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Nael van Darnus
FFXIV: A Realm Reborn
Canon(with a great deal of assumed headcanon due to the character in question)
Looks about 35Gender:
MALE. MOST ASSUREDLY MALE.
WE DO NOT DISCUSS THE BINDING COIL INCIDENT GODS DAMN YOU BAHAMUT.
History: Have an article. And a far less comprehensive Wiki page
Born to a Garlean noble household, and a descendant of Allag, Nael had been met with the heavy expectations of high nobility in ADDITION to the stringent expectations of Garlean society as a general whole. The young van Darnus heir managed to escape the pressures of a forced, political marriage for the sake of procreating and ensuring the survival of the bloodline, by focusing on his military career first and foremost - thus leaving him the convenient excuse of not having the time to waste on such matters. Given the imperialistic nature of the Garlean Empire itself, his devotion to serving the Empire and spreading its greatness was actually commendable.
Nael had come to...ahm...inherit the head of the household and the title of Legatus at a surprisingly young age, around his teens or so, after his father had wound up suddenly contracting a fatal case of patricidal death. Very tragic. As noted in the article, his father's corpse was scarcely cold by the time he'd ordered his loyalists killed.
As one can certainly imagine, during his military career, he'd crossed weapons with many worthy foes. There was one, however, who managed to leave her mark on him. Her name was Bradamante, and she was an unbelievably fierce warrior, in addition to being attractive and possessing a remarkably strong force of will and personality. Nael had somehow managed to grow strangely attached to her on some level or another,
I would even suggest romantically involved in a fit of youthful folly, if he believed in such things
even though fate had ultimately seen fit to place them on opposite sides of the battlefield, where he inevitably dealt the blow which ended her life.
In spite of this, however, he named his new gunhalberd after her, as it had been christened with her blood. It was also the best honor that he could give to a fellow warrior - regardless of which side she had been serving in combat. To this day, there are still parts from that original weapon used in Bradamante's current incarnation.
It is worth noting that the bulk of what is seen of Nael in his canon is while he is heavily under Bahamut's influence, as he certainly seems to be tempered, so I'll note about where the lack of lucidity about started and about where you get to see a few short moments of lucidity during the Binding Coil debacle.
TEMPERING: is when a Primal basically floods an entity or a person with their energy, and basically winds up causing forced control/forced fanaticism of that person. Like attaching puppet strings to that person to make them dance and bend to their will. It is worth noting that Nael's tempering had been going on for about ten years or more, gradually becoming more and more readily apparent as it progressed, to the point where it was mostly Bahamut's influence talking by the end of it and scarcely Nael at all.
"Though many who challenged Ifrit were lost, the primal was overcome. Clearing skies over the Bowl of Embers revealed an airship from which the White Raven himself had been observing their struggle. Entreating the victors to converse with him, he came to ground and explained that, while Eorzeans see the Empire as craving for naught but power and territory, the truth of the matter was that a great evil looms over their world. Seeing that Hydaelyn would perish, the Empire had moved to deliver lesser nations from shadow and bathe all in the purifying light of judgment. Reciting the same prophecy of which Urianger spoke, he saw that the words were lost upon the adventurers. Disappointed, he digressed into a tirade that shocked and confused even those under his command as he began to glow with aetherial light." quoted directly from the linked article is about where Bahamut's tempering became obvious.
At the end of the fight against a female Nael Deus Darnus at the very end of Binding Coil of Bahamut Turn 9, Nael does temporarily shake Bahamut's grasp long enough for a few moments of lucidity! Wherein he not only expresses confusion at the fact that he is not in his proper form, but he also warns Alisae to prepare herself for what she is about to see in the Coil ahead, effectively warning her that her grandfather Louisoix having been manipulated just as Nael had been, and how they were bound to encounter him soon. A rare moment of kindness and honor that basically flew in the face of most of what could have been gleaned from his character while he was tempered and acting under Bahamut's control.
