Denar also has a high charisma. I could play her as a classic low-intelligence, tough-guy stereotype in an alternative package. But, what I’ve chosen to emphasize is force of personality. This is the sort of character who radiates an intimidating vibe. (It helps that the character is a drow, a dark elf. Granted, it’s not a particularly original characterization, but that’s why I’m interested in ways to make it more sophisticated.) I’m working on a sort of a Dirty Harry vibe:
The Killer: [pleading] Please. Stop. No more! Can't you see I'm hurt?
Harry Callahan: The girl, where is she?
The Killer: [crying with reason] You tried to kill me.
Harry Callahan: If I tried that your head would be splattered all over this field.
— Dirty Harry 
So, how do I combine Homer Simpson and Dirty Harry?
Like Harry Callahan, my character is a loose cannon. She has been effectively exiled to the surface for not submitting to the drow authorities, who had determined she was too small to fight, and too stupid to create or steal the weapons they needed for their war against the aberrations invading the Underdark.
Like Homer Simpson my character is a survivor, and impulsive. 4e D&D has many avenues for dramatic recovery from equally dramatic damage. The character class I’ve chosen, the Blackguard from Heroes of Shadow, has multiple functions for generating temporary hit points, increasing survivability. The Blackguard may also use hit points as a resource, expending them to do more damage to foes. The image of a hero savaged by the circumstances of an encounter, like Mel Gibson’s Road Warrior Max, is a good approximation.
Homer is launching himself headfirst into every single impulsive thought that occurs to him.
— Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons
Denar doesn’t spend a lot of mental energy analyzing situations. What mental energy there is is reserved for action. Like Homer, who is described by director David Silverman as "creatively brilliant in his stupidity", Denar operates with complete disregard for safety, either her own or those around her, dabbling in mixing alchemical substances, and creating explosive devices. Like Scarlet the squirrel from Philip Jackson’s webcomic Sequential Art, Denar can accidentally create mechanisms and compounds of a deadly nature.
|From Sequential Art by Philip Jackso|
I’m looking for ways to play this without going all Leeroy Jenkins on the other players. I’ll try to play the accidentally deadly creations to the benefit of the team, presented by Denar as sort of an afterthought, representing her casual disregard for their potential for mayhem.
In the end, through all the mayhem, I hope that Denar will be able to save her people and the other members of the party. Despite her background and the common perceptions of the drow in RPGs, I'd like it to play out that her actions end up with a "good" result. She'll end up as a personification of the weapons she reveres, capable of destruction, yet without much intent.
I've heard a great deal about you, Fa Mulan. You stole your father's armor, ran away from home, impersonated a soldier, deceived your commanding officer, dishonored the Chinese Army, destroyed my palace, and... you have saved us all.
— Emperor, Mulan 
That's not to say she herself would have no intent. She's intent on proving the drow authorities wrong in their judgment of her. Proving herself both as a warrior, and an operative clever enough to secure the weapons the dark elves need to defeat the aberrant horde. And she's well aware (obsessively so) of a sense of mission in that regard.
I’d love to hear what you draw from when imagining your characters, and how you express those ideas in the game. If you have any suggestions on further development for Denar, I’d love to hear those as well.