Drarli White-Wave (although in introduction this immediately followed with “Just call me Cluff.”) (Nord, 68) is an aging sailor brought onto Saint Alessia originally as Helmsman’s mate, but has found himself taking up the role of proper mundal Helmsman due to circumstance. Having seen almost every sea and ocean around Tamriel, his only real area of inexperience is that he has never served on a voidship before. None the less, if it has a wheel and a rudder, Drarli can steer it.
Drarli is short for a Nord, standing at only 5’10, though the slight hunch in his back indicates that he was probably taller in youth. Despite his age he still has a broad build, as well as quite a large belly, equal parts muscle and fat. Overall, he resembles a large barrel. A large, hairy barrel. His hands are heavily calloused after decades of using the wheel, rudder and rope. He’s missing the first joint of the middle finger on his left hand, lost in an accident.
His hair is curly and snowy white, hanging around his balding head like a wispy cloud, floating above his large ears. His true pride and joy however is his big curly beard and moustache, also snowy white in colour. His roundish leathery face and a big nose, hewn from spray, rain and sleet, features many wrinkles and sags, but his light blue eyes are still full of life, even if one of them is slightly squinty.
Items and Apparel: Edit
Drarli’s attire is seldom fancy, favouring practically over anything else. To that end, he owns a sturdy pair of leather boots, plain white britches, a few simple tunics, an old duster coat and a leather vest of Nordic origin, the only part of his attire that would count as ‘armour’. He often dons a flat hat with a wide brim, and is never seen without his amulet of Kyne – can never be too careful when sailing near those storms. He will often be seen smoking his tobacco pipe, and he is known to carry a fairly sizable flask on him that he claims contains mead; the heavy kick of the liquid suggests that it might be a bit more than that.
While primarily a helmsman or similar, he is far from defenceless. He will often have a large knife on him as well has his sturdy naval axe; a multi tooled device that can hack doors or people with relative ease. Further, he has a crossbow for when the situation merits it, as well as thirty bolts.
Anyone can steer a ship, but it takes a truly talented individual to helm one. As a helmsman, ol’ Cluff is nearly second to none. If it has a wheelhouse and rudder, he can pilot it, come any weather. With over fifty years of sailing experience on a wide variety of vessels, Drarli has learned how to read the sky and seas, knowing when it will rain, and how hard a storm will hit. He is also quite talented in the art of navigation, both in the use of the stars as well as maps, and because of his many years at sea he is familiar with a large number of shipping routes and the unique quirks of each. The same can be said with ships, as he has served on virtually every kind of ship imaginable – the only exception being a voidship; this is his first.
Aside for his nautical knowledge, Drarli is surprisingly sturdy in a fight despite his age. He can still throw quite a punch when roused, and his quite fearsome with his naval axe. However, he is most skilled with his crossbow, able to fire the weapon accurately both on land and on rough, rolling seas.
As he ages, it seems Cluff’s sense of humour grows even greater. He is a largely jolly, kind hearted and easy going fellow, always willing to share his knowledge to anyone willing to listen, and will gladly talk your ear off given the chance. Most would describe him as being very grandfatherly, spitting out sagely advice or witty quips with equal frequency. He has a great love of the sea and sailing upon it, but his years of experience sometimes works against him when being ordered around by someone who he believes is less experienced. He is a very practical and plain spoken individual. Oddly enough, he is able to keep calm in very tense situations, such as being surrounded by enemy ships whilst sailing through a storm, but can get a little flustered in lighter situations, such as nearly hitting a sandbar.
Good in a fight, surprisingly strong, knows his ships, damned good helmsman, good sense of humour.
Major Flaws: Edit
Sometimes takes his job a little bit more casually than would perhaps be expected – a hail back to an older time. Is known to deliberately annoy his fellow crewmen for his own – and others – amusement, though it is largely benign it can slow down the running of a ship. And of course, he is of advancing age, and despite his hardy nature this can be a limiting factor.
Born to a dockworker and a sailor in Solitude, sailing runs in Drarli’s blood. He was out helping his father on a fishing boat at the age of ten, and when he was sixteen found himself working on a trading vessel that usually sailed from Solitude to either Northpoint or Windhelm. He remained with that trading group for a few years, eventually becoming a helmsman at the age of twenty-three. It was at this time that he met the woman who would become his wife, Hulda the Red, who would bless him with many children.
He volunteered to join the Imperial Navy a year later, which resulted in a decade long career. Though he was hardly a marine, he did learn a bit more about combat during those years, particularly with his crossbow. After that he left the navy and worked largely freelance, taking helmsman opportunities as they came, his family often moving around with him as they travelled to new places where he would be centred for a few years, going where the work was. He served on whaling ships, merchant cogs, fishing vessels and many others. This saw him briefly sailing upon the lucrative waters of the Iliac bay, along the fringe of the Sea of Ghosts, and even along the famous Niben Run.
By the time he’d entered his 38th year he began contracted work for the East Empire Company, helming various ships bound for all kinds of ports with a great assortment of cargo. As a result, his family moved to the Imperial City, where he remained based until the current day. This also meant that he was among one of the first to helm then new and unparalleled Hackle-Lo Clipper, serving on the very first of the class, the EES Jill.
One by one, his children grew up and pursued their own careers, most of them taking up sailing like their father. This resulted in many of them finding other places to live: one son works fishing ships out of Sentinel, another works for the East Empire Company, a daughter lives in Solitude with her naval husband. However, Cluff and his wife remained based in the Imperial city, though they would visit their children and grandchildren as often as they could.
As Drarli’s age became more apparent in his late fifties, despite his insistence that he was still as good as ever, he didn’t find himself on the same long hauls as he once did, and even he had to admit that slowing down was probably a good idea. So, for the past ten years he has spent his time guiding ships in and out of port, occasionally helming ships out as far as Bravil. At his eldest child’s insistence upon hearing of the state of Cyrodiil, Hulda has since moved to live with her eldest’s family in Sentinel. With only a few more months of work until his contract with the East Empire Company as set for renewal or retirement, Drarli remained in the Imperial City.
Eventually, this contract expired, and so Drarli appeared to be fully retired from sailing. However, when he has been persuaded into one last job before he becomes landlocked forever; serving on the Saint Alessia.
Recent Occupation: Edit
Officially retired from a long career of helming vessels for the East Empire Company. Most recently, guiding ships in and out of port and making short journeys as far as Bravil.