Biography, Part 1: Early LifeWriting a brief biography of the life of Lloyd Donalbain is like trying to squeeze the entire history of the universe into one textbook. In just thirty years, so much has happened in this man's life, yet most of it is information we know precious little about.
I have spent about eighteen months travelling the northern wastes that were his childhood home, and have gathered information, both factual and apocryphal, from numerous different sources claiming a connection to the man. I have conducted interviews, read writings by other historians and entries from Lloyd's diary, and analysed data found in caves, ruined villages and burial grounds, and have determined these few facts about this man's life through all this convoluted research.
Lloyd was born to the wealthy family of Donalbain roughly thirty years ago, at the time of the Vytal Festival. Various members of the Donalbain family travelled to the festival to join in the celebrations, but on this particular occasion, the ceremony was interrupted by the birth of a baby boy. The Donalbain family had always been involved in the military, and his father, Marcus Donalbain, was often away from home, fighting. Despite this, Lloyd himself lived a peaceful childhood. He was a timid child, described by some as cowardly, always dreading the prospects of fighting and harming other human beings. However, ignoring his son's wishes, his father had him apply to attend Beacon Academy as soon as he had turned 17. Lloyd felt that the instructors would reject his application, on the grounds that he had not attended any other fighting schools, but, after observing him in combat, the teachers saw great potential in the young man, and signed him up. Lloyd was trained in the art of war for a few years, and subsequently became recognised officially as a hunter. According to Lloyd's diary, he held a grudge against his father for forcing him to attend this school, one that he refused to simply let go.
Marcus sensed this anger in his son over the following few years, and decided that Lloyd would be better suited to family life. Seeking to make peace, he arranged to have Lloyd marry a friend's eldest daughter, Desdemona. Diary entries reveal that Lloyd planned to avoid the wedding, and stay with his grandfather in his cabin in a village on the other side of the mountains. His father learned of his scheme, though, and Lloyd was forcibly dragged to the ceremony. Reports say very little about the wedding, other than what happened at the very end.
Something had changed deep within Lloyd. He became furious about such attempts to control his destiny. He wanted revenge. In a fit of rage, Lloyd picked up a ceremonial sword and murdered Desdemona and, rather more poignantly, his own father and mother. No guards were present, as nobody could have anticipated such an event. Nobody was armed. It was a bloodbath.
Realising what he had done, Lloyd fled for the mountains, for he knew he could not seek asylum elsewhere. He spent a year fighting Beowolves, Ursa and other terrifying creatures of Grimm. He gradually became stronger and stronger, and it wasn't long before legends began to sweep around the area of someone, or something, living in the mountains, who could kill many Grimm beasts. It took virtually no time at all for people to realise that it was none other than Lloyd Donalbain, the murderer, the man who ruthlessly killed his wife and his own family, who was the stranger in the mountains. People started to invent horrific stories about the man in order to demonise him further - he was a livestock slaughterer, a child-killer, a cold-blooded thief. Soon many people grew to loathe the name of Lloyd Donalbain, and soon, they decided to get rid of him once and for all. Over a hundred farmers picked up arms and began to converge on the mountain that was his permanent residence...
Biography, Part 2: Ascension To Power
It was around this time - or so it is said - that Lloyd began to realise the true extent of his physical aptitude. From entries to the diary that he had brought with him, later abandoned in the cave where he allegedly lived, it is observable that he had grown in strength, speed and endurance, with the diary full of statistics concerning his wellbeing. He constantly tested himself, reaching greater and greater heights of ability. It was almost as if he sensed the peasant uprising, and resolved to prepare for it.
According to that diary, Lloyd made a discovery one night. As he was training, he discovered his most powerful, well-kept secret of all. As it would seem, Lloyd had a semblance - he could raise his strength, speed and durability whenever he felt it necessary, as a last resort in combat. When doing so, Lloyd would essentially become a killing machine, but it would take a great toll on his stamina.
It was but a matter of days after Lloyd made the discovery before the aforementioned peasant army began the climb to the mountain summit, but by the time they had, Lloyd was ready for them. Based on an interview I had with one of the survivors, it would seem that the battle played out in this manner...
