Name: Dylan Drashalov
Dylan has an overall slickness to his features. His skin is oily and a shade darker than is usually scene in Marn, perhaps noting an origin lying in the East or to the far south. His face is broad and flat, with high, sharp cheekbones and a nose that hardly protrudes from his face. His longish black hair, tied up in a stylish, Eastern style bun under his helmet while on duty, is thick and coarse.
His body is far less typical than the strapping and gilded youths that fill out the Guard. Dylan is quick instead of fast, agile instead of strong. He is moderately well muscled from Guard life. Hours of practice and application with his bow and dagger have leaned out his middle and arms and thickened it with lithe muscle. He has a swimmer’s build and is narrow boned, his chest nigh hairless and his beard scant. He is not the type of Guard to cow fiddle-footed ruffians in a tavern brawl, but more the type to intimidate and glower over an interrogation table.
He has mild gray eyes that appear cool and collected. They go well with his soft voice, often lost amidst the chatter and bawling of his fellow Guard. Dylan’s smile appears false to even the most casual observer, almost shark-like.
Dylan wields an old steel dagger at his hip as a sidearm. His primary weapon is a standard issue bow. His quiver is slung around his back. His equipment is rounded out by his guard uniform.
Dylan is just starting out in the guard and does not have much in the way of personal belongings or saved money. His childhood farm in Shim belongs to his family.
Powers or Strengths:
Dylan is by far a better detective than he is a soldier. He is more at home outwitting an opponent than defeating him at arms. When he does apply force, he prefers it to be after only careful investigation so the attack or defense comes at precisely the correct moment. He prefers to see himself as an investigator than one who deals out clouts on the ear to rowdy drunks, although of course he does fair share of that too. Therefore, Dylan possess a keen, shrewd intellect, and a gift for detecting lies, emotions, and patterns in the behavior of others. He is particularly gifted at sensing weakness in others, and exploiting it.
He possess enough skill at arms to get by at his every day, rough and tumble life in the Guard. As he’s fond of saying, citizens often don’t need an expert display with a sword to fall into line, merely a touch on the hilt. However, on the rare occasion that he has had to draw his dagger to defend the law of Marn, he has proven himself an adept combatant. He merely prefers more intellectual methods. He has enough skill with his dagger to disarm an opponent and enough with his bow to hit a target in the practice yard, but that is the extent of his martial prowess. He is fond of saying that quill and inkpot can slay a foe more surely than sword and shield.
Though he is not physically intimidating, Dylan has a talent for manipulating events and people as he sees fit. He possess both natural cunning and book smarts.
Weaknesses and Flaws:
Dylan is extremely inflexible in his thinking and lifestyle. He himself considers it a strength, however it has proven more than once to be his undoing. He is stubborn and hardheaded to a fault, to the point of never admitting wrongdoing.
Dylan is also heavy handed with the citizens of Marn and his underlings, if he ever has any. He is little loved in the barracks and on the streets.
As a child of Shim, Dylan and the Drashalov family are often looked down on by the more well-to-do circles of Marn. This has drastically hindered Dylan in his obsessive social climbing. As a Loyalist, he has more than once dealt with ministers and their families and felt their haughty gazes. Instead of accepting his place for the time being, Dylan tends to be self important and resent the simpler things in life. To his fellows in the guard he is pretentious, and to the social circle he is trying to reach he is an upjumped farmer. Neither treat him well.
Though he would never admit it, Dylan joined the Guard and specifically the Omnebryn Loyalists for a multitude of sadistic reasons. He enjoys inflicting emotional pain on others. This has stopped him from making any deep connections with another being, beyond the confines of his work. With those he does work with, Dylan has earned a begrudging respect for his hard nosed work ethic and single minded tenacity. However, while he has the respect of his superiors and contemporaries alike, they think him more than passing strange and not yet upper echelon material. His being from Shim is also not helping his career.
Dylan also possess a dangerous flaw in his line of work, a lack of a skill at arms. He has absorbed training and the tactical awareness that comes with it well. But he is a commander, not a swordsman. For someone beginning their career at the lower levels of the Guard this could severely affect him in a street fight.
At such an early stage of his career and development in the Guard, Dylan also has trouble thinking outside of the box. Independent thought is not especially valued at this stage in his life, and he resents it but follows suit.
