Berenor

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Squire Berenor at Return II Moria, photo credit Caleb L. Jackson

Squire Berenor (real name David Vest) is a Sentinel of the Rangers of Ithilien of the realm of the Northern Steppes. Originally known as ‘’’Rojji’’’ he is now the Lieutenant of the White Company of the Rangers of Ithilien and is Squiring under Sir Kaigar of the Northern Steppes.

Contents

Overview

Titles

Partners

Units

Guilds

Realms

Lineage

  • Sir Kaigar Vegulfr Grimgarixsonr McBadass, Twice Belted
  • Sir Grimmwold McBadass of the Warhounds of Ancient Asaheim
  • Sir Kaigar Vegulfr Grimgarixsonr
  • King Sir Gheldar Blackthorn first Knight of the Order of Middle Earth and Hyboria
  • Sir Pathfinder of Middle Earth may he rest in peace
  • Sir Geoffrey of the Hillside, original Knight and founding member of the Realm of Middle Earth

History

Captive in the East

Rojji-small.jpg

Death, pain and suffering had been the constant companions of Rojji during his childhood. Well, as much as he can remember. There are glimpses from before his capture that sometimes shine through. His favorite memory is of him walking through the woods with his dad while he stalked a stag through the woods. As his father, whose name he cannot remember, dressed in green and black, crept through the woods he notched an arrow on his bowstring. Drawing his breath along with his bow, his father startled as Rojji stepped on a branch, which broke loudly. The stag fled in fear and the lad put his head down fearing the yells of his father. Instead of disapproval, laughter escaped the older man’s lips which quickly caught on with his son. The man threw Rojji over his shoulder and laughing led him out of the woods.

Memories like this are what kept him going whenever his life became troublesome. Which, as a slave it was mostly troublesome as were most of his memories. When Rojji was only 6 years old, around TA 3018 he was taken from his home in the west in a surprise raid on their ancestral home near Osgiliath. Not much is remembered by him of that day, only fire and pain. He can see his dad falling to the ground with a curved-bladed spear in his chest, whispering his last words while clutching Rojji close to his face, “Mîl, thenid.” Love, loyalty. As he let out one last shuddering breath a man in blood-stained crimson armor ran towards him. As the man grabbed him, Rojji clung to his father’s hand refusing to let go. The vile man drew his curved sword and hefted it to strike the child which caused him to raise his hands and fear. No longer clinging to his father’s hand the young boy was carried away. Rojji began kicking and biting the man in defiance and panic. In response the man struck the child on the back of his head with the pommel of his sword. The next thing Rojji remembers is waking up in a small cage on the back of a rickety wagon.

The shouts of men buying and selling goods filled his ears as he looked around in what he would learn to be called, a bazaar. “What are they selling?’, he wondered. That’s when horrific a horrific realization dawned on him: He was for sale. Fear gripped him as he realized he would never again see his home. His freely falling tears were interrupted by a gruff voice shouting, “Sold! For 53 rupias. Next!” Four men in burgundy robes and red armor carrying long spears with shimmering curved blades approached him. On their left hips were two curved swords of a type that Rojji had never seen. They were especially peculiar as they were carried upside down, and one was shorter than the other. On the front of their belts were small, curved daggers, but unlike their swords this one carried right-side up. In the middle of their formation walked a man who was taller than the others. He was robed in beautiful maroon clothing with a gold sash and trim; Rojji later found out this style of garb was called a kimono and hakama. This man was carrying the same blades in his sash as the other men, but the scabbards were much more elegantly designed and adorned with gold. He walked up to the cage and declared, “I am Lord Ranjuri, and you are now my slave. From now on you will be called slave and nothing more.”

For years Rojji served Ranjuri faithfully, eventually forgetting his given name from birth as well as the majority of his early memories. They were all replaced with sweat and pain as the child tended the fields, mended clothes, and performed other menial tasks. There was one spark of joy in his life, however. His master had a son, Hijari, and Ranjuri, had them spar together since they were the same age. Rojji learned quickly to let Hijari beat him, lest Ranjuri take his vengeance on his hide. But at night Rojji trained with brooms and sticks in order to hone his skills. This routine of whips during the day and wooden swords at night toughened this child who had no hope of rescue. This continued for three years with no end in sight.

