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James Thorvald was described as tall, blond, and broad. He was descended from the original group of Verthandian colonists and he had held a seat on the planet's Council of Academicians before Verthandi was ceded to House Kurita in 3015. His agitation against the new leadership caused him to be outlawed, and his home estate of Thorvaldfast was subsequently destroyed. He became "General" Thorvald and relocated to the Silvan Basin, instigating a series of raids on Kuritan bases and outposts for supplies.
At Odds with the Gray Death
|“|| If your people get killed and your 'Mechs get shot up, we're not paying your bill. That's for the record!
-James Thorvald displays his animosity towards Grayson Carlyle. 
When Thorvald decided to stage a night assault on Regis, he brushed aside Carlyle's protests that the Verthandian rebel army was nowhere near ready for such an undertaking. Thorvald believed that a single operation would defeat the Kuritan leadership, and refused to change his mind. He accused Carlyle of obstruction and ordered that his mercenary command remain behind at Fox Island.
The Assault on Regis
His planned diversion - a warehouse fire set in nighttime Regis, to distract Kuritan satellite surveillance - was a complete failure. One of the rebels sent to start the fire was captured, and he revealed the attack plan under interrogation.
When the Verthandian rebels commenced their attack upon Regis University, the Combine forces were waiting for them. The assault was turned into a wholesale slaughter, and Thorvald's BattleMech was brought down with heavy damage.
Death and Legacy
By the time the 'Mechs of the Gray Death Legion - disobeying Thorvald's directives - arrived to help extract the rebels, Thorvald's Warhammer had been immobilized. Realizing that he had been mistaken, Thorvald handed command over to Grayson Carlyle. He continued to fire his 'Mech's remaining weapons at the oncoming Kuritan forces, distracting them long enough for Carlyle to pull the surviving rebels out of the battle zone.
|“|| You can't help me... but I'll try to buy you some time.
-Thorvald refuses Carlyle's offer of rescue. 
James Thorvald died at the controls of his machine when it finally exploded.
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 110, Thorvald's actions against the occupation forces
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 117-118, Description of Thorvald's BattleMech
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 113, Thorvald criticizes Carlyle's actions at Hunter's Cape
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 113
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 135-136, Thorvald disregards Carlyle's warnings
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 141, Thorvald orders Carlyle to stay out of the upcoming battle
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 142-144, The Verthandian rebels suffer setbacks on the march to Regis
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 146-148, The rebels encounter further delays due to difficult ground
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 148-151, Governor-General Nagumo is informed of the rebels' plan
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 155-158, The rebel attack force is ambushed
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 164-166, Thorvald acts as a diversion
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 165
- Mercenary's Star, pp. 168-169, Thorvald's BattleMech is destroyed by the Kuritans