Duke Darkwood's certainly an imposing figure, tall and whipcord lean, his tanned skin a mesh of scars even magical healing couldn't hide. His hair is long, bound back with a leather thong, and almost silver to match his eyes. He might have been handsome, but years of hard living - too many broken noses and too many cares - have left his features furrowed and craggy. Except during the most formal occasions of state, he dresses in the plain, homespun, workmanlike clothes of a common ranger. Yet even in the most common garb, the duke is nothing if not striking.
Where Erin Montgomery is charming, persuasive, and well settled into the how of things in Sigil, Rowan comes across as a hard-headed basher. He's shooting up like a skyrocket and isn't too concerned about who he ruffles on the way. Thinking about it - that alone gives him all the qualities to be the factol of the Fated. The reason he can get away with it is just because he does - there ain't many berks out there willing to challenge him straight up.
Rowan's every inch the self-made man, and there's parts of his life that he'll boastfully tell a cutter about. Although he usually gives his home as Toril, the truth is he was born on Oerth as the third son of a petty noble. There weren't any prospects for him there, so his first act in creating himself was to go out and learn the ranger's trade - hardly the calling for nobility of any rank. Still, he did good by it and eventually set himself up a small fief, thus living up to his family's name.
All that ended in a magical mishap with a deck of cards. For reasons he won't say, it earned him the hatred of a lieutenant of Baator's Dark Eight, who eventually caught him and did something to him. Rowan never talks about what happened to him, but bloods with good memories from Oerth report that he vanished for more than a decade, and a few planar bashers remember seeing him in the lower reaches of the Great Ring. When Rowan finally returned, he found that Oerth had changed, and his old life was long gone.
That would've done in most sods, but Rowan wasn't the type to stay still. He'd seen the planes and they fascinated him, so he learned the ways of getting around and set out to adventure in the multi-verse. To hear him tell it (in his most convincing bluster), he drank from Mimir's well, was Heimdall's right hand, and single-handedly saved Ysgard from total destruction. Whether it's true or not, somewhere along the way he became a priest of that power and rose quickly through the ranks. Certainly his adventures were enough to literally remake himself until he was stronger, fitter, indeed better in almost every way than those around him.
Primes from Toril pick up his trail from there, for someone matching his type was supposed to have helped crush the witch-king of Vaasa in the Bloodstone wars. The Duke never said it was true, although he admits the connection to Vaasa, but he never denied it, either. It's quite possible he rebuilt himself again, this time as a High Priest and noble lord in that northern region.
Now it seems that Duke Darkwood's found Sigil. He's only been in the Cage for about a year, but already he's staked his claim to the leadership of the Fated. Passionate about the cause of good and the glory of Heimdall, Rowan seems determined to carve himself a new fief in the very heart of Sigil. Given what he's already done, who's to tell him it's impossible?
The Duke's a driven man, both to his credit and his harm. He believes in good and he cares for people, but he's also obsessed with success. He can't accept obstacles, rules, or limits, so he's always trying to push further than anyone else. For all his wit and wisdom, he's not the negotiating type - action suits him more than words. He'll gladly break those he thinks deserve it, and he has few qualms about steam-rolling any opposition. In Sigil he's made almost as many enemies as friends, and it doesn't seem to matter.