|This article is about the character. For other uses, see Waylander (disambiguation).|
Leading a brief career in the Drenai military, Dakeyras married and settled down, only to have his life destroyed one summer afternoon when a bandit gang brutally murdered his family. Consumed by rage and a need for vengeance, Dakeyras tracked the bandit gang's members for the next twenty years, hunting them down and killing them one by one. During this period of his life he went by the name of Waylander, and it was under this name that he would become recognised as one of the deadliest assassins to have ever lived. He eventually took on a contract to assassinate his own King, the Drenai King Nialliad. Successfully completing the contract, he was betrayed by his employer in the aftermath and forced to go on the run. Met by an old man claiming to be Orien, father of King Nialliad, Waylander agreed to undertake the Quest for the Armour of Bronze. After the conclusion of the quest, he turned his back on his trade and settled down with his second family.
Ten years later, Waylander found himself the target of assassination, but was able to defeat his pursuers and play an instrumental part in national politics once again. Subsequently faking his own death, he retired to the northern land of Kydor, where he became known as the Grey Man. After another period of relative inaction, Waylander became embroiled in large-scale mystical events, helping prevent an invasion of the land by daemons and putting a stop to the diabolical plans of a sorceror. Mortally wounded during these events, he was prevented from dying by magical means for some short period of time before being sent through a portal to another world and another time, where he arrived at the farm of that world's Dakeyras just in time to prevent the murder of his family. Having achieved his dearest wish, Waylander finally died.
In the aftermath of this, Waylander fled, pursued by Vagrian Hounds. At some point during this flight, his horse was stolen by a group of bandits led by the man, Dectas. Tracking the group to their camp, he demanded the return of his horse. When the horse was not forthcoming, the assassin swiftly slew all five bandits and secured the horse himself. Also in the bandit camp (tied to a tree) was a Source priest named Dardalion, prisoner of the bandits. Initially intending to leave the priest to his fate, Waylander changed his mind - a pivotal decision in his life - and freed Dardalion instead. Not entirely sure of his own motives in doing so, Waylander invited Dardalion to accompany him for a time, an invitation Dardalion accepted, despite his revulsion upon learning his rescuer's identity.
Appearance, Equipment and Abilities
Tall and broad-shouldered, Waylander's eyes were a very dark brown, albeit with some golden flecking. Not a regular shaver, he often sported stubble, which came through as grey before the hair on his head did. Considered somewhat handsome, Waylander's usual thin-lipped expression and piercing gaze did not do him any extra favours in that regard. Normally dressing in dark leggings, boots, a leather tunic and a hooded cloak, Waylander's only concession to protection in his mode of dress was the wearing of a single chainmail shoulder-guard over his tunic but under the cloak. When riding horses, Waylander rode with his left hand on the reins, his right hand never straying far from his main weapon belt.
Waylander's crossbow was his signature weapon. Specially made to his exacting requirements and standards in the land of Ventria, the bow was small, pistol-gripped and double-winged, allowing two bolts to be fired in quick succession. Reloads were kept in a small quiver attached to one side of Waylander's belt; the crossbow itself was hung on the other side when not in use. Effective up to a range of twenty feet, Waylander was a master of the weapon, able to place a bolt almost exactly where he wished with each pull of the trigger.
A common tactic for Waylander was to stand holding his crossbow ready, but covered by his cloak, which would be swept forward over one shoulder. The cloak could be easily moved aside (or even discarded completely), allowing his first bolts to be a complete surprise...and considering his accuracy, this could easily mean two targets despatched in the first seconds of combat. He was customarily armed with a variety of knives: two fighting knives in hip sheaths, a bootknife and at least three throwing knives kept on his person being a typical load-out. Extra blades such as hunting knives were kept in his pack along with other accroutements useful to wilderness survival, including a spare set of clothes.