Rowan Renard was an Alucar sculptor. He was one of the early followers of Dagda Vormund.
As a young man Rowan became doubtful and uncertain of his religious beliefs. He sought out Vormund for guidance and became one of his disciples.
Rowan was born in the year 143, during the reign of King Letholdus the Third. He was the second child of Milo and Hester Renard, being preceded by his sister Rathina. They lived on a farm a couple miles south of Bodai. Milo and Hester were already caring for Hester's three orphaned nieces and nephew, Rowan's cousins Kurt, Mara, and Susanna. To supplement the large family's income, Hester began working as a midwife.
As a child, Rowan was bookish and shy. He read a great deal, particularly history tomes, which he borrowed from a traveling library. When he was younger he was close to his cousin Kurt, but as Kurt was several years older they gradually drifted apart. His two female cousins largely ignored him, preferring the company of his sister.
While Rathina grew to be a staunch, outspoken atheist, Rowan was always a closeted theist. In his boyhood he sensed a presence which was difficult to describe, but he gradually came to believe it was the god Akhen. Despite his convictions, he was uncomfortable discussing his beliefs with his peers because of the stigma associated with religion and his sister's aggressive intellectualism. His agnostic parents were surprised by his interest in religion, but saw it as harmless. Rathina knew of her brother's faith and often made snide comments about religion in his presence in spite of it.
Upon turning eighteen, Rowan jumped at the chance to move to Bodai and become the apprentice of the master sculptor Meier Amano. He enjoyed his work and was encouraged by Meier to pursue a career as a sculptor. Free from his overbearing sister, he also began exploring religion in ways he never had before.
Not long after, his father died, and the ensuing grief had a strong effect on Rowan, who began to experience intense feelings of doubt and uncertainty.
He visited his family to celebrate Independence Day in 164, for the first time without his father. His mother got drunk and she and Rathina got into a heated argument, after which Rathina pointed to Rowan and said "If there is a god, he has failed me. He has failed everyone around me." The incident left an impression on him.
Rowan and the New Religion
Dagda Vormund arrived in Bodai two months later. He encountered the prophet while he was preaching in the town square. Intrigued, Rowan stopped to listen. Soon he began actively attending Vormund's sermons and collecting the various reading materials his followers handed out, including a copy of Vormund's new Mandorlin translation.When Rathina learned of her brother's interest in the prophet during a visit, she searched his belongings, finding his Mandorlin, and began mocking Vormund and his beliefs. Her heavy-handed attempts to deter Rowan's interest in the "cult" backfired, and only succeeded in angering Rowan.The next day, Rathina followed him to a sermon and attempted to refute Vormund himself by publicly discrediting his work. Vormund defended himself, but left soon after without giving a sermon.
Confused, Rowan nonetheless introduced himself to two of the prophet's followers, Sophia Richter and Drusus Rolfe. They agreed to arrange a meeting between him and Vormund. However, the city police arrived on the scene not long after and declared Vormund and his followers to be banished from Bodai.