Danyial Sikander XXI Dravot Sahib (born Daniel Dravot in Nordiskehjem, 1559, died 23.II.1657 in Modan-Lach) is a Normark-born Elwynnese general, legal scholar and administrator. Chairman of the ESB Group, Arandur of the Emirate of Alalehzamin and Utasia (since 1644), Royal Instructing Justice of Elwynn (since 1644), former Minister of Military Affairs (1645–1648), former Steward of the Imperial Republic (1645–1647).
Steward of the Imperial Republic until 1647, Dravot disappeared a few years prior after being pursued by daemons unleashed by a vengeful Tokaray al-Osman who now wields the Sword of Vengeance to bind the infernal legions of Balgurd to his bidding. Such is the story at any rate. Some people maintain that Noor had him quietly poisoned along with his wife and their bodies dumped into the turgid waters of the Red Elwynn. There have, however, been reported sightings over the years that would appear to give the lie to this.
Dravot and his wife returned to Shirekeep in 1651, quickly resuming their old authority. His advanced age however obliged him to support his wife, Liv Dravot, in taking the Stewardship rather than returning to the office himself. The atmosphere within the ESB Group became increasingly poisonous as the directors and their underlings began to sense the effects of age catching up with him and the prospect of a new struggle for the chairmanship of the group began to become very real.
A lifelong republican, Dravot disdained titles and the trappings of nobility, preferring to monopolise offices and corporate power instead. This anti-monarchic sentiment galvanised him into action, in spite of his advanced age, when his wife the Steward unleashed the Auspicious Occasion upon an unsuspecting world. Dravot played a brief but integral part in the capture of the Krull Palace and the announcement of King Noah's deposition.
In the aftermath of the ouster, Dravot had attended briefly to his duties as Royal Instructing Justice of Elwynn and Arandur (Steward) of Alalehzamin and Utasia. His attention was primarily taken up by the fallout from the sudden expulsion of the Froyalanish community from Elwynn and their deportation westwards into the former Amokolian territories. A number of political prisoners were released from His Serenity's Gaol Dragonsfold on his orders, although he was loath to sanction the release of the lower and mid-rank cadres of the former Soviet regime in Mishalan, he did however allow for their living conditions to be improved and for the more robust amongst them to become prison trusties, used by staff to control and administer physical punishment to their newly arrived Vanic cellmates. It was a role they took too with some gusto. Disorders in the former Amokolian territories, especially Batavia and the FNR proved a constant burden for him during this period.
Dravot continued to play a role in the direction of the Ministry of Military Affairs and the ESB Group although a greater share of responsibility was passed out amongst his fellow directors who became, by a peculiar quirk, Ministers in Commission themselves. He was also obliged to find a directorate position for an inconvenient niece whom he obliged in turn by dispatching her on a posting to distant Eura.
In spite of his enthusiasm for ending the monarchy in Elwynn, Dravot played only a limited role in the Constitutional Convention of 1652–1653 which restored republican government. Part of the reason for this was that, in early 1653 as he was taking part in a session of the convention's drafting committees he was crippled by the sudden onset of a severe illness. Physicians of the Elwynnese and Imperial courts were rushed to Eliria to be in attendance upon him. Nonetheless, in spite of his debilitated condition, he was able to cast his vote in favour of the restoration of republican government. It was, he declared to those about him, the finest moment of his life to see the gaudy hollow edifice of the Froyalanish monarchy finally knocked to the ground.
