- "It's not what you do that defines you. What defines you is how well you rise after you've fallen."
- —Ronove Thanadar
Count Ronove Thanadar is a demon noble and member of the Ruby Legion in the Andarian Empire in the Fourth Age. He is the head of a research team studying the Anomaly. A lover of Duke Omaroch d'Zarnagon, Ronove appears affable and flamboyant but has a dark and troubled past going back to the Second Great War with cunning, ambition and plans that are his alone to know.
- "You've been my greatest student, Ronove, and you've brought honour to your clan. Maybe one day you'll even surpass me, and I hope that you'll keep in mind what I've taught you. Never say that you're not ready! You've already become the one you were meant to be: my successor. You have the power, so use it wisely."
- —Omaroch d'Zarnagon to Ronove
Ronove lived as an ordinary demon of Clan Thanadar in the Demon Realm. He and his brother Leraje Thanadar quickly became known as brutally efficient demons who few dared to mess with. During this time Ronove was given the name Walking Death because he showed no remorse and killed anyone who stood in his way.
Despite the brothers' growing fame, Leraje always felt he was living under his more famous brother's shadow. He silently promised himself that one day he would surpass his brother in strength and no longer be second best. Ronove, blinded by his love for his brother, was oblivious to Leraje's ambitions. Leraje eventually joined Malphas d'Xuvadon's growing army, and Ronove found himself as a warrior-for-hire for Clan Zarnagon who admired his talents.
It was then that Ronove met with Omaroch d'Zarnagon, a talented and powerful demon lord, and joined his ranks. Omaroch's words inspired the young Ronove who came to admire and even love the archdemon for the bravery, wisdom and gentleness which he possessed. Omaroch saw potential in Ronove and took him in as his student, eventually promoting him into his second-in-command: a Dreadlord.
Ronove was a sharp student and an efficient commander, quelling rebellions and always doing his master Omaroch's bidding, and the two demons grew close over the years with feelings that may have even grown into a full-blown romance between the two although demon storytellers argue about the validity of this point.
However, one day Omaroch told Ronove that he had to enter the Land of the Living to pave way for an eventual demon invasion which the demons' god Mardük had planned. Ronove wanted to accompany him but was told that he was needed to keep Omaroch's followers in order until Omaroch's return. Being an obedient servant and friend, Ronove followed his master's orders and waited for the day when they would meet again.
- "If only my master was here... I feel so lost without his guidance."
- "Forget him! He's a traitor! As long as you rely on him, you'll always remain a slave!"
- —Ronove and Leraje Thanadar about Omaroch d'Zarnagon
Years passed, and eventually the dark god Mardük summoned the demons to the Land of the Living through the Gate of Darkness to fight in his name in the Great War. Ronove was among them and witnessed the ascension of the Godslayer, the death of Mardük and the resulting Cataclysm which shook the world and which sent all armies into disarray. With their god gone and the dark portal still open between the two realms in Yamato, the demons invaded Yamato in full force. No longer bound by Mardük, they could do as they pleased.
Ronove did his best to lead Omaroch's followers in battle, and they helped carve a domain around the Yamatian capital of Kageshima, becoming the so-called Central Horde. Four other hordes emerged around this time too, each one taking over different Yamatian regions after bloody battles. The archdemons of the four hordes were ambitious, but the will of the Grand Duchess Nhrakate d'Zarnagon kept them in check for the time being. There were occasional battles but overall the hordes respected each others' borders.
Although Ronove and Leraje found themselves on opposite sites due to supporting different hordes, they occasionally teamed up and defeated the human rebels such as various Yamatian freedom fighters who stood in their way. Leraje often taunted Ronove's actions and melodramatic speeches, but Ronove only thought that Leraje was jesting. Ronove's love for his brother made him blissfully unaware that Leraje's resentment was growing over the years and that it would lead to tragedy in time.
Ronove was also plagued by the fact that Omaroch had not returned. Once he and the other demons learned that Omaroch had been responsible for the birth of the Godslayer and had defected to the humans's side after Mardük's death, it left many demons puzzled, including Ronove. Many began calling Omaroch a traitor to their race and referred to him as the murderer of Mardük, and assassins were sent after him.
Ronove could not accept the fact that his master could side with "lesser beings", and he tried to figure out why Omaroch had made such a grave decision which had jeopardized everything. He planned to meet Omaroch and confront him directly about the issue, but first he would have to find suitable commanders to keep the Central Horde stable among the backstabbing and ambitious hordes.
Night of BloodEdit
- "Did you really think that I'd pass up an opportunity like this to increase my power? Too long have I lived under your shadow, but it ends tonight. I'll surpass you and become a legend myself! I'm sorry it has to end this way, though... Nah, just kidding! You're fucked. Have an awful death, brother!"
- —Leraje Thanadar to Ronove
After news spread that Omaroch had defected in the aftermath of the Cataclysm and was now opposing his kin and aiding humans, his Central Horde suffered a severe morale loss. Ronove did his best to keep the horde together and swore to wait for his master's return. However, he was shocked by his master's betrayal, not understanding why Omaroch hadn't taken him with him and had instead abandoned the horde.
The leaders of the four other hordes realized that they could use Omaroch's betrayal and the Central Horde's weakened state to their advantage and grow stronger by absorbing the remnants of the Central Horde into their respective hordes. Each horde sent its Dreadlord and Dreadlady as well as some of their closest minions to meet with Omaroch's still loyal Dreadlord Ronove and dispose of him.
The trap was set near Yamato's capital Kageshima when Leraje approached Ronove on a nearby cliff during a dark and stormy night. Ronove was happy to hear that Leraje had become the Dreadlord of the Northern Horde, and he congratulated him. However, he realized too late that something was amiss when a dozen powerful demons, including Dreadlords and Dreadladies of the four hordes, appeared and attacked him after taunting him. Iblis al-Djinn, Gin'vel, Nina Heeate L'andariel and Vassago were among the attackers.
