A warrior who adheres to the strictest martial code, believing that life's answers lie not with the gods, but in the heart of glorious battle.
Dryden is a large man standing at 6’3" and 270lbs. His head is shaved and his beard is large. He often wears no shirt believing that even Veradcian winters are warm compared to the mountain climates he grew up in. He has many, many scars on his body and a story for each one.
- Dryden’s Background is custom, growing up as a Battle Master/Battle Brother in the Peligros “Monk” tradition. He was a disciple, serving a Battle Master for many years. He now has his own two disciples who are his servants on his pilgrimage.
- His Specialty is custom, he is “Living Weapon” he combines feats from the “Ambush Specialist” and “Endurance Specialist” trees.
Dryden was given at birth to a “Monastery” if such a thing can be said to exist in Peligros. The clan of warriors he was given to, known as The Bladeless, claim a spiritual connection to combat that goes beyond what the typical Peligrosian great sword wielding barbarian experiences. They forsake weapons because they “Weaken a warrior’s spirit and body”, they tune their physical bodies to the point that they can tap into an internal lifeforce to aid them in combat. They are thought to be insane by their fellow Peligrosians, though few of their “great warriors” would dare fight even an initiate of The Bladeless. They do not proselytize but they do accept anyone into their culture provided that they are either A) Young enough to accept the teachings without question or B) strong enough to survive the trials of initiation. They live their lives in seclusion with the exception of pilgrimages that can take a new master and his disciples to exotic lands for many years, testing their steel against to dangers of the world, and hopefully returning to the clan tested and ready to lead.
This is the society that Dryden was brought up in. His mother abandoning him on the steps of their keep. He luckily took to the life of the Bladeless easily, and many of the Battle Masters recognized him as a leader amongst his peers. His progress was astounding.
Every year the initiates are required to participate in a tournament, battling for a position of disciple to accompany a Battle Master on a pilgrimage. Normally the younger initiates fall out of the tournament quickly, being too small to fight the older warriors. Dryden showed tenacity for his age at 11 years old, and managed to make it to the top six. He eventually was defeated by a boy 6 years older than him, named Vargen. Though only four disciples were to be chosen for pilgrimage, Vargen was skipped over in favor of Dryden whom the Master Runehar had taken of notice of and a liking to. This was unprecedented.
So at this young age Dryden set forth with his new Battle Master and his new Battle Brother (Co-disciple) Warkun to see the world. The role of a Disciple is difficult because the code prohibits you from helping your Battle Master in combat. Your duties are limited to cooking, mending, fetching, cleaning, and playing messenger, basically any boring mundane task you can imagine. This teaches discipline. You do fight however, you train with your Battle Brother as well as anyone who may interfere with your duties while you’re away from your Battle Master. Dryden was forged by this experience. Battle Master Runehar had many adventures, all of which are another story, and his pilgrimage lasted 5 years.
At 16, the age most Bladeless become disciples, Dryden returned to Peligros. Waiting for him was Vargen, whom had become obsessed with getting revenge on Dryden for being passed over for disciple hood. Vargen did get his turn, but his Battle Master died on his pilgrimage, cutting time in the world short. This he also blamed Dryden for. So in an act of revenge he poisoned Runehar. There was an investigation into Runehar’s mysterious death, and with the help of Dryden and Warkun Vargen’s plot was eventually found out. Warkun challenged Vergen to trial by combat, a trial Vargen “won” by treachery, forever crippling Warkun. The other Battle Masters chose to exile Vargen into the Endless Caves, a certain death by exile (OR WAS IT?).
The entire experience shook Dryden, but it did not extinguish is warrior spirit. He continued on with his training, and at 20 years he eventually passed the trials required to gain Battle Master status. After a tournament to select disciples for his own pilgrimage, Dryden selected a 16 year old boy named Gardek, and a 15 year old girl named Bekka.
Dryden said to farewell to his old Battle Brother Warkun and set out to find his destiny through battle. After a few months he found himself in Verdacia, a few months after that in Forkshire. As of late he has been a member of the Three Fingers Mercenary Band due to the frequency of work that can be found there, lending well to the ever consuming quest for the perfect fight. The pay doesn’t hurt either.