As the year passed it's mid point the unidentified sickness spread through his entire body, accompanied by a legion a symptoms, each more distressing and disgusting than the last. He ran consistently elevated temperature, endured unbearable itching all over his body, constant pains in the lower bowel, his feet swelled as though ravaged by gout, inflammation of the abdomen, liver and kidneys, his genitals began to putrefy, sending him into agonies bordering on delirium, as well as difficulty in breathing, especially when lying down, and near continuous bodily spasms. The finest grades of Euran sourced opiates were procured to help alleviate his sufferings. In spite of the pain Dravot insisted upon keeping his morphine intake to as low a level as at which he could endure. He sought to remain compos mentis and refused to relinquish the state and corporate seals and keys to anyone, even his wife. There were those, typically Froyalanish community and their sympathisers, who maintained that his many diseases were a punishment from the Lady Divine for daring to raise his hand against her anointed King. The more rational were of the opinion that gentlemen in their 94th year might be reasonably expected to suffer from some sort of malady or another. The peculiar nature of it was a source of some perplexity however. Painful and intrusive tests had ruled out the obvious candidates, cancer or chronic liver disease foremost amongst them, leaving the question of what else there might be. Inevitably thoughts began to turn to the possibility of poisons. Whilst an exhaustive trawl of known toxins was undertaken, the court physicians began to reach out to known specialists in the field of advanced medical research. A delegation of Natopian doctors was dispatched from Lindstrom City by the Minister of Security. Meanwhile discrete contact was made with Kalgachi envoys to enquire after the practicality of telomerase therapy as a potential cure or at least a palliative treatment. It was however known that the events of the Oustfest Massacre of 1644, especially the indiscriminate slaughter of Shirekeep's Deep-Singer community, had not endeared the old country to Kalgachia's caste of medical professionals and genetic engineers. If there was a cure to be had from that direction, it was unlikely to come without a price tag.
In the meantime, in the best tradition of those who had endured many years resident in Shirekeep, Dravot wrestled with the many illnesses and disorders that now afflicted him. Although each on their own ought surely to have been fatal, they appeared to assail him concurrently and thereby somehow held each other in a dreadful stalemate. Throughout this ordeal he clung to life, hoped for recovery, cursed anyone who suggested reconciliation with his bastard son, and planned his own treatment. In secret he sent an ESB apprentice to Lachmeren with the express purpose of becoming a devotee of the daemon Stolas and thereby to learn the lore of poisons and their antidotes. For the apprentice time was of the essence, a standard demonic pact would require eight years of service, and Dravot doubted that he would have eight months.
In public however, he crossed the Red Elwynn and, after making his final goodbyes to the General Staff and ministry personnel, at that time occupying Tempus Keep, continued in a medevac Jackalope which carried him into Brookshire. On his journey he was escorted by an entire cohort of the Steward's personal legion (the Scholae Palatinae). His ostensible purpose was a religious pilgrimage to the Yoni Temple Complex in Modan-Lach. Although many of the holiest sites of Cedrism were to be found in Shirekeep, the Temple of Mors had the stench of death about it - both on account of the intrinsic nature of deity and also more pertinently the still partially flooded catacombs. None of which appealed to a sickly elderly invalid casting about for a cure. The waters of the Yoni temple were reputed by the local, omnipresent, population of Laqi to be especially blessed, potent and pure. In view of this, Dravot was resolved to ensconce himself in the hospice attached in the Sanctum of Malarbor and await the outcome of his various endeavours to evade death and perhaps even attain further longevity.
On the 23rd of Kuspor 1657 Dravot succumbed to the effects of a severe intracerebral haemorrhage whilst praying in the Sanctum of Malabor, located in the Yoni Temple Complex of Modan-Lach. His retainers were able to rush the stricken Chairman to the temple's on-site clinic, but Dravot was declared clinically dead whilst doctors were attempting a dural puncture in order to conduct an extraventricular drain.
- Deputy Minister of the Union for Peace & Kinetics, 1589–1597
- Brigadier General of the Nordic Union, 1589–1597
- Bludgeoner-General of the Corps of the Gentlemen-at-Cudgels, 1605–1613
- Martial Law Coordinator of the State of Elwynn, 1609–1613
- Director of Logistic Services & the Directorate of Security for the ESB-Jörmungandr Group 1634–1644
- Chairman and Director of Commodity Services for the ESB-Jörmungandr Group 1634–the present
- Arandur of Alalehzamin and Utasia, 1644–1651 & 1651–the present
- Custodian of the Tarjeisson Trust, 1644–the present
- Royal Instructing Justice of Elwynn, 1644–1651 & 1651–the present
- Minister of Military Affairs, 1645–1648 & 1651–the present (in-commission)
- Steward of the Imperial Republic, 1645–1647
Daniyal Dravot had one illegitimate son, Roy Stone, born in 1637, whom he had disowned and sent off to live in obscurity in Minarboria. After the boy reluctantly found himself an Imperial subject following the occupation of Lywall in 1649 Dravot was obliged to admit paternity in order to have his son released from one of the notorious Displaced Persons Camps of Malarboria. Having met his son at some point in 1651, Dravot was immensely disappointed, declining even to sponsor his citizenship application. Instead, in the following year, he sold him to the King of Goldshire as a drunken expression of gratitude for a particularly obscene flag designed to represent the Froyalan National Reserve.
