We’re newcomers all the same. Let’s sweat and improve together as friends.
- —―Rean's intro quote, Trails of Cold Steel III
We'll cut our own path.
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 from 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.
But as time passed, Rean felt more distant about being a burden to his adoptive family and himself. To discover his own path, he decides to enroll into the empire's prestigious Thors Military Academy where he was eventually selected to be part of Class VII, the academy's new curriculum which is neutrally divided between the commoners and nobles. As the seasons passed, youth blossomed and new possibilities came to Rean from the time 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.
In addition from exploring the Old Schoolhouse, Rean gradually comes to terms with himself and the "power" within him until Class VII discovered the ancient archaism in the school's deepest recesses. A humanoid doll called "Valimar, the Ashen Knight", where Class VII became its contractors and Rean as the main "Awakener" after clearing its trials per unlocked dungeon. It was a force proven vital when the Erebonian Civil War broke out, but Rean accustomed the Knight to his own extension with the help of Class VII, the Courageous crew, and the entire Thors student body.
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 war, the annexation of Crossbell State and the 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. To preserve Thors' spirit and Class VII's promise, Rean decides to pursue becoming an "instructor" at the newly established "Thors Military Academy - Leeves II Campus", and teaching his own Class VII for the Empire's true future.
|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 who wields the katana sword, and trains by one of the four renown sword style techniques, the Eight Leaves One Blade style in the series franchise.
- Although he does not join any club, helping the student council with general affairs. He is, however, unofficially part of the fishing club's activities, as optional to the player.
- Like Joshua Bright, both are adopted orphans whose origins are to-be-revealed in the series.
- It is later revealed that the two share the same origins.