Darrian Ashoka is a young man in a strange and violent version of New York City. He has lost his father and that weighs on him heavily. In this desolate city he joins the daily battles in Time Square and with his fathers sword and his unreliable friend Jaynis by his side they battle for the spoils of those they defeat.
That is until one day he meets the beautiful Dawn who opens up a whole other world for him and sets about showing him who he really is the horned God of Death, Cernunnos.
Darrian Ashoka was created by Joseph Michael Linsner. Later his collaborator Eva Hopkins helped shape Dawn and Darrian's adventures as well as writing scripts and ideas for shorts, some of which appear as bonus stories in the pages of Dawn comics.
He was created as an artistic foil for Dawn in her first comic book series as the protagonist. Previously Dawn had been cover art in the Cry for Dawn anthologies and small, often abstract, pieces.
His 'everyman' character gives the reader a point from which to view this fantastical tale of angels and demons.
Darrian has his origins in Lucifer's Halo, a six part exploration of the character in relation to Dawn herself. The series was a hit and while Dawn carried on her duties as cover art on the Crypt of Dawn anthologies and more Darrian's story disappeared until the Three Tiers story arc where once again he was the central character.
Darrian starts off as a man with no direction or true friends and Dawns interference in his life marks a sea-change that leads him on a quest for self discovery. He makes choices that prove good and bad but chices he sticks by and lives with.
Since Linsner is the creative force behind his own characters and writes and draws the comics himself his characters remain solid, focused and true to character throughout.
Currently Darrian's last solo appearance was in the Three Tiers that again follows him as the central figure, during which Dawn makes few appearances but watches over her champion as he fulfills a prophecy she made. That prophecy is fulfilled and Dawn has promised to be with him again now it is done.
Major Story Arcs
In Lucifer's Halo, Darrian is told by Dawn that he is Cernunnos, the horned god of death. She sends him off to find himself. He heads towards a large cathedral outside of New York to get a look at heaven. He gets a peek inside through a window but is unable to gain entrance into the church. On his journey he managed to break his father's sword.
Upon returning to New York, Dawn finds him and hands him Lucifer's Halo. Before disappearing, she warns him that angels and demons will come looking for it. Darrian then has several encounters with both angels and demons. He overcomes each of these encounters before facing a full force of both heaven and hell.
During the battle he sees the horned god of death come forth and slaughter everyone. Frightened and confused by what has just happened, he asks Dawn for an explanation. She tells him that the apparition was him and that this was what she was leading him to, the realization that he is Cernunnos.
He finally knows what to do with the halo. He calls forth God and Lucifer. They both show up demanding the halo but Darrian simply smashes it on the ground. Once this is over he decides to leave New York once again. He boards a ship leaving for Europa.
During Three Tiers Dawn barely makes an appearance as its the story of Darrian Ashoka's sojourn in Europa following the events of Lucifer's Halo. Dawn had told him they would not meet again until certain events had come to pass and they all do in this series and as Darrian returns homeward on a ship Dawn is seen on the docks sadly watching him headed home but does not contact him yet.
Interestingly the image of Dawn is everywhere in the series. Darrian meets a young girl who looks like a youthful version of Dawn and makes love to her. Darrian also meets a Queen who looks just like Dawn but wearing large sunglasses. When he gets to makes love to her, as Dawn predicted he would, he wakes and finds her a twisted and charmless vision of her that he might have just been blinded to. Finally he meets a whore who looks like a tired and rundown version of Dawn and he too makes love to her, inline with the prediction.