Since I was writing a scene with Dane the other day, I shared this image I used to inspire Dane for me. I’d been watching Into The Badlands when I came up with this character and Daniel Wu was most prominent. Here is the image that really spoke of Dane for me.
Dane runs with Verrick’s Pack. Verrick is the leader, but they are all alpha males. And it takes a supreme alpha male to rule them, guide them, keep them together. Just imagine a bunch men incapable of “grouping” and you will get the idea of the sort of man it takes to in any way control a group like this. And the sort of men who’d allow it, or want to be involved in a pack such as that.
Then you’ll get the idea of Dane.
Dane . . . is a rogue alpha. As with all of the men of Verrick’s pack. They all went to a school they nicknamed The ACRE, which is short for The H.A. Academy of Revolution. All sport a tattoo that looks slightly different, but the overall look is the same. The tattoo is built in phases. Tests and tasks you much go through, finish, and pass, before you are allowed the next. The best of the best from that school have the tattoo in a place on their body, unique to themselves. It looks like this.
Through Dane’s classes and trials, he has advanced fighting skills, and the technique was improved. When the men needed to up their fighting skills: it was Dane who taught them. Like a family, each man brings his own unique skill set to the group, and offers the knowledge to the others.
He was former military before that. What branch, I couldn’t tell you. That side of his life he is very private about. He’s a private man overall. And as for catching his eye? Well, most of Verrick’s men don’t actually have any interest in settling down, with a female, with anything of that nature. They are happy to roam, happy to leave everything behind. The truest loner one could ever come across.
They are cold, but Dane is one of the men who are definitely up there in how little emotion he feels, he has, but he does have better control in terms of the Lycaen temper. Not that any of the men are pure Lycaen . . . not anymore.
BUT, there is a female who catches Dane’s eye. He certainly didn’t plan on it, but the man found himself interested in Mila. There is something about her that eases on in there and holds. Not forever mind, but the man’s interest is perked. Most of their tale is told in Claiming the Enchantress.
The main thing that keeps them loyal to Verrick, besides the fear of course, is what he gives them: total freedom. No rules, no demands, nothing but one: when I call – you come. My word is law.
With that one law, Verrick allows them to roam between calls, between tasks, between everything. But when he calls, they come. Why? What would make men like that, outside all rule, come with one call?
Verrick pays well and if they deny him, he’ll kill them.
It’s not just about money though. They crave blood and war in a way near vampire-like. They need to kill, need to release their beasts. And Verrick is the one connection that allows them to do that. He knows the places to find those fights, the people who’ll pay well, and what they earn: they keep. Including any women they want. Or men if that were their preference, but this pack is all about the women, and the payday.
If you really want to catch the eye of a man like Dane, be prepared. He will use you (oh, he seduces quite well I promise), he will discard you, he will forget you. If . . . he allows you to live. I did mention these men are deadly, yes? They hold no qualms about killing . . . anything. Sad, but true. Thanks to The Acre, these are men made to kill, and kill they are good at.
If you dare to catch the eye of a man like Dane for a fight? Also be prepared. These men rarely lose. Otherwise they wouldn’t have earned the tattoo that adorns their body. The ACRE‘s single focus was creating the perfect species, a race above all other magical races, one that was unstoppable, immortal, and one which the founder himself [a demon] was only killed because of one rare enchantress named Mina in Don’t Go Far. The men of Verrick’s pack are unique. A breed amongst themselves.
Not Lycaen, not Vampire, not . . . well, who knows what they are? Were you to dissect them, you’d say Lycaen. But the deeper you go, the more you have to wonder . . . exactly what splicing experiments did these men go through?
Exactly what is Dane?
I’ll tell you one thing I can say for sure: these aren’t men even this writer would want to tumble with. And I would never piss one off. Aggravate? Sure. Annoy? Most possibly. Piss off?
I’d never sleep again. Because when these men go on the hunt?
They always get their target.