It is also worth noting at the same time as his warning to Alisae, he does make some passing comment along the lines of "the scared child that I once was". That said, it may provide some inkling of motivation to what had actually happened with his father and what had ultimately been the reason for the man's untimely demise.
It might be best to start off this section with noting how VERY different Garlean society is, compared to our standards for normalcy and behavior. They are EXTREMELY militaristic and focused entirely on increasing their government's reach. It is a very cut-throat society where power is valued and must be gained and preserved at absolutely any cost. It is vaguely similar to some of the totalitarian regimes here on Earth, but taken to an extreme, adopting the worst aspects from several different regimes in our world, essentially. It is extremely atheistic, religion being discouraged as an idea that was weak(and honestly, probably to give the people a set of ideas that they could rally around that were outside of the Empire's control and could eventually cause an uprising), the arts are heavily censored to nonexistent. There is this ideal that the Empire and those in it are superior to those who are not under its control, and that Garleans specifically are superior to the other races, often seeing the Eorzeans and even the inhabitants of their own conquered territories as lesser savages.
I should also note that, given how predatory Garlean society is, Nael does a great deal of posturing and trying to cover reactions and vulnerabilities - it's so natural to him at this juncture that he does not even realize that he is doing such most of the time. A lot of his posturing is trying to carry himself as this "Alpha" or "dominant" type personality that is very much in control of any situation he should be presented with - even when this is actually quite far from being the case.
Nael's outward front is often that of someone who is completely composed and serious, aside from occasional slight displays like a chortle, a lip twitch, a smirk, an eyebrow raise or eyes narrowing. He will oft try to keep his voice fairly level, unless something does manage to shake him enough to give himself away or he does opt to actually allow something to reflect in his tone. The helm often does make this entire facade of unfaltering composure seem far easier, but he will do a decent enough job of it without it. Or so he thinks, anyway. He does possess emotions! He just goes out of his way to avoid tipping his hand when it can be helped. And yes, he will actually try to convince other people, as well as himself, that that is who he truly is and what personality is actually truly there, ignoring what actually does lie beneath that cold veneer.
In spite of being able to keep up appearances and managing to "toe the party line" to some extent, however, Nael was considered an eccentric among the Empire. He believed that there were some gems of knowledge that could be gleaned from those civilizations outside of the Empire. However, that just means that it's less "Useless savages" and more "Poor savages with misguided beliefs, but there's still something I could learn from your primitive kind". The mere fact that Gaius, in actual 1.0 dialogue, refers to Nael as a god among his men, and states that he was so dear to them that they'd had a hard time accepting that he was actually dead and were sending false intelligence back to the Empire declaring that he was still alive. That kind of unwavering loyalty would suggest that he treated his men so VERY well that they would have followed him into the depths of hell and back. It also suggests that he does, in fact, have some basic concept of how people work and does actually know how to deal with people
when he isn't being controlled by an angry dragon god
I tend to headcanon that Nael is a noble warrior and honorable man, and that he does certainly have workaholic leanings. The sort of person who, were he working a desk job, would be at the office until late in the night, until even the night-shift janitor is starting to worry about how much time they're spending at it and tells them that they should probably go on home. It does mean that when he does wind up dedicated to a cause, however, that he REALLY DOES GET DEDICATED TO SAID CAUSE, and in the case of the Empire, he was willing to lay his life on the line for his beliefs. Well, at one time or another. As it stands at the moment, he's likely feeling somewhat conflicted over what had happened with him, and his actions, and what he'd been taught, and struggling desperately to reconcile this fact with the world around him in Maison.
There is some part of him that is cynical and almost fatalistic, wondering why he wound up in the House instead of simply being allowed to die when Bahamut had released him, and it likely will not be until he's found some other purpose to affix himself to beyond survival and leaving the house, that that is going to pass at all.
To say that he has difficulty with change would likely be putting it mildly, finding comfort in routine and ritual - yet again, one of those many wonderful things that likely ties back to his Garlean upbringing in some fashion or another.