When the army reached the mountain-top, they found that Lloyd was indeed waiting for them. Initially wishing to avoid confrontation, Lloyd stepped out in front of the armed yeomen, attempting a peaceful negotiation. However, one of the peasants charged forward and impaled him with a pitchfork. A minute or so passed while Lloyd simply stood stock-still with the pitchfork protruding from him. The army turned around and began to walk away, back down the mountain-side, relieved that they were unharmed but surprised at the lack of a fight put up by the strange man they had become so concerned about. Then they heard the noise.
My interviewee turned a pale hue as he recalled the following events. The noise heard was the unpleasant sound of metal scraping on metal, and they were mortified to discover that Lloyd was not dead, but very much in the land of the living, and in the process of removing the pitchfork from the badly-crafted breastplate he had built while hiding in the mountain. He faced the army head-on, baying for blood like a hellhound. He was surrounded by the eerie grey light of his aura. The ice beneath him melted as if touched by a flame, and he charged forth at the poor misguided farmers.
The massacre had begun.
Effortlessly wielding the pitchfork, Lloyd obliterated the fighting force in front of him. Just five minutes or so after its beginning, the battle drew to a close, with all the participants bar Lloyd himself dead or on the run. Judging by a later estimate on the number of grieving families, and analysis carried out in graveyards and memorial sites, ninety bodies were strewn across the battlefield on that fateful day.
This brutal genocide outraged many people, including several well-known hunters and huntresses. One hunter in particular, by name of Belfaygor Bourne, sought to track Lloyd down and kill him. However, his efforts were in vain, and despite his searching of the mountains for over a month, any attempt at discovering Lloyd's whereabouts were fruitless. (It has never been publicly reported as to what happened to Belfaygor, though a popular theory states that he was killed in a rockslide some time later).
There have, however, been many reported sightings of Lloyd in and around the mountains in the six years since Belfaygor's search, and also in other areas of the land. He has been sighted meditating in the forest of Forever Fall and sailing across a lake, among other places, though nobody knows for certain where he is. Travellers have sometimes reported meeting him on cross-country journeys, and being challenged to duels. Occasionally, large groups of bodies have been uncovered in mountains and different locations, with similar post-mortem conditions to the ones in the peasant massacre. These have been attributed to Lloyd, unsurprisingly. His name has passed into legend.
The blurry photograph visible at the top of the article is the only known surviving photograph of Lloyd, taken two years ago. It quickly dispelled any rumours that he was dead when it was found on a camera belonging to a nature photographer who was found, dead as a doornail, and lying face-down in a snow drift.
Aside from Belfaygor's search, there have been very few formal attempts made to locate Lloyd's exact whereabouts. His killings have been random and scattered, with no obvious threat to the kingdom as a whole. Those he kills are often officially classified as having fallen off mountain-sides or died of frostbite. Indeed, a popular theory among senior staff in the government is that Lloyd himself is actually dead, and that recent reported murders are hoaxes.
However, there is no doubt in my mind that Lloyd Donalbain is still alive. I firmly believe that he is out there, biding his time until his eventual return, just waiting...
Biography by Simon Bainbridge, Former Amateur Historian (deceased)
Name: Lloyd Donalbain
Height: 7'1 (216 cm)
Weight: 260 lbs (120 kg)
Primary Weapon: Duwch (long sword)
Born: 21st December
Current Residence: Unknown, probably in the mountains
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Skin Colour: Pale
IQ: Unknown, thought to be high
AppearanceStanding over seven feet tall, Lloyd is an incredibly imposing figure, something he can use to his advantage in intimidating others. He usually wears a dark blue lamellar cuirass. Despite the heavy armour, he can still move freely.
On his arms he bears a form of leather gauntlets, and he is clad in small boots on his feet.
He is rarely seen with head protection or a shield.
As Simon Bainbridge famously wrote in his extensive biography of Lloyd's life, reports say that he was a timid, unassuming, good-natured child, though obviously this all changed after he murdered his parents. As an adult, he is a ruthless killer. Any kindness or generosity that was once in his soul has now vanished. He is a merciless, genocidal criminal.
At times, Lloyd can be irritable and easily startled, leading many to theorise that his experiences may have led to a development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Though he was once a hunter, he has since turned his back on his past, becoming a fugitive.
He works alone, though not so much through choice as through necessity.
He does not trust anyone, and is very protective of the mountains that were his territory for so long. In fact, he has been said to challenge travellers to duels merely because they set foot "where they didn't belong" on the peaks. Everywhere he travels, there will be many bodies left in his wake.
