Thursday, 23 July 2009

Alexandra Raikkonen

Born in the winter of 1986 in Porvoo, Finland, Alexandra Raikkonen first started out her competitive fighting career kickboxing. After becoming junior kickboxing champion in southern Finland at thirteen years old, Alex wanted to extend her skills to other disciplines of combat, travelling to Thailand first to learn Muay Thai from the masters.

After spending five years in Thailand, funded by her family, Alex found herself drawn to the rapidly-increasing interest in Mixed Martial Arts and the early days of cage fighting. She soon decided to move to Tokyo in order to learn how to shoot wrestle. Combined with Muay Thai, she figured this would be a good combination of disciplines to ensure success in her future MMA career.

Soon Alexandra learnt of the ludicrous fame and wealth to be had in professional wrestling and decided to try her hand at this instead, packing her bags and shipping out to the United States of America to seek further training and a career as a pro-wrestler.

At 20 years of age, Alex soon found herself involved with the All-Star Wrestling training camp in San Diego. The two years she'd spent in Japan combined with her optimal physical condition allowed her to progress quickly and perform in ASW house shows after a few months. It was with ASW that Alexandra first met Rob "Styx" Cyrus and Draeden "Crusader" Darksky. The three toured the west coast together for some time.

A horrific car crash and several weeks in hospital saw the end of the career Alexandra had worked for fifteen years to achieve. Because of her excellent condition before the accident, she was soon back on her feet and given a clean bill of health, though it was highly recommended that she should not participate in contact sports thereafter.

Draeden Darksky invited her to join him on a journey to Las Vegas, then Chicago, while he was under contract with the Viking Wrestling Federation until she got herself on her feet employment-wise. While living with Draeden in Chicago she set up her own business as a personal fitness instructor and martial arts coach.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Draeden Darksky

Draeden believes very strongly in honour and courage and strives to live his life with these qualities dictating his decisions, earning him the nickname "Crusader". He always carries his sword with him, and begrudgingly leaves it outside of the ring when he wrestles. He's a very spiritual person with a heavy belief in fate, and wishes to be known as a great warrior. What better way than wrestling?

Originally hailing from England, Draeden grew up not far outside the Chinese city of Foshan, in the Guangdong province, living with his uncle Ronan. His parents were killed in a car accident before he was old enough to talk. Draeden was too young to have known his parents. In Foshan Draeden learned to fish and, when he became old enough, worked on Ronan's farm. As he grew up he trained in martial arts and became formidable with blades and unarmed combat. Draeden existed without a care beyond the farm, and times were good for many years.

Tragedy struck when Ronan's farm was assailed by poachers who came to abduct the livestock.
While trying to prevent the poachers from stealing his livelihood Ronan was shot. He died slowly in Draeden's arms.

Unable to look after the farm himself, Draeden moved into the city to try and find work and somewhere to live. Purely by bad luck he found work with a restaurant run by a ruthless and powerful criminal organisation named "the Black Widow". The leader of the Widow gang was visiting the restaurant to check up on business when it was attacked by a rival gang, "Dark Spirit", who had been looking to kill Widow's leader, Xao. Draeden and the restaurant staff took cover when the attack began. Seizing a katana from one of Xao's fallen bodyguards, Draeden joined the fight to defend the restaurant staff. Impressed by Draeden's bravery and ability, Xao took Draeden under his wing and promised further training and a sword to be made for him.

Although the training Draeden received was exactly what he wanted, his master, Qing, was not. He beat Draeden if he ever did som
ething incorrectly or in a manner that Qing deemed inadequate, and generally treated him very badly. He was verbally abusive and violent, and would not hesitate to deprive Draeden of food, water and sleep if he felt like it. Eventually Draeden grew tired of being treated like a slave and stood up to Qing, who challenged him to a fight to a death. Draeden foolishly accepted, however during the fight he mortally wounded Qing by accident. He had hoped to disable Qing and avoid loss of life, but failed.