Ronove was very powerful and put up quite a fight, though. He was, after all, the Dreadlord of the most powerful demon horde in Yamato. During the battle he slew many high-level demons and even injured Dreadlady Gin'vel. However, in the end it was Leraje who eventually dealt the decisive blow, and the betrayed Ronove's heavily wounded body plummeted into the raging sea below. Ronove's body was never found and demons assumed that he had sunk into the depths of the sea and perished. This event became known as the Night of Blood.
The weakened and confused Central Horde was decimated not long after Ronove, the last person holding it together, had gone missing. The four hordes absorbed the remnants of the fifth horde into their respective hordes, thus erasing the last traces of Omaroch's followers from the soil of Yamato.
However, Ronove had not died. His demonic strength had allowed him to survive the seemingly fatal fall. The shock of his dear brother's betrayal as well as the injuries he had received during the battle and the subsequent fall were enough to cause a severe trauma in his head, making him lose consciousness as well as block memories of his past deep into the farthest reaches of his betrayed mind.
Ronove woke up some time later on a Grey Cult ship which was full of prisoners and slaves. He recognized he was on a ship but couldn't remember how he had gotten there. Before he could fully understand what was going on, he was tossed into the cargo hold where he would spend the next few weeks as a starving prisoner. Unbeknownst to Ronove, Prophet Haomos who commanded the ship had recognized his demonic aura and planned to deliver him to High Prophet Xerathas d'Zarnagon for questioning.
A Fateful MeetingEdit
- "My name is... Ronove. Yes, that's a familiar sound... that must be my name. I don't know much about myself, though. I remember some tattooed guy and sharp pain in my head. The rest is rather blurry."
- —Ronove to Nesa Mikoto
The first thing Ronove really remembered after the blackout was that he woke up in a cargo hold of ship which was full of slaves whom men in grey robes beat violently. He heard from the slaves about Aison, a nation ruled by the Grey Cult which had captured them. Ronove realized that if the cultists took him and the others to Aison, they wouldn't survive for long because for some reason the cultists really seemed to hate them.
Ronove had an instinctive urge to escape although he did not know who he was, how far he was from Aison and how he had ended up on the ship in the first place. He was feeling dizzy, and the cultists assumed he was seasick so they brought him on deck so that he could breathe some fresh air.
He immediately seized the opportunity and managed to wrestle himself free from the cultists. When he saw an island ahead, he jumped into the sea and swam to the island which turned out to be Delphi. However, the cultists led by Prophet Haomos were hot on his heels, and he knew he didn't have much time before they would catch up with him. All he knew was that he didn't want to end up in that dreadful ship again, and he tried to figure out a way to evade his pursuers.
Ronove entered the nearest house he could find on the island but ended up waking up the people inside who turned out to be the half-elven paladin Nesa Mikoto and the quarter-elf dancer Faeli Aurora. The two were suspicious of him at first but once they saw he meant no harm and was scared, they decided to help him out. It also helped that Nesa seemed to dislike the Grey Cult and saw the cult's enemies as potential allies.
When Nesa asked for Ronove's name, Ronove managed to access some of his blocked memories and recalled his first name but sadly not his surname. Nesa seemed content with this, and Ronove was grateful for any kind of help in this world which seemed to be very dangerous. Ronove also recalled a tattooed face, not yet realizing that this tattooed figure was related to his past and would come to haunt him later.
Nesa distracted the cultists long enough to help Faeli go into hiding and give Ronove a headstart. He later rejoined Ronove and they headed for the beach where they found boats brought by the Grey Cult. They fled on one of the boats and decided to sail to Remon, out of the reach of the Grey Cult and the demons and to seek refuge in Sanae, capital of the Remonian elves. Ronove was clueless about all these names and blindly tagged along. He considered Nesa the only trustworthy person in the world at this point.
Despite being amnesiac, Ronove was quick to adapt and was a fast learner. It didn't take long for him to deduce that if Nesa dropped him off in elven-occupied Southern Remon, he might not survive because he was human. Thus he managed to convince Nesa to let him tag along. However, whether it was the trauma in his head or the lengthy time he spent on the boat with Nesa, Ronove began acting more strangely, or rather goofily, from that point on. He had many pranks on Nesa's expense, often angering the half-elf. Despite this they remained on good terms but Nesa's angry remarks made Ronove occasionally call him a mean elf.
They eventually reached Remon, entered Folsworth Woods and after a lengthy journey got into Sanae. Ronove's demonic senses showed glimpses of themselves as he got really hungry and bugged the elven guards to give him food. He and Nesa would stay in the elven city for some time when it turned out that Nesa had been infected with the Blood Fever, a disease fatal to anyone with elven blood.
Ronove stayed in quarantine with Nesa for a while but once it turned out that he showed no symptoms of the disease, he was allowed to roam free as long as he didn't leave the city. He would entertain himself by playfully chasing after the elfesses and eating their food. He also became Nesa's unwilling test subject as the elven healer Hylia Neowyn taught Nesa powerful white magic spells to keep the Blood Fever in check. Around this time Ronove was also introduced to cake, and he quickly became the number one fan of that delicious dessert.
Joining the Grand AllianceEdit
- "There's something important that I must share with you before we begin our march. Something terrible happened last night, something that truly, should I say, PISSED ME OFF! Here's what happened. There's an inn in this city that has this amazing strawberry cake, but the last FIVE FREAKING TIMES I've tried to order it, they don't have it! This is clearly unacceptable! If the king can't eat his daily strawberry cake... man, if that isn't god-moding, I don't know what is!"
