Darren Nash, "Ash", is a Moros of the Adamantine Arrows, an amnesiac with no clue to his past except for a few hazy memories and a single burnt sports shop receipt.
The young life of Darren Nash has been shaped primarily through 4 people: Granny Rose Nash, Mickey “Lead” Pipe, John Swaby,and finally the girl who looks like an angel, and it is in this order that the story of Darren Nash will be told.
The Nash family have been descendants of the Irish gypsy travelling community for generations, spreading through England and Wales from Ireland, and settling in and around London. When Rose and Bartley Nash brought their children to south-east London in 1961, they set up their caravans next to the Twelve Bells public house, on a private piece of wasteland. Bartley Nash, a devout catholic and successful bare knuckle boxer worked at the pub as security while Rose raised their 3 children; John, Sheila and Devlin, the youngest.
Over the years the ‘Twelve Bells’ community grew as fellow travellers settled, and following the death of Bartley Nash in 1979, ‘Granny’ Rose Nash (as she was known) took the reins as community leader. Loved by many, feared by some but respected by all, Granny Rose was a natural guide for her community, and as her children grew, they met partners and stayed within the site. It was eight years after Bartley’s death when Darren was born.
The Great Storm of southern England struck the region with surprising ferocity. The night of the 15th through to the 16th October 1987 was spectacular as the hurricane struck, causing widespread damage with its fury. It was on this night when Sheila Nash, the middle daughter of Rose and Bartley, went into labour with her first child. However, thanks to the storm it wasn’t possible to travel to the local hospital, and so Granny Nash acted as midwife for her daughter. The birth was traumatic for all involved and at 04.34am on 16th October 1987, Sheila Nash gave birth to Darren Bartley Moyles, Jr. whom she named after her partner, Darren Moyles.
By dawn, Sheila Rose Nash was dead due to blood loss and Darren Sr. had fled the community in grief, leaving the baby with Granny Nash who swiftly renamed him Darren Bartley Nash to raise him as her own.
As a child, Darren was a quiet and attentive boy, never having any sort of passion or interest in any particular activity, following others and doing whatever Granny needed. He was home schooled by her and learned the skills needed for a basic tuition, mainly around the jobs most suited for a gypsy family; buying and selling scrap, mechanics, etc.
When he turned 8, Darren got into a fight with a couple of his cousins who mocked his lack his parents and when Granny Nash saw him, couldn’t help but comment on how he reminded her of his grandfather, Bartley; silent and resolute but ready to defend his family’s honour with his fists. Believing he needed a focus, Granny Nash took Darren to a nearby family friend, Mickey “Lead” Pipe, a well respected boxing coach.
Where Granny Nash taught Darren about life and the skills he would need to get by, Mickey taught the young boy about himself; his capabilities and his desire to endure. Many hours of blood, sweat and tears were shed at the boxing club with Mickey nicknaming him “Spitfire” due to his well-rounded, high-performance ability in the ring. Over the following 8 years, Darren became a strong and tough young fighter, with an unbeaten record as a junior that rolled into an impressive amateur status, and with high hopes of becoming a pro by the age of 18. His first defeat came at the hands of a dirty Polish boxer 3 years older. It was also at 16 when the final individual would cross paths with Darren to set his future on a certain path; John Swaby.
A fellow traveller, John Swaby was a drunk and a bully who was 6 years Darren’s senior. He would take his anger out on his own mother, leaving her a mess but not wanting to take the matter up with the authorities. It was only the stern voice of Granny Nash that seemed to instil some fear and discipline in Swaby. This was until the bully had felt like he had taken enough of Granny Nash’s tongue lashings, and took his revenge by kidnapping her youngest granddaughter, Katie Nash; youngest child to Devlin, Darren’s uncle. Subjecting her to abuse, Swaby was found personally by Darren, who was with a group of travellers looking for the girl.
Darren beat Swaby into a coma using only his fists, and returned the girl to his Granny. He was later charged with Grievous Bodily Harm and served a 3 year prison sentence, his professional boxing career up in smoke. Despite this, Darren has never apologised for his actions, and never will, fully believing what he did was the right thing.
Since his release, Darren has left the ‘Twelve Bells’ travellers site and took to wandering the country, working wherever there was and participating in illegal boxing matches. This is where he heard that the place to go for a boxing licence, despite possessing a criminal record, was the States, and after earning enough money, brought a ticket to New York, one way. From the time he arrived, Darren Nash has seen his share of strange things this side of the pond, and travelled through Chicago, Wichita, Tucson and finally arriving in Sacramento, California. With little to his name bar his natural talents, Darren Nash was on a thin edge between triumph and despair, knowing that it will take just one fight to make his name.
