- Taste the wine
- Race the blind
- They will guide you from the light
- Writing noughts till the end of time
- Surf the clouds
- Race the dark
- It feeds from the runs undone
- Meet me where the cliff greets the sea
- -Nightwish -- "Élan"
Hair and Eyes: Dirty blonde/dark brown
Hometown: Seagarden, Jade Islands
Deity: Holy Order of Ea
He stands at a couple of inches over six feet in height, with broad shoulders, a muscular build and hands that are callused in places that suggest a warrior, a worker, or both. Even features and the defined cheekbones of the Cerenzans are coupled with Cerenzan dark eyes beneath a shock of dirty blonde hair that falls past his collar and is held out of his eyes by a silver headband studded with small gems at the edge of his hairline. His skin holds a hint of darker skin somewhere in his ancestry in its deep tan, and a hint of scruff seems to perpetually shadow a strong chin that looks like it should be clean-shaven and never really is. Wide lips and a mobile expression are given to warm and charming smiles or snarls of anger with equal ease.
Clothes often vary depending on time of year, what he's doing, and his own whim. Look at him on the game to see the changes.
What's Known About Him
Background -- What He Says
"In the end, alehouses be pretty much all the same. Adventurin' ... at least I see new and different horrors every week."
Hailing from Seagarden in the Jade Islands, Aldean makes no bones about his humble beginnings or upbringing as a sailor's brat, or about his dissatisfaction with life at sea. He's been known to remark that sailing, for all its billing as a life of adventure, really isn't. It's about hard work, bad food, and the same trap over and over. Get money, get drunk, sleep with girl, have her steal your stuff, go back to sea, lather, rinse, repeat. He's alluded in public conversation to having been both crew and bosun, but is less forthcoming about that. He picked up his bardic training in Rune with someone named Sylaen, and sometime probably not long afterwards, made port in Alexandria, spent his pay on adventuring gear, and decided to try his luck with the Explorer's Guild.
In Alexandria, he's known within the Theatre District as a talented drummer and a cappella singer with a powerful baritone voice. Recently, that voice has developed an odd but compelling behavior -- it's as if he has a ghostly echo of it, like he's singing with himself. It's much more audible when he is casting spells but can be heard in normal performance as well, if one listens closely. He's also proven talented with the panpipes, although he appears to play these more for fun.
The docks and shipyards in Alexandria know Aldean as a cheerful soul and a good and willing worker that takes hauling and longshore day jobs now and again. He does this not for the money, but to keep himself fit and to maintain those ties to the sailing world as best he can. Guild jobs take priority, and it's up for question whether the dock workers know that he works for the Adventurer's Guild as well.
Background -- What Really Is
- It's dangerous to sacrifice
- It makes your blood run to throw the dice
- It's dangerous, it's what you like
- It's what you'll die for, to live this life
- -Within Temptation -- "Dangerous"
He's not lying outright, but he doesn't say everything, either. Brought up in a brothel in Seagarden, he was the son of one of the courtesans in a place called the Hideaway, with absolutely no idea who his father is. He is of mixed Cerenzan and Acanian blood, but raised in the islands, his upbringing and attitudes are far closer to the Cerenzan attitudes on several points.
When he got old enough to start doing more than chores in the Hideaway, his good looks and charm got him ... shall we say used. Exactly once. The experience persuaded him that he never wanted a repeat. Out of concern for him sampling the wares and not being willing to ... er, work ... he was sent to sea shortly thereafter on a ship called the Wendigo. This did not get him used less ... but he did learn the sailor's craft, and when his voice changed, it became a deep, powerful baritone that could be heard through a raging gale. Seeing this, the ship's mate decided to teach the boy the role of the shantyman, and later, the bosun, as he displayed an innate sense for tempo as well as pitch.
When the ship's bosun signed with another vessel, he took over the role, signing as bosun, although a lad of such a young age giving orders to seasoned veterans did not go smoothly at first. From this experience, he's learned how to assert himself through a mixture of coaxing, people sense, and violence when required, and has only honed those skills as he's gotten older and more experienced.
It wasn't enough for him, though, and while the other sailors were rolling the women and getting smashed, he talked to people and listened to stories. The adventuring stories had a greater call ... and he fell in in port with a Runic bard by the name of Sylaen, who taught him the basics of his craft and the beginnings of the magics he knows. When that voyage ended, in Alexandria, he declined to sign back on, spent his pay on adventuring gear, and took up with the Guild.
- Once upon a night we'll wake to the carnival of life
- The beauty of this ride ahead such an incredible high
- -Nightwish -- "Last Ride of the Day"
Gregarious, open, and good-natured, Aldean's a creature of instinct and passion first and reason and logic second. He's pretty flexible about who he'll work with on every alignment axis. He likes sunlight, people, and a good pint of ale as much as the next man. For him, music is about joy, sharing and community, as it is on shipboard, and he's more than happy to perform if asked. It's just fun for him.
This is not to say that he's made entirely of warm fuzzies. He's not opposed to turning his skills and talents to sub rosa work as needed to accomplish his mission. He's pragmatic in the end and will do what needs doing to get out of his current predicament alive. He does not generally enjoy being a jerk, but push the wrong button and he can display a hot temper that is without remorse or mercy. There aren't too many things that trigger such a flip, but if triggered, someone will pay and very likely in blood.
He adventures because he loves it -- it makes him feel alive as nothing else in the world does. Maybe a warm bed and a good pint of ale makes a good life, but in the end, it's boring. It doesn't feed a fearless and endless curiosity about the world and its people, and though wild horses couldn't make him admit it, the thrill of risking one's life, walking the edge and living to tell the tale, is his bread and butter. Seeing distant places and peoples, and learning their ways. This is what life is all about to him, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
Music is to him his connection to other people, and to the sacred. Such a connection is not always easy for him to explain or express, but he's unlikely to turn down a chance to play for others. It is, though, that connection that he seeks in the end, just like he seeks to connect by learning about others.
There is one exception to this openness and curiosity: Artifice bugs the crap out of him and even he isn't sure why. He thinks it's creepy and belongs at the bottom of the sea.