Xao was bemused and was unsure of what to do with Draeden as he was too inexperienced to either train other Black Widow students or join his personal guard. Instead he punished Draeden by throwing him into an underground arena where he would fight to the death for entertainment and gambling purposes. After an agonizing year of slaughter, Draeden was released from the arena by Xao and told to leave China, else he'd be killed. Draeden knew of the immense influence Xao commanded and did as he was told.

During the course of his years being trained by Qing and the time he spent in the fighting pit in
Foshan, Draeden had picked up a lot of combat experience and had learned a lot of styles. He wanted to continue his combat training when he moved on from China, but not in martial arts. It was a toss-up between kick-boxing and wrestling, but Draeden chose wrestling when he arrived in the United States of America and wrestled all over the country for small-time promotions not long after coming onto the wrestling scene. His martial arts background helped with this a lot and gave him a natural edge over other trainees.

Fresh out of wrestling training, Draeden almost immediately found work with The Viking Wrestling Federation in January 2008; he quickly dominated the middle card and won the Cabo Wabo Middleweight Championship in his second month on the roster. His first loss came at the hands of "Da Big Rig" Scott Carr a
nd The Elite after an argument backstage escalated into a brawl, resulting in a Speeding Bus Match - a last man standing stipulation on a moving bus. Tha Fam interfered in the match, knocking Draeden out for the 10 count to cause his first and only loss for many months to come.

Soon after joining VWF Draeden found himself having dreams that placed him in an unfamiliar realm, a world decimated by war, held to terror by a brutal evil that stalked the land removing all traces of life. This world, Ayreon, he found that he could visit it whenever he chose by imbibing a curious mixture named the Tears of Ayreon, a combination of poisons that would drop him into a deep sleep and send him to the world of darkness. Following this, Draeden was attacked in a Vegas hotel by a man named Rhodri Caladan, for reasons unknown.

In Ayreon, Draeden was guided by a mysterious entity known as Apocalypticus. This man explained the situation Ayreon was in, about the Twilight Blades - also known as the Crimson Legion; Gol'goroth and the cruel Hedroth they fought against. He took Draeden to the last bastion of humanity, the underground city of Ayr, to meet with the commander of the remaining mortal forces, Korvus Valari. In truth, no mortal was safe from the Hedroth and a matter of time was all that separated the people of Ayr from total annihilation. Haal, Valari's bodyguard and historian, explained to Draeden about Gol'goroth and his attack on the mortals of Ayreon almost 400 years ago. Gol'goroth had shown himself in dreams to the leaders of Ayr's resistance against the evil spirits and Draeden himself. Haal also informed Draeden that Apocalypticus' real name was Maeron Mentari, and that Apocalypticus was his title as leader of the Crimson Legion.

Meanwhile, Draeden purchased an old mansion on the outskirts of Chicago that was once owned by a noble, Lord Beren Georgia. After finding an odd painting in the basement hung upon a wall painted with a bloody pentagram, Draeden soon discovered that the building was haunted by an entity that projected itself from beyond the veil of shadows between Ayreon and Kartheon - the world as Draeden knew it. With Apocalypticus' help, Draeden travelled to Ayreon and slew Marius Dante da'Silva, a ghost under the control of the demonic spirit of Lord Beren Georgia himself. The dagger used to kill the ghost absorbed his spirit and bound it to Draeden's will, forcing daSilva to follow Draeden's commands.

It appeared that Georgia Manor was an epicentre for paranormal activity in Chicago and was notorious for being haunted. It was in Georgia Manor that Draeden came across the Ancient Ones, millennia-old seer spirits that told Draeden of his place in Ayreon and gave him a ring that he might use to pass between Ayreon and Kartheon at will. They explained that Draeden was the Blade of Sacrifice, Slayer of Gol'goroth. It was at this time that Maeron Mentari handed Draeden the Sword of Adraloth, an ancient warrior labelled the Hand of Judgement for his vigilante behaviour, slaying murderers and rapists in his day. The sword, however, emanated darkness and captivated the soul of the wielder. After this, Draeden was wounded from a fight with the Hedroth, his ow
n sword stolen.