Horns and screams in the middle of the night woke Rojji from his slumber in a panic. Startled and unsure of what to do Rojji grabbed his broomstick, held it as a sword, and sprinted from his room into his master’s chambers. In the darkness he saw his master fighting another warrior similarly armed as him. The unknown warrior was in a black kimono girded with a red sash. It seemed in the darkness that the unknown warrior was losing at the hands of his cruel master as Rojji watched from the side. The warrior lunged at Ranjuri who parried the attack and dealt a hefty slice to the warrior’s left bicep. Sensing this was his one chance to escape from his servitude, Rojji crept up behind his master with his broomstick, and struck him in the back of his head. As a stunned Ranjuri turned around to confront the new attacker, the unknown warrior regained his composure, and in one fell swoop, decapitated his opponent. As the head of his master fell at Rojji’s feet the unknown warrior held the point of his curved longsword, or katana, at Rojji’s neck, “My name is Tatsumura Matsamune, and as thanks for your help, you are now one step closer to being freed. You can arm yourself and fight with me, or join your master, what do you choose?”

“F-fight!” came Rojji’s stammered reply.

“Good!” chuckled Tatsumura as he lowered his blade. Extending his arm to help the young man up he asked, “What is your name?”

“I don’t remember,” he replied, “they only called me slave. I have since forgotten my name...”

“Let’s fight our way out my friend and let’s see what your skills name you!”

Rojji took the golden sash off of his dead master as well as his katana and wakizashi, or short sword; this sacred pairing of weapons is called a daishō. The young man also grabbed his master’s dagger, or tanto, off the ground where it fell. Sitting on his feet Rojji quickly tied the sash around his waist and placed his blades in the sash. Nodding to Tatsumura he followed him out of the room, swords drawn. There they ran into Tatsumura’s spearman, Sanjuro, and a female archer, Okami, and together they fought their way out of the house. As they left Rojji heard a shout of “SLAVE!” come from behind him. He turned and saw Hijari standing there, his katana drawn. “You killed my father, slave! How dare you wield his swords! Drop them or die!”

As Hijari ran towards Rojji with his katana over his head, the former slave sheathed his wakizashi. Taking a wide stance Rojji stood with his katana at the ready, he waited for Hijari. Behind him Rojji heard the tightening of a bowstring.

“No,” admonished Tatsumura to Okami, “this is his fight. Nobody shall interfere!”

Rojji grinned, finally able to show Hijari how he had been letting him win for all of these years. When Hijari finally reached him, he swung his blade down in a wide arc. Rojji stepped inside the swing, grabbed Hijari’s arms, and threw him over his head in a powerful throw. Taken off-guard Hijari came crashing to the ground on his face. Rojji stood over him, sword pointed at his throat, “Get up!”

Hijari slowly rose to his feet and as he did, he swiped at Rojji with the tanto hidden in his boot slicing into his former slave’s shin. Rojji howled in pain and kicked Hijari in the face and with one strike separated his left hand, still holding the tanto, from his body. Hijari screamed in pain and swung wildly at Rojji who deftly parried the blows. After a few more unrestrained swings from Hijari, Rojji parried so hard Hijari’s sword flew from his hand, and in one motion the newly freed slave cleaved his opponent’s head from his body.

With that the surviving band of Tatsumura-dono’s samurai left the camp of Ranjuri. After many hours marching in silence through the countryside Rojji saw banners flying in the distance. He assumed this was Tatsumura’s camp as the sigil on the banners matched those on his warrior’s clothing. When they reached the camp, they stopped in front of the gate.

“Through your valor and blood of your captors the debt of your slavery has been paid!” proclaimed Tatsumura as the gates swung wide, “Our allies, the Lendedain clan of Avari elves have a word for those who cleared their debts after years of effort and toil, and this shall be your name. Enter, Rojji-san!”