He is also rather preoccupied with keeping up appearances and order at times, doing his best to ensure that his armor still lives up to the military standards with which he is so very well acquainted, and growing increasingly irritated with things like the inability to have a proper shave to remain clean and presentable. After all, that sort of discipline is part of what he'd grown up around, and him being prone to being meticulous over it is likely some anxiety-related quirk or another as a result of his life experiences or childhood.
Garleans have no fears what are you getting on with this primitive nonsense *brick'd*
Loss of control is a really big one for him, as I'm sure you can imagine, but I'll elaborate upon such. With how Bahamut's tempering had worked, he wasn't even aware of the fact that his actions were not logical, and even has a hazy grasp of the passage of time that he was actually tempered. Not to mention a hazy grasp of the actions he'd taken during that time that he was tempered. That said, for someone or something else to find some kind of in-road and to control him like that again, is a very real fear of his - much as he would never admit to it. So really, things playing with his perceptions can be a veeeeeery easy way to hit some very bad personal nerves.
Vulnerability is another fear of his, and really does put an interesting spin to the fact that even in the House, he won't be likely to stray far from Bradamante or his armor if it can be helped( of course if the House decides to change that, there's nothing that can be done). The vulnerability fear, however, extends and likely originates with regards to emotional vulnerability. He does not want to be hurt, or judged or even scared, really. Considering that I tend to headcanon that Garlean culture tends to be without much in the way of affection or coddling, even for small children and that weakness or perceived weakness in any form is highly frowned upon? Uh. Yeah. UHM. Emotional vulnerability. Yeah.
Explosions. No, I'm dead serious on this one. Explosions are entirely likely to send him into one of those horrible jags of him being unable to think of anything aside from smoldering wreckage and people screaming for awhile. Bozja Citadel and some other incidents were rather unpleasant, and what little cushioning Bahamut may have provided for his psyche on such things is now gone and the emotional fallout from that has come home to roost.
Also Dragons are the things of his nightmares, thanks to Bahamut. I'M SURE YOU CAN GUESS WHY.
Garleans have evolved pa--*brick'd*
Stubbornness: When Nael actually latches onto an idea, it can prove difficult to wrench it away from him - particularly considering the society he's from, this likely comes as no surprise whatsoever. It does, however, mean that that could get him in trouble if he did adamantly latch onto the wrong thing.
Garlean Ego/Superiority Complex: Even if he is far less bad for it than some of the other canon Garleans
I'm looking at you, Gaius
, it is still a big part of the society he had been raised in, and therefore it will be fairly deeply entrenched and trained into him. He is good enough with diplomacy that he will not always come out and tip his hand about such, but if you even look to the Test Drive thread, you would see that his first conclusion upon seeing phallic objects was that they were some kind of primitive ritual figurines. THIS MIGHT SAY SOMETHING.
Garlean Narrowmindedness(even though his is far lesser than that of his peers): This does more-or-less tend to go hand-in-hand with the aforementioned ego/superiority complex that pure-blooded Garleans do tend to have. In his case, it's less that the other races aren't capable of knowing things, it's that the other races are capable of knowing things and proving useful but they're still savages. And while there might be something useful that could be learned from them, they are still largely unenlightened and even a broken clock can be right twice a day.
Unwillingness/reluctance to admit weakness or that he was mistaken in certain cases: Probably does speak for itself, but because of all of the outward appearances needed to hold any station or to even really SURVIVE in Garlemald after a point, he's naturally going to have a hard time actually accepting that he might have made a bad judgment call or that he might actually happen to have feelings or reactions or some kind of shortcoming and will actually try to deny it. It also means that he may actually have a hard time accepting the idea of help or fussing over, after a certain point.
Unwillingness/reluctance to admit defeat: This is, likely, yet another one of those things that more-or-less actually speaks for itself, but. He is not overly likely to actually admit to someone or something managing to get the best of him IN MOST CASES. There ARE exceptions, but that does tend to be a ridiculously short list.
