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Oswald is the leader of the Barbarians, and the quinary antagonist of Ryse: Son of Rome.


Oswald was praised as a great warrior, his skill in battle was second to none, as was his intelligence. It was his cunning that won him the throne at the heart of the barbarian army.

Oswald's people lived in peace for many years under Roman rule, until the Emperor Nero's son, General Commodus, and his brother Basillius was named governor of Britannia and began a tyrannical and bloody reign. Some time thereafter, all of Britannia rose up in rebellion against the Roman subjugation, and the revolt was spearheaded by Oswald and his warrior daughter Boudica.

The rebellion was initially successful, seizing Roman controlled lands in tandem with slaughtering the Romanized populace and at some point annihilated the Roman Fourth Legion and mutilated their bodies.


Despite its initial success, the rebellion suffered it's first major defeat at theBattle for Dover, when even after seizing the castle and siege-weaponry intact, the Britons failed to repel the Roman Fourteenth Legion's landing, which had arrived to crush the rebellion.

In the wake of the defeat at Dover, Oswald gathered his army and intended to march on the Roman controlled city of York, where Commodus' capitol resided. Commodus however, eager for glory, led a small squad from the Sixth Legion out to meet Oswald before he could reach York, and the Sixth was effectively eliminated and Commodus was captured by Oswald. Oswald then traded Commodus to Glott, the Horned King of the northern lands, so that Commodus would be sacrificed in retribution for his evil deeds.

Captured by the Fourteenth

Oswald appears for the first time in Chapter IV. Some time after capturing Commodus, Oswald and his army have regrouped at his throne, which by this time lay in the shadow of a new Roman aqueduct that sat incomplete, the site of the very battle in which the Roman Fourth Legion was slaughtered. By this time, the Fourteenth Legion led by Commander Vitallion had progressed its campaign deep into the rebel heartland, defeating Oswald's forces in numerous battles. As the Fourteenth approached the Fourth's last known position at the aqueduct, Vitallion learned that Oswald's throne was located in the adjacent hill, and also learned that another rebel army approached to rally with Oswald's current force in preparation to assault York. Vitallion, knowing the ensuing battle would cost the lives of many more Roman soldiers, hatched a plan to capture Oswald and force a peace settlement on the rebels in order to secure their King's release. And so he tasked his protégé, Centurion Marius Titus, with the honor of capturing Oswald.

Marius and his force successfully capture the aqueduct while Vitallion and the greater Fourteenth delay the approaching army. Marius then leads his men to storm the hill, and breaches Oswald's throne in the face of heavy resistance. When Marius identifies Oswald and calls out to him, Oswald scolds the Centurion for desecrating the temple with his presence, and his honor guard converge on the lone Centurion who kills them all. When all other barbarians have fallen, Boudica, who was bested in an earlier confrontation with Marius, appears from seemingly out of nowhere to kill the Centurion, but Marius quickly knocks her down and disarms her. Marius readies to deliver a death blow to Boudica, and demands Oswald to surrender, or he would end the King's bloodline, and Oswald cries out for the fighting to cease as he drops his sword and submits.

Confrontation With Basillius

After repelling the second rebel army, the Fourteenth proceeds on to York with Oswald and Boudica in custody, and Vitallion brings the rebel leaders to Basillius, the Emperor's second son and Commodus' brother. Basilius demands to know what has become of his brother, but Oswald refuses, and states that Commodus deserves the fate that awaits him. Basilius then turns his attention to Boudica, and orders his men to "Flog her until he talks, or she dies. Whichever comes first." And Oswald cries out, resulting in Vitallion attempting to dissuade Basilius, who angrily draws a dagger and proclaims that he does whatever he likes, and readies the blade to kill Boudica. Oswald cries out once again and begs Basilius to spare his daughter, and he would tell him everything. Oswald then confesses that Commodus was traded to the Horned King, then goes into an ominous monologue intent on striking fear into the Romans;

"You will find your chieftain in darkness beyond the wall, where the lowering barren mountains tower above black, bottomless lochs. Horned men from ancient times roam this land, and of those who venture there, few returns".
-Oswald to Commodus

Murder and the fall of York

Oswald appears for the final time in Chapter VI. In exchange for their king's freedom, the rebels have agreed to submit once again to Roman rule and Oswald has agreed to swear and oath to Rome, one that his sense of honor would prevent him from breaking; that he would renounce his rebellion and only fight to secure peace between his people and Rome. He then addresses Commodus;

"Highness Commodus, all we ask is that my people are treated with fairness. Treated as equals. So that all may live in peace".
-Oswald to Commodus

And at that, he kneels before Commodus in submission. Commodus then retrieves a dagger with the emperor's seal from a chest, presumably to present it to Oswald as a token of their alliance, describing it as an extension of the emperor's will. He smiles as he tells Oswald to embrace him, and after a moment of hesitation Oswald smiles back and concedes. Just as it appears they have made peace, Commodus stabs Oswald in the back repeatedly, all the while screaming "How dare you". Oswald falls to the ground as Commodus continues stabbing him, and before Oswald dies Commodus coarsely says "You see what happens when you defy me?". The Britons within the city are outraged at the betrayal, and a riot ensues as Commodus demand that they all kneel before him. Boudica manages to escape, and as word of Oswald's death spreads, the rebel army outside the city begin to storm the walls and swiftly seize the city, ending the Roman occupation of Britannia.


Boudica would later gather the armies of every barbarian tribe throughout the known world that opposed Rome to avenge her father's death and launched a massive invasion of the Empire, bringing the battle to the very streets of Rome before finally being defeated.


During the story, it is clearly stated that Oswald leads his army to attack York and is met by Commodus and the Sixth Legion, defeating the Sixth in the ensuing battle. However, in the Chronicle found throughout Chapter IV, Oswald suddenly appears one morning in the forest just outside of York and Commodus eagerly leads just a single cavalry unit in an attempt to quickly capture Oswald and is ambushed and captured.


Oswald's character model is available as a costume for the multiplayer gladiator with the purchase of the corresponding DLC, however, the attire is somewhat altered as it does not include Oswald's fur cape, and now includes a full-faced horned helmet that Oswald is never seen wearing during the story.