The Tatsumura Shogunate

Photo Credit: Silverleaf Photograph

From the 4th year of the Fourth Age when Rojji was rescued at age 11, till he was 18 years old, he trained, lived, and fought with the Shogunate. This is when he refined many of his martial skills, and some that were less remarkable on the battlefield. Okami taught Rojji the way of the bow, but while Okami tried to teach Rojji how to use the traditional Yari, it was too large and unwieldly for him. The young man became more accustomed to the recurve bows of the Lendedain clan. Once equipped with a more suiting weapon, Rojji could hit a moving target while on the run himself.

The art of the spear was taught to him by Celegbengdir, the leader of the Lendedain clan. Swiftbow was the Westron version of his name, and the elf trained with Rojji once a week on the spear which, he himself gave him. Yet even with all of that practice Rojji never got anything but mildly proficient with the weapon. His favorite technique was to throw the spear and then close in with his swords.

Tatsumura continued to perfect Rojji’s use of the sword. Every day they would drill with their weapons and hone their skills. While the young warrior would always lose, every so often he would be able to make it a close match. Each loss made Rojji quicker and cleverer with his blade. He utilized all of these skills on the many raids that they went on during their westward journey further improving his prowess.

The Shogunate and the Lendedain were headed west for Tatsumura had heard of a large battle and the beginning of a new age from an old man in blue robes named Pallando. Saddened that he might miss the glory of the age-ending battle, he wished to join in the fray of the battles in the wake of the defeat of the Dark One which were foretold by the wizard. Tatsumura did not seek riches or conquest, but the glory in fighting in glorious combat and vanquishing evil from Arda. While the Shogunate was traveling westward this is when Tatsumura first made contact with the aforementioned Lendedain clan of Avari elves.

The Avari was a group of elves who refused to go to Valinor or to even travel towards the west of Middle Earth. Yet, one day Celegbengdir received a vision of a grey harbor and a boat which will take them to the undying lands if they were to prove themselves worthy. He saw in his vision that a hare who sprinted past other animals in need was refused entry into the haven, but the tortoise who stopped and helped every animal along the way was eventually granted entry into the haven and allowed to leave Middle Earth. Therefore, Celegbengdir, and all those who wished to follow him, set out westward determined to help everyone along the way and fight all evil to earn their place on the ships.

Tatsumura saw the possibility of a strong alliance with these elves and therefore invited them to join in his journey to the west, until they needed to part ways; plus, he got new fighting styles to learn. The Avari was hesitant at first, being wary to trust outsiders, but the valor that the Shogunate had shown in battle convinced them to assuage their worries. Together the pair Tatsumura and Celegbengdir were inseparable on the battlefield and drove all of those from them!

Eventually the band made it to the Sea of Rhûn where they saw before them that a large battle was brewing. There was a large camp of Haradrim, and Easterlings camped near the sea, while surrounding them were multiple camps of other peoples. The shogunate’s scouts reported that there was a camp of tall men of fair skin and blonde hair which consisted mostly of cavalry. There was another camp of men who had little armor and primitive weapons, like axes, which we found out were the men of Dale camped in their mix was a large contingent of Dwarves of many clans heavily armored and armed with mattocks. A smaller, yet no-less proud camp of elves of mixed races from the far of lands of Rivendell, Mirkwood, and Lothlorien, who’s kingdoms sent small detachments.

The largest camp by far was full of men, brown in hair, and strong in arm. They were a mix of heavy infantry in gleaming steel plate armor with winged helmets, cavalry, siege weapons, and normal infantry. These were the men of Gondor. They made up the middle of the formation and seemed to be the focal point of the siege of the enemy.

The last camp, which was closest to the Shogunate’s and Lenedain’s path of approach, was of a group of men clad in all green who carried swords like the men of Gondor, but mostly relied on their spears, bows and speed to carry the day. They camped slightly outside the encircling camps but attached to the main Gondorian camp. These were the Rangers of Ithilien, men with the blood of Numenor flowing stronger in their veins then any of the Gondorians for they stayed apart from the populace of Gondor. They stayed true to the old ways and still conversed mostly in Sindarin.

