In Arcania: Gothic 4 we used several key characters the fans of the series knew since Gothic 1. In order to get these characters right, I wrote medium-format character outlines. What you can read here is the outline for Rhobar III aka the nameless hero of Gothic 1-3.
|Profession||King of Midland|
|Function||Seems to be the antagonist of the hero at the beginning of the game. Ally of the hero at the end of the game.|
|Region||Stronghold of Thorniara|
Rhobar III is a king, the King of Midland. Once, he was a brave king riding in front of his host, but now he is sitting on the stone throne of Thorniara, dark-minded and wrapped in thought. He fights an inner battle against an unknown evil growing in his mind, and he is not able to take care of the matters of his people and his knights anymore.
Rhobar is at the age of 38, but he looks older. His skin is weather-beaten and has a grey tone. It is obvious that he does not sleep a lot and that he fought many battles in the past. A long scar reaches from his nose to his left cheek. His hair is brown, but there are grey streaks between the brown. In the past, Rhobar used to wear a pony tail, now his hair is open and reaches down to his shoulders. It is greasy and uncombed. An unkempt beard surrounds his mouth, and he has a five-o’clock shadow on his cheeks.
The clothes of Rhobar III suit a king. He wears a chain mail that reaches down to his knees. A dark wolf skin adorns his shoulders. His pants and his cloak are made of dark blue linen (ultra-marine). Rhobar wears a lot of silver jewelry, heavy rings, bangles, etc. His crown is made of silver, too.
The former Nameless Hero was locked behind the magic barrier for unknown reasons. He rose in the hierarchy of the prison colony and became a hero by killing the Sleeper, a demon that has been threatening humanity. By killing the demon the former Nameless Hero destroyed the magic barrier and freed all the prisoners that had been living within the prison colony.
After killing the Sleeper, the former Nameless Hero went to Khorinis where Xardas asked him to save the world from a new threat, the dragons. He proved again that he is a hero by killing the undead dragon.
When the former Nameless Hero sailed to Midland, he realized that the kingdom of Rhobar II had been conquered by the orcs. He fought against the orcs, saving the people of Midland from this threat.
Arcania: Gothic 4
Ten years have passed since the former Nameless Hero defeated the orcs. The kingdom of Midland came apart during this war. Four separate kingdoms rose from the ruins of Midland, and they made war on each other.
The former Nameless Hero knew that he was supposed to bring the Eye of Innos to the tower of the Guardians of the Time to Come. But after saving the people of Midland from the Sleeper, the dragons and the orcs, he thought he could save them again and take care of his task shortly after. He proclaimed himself King of Midland, assuming the name Rhobar III, and he assembled an army in order to reunite the old kingdom and to bring peace to the people.
In the first years of his campaign, fate seemed to be on king Rhobar’s side. He gained Nordmar and Myrtana, and wide parts of Varant. But the longer his campaign lasted, the darker the king himself became. Something evil thrived in his mind, becoming stronger and stronger, and Rhobar III found it more and more difficult to keep the evil at bay that was budging in his mind.
Many old friends turned away from Rhobar III, calling him the doomed king. When Rhobar III finally conquered Varant and sailed to the Southern Islands, his campaign grinded to a halt. Some of his military leaders fought on, but without winning much ground. The king himself could not lead his army anymore: he sat on the stone throne of Thorniara, fighting his own battle, and he needed all of his strength to contain the evil growing in his mind.
Grim, sinister, unemotional, wrapped in thought, introspective
Once, Rhobar III was a brave warrior with a strong will. It is this strong will that protects the world from the evil that is growing in Rhobar’s mind.
Rhobar III needs all of his strength to fight against the evil growing in his mind. He cannot rule his kingdom and lead his host anymore. He is cursed to sit on the stone throne of Thorniara while his kingdom begins to fall apart.
Rhobar III knows that there is something evil growing in his mind. He is desperately trying to fight against it, but this fight needs all of his strength. This is the reason why he is not able to rule his kingdom and lead his host anymore.
Anticipated Role within Arcania: Gothic 4
Rhobar III seems to be the antagonist of our hero at the beginning of the game, but during the game it turns out that he is in fact no antagonist. As soon as our hero wins Rhobar’s trust, Rhobar becomes his ally. He asks him to gain the Eye of Innos that had been stolen some weeks ago and to deliver it safely into the Sea Tower where the Guardians of the Time to Come are waiting for it. When the Eye of Innos reaches its predetermined destination, the evil that grows in king Rhobar’s mind will be exorcized, and Rhobar III will become the man he was before.
Watching the Lord of Misrule making jokes
Rhobar III is sitting on the stone throne of Thorniara, staring into space. Ethelmur, his personal jester, is standing right in front of him, shivering with cold, making jokes. The king does not laugh, not even smile. Ethelmur tries again, cracks a new joke for his king, one of his best. Rhobar is gazing at the jester, but he does not seem to see him and he does not laugh nor smile.
Ethelmur hangs his head. He goes to his place at the foot of the throne and sits down on the stone floor, shivering again. It is cold in here, deadly cold, he says to himself, sneezing. Suddenly a ray of sunshine breaks through the window, shines on the jester and his king. Ethelmur sighs as the sunlight slowly drives away the cold.
“Close the curtains”, Rhobar commands in a low voice, “close them all. It is bright in here and hot, damned hot. Can’t you feel it?”
Meeting with Lord Hagen
Lord Hagen is kneeling in front of his king. He is dressed in shining armor. “We have news, my Lord, from the siege – bitter news”, he says in a sad voice. Rhobar is sitting on his stone throne, gazing at Lord Hagen. He can hear his voice, but he does not answer. All news are bitter, these days, he thinks. Silence settles between the king and his paladin.
“The fleet we sent to the south to close the siege around Setarrif sank during the storm last night”, Lord Hagen reports, breaking the silence. “We cannot hope to win this battle anymore.” The paladin goes on talking, but Rhobar does not listen anymore. Winning or losing battles, Rhobar says to himself. Why does he bother me with his battles? Foolish knight! I have my own battle to fight, my own bitterness to taste.
Darkness crawls over Lord Hagen’s shining armor, slowly surrounds his head. Foolish Knight, Rhobar says again to himself. Lord Hagen’s face gets dark and darker. Red eyes are staring at Rhobar. The paladin’s mouth is a dark hole in even deeper darkness. It is moving and moving.
“We should withdraw our host, my Lord, or our knights are doomed. Will we, my Lord?” Lord Hagen asks, waiting for an answer. Rhobar does not answer. He stares at the dark face of his paladin. Small red horns are growing from Lord Hagen’s brow. Rhobar can see them clearly. “No”, he says, whispering. “No”, he says, raising his voice. “No”, he roars, beating on the throne’s armrest with his fist.