Unexpected Inspiration Character Backstory: Dray's Charisma


"Don't think for a single second that you're on my level. You're just a spoiled little boy with an adequate tongue and nothing to lose. A mouth full of lies and a pocket full of blackmail doesn't mean you can play with the pros. Take my advice: give up, go home, and beg for forgiveness. Creators know you're good at copping out."

-Firedrake to Feren, book 2 (Flashover)

"Charisma" has been the name of the game for Firedrake for the past decade. I talked about their early life before, but only glossed over their time spent in Galanvoth as a teenager. This was intentional. It's something Dray never talks about and it's something the other dorks don't discover until Plot takes them there and Dray's essentially thrown back into their old life. To recap, Dray was broken when their mother left them. Five years before this, their father had done essentially the same thing. Dray felt there was nothing left for them in Concordia, so they returned to Galanvoth. They thought this would be familiar, something that felt right. Dray didn't realize just how difficult and dangerous it would be to no longer have the status and protection of their family name. By the time the reality of the situation sunk in, the border with Concordia had closed. Dray was stuck.

Never one to give up easily, Dray found a job as a dancer and gradually made a name for themself on stage. Recognition of their talent was the validation Dray so desperately needed and they basked in this spotlight. There were parties and galas and people to meet. Dray– always with the right tone of voice to get people talking-- quickly learned who was who, who knew who, and who did what. It was some of these whats that caught Dray's attention, particularly when those involved abusing or otherwise hurting the No-Names of the city. Dray had found a purpose: seeking vengeance on behalf of the people who had no voice. It wasn't a lawful purpose, but what had obeying rules and following tradition gotten them? Abandoned, heartbroken, destitute... now it was time for Dray to turn the tables.

Overflowing with charisma, charm, and what they later realized was untrained mind-manipulation magic, they got people to talk. And talk. And talk some more. Then Dray struck. Forgery, arson, embezzlement, larceny... nothing was off the table for someone with the aptitude to pick up new skills quickly and who had nothing to lose. Dray never cared much about what they stole. The thrill was in taking down and humiliating the violators; the bulk of what they took they donated to charities under a witty name that not-so-subtly pointed to who it had been stolen from. Often money just happened to end up in the hands of the No-Names who needed it.

It was inevitable that Dray made enemies. They were caught several times, but always under an assumed name or a stolen identity, and they never spent more than ten minutes in a jail cell. A silver tongue, a pretty face, and a keen mind kept Dray largely in the clear. As good as Dray was, though, they weren't infallible. Perhaps they got too cocky, maybe they'd burned out after years of doing this, possibly it was both. Whatever the cause, a mistake was made. By the time their door was busted open, they were already halfway across the city and auditioning with the Concordian carnival troupe they'd spotted a few days previously. It was time to go back to Concordia and put this part of their life behind them.

That is, until they find themself having to go back to their old stomping ground in order to investigate who is responsible for sabotaging Concordia. Dray still has the knowledge and skill, even some connections, to pick up where they left off. Their magic is trained, making it stronger and more reliable. They no longer have to do this alone-- but therein lies the danger. Dray now has everything to lose and a family they won't risk.

(This moodboard was made for a challenge theme of "charisma.")

CONVERSATION

4 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading about Dray's backstory. :) They've had a very interesting life for sure, also the mood board is awesome!💙
    -Quinley

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Dray definitely had an eventful life-- I keep thinking that it would make for a really good novella, so maybe I'll write that at some point. :)

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    2. If you ever decide to write it, I would love to read it. :D I would love to see Dray's character explored some more in a novella. :)
      -Quinley

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    3. Aww, thanks! I've written one from the POV of Dray's boyfriend that takes place a little bit before book 1, and it's about how they met after this point in time for Dray, but I haven't finished editing it yet. I have a feeling that I'm going to end up with quite a few Dray-related novellas. ;)

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