Character Name: Dom DiSaaro
Played By: Bailey Hellerud
Born: December 27th, 238
Rumors: Hates the name Dominic
The Order has always been my life. I was young when I joined, younger than most of the other children in the keep. Growing up in the shadow of the Lions, I hoped to emulate them and someday join them, though I was always smaller than my colleagues as a child. I worked hard and took any task or chore offered to me, hoping that they would make me bigger and stronger. Though I had to work harder to match the other boys physically, I was able to surpass many of them mentally, devoting what time I had left to learning. A scribe worked to teach me the High Aldorian language so I could help her translate the Tomes and spread the word of the Path.
When I was sixteen, I joined the Lay Militia, eager to prove myself to the officers and Lions overseeing my unit. A few months after training, I was sent as part of an escort for a number of Griffons to meet with Baron Richards in Newhope to discuss his investments into Starkhaven. We were given leave to explore the colony during the meeting, and I found myself in a small park. I saw a young girl, likely not much older than ten. She looked upset with three boys, younger than me but still far larger than her, who seemed to be mocking her relentlessly. I strode past the three boys and crouched down next to the girl, ignoring the boys completely. “Hey. Are you alright? Did they hurt you?” The girl shook her head. “That’s good. What’s your name?”
“Rossignol. But no one can say it right, so I just go by Rose.”
“Well, Rossignol, it’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Dom. It’s short for Dominic, but I don’t really like that, so I just go by Dom.” I was stopped suddenly by a hand grabbing my shoulder. The bullies were upset that I had ignored them, and wanted my attention. All they got was a finger raised, telling them to wait. “See, Rossignol, do you know why these brutes are picking on you?”
“Because they’re mean and I’m small?”
“It’s because they’re scared. They know that someday soon, someone bigger, or stronger, or smarter, or just better than them is going to come along, and when that happens, they won’t have power over anyone else ever again. They’re cowards.” I felt a hand on my shoulder again. “One moment, Rose.” I stood and turned to face the boy who was grabbing me. “Thanks for waiting. Now, what ca-“ I was sent reeling by a fist in my jaw. The other two caught me and kept me from moving as the first went to work on my ribs.
“Cowards, huh?” He spat at me through gritted teeth. “I’ll show you who’s a coward!”. It seemed like hours before they finally let me go, though really it was probably only a minute or two. Bruises on my face, chest, and stomach had already begun to form, and all I wanted was to lay there. I saw Rossignol staring at me, almost inspecting me from a distance, and I willed myself to my feet, despite my body’s many protests.
“Dominic, you look bad. You should lie down.”
“What, this? No, I’m fine,” I managed somewhat weakly, sure that I wasn’t convincing anybody of that claim. “That’ll show them. I had them on the run. I had them right where I wanted them…Yeah, I’m going to sit down now.”
“Well, for what it’s worth, thank you.”
Rossignol and I parted ways after that, but I made sure to keep writing to her. She was a smart child, smarter than most I had met, but always more than a little awkward around the other kids. She always got excited when she made a new friend, and I was happy to see those letters, though they would invariably be followed shortly thereafter by another one explaining why the former friend was stupid and no longer worthy of her time. I made sure to visit her any time I was in Newhope, and soon she became like a younger sister to me.
As I worked my way through the ranks of the militia, I continued to write to Rose. I would volunteer for any missions to Newhope, and try to meet up with her, even just for a meal. I wrote to her every week, and she would always respond just as quickly. My Aldorian grew rusty in Starkhaven, with fewer people continuing to uphold and learn the language, but our letters gave me some practice here and there. A few other members would tease me when I got the letters, but I just brushed off their comments.
This went on for four years, writing letters and visiting when I could, training and drilling during the day, studying scripture at night, until I was finally allowed to petition to join the Lions. I dove headfirst into my duty, ignoring the outside world completely, and emerged on the other side in the Light of Arnath, accepted and welcomed into the ranks of the Lions. I was busy with my new duties now, preaching, training new recruits, learning more about the divine magic I would need to call upon, and I stopped writing.
I continued to preach the word of Arnath since that day, using my faith to serve as a beacon, guiding the lost back to the Path. My work with the Order of Arnath’s Fist has led me to a number of great deeds, and I have been blessed to touch so many lives, but it was when I was first introduced to the new chapter, the Order of Light and their more progressive, diplomatic ways that I first saw my true calling. I joined with them, eager to show the world that the Lions of Arnath are not just warriors, that we are not all the prejudiced descendants of those who came before us. Arnath is a lion, but he is also a Shepherd, and we are the hounds who watch over his flock.