Early Life Edit
The blood of royalty has always coursed through my veins. Powerful, thick, and red My mother, The Red Queen, my father The Horned King. However, the King was not married to my mother, she was not his Queen. They did not hail from the same kingdom, they did not share the same people. ”Adulterous woman.” It was ingrained into my mind, and always preceded the reminder that I had been nothing more than a bastard of the Red Court. ”I did you a favor, boy. I kept you alive! I risked my neck to save your skin!” He always reminded me. He was always reminding me. ”I wish you would have let me die, Rasputin… father.” When Delyth learned of my survival, I was immediately punished. No more than a babe and already the odds had been stacked against me. I was hated for existing, wished dead for being created, despised for surviving. I wasn’t allowed a name. If I didn’t have a name, I was not a threat to my mother, I didn’t matter. ‘Boy’ suited me just fine. In fact, it didn’t bother me at all, I didn’t care. My father, on the other hand, was determined to get me the recognition he thought I deserved. I should have known better.
The First Curse; Broken Edit
The Queen was tricked into naming me. Hooded, I was called before her and Rasputin. Before I had even known what had happened, my father had coaxed a name from the Red Queen; my mother had named me. I can’t begin to describe what it felt like when that curse had been broken. It was like something had begun burning within me, like a desire had finally taken hold. I had an identity, I had some bit of power now. The look on my mother’s face when she finally realized what she had done was sweet in its own way; it had instilled something deep within me, but it also filled me with a sense of shame I didn’t quite understand. I was her son.
The Second Curse Edit
”She gave me a name, but prevented me from ever picking up a weapon again. I wasn’t devastated… It gave me time to concentrate on other things, to find other distractions.”
I can’t begin to describe what it was like. I could stand there, my sword before me but I could not pick it up. I could no longer string a bow or hold even an arrow. My utility was shot in the eyes of my father. All the centuries of training, learning the art of combat; down the drain. I knew he was hellbent on restoring me back to what I was. In the meantime he began shoving books in my face. My new job was to learn about my innate gifts from my fae blood. Now with a name and an identity, I had begun to recognize my abilities, I could finally begin to feel my true powers.
I clumsily took to this new life of reading and understanding the world around me. Before, I had been boisterous and excitable. I was always anxious to be assigned a new task, a new obstacle to defeat. Everything had changed though, and with it, my fiery temper seemed to be soothed by a quieter life. Initially I hated the books. It felt so boring, but once I began making the connections to the world around me, I began to thrive. I took it upon myself to travel around Ga’Leah, to get a first hand experience of the world around me. I could feel myself opening up, accepting everything for what it was. Before, a man that was so black and white, now began to develop a fuzzy sense of the grey areas. To me, this development began to change the way I viewed everything, and it couldn’t have come at a more important time in my life.
”Oriana. I wish I could feel her love just one more time; I wish I could have it back... for just a moment.”
I thought I had stumbled upon a garden of roses in the woods. How odd. I remember thinking. I lingered for a moment, relieved to find that none of the roses were red. Then she appeared what seemed like out of thin air; Priestess. maiden of moonlight. Seeing her for the first time could only be described as something out of a fairytale. As silly and as childish as it sounded, I feel like it really had been love at first sight. I had been with women before, but this had felt different from the beginning; from the first time I had laid eyes on her I knew I was in deep.
We spent a lot of time together; Oriana seemed to know more about the world around us than I did, and she took the task of showing me new and exciting things in stride; I think she enjoyed opening me up to the world. I still remember telling her that I loved her for the first time; there was no hesitation or fear because I felt it in the way that she touched me that she loved me just the same. I wanted to marry Oriana. I wanted to stay with her always in the temple, to make a life with her. She didn’t care about the curses placed upon me, only that I stay with her. I spent much time under the careful watch of the priestesses and the maiden herself, but over time, my presence was welcome and accepted; that acceptance had awakened something within me.
I returned to the Red Court; I knew that I was no longer an asset to Rasputin, what good was I if I could not wield a weapon and play the part in his game. I had returned with the intention to bid my farewell; to finally disappear from Rasputin and to no longer play the game with them. Upon returning, I had been summoned once again. Rasputin ordered me to dress in my old armor, telling me to try it on once more, in hopes of inspiring me to remain within the court. I felt nothing but the hollow shell of the plate and mail, but I continued to listen to him. He called me to fill in ranks with the other men, just for awhile. ”Maybe it’s worn off.” I remember him saying before i followed the others into a larger chamber. Then there she was, the Queen; my mother. The very sight of her always filled me with shame, I cannot describe nor explain, but it is always there in her presence. I observed quietly as she followed two guards through the lines of men, as pikes were shoved in their hands. This was to be some kind of demonstration. They came to me, but the pike simply fell over. In a huff my mother picked up the pike from the ground, shooting an icy glare at Rasputin before shoving the pike in my hand.
The Third Curse Edit
I remember his laugh, laughing as his Queen; now his wife, she had been deceived again. The prickling up my arm as I held the pike soon faded. Delyth quickly realized what she had done and I felt the burn of a curse once more. ”Third time’s a charm.” Threes, terrible things always happen in threes.
”Then it was like she had absorbed all the color from the world around me. Nothing was beautiful anymore.” It took only a few hours for me to realize what had been done to me. I left the court again, I knew Oriana could take it away; she could make me feel something. Upon stepping foot in the temple, I knew nothing would change. The familiar flutter in my chest I always felt when I knew she was near was absent. I saw her out of the corner of my eye as she approached me, relieved to see my return. I could not return the feelings though. She kissed me softly on the lips and all I could do was stand there. I did not want to touch her, I did not crave her affection. I didn’t feel anything. I recoiled, disgusted by my own lack of love. I had loved this woman unconditionally. I wanted to move mountains for her, to make her my wife and suddenly the thought of kissing her stirred absolutely nothing within me.
For a few days, we tried many things. I forced myself to touch her, to kiss her, but the excitement and warmth I felt no longer lingered within me. My desires to love her were gone. I hated seeing her cry, even if I couldn’t feel the remorse, seeing her body shake like that did make me feel something. I couldn’t do this to her. A decision had been made, mostly by me. I was broken, cursed and I could no longer give Oriana what she wanted or deserved. I returned to the Red Court to pledge myself fully to Rasputin again. It was the only place I would ever belong.
”Look at you. You are a true weapon now. Combative, intelligent… and without fault.”
It was perhaps the greatest compliment that had ever been given to me, and by my father. Isn’t that the true dream of all son’s? To finally obtain their father’s full approval. Rasputin now had his weapon. I had been trained in the art of combat for most of my life, then for some time I took only to refining my mind. Now I was incapable of feeling love; quite possibly the downfall of every great man.
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