Personal LJ: daishutian
Abilities: His best asset is his training as a knight: he's a capable swordsman, knows how to survive in the wilderness and what to do against most (local) forms of hostile life, and has rudimentary skills in cooking, mending equipment, stuff. He's also an incredibly gifted lip-reader. As long as he can see them, Jared can read what they're saying. He's also learned sign-language over the years.
Weaknesses: Going hand-in-hand with his gift for lip-reading is his handicap: Jared is completely deaf. Besides that, his only weakness is that, in regards to where he comes from, Jared is 'getting on a bit.' He's not quite in his prime anymore, but he isn't slowing down badly enough to retire yet.
Likes: Jared likes feeling like he's doing something useful, either for himself or other people. He'd taken up carving as an on-the-road hobby, and he'll take to it if he needs to think or spend some time by himself and has nothing more pressing to do.
Dislikes: Jared has a thing about magic. He has a penchant for disliking people who claim to be wizards. Of course, this can be overcome with time, and he's not going to drop someone he already likes just because they're magic-users.
Personality: Generally speaking, Jared is a pretty good natured man. Though his handicap has made it less than efficient for him to talk to more than a few people, he likes having a friend around to talk to. Since he needs to be looking at whoever he's talking to and that doesn't work well with multitasking, he may come across as a dedicated listener, or however his audience would perceive near constant staring. Jared's a lot more open about his deafness than he used to be, but he won't just come out and tell anyone he meets. He's more likely to drop hints (such as "Please look at me when you speak") than to bluntly say so unless someone isn't getting the message.
Jared's lifestyle is built around helping people. He's always willing to lend a hand, especially if it's a hands-on task. Dealing with the friend he travels with, Jared has learned what kind of BS to put up with and what he needs to slap down, and he isn't afraid to do said slapping. The friend also rubbed off on him in other little ways: he's honest with himself and others, only to the point of brutality if someone deserves it, he's a little better at looking outside the box than he used to be, and, unlike Dragon, Jared knows how to value a life.
The early part of Jared's life is pretty textbook. Get born, grow up a little, go to school, graduate, and get a job. The difference is that the school was an academy to train knights and the job was going out into the world and fighting bad things. Knights in Jared's world are more like an organized guild of mercenaries. Boys train in swordplay, survival skills, tactics, and other things knights should know, then are knighted and go out in the world. Knights travel the land, taking quests and missions to defeat marauding beasts, save those in trouble, dispense justice, and the like. In payment for their services, knights are given supplies and money, and they are given a lot of respect, especially if their name has gotten around. Jared was hardly the best or most well known, but he did well enough. Besides, it wasn't all about the fame; Jared actually was in it to help people in need.
A few years after leaving the academy and serving as a knight, Jared took on a job with alongside a wizard. It went badly, and at the end of the day, they each blamed the other; Jared had rushed into the heat of things to save a few extra people from a magical attack when the wizard had told him to stay put. As a result, the wizard had to try and throw the magic shield he was crafting further to cover them, and missed covering one of the wizard's good friends. He'd felt terrible and apologized, but Jared stood by his choice. The wizard hadn't taken it well, and decided that if Jared wouldn't listen anyway, then he didn't his ability to hear. And so, as revenge for the death of a friend, the wizard sapped Jared's hearing. He also gave him the lip-reading ability, but Jared has never figured out if it was intentional or if that's just the way the spell worked.
The next several years were rough. As soon as anyone he worked for found out he was deaf, he found that any rewards he would reap would get quite noticeably reduced. After all, why give supplies and money to a handicapped man who just might die and leave those goods for whatever beast that slew him? What money he was making was barely enough at best, so he had to travel further out to places where no one knew of him or his handicap. When he did find somewhere his name hadn't reached, he had to fool everyone into thinking he was normal. It was a stressful time, and Jared had never expected his life to be this hard, or this lonely.
His fortune turned around in the most unexpected way. Desperation led him to take on a job that he wasn't qualified for at all. A dragon was roosting somewhere nearby a village, terrorizing and consuming the livestock and wildlife. Woefully under-equipped, Jared entered the beast's lair, hoping for a lucky kill. He had no such luck, and the beast set upon him soon after. Jared fought back as well as he could, but soon retreated deeper into the caves, hoping to make an escape. During the ensuing game of hide and seek, Jared hid himself in a treasure hoard room and waited for a chance to get out. The dragon appeared soon after, and it started to search diligently through the piles. Seeing a chance to escape, Jared made a run for it... and knocked over several pieces of treasure and ornamental armor that surely made a fantastic crash. To which the dragon made no response. Surprised, Jared threw something else that was sure to be terrifically loud for the same result. He came to the conclusion that either the dragon was playing with him for some weird, dragony reason, or... the dragon has the same issue that he has. While Jared had mild bout of hysteria centering around "WHAT IS MY LIFE", the dragon finally turned around and pounced on him. In a last ditch effort, Jared tried signing at the dragon, having picked up a little over the years. In a horrible cliche ending, the dragon responded.
After a long, yet slow chat (the dragon had been signing for hundreds of years, while Jared had learned a little bit over a week or so), Jared and the dragon agreed to travel together. Being a highly magical creature, the Dragon could take a much less suspicious human form. Dragon (and that was his name. He'd picked it while he was still unaware of the naming system humans used, and had picked the word out of a picture book while saying "that's me", and it had stuck) made the knighting job much easier, since there is very little a dragon cannot handle. In his company, Jared stopped being so afraid and resentful of his deafness, and Dragon quickly forced him to be fluent in sign language. They traveled together for years and did quite well for themselves.
Requirements: He doesn't need anything special. He'll find his own job, since there probably isn't anything quite like knighting to be done in town.
Additions: Dragon isn't quite a pet, so... either he'll come by later or he'll stay home. So there are no additions.
First Person Sample: I was surprised and alarmed to find myself in an unfamiliar room. It was obviously not the room I had bought for the night, though I must say, this room was a good few steps up from it. The package with my name on it quickly caught my attention, and, after a quick inspection, I opened it. A pair of keys, a... device of some sort, and a letter. The letter was short, and by reckoning, probably sent by wizards of some sort. I hoped they were prepared to pay well for my help if they needed it so badly. If I was brought here by magical means, though, Dragon probably has not come with me... well, if he wanted to find me, I doubt a pair of wizards will stop him. I only hope he doesn't cause too much trouble in my absence.
Log Sample: After making sure he's decently equipped, Jared steps out into the hallway, keys and strange device stashed away in a pocket. Looking back every so often, he makes his way around the building. He guesses that it's an upperclass inn of some sort by the numbered rooms. He's left his sword and shield in his room, as well as most of his armor, but he is protected by a few pieces of light leather armor and a hunting knife on his belt. The farther he progresses through the building, the more bewildering it gets. Just what kind of place is this, anyway...
Other: Jared would be completely useless with the audio function of the communicator dealies, and with video that doesn't show the person's face. Just sayin'.