Rean Schwarzer is the central protagonist of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel tetralogy. He is one of the lead protagonists of the Trails Series. He is a member and unofficial leader of Thors Military Academy's Class VII, and the adopted son of Baron Teo Schwarzer, and unique for having been raised a noble, despite not inheriting any noble blood. After the events of Trails of Cold Steel II, he becomes Erebonia's civil war hero renowned as the "Ashen Chevalier".
Rean is a young man with unkempt black (usually has a blue tint) hair and light fuchsia eyes. His hair remains the same style for the duration of the trilogy. Despite appearing slightly different, the developers stated that it is the clothes which make him appear that way. In his summer uniform, he wear a right-handed fingerless glove said to be bought by Alisa.
In Trails of Cold Steel, he wears the standard special Thors Military Academy crimson uniform for his class, consisting of the blazer style as differentiated from Elliot and Gaius.
In Trails of Cold Steel II, Rean wears some casual clothes as his civil war outfit. It consists of a red jacket with a black shirt underneath, blue jeans with a belt, and brown boots. In Trails of Cold Steel III, Rean wears the Leeves instructor's uniform in the style of a long white overcoat while sporting some black clothing underneath, possibly in honor of his late rival and friend Crow Armbrust.
Rean has a positive, friendly attitude and a tendency to help people in need. His classmates and friends often describe him as a leader, but he constantly rejects those claims. He is highly knowledgeable when it comes to sword arts, and has good instincts, which are usually displayed during the class field trips. He always put others before himself, to the point where Jusis has claimed this aspect of him as "abnormal".
Despite seemingly putting on a happy front, he feels that he's never good enough, and decides to distance himself from his family because he fears he's a burden to them. He has described himself as a droput of the Eight Leaves One Blade style, which initially dismayed Laura. Victor claims he is constantly holding back when fighting. This complex stems from his ogre form, which Rean initially struggles to control but eventually learns to comes to grip with.
He deeply cares about his sister and has stated that he will not just let "any man be with her." Despite this, he is completely oblivious to her feelings for him. He is surprisingly competitive, and enjoys fishing and snowboarding.
As the primary main character, Rean becomes involved with establishing relationships with any of the playable party characters within the limited free periods throughout the story. This function remains in all instalments to the sub-series.
Abandoned in the snow as a child, Rean was found and adopted by Baron Teo Schwarzer and his family. Rean doesn't have any recollection of life before adoption. It's unknown whether he's originally a commoner or a noble, a fact that ostracizes the Schwarzer family from the noble society. Despite not being blood-related, the Schwarzer family has raised and loved him like a real son regardless being ostracized from the other nobles.
Trails of Cold Steel I
- —―Rean intro quote, Trails of Cold Steel
Rean enrolled into the prestigious military school Thors to discover his own path. He was eventually selected as a member of a socio-political experiment class: Class VII along with other first year students with different backgrounds, social classes, and social standings. As the seasons passed, youth blossomed and new possibilities came to Rean from the time he spent with his classmates. Through bumpy starts from orientation to the school festival, Rean and Class VII have opened up towards each other through the cross-cultural exchange of their ethnic backgrounds while also learning about Erebonia's reality between the conflicting Noble and Reformist factions.
After completing the last trial of the Old Schoolhouse, Rean became the Awakener of the Divine Knight named Valimar. But his end of schooldays was not that great when the tensions inside their country ran rampant after the destruction of Garrelia Fortress and eventually the assassination of Chancellor Gilliath Osborne which has started the October Campaign or Erebonian Civil War.
Trails of Cold Steel II
We'll cut our own path.
- —―Rean intro quote, Trails of Cold Steel II
After the occupation of Trista and the military academy, Rean woke up at the Canyon of the Eisengard range one month after the start of the civil war. He and the rest of his class were then reunited at Celdic, Nord Highlands, Legram, and Bareahard. He later became the center of the third faction along with Valimar and his classmates as they sought to end the war in their own objectives by not aligning into the political ambitions of the Noble Alliance or the Reformist Faction. There objectives were assisted mostly by the RMP, the 3rd and 4th Armored Division and made numerous successful campaigns at the capture of Twin Dragons Bridge, Aurochs Fort, Bareahard, Nord Highland, Sachsen Iron Mine, Roer, Celdic, and Trista.
