Skulls & Sword Coast
Draco Fanelluon (Shadowmantle)
Captain of the Wanton Wastrel
Race: Half-elf (Moon elf/ Rashemi) dhampir
Class: Bladelock (Undying) 14/ Swashbuckler 4
Status: Friendly (7)
Called “Shark-bait” by the other Free Captains, Draco is something of an enigmatic figure among the ships of Luskan’s Pirate Council. Outwardly, he appears to be a slight, half-elven man with abnormally pale skin, & messy white hair. He commands a fleet of three powerful ships, but despite this, Draco boasts next to no allies among the Free Captains of the Sword Coast. The sole exception to this rule is Ellyne Dlardrageth, who boasts a strange affection for Draco, despite his eerie nature.
According to legends, Draco is not a mortal man, but a monster: he doesn’t breathe; he has no heartbeat; his skin is always deathly cold; and he bears long pointed fangs where his canines should be. But, the oddity that has gained Draco his name & all its associated infamy is another odd quirk: even his merest wound can bleed with the volume of a dozen grown men. For these reasons, sharks & other oceanic predators follow Draco’s ship, the Wanton Wastrel wherever she sails.
None can say for sure where the awkward, dead-looking half-elf came from, but he has been sailing as a Free Captain for many years now. Though his crew seems loyal enough, rumors abound that the lot of them are either undead, or kept in Draco’s thrall by a mixture of Charm & Fear. But if Draco is a charmer by night, he’s certainly doing an excellent job of faking it during the day. Despite his imposing nature & reputation, in social situations, Draco is meek, awkward, & prefers to keep to himself. In confrontation, he buckles after only a few blows, & surrenders at the first opportunity. As a result, he is bullied by the few members of the Free Captains alliance who bother to talk to him, & easily intimidated into staying away from Sword Coast politics—at least for now.
Privately, Draco is the son of a fallen house of the High Forest: Fanelluon, though it is rarely spoken in elvish today. He is on a mission to retrieve an artifact—a magical blade—which once belonged to his family when they were still in good-standing among the elvish high houses. The blade is rumored to be a moonblade, & was lost when a member of his house—Draco’s own mother—fell into darkness, & fled from the High Forest, taking the blade with her. He is hoping, by retrieving the blade & returning it to its rightful home, he can redeem his family & earn acclaim for himself in one fell swoop. Perhaps, if he can do a enough job of it, he might even be free of his curse.
Though most of the rumors surrounding Draco are gross exaggerations, they bear within them a shred of truth. Draco is the son of Valindra Shadowmantle, the moon elven lich who has long terrorized the northern Sword Coast. His sire is Valindra’s late husband, Arklem Greeth, though he hesitates to call such a man his father. To Draco, the details of this union—& how conception was even possible between two liches—remains a mystery. In reality, however, Draco was conceived some 4-6 months before Deudermont’s attack in 1376: a time when his mother was still mortal, & his ‘father’ a newly-minted lich, with most of his body still intact. Due to Arklem’s volatile mood at the time, however, Valindra elected to keep her pregnancy secret until the conflict of Deudermont blew over. It was for these reasons that Valindra surrendered to Deudermont’s allies when they stormed the Hosttower, though she was murdered by her captors shortly thereafter—an act that naturally killed her Draco as well.
When Valindra was raised by Arklem as a lich, the ritual had a bizarre effect on the unborn child within her. Arklem had gone through great pains to obtain a phylactery for his wife, but had no idea about his son. Thus, when the ritual summoned Valindra’s soul back to the Prime, so too did it call to Draco’s. But, while Valindra could retreat to her new phylactery, Draco had nowhere to go. Ultimately, with no tether, the infant soul was drawn back into his mother’s undead body. Somehow, it became bound to Draco’s own flesh—as if the baby’s body was acting as its own phylactery. In some ways, this gave Draco a nature similar to Outsiders, though it was not a perfect facsimile. Where an angel’s body & soul are bonded in perfect union, Draco’s damaged soul is more like a cancer upon his body. And, if Kimmuriel Oblodra is to be believed, his condition is likely to worsen as time passes.
In any case, it was the combination of her own unwanted undeath, combined with the presumption that she had lost her son that drove Valindra to insanity following her transformation. Seeing an opportunity, Bregan D’aerthe intervened, & offered to restore the moon elf’s mind in exchange for Arklem’s help in the fight against Deudermont. Kimmuriel, left alone to tend to Valindra, immediately noticed the awkward, semi-living being within her. Intrigued, he used his psychic surgery to remove the child from Valindra’s rapidly-decaying body, & used his own mastery of psychometabolic disciplines to sustain him until he could seek Jarlaxle’s council. Jarlaxle, smelling opportunity, ordered Kimmuriel to sustain the child to term, thinking he could use the boy as leverage against Valindra later. Thus, Draco (named for his mother’s obsession with dracoliches) grew up in Luskan, bounced from orphanage & foster family, but mysteriously never without a place to call home. Ultimately, proximity & the suspicion that he was being followed drove the young man to sea, where he struck out as an independent captain, & eventually worked his way into the position of power he wields today.
Due to his semi-living state, Draco is afflicted by a number of biological abnormalities not unlike those of shadow sorcerers. But, while a shadow sorcerer may possess only one or two death-like oddity, Draco is unfortunate enough to be afflicted by all of them. With his flesh so tainted by shadowfell energies, he has an almost imperceptibly low metabolism. As a result, his skin is always deathly cold, & his heart beats only about once a minute at rest—an event that often surprises him. In order to keep from clotting, his blood is necessarily thin, & leaks profusely with the slightest cut—the feature that earned the boy his nickname. Shadowfell’s energies, however, are able to quickly heal such wounds, leading to the massive amounts of blood that are sometimes seen trailing after his ship. He does breathe, but at such a slow & infrequent pace that few notice. This ability, above all the others, Draco has found great use for at sea. In fact, the pirate estimates he would likely have drowned several times over without it.
Draco does bear fangs like a vampire, & can use them to bite at his enemies. He can also use them to drink blood like a vampire, & suffers a low degree of bloodlust. Upon suffering damage, he can use this ability to regain some of his own vitality, or to substitute for meals, but otherwise suffers no other vampire-like demands.
Draco was among the many contestants to enter the Free Captain’s Regatta in Ches 1525, and ultimately came in 2nd place—though many report he would have placed 3rd, had Elle’s ship not been singlehandedly sunk by the disqualified Barnabas Harrigan. With his promising finish & his years of successful—if unpopular—service to council, this reluctant half-elf is considered to be the Pirate Council’s top contender to claim a council seat. He was first considered for the position following the deaths of Havalas & Olga, alongside Elle Dlardrageth—a woman whom the dhampir can count among his few friends. Unfortunately, Draco was MIA at the time, having disappeared shortly after his This, combined with his rampant unpopularity among the Free Captains, led to other candidates such as Hanji and Baranbas Harrigan being considered in his stead. Should any more pirate lords… disappear, Draco is still on the short list of councilman contenders, but if he is to achieve such a seat (& thus prevent its theft by the traitorous Harrigan), he must not only be located, but convinced to cease his endless career of running from authority. And socializing. Actually, from people as a general statement.