Ravak t'Sha'hal Darrow
|Ravak t'Sha'hal Darrow|
|Ra-VACK t-SHA-hahl DAH-row|
|First appearance||Ravak's Enlistment Interview|
|Portrayed by||Richard Madden|
|Affiliation||The Grey Tower|
|Spouse||Miahala ni Sha'hal t'Darrow|
Ravak t'Sha'hal Darrow (born Ravak Darrow) is a Shienaran Blademaster and Gaidin of the Grey Tower. He is married and bonded to Miahala ni Sha'hal t'Darrow. He also has two daughters from two separate relationships prior to his marriage, and a son from his marriage with Miahala.
With his frowning countenance and downturned lips, Ravak t'Sha'hal Darrow is the sort of man you'd be fearful of if you encountered him at night in the dark streets of a city. Tall and muscular, he has the form of a hardened warrior, gained from years of practice in the Warder Yards. Born and raised in Shienar, Ravak moves with the distressingly casual gait of a Warder. His appearance is that of a southerner, with his shaggy mess of short reddish hair, a full beard, and a light skin tone. His face is neither handsome nor disagreeable, although he has a body that makes others envious. His cheeks have the reddish glow that is common with growing up in a cold environment.
Ravak can often be found scratching at his beard. He occasionally also turns the slender golden band on his ring hand, on a finger one knuckle too short. It is clear from the scar tissue that the finger was sliced off by a blade many years ago, prior to his time at the Grey Tower. His steely blue gaze is hard and penetrating, and his voice sounds like steel being run over gravel when he's in a foul temperament. A golden tattoo of a dragon winds its way up his right forearm; Aiel would immediately recognise it as the mark of a clan chief.
Ravak Darrow was born in Fal Dara three minutes after his twin sister Elia. The family name Darrow came from their father Taskill, who was an Andoran thief-taker in the service of the Lord of Fal Dara. Mitsuko, the twins' mother, was Shienaran, having met Taskill after he relocated to Fal Dara.
Growing up, Elia and Ravak were inseparable in private, although they had different groups of friends in public. This allowed the family to maintain the appearance of being traditionally Shienaran, whilst their core family values were influenced heavily by their father. As they grew older and began to take steps towards their natural paths in life, they taught one another the skills they were learning. In Ravak's case, he became quite adept at baking sweet pastries, more than either his sister or his mother.
While family life may have been bliss, Ravak's time training to join the Shienaran army did not go well. The regimented mass training did not suit the young Shienaran who was struggling to keep up with his peers. As the end of his training was drawing near, and his time as a formal member of the army crept closer, Ravak realised that he was going to be a detriment to his fellow soldiers, likely ending up on the wrong end of a Trolloc's boar-spear before the year was out.
Leaving Fal Dara
Ravak decided to leave Fal Dara in order to find training elsewhere, with the intention of returning once he was capable of defending the Blightborder for his family and country. He attempted to convince his sister to join him on the journey, but she refused. Despite their intensely strong bond, Ravak still decided to leave. The young Shienaran attempted to leave under the cover of night, but his father was waiting for him, somehow aware of his son's plan. Without a word, Taskill handed over his prized sword-breaker and a small amount of coin, then watched his son depart.
He travelled west and south, taking the road towards Tar Valon. It seemed like a natural place to learn how to fight to Ravak, having grown up listening to the tales of powerful Aes Sedai and their mythical Warders. The reality of the situation was quite different. Although the White Tower took him in as a trainee Warder, the culture in Tar Valon clashed with his own beliefs. He expected to find himself kowtowing to every Aes Sedai who wandered by, but seeing Warders do much the same rankled with him. Just as the Warders treated him as a child, the Aes Sedai in turn treated Warders like children. All-knowing and all-powerful they may be, the Aes Sedai were far from the benevolent figures the stories had portrayed them as. After only a couple of months in Tar Valon, Ravak once again hatched a plan to leave. Unlike his flight from Fal Dara, no-one interfered with his departure. He continued on his journey to the south towards Caemlyn, then west towards Hama Valon.
The Grey Tower
The Grey Tower was a welcome and relieving change from the White Tower. Whilst the young Drin still found himself at the bottom of the totem pole, he shared that spot with other novices and soldiers. There was a greater sense of meritocracy in Hama Valon, and he found his teachers more welcomed, even if the training and chores were gruelling.
Early on, Ravak crossed paths with a number of other learning ranks that would have a huge effect on his life. Katrie Riatin became a fast friend and an early love interest. His time with Mirin Ronaile allowed him to learn more about Aes Sedai and the One Power than he'd ever imagined previously. He also accompanied Dax Torellion on an expedition into the Blight, the first time Ravak had returned north in a number of years.
After passing his survival test and being raised to Ji'val, Ravak wanted to seek out Katrie in order to share his feelings with her. Instead, she found him, with the news that she had both bonded Dax during a night of passion. This revelation set loose a fury within the Ji'val due to feelings of betrayal. Their friendship tapered off as Katrie's feelings for Dax deepened, ending in Dax and Ravak brawling in the streets of Hama Valon.
In spite of these indiscretions, or perhaps due to them, Ravak from himself focusing on his Gaidin training. It wasn't long before he was called up to the Citadel to test for the fancloak. The original intent of the mission was to accompany Kaia Sedai, a Red sister, to one of the Grey Tower's outposts along the Blightborder in order to bring a Darkfriend to justice. When they arrived, the outpost had been attacked. As they prowled through the ravaged fortress, Ravak found himself alone against a Myrddraal. Although the Shienaran mortally wounded the Shadowspawn, the Fade's blackened blade had struck a number of blows. Only through Kaia's quick intervention and skill with Healing kept Ravak from succumbing to his injuries.
Kaia and Ravak followed the trail of the Darkfriend thanks to the latter's ability to follow the smell of violence. They tracked the Darkfriend for three days into the Blight, eventually finding her with an escort of Trollocs. As Kaia fought an invisible battle with saidar, Ravak took up arms against the Trollocs, defending the Red from being torn apart. Kaia succeeded in subduing the Black channeller. They returned her to the Citadel, and Ravak was granted the title of Gaidin for his efforts.
Ravak was gifted a ter'angreal during his earliest years at the Grey Tower. The ter'angreal is an iridescent quill and its accompanying inkwell. When the quill is dipped into its inkwell, any ink inside the well will flow into the quill as required. It will also never blot the paper it is being used on.
Six of these quill and inkwell sets were created by Daelar Ralead; the other five presumably remain in Daelar's possession.
- Mitsuko Darrow, his mother
- Taskill Darrow, his father
- Elia Darrow, his twin sister
- Ravak t'Sha'hal Darrow
- Miahala ni Sha'hal t'Darrow, his wife and bondmate
- Drin (15 November 2015)
- Ji'val (7 January 2016)
- Gaidin (2 February 2016)
- Master of Training (25 January 2016)
- Gaidin Captain (4 September 2016)
- Blademaster (11 April 2017)
- Master of Arms (1 May 2017 - 19 January 2018)