Roland

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The New Baron
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Name Roland de Chumsfanleigh
Race Human
Age 20
Occupation Baron
Physical appearance "Fat as butter" when he was 12 years old; wears glasses
Residence Baron's castle, The Chalk
Death
Parents Former Baron
Relatives Aunt Danuta and Aunt Araminta
Children
Marital Status m. (Letitia Keepsake)
Appearances
Books The Wee Free Men
A Hat Full of Sky
Wintersmith
I Shall Wear Midnight
Cameos

Roland de Chumsfanleigh (pronounced Chuffley - it's not his fault) is the son of the former Baron on The Chalk, near Lancre. Since I Shall Wear Midnight, he is the current Baron.

He was rescued as a thirteen year-old from the Queen of the Fairies by then-nine year-old Tiffany Aching, who was armed with nothing but a frying pan. He personally apologised to Tiffany when his father made out that he had in fact rescued her, as would be expected in such a story. Tiffany claimed she needed no recompense so long as he ruled justly when he became Baron. Since then they've had a red-with-embarrassment, full-of-awkward-silences kind of relationship, but they're both growing in stature as the Tiffany series of books progresses.

He had her silver Horse necklace made for her - the spirit of horse, which she loves. Tiffany has used it to draw on the power of her homeland in times of crisis.

In the third book, the Nac Mac Feegle have to make him a hero, and he enters the Underworld to rescue the Summer Lady, fight off bogles and return to the land of the living.

His private life has not exactly been all roses. Roland's father eventually fell very ill, and his two scheming aunts (Danuta and Araminta) used their new position as his guardians to rob him blind. Roland fought back as far as he could, in the process learning a great deal about surviving sieges and the art of insurgency.

At the end of the third book, Roland gave Tiffany a box of watercolors, one of which was turquoise, which is allegedly very expensive on the Discworld.

By the fourth book, Roland was 20 years old. He had met Letitia Keepsake, the daughter of a Duchess, and they were engaged to be wed. While he was away from the Chalk on a shopping trip, his father died - Tiffany went to meet him and broke the news, informing Roland that this made him the new Baron. The old Baron's funeral was held the day before the wedding ceremony; the official wedding. The night between, Tiffany had performed an ancient marriage ritual with Roland and Letitia to help defeat the Cunning Man.

Annotation

  • Roland is of course the name of a great hero on Roundworld (see here). The French have much the same sort of body of legend about him that the British do about King Arthur, up to and including the notion that in a cave somewhere (sometimes in the Vosges, sometimes in the Midi, perhaps in the Languedoc) the great hero lies in sleep, his magical sword Durandal close to hand, waiting to serve France in her hour of greatest need. The historical Roland is said to have been a knight in the 700's, who fought to keep the Moslem world on the Spanish side of the Pyrénées and to prevent it from spilling into France. He is said to have died in defeating Islam in the semi-mythical battle of Roncevaux.
    • The more likely story is that he was simply another knight who one day got ambushed by Basque bandits in the Pyrénées, which is not entirely too dissimilar to another Discworld event.
  • The Wikipedia article on paint pigments[1] notes that blues and purples were by far the most expensive paints, as semi-precious stones needed to be obtained and ground into a fine powder to deliver the color. The cost was such that even masters refrained from using blues in their paintings unless they were paid a lot extra for it. Lapiz lazuli is the precious stone most often used as the starting point for blue paint: turquoise is another semi-precious stone, which in mediaeval times had to be imported from Asia, which was used to deliver a deep cyanic-blue-green pigment. As on Roundworld, so on the disc...