Nephew to Rickart Nayland, the Lord of Hag's Mire, Rygar squired to Ser Bannon Erenford, another bannerman to the Freys. Knighted at twenty-two (it is known that the young man provided his armor for knighting without help from his family), for a time he was Captain of the Guard at the Fortress of the Sevens.
When Robert's Rebellion began, and while the Freys (and by extension the Naylands) delayed committing until the crucial battle was resolved, Rygar had already been fighting for the Royalists. He took part in the battles at Stoney Sept and the Trident. Pardoned with the other Royalists by the newly crowned King Robert, he returned to Hag's Mire, but was not restored to Captain of the Guard.
Known for his fondness for drill, a maxim of the strict knight is 'Drill costs nothing, yet preparation is priceless.'
The son of the irrelevant brother to a minor Lord, Rygar was one of those nobles whose only path to a noteworthy life would have to be carved out with his own hands and deeds. Sent as a page at age 10 to his unforgiving uncle Rickart (Naylands trust no one so well as another Nayland), Rygar developed an admiration for his liege lord that has been jarred but never diminished over the ensuing years. Significantly taller than average, and mocked in his youth as 'High-gar the Low' for his family's scant influence, Rygar developed a full dose of the infamous stiff-necked Nayland pride while squiring to Ser Bannon Erenford at The Twins.
In an experience which would shame the young man and do much to shape his later life, Rygar was forced to wait an additional four years to receive his knighthood, as he could not afford the arms, armor, and steeds befitting a knight at his eighteenth nameday. firm believers in a young man earning his own path, neither his father Stevron nor his uncle sent any help. When at last he was knighted, Ser Rygar returned to the Fortress of the Sevens and presented himself for service to Lord Rickart.
For several years, he was Captain of the Guard. He drilled smallfolk levies twice a month and made constant petitions to his uncle for more and better arms for the Household arsenal. Having a poor frame for jousting (tall and lean) he favored melees over the tilt, participating in enough tournaments to well represent his House. During this time he married, to further the allegiances of his family. After the birth of their second son, Rygar and his wife Anne have had little to do with each other. The great disruption to this routine life came when Robert Baratheon raised his banners in Rebellion.
As vassals the the Freys, House Nayland had no marching orders until the war was nearly over, but many Riverlords had committed to one side or the other well before the end. Without the Nayland levies, and without official support, Rygar rode east to join the Royalist army under the Hand of the King, Jon Connington at Stoney Sept. Although the fighting was fierce, the royalists were routed as the line of Royal footmen collapsed under the onslaught of Northern reinforcements. Rygar had two horses killed beneath him, eventually escaping the field on foot amidst a scattering of common infantry.
Rallying with the other remnants of the Royalist host under the newly arrived Kingsguard, Rygar managed to get another horse, but was placed in the Line among the other survivors of the Battle of the Bells. Denied the glory of charging amongst the Vanguard, he took a position commanding piecemeal infantry on the Royal left flank, under Ser Jonothor Darry. Although Rygar comported himself honorably (capturing a rebel knight for ransom), and although the Line held against two rebel charges, he was once again cheated of any glory when- as Robert killed Prince Rhaegar- the battle ended. Once again, the Royalists had been defeated.
Adding insult to injury, after the battle was over, the troops of the Freys, Charltons, Erenfords, Haighs… and Naylands arrived under the rebel banner. With the war won, the Freys had sided with Robert, bringing their bannermen with them, and Rygar faced the indignity of yielding himself to his own household's troops.
Robert's pardon of all who had fought for King Aeron II removed the risk of punishment and Rygar returned again to Hag's Mire. He was two warhorses the poorer, and had won no great victories. What he did bring back was keen experience. He was not returned to the position of Captain of the Household Guard, nor did he object. Rygar did continue drilling the levies, seeking and gaining permission to double the drills to once a week. After all, drills cost nothing, yet being prepared was priceless.
With the outbreak of the Ironborn Invasion, he assumed command of the joint levies of Hag's Mire and Stonebridge, fighting at Stonebridge, Alderbrook, Seagard, and the invasions of Harlaw and Pyke. A dire wound to the neck at Pyke left the knight with lingering nerve damage that tugs the corner of his mouth and right eye downward.
Of the junior branch of the Nayland family, Rygar's father Stevron is the younger brother of Lord Rickart. Roland is his younger brother. While noble, Rygar stands to inherit nothing. Since the birth of their second son, Rygar and his wife Anne have resided apart, having little to do with each other.
Tall and thin, with a prominent nose, severe blue eyes and close cropped hair, Rygar has what some would describe as a predatory look. The end of his mouth and outer corner of his right eye are drawn subtly downward by a deep wound to his neck, leaving the knight with a sneering expression. In build, the gentleman is athletic, but lean. Tightly muscled shoulders and long arms end in large hands with prominent knucklebones. Perhaps four fingers past six foot in height, he wears brown hair and beard cropped close.
In casual dress, he favors an embroidered brown woolen doublet and a Nayland medallion over green trousers and tall riding boots.
In battle and tournament melee, his preferred weapon is a "crow's beak" pole hammer. He fights armored in a suit of brigadine, with a large bird's claw engraved in niello on the back of each gauntlet.
Allies and Foes
Koyaanisqatsi by Philip Glass (Rygar's background music)
To Glory by Two Steps to Hell
Shadow of Doubt by Yoko Kano
This Night by Black Lab
Unforgiven by Metallica
Hate Me Now by Nas
King Nothing by Metallica
ISTJ are faithful, logical, organized, sensible, and earnest traditionalists who enjoy keeping their lives and environments well-regulated. Typically reserved and serious individuals, they earn success through their thoroughness and extraordinary dependability. They are capable of shutting out distractions in order to take a practical, logical approach to their endeavors, and are able to make the tough decisions that other types avoid.
Rygar has been classified as an extreme ISTJ (86/64/95/91) according to the Keirsey Typology personality test. Full description can be found here.
A version of the test you can take "in character" (or out) can be found here.
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