Upon the climax against the Vermillion Apocalypse, victory seemed at hand when the war was finally over but left a distasteful satisfaction for Rean from a plotting twist of events and remembering a "shocking revelation" to his origins.
Afterwards, he was heralded as the war hero known as the "Ashen Chevalier" for his "contributions" to the end of Erebonian Civil War. Rean lead the Noble Alliance's Soldat platoons in defending the Crossbell State from the Calvard Republic Army as the Erebonia starts annexing the State. He also contributed to the annexation of North Ambria State later on.
After Class VII's graduation while he stayed behind, Rean continued to follow the "government's orders" taking one step earnestly in honor of a good friend. Time passed for Rean as he observed the dramatic changes to the Empire even to the academy itself after his late graduation.
Trails of Cold Steel III
We’re newcomers all the same. Let’s sweat and improve together as friends.
- —―Rean's intro quote, Trails of Cold Steel III
To preserve Thors' spirit and Class VII's promise, Rean decided to pursue as an "instructor" at the newly established "Thors Military Academy - Leeves II Campus", and teaching his own Class VII for the Empire's true future. He reunited with the original Class VII in his time while the midst of another disaster is looming inside empire once again.
At the ending events of the 3rd series, he rescued the then taken Altina Orion at Gral Erebos orchestrated by Chancellor Osborne, her creator Black Alberich (Franz Reinford), and Crown Prince Cedric Reise Arnor. She was revealed as an Oz, in short for Originator Zero, and the final model design commissioned to be slaughtered or sacrificed to the hands of the Nameless One and brought out the Great Twilight. However Millium Orion, who is also an Oz, sacrificed her own life to save her "sister" and rean instead
Feeling his weakness and inability to stop the calamity instead, Rean plummeted into the fullness of his hatred and his Ogre power overwhelmed his control affecting Valimar plunging and killing the Nameless One with Sword of Demise.
|Year 1, Class VII, Unaffiliated|
|A young man who is part of Class VII. Easygoing, honest, polite, and sociable.|
|Secret||Achieved beginner rank in the Eight Leaves One Blade school. He is also the adopted son of Ymir's Baron Schwarzer.|
|Devoted Brother||He has a non-blood-related younger sister, Elise, who attends St. Astraia. Very dedicated to her.|
|Power||Rean occasionally exhibits a beast-like power when he loses control of himself. He has feared that since he was a child.|
|Year 1, Class VII, Unaffiliated|
|The Ashen Knight's Awakener. Adopted son of Baron Schwarzer. Intermediate level at the Eight Leaves One Blade style.|
|Departure||He resolved to travel the Empire in order to reunite with his classmates and rescue Elise and Princess Alfin.|
|Spirit Unification||Speaking with Princess Alfin, he finally realized what he lacked and learned to control the ogre power within him.|
|Famous Hero||After the war ended, he became known as the Ashen Chevalier, the hero who helped to end the war.|
Trails of Cold Steel
- "自分の”道”を見つける ー まずはそこからだ."
I'll find my path - starting from there
- ——Rean's intro quote
- The name Schwarzer in German means "the black one".
- A second name used in German-speaking countries, except for Rean.
- The names of his family members also have German origin and the Japanese version pronunciation are also closer to German than to English or other languages.
- He is the first Trails lead protagonist to actually wield a sword, using a tachi style blade specifically, and trains by the Eight Leaves One Blade school of swordsmanship. It also marks him as the fifth known practitioner of the style after Cassius Bright, Arios MacLaine, Alan Richard, and Anelace Elfead.
- Additionally, Rean is currently the longest running lead protagonist of the franchise, having been featured as a main protagonist for over three games now and is currently slated to be the main lead of the fourth Cold Steel game as well.
- Although he does not join any club, Rean ends up frequently helping the student council with general affairs and thus can be considered as an unofficial member. He is also unofficially part of the fishing club's activities as optional to the player.
- Rean's character bears slight similarities to Joshua Bright, both physically and in terms of backstory as orphans with mysterious origins who were adopted into loving families.