Arriving in Sacramento
But in the World of Darkness, there are other ways to make your name, and other things looking to abuse it. Sweetly, with the face of an angel, Darren fell in love with a barmaid at the club where he was employed as a bouncer. Her name was Aurelie and he thought they were in love. However, can a dead thing really love or is it some relic of a time when her heart still beat? Vampire, for that was what she was and the world she introduced him. Thrall, blood bound, ghoul, Darren was hers and only hers through the drinking of her blood and was a period of unadulterated pleasure and desire. However, like all things, it would never last as a force of evil was unleashed in the city, randomly killing. Fearing for her safety, Darren took Aurelie and fled the city, heading west towards the coast before settling in San Francisco yet even this couldn't stave off the doom that surrounded them. It hit the couple fast and hard while they were settling into their new home, attacking the Vitae in their system and causing Darren to Awaken. He cannot remember any of this now, however.
Its probably for the best.
Pain spread through every fibre of his body as he writhed on the concrete floor of the alley, the virus crystallizing the blood in his veins and arteries and causing his heart to seize and lungs to burn. He cared not. What he cared for was screaming in agony beside him, clutching his hand. Blackness took its grip as he was plunged into the dark realm of Stygia.
For the first time in a long while, Darren feels serene as he opens his eyes, motes of light causing him to squint. The pain has gone and he stares up at a sky full of bleak clouds that floats by. Darren lays there for several moments, once again growing accustomed to his nerves and muscles. Slowly, he sits up and finds himself in a boat along with a cowled figure guides the boat true and nods to Darren in respect as it leads the boxer. Looking over the edge, Darren sees he is surrounded by a black river and for some reason, knows it would be bad to fall in and as he looks at his reflection, shades catch his eye that linger at the river's edge, afraid of the water also. From what Darren can see, the banks of the river are bright white, like marble, and seem to sparkle with hidden gems. Darren sighs at the peace in his heart and this one breath seems to accelerate the boat towards the growing tower in the distance. Jutting from the landscape like a skeletal finger pointing to the heaven's, it calls to Darren and he feels obliged to answer. “It could be fucking worse,” he thinks briefly as the boat draws into a small quay outside the lead tower's massive gates. Stepping onto solid ground, the cowled figure holds out his hand and Darren instantly knows the price. “Take them all, leave only what's important,” he offers, not wanting to relive it over and over again. The boatman leaves only what is necessary. “Probably for the best anyway,” Darren remarks once it is done before making his way through the gates and up a series of black and gold steps, towards a growing doorway of light. He blinks as he gets near the top and is suddenly before a pyre. “This is a test, right?” No-one answers him as he knows what he must do. He steps into the flame and merges his soul with the Watchtower of the Lead Coin, his soul becoming nought but ash as it is reforged to something new.
Darren regained consciousness a week later with no memory of what had occurred or where he was. As it turned out, Darren had been saved by a cabal of Mages who were nearby as, he later found out, he 'spontaneously combusted or some shit'. He was told this by the cabals apparent leader, a middle aged man who went by the name Falcon. They nursed him back to health, using a number of Life rotes to heal his broken body until he was stable. He was questioned for hours regarding the incident as a number of people suffered the same fate in the city but he had no answer for them. All he could tell them was of his Granny Nash and time in London, and a desire to be a professional boxer. What he kept to himself was his assault conviction, the reason why he could not fulfil his dream in Britain. Once Falcon explained what Darren had become, he gave the recovering boxer a small bullet shaped necklace. Falcon explained that when they discovered Darren, he was lying next to a small pile of ashes, most probably a fellow victim of this catastrophe. To investigate the incident, they had gathered the ashes for examination. Inside the necklace was a small amount of the ashes remaining, a gift for Darren to focus his magic. And so, his training began as did his indoctrination into the Arrows, the same as his mentor, Falcon. Spending a couple of months under his wing (excuse the pun), Darren's memories failed to return yet after recovering his wallet (a majority of which was burnt to nothing) he discovered a receipt for a sports shop in the city of Sacramento. Feeling it had something to do with his lost memories, Darren approached his mentor to enquire about him travelling there to seek out who he was. It was with reluctance that Falcon agreed and after picking the shadow name of Ash, he has returned to Twilight Valley to try to uncover some recollection of his broken mind, as well as aid the Arrow's efforts in the city.