Rómen Áre believes that Andunai, the Lord of hosts, has called him to devote his life to discovering the seven ancient cities, lost beyond the Gates of Tarnan’Duliad. This calling did not come by means of an angelic encounter with the Ilad, nor did Andunai himself speak audibly to him. Rather, through the many years of hearing and reading the Tilindriad, the Book of Ten, Rómen sensed that it was the will of Andunai that at least one of these lost cities be unearthed (or unveiled), before the final destruction of Elucion at the hand of the offspring of Dwinovan. As he poured over the prophetic material regarding that day most desired among the Edanai, he noticed references to artifacts and relics from those ancient cities, as though they were going to be present amongst the forces of Dwinovar at the time of the final conflict. How shall these items be present, if the cities are not accessible? And how shall the cities become accessible, unless they are first uncovered? And how shall they be uncovered, unless an odyssey is undertaken? And how shall an odyssey be undertaken, without a crusader? For Rómen, it is the very fabric of the Tilindriad by which he has been called.
Rómen grew up on a farm in the plain lands of Vindovier. While he is therefore not highly educated or erudite, his mother and father were well-versed in the Book of Ten, and so is he. His parents loved stories, and as a result, they gave particular attention to the early, narrative portions of the Tilindriad. This of course included the descriptions of the ancient cities beyond the Gates of Tarnan’Duliad, and the tales that surround them. As Rómen grew to manhood, his curiousity was piqued by the news that Dwinovar had opened arcane war colleges, dedicated to the rigorous training of warmages for the ongoing conflict with Borgrin and Lorghun. He had always been intrigued by the stories of wonderous works performed by the servants of Andunai throughout the pages of the Tilindriad. At the same time, he knew very well that this was not just history for history’s sake. Rather, it was a description of the world that he himself was living in. Wonderous works were not a thing of the past, but were part of the very nature of a world formed by, and cared for by, a personal god.
However, Rómen knew that he was not an Elf, gifted with innate ability to wield the Tongue of the Ilad as a sorceror. He also knew that he did not have the aptitude for the rigorous study of the wizardly class, as did the rare individual among the race of Men. But he was captivated by the thought that, by constant drilling at a war college, he himself might become a channel of Andunai’s fierce wrath for his foes. It is an understatement to say that Rómen excelled in his studies. He not only mastered the battle-oriented manipulation of the Tongue of the Ilad, but his very inner-man became battle-oriented. In his fervor to prepare his whole person for battle, Rómen pioneered a number of traditions that are now commonplace in the war colleges, including black face-paint for intimidating their enemies. While many of his comrades elected for the elegance of the spear in melee combat, Rómen took to the morningstar for the combined brutality of piercing and bludgeoning. In essence, it was during these years that the Spirit of Andunai moved mightily in Rómen, showing him that for which his life had been designed. Some came into this world to build majestic cathedrals for the elevation of Andunai’s praise. Rómen came for war.
As his schooling drew to a close, and as he began to serve Dwinovar on the front-lines, he became increasingly frustrated with the skepticism of his comrades towards the possibility of his actually discovering the ancient cities. Unwilling to subject himself continually to such ridicule, and not wishing to grow bitter towards his brothers-in-arms, he thought it better for all to resign from his post, and forge out on a quest for the lost cities. His superiors were not pleased. But he persuaded them that, if his quest were to succeed, it would bring a far greater yield to Dwinovar than the battlefield contribution of one warmage. So it was that Rómen Áre struck out for Mierodran. He knew that Mierodran was a rough enough territory that it would prepare him in short order for the uncharted lands to the north. Besides, he had the faithful companionship of at least one from among his brothers-in-arms—Leuca, the healer. What more could he need?