Dylan was born on the Drashalov farm in Shim. His family was slightly more well to do than most in the tiny town. They were gentlemen-farmer types, the manner of family that employed farmhands and had commerce with upper-crust folks in Marn.
The family raised sheep, pigs, and some cattle. It also raised children, who were afforded little luxury. Though he had enough money to hire a dozen hands, Dylan’s father Draven still awoke at dawn, as if he was still a hired hand himself. Dylan was pressed into service along with his brothers at an early age. He hated the dreary toil, the ceaseless mud and filth and grime of the farm.
If it wasn’t for his mother Drusilla seeing that her youngest son received an education in books as well as the soil Dylan believed he might have turned out just like his brothers: unending work, marriage to a local maiden of another prominent farming family, staking out a farm on their own, and inevitable death.
Drusilla not only made sure that her favorite son read the works of monks concerning Puradyne and Theogios but works from other lands as well. The family had come from somewhere far away a long time ago, Drusilla had told Dylan at an early age. Somewhere to the east or southwest. This all resulted in an unusually well-read farm boy who could quote not only the laws of Marn but some works of Eyropa and Tian Xia, as well.
As Dylan grew, a resentment settled in his father toward his youngest son and never left. The boy resembled Draven’s own brother too much, a man who was in fact Dylan’s namesake. The rest of the Drashalovs were big boned farm folk, not seeking refinement despite their genteel status. Refinement and manners were for the city, not for the hardscrabble farms of Shim where work meant the difference between life and death.
Before long, Dylan found his duties more relegated to the keeping of his family’s books and finances. He relished the new challenge. Once he had learned sums and ledgers as well as planting crops and wrangling cattle, however, it quickly became a new kind of tedious hell for him. By that age, however, the lad’s natural shrewdness began to show itself.
The small town of Shim was embroiled in scandal one day when a valuable load of exotic lotus roots was hijacked just outside of town. The vegetables came from Tian Xia, in the important elf trading town of Guang wa. A crime such as this could spell future trouble for trade, that Shim was a place of brigands and not a quiet farm town.
While others goggled and kicked the dirt in bewilderment, Dylan quickly investigated. The merchant was demanding concessions from Shim in the form of their freshest crops and Bishani. The bumbling farm clods in Shim were awed by the elf merchant from the exotic East and planned to meet his demands.
Only Dylan noticed how threadbare and ragged the elf’s splendid clothes were, and how the wounds he had suffered in the “attack” were minor and not life threatening. On a moonless night Dylan used his father’s spindly horse to ride out and examine the scene of the attack, in the Plains. There were foot prints in the sand and scrub, and a scattering of arrows and quarrels. Kneeling to examine an expelled arrow, Dylan’s suspicions were confirmed when the shaft nearly snapped in his hand. The arrowhead itself was rusted and dull.
With the arrow as proof, Dylan was able to prove that the attack had been feigned. Faced with the rawboned and brawny and now suspicious farmers, the elf quickly relented that he had staged the attack in order to bilk Shim out of whatever he could, and that he did so at small farm towns all over Pal Tahrenor.
Word came from Marn that the elf merchant of lies was to be judged in the big city. Dylan offered to go along with the escort of Guard. Along the way, more than a few of the proud fighting men of the big city congratulated the stripling farm boy for his shrewdness and critical eye. From that day forth, Dylan resolved to be a Guard himself.
After the elf was quietly sentenced to a lengthy term of incarceration Dylan returned to Shim. That town, however, which had never been the jewel of his eye, was now abhorrent to his ambitions. He had seen a life in the city he liked. He had seen the fine ministers in the city, the mayor’s entourage, and other things that fired his imagination and more importantly, his ambitions.
When the time came that he felt the family farm could get along without him, Dylan left the town of Shim unceremoniously, and forever. His destiny lied elsewhere.
With his new fired ambition came all of the pitfalls of mingling with the aristocratcy. Dylan had never felt more of a farm boy than he did dealing with the city ministers of Marn. Especially when he was tapped to be a Loyalist and more often rubbed shoulders with the city's elite. He spoke like a slow talking bumpkin and his mannerisms and appetites were that of a country person. He has resolved to lose the stink of manure and one day wear silk instead of steel.