Chapter One: Battlefield-Bound.
Immortality, what is that? Truly, what is it? Do we define immortality as a lack of aging, lack of capability to truly die, or perhaps as both? Truthfully, to be an immortal means more than any of us can fathom. Death is not the worst punishment, but rather a blessing; for those who are immortal, they soon find out they are sick of this life. They often mask it well behind arrogance and riddles, but that eternal loneliness is the worst. In the opinion of most, defining an immortal is as easy as figuring out how lonely they truly are. Thankfully however, there are those who – despite being so lonely – find purpose, righteous purpose despite their damned states.
This applies to one such man, a mortal by the name of Danethir Rothson.
In a universe of Gods exists many different species of mortals, many of which were mingled with by the Kushiels, the first race created by the aforementioned Gods of this realm. Originally, Danethir was mortal, pure – to an extent – and wasn’t leading too bad of a life. A hybrid, born of Human and Kushiel genetics, Danethir was rare and often sought out for his talents. Gifted in the arcane, as well as mundane tasks, Danethir was no stranger to difficulty and popularity. He found himself fond of writing the most however, thus seeking to publish a series of books. It was ironic that he wasn’t all that great at literature however, but he would not be defeated by failure so easily. Frankly speaking, many would say Danethir’s best qualities were his abilities to endure and ingenuity. He’d achieve his goal with due time.
Being part-Kushiel, Danethir’s lifespan was slightly extended, which helped him narrow his attention to solely writing as a career. Oh, he certainly still aids his fellow townspeople, but the moment he was done? Back at the desk, scribbling away, or asleep, whichever came first. For years he lives this comfortable lifestyle, eventually moving out into his own home and sprucing it up to his own liking; many women likewise try to spruce themselves up to catch his interest. He ignores their passing, often blaming it on his novels needing his attention more. He just wasn’t ready to settle down, truthfully, but he hadn’t the heart to really just . . . Outright say it.
He would later come to regret not settling down, giving his parents at least one grandchild.
Some odd time later, rumors starting pouring into the town via traveling merchants. A disease had struck the big cities, turning lush green land into pitch-black barren wastelands. The King and Queen of this country had escaped, bringing their armies – or what was left of them rather – to a castle originally abandoned, and were recruiting to replenish their ranks; they had the intention to take back the lost lands. For some reason, where women and more-promising careers failed to take him from his writings, this succeeded. He offered himself up almost immediately, as if some hidden hunger for glory had woken up. The town – practically as a whole – had tried to sway his mind from such danger, but he would hear none of it. He went, armed only with the sword of his father, an Officer’s sword. Naturally, his father was retired, or he might be going right with Danethir. Along with the sword came his father’s Officer attire, deeming it right that Danethir at least go in style; he also believed Danethir would have no trouble reaching his own rank.
Regal black fell from his shoulders and all the way down to the soles of his feet, royal gold lining it in such a way, his clothing resembles more of a tapestry than an actual set of clothes. And to top it off, a set of armor goes along with it, lining his right shoulder with spiked Altion and a gauntlet made of the same material. Oddly enough, the set of clothing feels familiar to Danethir, as if it were made for him instead of his father. Shaking off the familiarity as an odd sense of duty, Danethir sets off, taking nothing else other than his arcane might with him.
It takes about a week to reach the castle, or fortress, and he is immediately brought the King and Queen due to his choice of battle-wear.
“My Lord, we found this man at our gates, impersonating as an Officer of the Court,” reports the guard who had apprehended him, “And this is the only weapon we found on him.”
The King remains silent as he examines the blade in question, then leans over to his wife and whispers a few things back-and-forth. Danethir is chained, on his knees, head forced down to make him stare at the floor; he is even gagged, as they have their own sorcerers. They would be foolish to let him talk in case he wielded the Arcane; smart fellows.
“Remove his gag, but place a blade at his throat. If he moves from his current position, slay him, but I have questions for him.” The King’s voice is far deeper than his body should allow it to be, more-than-full of the authority of a man his age and position. Once his orders are complete, he raises and hands off the blade to another guard. “To whom do you claim as your parents, Hybrid?”
“Kelloa Rothson is my father, Panethra Rothson is my mother, my King,” answers Danethir, eyes now shut. He dares not gulp, just in case the guard is a little twitchy.
For a moment the room is quiet, then the King crouches in front of Danethir and studies him before speaking again, “The Dire Wolf and the Great Lioness. Interesting, and though they are retired, it is a wonder they managed to sire off an heir.”
Danethir is shocked at the titles, for he has read of them in his studies, but never were their names revealed. The Dire Wolf and the Great Lioness were icons, idols of soldiers all over the kingdom; their prowess on the field of battle was nearly unmatched. It was always a wonder why the Dire Wolf and Great Lioness never took the promotions offered, but Danethir understood almost immediately: they were tired. It was why they were so adamant in keeping him from setting off from here, it also explained the unnatural zealotry in his town, who likewise tried to keep him from coming here. They had to know of his parents’ legendary identities, but why keep it from him? He wasn’t angry per-say, but definitely a bit upset. Was he not worthy of such secrets?
“Yes, my Lord. I am their son, born true of their blood. I am here to take their place, to provide the Crown with my lineage’s prowess once more.” Danethir was masking his shock and slight pain with confidence, borderline arrogance even, but the King is not fooled. He laughs in response, waving to his guards for Danethir to be released.
“We shall see whether the blood in your veins is as potent as your parents’. You may act as you see fit in the coming first battle. How you perform will dictate your rank.” The King uses a voice that does not allow room for any sort of protest.
After being given back his father’s weapon, Danethir gives a crisp salute and strides off, adjusting his clothes and armor pieces from the roughing-up he was given. He need not say anything to the King and Queen, the conviction in his eyes said it all: he will surpass both of his parents. Anything less would not be tolerated – from a personal standpoint – and he would not allow such disgrace to his family name.
Thus starts the tale of Danethir Rothson.