Sir Gerard Dastrid
Breathe. Push the pain from your body. Change your stance, raise your blade. And dance, like it's your last one.
Social Rank: 7
Concept: Dancing Blade
Hair Color: Jet Black
Eye Color: Light Brown
Description: Gerard stands an inch or two shorter than most men, but the easy confidence with which the man holds himself gives the impression that he stands taller than he actually is. He has the wiry, lean-muscled body of a gymnast, and the worn, scarred hands of a soldier. Light, studious brown eyes glint with equal mirth in times of peaceful happiness, or in the midst of a challenging swordfight, both seeming to bring equal enjoyment to the man's rugged, charming features. He wears his curly black hair long enough that an errant curl or two will peek out from underneath a helm, when worn.
Personality: Gerard epitomizes the uncommon virtue of the common man, regarding himself simply as a soldier who left his common roots to answer the call to arms. With a strong sense of duty, he's never sought after glory or fame, instead feeling as though the honors he's been given are simply a reflection of fulfilling his duty as a Telmar armsman. The man is plain-spoken, polite, and compassionate; an honest worker's demeanor with a soldier's sense of purpose. Gerard approaches his role as a teacher with a clear passion for the subject matter, presenting the difficult realities of combat with a practiced grace produced through the crucible of experience. He knows the seriousness of the dances he teaches, and is willing to be resented for being insistent as a teacher in order to ensure his pupils know the proper steps.
Background: Born the son of a reasonably successful blacksmith, Gerard abandoned his apprenticeship at the age of sixteen in order to heed the call to enlist as a Telmar armsmen and do his duty to his House. Long hours spent hammering metal translated well to swinging large swords and carrying the weight of heavy sheets of plate mail. And so it was that Gerard found himself rising quickly through the ranks of the Telmar military, quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best young swordsman in the Telmar ranks. He continued his service well past his initial enlistment, his skillful swordsmanship eventually earning him selection to the Duke Telmar's personal guard.
A few years later, during a visit by Prince Radley, Gerard found himself riding out with Duke Arn and the Prince of Sanctum in order to quell a small shav incursion into the Oathlands. The invading force was larger than originally anticipated, and the Duke ordered his personal guard to reinforce a crumbling flank, placing Gerard in charge of the detail. When the dust finally settled, and the shavs routed, Gerard was found badly wounded, surrounded by a dozen shav corpses who feel victim to the armsman's dancing blade. Passed over by the first wave of medics, Gerard was left on the battlefield for dead, picked up almost by chance by another passing healer.
After recovering from his wounds, Gerard was knighted by Duke Arn for his bravery in combat, and given the honor of serving as the Telmar family's personal sword instructor, responsible for teaching young Ansel, the future Sword of Telmarch, how to dance with a blade. Becoming known around the Telmarch as the Telmar's dance instructor for the armsman's graceful swordsmanship, it's to this assignment that Gerard has committed himself for the past decade. With the majority of the House now located in Arx, Gerard is eager to continue to serve his family in their new home, and to make sure that future generations of Telmars do not forget their proper forms.