- —Ronove addressing the army of the Grand Alliance
A year passed, and Hylia succumbed to the Blood Fever. Nesa, being stricken by grief for being responsible for involuntarily infecting her, wanted to leave the city. An opportunity arose as the elven lord Krisler Garside summoned any able elf to escort him to Remonton, Remon's capital, where a grand meeting between the races of men, dwarves and elves was to take place. Nesa and Ronove volunteered to accompany the elven lord who reluctantly took them with him because Nesa was the only living white mage in the city at that moment, and he needed a capable mage in his party.
Ronove was glad to finally leave Sanae because he had grown bored of it. Once the party had reached Remonton, he marvelled at the city which had been rebuilt after its destruction in an attack which had taken place a year ago. Ronove didn't really care what the meeting was about even though Nesa tried to make him listen several times and explain how important it was for the races to unite under the banner of King Marcus Sarillius. When Ronove bugged him one time too many, Nesa finally snapped and blasted him with a spell which knocked Ronove down.
This sudden hit on the head as well as seeing an oddly familiar-looking bearded man trigged what was to become Ronove's first flashback although at the time he thought these visions were just strange dreams. The vision dealt with Ronove's last discussion with Omaroch before the latter left. Unbeknownst to Ronove, the reason why the bearded man he had seen in the crowd looked so familiar was that the man was in fact Omaroch's half-demon son Refan d'Zarnagon. Thus the two men's paths crossed for the first time with consequences that would only become apparent months later.
When Nesa was ignored in the meeting, he got fed up and dragged Ronove with him. Ronove became concerned when Nesa told him that he would leave for Alent to find a way to stop the enemies which Remon and other nations were facing. However, he quickly forgot all about Nesa when he felt hungry again, and he decided to talk to a few people ahead and ran off before Nesa could do anything.
As Nesa gave chase to his goofy friend, the duo came across the elven archer Rhylian Loras, and Nesa eventually found a new purpose as he realized that he and the elfess shared the same goal: they would travel to the Magicracy of Alent together to find a cure for the Blood Fever and hopefully rid the world of evils which were plaguing it. Interestingly enough, Ronove pushed Nesa to stay with Rhylian as well, not even knowing why he felt like they should stick with her. He was less than pleased when he found out that Nesa made both of them Rhylian's knights.
Not long after a group of assassins sent by Krisler tried to off Nesa. Ronove was shocked when he found his friend entering the inn barely alive. The two went to discuss the matter with Rhylian although they had no way of proving Krisler being behind it. Things were getting too confusing for Ronove but he couldn't help but think that the world would be as dangerous in Remon as it had been in Aison.
However, Ronove cheered up a bit after he befriended Rhylian's friend Kaisa Blackwell who also shared his enthusiasm for cake. Out of sheer chance the bearded thief Refan whom Ronove had seen in the crowd earlier happened to be staying in the same inn as they were and was now sitting next to him. Wanting to impress Kaisa, Ronove sent a cake flying straight into Refan's face, and the thief was obviously not pleased by this and gave chase.
Ronove gave Refan the nickname Beardy and gleefully ran away, thinking it was all just a cool game of cat and mouse. However, Nesa stopped him and ordered him to protect Kaisa while the others went outside to see why the sounds of battle came from the plaza ahead. Ronove was none too happy being a babysitter but stayed around for a while because of all the delicious cake which he bought with the money he had stolen from Nesa.
Ronove got too curious in the end and left Kaisa in the inn. He arrived in the battle scene just as the Shadow had been vanquished. However, the elven mage Shyralis saw the confused Ronove as the perfect fool to use and cast a strong spell on him which turned him into an exact duplicate of King Marcus. Ronove later found out that someone had kidnapped Marcus and that the king's Grand Alliance, which had recently been formed in Remonton to combat the menace of various enemies such as the Proninist Party and Totenkopfs, would fall apart unless they fooled the soldiers into thinking that Marcus was still around.
Ronove tried to resist this but Shyralis threatened him with electrocution unless he obeyed. When it turned out that Nesa, Refan, Rhylian, Axikasha Keiran and others who were involved in the battle supported the decoy idea, Ronove had no choice but to do as they said. While Ax Keiran began gathering a group which would go save Marcus from the kidnappers, Ronove tried to fool around on Nesa's expense but that didn't work out so well. Instead Nesa ordered Ronove to attract as little attention as possible: if he failed, the whole nation might fall apart.
The subtle and not-so-subtle threats didn't stop Ronove from having, fun, though. While posing as Marcus, he addressed the army of the Grand Alliance the following morning. He began talking about the shortage on strawberry cakes and about Cake Day becoming a national day and a lot of other gibberish. However, Shyralis quickly put him in line, and he had no choice but to comply yet again. Ronove grew to dislike Shyralis the more she bullied him around.
The army of the Grand Alliance marched to Maar Sul as planned with Ronove acting as the leader while posing as Marcus. It felt nostalgic for him to lead such a large army, but he didn't remember that it was because he had once been the Dreadlord of an entire demon horde. He was in his element although he didn't know it yet.
Adventures in Maar SulEdit
- "Ok, listen to the Cakemeister! Cake usually looks better with cream on, but it's the tasty filling that is more important to us cake lovers in the end. Think about it! A strawberry cake without cream is still a strawberry cake as long as it has strawberry filling, right?"
- —Ronove to Refan d'Zarnagon
The Grand Alliance's army was ambushed by a large force of Scunnish Proninists led by Colonel Titaniel Focker. However, thanks to Ronove's (who posed as Marcus) strange tactic of promising the Scuns some cake, the Scuns surprisingly defected to the Alliance in full force, led by Titaniel himself.
