Conlan Delaine was born in 916 Dragon Age. Both his mother (a maid for Teryna Elenor Cousland) and his Father Angus (a soldier) were born in Highever. When Angus had saved up enough money, he took his wife, and son, and moved to the city of Denerim. Angus had a dream. He had grown up on stories of honor and valor, of glory on the battlefield, and he intended to become a knight in the King's service.
It was not an easy task, but Angus worked tirelessly. He trained himself to fight, and taught what he could to his son. He had intention of making young Conlan his squire. And thus creating a legacy, a family tradition of knights.
By the time Conlan was 14, all of the able men in Ferelden had been summoned south to fight the darkspawn. And rumors of a fifth Blight brewing spread across the land. Angus, being a soldier in the king's service traveled south with the army, and he brought his "squire" along with him. Even though Angus had yet to swear any vows or having been knighted, he still acted the part. He still told his stories of glory and honor, and loyalty. He told the tales of Teryn Loghain, and how much of an honor it was to fight beside the man.
During the battle of Ostagar, Angus was part of Loghain's forces. He was there when they retreated from the battle. He, along with Conlan and the rest of the army left Ostagar, and traveled all the way back to Denerim.
Upon returning, Angus petitioned heavily for an audience with Loghain. It took him a long time, but he did finally get a chance to speak tot he Regent. Angus told Loghain that he respected him, that he trusted the Teryn's judgment. But honor demanded that he speak up, and say that he believed leaving Ostagar was wrong. That the Teryn, and the army all owed their loyalty to the King, and they should have defended him, even if the battle seemed hopeless.
Loghain thanked him for his council, and said it would be noted. The next day, Angus Delaine was arrested for treason, under the orders of Teryn Rendon Howe. Angus was never seen again.
When Childhood Ended...
Conlan and his mother tried to get by after Angus' death. His mother sold numerous services from cooking to cleaning, to renting out a room in Denerim for refugees. Conlan himself took a few odd jobs, mostly just running messages. In fact this did result in him having a face to face run in with the Grey Warden responsible for ending the last Blight. Though the meeting lasted just long enough for Conlan to deliver his message and leave.
When the Horde descended upon Denermin, Conlan was one of the few people who managed to get to safety before any real fighting broke out. His mother however, was not so lucky. She had been trapped inside their house when the fire from the battle spread, and died when the house burned down.
Very few people cared much about a Vagrant like Conlan as Denerim and Ferelden were rebuilt. He begged on the streets, stole, slept in houses under construction, and just tried to make do for the next couple of years.
When you live by the sword...
When he was sixteen, Conlan signed up for the Denerim city guard. He was given combat training. Which he took to quite well given his background. He even got to stay in the barracks at Fort Draken. For the first time in a long time, Conlan's life wasn't terrible. So naturally, that didn't last long.
During the food riots in the Elven Alienage, Conlan was sent in along with the rest of the guards to keep the peace. There one of the guards in his unit mentioned an Elf who lived in the Alienage who had a reputation for being something of warrior. The guard suggested that they go and make sure this Elf didn't cause any trouble. Four guards went, including Conlan.They burst into his home. The Elf insisted that he was doing nothing wrong, and he was staying inside with his family. He asked to just be left alone.
The Guard who brought them, proclaimed the Elf was resisting arrest. He said the Elf should be taken away, and implied that the family would be "dealt with." This caused the Elf to pull a hidden sword, which lead to the other three guardsmen decided that was justification enough for them to kill the Elf.
Conlan, still driven by his fathers old stories of honor and duty, insisted that this was not what they came here for, none of it was. This wasn't their job. When the soldiers persisted, Conlan stood with the Elf, and the two of them managed to drive off the other three soldiers.
Of course, the three soldiers reported back to their commander that Conlan had turned on them, and he was punished, then discharged.
I do the job. And then I get paid.
After being discharged from the City Guard, Conlan took to doing whatever work he could find. Merchant conveys that needed protecting, Nobles looking for a few extra guards, gangs who needed extra muscle for missions. He'd throw in with anyone willing to pay for a good sword arm. Because of that, he gained a solid amount of battle experience. And over the course of time, Conlan developed two rules for operating. Do the job, and bring all of your people home. Due to his streak of morality, he'd made a few enemies around Ferelden, but he'd at least tried to avoid making any real enemies in Denerim, where he's numerous jobs over the years has allowed him to purchase a small hovel off a back alley.
The last job he took was one to guard a warehouse. It turned out that the it was being used as a safe house for smuggled goods. And when the city guard arrested the gang that hired Conlan, he too was taken in. Once again to spend time in the city jail. At least that's what he believed...
Conlan's attitude is something akin to an old war veteran. He seems to have given up on his father's dream, and any of his own dreams if he had them. He's not one for over the top displays, oaths, or titles. He no long buys into stories of valor or honor. He'll be the first to tell you that fighting is bloody and terrible. There's no glory to be won on the battle field, just more scars.
Despite the hard exterior, when faced with a moral choice, Conlan almost always does what's right. He's loyal to his allies, and friendly after a fashion.
Even with his straight forward attitude, a life of dealing with Rogues and unsavory individuals has allowed Conlan to be underhanded when necessary. More then a few times, he's caught others trying to pull one over on the "dumb warrior." And has proved to be fairly adept at coming up with strategies.