- "I know, but Kajetan is Droyaska, a blademaster. Were he to take on any more opponents, it would appear as though he were showing off."
- —Pjotr Losov to Kaspar von Velten.[1a]
Sasha Fjodorovich Kajetan is the violet-eyed commander of one of the Tzarina's most glorious squadrons of the Gryphon Legion. His family has estates found where the two tributaries of the River Tobol merge,[1b] and many say he will command the legion within the year.[1a]
During his visit to the Winter Palace, Kaspar von Velten met with the esteemed commander, seeing him spar in the Gallery of Heroes. Like the other fighters, he had blades sheathed through cauterized flabs of skin on his heavily muscled chest and stomach. A dancer's lithe physique combined with the powerful shoulders of a swordsman. Sporting a long, oiled topknot upon his otherwise shaven skull, as well as a drooping mustache, he wielded two long, curved swords against four men of similar builds. According to Pjotr Losov, Kajetan took instruction from a warrior order far to the east, on one of the 'Cathayan Islands'.[1a]
Early in life, Sasha's father, Fjodor Kajetan, used to beat both him and his mother, even forcing him onto his mother. After murdering him in the dark woods, Sasha became lost amid the chaotic scramble of the local boyarin that fought to take over his lands. Men who had drunk kvas, hurled their glasses to the floor and filled the halls with songs of war, swearing eternal brotherhood with his father, fell to infighting as one, then another rode in with men to take over the Boyar Kajetan's halls as their own.[1b]
His mother took every step to keep Fjodor from coming back from the grave, burying him face down and nailing his funerary vestments to the coffin with silver nails. For three years, Sasha and his mother would be swapped between the boyarin as they fought to claim their land. None wanted another man's wife and child, but knew that to harm them would invite united retribution from the others. All of that changed when Fjodor's widow grew sick with fever and, despite the most potent of medicines of the local midwives, she died one bright, spring morning.[1b]
With his entire world in ruins, Sasha journeyed north to Praag and crossed the Worlds Edge Mountains over the high pass along the Road of Skulls. He moved ever onward till he reached the fabled lands of the east, driven by a need to see things no Kislevite could claim to have seen. Here, he learned the ways of war from the hidden lords of the islands, channeling every aspect of his being into becoming a master of blades. In Kislev, the word Droyaska means 'blade master', but on the islands, he had transcended such a state, and entered a realm of skill going beyond such a poor description.[1b]
- Sasha knows the words to something known as the 'Mantra of Inner Power'.[1c]