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Duke Danyl Graves

Of the House of Graves

Danylgraves3
Art by Diermina

Titles

Duke of the Grave
The Falconheart

Predecessor

Lord Dafyd Graves

Date of Birth

05 A.P.

Affiliations

The Royal Army
The Bloodbound
House of Graves
The Falconguard

Lands

Gravestone
Grimstone
The Grave
Portions of the Grasp

Status

Alive

Relatives

Dafyd Graves, Father (Deceased)
Catherynne Graves, Half-sister (Deceased)
Unknown, Mother (Presumed Deceased)

Danyl Graves is the bastard son of Dafyd Graves, and is the lone survivor of House Graves following the Scourge's invasion of Blackmarsh. Going from a soldier in Lordaeron's armies to a mercenary following its fall, the young bastard gained repute as a formidable swordsman and talented fighter before forming his own sellsword company during the War on the Lich King. During his time at the head of the company Danyl additionally gained notoriety as a skilled commander.

Following Deathwing's fall the young mercenary learned of his noble heritage, which caused him to seek out the claimant Queen Madelynne I . With the rest of his house dead or missing the Queen granted him legitimacy, as well as his family's titles and holdings. The young Lord would prove himself as talented in both single combat and as a commander during the Creed uprising and the Kun-Lai campaign, leading to his rise through the ranks of the Royal Army and an increase to Graves holdings. Now holding a position among the Queen's council, the title of Falconheart, and possesed of considerable lands,  it seems the young bastard's ambitions have not yet come to an end.

AppearanceEdit

310px-Smalldanyl

Art by Kelzack

Danyl

Art by Kelzack

Standing at 6'2" and 240 lbs., Danyl makes for an imposing figure that is only enhanced when clad in his black platemail. His physique is taut and defined, with wide shoulders and a thick waist -- sporadically marked with minor scars from one wound or another. Though his face is perhaps not best described as fair, he does have a certain rugged handsomeness to him. Sporting a strong jawline, high cheekbones and an immaculate smile, perhaps his most noteworthy features are his piercing green eyes; evenly spaced apart in the center of his head. Framing his face is shoulder-length, brown hair, and he maintains a moustache and goatee.



Emotion of any kind is rarely displayed openly, and rarer still are genuine smiles. More oft than not all that is presented is an impassive mask. Encased in a full suit of steel plate, dyed red at the extremities, the armour is well maintained and notably of high quality. A cloak of striking red sweeps the ground behind him as he walks. Draped over his breastplate is a tabard bearing the colours of the Royal Army. The only part of his body that is not encased in steel is his head, frequently choosing not to wear a helm for one reason or another. Sheathed upon his back is an elaborate broadsword of khorium and adamantium, with a guard forged into the image of a falcon's wings, spread outward. Any familiar with Blackmarsh would recognise the weapon as the fabled Falconheart. Belted to his hip are a steel longsword and matching dirk.


When mounted he rides a black stallion of impeccable breeding, clad in decorated black plate barding.

HistoryEdit

Early LifeEdit

Danyl's first memories in life are less than pleasant, taking him back to an orphanage in Lordaeron bordering on the Blackmarsh. In what would be a

DanylSketchCommissionFULL

Art by http://jaynestrange.tumblr.com/

foreshadowing of the rest of his life, all he can recall from this time is confrontation and fighting. Life in the orphanage was not pleasant -- food and warm clothes were scarce -- and as a result tempers would flare and fights were frequent. Having always had a sharp-tongue, disrespect for authority, and an affinity for sarcasm, Danyl quickly made an enemy of most of the other children -- particularly the older males. This enmity would lead to frequent beatings at the hands of those older males; often with two or more of them ganging up on him. The manager of the orphanage was no ally, having also been alienated from Danyl by his hostile mannerisms.

Slowly, as Danyl grew older, the fights grew less one-sided. By the age of ten, Danyl began to hold his own against children three or more years his elder. At eleven, he could take on two to three of them. Even at that young age, Danyl had an affinity for fighting -- thrived in the adrenaline rush of combat. On the night of his twelfth birthday, all five of those older children decided to impart a lasting lesson on the spirited Danyl -- and they did, though not quite in the manner they'd envisioned. Having managed to seize an iron fire poker in the scrap, Danyl beat all five of those children within inches of death -- even knocking out the manager of the orphanage when he moved to protect the others. Before an hour had passed, Danyl had packed up whatever few belongings he had and struck out from the orphanage to live on his own means.

