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Garivald
Fictional Character
Darkness
Fantasy<
Appearance(s): Into the Darkness
through
Out of the Darkness
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: Unkerlant
Occupation: Farmer, Soldier, Guerrilla, Poet, Composer
Spouse: Annore (deceased),
Obilot
Children: Syrivald,
Leuba (deceased)

Garivald was a peasant who maintained a small farm in the Unkerlanter village of Zossen.

During the Derlavaian War, the illiterate Garivald discovered in himself a talent for song-writing, and for leading in war, both in guerrilla bands and in a regular army. He also had an enormous latent magical ability of which he was unaware, but which saved his life on some crucial occasions. In all, Garivald was an extremely capable and talented man, far more than he himself realized. He would have gotten much further had he not been born an illiterate peasant under an oppressive regime which often rewarded loyal service with severe punishment (especially when said service involved too much of an independent initiative); moreover, he had the additional handicap of being from Unkerlant's Duchy of Grelz, an area with some smoldering separatist tendencies, which made the central government all the more suspicious of its natives.

Growing up, marrying and fathering two children, Garivald lived the ordinary life of a peasant. He first discovered his talent for song and poetry when two political prisoners were brought to his village and eventually killed to power a magical communications crystal through which King Swemmel of Unkerlant addressed the Zossen villagers, as he did all of his subjects. Garivald heard one of the condemned prisoners singing a city song, different from those of the village, which inspired him to start composing songs of his own. These were well received by fellow villagers.

Soon afterwards, his village was overrun by the invading Algarvian army. Once under occupation Garivald applied his talent to composing patriotic songs, mocking the Algarvians and rousing the people to struggle. These quickly caught on, soon becoming widely popular throughout the Algarvian-occupied Duchy of Grelz. The name of "Garivald the Songmaker" became well-known in villages far from his own, with the unwelcome result that a detachment of Algarvian soldiers suddenly arrived at Zossen, arresting the "subversive" Garivald and taking him off to execution in the city. 

He was liberated by a band of irregulars who ambushed and killed his captors. Soon, Garivald became a renowned fighter as well as poet, assuming leadership of the band when the previous leader Munderic was killed. Supported and praised by the central government's emissaries as long as he was in an occupied zone, once his band's area of operations was liberated by the now advancing Unkerlant army, he fell under suspicion. King Swemmel's inspectors reasoned that a man who wrote subversive songs and headed insurgent guerrillas under one regime might continue to do so under another regime as well.

Garivald slipped away in the night and returned to his original village, only to find that Zossen had been completely destroyed when the retreating Algarvian army tried to make a stand there. Garivald's family were probably dead, as were his fellow villagers. Together with his lover Obilot, a former fellow-irregular who had also lost her entire family, he tried to hide out. The two of them cultivated a small forest clearing and hid out under the alias of "Fariulf".

Desperately needing to find the seed hidden by peasants in a ruined village, Garivald designed  a magic spell which did the trick. He failed, however, to draw from this any conclusion about his own innate power and ability.

The couple's hide-out was eventually discovered by Swemell's men. These didn't realize that "Fariulf" was the fugitive poet Garivald, but they did impress him into the army, now going onto the offensive against the Algarvians and needing manpower to compensate for its enormous losses earlier in the war. Though a latecomer to the regular army, Garivald's ability soon earned him the rank of sergeant. He carefully refrained from composing any more songs, but the officer who taught him his letters soon noticed that his reports had a literary quality to them.

Garivald took part in the invasion of Algarve,, and was present when the Unkerlanters effected juncture with the Lagoan-Kuusaman forces. Subsequently, the senior Kussaaman mage Ilmarinen, at the time a colonel, briefly met Garivald/Fariulf and detected in him "a blazing power, not magical though akin to magic power" whose like even Ilmarinen, one of the greatest mages of his generation, never encountered before. Ilmarinen had hoped to mentor Garivald, but, the Unkerlanters discovered Ilmarien's identity and, (correctly) suspecting him of espionage, barred him from their territory. Garivald was never able to explore his power further.

Meanwhile, after discharge from the army Garivald/Fariulf once again ran afoul of Swemell's inspectors, who realized that Algarve has much richer more highly developed than Unkerlant. For these subversive thought, Garivald was arrested, labelled "a traitor", and stripped of his sergeant's insignia and rank.

Garivald was sentences to twenty-five years in the cinnabar mines of the Mamming Hills, which amounted to a slow sentence of death. There he came in contact with Algarvian and Algarvian-allied captives, all prisoners feeling that "on whatever side they had fought, they lost the war". He and a Forthwegian named Ceorl, successfully escaped together.

Ceorl was killed by pursuing guards but Garivald managed to hide, though he was still in danger from the pursuers' dogs following his scent. With a river too wide to swim in front of him and pursuit close behind, the exhausted Garivald went to sleep with the "irrational" belief that things would be okay in the morning. He was woken early the following day by an "inside voice" in his head saying "Now, now!". He also found the river was no full of logs over which he could jump. 

Helped on his later way by sympathetic peasants, Garivald finally rejoined the loving Obilot, who had never given up waiting for his return.