Working on the docks in his hometown of Novigrad, Demyan before the outbreak was no more but a simple laborer, getting by day to day living in a large apartment complex within the city after moving out from his parents home along the edge of the city. He still visited his folks from time to time, but with work keeping him busy and the strain from the job keeping him tired and at home, he simply didn't find the time he wished to have for his family. Lo and behold what was to come, he probably would have wished to fight through the struggles and physical strain of his workplace to visit his family more often.
Hearing the news of the strange attacks and the war along the borders of Chernarus and Russia caused panic quickly within Novigrad. Most operations came to a screeching halt and co-workers that Demyan knew were already gathering their families in preparation for what was to come. Tourists in the area quickly started to flee, as local airports began to fill up with panicked foreigners and citizens that had the means to leave the city. Demyan struggled to get through the city to reach his parents house, but eventually made it there to hunker down and wait for more instructions. After hearing of the infection spreading into the city, Demyan helped board up the windows to his parents home and prepared to hunker down for who knows how long. After a few days, evacuation plans were made and Demyan took his parents to the camps set up on the eastern side of the city for what felt like the first shred of protection since the panic of the outbreak settled in. Demyan was apart of one of the first volunteer groups to help work whilst the military kept these safe zones that they had quarantined safe. He saw some of his co-workers present, but there were still too many missing for his liking. He tried to keep calm remaining the matter, but it certainly took a toll on his mind.
With local forces continuing to keep things under control, it was only a matter of time before winter struck Chernarus. Everyone imagined that the winter would be rough, but rumor quickly spread around camp that supplies were going to be handed out scarcely throughout the winter to the surrounding towns outside of the CDF controlled areas. Though logically this made sense, one of the laborers named Rykov seemed very angered by the news. At some points, he would rally workers to essentially strike within some of the camps in the nearby area. The CDF would eventually get things under control and work would resume as normal, but every night within the camps Rykov would continue to go about the camps, asking for any brave individuals to help combat the winter conditions and help those that weren't as fortunate as those within the safe zones. Demyan would soon be swayed by Rykov's words, and after gathering a few more brave souls to help survive the winter conditions, Rykov, Demyan, and a few other men set off into the snow in search for those in need.
As expected, there were men lost along the way. Most of the men knew how to use a weapon to some extent, and Rykov managed to smuggle a few small firearms for those who felt proficient. Others were armed with pipes, knives, and hand-crafted staves and spears to help fend off the infected along the way. With little experience fighting the infected, there were some men that were left behind for the greater cause, and after days of travel Demyan and Rykov's followers were out of CDF controlled zones and into the unknown. As this new force reached other towns, they would train those that didn't know how to hunt, to start fires, even going as far as helping the scavenge and helping build hand-crafted weapons for those brave enough and strong enough to help fend off infected. In this repeated process, Rykov gained more men and women to help with his cause. They gained more men than they lost, and by the end of winter Rykov decided to find a place to bunker down and call home. A home for the militia that he had grown.
With a new home being established for Rykov and his men, Demyan quickly found himself in a position of leadership within Rykov's militia, being one of the only few that remained from when they first set out from Novigrad. Now with plenty of trained men, operations in helping out the locals in further training and support against the infected went much smoother. The spring also brought more willing individuals to help Rykov's militia, and Ryov started to make allies with many of the settlements local to his area of operations. With newly formed alliances and plenty more men to spare, Rykov formed another unit of trained individuals within his militia. Dubbed as, "ringers" these men and women set off to gather infected to be prepared for slaughter. Rykov wanted as many of the infected taken out, not only just for his homeland, but for the sake of humanity. He was willing to be the martyr that humanity needed to finally take back what was already there's, taken away by the threat of the infected. Demyan led this ringers out in the field, helping find suitable locations for traps set specifically for these hordes of infected. After a few rough operations out in the field and losing those new settling into their new role, the ringers were successfully taking out many of the infected gathered in their area.
It was only a matter of time before something was bound to go wrong.
Rykov, along with Demyan and his ringers, set up a large operation to help re-take one of the towns nearby their location. It wasn't their first operation in taking back a larger location, but most of these operations consisted on taking back smaller villages. Moving into a larger town, it was plenty more overrun within the town itself, let alone the surrounding area. Using most of his forces for the mission, the ringers cleared a small location within the town for Rykov's forces to keep protected. Traps were built over the course of a few days, and Demyan would send off with his ringers to gather the largest horde they had gathered to date. With a horde this large, the ringers couldn't keep it entirely in their control. Rykov sent more men to assist, his ringers being one of the most valuable assets to his militia, but it was a decision made in panic and not in complete confidence. Ringers along with many more of Rykov's men perished, and the stronghold that they had created within the city was overrun as well. Too many men died that day, and Rykov was willing to sacrifice himself so that his cause and his will could live on with the survivors. Let alone all of the other men and women who died, Rykov's death hit the hardest. In defeat, the survivors of this operation, including Demyan, retreated back towards home.
With what little leadership that remained after the failed operation, the decision was made to send people elsewhere to help recruit once more. Rykov had always wanted to stay far away from South Zagoria. There were many survivors fleeing the area with rumors of constant fighting, saying that South Zagoria was no more than a lost cause. It kept recruiters away from the province, but with little choice left, Demyan made the decision to trek into this, "warzone" as it had been deemed.