It turned out the Scuns' weakness was cake, but this guess had been blind luck on Ronove's part as he had only wanted to offer cake to random strangers. He was nevertheless happy that he had resolved the issue so easily, but Shyralis was less than pleased by his idiocy. Most Alliance members, including Tywion Crowley praised "King Marcus"'s tactical genius, and Ronove was pleased that people admired his talents.
This odd incident was the only obstacle in the Alliance's way. Ax's group returned with the real Marcus and the captured kidnappers in the dark of the night and switched Ronove with the real Marcus while none of the Alliance soldiers suspected a thing. Ronove was sad to lose leadership but he was nevertheless content that he no longer had to worry about being punished by Shyralis who he was afraid of.
Funnily enough Ronove was completely unaware that one of the captured kidnappers was in fact Xerathas d'Zarnagon, the very High Prophet of the Grey Cult to whom Prophet Haomos had been planning to take Ronove a year ago when Ronove had escaped from the cult's ship. Xerathas also didn't sense Ronove's demonic aura likely because he was preoccupied with figuring out how to deal with being a prisoner.
During the lengthy march Ronove had yet another vision of the past, this time about a mysterious tattooed man with whom he was having a conversation. Ronove felt that the tattooed man was linked to his memories somehow, but he couldn't remember how. He quickly forgot about it when he was reunited with Nesa from whom he got lots of cake. He also realized that Nesa and Rhylian were falling for each other, and Nesa was annoyed by Ronove's jeers.
The army of the Grand Alliance reached Maar Sul City and were greeted by the enthusiastic Maar Sulais citizens. A grand ball was held in the heroes' honour, and many people got to meet the Maar Sulais King Gerard Aurelac in person. It was here that Ronove convinced Nesa to show his feelings for Rhylian and thus he was responsible for the two becoming lovers. Even as a goof Ronove always had a sharp eye for others' emotions.
Ronove entered Refan's room the next morning in search of cakes which he had hid in the thief's pants in order to smuggle them out of the Maar Sulais Citadel. He had also accidentally eavesdropped the hungover thief's mumblings and learned a lot about him in the process. Refan was visibly startled by this but got furious when he found out that Ronove had read Ax's letter which was meant for Refan. However, Ronove comparing love to cake made Refan realize his feelings for Ax, and thus Ronove had once again accidentally helped a person express his feelings.
After Refan had left to search for Ax, Ronove saw Fabian Mullet appear in the room from a piece of cake. This strange transformation didn't startle Ronove as much as it should have, not even when Fabian claimed Ronove as his servant. Ronove turned this dilemma around and dragged Fabian with him in order to cut Refan's beard because he felt that this way Refan would have a better chance at hitting on Ax.
Sadly things turned out for the worse when a group of Maar Sulais officers entered the inn to inform everyone that Count Belial de Ardyn had been murdered. To everyone's surprise the officer George Bush arrested Refan, Ronove, Fabian, Titaniel and Nymgrock Sigiln because he suspected that one of them might be Belial's murderer.
The officers later realized how idiotic Ronove was, and they couldn't find any evidence against him so they let him and the other suspects go free. Ronove talked to Refan and made the thief realize that Marcus and Ax might have feelings for one another, which deeply troubled the thief. The two met up with Fabian and ended up in a rather awkward conversation. Ronove succeeded in dragging both Refan and Fabian to the inn and somehow managed to force Fabian to give Refan a trimming.
Ronove left the thief alone after the haircut and shave and went after Nesa. One of the reasons he had stayed with Nesa in the first place had been Nesa's money which he used to buy cake. However, Refan had his revenge when he sent Fabian after Ronove by saying that Ronove would be the one paying for the haircut. Ronove was less than pleased by this and swore to make Refan pay for this treachery one day. At the time many Alliance members, including Tobias William Murray Fenworthy, couldn't help but wonder how crazy Ronove really was. Nesa assured them that they had no idea how crazy Ronove could be.
The Alliance decided to send a group led by Ax to Libaterra to help Emir Khalid al-Saif liberate the city of Vanna from the corrupted Sultana Adela al-Saif. They needed the emir's men and resources if they wished to face the wrath of a new, strong faction known as the Crimson Coalition. However, it was impossible to travel to Libaterra by land because the Coalition guarded the border between Maar Sul and Libaterra. It was decided that the Alliance would try to liberate the port city of Jardine and use a ship called the Hiltraud to sail to Libaterra.
Titaniel suggested an idiotic plan which involved using the black warrior Ismail and Refan and Ronove to draw the Scuns' attention to themselves. To everyone's surprise Ax agreed with the plan, and soon after Refan and Ronove were making out in the city, which did draw the Scuns' attention because the Scuns were afraid of "fegs". The Alliance slipped into the city and liberated it from the distracted Scuns, thus handing the leadership of the city back to its rightful leader, Lady Amarawyn Jardine.
Ronove had been more than happy to kiss Refan for multiple reasons. First, demons are bisexual by nature so it felt natural for him to do so. Second, Refan subconsciously reminded him of Omaroch, a demon he had loved and admired. And third, he really liked Refan with whom he had had quite a few wacky adventures by then. Refan was less than pleased by Ronove showing affection for him, though.
The Alliance secured the docks and set sail to Libaterra. Ronove accompanied them to this new land, eager to meet new people. For some reason he was drawn to the east. Little did he know that it was because he sensed his brother and mentor's presence in Libaterra.
Journey to LibaterraEdit
- "When I heal him, I feel something strange, inhuman, perhaps magic, in him. He has amnesia, although I don't know the man he was before, this Ronove is harmless, this Ronove is my friend."
