The first in a number of blog posts to introduce the characters of my book, the Silent Slayer.
We begin with the Silent Slayer himself. Drem:
Drem is not his real name. Drem is the name of the cold blooded killer he has become. When he was a young man, carrying an ordinary name few know him by, he chose to become a killer, and knew that to become one, he had to change. He was a practical person, raised in a tough childhood in a poor settlement, so to kill another being was not unthinkable. But to truly become a predator he had to let go of all emotion, to think with ruthless precision. This he set out to do. He invented Drem and then became him. He has been Drem longer than he has been anyone else.
In becoming Drem, he succeeded far more than he had ever planned. He is now a figure of fame, almost deemed supernatural. To him, there is no magic to what he does. He is stealthy by skill and takes care by instinct, while his natural ability to think things through and prepare fully means he rarely fails in reaching his target. Even when things do go wrong, Drem has learned to be adaptable. Now in this thirties, Drem knows many tricks to being an assassin and is aware of many random happenstances that can befall someone in his work. Therefore, even when he heads into a seemingly simple mission, he is always thinking of what can occur, how to handle it and how to turn it to his advantage. For this, he is rarely detected as he kills. For this, many people believe him to be unnatural. He knows hard work, experience and skill are his only magic, but the awe people have of him is not something he ever dissuades.
Drem is known as the Demon of Darkness by some, the Silent Slayer by others, and still more names. It is even said there are some dark cults that worship him. These are useful tools in his eyes and no more. Tales have been told of him across the continent of Una and beyond, and for others to know him is to fear him. Many times the terror in an opponent has ensured a kill, and to Drem, with his cold-blooded view of the world, this is as important as maintaining his weaponry. To be seen as something inhuman, to be thought of as unkillable, undetectable, even ethereal, ensures his success, and the more he succeeds, the more he is dreaded.
For this reason, Drem is trapped in a sense. Fame has brought fear and thus success, but it also means many want to kill him. He doesn’t resent this, merely accepts it as part of the life of an infamous assassin. But he knows that to continue to live, he must remain as Drem. He can never let his ‘self’ slip. He cannot care or even allow himself to care a little. He cannot show mercy. He cannot stop thinking and planning and preparing, and he cannot enter a room without checking for hiding places and exits while scanning faces to see who will do what. He cannot relax. He cannot not be Drem. The moment he does, he will lose the deadly nature that has kept him alive. If he ever were to stop being Drem, any killer wanting fame would come after him.
When young, Drem looked at his average life with little prospect and chose to become someone else in order to live. He chose a path of travel, adventure and danger. He didn’t want to be yet another person trundling through a life of hardship, so he became what he knew could be a survivor. He has survived much. But his path has set him on a course he cannot change. He has no final destination in mind. He is Drem until he dies. He knows this. He accepts it. He cannot undo what has been done. He is a killer, a legend, often deemed a monster. So be it.