Hailing from of Kryta's old military families, the Drydens can trace their martial lineage all the way back to Ebonhawke during the Searing. Raleigh was therefore born into civil service; even the death of his older sister, a Seraph lieutenant, couldn't dissuade him. On paper, he seemed like the perfect soldier: brave, loyal, and dedicated. In reality, his unyielding approach proved unpopular with commanders and comrades alike, and he was eventually offered a new posting guarding the Ministry in Divinity's Reach - one which coincidentally took him away from the front-lines. It wasn't long before Raleigh grew tired of dealing with drunkards and disgruntled nobles. The decision to volunteer as Pact-Commander Garrett Beaumont's new bodyguard was therefore born out of self-preservation as much as personal ambition; Garrett was already unpopular amongst the Ministers, and Raleigh's reputation suffered as a result.
Despite their mutual emnity, Garrett was the first to recognize Raleigh's skills as a soldier and tactician. It was Raleigh who coordinated the war effort in Kessex Hills, with the help of Valentine Vael and the other Pact mesmers. Later, he oversaw the evacuation of several key civilian settlements in Lion's Arch. Raleigh was aboard the Pact ship Evennia when it was downed over the Maguuma Jungle, stranding him and a handful of survivors in the wilds surrounding Auric Basin. The group were taken in by the Exalted, where Raleigh came into contact with Glint's "second scion", the dragon Aurene. Together with the sylvari Aescalis, Raleigh became one of Aurene's custodians - responsible not just for raising the young dragon, but also shaping her into a strong and sympathetic ally to the people of Tyria.
It was Garrett who decided to keep Aurene's existence a secret from the Pact, requiring Raleigh and Aescalis to lie to their respective factions. Maintaining the charade was difficult, both practically and emotionally, and as Aurene grew older her relationship with Raleigh began to suffer. She eventually joined Garrett and his allies in Elona against Raleigh's wishes, resulting in Aescalis' death and Aurene's capture at the hands of the rogue god Balthazar. A grief-stricken Raleigh laid the blame for Aescalis' death directly at Aurene and Garrett's feet. Since then, he has been tracking Aurene across the Elonian Desert with the intention of "removing her" from the Pact-Commander's arsenal. Raleigh has found limited support amongst Garrett's enemies, but has largely avoided Junundun-patrolled settlements. Otherwise, he would know that Aescalis had returned from the Mists following Balthazar's defeat.