Dravotnameh: The Life of Daniyal Dravot
The Dravotnameh was a highly fragmentary record of Daniyal Dravot's improbable career prior to becoming Steward for the first time.
Three men on a boat to Azeroth (not counting Billy Fish)
Dravot took with him two other companions, Carnehan an acquaintance from his days in the UDF who brought with him a selection of knives, pistols and hunting rifles and Ecthgow, a Norse scout armed with a pair of throwing axes and a longbow provided by the Arandur. As far as provisions went they took with them a hamper of cured sausages, ham, boiled eggs, cheeses and water biscuits. They also found room for several bottles of dark beer and a selection of pale ales suited to Dravot's discerning pallet.
The skiff they were to take across to the western bank of the Blue Elwynn came with a low born Babkhi skivvy, possessed of a notably fawning disposition and a pair of oars, who it transpired was to be the principle means of propulsion and navigation for the voyage. This individual Dravot renamed Billy Fish on account of it being the tradition, ignoring the voluble protests of Carnehan. Ecthgow made no comment but instead silently slipped his hand into the hamper, removing one of the sausages which he sniffed suspiciously before quietly secreting it about his person.
It transpired that Billy Fish had a great enthusiasm for rowing, but a greater one for conversing with great gusto on matters of no great significance to the trio, this latterly proved to be regrettable and was resolved by Carnehan's fists a half-hour into the voyage, whereafter Billy wailed with a passion, until Carnehan showed him the flat of his hands, whereupon Billy discovered the aptitude for quietude that was desired. Dravot limited himself to remarking that it wouldn't do to be beastly to the help, causing Carnehan to remark that if Dravot knew a better way to keep a 'Wog' quiet, he was welcome to try it. Ecthgow, sensibly it must be said, kept out of this discussion and kept his eyes focused on the distant shore of Angularis. Billy Fish simpered somewhat but was otherwise very commendable in his diligent rowing.
In spite of Billy Fish's best efforts, the strong current of the Blue Elwynn was pulling the trio's little skiff a further distance southwards than it was managing in crossing the river from east to west. As Carnehan watched the grain barges leisurely drift along on their course towards Shirekeep and the ESB cargo boats chugging against the flow towards the docks of Ardashirshahr that they had left two hours previously, he had cause to wonder, and at length to ask, why it was that they had been sent out in this manner to make contact with the Storrish merchants on the opposite bank when Thorgils could have charted a helicopter for them or even dialled them up on the Elwnet himself. Dravot leaned back in his seat and glanced up into the sky. As he pondered this question, a Ryker blimp passed overhead, lingering gently in the countervailing breeze on its way to Sansabury. On reflection Dravot supposed that, if they had been dispatched in this manner, Thorgils could not be in that much of a hurry to hear the answer. That caused Carnehan to ask, in that case, what the point of hurrying to cross the river in a flimsy little skiff? Dravot supposed that there was, in fact, probably no point - except to show that an effort had been made. Ecthgow now spoke, saying that it was their duty to proceed as ordered, for they had taken the Arandur's Thaler and accepted his salt for their bread. Carnehan muttered that it was a rum business for the director of an omnipresent corporation like the ESB, as Dravot was, to be, as he charmingly put it 'pissing about on a tiddly little boat in the middle of a damned big river'. Dravot acknowledged that could be the case, but they should not worry themselves unduly since he had about his person his employer's letter of credit and a debit card loaded with Erb. Carnehan remarked how that was fine and dandy but neither a letter nor a card was much use in the middle of a crowded shipping lane unless Dravot was planning on opening a line of credit with the damned fishes. Dravot mulled that over and was obliged to concede that Carnehan did indeed have a point, and he turned to Billy Fish and gently suggested that he turn the boat about and put in to shore; there was, after all, bound to be a serviceable hotel in Babran and a better way to cross the river could be found in the morning. With that said, Dravot opened the cooler and passed a bottle apiece to Carnehan and Ecthgow, suggesting as he did so that there was no point letting the provisions go to waste. Billy Fish huffed and puffed as he exerted himself sculling the left oar whilst balancing its opposite number above the water, and slowly the boat turned.