- —Nesa Mikoto to Axikasha Keiran about Ronove
Ax's group managed to reach Libaterra safely but not after they were joined by two groups: one led by Xerathas who claimed that the Maar Sulais had sent him to look after them, the other led by Khasra III and Ax's old friend Leon Alcibiates. Unbeknownst to them, Fel Ridoon was following them too because he had been ordered to keep an eye on the four men, including Ronove, who were suspected to be Count Belial's murderers. Ronove was oblivious to this and instead kept teasing Refan about Ax.
Eventually the group entered Vanna where Khalid immediately confronted Sultana Adela. Ronove didn't care about any political games, though, and instead chased after the clerics of Artemicia. He witnessed the event when Artemicia and Adela trapped Khalid and Xerathas in a giant hourglass and heard them tell the group that they would have to follow Artemicia's orders or Khalid and Xerathas would die.
Ronove pickpocketed some of his companions for fun after the meeting. One of them had a Totenkopf flag and a demon skull mask which Ronove gleefully stored in his room in a local inn because those items attracted him. In fact they were subconsciously triggering Ronove's memories but he didn't know it at the time. He named the skull Yorick and the flag Jolly Roger. These items also caught the attention of Fel who wrongfully deduced that Ronove might be a Totenkopf spy, and he informed Ax about it. Ax chose to keep it in mind but didn't want to confront Ronove about the issue just yet.
When Ronove found out that Ax was to lead a group to the desert to meet with the mysterious Sirithai and bring back their leader as per Adela's orders, he volunteered to accompany them because he wanted to have a tan. Ax decided it was better not to argue and having Ronove with the group would at least prevent him from causing havoc in Vanna. It would also give her a means to keep an eye on him if he was a spy. Thus the group began a journey to Xibalba, the Sirithai lair.
Sand gnomes ambushed the party along the way, but the heroes made short work of them. Ronove found himself liking the taste of sand gnomes, especially their legs, and he hid many such legs into his clothes for later devouring. He received yet another flashback when he was hit on the head. This time he finally figured out the tattooed man's name: Leraje. He was one step closer to recovering his memories but he still had a long way to go.
A group of Sirithai attacked the group not long after the sand gnome ambush, taking four heroes, among them Refan, to their lair. Now it became even more important for the heroes to reach Xibalba or else their friends might perish. The group split up: one went underground and the other followed the tracks above.
Ax used the opportunity to talk to Ronove about the demon skull and the Totenkopf flag. Ronove was once again blissfully unaware that Ax was suspicious of him, so he eagerly told him all he knew about the items. The conversation ended awkwardly, and Ax later talked to Nesa about what she had learned. Nesa defended his friend, though, although he too admitted that there was something strange in Ronove's aura. The two decided to keep things quiet in order to not alarm Ronove who was still unaware of what was going on.
The group reached the entrance to Xibalba, and Ax used Ronove's stored sand gnome legs to distract the four dire wolves guarding the entrance. In the end they succeeded in getting in and even managed to befriend one of the wolves thanks to Kaisa who named the wolf Liulfr. Ronove wasn't happy that his sand gnome reserves had been used, though.
The two hero groups were reunited but ended up captured by the Sirithai who took them to a large underground arena where they met with Qadohi, high cleric of the lizardfolk, and the mad god Shakkan. The heroes were given a task to prove their worth: they would enter the arena to save their friends and fight against Shakkan's deadliest creation: Plushiebunny. Seeing no other choice to win the Sirithai's trust, the heroes agreed and defeated Plushiebunny and saved Refan and the others.
Ronove found gemstones in Plushiebunny's eyesockets, and Awar snatched them for later use. Then things turned bad when Awar revealed himself as Adela's spy and imprisoned Shakkan into a shard of Krystallopyr. However, thanks to the efforts of the heroes, Awar was captured, and Adela's minions who arrived were defeated.
Ax used the confusion to her advantage and convinced the Sirithai to join the Alliance and help her free Khalid in exchange for helping the Sirithai free Shakkan from the shard. Thus a new alliance was formed, and the heroes were one step closer to liberating Vanna from Adela's rule and saving their captured friends. Ronove was confused by all of this but decided to play along and didn't question anyone about what was going on.
Battles and VisionsEdit
- "Not only did you interrupt my cake-eating session by starting this stupid battle, but your stupid guards also had the nerve to trample over my cake rations! Now there's stupid sand, dirt and blood on my beautiful cakes and I can't eat them anymore and I have to starve to death because no one in this stupid city knows how to bake a strawberry cake! And if I don't get my armageddon rations on time... oh boy, you're gonna regret that you pissed me off! Oh, and you hurt my friends too! I will never forgive you! NEVER!"
- —Ronove to Iblis al-Djinn
The combined force of the Grand Alliance and the Sirithai entered Vanna to confront Adela about her betrayal. They received a new member, Harrad U'niviel, who also had a bone to pick with the sultanate. Things looked bad for the heroes, however, when Adela refused to let Khalid go even though the heroes held both Awar and Qadohi. However, the intervention of the god Hephaestus allowed Khalid and Xerathas break free from the hourglass and join the heroes once more. The infuriated Adela and Iblis alerted their forces, and the Sirithai joined the frey. The Battle of Vanna had begun.
While Adela was busy dealing with Khalid, Iblis freed Awar, kidnapped the heroes' companion Nalaen Silverpond and fled up the tower to perform a dark ritual there. Many heroes, including Ronove, gave chase and confronted Iblis who revealed himself as a demon who had in fact been using Adela for his own ends. The heroes attacked Iblis, but his power was great, and he was backed by imps. Things turned dire when Xerathas's group doublecrossed the heroes, planning to snatch Krystallopyr and use its powers to keep the Godslayer and the Grey Cult in power forever.
