Born to a PRIVILEGED higher standing family, many had HIGH EXPECTATIONS of the only child of the Cunningrow estate. See, the Cunningrows were well-received & wealthy in Nohr due to their main trade export: weaponry. They gladly PROFITED off the constant warring Nohr participated in, whether it was through designing newer, more gruesome weapons, mass production of tomes & staves, & brilliant tactical advice alike. When Roman was born into the family, it was more of an accident than it was a PURPOSEFUL conception. His parents, luckily, could easily afford to pay off others to raise the child, dumping the RESPONSIBILITY to generously paid strangers.
Roman was a STRANGE youth. The boy typically kept to himself & often created a whirlwind of PROBLEMS for those raising him. Nannies flew in & out of the Cunningrow's revolving doors as his antics worsened. Sometimes he'd hide a jar full of spiders in a nursemaid's sheets, or plant skinned rodents in their pockets. If this had been a plea for ATTENTION from his parents, it was not heeded, as he was soon sent to Uncle Taltero's home, residing close to the Northern fortress in Windmire. Uncle Taltero is strict, they said, he'll sort you out for good.
Uncle participated in the FAMILY TRADE, yes, but he also was a GENERAL in the Nohr Kingdom's army. A close friend of his appeared to be Hans. Roman did NOT like it when Hans visited. Uncle Taltero, the brother of Roman's mother, seemed ABHORRENT towards the family business of selling the weapons. To him, the "greatest weapon" was the soldier themselves, & for the spoiled Cunningrows to sit upon a throne of money without dirtying their hands in battle disgusted him. Therefore, he taught Roman how to wield a blade, rather than educate him on the runnings of a business.
True to his parents' words, Taltero was a terrifying drill sergeant, treating Roman harshly. However, nothing could have prepared him for the TREATMENT he received. Bruisings were sustained over Roman's ivory skin, CRIMSON stained many of his fancy coats, & these afflictions were not always from swordplay or practice. Fingerprints remained embedded upon his constricted throat & his uncle gladly received more than just MONEY as payment for ever-so graciously taking "good care" of his nephew. It took the loss of Roman's right eye for the boy to realize he needed to take a chance & flee this abusive place.
There weren't many skills he possessed, save for the TRAINING his uncle gave him. Seeing as they were already positioned so close to the Nohrian stronghold fortress, Roman applied for the MILITARY. Due to his name, he got in relatively easily, managing to gain in prestige due to both bribery & offering other soldiers certain... favors.
Roman remains a source of RUMORS. Theories surrounding the story behind his eyepatch, or the cruel MALEVOLENCE he carries himself with, or even his complete lack of regard for other human beings, continue to circle around the barracks. Roman himself might feed into these hushed utterings, telling different stories to different people to keep everyone guessing.