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Biographical Information
Alias The Piper
Born c. 225 HE
Nationality Tortallan (naturalized)
Scanran (former)
Physical Description
Gender Male
Height 5' 10"
Hair Blond, nearly white
Eyes Dark
Family Information
Parents Dancing Dove † (mother)
Lover Aniki Forfrysning
Koramin Ingensra (former)
Other Family
Rank Commoner
Rogue Position King of the Thieves
Residence The Dancing Dove
Nipcopper Close (former)
Affiliation Court of the Rogue
Rebakah Cooper
Bibliographical Information
Tortallan Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared Terrier
Last Appeared Mastiff
Latest Appearance '
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned '
Phelan: "The word is he tried to kill the Rogue. Some Scanran pretty boy saved ol' Kayfer's life."
Rosto: "That 'pretty boy' would be me."
Phelan asking about the night Crookshank tried to stab Kayfer Deerborn in the Court of the Rogue.[src]

Rosto the Piper, originally from Scanra, comes to Tortall in 246 HE. Aniki Forfrysning and Koramin Ingensra accompany him. Not even two months after his arrival, Rosto is already the new Rogue in Corus.


Life in Scanra

Rosto was likely born around 225 HE[1]. Not much is known about Rosto's social background, although it is rumored that his family were merchants or even nobility in Scanra[2]. However, this is contradicted when it became known that his mother was a Player known as the "Dancing Dove". She was considered quite beautiful and it's unknown when she died or how. Rosto later named an inn after her.[3] But no one can be sure as he doesn't use his surname anymore and is only called "the piper" because he plays the pipes well. Nothing is known about how he came to be a criminal or how he met Aniki Forfrysning and Koramin Ingensra, either.

Life in Tortall

Rising in the Court of the Rogue

Due to times of hardship in Scanra, he, Aniki, and Kora, left their home country for Tortall. They arrived in Corus, the capital, in late March of 246 HE and quickly formed ties with the Court of the Rogue of Corus, and the King, Kayfer Deerborn. Rosto accomplished this by saving Kayfer's life when Crookshank tried to stab him, earning him an esteemed place among the criminal organization[4]. Rosto didn't only make friends with criminals, as he formed an acquaintance with the young Puppy, Rebakah Cooper. Rosto, Aniki, and Kora even moved into the same lodgings as Beka, and he flirted with her quite a bit. He was miffed when she didn't respond well to his advances, as he was quite sure of himself at that point.

Rosto not only befriended Beka, but also her fellow Dogs Ersken Westover and Phelan Rapp. The latter subsequently became a member of the Court of the Rogue, too, after he quit the Provost's Guard. Phelan's decision to not only leave the Dogs but even changing his attitude towards the law might have been greatly influenced by Rosto, who talked to him the day preceding his decision.

Rosto was attacked by two brothers, who were hired by Ulsa, one of Kayfer's rushers, at the end of April of 246 HE. He managed to stay alive and kill them instead and had a new scar as a result.[5] When she learned that Rosto is still alive Ulsa gave him the position of gang-chief, showing her favor for him and trying to discourage rumors that she had a hand in the assault.[6] In early May of 246 HE he spent a night in the cages after he started a tavern fight by insulting the current Rogue and some Dogs took offense by his opponent landing in their supper[7].

The Rogue of Corus

Rosto challenged the current Rogue, Kayfer Deerborn, on May 11 of 246 HE and killed him, thus becoming the new Rogue of Corus.[8]

Rosto bought a lodging house from Mistress Trout and rebuilt it into an inn in 246 and 247 HE. In September of 247 HE the place became his new court and he named it the Dancing Dove, after his dead mother.[3] Earlier that year, in the summer, the red flux was a common disease in Corus. Rosto was one of the sick[9], although he, unlike others, survived. By autumn of 247 HE, Rosto had developed a habit in leaving gillyflowers on Beka's doorstep whenever something particularly good or bad happened to her.[10]

