Before we properly start, let me get a couple of facts about this character out of the way:
Yes, I got his name from the Prince of Persia movie. The classic game was the first pc game I ever played and it was my most favorite thing of that game that inspired Dastan’s creation so I thought it was a fitting homage. Basically, for those of you unfamiliar, at a certain point in the game you have the Prince step through a mirror and his shadow separates from his body… and goes on to be a passive aggressive asshole through most of the game until you actually get to fight it. Seriously, I hated that guy.
The smurf-looking guy on the right, in case you’re wondering.
Dastan’s last name is Shaykh, I got it out of a random surname list and thought it sounded cool… No other reason. I obviously didn’t think it through because this is the only character whose last name I still have trouble spelling correctly after 2 years.
He’s a drunky, but he is not an alcoholic (I know that’s what a lot of addicts say, but it’s true. We see Dastan perfectly sober in several moments during the RP with no symptoms of withdrawal whatsoever. He just really likes to party. >.>)
Anyway… Let’s get on with it, yeah?
“As far as living beings go… You can tell they are worthy, special, when they humble you by simply being themselves, when they find a way to sneak up on you even when they’re not actually around, when you meet them and you immediately know that if you walk away you’ll never meet someone quite like that again in your lifetime. When someone like that comes into your life they are definitely worth the time it takes to know them, and it’s sure worth fighting to keep them, or dying to protect them… Like I would, for any of these drunken fools roaming your camp tonight.”
– Dastan Shaykh, Shadows of The Forgotten
Oh, God, I’m horrible. I’m a horrible, horrible, person. *holds back a sob*
Dastan is the Leader of a mercenary clan called the Crimson Shadows. The first glimpse of him was during the end of SOP when his clan moved back into their territory in the desert and came across a dying Crys bleeding out in the woods. He and Crys have known each other for ten years and when the Crimson were pushed out of their territory by some cultist weirdos she insisted with her mother to let the mercenaries into their territory. Likewise, following Crys’ exile Dastan allowed her to bring her small group of outcasts into the Crimson’s territory in the desert. That caused some tension, to say the least, between the mercenaries and the Wolfpack. Even so Dastan, and the majority of his clan, rejected the idea of turning the assassins in to their former clan and defended them at the cost of their own blood.
The Crimson are a very close group of generally very nice guys; even if a bit loud and rough around the edges. The group originated from the survivors of two cities that destroyed one another during the war banding together in the desert generations ago and choosing to work together to keep the memory of both cities alive in their descendants. They’re excellent warriors, loyal to their friends and allies until their very last breaths, and protective of any who are too vulnerable to fend for themselves. Not to mention it is nearly impossible to be in a bad mood hanging out with those guys. Any reason is a good reason to have a party, drink, gamble and fight. They’re a lot of fun. Dastan himself is one of the nicest guys I ever written. He may even surpass Jake in the ‘nice guy’ category. He’s nice to the point of developing romantic feelings for Crys and not only making absolutely no move on her, actually telling Jake to man up before he ends up losing her. Yes, that happened. It was epic. He has a bit of a reputation of being a drunk and a player, and he wouldn’t deny that he is, but he’s a fun drunk and a respectful player.
If by now you’re wondering what any of this has to do with the shadow man from Prince of Persia, well, Dastan’s enlightenment is Shadow Manipulation (in Valcrest I’ve established that shadows are their own element, it works for this setting), that allows him to conjure solid objects from shadows. Another ability involved in his enlightenment is to raise and animate another individual’s shadow, or his own, as a fighter. Raising another person’s shadow requires Dastan to control it directly, while raising his own shadow will generate a sentient shadow golem that is a reflection of Dastan’s own mind. A possible side effect of this practice is that the caster’s mind may permanently split causing him to slowly lose touch with reality. Dastan’s own father suffered this effect and attempted to kill his pregnant wife and his unborn son, saying that the shadows had claimed the child. Dastan’s mother died giving birth to him and he grew up fearing his father’s fate from the moment his enlightenment first manifested. A fear that has recently come to life, because I’m a horrible, horrible person.
What happened was that Valcrest fell into complete darkness due to a solar eclipse. During that eclipse The majority of Dastan’s clan was slaughtered, by living shadows. Despite a bit of observation pointing to the fact that this was most likely not his own doing and rather an attack directed at his person, Dastan did witness his own worst nightmare come to life and lost most of his friends in the process. He’s hanging on the edge of his sanity, the poor man.
He’ll be okay though, eventually… He’s got friends, he’s not alone in the world… He’ll get through this, hopefully, and then maybe I’ll stop feeling like scum for doing this to him.
PS: By the way, if you liked the above lyric video consider giving it a like on YouTube. I did put some work into it. 😉