Neither notably tall, nor terribly short, Kassandros stands perhaps a little bit taller than average, and holds himself with a sense of pride often well-reflected in the colder edge to his gaze. He has something of an otherworldly grace in the manner in which he moves, and it's quite clear, very early on, that he has a lot of control over his body. His hair is neatly trimmed, somewhat short, about to his ears in length at most, and a very bright, platinum-white-blond. He never has darker roots, because his hair grows that way, despite his eyebrows remaining dark.
Kassandros is a bit androgynous, a bit too pretty to be really masculine, and if his hair was a bit longer, he'd be even more so. His build's more aligned for speed and manoeuvrability than strength, which will likely serve him well in future. While he does have some vague musculature, most of it is in his legs. Despite his fair skintone, he does have a slight sunkissed glow, a light dusting of freckles on the bridge of his nose, several birthmarks at his jaw, but his skin's undertones are pinkish.
He is more recently mostly mute; as he's missing his tongue, there are only a few select sounds he can still make, but in turn, his body language is becoming a bit more refined. At several points around either of his forearms, above his wrists a few centimetres, are circular scars; these have damaged his arm tendons badly enough his grip is not what it used to be, and he does still occasionally drop things. His left eye also has an interesting shiny film over the pupil, and it doesn't seem to react to lighting. Kassandros is blind in that eye, and as this handicap is also new to him, he does still often smack into things and misjudge distances, either dropping things when he goes to set them down, or missing them completely when reaching for them, or similar. (He's kind of a walking disaster at the moment.)
Most would consider Kassandros privileged. In some sense, he is, but in all the important ways, we use this term loosely. Perhaps, better than most, Kassandros realises and understands that Dalmasca's people are just as trapped in chains as her slaves are, in some ways, even more so. House Essair have been rather the name for many generations before Kassandros was born; the ilim that mostly raised him, and the House's head healer, Merenwen, says he was born cradled in sunlight, and Kassandros has never had a reason to doubt Merenwen.
As the eldest son of his generation, the eldest of his siblings, including his two twins, Icarus and Cygnus, Kassandros has always borne the weight of expectation, and a House as high as Essair has always had quite the list of them. As one of the major noble families in Dalmasca, these expectations are partly from the other nobility and the gentry, and partly by no one but themselves. Kassandros is an Essair, and male, and everyone knows those are grand miracles, given by the gods as a blessing upon those houses they are born in, or so the stories go. Kassandros always turned his nose up at such tales, but most of Dalmasca listens to them, and House Essair were no different.
By the tender age of only a year old, Kassandros had learned to walk, talk, and by two, used light sorcery the first time. His sorcery was somewhat rough, more like someone that was out of practice, rather than one whom had no knowledge to run off at all, and it took many more years before he came across something he wanted to do with magic, and couldn't. His visions began at a meager three years old, every once in a great while, and by the time he was five, they were nearly constant. If he spent long enough puzzling them out, as they were never direct, they told him almost everything that was going on at any given time; due to seers' overall rarity, none realised how strange that was, as a seer had an innate limit to how much information he or she could learn through visions before they died, and it'd seem Kassandros' limit was exceedingly high. He discovered, at four, that if he sat in the sunlight long enough, his eyes would start to glow, and the glow would last nearly all day, if he remained in direct sunlight for at least an hour. And the sheer amount of aura the boy was constantly storing, already immense, only continued to go up.
His mother, when he was six, decided she couldn't handle him anymore, and left House Essair. Kassandros hasn't seen Ksenia since, and some part of him kept holding onto the hope she'd come back, someday, but she never did. Merenwen took her place, raising him instead. It wasn't as if his father would do it, as he was too busy chasing man-tail and apparently deciding his son was screwing his life up, and needed to grow up before it was too late, and he doomed House Essair to failure.
Being the eldest, Kassandros was personally tutored in many varying educational subjects, in poise and grace, in etiquette and manner, eventually even being taught the foundations of combat (where, rather surprisingly, the slender young boy excelled, far more so than was expected, and Kassandros is rather the combatant when he chooses to be). It was well-known, firstborn sons eventually serve in the military, most often, when they come of age, and Kassandros would ultimately be no different. At first, Kassandros was adverse to this idea, but eventually he changed his mind, seemingly on a random whim.
In time, Kassandros started to gather a small following of others around his age, and eventually, that small cluster grew numbered enough to be rather the force. These became the start and foundation of the Cobra Syndicate, a criminal off-shoot of House Essair, the members of which pledged service to the House. After building their influence range over the course of four or five years, from the time he was eleven, Kassandros scattered them across Dalmasca, and seeks to slowly replace the law enforcement of the nation with his Cobras. Someday, all of Dalmasca's police force will be his. Nydema is already about two thirds overrun, with a large majority of the street patrols bearing the emblem of House Essair.
