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Canis
February 17th, 2012, 07:42 AM
This is the first draft of a character backstory for a Dungeons and Dragons character I wrote about a year ago. I am posting this for your consideration only. As of now, I have no plans to pursue this story any further. Cheers


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Who have I become? I am not the same man as I once was. I often contemplate the changes that have shattered my life and stolen the only thing that made this life worth living. Where did it all begin and how could I have allowed it to come to pass.

It all started with my birth. When I came into this world, I was accompanied by my brother Jaren. We were born to the King and Queen of The Salamis Empire on the continent of Krosha. Tradition stated that the first born son of the King would be the Crown Prince and be next in line for the throne. In the case of Jaren and I, no consensus could be reached over who had been born first, so our father decided that when Jaren and I reached manhood, we would duel and the winner would clearly have the favor of the gods and thus the right to rule.

All too soon, Jaren and I were sixteen and our duel was at hand. Our mother had died the winter before and our father’s health was failing, so our duel couldn’t have come at a better time. Our duel was furious, but in the end, I was victorious. Jaren was furious that he had lost but he quickly regained his composure, kneeled before me, and proclaimed me Crown Prince and future King. He attended my coronation a few days later.

Three months after my victory, Jaren confided in me that he had fallen in love with a foreign princess who had visited Salamis with her father. Neither of us knew what their visit with our father had been about, but we soon learned the reason. Father had arranged for me to marry the princess whom my brother had fallen in love with. Jaren was livid. I tried for a month to dissuade my father, but he was steadfast in his decision.

“It is for the good of Salamis,” my father always told me when I would object.

Jaren refused to speak to me. I tried time and again to explain to him that it was not my fault, but he wouldn’t listen. Finally, I discovered a way to fix my relationship with Jaren. I promised him I would not consummate the relationship and that as soon as I was king, I would annul the marriage with the princess and marry her to him.

A few weeks later, I met the princess for the first time and all thoughts of annulment fled my mind. From the first time I saw Elena, I knew that she was the one that I had waited my whole life for, and she felt the same about me. Two days later, we were wed. My brother was there, with jealousy in his eyes. That night, I broke my promise to my brother.

Three months to the day of my marriage, father died. My coronation was a week later. The day before, Jaren reminded me of my promise and I told him I couldn’t go through with it. He was beside himself with rage but he didn’t say anything about it. The next day at my coronation, Jaren was not present.

I ruled Salamis for three years in which time I made many enemies among the Nobles. For many years, Salamis had been ruled by the Nobles with the King acting as a figurehead. In my rule, I took the power back from the Nobles and gave the people back much of what the Nobles had taken. One noble, an old advisor of my father by the name of Count Doros, tried to stir up a rebellion against me. I quickly stomped it out and banished him rather than execute him. It was a decision I came to regret.

In the third year of my rule, rumors began to circulate that I had drugged Jaren in our duel so that I would become Crown Prince. At first, these rumors were quickly dismissed by the people, but as the months dragged on and the rumors continued, many began to believe it. I asked Jaren to speak out against these rumors and he agreed. I called a public forum and spoke to the people and then allowed Jaren to speak. I remember thinking it odd that he brought an attendant with him on stage. Even stranger considering the attendant had his hood on, covering his face. My brother began his speech and said he had a witness to attest to what really happened. His attendant dropped his hood and it was Count Doros. I cried for the guards to seize him but they refused. I later learned that they had been paid off by the Nobles. Count Doros claimed that I had asked him to drug Jaren and that our duel was unfair. Half the crowd was taken in with this lie and the other defended me vehemently. One of the Nobles stood up and proposed another duel to determine who was really supposed to rule. The crowd roared their approval.

Days later, our second duel was mere hours away. I was eating breakfast with my wife and began to feel strange. I excused myself and went to get some air. My arms felt heavy and my head swam. A servant came to me and said the duel was moved to a mere twenty minutes away. My brother had drugged me and had the duel moved up to take advantage of my weakened state.

I tried with all my might but I was not able to prevail against the drugs. My brother easily defeated me but made a show of it for the crowd. When he won, the Nobles declared him King.

