"...until then the boy is guilty... we must capture him before he does any more damage!"
Holis is a stooped, decrepit old man with a skinny frame. When on foot, he drapes himself in a great crimson woolen poncho. His brown skin is heavily lined, and he has long white hair growing from his temples, though his pate is bald and covered in traditional turqoise tattoos. His forearms are tattooed with black geometric lines in the style of his ancestors. Holis is cantankerous and ill-tempered, but is very protective of his small band. He is also known to distrust sorceres, though it is known to practice magic himself.
Holis is sixty years old.
Holis' ancestors were once a powerful force in the tribal politics of the plains. Though the Svord were nominally Hulun they engaged in some unusual cultural practices that set them apart from the mainstream tribe. Said to be descendedfrom an ancient northern tribe they were unusual in that they shared many common physical characteristics, being light of skin,fair of hair and blue-eyed. Protective of their bloodline, they were loathe to inter-marry with other bands, especially those of darker skin or hair.
The Svord enjoyed some prestige thanks to their high numbers of sorcerers; over the generations there influence over the territory north of the Great River waned and they were ultimately overtaken by the more cosmopolitan but equally magically inclined Beyond-the-River Clan.
When Holis was a boy the remaining Svord bands migrated south and integrated with the Hulun bands found there. During G'heeg's reign they were a marginal presenceand suffered greatly at the hands of the tyrant. Holis' father brokered a treaty with K'harg, seeing hope in Fanwé for their clan. Following the Battle of Rem Holis saw his band further marginalised and its influence over Hulun affairs decline to practically nothing. Holis has always blamed Fanwé and those bands north of the river for this, and slowly developed a hatred for sorceres, whom he believes form a secret cabal that rule over the Hulun.
Holis' paranoia was one of the main catalysts of the Night of the Flames. As the remaining Svord migrated across the plains, they spread conspiracy theories concerning the activites of Getha and Alek. A mysterious disease amongst the auroch herd and an unusually high rate of infant mortality that year were all apparently a plot by the Beyond-the-River Clan orchestrated by witches and black magic practioners. The resulting witch hunt cost many lives- including that of Marek's mother - led to many bitter reprisals and all-out war between many bands. The elder Anna lost her husband Lek during one such skirmish, and has always held Holis responsible.
Holis has attempted to maintain the purity of the Svord line but over the years his band have dwindled to one hundred or so. During the winter prior to the events of Warriors of the Plains he was forced to petition Fanwé for assistance, and she and K'harg reluctantly permitted the band to temporarily merge with theirs. Members of Holis' band include Nina and Melor .
Role in the Story so FarEdit
Holis was the most vocal critic of Marek in the aftermath of the burning of his father's tent. He comforted Nina following Fanwé's mild interrogation. He was part of the rear-guard of Bundu's column as they travelled to the ford at the River Ur.