Living on the LandEdit

Fortunately for the young orphan, it was spring when he deserted the orphanage. Though keeping warm wasn't a problem, finding food and shelter for himself were not things that came easy. The attempts Danyl made at hunting game, fishing and foraging were all meager at best, and he quickly learned that he would not be able to live on his own means. Barely a week after leaving the orphanage, Danyl stole for the first time. He found it surprisingly easy to break into farms to steal food and blankets, and was soon working his way across the countryside by stealing from farms whenever he needed supplies.

But as spring turned to summer, summer turned to fall, and the cold winds of winter began picking up, Danyl knew that he couldn't live through the snows as a wandering thief. It was at this time that he made his way to Lordaeron; going from the wilderness to the streets.

Running the StreetsEdit

Falling quickly into a life as a cutpurse and thief, it became apparent to Danyl that he wouldn't be able to live through the winter even on the streets -- he needed shelter. As the nights continued to grow longer, Danyl made the mistake of robbing a thug in one of the local gangs. In what turned out to be a stroke of good luck, when dragged to the head of the gang, he was offered a place within it, as well as shelter from the cold. Already used to a life of crime, the child readily accepted it.

Danyl's affinity for fighting served him well in his time with the gang, constantly jumping into brawls even though the opponents were frequently twice his weight. Spending three years with the gang, Danyl's sm

all and malnourished frame grew larger, tougher and toned. At the age of fourteen, he killed his first man -- when a man pulled a knife in a fistfight and the young warrior turned it on him.

As had been the story of his life to date, it was Danyl's harsh tongue that got him in trouble. At the age of fifteen, after talking back a bit too much one too many times, the gang leader-- in respect to Danyl's already impressive fighting skills -- he sent three fully grown men to teach the orphan some respect. Using the same knife he'd used on his first kill over a year ago -- cleverly tucked in his boot -- Danyl killed all three of the men sent to kill him. Now desperately needing a way out of town, Danyl joined the Lordaeronian military by faking his age.

A Lifetime of WarEdit

As Danyl aged, his body honed into perfect fighting form; strong, lean and tough. This combined with his natural inclination towards fighting, and his years of practice lead to him quickly eclipsing his peers. He gained notoriety as an excellent fighter, and was the pride of his regiment. Fortunately for the young soldier, he was stationed far away from the capital city when Arthas returned and the scourge hit with force. After some time of fighting the ever advancing scourge, a particularly vicious battle left him the only survivor -- with corpses rapidly approaching undeath all around him. Fleeing the battlefield, and deserting the military, Danyl turned to his only real skill to survive, and sold himself out as a mercenary.

Despite fighting in nearly every war that erupted on war-torn Azeroth -- ranging from the epic to the miniscule -- it was in the War on the Lich King in which Danyl truly distinguished himself. Becoming known as a man who accomplished impossible assignments -- even those that entire platoons had failed at achieving -- the mercenary's reputation grew as one of the fiercest fighters in Azeroth. As his reputation grew, his fee grew with it, and by the end of the war he had amassed a small fortune.

It was during these years that Danyl formed a small mercenary band that would later be known as the Bloodbound. The group’s size fluctuated as men were recruited and slain, but its overall numbers never rose above fifty. Despite its small size, the Bloodbound gained a reputation as one of the most elite fighting forces on the continent, and their fee was exorbitant.

Years of battling the scourge can cause the most hardened of veterans to become battle-weary, and so it was with Danyl. Growing tired of fighting -- the only thing he had known all of his life -- he retired from life as a mercenary, and turned his wealth towards discerning the identity of his parents. Through a small army of spies, detectives and information brokers, and after burning through most of his amassed fortune, the mercenary finally got his answer.

The manager of the orphanage he'd grown up in so long ago had been a meticulous record-keeper, and -- despite the area having been ransacked by the scourge -- Danyl managed to acquire a certificate of his birth. The certificate marked his father as Lord Dafyd Graves; making him, though a bastard, the last surviving member of the noble house.

With a renewed sense of purpose to his life, the young bastard rode to Stormwind and sought out the claimant Queen Madelynne Albrecht. Seeing her as his best chance, he pledged fealty and was rewarded with legitimization -- inheriting his father's titles and lands. Now a lord of considerable power, the once mercenary entered into a field of battle he had not yet encountered; one of promises and favours, not of sword and shield.

Service to the CrownEdit

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