Jaren knew he couldn’t execute me without causing a division among the people so he put me on mock trial. The judge, Count Doros, ruled that I had committed treason against Salamis and that I would be banished for the remainder of my life. Doros stripped me of my rights as a noble and claimed that since I was not of the royal family, I couldn’t be married to Elena. He then annulled my marriage and announced that Elena would marry Jaren the very next day.

That evening, I was escorted out of the kingdom with only one servant, a reserved elf named Tiron. My escorts didn’t try to kill me, as I thought they would, they merely let me go and left.

The assassins came later that night. Two men came to our campsite in the middle of the night. When I finally realized someone was trying to sneak up on the camp, they were on me. Two men dressed in black robes materialized out of the night and drew their weapons. I went for my sword, only then remembering that all my weapons had been taken from me. Tiron fled as soon as they appeared.

“Coward!” I yelled as he ran, disappearing into the night. He had left me defenseless against two men, or so I thought. Then one of the men cried out and fell to the ground; behind him stood Tiron, a bloody dagger in his hand. Tiron quickly dispatched the second man. He then began searching the men’s bodies with me standing there shocked. I couldn’t fathom how a quiet servant became so skilled with a blade.

I learned that Tiron had been a mole planted by a group to kill me if I had disturbed the balance of the kingdom. I also learned that since I knew his secret, I would have to either join his order or die. I chose the former.

I trained with the order for two years, quickly learning how to sneak and use a blade in ways I had never fathomed. Soon I felt I was ready to return to Salamis, kill my brother, and retake my throne.

I gathered up an army of angry commoners as well as a few nobles who had remained loyal to me and began a rebellion against Jaren. After taking a few key cities, I marched on the capital.


Meanwhile…


Jaren paced before his throne. He couldn’t remain still anymore since his brother had started this damn rebellion. Jaren knew that his brother was coming to kill him and take back Salamis. Jaren needed leverage. He thought long and hard about what he should do. Finally, he confided in one of his advisors who came up with a simple, albeit dangerous, idea.

That evening, Jaren, escorted by only one guard, joined his advisor in the woods behind the palace. With the advisor was a toothless old man in robes. The robed figure explained that all the King needed to do was hold Elena prisoner in a way that his brother couldn’t free her. He explained that Jaren needed to trap Elena’s soul and hide it from his brother and the best way to do that was to seek assistance from a being outside of reality. The man asked for Elena to be brought to the clearing. Perhaps Jaren would have refused but his feelings for Elena had degenerated into violent obsession when she tried to castrate him on their wedding night. Jaren ordered Elena be brought and the robed man said, “Let us ready ourselves, the Lord of the Nine comes.”

---
My brother asked for a meeting with me to try and make peace. I would have refused but the message Jaren sent mentioned Elena.

I entered the throne room. Jaren was sitting on my throne. Elena wasn’t there. I demanded to know where my wife was. Jaren reminded me that she was now married to him, to which I responded by drawing my swords. Jaren eyed me without concern and said, “I wouldn’t do that if you would like to see Elena whole again.”

Jaren told me how he had trapped my wife’s soul outside her body and even showed me her body. She was in a sleep so deep nothing could wake her. I tried to kill him but his promise that his death would not bring her back stayed my blade. My escorts and some of those loyal to me inside the palace helped me kill Jaren’s guards and I forced him to tell me how he had trapped Elena’s soul. Jaren told me that he had sought out a devil who had used it’s black arts on my wife.

My army easily took the city and I set up Tiron to rule in my stead. I left Jaren in a prison cell while I hunted down information on this devil, the one called Asmodeus.

I now know who I am. I am no longer a King. I am no longer the ruler of Salamis. I am a destroyer of evil. I am vengeance incarnate. I am death made flesh. Behold, I am Wrath.

Notquitexena
February 21st, 2012, 05:41 AM
Sorry, but I lost interest when I read "It all started with my birth". My gut reaction was ... well ... "Duh!"

This draft needs a lot of rethinking, but please don't give up. I love fantasy stories and somewhere in this text is the kernel of an idea.

gerkintrigg
February 22nd, 2012, 03:34 PM
I'm not keen on first person accounts, but this isn't terrible. I tend to think that a lot of telling is going on here and not much showing. If you can give us some of the back story through things that the characters do or how they interact, that would make me happier.