About Drail Harlon
AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+6 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 12 (1d10+2)
Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +0
Speed 20 ft.
Melee Katana +5 (1d8+6/18-20/x2)
Ranged Shortbow +3 (1d6/x3)
Special Attacks Iaijutsu strike: +1d6/-4 ac (full-round)
Warrior's Challenge: +1 damage per samurai level to target of challenge, DR 1/- from target of challenge, -2 AC vs. all other attacks not from target of the challenge. (1/day)
Power Attack: -1 attack /+2 damage
Eyes and Ears of the City (Religon)
Insider Knowledge (Grand Lodge)
Acrobatics -3 (-7 jump)
Escape Artist -3
Knowledge (local) +5
Knowledge (history) +4
Knowledge (nobility) +4
Sense Motive +4
Acid, Four-mirror armor, Arrows (20), Katana, Shortbow, Backpack (9 @ 40 lbs), Bedroll, Crowbar, Flint and steel, Grappling hook, Rope (2), Torch, Waterskin, Decorative Trim, Explorer's Outfit 4 GP, 8 SP, 10 CP
Iaijutsu Strike: +1d6/-4 AC (Full-round) (Ex) Draw sword as strike challenged foe for extra dam, but take AC penalty for 1 rd. You can use this once per foe, each day.
Resolve (1/day) (Ex): Starting at 1st level, the samurai gains resolve that he can call upon to endure even the most devastating wounds and afflictions. He can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day for every two samurai levels beyond
Warrior's Challenge +1 (1/day) (Ex): +1 to damage target, -2 AC vs. others when used, DR 1/- against attacks from challenge target.
Warrior's Skills +1: +1 For Knowledge (Nobility) checks relating to the nobles or politics of your land.
Background & Description:
Born in Magnimar to parents of the nobility, Drail Harlon knew an early childhood of wealth and status. During the celebration of his tenth birthday, Drail's father allowed the boy to participate in his first sport hunt. A terrible accident occurred during this hunt, claiming the life of Drail's father.
Drail's mother, a duchess and never the most doting parent even before the tragedy, grew even more distant from her son as the years passed, losing herself in Magnimarian society and leaving young Drail to be raised by the various and sundry staff of the household.
In an act of adolescent rebellion that went practically unnoticed by his absentee mother, Drail enlisted in the City Watch of Magnimar, a vocation far below his station as a noble scion. What began as a rebellious act, however, soon developed into a true calling. Drail excelled within the City Watch, proving to be both resourceful and intuitive while displaying a natural grasp of the martial training he began to receive.
Rising quickly through the ranks of the Watch in the following years, young Drail soon developed a reputation as a lawful and honorable keeper of justice. It was at this point in his life that he made the acquaintance of the middle-aged Tian expatriate Shuto Hirakama and Shuto's young daughter, Mai.
Shuto and Mai had traveled to Magnimar in order to begin new lives as merchants, ingratiating themselves into the thriving Magnimarian trade circles in short order, with Shuto soon establishing a thriving import/export business.
Drail often spent his free time in the company of Shuto and Mai, fascinated by the stories Shuto would tell of life in the Dragon Empires and his time of service to his lord as a Samurai warrior. In addition, Drail soon developed a strong affection for Mai, which the Tian girl reciprocated.
Approving of this young man, Shuto soon not only allowed Drail to court Mai, but began teaching the youth the ways of the Samurai. Drail eagerly took to the lessons Shuto imparted in the ways of honorable combat, the religion of the sword and the rigorous mental resolve of a true warrior.
As time passed, Drail developed into a true devotee of Shuto Hirakama's teachings, while his relationship with Mai deepened and grew to be a passionate love. Drail had never been happier, more content. His rise in the Watch seemed assured, his future bright with both a wonderful woman to share in it and the warm approval and guidance of a true father-figure.
In his duties with the Watch, Drail became embroiled in an investigation of a large-scale black market operation, one whose increasing reach had begun to intimidate and extort many honest merchants completely out of business. Leads were followed by Drail and he was nearly single-minded in his pursuit of justice, yet witnesses and informants soon began to disappear, the reach and propensity for violence of this black-market cartel seeming to increase with each passing day.
Frequent discussions with Shuto did nothing to allay his frustrations, as the two often spent what little free time Drail had puzzling through the leads and clues Drail had come across, to no avail. Drail and Mai's relationship continued to deepen, with the young Watchman vowing to himself that upon bringing this group to justice, upon cementing his rise in the Watch, he would marry his love and secure their happiness for the rest of their lives.
It was at this point, however, that Drail came across the lead that would change everything.
A dockworker, amongst others paid by the black market cartel to off-load pirated cargo, had narrowly escaped a group execution of his fellow workers by thugs of the cartel. Feigning death from a wound to the chest, he had been dumped into the harbor waters with the rest of his ill-fated group, managing to swim further along the docks area before passing out along the shore.
