to shame him by assigning him to a whelp and removing him from Fengel's immediate presence.  Whether that was the intention or no, Haleth regarded himself fortunate.  Thengel was bright, kind and conscientious.  What greater honour was there than teaching a prince? 

With no experience of children, Haleth did the best he could by the boy.  He came to regard Thengel as a father might regard a son, rejoicing in his victories and bearing his hurts as if they were his own.  It might be deemed inappropriate, unprofessional even, but both benefited and each filled a void in the other's life.  Everyday they trained – with shield, sword, axe, bow and mace – and everyday they rode.  They hunted often and Haleth told Thengel the same stories his own father had passed to him in his youth.  The prince asked him profound and thought-provoking questions, revealing his sensitivity to his father's flaws.  Thengel gave Haleth hope for a brighter day for Riddermark, for although the rider never spoke badly of Fengel he disapproved of their current king's attitudes and, as the years tick past, he looks to the day Thengel will be the just ruler Rohan needs.  At some point, quite soon after he was initially assigned his task, Haleth became Thengel's man in spirit as well as duty.

Haleth did not forsee the path ahead.  If he had, he would have bid his brother and sister goodbye and would not have promised his ageing father that he would visit again soon.  Aldor had grown frail the last time Haleth saw him, his hair thinning and grey, his eyes milky and unseeing.  Haleth fears blindness, loathed having watched his once strong father fade to a shadow of his former self, spilling soup and mashed vegetable into his lap instead of standing tall and proud, horn of ale in one hand and his sword in the other.  Aldor passed away in T.A. 2925, two years after Haleth had last seen him, two years after Haleth stole away from Edoras.

In T.A. 2923, when Haleth was thirty-five years of age, Thengel defied his father.  On this occasion, when Fengel raised his hand, it was to strike a prince that had grown and changed, a prince who would no longer stand for his father's poor conduct.  Thengel did not need to ask for help twice, or to beg or to coax, for Haleth made his choice quickly and aided the young prince in his escape.  Having disobeyed his king, Haleth followed the prince to Gondor.  It confirmed what would likely have come to pass in any case – Brego inherited their father's holding, second son though he is.  Haleth does not resent him, though at times is jealous that Brego remains in Rohan whilst he is in Gondor, far from the land he considers home, far from his family, far from the Snowbourn River.

Haleth does not mind Gondor, though it forces him to speak in Westron rather than his native Rohirric.  He is treated with respect, he is with the prince he adores, but he does not love the province in which he resides.  His thoughts are of home, of the great seas of grass, of the horses and the long halls, of flaxen hair and his native tongue.  Over the past eighteen years he has stolen back to Rohan a handful of times, always dressed as an unarmoured traveller, knowing that his prince was safe in Gondor.  Thus he came to know of his father's passing and the shame he brought his family, though they still love him all the same.  It is a dangerous business and one that would surely end badly if Haleth was recognised and brought before the king. 

Besides serving and guarding Thengel, Haleth keeps horses and helps soldiers learn to ride and to fight from horseback.  His life is quiet for the most part, he is quiet, and as the autumn of his years approaches he feels that he has seen and done much (some of which he would do differently if he could live his life over again) though how much remains for him to see and do he cannot say.  One thing he is certain of, however, is the pride and love he holds for Thengel.

YOUR NAME:  Cass.
AGE:  Still 24, just about!
COUNTRY:  Northern Ireland.
EXPERIENCE:  I roleplayed throughout my teenage years, took a break, came back.  Been writing again for well over a year.
OTHER CHARACTERS:  Have any?  Oh yes, I suppose there are a few...  Fíli, Casswyn, Aesa, Kvasir, Andar, Marroc, Liv, Ivorak and Errol Boffin.  There won't be any more any time soon, honest.
CONTACT:  PM me on any account, e-mail me, or you can reach me on AIM (thewitchcraftreader) or Skype (courtiepona).
HOW DID YOU FIND US?:  THRP... I am your father mother!
ROLE PLAY/WRITING SAMPLE: 
Quote
Just take a look at any of those other characters and you'll get the idea. ~

« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 10:34:20 PM by Haleth »

Manwë

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Haleth
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 03:27:00 PM »
Cass, you keep sneaking in these lovely characters under the radar and I love you for it. He's awesome and well thought out and ahhhh, can't wait to see him in action!





Avatar by Phobs-heh, signature by Cass~

Aulë

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Haleth
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 06:38:00 PM »
Rohan keeps growing! I look forward to seeing what Haleth gets up to.




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