While these events unfolded, in May of 2008 another mystery was placed at Draeden's feet in the form of a kidnapped girl appearing on his doorstep, dropping Draeden Darksky into the midst of a cloak and dagger conflict between mortals of Kartheon. The girl, Samantha Emerson, was the love of a man known as the Crimson Shadow. The likeness to the Crimson Legion intrigued Draeden and he investigated, leading him to The Experts headquarters in Hayward, California. There he discovered the Crimson Shadow as he hunted down Samantha's captor, Bonez, who wound up falling to his death from the roof of Legacy Plaza.

In Kartheon, September 2008, Rhodri Caladan soon made another appearance, only this time under a banner of peace. The Ancient Ones had called him "The Betrayer", but Draeden did not believe that the betrayal would be of him. At Caladan's insistence, Draeden headed to China to procure a new sword, release Adraloth and complete the Crusade of Sacrifice with the Hand of Judgement. Adraloth was being held captive by the Crimson Legion and was killed while he escaped, shattering the sword Draeden had named Nightblade and removing the dark energy that fuelled Draeden's blackening heart. Caladan guided Draeden to the warehouse wherein which Maeron Mentari had crossed over into Kartheon, for the final battle against the leader of the Crimson Legion. In the fight, Draeden impaled himself through the chest on his own sword in a successful effort to slay Maeron Mentari. Caladan survived the confrontation, along with a Crimson Legionnaire named Andari.

It wasn't long before the two men were discovered by the Chinese who worked in the warehouse; the dead Mentari and the dying Darksky. Draeden was not immediately killed by his weapon due to a birth defect called dextrocardia, meaning Draeden was born with his heart on the right side instead of the left and the vital organ avoided being split by steel. American authorities turned up and took Draeden away to an off-shore research facility in Connecticut while he lay in a comatose state, induced by his injuries.

During his coma, Draeden dreamt of fishing on a great sea with no desire to leave for the urge to explore the depths of the sea was too great. From the darkness below rose a machine that destroyed his boat and tore his body apart, marking his emergence from the coma he'd been in for several weeks. When he awoke he remembered nothing.

The news reported that Draeden had been killed in a suicide ritual, his transportation to Connecticut became a government secret.

The lab he'd been taken to was designed for analysing brain activity and was being operated by one of the Crimson Legion, Kamari Kyrian, in the interests of finding out what Draeden knew about Ayreon and how to travel back and forth between there and Kartheon so that the Crimson Legion might invade and enslave Kartheon as well as Ayreon, as they were well on their way to doing. Doctor Jessica Archer, a neurologist, took a particular liking to the test subject known as "L". The researchers had taken to calling him L because they were unaware of his name and he couldn't tell them due to his memory loss.

L found himself blacking out a lot and finding himself in places he didn't expect to be in. Patches of his new memories were going missing. In a bid to restore L's memory, the scientists hooked L up to a machine that would restore his memories and return him to his normal self. They hoped that he would then be able to tell them what they were trying to discover. Once the memory conditioning treatment was over, the reason for Draeden's blackouts became clear - during his coma his subconscious had nurtured a second consciousness, forming a split personality disorder. The other consciousness named himself Jack and was a violent and crazed version of Draeden's own personality.

With Jessica Archer's help, Draeden killed Kyrian and escaped the off-shore research lab, only to direct their boat in the wrong direction and become shipwrecked on the south-western coast of Ireland. Draeden and Jessica were taken back to different villages for recovery, until it was suggested by the villager that discovered Draeden's waterlogged body that he should try the neighbouring village, Ulster.

On arriving at Ulster, Draeden happened across Jason Blade and Scorpio, both of whom were guided to their meeting place. The two men helped Draeden find Jessica in Ulster, then headed back to their lives in the States.

After learning of his reported death and accidental entry into The Experts Extreme Tournament, Draeden headed back to America to quell the exaggerated rumours of his death and win the 2009 Extreme Tournament.