► 25 SPECIES
► Human HEIGHT
► 184 cm WEIGHT
► 82 kg EYE COLOR
► Blue HAIR COLOR
► Brown HOMEWORLD
► Nar Shaddaa GENDER
► Male FACTION
► Five Syndicates RANK
► Scoundrel FORCE SENSITIVITY
► Yes (unaware)
A person born on the Smuggler's Moon doesn't necessarily live long enough become a smuggler. Or anyone else of significance, for that matter. A street urchin usually faces even worse odds. Kel was lucky in that regard. He never knew his parents and had to take care of himself from an early age. However, he managed to dodge—sometimes due to sheer luck—the various premature endings of his life. That was largely because he had been taken in by a compassionate Besalisk mechanic. Since then, Kel started to assist him in the store instead of causing trouble with other orphans.
Meanwhile, Kel's older peers from the streets were getting involved with the underlings of the Five Syndicates as spies, couriers, and occasionally even thieves and would-be enforcers. Unaware of the dangers, Kel followed in their footsteps against his Besalisk guardian's better judgement. The would-be-scoundrel sought adventure and excitement that the life of a mechanic couldn't give him. The credits that came with it were a nice bonus. But most of all, Kel sought respect and recognition, to show that leaving him in the streets was a big mistake.
As the Syndicate jobs got harder, the stakes got higher. It didn't take long for Kel to graduate from fists to clubs, and from clubs to blasters. Many of his peers didn't make it past that point. The young scoundrel attributed his unnaturally long stroke of luck to trusting his gut. Moving from swoops and speeders to spaceships in his late teens proved more of a challenge. Kel had quicker reflexes that a few other aspiring pilots, even without training. However, at first he was only accepted into a spaceship crew for his skills as a mechanic. Next came manning the turrets, and then he would finally get a chance to try his hand at piloting. At the age of 22, he was offered to captain his own ship.
However, Kel ambition didn't let him settle for a space tug. He wouldn't fly anything but the best. And his employer, Bochaba the Hutt, had just the ship: the Black Swift, his pride and joy. Faster than most freighters, the Swift was used as a courier for special cargo and VIPs, and occasionally even as a raider. In a heartbeat, Kel gave up an upcoming space tug captaincy to start off again, as a gunner and an assistant mechanic aboard the Swift. That assignment made him come to blows with NM-22. An unruly astromech hadn't been memory-wiped for an eternity and took offense that someone else would poke through his ship's systems. The droid's loyalty to Bochaba made him accept the newcomer, but only just.
Their relationship came to a test when the Black Swift took on more than it could handle. They had disabled a freighter, and the boarding crew entered the prize via the docking tube. Kel and NM-22 manned the helm, and the Weequay captain of the Swift stood by the docking tube. The plan was simple: if things went wrong, the captain would call it off and hit the switch. The Swift would undock and flee. However, Kel had a hunch that enemy reinforcements were about to arrive.
Realizing that the op was taking too long, the scoundrel hit the gas prematurely, breaking the connection between ships and venting a part of the Swift's cargo hold... along with its captain. That proved to be the right call: the Black Swift jumped to hyperspace moments after the arrival of a few hostile fighters and freighters.
If it hadn't been for that, the loyal NM-22 would've dealt with Kel on behalf of Bochaba. However, Kel turned the situation to his advantage and explained that he had saved Bochaba's prized ship. Lucky for the young scoundrel, Bochaba saw it that way too. The "upstart" was allowed to keep flying the Swift. However, nobody but Kel and NM-22 wanted to be on its crew, deeming the ship "bad news".
Now Kel flies the Black Swift solo for the Five Syndicates. Due to Bochaba's orders, NM-22 remains with him as "captain's assistant"... and insurance policy should Kel's loyalties waver.
More calculating than hot-blooded, Kel adjusts his attitude depending on whom he is dealing with. He usually poses as self-assured and rough around the edges, but drops the act around those who have worked with him for a longer time.
Out of business, Kel Dryden can be a people person: outgoing and cracking jokes at the cantinas left and right; or approachable and suave. Among close friends, he could probably drop the act... But Kel hasn't made such friends yet.
Although ambitious, Kel isn't outright evil. His decision to abandon the crew and captain was dictated by survival instincts more than anything else. He didn't hesitate to turn the situation to his advantage, but that event isn't something that he's proud of.
Combat. Kel has been more than in just a few scraps (deals gone wrong, cantina brawls, street fights, you name it). He knows how to handle a blaster or a melee weapon, and can go hand-to-hand if situation calls for it. After a few strokes of luck he considers himself a natural. This has made him neglect training somewhat, and prevents him from becoming better.
Piloting. Thanks to his better than average reflexes, Kel now flies an own ship... well, almost an own ship. Flying is a part of a job, so he makes better progress on his own, without relying on inside help.
Mechanics. Kel's experience comes from his childhood, when he repaired droids at his guardian's workshop. He also served aboard a couple of ships in this role. Kel isn't the best mechanic the galaxy has to offer, but good enough for his position. And for a change, he has reached that level through his own effort alone.
Languages. While at the workshop, Kel learned to understand Droidspeak. As a bonus, he got to interact with customers from many species. The boy was a good at understanding their languages... as long as it didn't involve speaking those languages.