Lord Ian Kennex
It's going to be alright.
An overwhelming sense of calm and focus surrounds this dark haired twenty-something man, at once detached and dangerous. It's there in his drawn and graven features, where pain and determination are carved deep, but especially, it's there in his eyes. His eyes are a deep, pure, fantastic blue, and his level gaze, when it fixes on someone, is electric.
He's dressed in somber, simple black that flatters his compact, athletic form; the only thing remarkable about his clothes are the thick leather boots laced tight to the knee. Someone who cares to look close might notice that the boots are reinforced on the inside with simple metal braces. There's a cane to go with those braces, and this man who looks to be in the prime of his life nevertheless seems to need it.
Personality: Ian is level headed and driven, so much so that someone might almost forget that he's a cripple. His calm is almost impossible to rattle, but someone who is watching close might detect the occasional flash of frustration when he's thrown up against his limitations. Still waters, as they say, run deep.
Background: Ian was born the third son of a second son of the Kennex family, far from anything remotely resembling power or responsibility... but nevertheless, he seemed destined for greatness. He was hardy, athletic, and utterly fearless -- all qualities ideal for a son of Thrax -- but he added to that a focus and ruthless drive that was almost inhuman. As not the heir, not the spare, but just 'there', his education was minimal. He wasn't interested in books and nobody was interested in making him read them. Instead, he found his calling at a mere five years old, the first time that he picked up a blade. From that moment on, all of his drive was turned towards honing his skill, making himself into a more efficient weapon and ultimately a better killer.
Ian followed his brothers Aethan and Porter (ten and six years older than him, respectively) out to sea when he was a mere nine years old. This suited his father just fine; as the third son, his destiny would be to serve as a ship's captain loyal to his brother Aethan, after Aethan inherited. For the first few years, they did convoy duty, escorting merchant ships and protecting them from attack. Because he was so young, his brothers tried to keep him away from the actual action, but the violence found him when he was thirteen; that was the year he killed a man for the first time. Everyone expected the event to have some kind of devastating impact on the boy, but Ian's calm was unrattled, his focus unshaken. Even Ian knows his lack of reaction wasn't normal.
The brothers Kennex were tranferred from convoy duty to a small fleet of agile pirate hunter ships when Ian was fifteen. By now, intense Aethan, affable party boy Porter, and calm, driven Ian were building a legend for themselves as an inseparable, unbeatable trio. The Brothers Kennex. Aethan started to give Ian the command of the occasional prize ship as he approached his seventeenth birthday, and it was understood that a real command wasn't far in the future.
And then his life came crashing down.
He was seventeen years old, and had just been given command of a prize ship they'd taken earlier that day, along with a skeleton crew. Captain and crew set about fixing the damage caused by the battle to take her, at least enough to limp her back to port with the dawning of the next day. But as darkness closed in that night, so did a powerful storm. Lashed by wind and thrown about by heaving water, Ian's ship was in danger of sinking if someone didn't get up into the rigging and fix a broken reefing line. There was no time for him to send anyone who would try and fail, and the only person who he knew without a doubt could do the job was himself, so he was the one who went. With the mast swaying wildly, he managed to repair the line, but on the way down, his grip finally failed him, and he fell.
At first, everyone thought he'd died. But then they saw him trying to force his broken body to rise. He was carried below and left alone, struggling for each breath, while the crew tried to keep the storm from taking them. Everyone expected to find him dead, come the morning. What they found instead was that Ian was too tenacious to die -- but that maybe he should have. If he had, he'd have died a hero, instead of being forced to live out his days as half a man, a paralyzed cripple who'd been told he would never walk again. Even his own mother told him that if he'd had any sense at all, he would have died that night.
But Ian's focus, courage, and drive hadn't deserted him. As he healed, feeling started to come back to his legs -- along with bouts of excruciating pain -- and he pushed himself the way that he always had, determined to walk again. He rarely saw friends or even family during this time, tended mostly by servants. Even Aethan, wracked with guilt about his little brother's fate, couldn't stand to look at him. Only Porter remained loyal. The truth was that he made everyone around him uncomfortable. He had been the best of them, and all of that had changed in the span of a moment; he was a living reminder of how much they had to lose. As soon as he was well enough to undertake the journey, his family sent him away to Arx, where he would find "more opportunity".