Ronove saved Qadohi from a certain death during the battle. Iblis then confronted Ronove directly, referring to the Night of Blood when he had been one of the demons who had betrayed Ronove. Everyone else was confused by this remark, most of all Ronove. Iblis had no desire to continue the chat any further and instead tried to finish Ronove and the heroes off.
However, Daventhalas de Mont Hault interfered and destroyed Krystallopyr and the Black Stone holding it. Xerathas fled when his plan was ruined, vowing to return one day. Nesa disappeared during this battle, seemingly sacrificing himself to keep his friends safe from harm.
It was then that Iblis revealed that the heroes had acted exactly as he had wanted. With Adela defeated and the Black Stone and Krystallopyr gone, there would be no magic shield around Vanna anymore, and the demonic Southern Horde could finally invade Vanna en masse. He and Awar fled but not before murdering Nalaen out of spite. An image of the demon lord Yurius filled the sky for a brief moment, giving a prophecy that he would soon return to earth to wreak havoc with his demon kin.
The heroes had won the battle but had many casualties. Khalid became the new Sultan, and Ismail became the captain of the guard. Ronove couldn't care less, though: Iblis's cryptic words haunted him, and he also searched for Nesa in vain. He refused to believe that Nesa was truly gone even though all evidence proved otherwise. Ronove had become a heartbroken fellow.
Refan talked to Ronove after the battle, questioning him about Iblis's words as well as why he was carrying a Totenkopf flag and a demon skull. Ronove couldn't give him a satisfactory answer, though. Not long after the heroes saw a huge army besieging Vanna. It turned out that this army didn't belong to Iblis's horde but the rival Northern Horde led by the tattooed Dreadlord Leraje Thanadar.
Ronove was among the crowd who observed a duel between Ismail and Leraje which had been arranged so that the heroes could figure out a way to stall the demons and save the demons' prisoners. However, Ismail got distracted when he finally recognized why Leraje and Ronove looked alike: they were brothers. Before Ismail could announce his discovery about Ronove being a demon in disguise, Leraje slew him. This effectively began the Battle of Vanna anew, and the heroes found themselves facing the entire might of the Northern Horde.
Visions haunted Ronove now that Leraje was close by. He hadn't yet figured out the connection between him and the Dreadlord, and this feeling troubled him greatly. However, he was pleased when he bumped into none other than Nesa who had somehow returned from the High Plane where the goddess Hivena had taken him during the confrontation with Iblis. Around this time Ronove also got to know Lynnea Stargazer, a reprensentative of Alent who had come to Vanna to aid the heroes. He got Nesa and Lynnea into quite a bit of trouble with his antics.
The demons almost managed to break into the city but they were repelled thanks to the timely arrival of new allies such as the Akai Tora, the Forgotten and the Blades of Lysse. Ronove was happy to see new people around but Nesa kept him in check so that he couldn't annoy their new comrades.
Becoming a DreadlordEdit
- "I'll become a new Dreadlord of this horde... and I'll also take over Vanna!"
- —Ronove addressing the rival armies
The heroes had an emergency meeting to figure out how to continue repelling the demons until help would arrive. Ronove got involved when he remarked that they should just let the demons in and bribe them with cake. Although many considered such a plan foolish, the cleric Alathor actually agreed with Ronove and explained why: if they could lure Dreadlord Leraje into the city, they could block his escape route and defeat him, thus depriving the demon army of its leader. That way the battle would hopefully end and Vanna would be saved.
Seeing no other alternative to Alathor's plan, Ax, Khalid and the others agreed and put the plan in motion. The plan was successful as they managed to lure Leraje in while he was searching for Marcus and the blade Dusk. However, despite the heroes' efforts to keep the rest of the demons away, the demons' numbers turned out to be too overwhelming and they broke into the outer districts of Vanna to aid the trapped Dreadlord Leraje.
Ronove panicked, doing his best to avoid getting hit by the angry demons who were swarming into the city with increasing numbers. He even used ripped-off demon wings to fly around. He turned out to be quite successful at that particularly because it subconsciously reminded him of his skill at flying back when he had had access to his demon powers. His bumbling flight only got him closer to the inner city where Marcus, Refan and a few other heroes were facing the Dreadlord in combat.
The proximity to Dreadlord Leraje made Ronove experience more and more visions, and his headache became worse. Seeing the Dreadlord was slowly triggering his hidden memories. Nesa worried about his friend's safety and chased after Ronove, only ending up knocked down in the process.
Ronove happened upon the scene of the duel where he saw that Leraje was about to behead the injured Refan. Seeing his friend in danger (and also being drawn by the Dreadlord's demonic aura), Ronove interrupted the duel and tried to protect Refan. However, it was then that Leraje recognized him as his brother and realized that Ronove had lost his memories. He taunted Ronove and revealed his past to him. Ronove was confused by all of this but before he could answer, Leraje knocked him down and prepared to finish him off with Dusk which he had snatched from Marcus. It was only thanks to Refan's intervention that Ronove didn't die then and there.
The Dreadlord's revelation as well as the hit on the head made Ronove see the final vision which depicted the events of the Night of Blood. Reliving this traumatic experience made Ronove finally regain his memories, true identity and full demonic powers. He woke up as the Dreadlord he had once been. After he had made sure that Nesa was alive, he went to confront Leraje once more.
Ronove used his demonic speed to save Refan, and Leraje figured out that the bump on the head had given Ronove back his memories. The Dreadlord challenged Ronove to a duel of a lifetime: the brothers would finally settle their rivalry once and for all. To Leraje's surprise Ronove only taunted him and called him weak. This infuriated Leraje, and he put everything he got into a powerful attack which would finish Ronove off. Ronove waited calmly for his treacherous brother's strike and the inevitable end to their brutal duel.
