Rolande de la Courcel, Dauphin of Terre d'Ange, was the son of King Ganelon. Anafiel Delaunay was his consort. He was married to Isabel L'Envers and they had a daughter, Ysandre. Rolande died in the Battle of Three Princes.
Rolande was tall, and fit from time spent wielding a sword. He had black hair, blue eyes, and the straight eyebrows found in many members of House Courcel.
Because he died before the series begins, Rolande never appears in the series. He does, however, appear in the prequel short story "You, and You Alone."
Rolande studied at the university in Tiberium during his youth. He was accompanied by several male companions, including Barquiel L'Envers and Gaspar Trevalion. It was during this time that Rolande met Anafiel Delaunay, then known as Anafiel de Montreve. Rolande attended a poetry reading given by Delaunay and the attraction between them was immediate. They became lovers that night. Their dalliance continued throughout their time in Tiberium. Eventually Rolande was recalled back to Terre d'Ange and sent to the Skaldi border. While there Delaunay revealed his involvement in the Unseen Guild and Rolande became angry with him for keeping secrets from him. This caused a rift to form in their relationship.
Rolande courted Edmee de Rocaille and became betrothed to her. Edmee was a close friend of Delaunay's and knew of his relationship with Rolande. Unfortunately Isabel L'Envers, who'd been another contender for Rolande's hand, was bitterly jealous of Edmee. She arranged for Edmee's saddle girth to be cut, causing her to fall from her horse and die during a royal hunt. Delaunay was certain that Isabel was to blame, but Rolande would not hear it. Isabel successfully played on his grief over Edmee and convinced him to marry her. Rolande became furious with Delaunay over his suspicions and they ended their relationship.
When Delaunay wrote his poem blaming Isabel for Edmee's death, Rolande was angry. Isabel wanted Delaunay banished, but Rolande protected him from any punishment other than having his poetry banned. After Ysandre's birth, Rolande sought out Delaunay to make amends, asking him to swear on his ring to protect Ysandre. They made up and resumed their relationship once more. This drove a wedge between Rolande and Isabel and they drifted apart.
At the Battle of the Three Princes, Rolande shared command with his uncle Prince Benedicte and Percy de Somerville. He was given command of the vanguard, with the other commanders taking the flanks. He led the third charge, rushing far ahead of his men. They were waylaid helping his standard bearer, whose horse snapped a leg. Rolande was surrounded by Skaldi, dragged from his horse, and killed. Delaunay and the others arrived too late to save him.
Delaunay remained devoted to Rolande long after his death. He never slept with another man until Alcuin and he chose to honor his vow to protect Ysandre, which eventually led to his own death.
Rolande was noble, honorable and dutiful, but with a certain rash streak. He was also deeply romantic, as evidenced by his relationship with Delaunay. He was a charismatic leader and had the respect of the men he commanded. He had Alcuin's father court martialed for getting his mother pregnant and leaving her. Delaunay believed that had Rolande lived, he'd have been an excellent king.
Delaunay was the love of Rolande's life. They were extremely devoted to each other during their relationship and it is likely Rolande would not have been with anyone else if he weren't obligated to marry. Even when Rolande was furious with him over the poem, he stood up to his father and protected Delaunay from further consequences.
Rolande got on well with Edmee. She knew of his relationship with Delaunay and was very supportive of them. By contrast, Isabel was bitterly jealous of their relationship and hated Delaunay immensely. Rolande was very taken with her initially, but then grew to suspect Delaunay's accusations were correct. By the end of his life, relations between them had turned bitter.