Name: Aldun Engerran
Weapon of Choice: poisoned knives
Secondary Weapon: hand crossbow
Appearance: Aldun stands around six feet tall with gray hair and ice-blue eyes. He looks as if he was once a muscular man, but age has sapped away some of that muscle. His hands, though, remain as steady as ever. He has several scars on his body, many of which have a story. Aldun generally dresses in earth tones, though in the winter he wears a long blue coat with insignias stitched into it, the only remnant of a long-dead mercenary group.
Personality: Aldun is a cheerful man, always ready with a smile. He loves to recount stories of his past, reliving moments of his life again and again. He sometimes trails into silence as he recalls friends and comrades long-dead, however. He also rarely speaks of the battle that completely destroyed the mercenary group with which he served. He enjoys the occasional drink, with a taste for a particularly expensive and hard-to-come-by Illianer brandy. When at work, Aldun displays a dark sense of humor which becomes darker and more morbid based on the injury he is treating. People ignore this quirk though, since he was second only to Alaura Reese, the Chief Medic, in skill until her death against the Shaido in Cairhien.
Born to a Tairen innkeeper and his wife, Aldun learned the meaning of a job well done from an early age, starting to help around the inn from the age of six. His parents, though strict, were a loving couple who made sure that Aldun received everything he needed without spoiling him. From a young age, Aldun showed an interest in the treatment of injuries, spending time when he was not helping at the inn at the local healer's house, watching him treat whatever injuries and illnesses that came through his door. As Aldun's interest in the art of healing became more and more apparent, the healer eventually decided to take him on as an apprentice, where Aldun became able to actually help with the work. Often the two would joke as they worked, trying to keep the mood light. For some of the more serious injuries requiring a lot of messy work, it almost became a survival technique; joking about the injury somehow made it easier for both the healer and Aldun to cope with the work.
At the age of 25, when his apprenticeship to the healer ended, Aldun chose to seek his fortune in the world. Within a few months he fell in with a mercenary group called the Bluejackets, which consisted of about twenty-five members. Each full member wore a long wool coat dyed a deep blue with rank insignias on the chest and shoulders. The group had few front-line soldiers, relying mostly on archers and lightly-armored skirmishers. Their leader, a Shienaran named Kurli Stuge, was incredibly protective of those who fought under him, and Aldun's capability earned him the rank of captain, though it was mostly an honorary rank; Aldun was the first man to admit his shortcomings in the realm of tactics and planning, but since it was sometimes necessary to order a soldier to sit down and be treated, the rank was sometimes useful.
Unlike many mercenary groups, the Bluejackets were incorruptible. Once Commander Stuge had chosen a side, the Bluejackets did not turn traitor. The same could be said of Stuge's predecessor, as well as the men and women who had come before. The group had been in existence for nearly two hundred years in some way or another, and they had never reneged on a contract. Of course, this reputation meant that the Bluejackets could demand to be paid up-front, which served as encouragement to the men and women who followed the Bluejackets, hoping to be allowed to join. (Commander Stuge never allowed anybody to join who cared more about money than about their comrades; such fighters were useless to the Bluejackets.)
During his time with the Bluejackets, Aldun took part in countless small skirmishes and even a few pitched battles. Due to Commander Stuge's insistence that every man and woman pull their weight, he was not helpless, as was often the case with battlefield medics. Several years of training went into making Aldun the deadliest knife fighter in the Bluejackets. This was without the help of the paralyzing poison that Aldun used on his knives when in actual combat situations. He also became more than capable with the hand crossbow, able to make accurate snap shots from the hip that saved his life on more occasions than he cared to count.
No matter where in the world the Bluejackets found themselves, they would make full speed to the Borderlands if there was ever a request for them to do so, so the call to Tarwin's Gap did not go unheeded when it came.
Nobody expected it to be the end of the Bluejackets.
In the chaos of the battle, orders became confused, and when Commander Stuge received the order to send the entire mercenary group forward at a charge, he did not hesitate. Grim-faced and cold, the Bluejackets sounded the charge and, in the van, led the charge into the Gap and into the past tense.
Aldun, now a man in his early sixties, watched the ensuing slaughter. The Bluejackets made a great showing of themselves, taking down numerous Trollocs for every one killed, but there were plenty of Trollocs to replace the dead ones, and only a small number of Bluejackets. One by one, each man and woman wearing a blue jacket fell. When the battle was over, Aldun ran with speed that belied his age to his brothers- and sisters-in-arms, anxious to save even one life. Not one man or woman had survived long enough for him to arrive, though. For the first time in thirty-five years, Aldun had nobody left.
Another group of mercenaries was gathering as Aldun walked from the field. He recognized a couple from the sprawling mercenary camp, including a woman who seemed to be organizing everything, a Commander Ehlana Toredall. She seemed to be busy organizing yet again. For reasons unknown to him, Aldun felt drawn to the rag-tag group that was forming up behind a new banner, a white flag with a red hand in the center. It was thus, at its very founding, that Aldun Engerran came to the Band of the Red Hand.
Aldun served with the medics under Alaura Reese, a woman who was as capable as he was. She was a level-headed woman, able to keep her calm in a crisis, making her a better fit for command of the medics than he was; Aldun still leaned on his use of humor to calm his nerves during battlefield surgery, which was somewhat off-putting to the rest of the Band. After the battle of Cairhien, when Alaura was found with five Shaido spears through her chest and bandages in her hand, Commander Mehrin Deathwatch had no better candidate for Chief Medical Officer than him.