Although it seemed that Leraje had grown stronger than Ronove, in the end even his power wasn't enough to beat Ronove who casually dispatched him without even turning into his true demonic form. The battle for Vanna seemed to take a turn for the better now that the horde's greatest champion had been beaten at last.
Ronove ordered Refan to open his eyes, and the thief was shocked to see how efficiently the former fool had defeated the Dreadlord. Ronove wasted no time after his brother's defeat and instead used a specific demonic call which made any fighting demon within the city to flock to him. He calmly explained that he had recovered his memories, defeated Leraje in a duel and thus had the right to become the new Dreadlord of the Northern Horde.
Ronove's announcement didn't sit well with some demons, but after Ronove demonstrated his power by cutting down the dissenters, he caught the attention of both the horde's soldiers and the defenders of Vanna. He continued his announcement by claiming Vanna for himself and giving the defenders three days to retreat from the city before he would send the horde after them. The Alliance and their comrades were shocked by Ronove's sudden betrayal, but the one who expressed his disbelief the loudest was Refan who questioned Ronove's abrupt change of allegiance.
The new Dreadlord changed the question upside down by blackmailing Refan to join the horde: if the thief didn't do as he said, he would kill his friends. Cornered and weakened, Refan accepted the offer in order to save his friends. Satisfied, Ronove reminded the defenders of their deadline and then ordered the horde to retreat from Vanna for the time being.
As Ronove left the city with Refan, he told his former comrades in the Alliance to send Nesa his regards and casually remarked that he wouldn't mind eating cake with them in the future. Most defenders interpreted it as him mocking them, though, but they didn't dare to stop him because he was even more powerful than Leraje, a demon whom the defenders couldn't beat. Unbeknownst to all, however, Nesa had heard Ronove's words and used his invisibility to sneak next to Ronove and slip a cake into his rags... a gesture that symbolized the end of their long friendship.
After entering the demon camp outside the city, Ronove noticed Awar and freed him, telling him that he could use his services. Although seen as a benevolent act at first, it quickly became apparent that Ronove's motives were less than noble: he intended to let Refan kill Awar in order to avenge Nalaen whom Awar had slain earlier. When Refan hesitated, both Awar's panicking and Ronove's manipulation made him finally succumb to his demonic instincts and slay the hunchback and devour his heart.
Ronove claimed to have Refan's best interests at heart and promised to teach him the power with which they could protect their loved ones. This was only the beginning of a much bigger plan, however.
- "You're acting like a spoiled brat and a heartbroken lover because you feel hurt that I've abandoned you. Now you'll have your revenge by using my son to get to me! That's quite petty of you. The Ronove I once knew would never--"
- "What was I supposed to do when I heard you had betrayed us, our grand cause, for the sake of lesser races? You disappeared without even leaving a note behind! Of course I had to return the pain and misery that you had caused tenfold; that's the way things work among our kin!"
- —Omaroch d'Zarnagon and Ronove
Ronove's forces quickly took over Vanna after the refugees had left. He kept his promise and didn't send demons after the Alliance and the Sarquil, instead focusing on fortifying the city and modifying it for its new demonic overlords.
When Duke Malphas arrived with the rest of the Northern Horde's army to oversee his new stronghold, Ronove welcomed him and presented himself as the Duke's new Dreadlord. Malphas had already heard of Ronove's actions, however, but nevertheless seemed indifferent when he finally spoke to him. However, Malphas did tell him that he had brought a special prisoner with him and asked Ronove to take care of that prisoner.
Ronove went to see the prisoner who turned out to be none other than his old master Omaroch. Their reunion wasn't exactly happy, though, and Ronove seemed rather cold and almost vehement towards his former teacher. Omaroch was happy to see his student alive but was also confused why Ronove had chosen to become the villainous Malphas's minion.
The meeting ended quickly, and Ronove, albeit hiding his feelings, was quite distraught after meeting a person he had once worshipped above anyone else. During this confused state he found the cake which Nesa had hid in his former clothes, and he laughed at the idea. However, he later snuck the cake and the clothes out of the garbage basket where he had thrown them, indicating that perhaps not all of his quirks and feelings had disappeared quite yet.
He later participated in the strategy meeting between the officers of the Northern Horde and gave a plausible explanation of why he let the surviving Sarquil and heroes of the Grand Alliance escape from Vanna alive. Although some of the officers wondered if he had shown too much compassion, others concluded that this was a good strategy in the end: the survivors would spread tales of terror about the might of the horde to the neighboring cities and thus make the horde's task of conquering Libaterra all the more easier from a terrified populace.
Malphas himself accepted Ronove's explanation but warned him never to act on his own again: in the Northern Horde, Malphas was the only one giving orders. Ronove acknowledged Malphas's superiority, and the strategy meeting continued as they began plotting where to strike next.
More info later.
Herald of the DawnEdit
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- What Ronove called himself during his journeys with the Grand Alliance. He considered himself the number one fan of cake and thus an expert of delicious desserts.
- His noble title.
- Ronove's title in the Central Horde until he was betrayed and cast out. He regained the title when he became the next Dreadlord of the Northern Horde after his brother's defeat in the Second Battle of Vanna.
- Walking Death
- A nickname given to Ronove prior to his amnesia. He was known to be brutally effective in battle, and his enemies feared him whenever they saw him on the battlefield.
During his amnesiac days Ronove's hair was long and dirty, and he was dressed in blue rags. Overall he had a rather unkempt appearance. When he regained his position as a Dreadlord, he tidied his hair a bit while still keeping it long and wore the red armor of the Northern Horde. Although he looks more professional now, he also looks more sinister.
Ronove has a gruesome scar on the left side of his face which seems to have made his left eye blind. His remaining eye glows with demonic light and is ever observant. He has a somewhat muscular build.