His aura is a strange shade of grey.
Weapons / Abilities
(NOTE: The following information is taken from the reports of those who have faced him in combat and survived.)
Lloyd uses a long sword, apparently dubbed 'Duwch', for fights. He wields it with extreme comfort and, judging by the number of corpses he's left behind him, a high level of skill. Duwch also operates as a sort of rifle or shotgun, as it contains several dust chambers in its hilt and can forcefully expel different types of dust with highly explosive and destructive results. According to the travellers who actually accepted his invitation to duel, his basic swordfighting primarily involves feints, parries and sudden lunges towards the opponent, all at an incredibly fast rate. His formal fighting style is a form of the Fünf-zu-Eins-Schwert Discipline (Five-to-One). He has mastered the Staring Tiger, Roaring Lion, Lunging Serpent and Soaring Eagle stances, and seems to be able to employ the Idle Turtle stance to some degree, though his blade is not wide enough to allow complete defensive coverage. Many have even suggested that he may have knowledge of the notoriously difficult yet remarkably powerful Azure Dragon stance. Since the stance was created and is employed by aged hunters, it is likely that Lloyd studied under one of these old masters, though his teacher's identity is unknown.
He has also been known to use the environment to his advantage, leaping off rocks, hiding among bushes or scrambling up trees to have greater control of the element of surprise. He is quite a stealthy fighter.
More often than not, he does not actually kill the opponents, but rather disarms them and casts them away. He can also channel different types of dust into his sword and use it in unusual ways, so for example, with fire he can ignite his weapon, with water he can create a small torrent of water surrounding it and with lightning he can electrify it, though such theatrics do not affect the blade's actual striking power to a great extent.
According to the conciseness of his diary entries, and test results from his childhood, Lloyd is thought to be highly intelligent. He has certainly shown himself to be an excellent strategist. He relies on guerrilla tactics and stealth to kill, never letting his 'prey' anticipate their fate. He has spent approximately six years fighting, murdering and evading capture in this manner.
Lloyd has great speed, strength, and endurance, only enhanced by his semblance, after training on mountain-tops and consistantly fighting others, both stronger and weaker than him.
As previously mentioned, Lloyd's semblance is his ability to artificially raise his strength, speed and endurance. As the encounter with the peasant army proved, it is very effective, but can only last for a few minutes before his stamina has been fully depleted. He often uses his semblance when he is greviously injured, though not always, and he has won fights without it.
In terms of weaknesses, Lloyd's semblance can be classed as a downfall as much as it is a success. Though very useful while it lasts, once it has passed, he will be left tired and weary. Tenacious fighters will be able to easily exploit this, as he will subsequently be left open. He also has no head protection and often no shield. Several fighters have even reported beating him or at least reaching a stalemate in a fight before escaping. However, nobody has ever been able to capture him.
Radiohead - How To Disappear Completely
Battle Theme (Normal Fight):
Sabaton - Gott Mit Uns
Battle Theme (With Semblance):
Death Grips - No Love
Ben Howard - To Be Alone
- All credit for the Five-to-One stance MUST be given to Maki Kuronami.
- 'Lloyd' is a Welsh name, derived from 'Llwyd', meaning grey.
- Lloyd is loosely based on the tale of Samson from the Bible.
- Both are very strong and powerful.
- Both of them faced a seemingly insurmountable army, armed with a seemingly weak weapon (in Samson's case, a jawbone, in Lloyd's case, a pitchfork) yet still claimed victory.
- Inspiration was also drawn from the ancient Greek tale of Heracles (or Hercules, as he is often known). Both Lloyd and Heracles murdered members of their own families (albeit in different circumstances).
- Lloyd's backstory is crammed with references to classical mythology, and has more Shakespearian allusions than Mumford & Sons' first album.
- The Manic Street Preachers song that quote was taken from is actually about self harm.
- The name 'Simon Bainbridge' was inspired by the character Dixon Bainbridge from UK bizarre comedy show The Mighty Boosh.
- Continuing the Wizard of Oz theme for naming characters in the RWBY-verse (see 'Professor Ozpin'), the hunter Belfaygor Bourne is named after 'Belfaygor of Bourne', a character from the Oz sequel Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz.
- As for Monty's colour rule, well, Bourne means 'stream'. It doesn't directly reference a colour, but streams and running water are always associated with the colour blue in mythology and literature.