Pekka was originally a rock breaker from the Wandering Isle. He came to Ketterdam in his youth after cheating his way onto a ship headed to Kerch, and from there Rollins worked his way up the ranks of the city's gangs as an enforcer until he became the leader of the Dime Lions.
About eight years prior to the start of Six of Crows, Rollins pretended to be a low-level merchant named Jakob Hertzoon for a large con. He operated out of a coffee house near the Exchange, rented a house on the Zelverstraat for a few weeks, and recruited many others to assist in the con, including a bank, a fake wife, and a fake daughter. Among the victims were Jordie and Kaz Rietveld, two farm boys new to the city. Pekka employed thirteen-year-old Jordie as a runner and convinced him to spend all of his money on a jurda investment scheme that turned out to be a scam. Penniless, the Rietveld boys were evicted onto the streets just as the Queen's Lady Plague hit Ketterdam, resulting in Jordie's death. Kaz survived and vowed to get revenge on Rollins for his role in their demise.
At some point in the coming years, Pekka fathered a son, Alby, who lived in a country home outside the city.
Six of Crows
Pekka Rollins hired the Razorgulls and the Black Tips to stop the Dregs from leaving Ketterdam at the docks of Fifth Harbor. Pekka had also been hired by Jan Van Eck to retrieve Bo Yul-Bayur from the Ice Court, and did not want the Dregs to reach Fjerda and earn the reward instead.
Rollins's team was caught, and his five teammates were staked on pikes at the ringwall of the Ice Court, tortured and barely recognizable. Pekka himself was beaten and thrown into a cell in the upper levels of the Ice Court's prison. Kaz Brekker unlocks his cell and frees him.
Back in Ketterdam at his office in the Emerald Palace, Kaz approaches Pekka and explains that he was double-crossed by Van Eck, who never had the backing of the Merchant Council for the Ice Court job, and lost Inej Ghafa. Kaz asks Pekka to deliver a message to the Ravkan capital (later revealed to be a decoy designed to distract Pekka), to which Pekka agrees. Kaz trades his shares in the Crow Club and Fifth Harbor, as well as a DeKappel oil, for two hundred thousand kruge from Pekka. Although unnerved by Kaz's intensity, Pekka agrees and, after the Crows leave his office, realizes Kaz stole his watch, wallet, tie pin, and shoe buckles.
After Kaz came to him for money, Pekka offered his assistance to Van Eck. Van Eck refused at first, until Kaz kidnapped his wife, Alys Van Eck. Pekka helped Van Eck predict Kaz's plans. He sent Dime Lions to Black Veil Island to capture Kuwei Yul-Bo and to Sweet Reef for Nina Zenik; he also hired Dunyasha Lazareva to kill Inej Ghafa. Rollins himself ambushes Kaz and Wylan in Jan Van Eck's office and monologues to Kaz about their team-up. However, Kaz breaks through the office floor with auric acid, crashing into the dining room and escaping from Rollins. Pekka has Van Eck deputize the Barrel gangs, and the Dime Lions lead a parade of the gangs across Ketterdam.
Pekka attends the auction of Kuwei Yul-Bo and deliberately stands within Kaz's line of vision. When the Council of Tides arrives and declares the auction compromised, Pekka leaves the main chapel of the Church of Barter and heads to the chapel in the pinky nave. He locks Kaz and Inej in the chapel with himself and four Dime Lions and prepares to fight Kaz. However, Kaz reveals he buried Pekka's son alive and demands Rollins remember Jordie Rietveld's name. Eventually Pekka kneels at Kaz's feet and Kaz tells him where he buried his son. Pekka runs out of Ketterdam with his men and a medik only to find his son safe and untouched in his country house.
Pekka spends the next month hiding in his country house with his son while his businesses suffer under plague quarantine. One night, he wakes up to find Inej Ghafa pinning him to his bed. She begins to cut out his heart and threatens to finish the job if he ever returns to Ketterdam. Pekka runs to check on his son, who is safely sleeping—with a crow toy in his arms rather than a lion. Frantic, Pekka orders his bodyguards to pack up and they all leave the country house.
Personality and traits
Pekka is confident and powerful, and makes sure people know it. He likes to brag about his accomplishments and once he starts talking, it is difficult to get him to stop. Pekka has great pride in his gang, the Dime Lions, as well as his Kaelish heritage. However, he loves his son, Alby, more than his reputation and power in the Barrel.
Pekka is a large man with a ruddy face. He has red hair and tufty gray sideburns. He dresses in Barrel flash—striped trousers and a maroon paisley vest, a green-striped waistcoat and emerald trousers, etc. Rollins carried a diamond-studded pocket watch and a Kaelish coin pendant for luck until Kaz Brekker stole them.
|Main Characters||Kaz Brekker • Inej Ghafa • Jesper Fahey • Nina Zenik • Matthias Helvar • Wylan Van Eck • Kuwei Yul-Bo • Jan Van Eck • Pekka Rollins|
|Minor Characters||Joost • Anya • Emil Retvenko • Councilman Hoede • Geels • Bo Yul-Bayur • Per Haskell • Tante Heleen • Jordie Rietveld • Specht • Rotty • Jarl Brum • Cornelis Smeet • Adem Bajan • Colm Fahey • Aditi Hilli • Alys Van Eck • Marya Hendriks • Zoya Nazyalensky • Sturmhond • Genya Safin • Dunyasha Lazareva • Anika • Pim • Keeg • Roeder • Karl Dryden • Jellen Radmakker|
|Locations||Ketterdam • The Barrel • Hellgate • Ice Court • Djerholm • Black Veil Island • Kerch • Fjerda • Ravka • Novyi Zem • Shu Han • Wandering Isle|
|Groups||The Dregs • Dime Lions • Black Tips • Stadwatch • Grisha • Drüskelle • The Menagerie • House of the White Rose • Merchant Council • Council of Tides • Khergud Soldiers|
|Events||Hringkälla • Hellshow • Queen's Lady Plague • Komedie Brute|
|Miscellaneous||Jurda • Jurda parem • Kefta • Indenture • Djel • Ghezen|