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Samuel Aylward was a retired sergeant in the British Special Air Service. He had served under Sir Nigel Loring and knew both Alleyne Loring and John Hordle. After receiving an inheritance from his father, he decided to travel the world. He was hiking in the Cascade Mountains when the Change occurred.
Sam mistook the fires he could see in the distance in Portland to be the result of a nuclear war. Aylward fell and dislocated his shoulder, becoming entangled in a fallen tree at the same time. He was waiting for a coyote to attack him when he was rescued by Juniper Mackenzie, Dennis Martin and other Mackenzies. Juniper recognized Sam as an asset when he revealed himself to be a qualified archer and bowyer.
When the Clan was faced with violance from a mob demanding some of its food stores, Sam shot a man who threatened Juniper. After Juniper became convinced that her clan needed a military force, she appointed Aylward as First Armsman of the Clan.
Sam was notified that a sheep had been stolen. He called out a party to look for the sheep and found some refugees who had earlier been rescued by Eilir Mackenzie, other Dúnedain Rangers and members of Clan Mackenzie. One of the refugees offered some documents she had taken from Baron Eddie Liu's office. Sam determined that the documents were a form of Altendorf substitution code. Sam later led one of the party of the raid into the Barony of Molalla during which Mathilda Arminger was captured.
Sam guides one of the military leaders to a on a spot o the river where Protectorate military and bandits are kidnapping Corvallan citizens. Their revelation of this to a meeting of the main leaders of the main groups, including Sandra Arminger, changes the outcome somewhat toward Covallis accepting that the Protectorate is a real threat.
In two key battles, first with part of the Protectorate troops heading to besiege Sutterdown, and then later with the main Protectorate Force besieging Mr. Angel, Sam helps lead the Mackensies to victory.
Sam observed a training exercise in his role as an advisor to Oak Barstow.
Sam welcome his son Edain home and pointed out the High King's honor guard. Sam offered to introduce him to the archers, but Edain declined, saying he could never be in charge if he needed an introduction.