Upon hearing all of this information, Tatsumura and Celegbengdir, decided to send Rojji to the camp of Rangers in order to parlay our services in the battle. Rojji approached the camp with empty scabbards and a white flag in hand. He was immediately detained and questioned by Ser Rainen Timmourneson on my intentions. Rojji told them, “My name is Rojji and that on behalf of Shogun Tatsumura Matsamune and Hîr Celegbengdir we wish to camp with you Rangers and join in the fight.” They were hesitant at first seeing how the combined band appeared like what they traditionally knew as “Easterlings”, but once it was explained that the group came from farther east and away from Sauron’s influence, they softened. The Rangers didn’t fully accept them until Tatsumura recounted his encounter with the blue wizard, which made the Rangers see that the will of the Valar was with them. Both groups fought with the Rangers for months in small skirmishes while they whittled down the numbers of evil host. Eventually the host surrendered to the combined might of the righteous after one last mighty battle.

At one point in the battle Rojji was surrounded by a group of Haradrim with only one rider of Rohan standing beside him. While Rojji and the rider determined to fight to the bitter end, an elf leapt over their foes with his twin knives singing a brutal melody. The elf warrior was known as Darién of Mirkwood, and together the three of them fought out of their encirclement and rejoined friendly lines alongside the Rangers. Near the end of the battle a spear flew from atop a Mumakil towards Rojji. At the last moment Darién pulled Rojji aside and tried to deflect the missile, but, sadly, caught the projectile in his chest. As he lay mortally wounded Rojji and the rider, Bjarke, held his hands. With his dying breath he thrust his twin knives in Rojji’s hands and exclaimed with as much strength as he could muster, “Give these to my little Maia, Bretgiel!” With a small prayer to bid his spirit safe to the Halls of Manwë, the pair rejoined the battle until it was won. Afterwards, they laid Darién to rest on a hill overlooking the sea, and vowed to return to Bretgiel, whom they were told by his comrades, was his daughter, and present her with his knives and the story of his valor.

Seeing his glory achieved Tatsumura decided to go South with his shogunate in search of more righteous combat by clearing out the Southlands. As well, Celegbengdir decided to keep heading towards the coast and the Grey Havens hoping that his clan and himself had earned their spots on the ships. During all of the fighting Rojji had developed a strong bond and kinship with the Rangers of Ithilien. They reminded him of the few memories of his dad that he had. Strangely he felt at home, like he belonged with them, and the Lord Marshal Timmourne Darkwater sensed it to. Timmourne invited Rojji to a test of his martial prowess in order to join the Rangers and carry the Tree of Gondor into battle. After many tests over the span of a few months, Rojji passed, and deciding to part ways from both Tatsumura and Celegbengdir, Rojji swore fealty to King Elessar of Gondor, Prince Faramir of Ithilien, and Lord Marshal Timmourne Darkwater of the Rangers of Ithilien. From that moment forward, he carried the Tree of Gondor into battle with him on his hip and shield.

The Rangers of Ithilien

For a year Rojji fought with the Rangers learning how to use the weapons of the Gondorians, the longsword and shield. As well as perfecting the use of the recurve bow on his foes, for while the Rangers used the longbow, he still preferred his Avari bow. Rojji had finally found his home with the Rangers and enjoyed every time he went on the field to vanquish the foes of Gondor. Once all of the final allies of Sauron were defeated, Rojji, and Bjarke, returned to the woods of Ithlien with the host of Rangers along with a wagon train of wounded and the spoils of war.

As they approached the green woods of the valley, Rojji spotted two women standing near the wood line apart from the rest of the families waiting under the eaves of the forest. The young ranger asked his commander who they were and was told Bretgiel and Raeneth. With a solemn determination Rojji and Bjarke approached the women. Bretgiel, knowing the slow and steady march of bearers of bad news broke down into tears. Raeneth knelt to comfort her friend and kinswoman while the men offered their condolences and Darién’s knives. Rojji also knelt and swore fealty to Bretgiel to protect her whether in life or in death, in an attempt to repay his debt to Darién. Feeling kindred spirits, the four of them became fast friends, and soon Bjarke and Raeneth became a couple!

