|Roger of Conté|
|Duke of Conté|
|Start of Reign|
|End of Reign|
|Tenure||? — 437 HE (first death)|
438 — June, 439 (land and title reinstated by Roald V; final death)
|Years of Service|
|Died||437 HE (first death)|
439 HE (final death, "true" death)
Dark blood red (corrupted)
|Height||More than six feet|
|Noble House||Conté family|
|Ancestors||King Jonathan I|
King Roger III
King Gareth III
|Grandparents||Jasson III of Conté|
|Parents||King Roald's brother|
|Lover||Delia of Eldorne|
|Other Family||King Roald V (uncle)|
Queen Lianne (aunt)
King Jonathan IV (cousin)
|Residence||Tortallan Royal Palace|
|Student(s)||Gifted pages and squires|
|Squire||Alexander of Tirragen|
|Affiliation||Coronation Day Battle|
|Tortallan Universe character|
|First Appeared||Alanna: The First Adventure|
|Last Appeared||Lioness Rampant|
Roger of Conté, born in 401 HE, was a Tortallan royal and held the title of Duke. He was the only nephew of King Roald V, and was heir presumptive of his cousin, Jonathan of Conté. Roger gained quite a bit of notoriety over the years and was known throughout the Eastern Lands as a powerful sorcerer. He conspired against his extended family, wanting to become king. He was killed by Alanna the Lioness for this, and later resurrected by Thom of Trebond. In his new life, he wished to destroy the entire land rather than rule it. He was finally killed during the Coronation Day Battle of 438 HE.
Roger was born in 401 HE as King Roald's only nephew from Roald's younger brother. Nothing is known about his mother, but his parents were killed when he was a child. There isn't anything known about his childhood or education, either. However, it can be assumed that Roger went through the training for knighthood and finally got his shield, because he later took on a squire. Besides that he was also educated in the use of magic.
He traveled a lot during his early years and befriended those he thought were worth it, and made enemies in others. Liam Ironarm is believed to have an enmity with the duke, but it is unknown how that came to pass. As Liam is afraid of magic, it is possible that his fear came from an altercation with the duke.
Life at the palace until first "death"
Magic Teacher of the Pages
By the 430s of the Human Era he had already gained the reputation of a powerful sorcerer and was famous throughout the Eastern Lands. Before being called to court in 431 HE Roger was in Carthak. From there he sent the Sweating Sickness, his first move in trying to seize the throne, hoping it would kill his cousin Jonathan. After the sickness was defeated, King Roald called Roger to court to teach the gifted pages sorcery and to try to find out who sent the Sweating Sickness that attacked the city. A little over a year after his arrival in the capital, Roger took Alexander of Tirragen on as his squire.
Over the course of the following years, Roger made further attempts to kill his cousin without arousing anyone's suspicion, including sending Jonathan to the Black City to face the Ysandir, and placing him in the front lines during the war with Tusaine in the Drell River Valley. He also attempted to kill Alanna of Trebond, still known as Squire Alan, multiple times. He was afraid she would interfere with his plot, as Alanna had made it obvious that she neither liked nor trusted the Duke.
Roger had a few major accomplices in his plot for the Tortallan throne, notably Alexander of Tirragen, his former squire, and Delia of Eldorne, his implied lover. He cast a spell to prevent key members of the court, Sir Myles of Olau, Duke Gareth of Naxen, the Lord Provost, as well as Alanna, Jonathan, and King Roald from realizing what he was doing or from acting on any of their suspicions. Alanna weakened the spell during her Ordeal of Knighthood enough that she could break free and reveal Roger's true intentions to the world. After breaking into his chambers and finding evidence against him, Alanna accused him in front of the whole court on the second feast of Midwinter in 437 HE. Roger challenged her to a trial by combat, in which he used illegal magic in an attempt to beat her and also accidentally discovered and revealed her true gender, but Alanna managed to defeat him anyway.
While it was believed that Roger died from this duel, he did not. Instead, he was in a state called Sorcerer's Sleep, which allowed him to plan his revenge carefully. In the meantime, Delia managed to goad Thom of Trebond into bringing Roger back to life not even a year later. King Roald, ever the peacemaker, returned all of Roger's estates and titles to him before his own death. On the day of Jonathan's coronation, Roger and his supporters mounted a full-scale attack. While most of his fighters believed they were attempting to put Roger on the throne, Roger's true plan was to destroy Tortall with a giant earthquake, presumably because he had been driven mad by his time in the Sorcerer's Sleep. However, Alanna managed to permanently kill Roger before his plan could come to fruition. He died on the day of the July full moon in 439 HE, during the rebellion.
Roger was generally considered very attractive. He was over six feet in height, with fair skin, blue eyes, brown-black hair and a neatly trimmed beard. He was broad-shouldered and muscular, with strong-looking hands, and exuded charm and confidence. Before his first "death" he dressed very well and was vain of his appearance. After his return, his hair was too long and there were food stains on his robe.
Roger's magical standing was never stated explicitly in any of the books. There is some speculation among fans of the books that he is the equivalent of a black robe mage from the university in Carthak, like Numair Salmalín, as it was said that Duke Roger was the most powerful sorcerer in the Eastern Lands in his time. Gary of Naxen stated that "every sorcerer in the Eastern Lands would think twice before taking him on." Furthermore, he sent the Sweating Sickness to Tortall while he was in Carthak, which was at least a month's worth of travel away.
Roger got his magical gift from the non-Conté side of his family, and so the color of his magic was orange, rather than blue like Jonathan's. When Thom raised Roger from his grave, the spell left the two of them magically tied, and the color of each of their gifts changed to a dark blood red, a combination of Roger's orange gift and Thom's violet gift. Roger hid his returned Gift by using their magical tie to force Thom to contain both of their Gifts, causing a magical sickness in Thom, and appearing to be bereft of magic.
Roger has an extremely colorful taste in clothing. Alanna described it as the one thing she admired about the Duke. He also has a cruel sense of humor, making fun of Alanna when she first returned to Tortall.
During the events of The Song of the Lioness series, Roger was second in line to the Tortallan throne, after his cousin, Prince Jonathan. Before Jon's birth, he would have been first. It is presumed, as he bears the name "Conté", that his father was Roald's younger brother. Either that, or he is from a cadet branch of the Conté line, perhaps a cousin of Roald's, as it was never explicitly stated what degree of kinship Prince Jon and Duke Roger shared.
Alysy of Conté † - Roger III of Conté ┬ Jessamine of Conté │ Gareth III of Conté │ ? generations │ Jasson III of Conté ┬ Daneline of Jesslaw │ Naxen ┌——————————————————┴————————————————┐ │ │ │ Lianne of Naxen ┬ Roald V of Conté unnamed brother ┬ unnamed wife │ │ Jonathan IV of Conté ┬ Thayet jian Wilima Roger of Conté │ ┌———————————————————┴———┬———————————————————————————————————┬———————————┬———————————————┬——————————————————┐ │ │ │ │ │ │ │ │ Iliniat │ │ │ │ │ │ │ │ │ │ │ Shinkokami ┬ Roald VI of Conté Kalasin of Conté ┬ Kaddar Iliniat Liam of Conté Jasson of Conté Lianne of Conté Vania of Conté │ │ Lianokami of Conté Binur Iliniat
Notes and references