Roland has been one of those relatives who "slipped through the cracks." Born in Shadow, he has spent nearly all of his life there. He was presented briefly before the court of Amber during Eric's Regency, but ducked out of sight after that and has remained out of Amber, even during the Patternfall. As a result, little is publically known about him, and most folk even forget to include him on the lists of Family relatives.
He was young, with bright red hair, short-cropped, and freckles, an almost guileless smile on his face. Which pleased me, as he was large and powerful, and I would not have wanted that frame moved to action by hate or pain or anger. He wore soft blue pants, and a loose-fitting white tunic with two large sigils upon it, standing beside a piano, a magnificent river through a window behind him.
He looked like a good man to call a friend. I wondered why I had not met him before.
His personal colors are blue and white, but he doesn't take them very seriously. His standard is a stylized union of a dog, a sailboat, and a saxophone.
Most of what follows is not public knowledge, but doesn't give away any great secrets.
History: Roland was born to Flora while she kept watch over Corwin on Shadow Earth. She "fostered" him out to a pair a shadow parents who raised him as their own. He grew up in 1950s America, doing more or less the usual things, involved notably in band and football, and quite unaware of his origin.
Eventually Flora revealed the truth to him, and he was ever-so-briefly presented at court. It was a fractious place at the time, and he decided he'd be better off back out in Shadow. Before he left, his mother enabled him to walk the Pattern at Tir-na Nog'th.
Roland proceeded to wander in Shadow, taking every opportunity to further his education. He's studied fencing, and sailed (and commanded) a ship-of-the-line. He's a master of the pancake block. He's learned enough carpentry to build his own houses, enough cooking to be a (rather eccentric) gourmet. He's one of those damnable polyglots who can play nearly any musical instrument he touches. He's taken composition from Beethoven, and jammed with Cannonball Adderley.
Personality: Roland is friendly and easygoing. From his Shadow-oriented perspective, he knows he is something special, yet he knows that he is still far from the best in any field he's touch; a position of self-assurance combined with humility. He is fiercely loyal to his friends.
With regard to the politics of Amber, he believes Gerard is on the right track. It is not that he is stupid, or unable to play the game. It is simply that the game appears to be unwinable, a vast attempt at mutually assured misery. How preferable it is to step back and refuse to play; and how much simpler it makes things.
Lady Macbeth: Roland's faithful black Labrador retriever. Lady is very level-headed, and sees herself as an otherwise normal intelligent dog who can talk. She claims all dogs can scent trouble on the wind, and see glimpses of the neighboring shadows.
"Instead of being
Credits: The openning quote is from Jon Hendricks's vocalese on the Dave Lambert solo from "Airegin"; the second from G.K. Chesterton's The Napoleon of Notting Hill; the third from Dorothy Sayers; the final from Kurt Elling's vocalese on the Dexter Gordon solo from "Tanya Jean" (and itself including a quote from Hesse).