Amid this power shift, his father, in his intellectual ways, made the grave mistake of underestimating his son's capabilities and intelligence for the last time, claiming his son was doing nothing for the House and did not understand his place in it as the eldest son. Kassandros first attempted to ignore his blatant missing of how much Kassandros had done, both through the Cobras and through political ploy, to further the House's name and give him a headstart into the Warlord caste (at the time, House Essair were mercantile class, built primarily on wealth and goods transport), but something, eventually, snapped.
Some of the things he said made Kassandros start thinking about it a little harder. Ultimately, the conclusion he came to was this: if he was saying these things to Kassandros, whom he, ostensibly, favoured above his siblings, and there were two more that looked exactly like him, how long would it be, before he did more than just said weird things? How long until he pushed too far?
Kassandros was born first, to protect the ones that came after him. And damned if he wouldn't, even if it destroyed him to do it.
So, one day, Kassandros dropped an extremely toxic level dosage of a highly dangerous drug the Cobras frequently transported across nations, into his father's glass of wine, and sat back and let reality take care of the rest. Kassandros was fifteen, and he gave not a single fucking shit. It wasn't as if his father ever cared about him, always reminding him of the many expectations, and how easily he could misstep and screw everything up, and ranting and raving about how he needed to be more than just pretty.
Fuck you, Vopiscus Essair. Fuck you right into the underworld.
Kassandros has gone on military tour twice, once to a Dalmascan naval base in Jihon, and once to a rather heavily battered outpost in Macenia. Both times, he's made sure to make very lasting impressions on fellow soldiers serving, made sure to chat up the right ones, buy rounds of drinks for the right ones, and unfortunately, had a heck of a time fending off the wrong ones. He is, after all, slender and girly-looking, most think he's pretty easy to pin to a floor. Turns out, he is, if there's more than one of them.
Most of his recent actions have been angled toward getting himself up the Warlord ladder and, sooner or later, becoming the new Imperator. He's one of the few individuals that is aware there is no Imperator at the present time, but as things went on, he slowly started to change his mind. Mostly, his goal was a Dalmasca that was better, where slavery didn't exist, people didn't get beaten to death in the street, where the noble lineages didn't destroy the commons to stay in power. It was, admittedly, a lofty one, and perhaps one that couldn't, no matter how much he tried, be accomplished in such a short period of time. He's always known, as seers always do, when it was he was going to die, and the more he gunned for that Imperator throne, the shorter that time became.
The war with House Cassimer soon enough became intense enough that Kassandros decided he needed a guard. Ten assassination attempts on the day he bought them alone was more than enough to justify it, and after talking to Livia Asheron, he started strengthening House Essair's foundations, purchasing farmland, starting to build a house guard, among other things. The truth of his brother's abusive edge eventually came out, and while outwardly, Kassandros mostly skipped right over it, he did realise, somewhere in there, that he's been neglecting his brothers about as much as Vopiscus always did, and maybe it's about time he stopped.
Still, there wasn't much time left, for that. Steadily, he'd fallen in love, realised he'd been ignoring the two people in the world that needed him most, discovered his mother hadn't stayed away for as long as she had of her own will, all the while dodging Marcus Cassimer when and where he could, but sooner or later, it was always going to fail. Marcus Cassimer wasn't a man to avoid forever, and Kassandros knew it. At the last second, he sent Sandalio back to the house for reinforcements, because he knew if they both went, they may well both die.
During the few hours they were apart, Kassandros sustained enough damage to bleed to death, and he would've, if Leon hadn't suddenly turned him into a were-dragon. Nothing is different, now, and yet everything's changed. Saving Dalmasca seems less and less important to him, and now with him partially crippled and a were of all things, he's got a lot of personal things to deal with. House Cassimer, thanks to Marcus' insanity, is in process of crashing, and yet another line will take its place.
Maybe no one can stop Dalmasca from destroying itself. And maybe Kassandros doesn't want his house anywhere near it when it does.
- Vopiscus Essair was his father. Deceased.
- Ksenia Essair (nee Warwicke) is his mother.
- Cyprian (formerly Kenleigh) is his elder half-brother.
- Icarus and Cygnus are the other two in the same triplet set.
- Visarion (formerly Warwicke) is his uncle on his mother's side.
- He has an uncle on his father's side somewhere in the Free Cities.
- Kassandros is a seer, and a rather knowledgeable one, at that. He tends to know a lot of things, so if you hate innately metagame-y characters, Kassandros is not the character you're looking for.
- Humes that are not already mages, that spend a lot of time around him, eventually develop the ability to use magic from residual aura-transfer, as he has a lot of aura. If you want to freak your hume character out, this is how.
- He runs a criminal syndicate called the Ardent Cobras, they are comprised of vassal houses below House Essair, and pretty much have taken over Nydema. With House Cassimer now in shambles, they'll probably gain the last bits of the city they didn't control.