Personality and TraitsEdit
- "Is he always like that?"
- "Oh, you haven't seen the half of it."
- —Toby Fenworthy and Nesa Mikoto discussing Ronove's antics
Ronove was hyperactive most of the time while he was suffering from amnesia although he was occasionally serious when provoked. He suffered from severe pains in head which were caused by and contributed to his amnesia. He often talked about dirty things which he thought were innocent, and he lacked knowledge of the outside world in general although he learned fast. He liked to give people nicknames, and his mood swung from cheerful to confused quite often. Nesa, his caretaker back then, sometimes claimed that taking care of the goofily acting Ronove was "like babysitting a drunk baby."
Once he regained his memories, Ronove reverted back to his old, more serious self. He sees things in a philosophical way and doesn't want to use violence unless absolutely necessary. He has no qualms about striking down those who threaten him, though, but for the most part he prefers to use words rather than weapons to defeat his enemies. However, his interactions with the Alliance have given him a new perspective to the state of the world and have given him revolutionary ideas about the destinies of demons and other races.
Ronove has shown traits of bisexuality because he has chased female clerics of Artemicia in Vanna and made out with Refan in Jardine. This is because demons tend to be bisexual by nature, and Ronove is no exception. He seems to like men more than women, though.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Ronove has not cast any spells and has not tried to fight seriously since the beginning of his amnesia. He usually uses unorthodox methods to deal with opponents, but most of the time he just runs away screaming. Once he recovered his memories, he also regained his skills and he's turned out to be an expert sword user.
Ronove found it funny that Refan and Ax seemed to have feelings for one another. He often ended up putting Ax in an awkward position by asking supposedly innocent questions which unbeknownst to him had dirty double meanings. Ax tolerated Ronove's antics for the most part. She was shocked by Ronove's betrayal but couldn't do anything to stop him from taking over the horde. For all intents and purposes, she now sees Ronove as yet another enemy to strike down.
Kaisa and Ronove instantly got along when they discovered they shared a similar passion for cake. Ronove sees Kaisa's change into a woman rather interesting, though, and he often teases her about it in a playful manner. They didn't have much time to talk lately, though, because Ronove had been busy annoying other people. Ronove's betrayal hurt Kaisa, but at least she escaped with her life. Ronove hoped that one day he might eat cake with Nesa and Kaisa again, but whether that was an ironic or sincere remark remains to be seen.
Ronove's visions of the past showed him interacting with a tattooed man named Leraje, and he wished to figure out what purpose the man served. He later recovered his memories and remembered that Leraje was his younger brother who betrayed him years ago. Ronove had trusted Leraje until the night of betrayal which shattered whatever love he had felt for him. He paid his brother back in full during their second duel in Vanna and beat him to a pulp. However, Ronove seemed to spare Leraje's life, condemning him to a lifetime in prison for his crimes.
After becoming the new Dreadlord of the Northern Horde, Ronove acted the part of a loyal minion to Malphas. However, neither demon had forgotten that Malphas's minions had contributed to the Night of Blood during which Ronove nearly lost his life. Despite this it seems that the animosity between the two has ended: at the very least Malphas knows Ronove is competent and prefers to keep him close in order to keep him in check. Ronove, meanwhile, follows Malphas's orders loyally... at least ostensibly.
Ronove unwittingly became a fake Marcus when the real Marcus had been kidnapped. He seemed to enjoy leading Marcus's armies although power quickly went into his head when he tried to impose a bill of an obligatory Cake Day for Remon. Ronove was sad to leave his position when Marcus got back, and he often bugged Marcus to switch places with him. Marcus, however, remained adamant and bribed Ronove with cake to keep his mouth shut. Marcus's distrust towards Ronove reached new heights when Ronove betrayed them by siding with the demons. After that day Marcus was never the same, seeing all demons as inherently untrustworthy.
Nesa was the first person Ronove remembers befriending. Although the two of them were suspicious of each other first, they eventually collaborated to flee from their pursuers. Ronove relaxed after the imminent threat was over and stayed as a nuisance for Nesa until the Battle of Vanna when he regained his memories. Nesa was understandably shocked by seeing Ronove side with demons, but despite being on opposite sides, the two still seem to care for each other at least in some way.
Ronove used to be Omaroch's greatest student and Dreadlord of the Central Horde. He admired Omaroch, even developing a crush on him. He was hurt by what he perceived as betrayal when he learned that Omaroch had deserted the demons and had sided with mortals. He is conflicted about what to think of Omaroch now that he has recovered his memories but so far he has only visibly treated him with disdain.
The relationship between Ronove and Refan, whom he has nicknamed Beardy and No-More-Beardy, is quite complicated. On the one hand Ronove loves to piss Refan off because he sees him as too serious and boring. On the other hand he seems genuinely concerned of Refan's feelings and enjoys spending time with him because he feels like they are alike in some deeper level, especially since their kissing session in Jardine. It turned out that Ronove's affection for Refan stemmed from the fact that Refan was the son of Omaroch, the demon whom Ronove deeply cared about. After becoming a Dreadlord, Ronove actively began corrupting Refan, justifying it by claiming that giving power over Refan's demonic side would help free Refan from the fear that he had carried within. Whether Ronove has Refan's best intentions at heart or is only using him for his own ends remains to be seen.
Ronove was afraid of Shyralis and for a good reason because she had often done nasty things to him such as sending a lightning bolt up his ass. Shyralis saw Ronove as nothing more than a bumbling fool. When the time of Ronove's betrayal came, it surprised even Shyralis who had never expected Ronove to be someone so important in the demonic hierarchy. Ronove's fear of Shyralis disappeared as his powers grew, and from that moment on he saw her as nothing more than a nuisance.