Date: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 17:53:40 -0500 From: Liz Henry
Note that this was written after the start of the campaign to fill in Harald's background.
Harald was born in a remote forest in Saxony (He doesn't know exactly where). His parents, Fredegonde and Cynewulf, were pagan, and dabbled in the magic arts. He dislikes talking about this, but as a small child he participated in extremely strange and violent rituals; all you know, from Harald's few drunken confidences, is that they involved eating raw human flesh.
When Harald was around 8 years old, he was the subject of an experiment (of his parents) that turned him into a werewolf. The forest community and his parents had difficulty raising him because of this, and they basically sold him to Bonisagus, who thought that he might have The Gift.
Bonisagus made some promises at the time, that Harald would be educated and would someday be powerful and great. However, all Harald knows is that his parents, after experimenting cruelly with him in ways he couldn't understand, sold him. He is grateful to Bonisagus for treating him with respect and sending him on important missions. But he does wish that someone had taught him how to read and write. He is keenly aware of the opinions of other people, and wants to be respected. Since he is aware of his limitations and lack of nobility or education, his ambition is to serve as a trusted retainer to the most important person possible. (This is why he didn't take Bjornaer's offer..... Bjornaer is defintely Not Important enough for Harald's tastes, even if it was fun to hunt with him and his pack.)
He is a Christian, from the influence of growing up in Bonisagus's household. He feels a sense of sin and guilt about his pagan past, along with the resentment towards his parents. On the other hand, he really likes being a wolf. But he doesn't know if this means he is contaminated, if his soul is in danger. He has not been baptized, but goes to church anyway... basically, he is genuinely devout, but fakes his way through the ritual, and does not take communion or confess (Actually I have no idea if people confess at this time???) Especially around important holidays you get the idea that underneath his unruffled exterior he is worrying about these sorts of religious matters. Bonisagus told him that everything would be just fine. But Harald suspects it is more complicated that Bonisagus let on.....
He is handsome and somewhat vain of his appearance, keeping his beard shaven, his hair combed, etc. It is really amazing how dapper he manages to be even when he has been camping out in the forest for days on end. He is sensitive to implications that he is a "barbarian" and thinks of himself as very cosmopolitan because of his travels and his association with important people.
People are generally friendly to him-- he manages to be charming to everyone, whether they are mages or peasants. He gives the impression of self confidence, a bit of pride, and overall, of extreme self-control, almost repression-- except when he's drinking.
Now, after the death of Bonisagus, he is sticking with the remaining members of the covenant in exile. He tries hard to make himself useful. While he gets along best with the practical-minded Nikos, he is very protective of Idelle and Grigori: of Idelle because she seems so gentle, and of Grigori because of his general aura of understanding many mysterious things. Cullen I forgot your Saxon's name. Sorry. Harald is somewhat ruffled by his Blatant Gift, despite long association, and by his barbarian-ness. He is embarrassed by his own past; C. just seems like a constant reminder, almost a caricature of how civilized people view the uncouth Saxons.
Harald wants to find out who murdered Bonisagus, for revenge's sake as well as for security. He also wants to have a secure base of operations sometime soon. His ambitions to serve the powerful are behind his loyalty to the group; somehow, he has an intuition that they will establish themselves and carry on Bonisagus's work. He is hoping to spy on Criamon in Genoa and on any other mages the group visits, using his general sneakiness and pumping his friends for information--- disgruntled apprentices sometimes befriend and confide in him-- Bonisagus counted on him to provide this kind of inside information.