His upbringing in the wilderness of Skyrim's Western Reach infused him with cunning and stamina surpassing more civilised men.
John Conn learned swordsmanship in Morrowind, from the great masters of House Redoran. While in that mysterious country, he also met with Lord Vivec in his floating city, being one of the few outlanders ever to do so.
In Black Marsh, John Conn spent time living amongst a native tribe of Argonians. From these folk, he learned much of herbalism and the powers of plants. Taking part in their sacred Hist ritual, he enterred a hallucinatory trance and slaughtered the entire village.
While wandering Elsweyr, John Conn joined the movement of resistance to the incursive Bosmer. Already a formidable pugilist and wrestler, John Conn expanded and refined his hand-to-hand techniques greatly under the tutelage of the agile cat-folk.
On a raid into Valenwood, John Conn was captured by Bosmer scouts. Instead of eating him, as John expected, they kept him as a prisoner. Over the next months, he ingratiated himself with them and eventually was freed and accepted into their tribe. The wood elves taught him much about archery before he was caught defiling a tree and was forced to flee Valenwood.
Name: Captain John Conn
Weaponry: Conn carries a battered, well-used old broadsword at his side, though he keeps the edge keen and sharp. At the small of his back is a needle-sharp poniard.
Clothing: Conn wears a white linen tunic over his hauberk of mail. His breeks are brown and woolen, and his wellington boots are black leather. His socks are red, if anyone is interested Conn also wears a pair of well-worn leather gloves.
Other Items: A nearly-empty purse and a necklace of canine teeth (close inspection reveals they are mostly human).
Resources: John Conn is the captain of the Mara Wept, a custom-refitted, Anticlerian-built Brigantine with a storied history. She is known as the fastest ship in the west by some (mostly sailors who have served aboard her), and it is true that few merchantmen escape unscathed once her pursuit colours are hoist. She is crewed by a mix of the saltiest of sea-dogs and the freshest of greenhorns, though all share a common love of plunder and are cut-throats to a man. She has a bronze ramming spike beneath the waterline at the bow and several ballistae mounted at the gunwales. The bow is painted with a stylized jaw full of curved, dagger-like teeth. Locked in the captain's cabin is John's steel helmet and gloves, as well as a short-handled, spiked flail. Currently the Mara Wept sits at anchor in Taneth harbour, under seizure by local authorities in light of recent political events.
John Conn had a relatively normal upbringing in the Western Reach. Every moment not spent toiling on his family's miniscule parcel of land was spent stalking the thick woodlands of his country. Conn learned the importance of stealth at a young age, crouching silently in the undergrowth as savage beasts prowled and sniffed for him. As he got older, and his strong frame became harder to conceal, he learned agility and speed as the same beasts pursued him through dales and up trees. When he became a man, he learned the virtue of strength; wrestling and slaying a charging Skyrim bull with his bare hands. Through all his trials he gained the cunning and guile of a predator, and his tiger-yellow eyes betray the savage intellect behind them.
At 20, Conn's wanderlust finally became unbearable. He said goodbye to his family and set out for the wider world, walking alone into the forest with only a knife and a loaf of stale bread to his name. One year later, after many harrowing adventures and narrow scrapes with death, Conn reached the glimmering city of Anticlere. Here, he signed on with a merchant vessel bound for Anvil and began his seafaring life in earnest. As soon as the vessel left the safety of the Illiac, a dark shape appeared on the horizon. The shape materialized into a small ship on an interceptory trajectory. The gaping, fang-filled maw at its bow betrayed it as the Mara Wept, and when the red and white colours of pursuit were hoist the sailors on Conn's vessel knew all hope was lost. They were quickly outpaced and boarded, and no attempt was made to resist the well-armed pirate vessel. Though the pirates killed no-one, the event left a deep mark on the brash Conn. He knew the merchant seaman's life was not his, and petitioned to join the pirate captain's crew.
The pirates were hesitant to accept the brazen young man at first. They decided to test his mettle with unarmed combat. A tall, monstrously built Orc named Ordon Gro-Goredon stepped forward to challenge Conn, and the combat began. They circled for only a second before the Orc leapt in to attack. John bobbed his head, avoiding the savage straight that rocketed toward his face and countering with an overhead left-hand hook. His fist collided with the Orc's tusked jaw, breaking 2 teeth and chipping a tusk. The Mer crumpled to the deck instantly, and didn't move. Every soul among both crews was silent. John thought silently that his hand was broken, but made no indication of his pain.
John Conn was accepted instantly into the cut-throat crew, consecrated by cutting the throat of the merchant-ship's captain. Over the next ten years he served sporadically aboard many pirate and military vessels, between long stints of shore-leave in which he had many adventures great and small. While on leave in Vvardenfel, John Conn sparred with the reborn Nerevar Indoril and held philosophical discourse over tea with Vivec. In Argonia, John partook in the sacred Hist rituals of the local villagers (whom he slaughtered accidentally in hallucinatory confusion). In Elsweyr, John fought alongside Khajiiti guerrillas to repel the intrusive Bosmer. In Valenwood, he likewise fought with the Bosmer to turn back the Khajiit. During the Oblivion Crisis, John Conn was staying at a boarding house in Bruma. He fought the daedra with savage abandon, closing two gates personally and taking part in the turning-point Battle of Bruma.
Eventually, fate brought John Conn back to the Mara Wept. As he stood gazing out to sea once again from the bustling port of Anticlere, the very ship came gliding into port. It sat low in the water, heavy with plunder. As it made Berth, John Conn called for permission to board. A familiar, though aged face appeared over the worn gunwale. Ordon Gro-Goredon laughed that Conn need never ask for permission to board the ship, as "a man never knocks on his own front door." Ordon explained that the current captain had been lost at sea to the wrath of the gods, and he had been commanding the Wept as acting first mate until a new captain was elected. John's sudden reappearance was taken by the superstitious pirates as a sign from the gods. He was proclaimed captain by unanimous vote. For the next 2 years, John Conn's crew savagely terrorized the shipping lanes of the west, often escaping capture and death by the skin of their teeth.