Beka: "You've been laying up foreign grain."
Rosto: "It's my second year as a Rogue. My newness is wearin' off. Folk are remembering I'm a stranger to Corus, to Tortall. This is a bad time for me forget it's a Rogue's duty to feed his people in hard times."
Aniki: "There's my clever lad!"
— Beka, Rosto and Aniki the day after the Bread Riot[src]

In autumn of 247 HE, the harvest wasn't going very well and there were additional rumors of mold in the crop. Rosto, following the Law of the Rogue, has been buying grain from the Copper and Yamani Islands to ensure his people are properly fed, should things get to the worst.[11]

In 247 HE, he was going "through mots like ducks through water", probably to distract himself from Beka's absence and her being with another man[12].

Physical description

Rosto is five feet ten inches (5'10") tall and muscled, although slender built. He has dark eyes, although his hair and skin are quite pale, nearly white. He has sharp bones, high cheekbones and quite a few blade scars originating from former fights. On his left eyebrow he has a Y-shaped scar. Rosto's nose is long. He has a full lower lip and a thin upper lip. In his left ear he carries an earring in the form of a silver skull and he normally has several knives on him.[1] In the time that Beka knows him Rosto acquires further scars after fights he won. One of them is the result of two brothers attacking him on Ulsa's orders[5]. Another comes from his fight against Kayfer Deerborn; a long one down one cheek.

Beka refers to him as "Scanran pretty boy" quite a few times.

Personality and traits

Rosto: "Ow. Lovey's got a bite."
Beka: "I'm not your 'lovey'. I'm not your doxie. You're six years older than me, Rosto. There's mots your age more than willing to be your flirts! And you've Aniki and Kora besides. You've white hair, you great looby!"
Rosto: "I'm blond! My hair isn't white,it's blond! Corn silk! Sun-colored! Gold!"
— Rosto and Beka after Rosto tries to thank her for telling him that Ulsa sent the two brothers who had attacked him.[src]

Rosto is polyamorous, having an affair both with Aniki and Kora in the beginning. He also likes to flirt and Beka seems to be the first woman who doesn't return his advances. In addition to this Rosto is vain, particularly in concern to his very fair hair[13].

As the Rogue he watches after his people and ensures their well-being in bad times. Even though he is greedy, he also knows that turning out false coins is counterproductive and wouldn't dare produce false silver. He's also quite clever for a Rogue and has "some kind of book-learning to go with it".[14] As opposed to Pearl Skinner he doesn't make his help or even listening to the needs of his people dependent of their bringing him gifts first, but only takes bribes in private and when people want to thank him, they just need to thank him, without any material presents.[15]


Rosto is highly adept at fighting with knives, which is not only shown by his many scars, but also by the fact that he always carries half a dozen with him.

He can also play the flute quite well, which got him his name "the Piper".[16]


Tamora Pierce based Rosto on Spike from Buffy[17]. In an interview/book signing, Pierce added that Rosto's appearance was based on that of the character "Spike" (James Marsters) from the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Terrier, April 1, 246 (p. 64)
  2. Bloodhound, September 12, 247 (p. 132)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bloodhound, September 6, 247 (p. 5)
  4. Terrier, April 2, 246 (p. 103)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Terrier, April 22, 246 (p. 351)
  6. Terrier, April 22, 246 (p. 356)
  7. Terrier, May 8, 246 (p. 425)
  8. Terrier, May 13, 246 (p. 556)
  9. Bloodhound, September 7, 247 (p. 7)
  10. Bloodhound, September 7, 247 (p. 18)
  11. Bloodhound, September 9, 247 II (p. 77)
  12. Bloodhound, September 24, 247 I (p. 469)
  13. Terrier, April 22, 246 (p. 355)
  14. Bloodhound, September 16, 247 II (p. 280)
  15. Bloodhound, September 19, 247 I (p. 397)
  16. Terrier, April 4, 246 (p. 184)
  17. Random Buzz; "Rosto is Spike?"; April 20, 2009

See also

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