Found by a passing fisherman, he was brought into the care of a nearby temple, his fevered ravings often only consisting of one word, one name. This name, brought to Drail by the fellow Watch member who had investigated the worker's assault, was beyond belief to the young man, for the name was 'Hirakama'.
Stunned, Drail initially refused to believe the ravings of the worker, but as his intuitive mind worked at the revelation the pieces began to fall into place, completing a picture that Drail could not help but acknowledge as true.
Not only was Shuto Hirakama the mastermind of the black market cartel, but it became increasingly obvious to Drail that his discussions of his case with his Tian mentor had been used against him, used by Shuto to work around the investigations and obstructions of the Watch.
Agonizing over his discoveries, filled with grief and rage by the betrayal of the man he had come to think of as a father, Drail heatedly confronted Shuto by himself. His mentor did nothing to deny Drail's enraged accusations, giving the young watchman a sad smile. He explained to Drail that while imparting the ways of law and honor to Drail, he had lost his own sense of such things long ago after disgracing his own lord through his actions. He offered Drail, in return for his silence, a half-share of his wealth and of course, what he knew the young man most wanted, his approval to marry Mai.
Stunned, Drail looked upon his mentor for a long, quiet moment. He then spoke, his voice empty of the rage and anguish it had been filled with earlier. He asked for his mentor to surrender himself into the custody of the Watch, for him to submit to be tried and sentenced for his crimes.
Shuto once again smile sadly ... and drew his sword, an ornate curved weapon of Tian design and smithing, his katana. Drail implored him not to resist, that if his mentor would come quietly with him, he would insure both Mai's safety and security as well as swearing that he would never let the father's shame be reflected upon the daughter.
Shuto resignedly shook his head ... and attacked, as Drail drew his own longsword in defense. The two clashed through Shuto's household in a whirling flash of blades, terrified servants and household staff running from the sounds and sight of the violence.
Shuto, whirling for a slicing arc of his katana that would have taken Drail's head from his shoulders, instead found his young protégé crouched and lunging, Drail's sword piercing through the shoulder of the older merchant.
Shuto stumbled away, pulling Drail's sword from the young man's grasp, the blade embedded through the flesh of the older man's upper chest and shoulder. Shuto did not scream, did not yell, but instead locked eyes with the now-defenseless Watchman. He raised his own katana, still in his grasp of his unwounded arm, in order to deliver the killing blow to Drail.
"Promise me you will take care of my daughter, promise me my redemption, my son," Shuto murmured, suddenly reversing his grip on his weapon, driving it back and down through his own stomach, then ripping the blade viciously downward and outward.
The bloody blade clattered to the feet of Drail, even as Shuto sank to the floor.
With those words, Shuto Hirakama died.
Drail, grief-stricken, stunned beyond belief, bent to pick up the katana, tears in his eyes. Only the soft sound of running feet caused him to look up and meet the eyes of a terrified, desolate Mai.
In her eyes, Drail saw revulsion, horror ... and hate. She screamed at him, calling him a murderer, brandishing a knife and rushing at the stunned Watchman, the man who loved her. Her blade carved a deep furrow along Drail's face, from cheek to temple, before the agonized young watchman was able to pull the knife from her hand and send it clattering away across the room.
Drail desperately tried to explain, to calm the struggling, spitting Mai, who was screaming epithets and threats, beating at him with her fists, clawing at his face and eyes with her nails, leaving red scratches and furrows across Drail's face. Only as she wailed that she would forever have the cartel hunt him did he understand that Shuto had not run his organization alone.
With this final betrayal, Drail cried out in desolation, pushing the flailing woman from him and fleeing the household even as Mai rushed to retrieve her knife, cursing him for a coward and a murderer.
Agonized, Drail fled into the night, his life in tatters. He had chosen to stand against the one man who had been a father to him, he had chosen to cast aside his one true love for the sake of his honor and the sanctity of law. Yet he had also sullied his own sense of justice and law, having unwittingly supplied Shuto with the means and information to circumvent the Watch through their discussions. Finally, he had broken Shuto's last request, of insuring the safety of his daughter.
It was at this moment that, looking down, standing alone upon a dark dock in a desolate portion of Magnimar, Drail realized that he still held the katana of Shuto Hirakama. By the light of the moon, he could see one word inscribed upon the blade.
Drail shed his Watch cloak, first wiping the bloody blade clean and then wrapping it tightly within the fabric. The deck lanterns of a ship preparing for departure shone dimly in the distance along the dock and Drail strode towards those soft lights, wiping his own blood from his face and eyes.
Years later, a solitary man strides across a darkened street of the Foreign Quarter of Absalom, cloaked and hooded. He is grizzled and weathered, his face a tracery of light scars, a more livid one traveling from his cheek to his right temple. The hilt of ornate Tian sword protrudes from the open front of the cloak, sheathed along his hip in a gilded scabbard.
"Redemption," he murmurs, striding toward the lit fortress gates of the Grand Lodge of Absalom.