Drake came from a family of sailors, and as such he always had an affinity for the sea. Like many teenagers, he spent some time in a gang; it was hardly surprising that he chose to join one called the "Sea Monogs." Also like most kids in those days, he eventually outgrew such play, and became a sailor himself, joining the Coast Guard at age 20. Some of his clan were among the settlers of Port in 884, but Drake himself remained in Tanq.
By the age of 40, in 889, he had worked his way up to captain of the ship on which he worked, the Poseidon's Wrath. The ship had seen many battles against pirates over the years, and it continued to do so under his command. In 901, at age 52, he was visiting family in Port, and considering retiring, and moving there himself. But while visiting, he met representatives of The Order, who were secretly recruiting a navy there. They were of course greatly impressed with his record, and suggested that if he joined the navy, he'd stand a good chance of becoming its admiral (a position which did not yet exist anywhere on The Land). When he returned to Tanq, he talked to his crew about it, and they all agreed that the goals of The Plan sounded admirable. He also talked to his superiors in Tanq's branch of the Coast Guard, who in turn talked to people in Port's Coast Guard. In the end, Tanq contributed a number of ships and personnel to the navies being raised in both Port and Near Port (as did the Coast Guards of a few other villages). This included the Poseidon's Wrath, and, as predicted, by the time war broke out in 903, Drake had been selected as Admiral.
On 5 Win'yet, 904 (less than three months after the war ended), the Poseidon's Wrath was resting in the harbor of Ship, manned by Admiral Drake as well as a skeleton crew (most of the crew being on shore leave). The ship and all hands were destroyed in an attack which was the culmination of the Laser Plot. Drake would later be replaced as Admiral by Althis Portman.