Unexpected Inspiration Character: Dray (Firedrake)

There was something about dance mixed with the trailing light of their daggers that caused Dray to lose all track of time and fall into a meditative state of tranquility. They let their fear, worry, and irritation fall away as they focused on the whirling motion of their long skirt and their lit blades.

All that mattered were the steps, the props, and the flame. Especially the flame.

Dray is a carnival performer and dancer more than a little obsessed with props and fire. What was once just their stage persona of a dragon has gradually taken over their daily appearance. Dray is agender, uses they/them pronouns, and doesn’t care an iota about anyone’s assumptions of gender. Their entire petite being is fueled by sarcasm, snark, and spite, and their moral compass has a habit of malfunctioning. Dray gets a kick out of pranking people, usually by using their fire and mind-manipulation magics. Despite all this, Dray is a good person at heart and refuses to use their magic to do more than humiliate or inconvenience someone. After years of being kicked around, Dray will never kick back at someone who doesn’t deserve it.

It's been a long time since Dray's life could be considered normal, if you could call a childhood raised by Concordian spies 'normal.' Dray grew up in Galanvoth, the neighboring country of Concordia. Like all firstborn and only children from the Named class in Galanvoth, they learned their career parent's occupation from a young age. In Dray's case, this involved both the disguise identity of a translator and also the covert one of spy. Quick-witted, sharp, and adept with words and languages, Dray took well to both occupations. Everything looked hopeful for Dray until the day their father left, then, a few years later, when their mother did the same. The rejection from the first caused Dray's fire magic to manifest after the second. They never had a chance to finish reading the letter their mother left behind because it burned up in their hands. Around them, the house caught on fire, burning with it Dray's hopes and dreams.

Panicked and thinking they were abandoned yet again, Dray made the rash decision to run away. They used all the skills they'd acquired from their parents to change their identity and seemingly vanish. They joined a theater company as a ballet dancer and somewhere along the lines, likely out of boredom, decided to become a sort of vigilante against those who tried to harm others. They continued down this path until they were nearly caught and had to make a rash decision for the second time in their life. In this case, though, it led Dray to seek refuge with a carnival troupe where they met Blythe who was also running away from Galanvoth. Dray took on a new identity yet again. They began performing with the carnival troupe as a dancer and gymnast with Blythe becoming their sibling-by-choice and sometimes performance partner. When she left to finish her training as a healer, Dray soon left the troupe themself to become a solo performer. Dray understood her reasons for leaving, but it felt like yet another abandonment by someone they cared about.

Dray is forced back into Blythe's life after their fire magic flares out of control once more. They find her surrounded by new people who pull Dray into their dysfunctional family. Feeling out of place in their own home and more than a little overwhelmed, Dray initially tries to keep their distance. This doesn't last too long before the walls Dray has built around their heart begin to crumble. Their life may never return to any semblance of normality, but at least they no longer have to face it alone.

Dray is one of the main point-of-view characters in the first trilogy of the Unexpected Inspiration series. You can find their bio page here. I'll be updating Dray's backstory moodboards/posts soon because their past has changed since I wrote those up.



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