As Billy Fish set about tying the skiff to a mooring post along the quayside, the most notable thing about Babran was that it was not Ardashirshahr. A Bailiwick with a population of 312,406, overwhelmingly Babkhi, overwhelmingly Zurvanist, the sort of place where the call to prayer still ends with a Marg bar yeh Elfinshi and a Marg bar yeh Sathrati for traditions sake. The city itself had a population of 133,384 and like all cities of a Babkhan type was surrounded by a high defensive rampart. Functionally useless in the modern age of course, but it provided a reassurance that the lords of the ziggurats dwelled within whilst those who were not, did not. The wall was itself surrounded by a circuit of tarmac that, at least in theory, served as a dual carriageway. The trio, having left Billy Fish with the care of the boat, their rifles and the chewed remnants of the hamper, found that the drivers in Babran, like any true Babkhi anywhere, treated the division of roads into lanes, and other intriguing notions of traffic management and safety, as being very much of an advisory nature. The drivers also appeared to take great delight in treating the spectacle of three pale-skinned pedestrians foolhardily attempting to cross the motorway from the harbour to the main city as though they had been presented with a moving target and an opportunity of which they now readily availed themselves. Dravot survived three roads, two green lights and a roundabout before finding himself sheltering in the comparative safety of one of the city's seven gates. Carnehan, who followed closely behind, bellowed his fury at misbegotten heathens whilst shaking his fists in an impotent rage, much to the amusement of nearby kebab vendors.
From the Harbour Gate they entered the bazaar district of Babran along a thoroughfare known in Babkhi as the 'True Road of the Broad and Straight Path'; it goes without saying that the street was narrow and winding and doubled back on itself on at least two occasions. The buildings were packed close together and lined with stalls selling spices, cloth, jewellery and ornately decorated assault rifles detailed with inlays of gold, silver and ivory in a filigree pattern. As they navigated their way along the street it was Ecthgow who first noticed the gradual change in character. The cobbles began to feel more even underfoot, the noises began to subtly fade and the stalls were replaced by glass fronted shops with neon lighting. Once they had passed under a ruined archway with a trilingual dedication to the victory of Baron Ardashir over the Elfinshi and the Boreals this change became sufficiently apparent for even Carnehan to stop muttering murderous oaths and take notice. There was a reason for this: the archway marked a spatial divide within the ethnographic hierarchy of the Babkhi community, marking the end of the Umraist part of the city and the gateway to the wealthier Ardashirian quarter at its very heart. The Ardashirians claimed descent from the settlers of the first migration and had somehow managed to connive to retain wealth and power in spite of all the travails their community had faced over the intervening centuries. The looming shadow of a ziggurat would dispel any lingering doubts in that regards. The alleys widened and the buildings became smarter, but not only that - the people were better dressed too. Buffed fezzes in vivid crimsons topped faces adorned with well trimmed goatee beards and complemented close fitting tailored suits of linen and silk. Women wore their veils carelessly or not at all and mingled freely with the men with whom they strolled companionably. It was, in short, declared Dravot, the place where they would be most likely to find a tolerable hotel for the night. Carnehan murmured his assent but croaked that they had better not pick a dry establishment. There was little chance of that, Ecthgow replied, since the Babkhi drank like fishes - even the Umraists, who just knew how to hide it better, he added in a laconic drawl.
|Steward of the Imperial Republic