Garlean Indoctrination: While likely covered in the above points, it's also probably worth a separate mention. The mere fact that Nael is from such a strict and rigid society that had no time at all for novelties like fun and recreation, as far as he was concerned? He's likely going to not only have a hard time relaxing, but also having a hard time reconciling the far more casual environment in the house with what he'd been raised to believe was how the universe was supposed to work and spent most of his life expecting as the norm and just what one was supposed to do and how one was supposed to act and to carry themselves.
Tactician: Given his high-rank, he oft had to command troops and attempt to draft battle plans and the like. That said, he should be able to theoretically calculate relative strengths and weaknesses of himself or a given party and attempt to come up with a workable, effective, battle tactic. In addition to this, it is worth noting that his battle plans in canon were far more subtle than anything Gaius had implemented - often accounting for cultural differences and the behavior of people and basically relying upon subterfuge and culture-jamming.
Combat Skill: Regardless of the fact that he was high enough in rank anyway, he is, in fact, a skilled warrior who has been thoroughly trained to the point of mastery of his gunhalberd(although, for all intents and purposes, I'm referring to the actual halberd part of the gunhalberd right now).
Diplomacy: While this is entirely hit-or-miss, he is willing to try to learn something from those misguided savages who are blind to the Empire's glory.
Alertness: While arguably a weakness/hyper-vigilant state, it was a necessary thing to have if you were planning on surviving in Garlemald for any period of time. Even if he is about as psychic-perceptive as a brick, if sommething mundane moves and makes a sound close enough, it's likely to grab his attention.
Discipline/Focus: Given how proficiency in using a weapon hardly happens on its own and tends to involve a great deal of practice, it seems to be a logical enough conclusion that he has the focus to wind up becoming truly adept at something. On that same token, it also means that he can likely keep focused on a task or objective for as long as it takes, or at least for a very long time without wavering.
Intelligence: Nael does clearly do his share of reading and has proven himself to be fairly competent as both a commanding officer and as a soldier. Furthermore, it is worth noting that unlike Gaius who relied heavily on his Engineers to take care of things for him, Nael actually did try to understand what his Engineers were doing in addition to actually helping with some of the hands-on research of what he was getting himself into and try to contribute wherever he could. He actively read and researched some of the relics and mythology of ancient Allag.
Determination/Ambition: For one, the mere fact that he managed to survive for as long as he did in Garlean culture means that ahe likely had to have some of that as an inherent behavioral trait. Secondly, it is often said that part of the reason that he had killed his father was for the sake of power - in fact, this is precisely the reasoning you would wind up getting if you did wind up somehow asking about it. Much as tempering does tend to amplify what is already there to a ridiculous extent, it's rather apparent when he winds up trying to harness Dalamud as a power source that he does strive to be great and powerful, or at least has aspirations of being something greater than he already is. Ever on a quest for self-improvement, whatever form that might take, considering as even a master in any given field can always stand to learn and improve.
He has the sensitivity of a brick and it's even noted in canon that Garleans are physically incapable of using magic without heavy tampering. And that the Garlean complete inability to use magic is actually unusual among the sentient races.
His armor/the clothes on his back, Bradamante(gunhalberd: its "gunfire" is essentially just collecting the ambient aether and focusing it into a concentrated blast with about the power of a middling-high power handgun shot. The halberd part works just as a normal halberd would.)
Sample RP post:
The White Raven wasn't entirely sure what to make of these circumstances - on the one hand, he was at least male again....on the other, well, these were hardly environs he recognized. Where the hell had he been sent after Bahamut had released him?
Slow, measured steps carried the armored Legatus down the corridor. Answers would be appreciated. Answers would be very much appreciated, and if he didn't have to go through all of the trouble of a Garlean Interrogation to acquire said answers, it would be all the better - less needless hassle for him, that way.
(And that was shamelessly taken from his post to the Test Drive meme here, where interested parties can also feel free to see him in action at length: Here, for your reading pleasure.