Dark Sun: North & South Tablelands Games
A hardened nobleman-warrior of Balic turned introspective student of the Way
Coden is a handsome, well-built man who has had all the privileges of nobility, but also the physical training of a soldier. He is tall for a human at 6’ 2” and weighs about 280 lbs. He has sandy brown hair and slightly unnerving black eyes. His features are angular and solid; he looks almost like a statue.
Due to his incredible physique, Coden heals rapidly from injuries, and he has no scars or missing teeth.
Coden has long been the hope of the Rokos family in Balic: Gifted, highly intelligent, physically extraordinary. His natural insight and leadership skills were evident from a young age, and it seemed likely that he would be groomed for a prestigious posting, maybe even becoming a patriarch of the house in adulthood.
Political machinations interfered as his father died in mysterious circumstances (most likely by poison from a bard) and he was shuffled off to an uncle, Malikon Rokos, who served as his ward. His uncle, of course, intended to sideline Coden, in order to put Coden’s cousins into a position of higher authority. To that end he “encouraged” Coden to join the Balician military. A good background in warfare, and training in personal discipline, would serve him well later in life, or so he was promised.
Coden learned all of the expectations of the military and served well, though he had a noted tendency to overthink situations. His slow reactions meant that he focused more on making perfect plans. He mastered a humble weapon and proved adroit with the shield. Serving with a small squad of mixed freemen and nobles, he learned hard lessons from the lochagos. He developed his personal discipline and from the skeuophoros learned the uncommon skills of working weapons of all materials, including metal.
But he also learned that his uncle’s real goal was to keep him away from family affairs for so long that he would lose any chance to influence the estate, and perhaps even to have Coden killed in a Balician military operation. After serving for five years, he requested the opportunity to return home to continue to oversee the family estates. He called in favors with his unit commanders and a few far-flung relatives, and returned to Balic to rejoin the family.
Once in Balic he realized that he was politically outmatched; he didn’t have the money or local allies to out-compete his cousins. Instead, he hung up his spear and took up training in the Way, ostensibly to provide useful skills to the family, but in truth to expand his repertoire for political maneuverings.
His training was harsh, having come late in life. His mentor, a half-elf woman named Yriss, opened his mind to his innate sensitivity and his awareness of the world around him, but also left him with a very important lesson:
“How you act reflects upon you, not upon anyone else. Return evil with good, not because evil deserves good, but because you do.”