|Affiliation||The Grey Tower|
Daelan is in his mid-twenties when he signs up as a drin. He's of middle height, and lean and muscular. He has been blessed with good looks; a strong-cut chin; long, angular face; sweet lips that often curl up in a charming smile, bringing a smile to most girls' lips as well; light green eyes holding a warmth in them, and topping it off is a slightly ruggedly cropped, short, light brown hair.
He's a charming young man, and he knows it. In Whitebridge he had a reputation of flirting with every girl and woman. But while he seldom acts further than flirting, even if some girls believe there to be more, there is no malice behind his behavior. He simply enjoys showing women a good time, whether it's taking a sweet young girl out on her first date on the meadows, or bestowing the wish of an old, wrinkled lady by taking her on a stroll through the town, or spending hours listening to her reminisce of her old days, and the darling her husband, now dead, was then.
The only kind of women that Daelan stays clear of, are Aes Sedai. He has a mistrust of Aes Sedai due to family history, and doesn't quite trust the Aes Sedai of the Grey Tower either, even if his sister is on her way to become one. And that fact is the only reason why he battles his mistrust of them and joins the training of those sworn to protect them.
Daelan was the firstborn son of Rolan Shannaran, a tenant farmer in a small village named Arien in northwestern Andor, and his wife Danni. The landlord was a harsh one, and Rolan had little money to spare on his family, struggling to even get enough to pay the taxes to the landlord. The money he earned working as a farmhand on the landlord's farms, and the little patch of farmland he had for his own use was barely enough to keep his family fed. His wife worked in the kitchen in the landlord's house, and the little money she earned there helped keeping the family above water.
Daelan's young years were good ones. When he was around five winters old, he got a little sister, a quiet little girl. She was eerily quiet, not uttering a sound, and as she grew they realised she would never talk.
But Daelan could talk with her. He understood her in a way only a brother can, and together the two siblings created a language of hand and body signs. Daelan spoke the words and together they created the signs, slowly forming a language only they understood.
When Daelan was around six, he noticed that something strange with his father. He didn't know what, but strange things happened, things that weren't natural, not even to a creative child's mind. And one day tragedy struck the small cottage. A beautiful woman in a red dress came to the village, and his father was taken away, not to be seen again. It was only years later that Daelan learned what had happened, that his father had been a channeler, and that the woman in red had been an Aes Sedai, who had stilled, and thus killed his father.
His mother remarried shortly after, to another tenant farmer, a widower who had an elder son of his own. Garr was a hard man, but he cared for his wife and son, and tried to care for his stepchildren, even if he struggled to show it. He also had a drinking problem, and got into trouble with both his wife and the landlord when he had used up the tax money on drinks. Danni was a meek woman, caring for the house, her new husband and children, both her own and his, but she did raise her temper when her husband came home drunk and moneyless. In return, Garr would beat her if he was drunk enough.
Life in their little cottage grew more stale over the years. Garr's drinking problems increased, and with it his violence towards his wife. Daelan, who was growing up to be a youth, didn't like his father's behaviour, but he dared to nothing about it. The few times he tried to interfere, he received the bad end of his stepfather instead of his mother. And as his mother seemed ungrateful for his interferences, he stopped altogether. Instead he was watchful of his little sister, making sure she was safe from their stepfather, and as unknowing to the situation as possible.
Garr's growing drinking problem brought with it another issue: powety. Spending most of their money on drinks, they had little to nothing for themselves, and not enough to feed four people, especially not a growing male teenager. Daelan worked as a farmhand like his father, and started putting in more hours to keep up an income, but it was not enough. And the longer hours only made him more hungry, and weaker.
So Daelan laid plans for leaving home. If he could get away, maybe to a bigger village, and get a job, he could send money home to help out his mother. He started asking around in the village if anyone knew of a town nearby where he could get a job, but the search was unfruitful for a long time. And he couldn't leave on his own to find a job, not without getting in trouble for not showing up at his job at the landlord. After some time he realised that was the only way, and from the tales he'd picked up, he heard of a larger town called Whitebridge, some distance off. Surely in such a big place he could get lucky.
By this time he had seen seventeen winters, and was a tall and lanky young man. Being a bit of a coward and not knowing how to break the news to his parents, he wrote them a letter one night, and left it on the kitchen table in the early morning after his mother and stepfather had gone to work. He then woke up his twelve year old sister, told her quickly of his plans, packed their things and left with her in tow.
The road to Whitebridge was longer than he had thought, and the two of them looked like a sad story when they arrived in town. Luckily for them both (and a little thanks to his charming skills) the innkeeper of the first inn they came to, a place called "The Wayfarer's Rest", took pity in them and allowed them a bath and some leftovers from dinner, as well as a place to sleep in the barn. The next day, feeling much fresher, Daelan talked to the innkeeper and managed to secure his sister a place to work as a maid, and later serving maid. For himself, he managed after some time to get a job as a runner's boy for the local tanner, and later he started as the man's apprentice.
The Shannaran siblings got a place to live above the tannery, where the tannerhad a spare room. Daelan kept up his promise and sent money home to his mother, and the rest he put aside for the future. Things were looking bright for the two of them.
After they had lived in Whitebridge for five years, his sister Ani, as he called her, came home and told him that she could channel. An Aes Sedai from the White Tower had come to the inn and talked with her. Ani didn't know what to do, and Daelan didn't want her to go to the White Tower, not after what they'd done to their father. But he had heard that those who could channel needed training, or they would be a danger to others. And he had also heard of a place called the Black Tower, a place who trained male channelers like his father, and rumor had it that they also allowed women in. So he told Ani to go there, to learn from them.
A year later his sister returned to Whitebridge, telling him that the Black Tower was a harsh place, too harsh for her. He hadn't known, and felt the blame for sending her there, even though she never expressed any blame. Instead she told him of a place called the Grey Tower, where both men and women trained together, a place that was kinder than the Black Tower. Daelan was sceptical, as this Grey Tower also had Aes Sedai, but Ani insisted on going, and he let her.
Another year passed, and Daelan found himself more and more unable to focus on the work at the tannery. He worried for his sister, far up in the Mountains of Mists, surrounded by Aes Sedai. In the end the tanner himself told him to do something about it, that he would rather have no apprentice than an absent minded, useless apprentice. With a sigh, and realizing the man spoke true, Daelan decided it was time to move again.
This time the journey went far up into the Mountains of Mists, where he could keep an eye on his little sister. What he would do up there, he hadn't decided as he left. But as he reached the town of Hama Valon he decided to join the Warders, to learn from them. What better way to keep an eye on his sister than learning to protect her?
- Drin (13 January 2014)