Gabriel of Canterbury
Dragonborn Knight Templar
Gabriel is a powerfully-built dragonborn standing over seven feet tall. His huge size is enhanced by the massive suit of full-plate armour he wears so effortlessly. This striking plate-mail, crafted of blackened steel inlaid with golden flame motifs, is almost as eye catching as its wearer. Over this, he always dons the white mantle, bearing a red cross, which is iconic of the Templars.
This pious dragonborn has pale golden scales and piercing blue eyes that glow with an inner light. He speaks in a deep, dignified voice that commands respect yet can be raised to a great volume when issuing commands in the field. In battle he wields a huge greatsword in the shape of the cross and exhorts God to smite his enemies and protect his allies.
Gabriel, sometimes referred to as ‘the Dragon’, is the right hand of Geoffrey FitzStephen, Templar Master of England. He is sent north with a Templar army in the aftermath of the Battle of Vindolanda, tasked with defending the realm from invasion at the hands of the ungodly.
Together with his combination of piety, humility, determination and religious fervour, Gabriel’s inherent dragonborn strength and years of training have created what many of his peers believe to be the perfect exemplar of a Templar Knight. This impression is only enhanced by his sense of justice, capacity for mercy, and drive to defend those less fortunate than himself. He is however an implacable foe of heresy and apostasy, and is bemused to the point of intolerance by those who have not fully embraced God’s love (and the authority of his earthly representatives).
Gabriel’s earliest memories are of life in Canterbury Cathedral, serving the Archbishop Thomas Becket. He was raised in dedication to the Holy Trinity, and believed he was destined for the humble life of a Benedictine monk.
All this changed when the Archbishop was murdered in 1170 by four infamous knights, apparently acting at the suggestion of King Henry II. Gabriel, not yet full grown but already the equal of a man in size and strength, was the Archbishop’s cup-bearer. As the knights approached his master with swords drawn and bloody intent, Gabriel attempted to stop them. Despite his strength, with no training in arms he was felled by a flurry of blows and left for dead as the knights proceeded to butcher Becket.
While the Archbishop’s wounds were beyond the powers of even his senior priests, God answered their prayers for Gabriel and the dragonborn survived. Consumed by grief and anger, he was haunted by thoughts that he could have done more to protect his master, and vowed to avenge himself upon the knights who murdered him.
This was not to be, however, as the villains fled north and thence to the Pope in Rome, by whom they were banished to the Holy Land. As he prayed, fasted and trained, Gabriel’s thirst for vengeance became an insistent calling to use the gifts granted him by God to protect the innocent and defend the weak. This finally led him to the Chapterhouse of the Knights Templar in London, with a letter of recommendation from Becket’s successor, Richard of Dover.
The piety, humility and martial prowess of the precocious dragonborn so impressed the Templar Master, Richard Mallebeench, that in short order Gabriel was knighted and accepted into the order. He rose swiftly, and upon Richard’s death in 1180 became the most trusted aide of his successor, Geoffrey FitzStephen