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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
Spouse: Annore (deceased)
Children: Leuba (daughter, deceased)

Garivald was a peasant who maintained a small farm in the Unkerlant 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 smouldering separatist tendencies, which made the central government all the more suspicious of its natives.

Growing up, marrying and fathering a daughter, 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 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, the tide of war  washed over his village, which 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 up, not only in Zossen itself but in many other villages, 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 was killed. Supported and praised by the central government's emissaries as long as he was under occupation, once his band's area of operations was liberated by the now advancing Unkerlant army, he fell under suspicion. King Swemmel's "inspectors" (secret police) 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 wife and daughter 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 cultivating a small forest clearing.

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 - knowing  that non-mages could perform some simple magic, though usually they used spells designed by professionals.

The couple's hide-out was discovered by the King's men. These didn't realize that "Fariulf" (as he now called himself) was the fugitive poet Garivald - but they did impress him into the army, then going into the offensive against the Algarvians and needing manpower to compensate for its enormous losses. Though a latecomer to the regular army, his evident ability soon earned him the rank of sergeant (had the war lasted a bit longer, he would have probably become an officer). 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 which cut it in half, 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 would have liked to establish more of a contact, and help Garivald explore and train this power. However, the Unkerlanters discovered Ilmarien's identity and, (correctly) suspecting him of espionage, barred him from their territory, so that he  tantalizingly never found out more about the nature of Garivald's power (nor did Garivald himself).

Meanwhile, after discharge from the army Garivald/Fariulf once again fell foul of the King's "inspectors". These arrested him, called him "a traitor" and stripped him of his sergeant's insignia, for no more reason than that he had been in Algarve long enough to notice how much richer and more highly developed than his own country it was - which could have (and in fact, did) lead him to subversive thoughts.

Garivald was sent 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 Ceorl, who once fought each other, 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 - and was woken up early the following day by an "inside voice" in his head saying "Now, now!", finding the river 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.

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