Rojji, even though he was now an Initiate of the Rangers, likes to remember where he comes from, he still carries his Tanto with him which he calls Mîl, Love, for his father’s last words. His new main weapon is his Gondorian longword, Thenid, or loyalty. This new sword had a different weight and style than his Katana, but overtime he became just as deadly with it. His bow is still his Avari recurve, which bears the inscription, “Acharn an in Muil” which in Sindarin means, “Vengeance for the Slaves”. The rest of his weapons are not remarkable enough to have names. Now that he was armed with Gondorian weapons and clad in green he began his trials to become an official Ranger of Ithilien.

Rojji chose to formally become a Ranger since over the years he assumed that his father was a Ranger of Ithilien who died in the War of the Ring during an Easterling raid. His hope was that during his trials he could ask all of the rangers if they remembered his father. Rojji, once he declared his intention to join the Rangers officially, was called Natalie. This is a ritual of the Rangers to teach him humility until he earned his true name. Natalie strove against the remaining forces of darkness after the War of the Ring for a year as a lowly initiate. With each battle he proved himself more and more a true warrior of Gondor.

While his martial prowess was improving, Natalie discovered a new talent: that of a healer. Natalie would spend time during and after the battles healing the wounds of his fallen brethren. Soon calls of help in battle would be replaced with cries of, “NATALIE!” After this year of exemplary service Ser Timmourne, Ser Rainen, and Francis of Dol Amroth, told Natalie that they had discovered his true identity. They said that they would reveal it if he could pass his name trial and be deemed worthy.

The name trial would consist of a series of challenges, put forth by every member of the Rangers and any of their other comrades with which they have been fighting, such as the Knights of Dol Amroth, Corsairs, and many others who came from far and wide to participate. Each challenger would lay down their challenge before Natalie and he would have to answer. Some challengers wished for a contest of arms with various weapons, shields and armors. Other tasks were of the mind such as riddles, and others still were feats of practicality, such as chopping wood into as many pieces as possible to test his patience, skill, and endurance. After five hours of grueling labor and combat, Ser Timmourne, Ser Rainen, and Francis determined that Natalie had proven his worth. That is when Natalie knelt alongside his name-brothers Alistair and Wilhem before Sir Timmourne. As he rose Ser Timmourne declared him to be Berenor son of Beregond the Captain of the White Company and Guard of the Prince of Ithilien, Faramir.

Berenor was informed of the heredity of his house. His father, Beregond was the Citadel Guard who stood in front of the mausoleum after hearing from Pippin of Denethor’s madness. He fought his brothers back, killing some, to keep them from setting Faramir alight. For this he was imprisoned. After the war King Elessar pardoned him of the crimes of murder but did not pardon him for abandoning his post as that was his sacred duty. King Elessar barred Beregond from the city of Minas Tirith, but appointed him the Captain of Prince Faramir’s Guard, the White Company. King Elessar also made that post hereditary, therefore making it Berenor’s duty to protect the future Prince of Ithilien, Prince Elboron, since his elder brother declined the duty in order to help resettle Umbar! Until the time when Berenor would be Captain, he would be Lieutenant the guard to learn his place.

Beregond’s appointment was just before Berenor’s trial, but he was unable to attend. When he arrived in the woods, he was overjoyed to see his long-lost second-born. When they finally reunited Berenor met his siblings: Bergil and Borlas who have grown up believing that their brother had died. The trio were almost inseparable in their time in Ithilien before Bergil departed to Umbar. Beregond recounted the truth of his kidnapping that he was taking a small vacation to the woods of Ithilien when a band of Haradrim attacked and gravely wounded him. The Rangers came to their aid and fought off the band, but Berenor could not be found. Faramir sent out scouts to try and recover the boy but were unsuccessful. Later, Faramir personally came to the Houses of Healing in Minas Tirith to break the news to Beregond that his son was lost. Over the years whenever he had time Beregond would return to the Rangers and asked if they had heard tale of his son in their travels. Officially after 5 years he was presumed dead, but Beregond never gave up on his son.

Soon after his trail, Bretgiel professed her affection for him, and they became a couple. After seeing Berenor’s journey to become a ranger, Bretgiel, Raeneth, and Bjarke all decided to candidate for the Rangers as well. With Lord Marshal Timmourne’s blessing, Berenor gave them the temporary names of Sanwë, Tuima, and Tinwë respectively. Sanwë is Quenya for Thought, for Bretgiel often is found wandering the woods deep in her thoughts. Tuima is Quenya for bud, for Raeneth has a love for that which grows and Berenor hopes she will blossom into an amazing ranger. Tinwë is Quenya for spark and Berenor hopes that spark in Bjarke will grow into a blaze of greatness.

Path to Knightood

Photo Credit: Silverleaf Photograph

In the 22nd year of the Fourth Age King Elessar called all of his advisors, and lords to court for a special war council. Since Beregond is banished from the white city, Berenor as his lieutenant attended the council as Faramir’s bodyguard and aide. In the council the King announced that he was declaring the war against the forces of Sauron officially over. Now patrols will still be sent seeking out any remnants of his forces until the final song of the Ainur, but major combat operations have ceased.

In this new era of peace King Elessar wished to bring the men of Gondor back to the fields, harbors, and workshops. He wished to expand the newly combined Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor back to its former glory and beyond. Therefore, he wished to disband most of the vast armies. All that would remain would be the guards of each city, the Rangers of Ithilien and Arnor as scouts, and the various knightly orders in the realm.

Yet the Kingdom would never be caught unawares if and when evil would rise its head again. To that end, King Elessar declared that he would be forming the Order of Nimloth. These Elessarian Knights would be proficient in all arms and combat styles of the various regions of the kingdom (Arnor, Dol Amroth, Ithilien, and Gondor). Not only would they be martially proficient but most importantly they would be master instructors. These would not be just defenders of the lands, but instructors able to raise armies quickly in the event of evils return.

At this point the King motioned forward a man with a sword on his hip and a long knife at the small of his back clad in blue and yellow. King Elessar announced that this order needed to be open to new techniques and methods from outside of the kingdom. Therefore, the first squire of this order will be trained by a Knight from outside the Kingdom and will travel to all of the various regions of the Kingdom. This squire must pass a trial in each region before undertaking a trial under the eyes of the King himself. The foreign knight was introduced of Sir Kaigar from the steppes north of Andrast.

The King then asked which of those gathered would proffer a willing squire to undertake this challenge. Faramir whispered in Berenor’s ear, “Good Luck!” and pushed him into the middle of the circle of councilors. Seeing as nobody else was with Berenor the King bade him kneel and swear fealty to his new knight. Rising from the ground Squire Berenor donned his squire’s belt and returned to his liege’s side.

Returning home to Ithilien from the meeting Squire Berenor informed his father of the proceedings. Proud of his son he proceeded to outfit him and prepare him for his journey. A few weeks later the young squire left on his journey to the newly re-founded city of Annúminas to undertake his first set of training and first trial.

So is the story, as it is for now, for Squire Berenor Son of Beregond, Lieutenant of the White Company, Sentinel of the Rangers of Ithilien, Healer of the Woods, Story Master of Ragnarok XXXIV, Bardic Champion of the Raven Queen, Unofficial Official Drunk of the Northern Steppes, formerly known as Natalie, formerly known as Rojji, formerly known as Natalie, former captive of the Knights of Chaos, the Shiny-Assed.

Achievements

  • Bardic Competition for Storytelling in Rag XXXIV (I know it’s Dagorhir but I am proud)
  • Bardic Champion of the Raven Queen
  • Head Medic of Rag XXXVI (I know it’s Dagorhir but I believe it adds to my credibility as a medic)
  • (Real World) US Army Combat Medic and Staff Sergeant
  • (Real World) NREMT EMT-B
  • Squired to Sir Kaigar.

Quotes

  • ”Help I need an adult!” (Everytime I get rushed as an adult)
  • ”Ooo Piece of Candy!” (Everytime I pick up an arrow)
  • ”Don’t worry, there’s medical staff on site” (When doing something reckless or dangerous)
    • (Normal response) “Hey wait…isn’t that you!”
  • Alistair "Be careful"
    • Squire Berenor continuing to cut bread towards his hand, "I'm fine."
      • Cuts hand
Personal tools
For Fighters
For Craftsman
Leadership