Hide in the shadows. Everyone fears the dark for a reason.
“I’d be okay with boobs.”
I do not often share my story, and it’s not a story I am proud to share either.
For starters, I was born to the noble Blackthorn Family of Astora; a family often known for its great warriors and keeping the royal line going. Besides this, my family was also in charge of keeping “The Ring of the Evil Eye” in safe keeping for reasons many of us didn’t know. I, however, was very different from both my family and many of the other children of noble rank.
The common choice of gear in Astora was a heavy set of armor with a great-sword weapon, and many people also liked the open styles of combat and dueling. Myself, on the other hand, preferred using the shadows, knives, light armor, and more patient approach to winning my fights. Despite the very big disadvantage of my style, I was known for never losing a duel to even a few of the mentors. This was probably the earliest sign that I was unique compared to the rest of the children.
Besides my fighting style being unusual, I also had a few personality characteristics that separated me from the rest of my group. For one, I was never even close to as social as the rest of the children. Unless it was a event that required the whole entire court to attend, I was hardly ever seen around the castle. Even when I was seen, no one really wanted to interact with me, and I returned the favor. Another difference was how I treated others. Despite my noble status, I always acted like I was inferior to everyone else, and often felt I was not worth other people’s time, even in conversation. Many of the other noble children also used their status to assert superiority in order to gain what they wanted, whereas I instead did things my own way and did not involve others in my affairs. The last major difference between me and the others my age was how I got around the castle. Unlike everyone else, I never used the normal hallways to get around unless I was on my way to a court event with my family. Instead, I used secret passageways encompassing the entire castle in-order to move about and try to avoid other people.
Now, as corny as it may sound, I had one person who changed the way I acted even if it was only around her. The princess. The princess and I had known each other since we were both very young, due to our families being very close, and we had been very good friends before I started to act different from everyone else in our age group. As we grew, I became more antisocial to the point most the court believed me dead. Even so, she continued to try to talk to me and force me to attend court balls and dances with her, despite there being many more who truly wanted to be her escort. Even in crowded parties where I easily disappeared from everyone else, she was always able to find me and forced me into dancing with her and talking. Being as aloof as I was, I never noticed the princess had a crush on me until her eighteenth birthday. In Astora, a girl’s eighteenth birthday is often the day she announces her choice of suitor, and the boy has the choice to either accept or decline. During the ball held for her birthday, she announced that I was her choice of suitor. This lead to a huge shock to both myself and much of the court, who still had the idea I was dead. Obviously, I accepted.
Shortly after the announcement, the assassination attempts began. Since the country favored open combat, assassination attempts were considered very pathetic to anyone who actually specialized in that style of fighting, including myself. Many of the attempts were easily avoided, and no one was ever actually harmed by them since retaliation wasn’t really a big deal to me considering I was never hurt. The most open of the attacks I’d received was during sparring, when people would try to weaken me for later attempts. Many of those who tried to have me assassinated made their identity obvious by trying to get closer to the princess should “anything happen to me” and she need someone to comfort her.
One day, however, the other nobles tried a different tactic to get rid of me. As the princess and I strolled around the castle at night, talking about our future, five of the of the approximate nine noble families in total confronted us. The men offered a deal: Either I choose to fight them all in order to stay with the princess, or I run and get chased down till I was executed. Seeing no choice, I chose to fight the five of them, and they gave me the equipment I requested for the battle. What happened in that death match was nothing like what any of us expected. It was a slaughter. Within minutes, two of them nearly died from cuts all across their bodies, two were disarmed and making a run for it, and the last lay dead, completely torn to shreds. This ended any more assassination attempts, and also exhibited the divergence between myself and the others in combat skill, style and ability, though it was still unexplained.
Despite the princess seeing everything that happened, she continued to stay with me. We both just assumed that what happened was a mixture of fear for my life and adrenaline taking over my body. With the assassination attempts at a halt, the princess and I used the time to get closer and enjoy our lives for the first time since the announcement. For a while, everything was going great.
Finally the wedding day approached, and besides headaches and nausea, which we brushed off as nervousness, everything was going fine. As we got to the end of the ceremony, the priest began to draw the runes of matrimony and bonding onto us. As the runes were being drawn on me, my skin charred and burned instead of accepting the runes. The incident led to the cancelling of the wedding until we could discover what would cause my skin to react in such a way. However, according to the mages and doctors, there was no way a humans skin would reject the runes in that manner.
The night of the wedding my mother came and explained everything to me. The reason my skin reacted that way was due to the fact that my blood was not completely human and that my real father was a Tiefling; a human-demon hybrid from the abyss. My mother explained that she had hoped since my real father was only half demon, it would not be a high enough concentration of demonic blood to actually have an impact on my body. She had prayed it would only be my social behavior and fighting style preference that were unique from everyone else, since those had been the only consequences that had shown themselves before the wedding. The other effects she knew of included that religious ceremonies and temples would cause pain, and my blood would give me a special affinity for blood magic. The reason I had never been told, was to help keep the truth a secret. Not to mention it had also been an effort to keep myself from doing anything that might lead to showing my actual heritage.
Besides all that, my mother also explained why my blood had that of a demon. “The Ring of the Evil Eye” was traded to my family in order to give us power in ways that the other families were not privy to, such as the traits that made me different from the other noble children. My families end of the bargain was that the demons could choose a child every century to make a descendant of their own. This was to slowly get their bloodline into the empire and the human race. Unfortunately, I had been the chosen child. Despite having been enlightened to the true answer, I never told the doctors and mages as to why I was such a special case. Demon/human breeding was pretty much unheard of during this time.
As time went by with “no discovery” as to my heritage or a way around it, the princess and I began the tradition of using rings as a sign of matrimony and held another wedding. This time, everything went according to plan and we stayed together, even after I told her about the truth about my heritage. Everything once again went great.
After a few years, word finally got out about my bloodline. I’m…not sure how this happened. Even though I was now king, no one could tolerate a demon blooded human as their leader. This lead to my hunting and exile, and for the following months I made people believe I had left the country while instead I lived in the secret passageways I’d used as a child. Living this kind of life however, was not enough for neither the queen nor I. On the last night of our lives, we’d both gone out in the courtyard where I’d dueled the five nobles to share our last wishes with each other under the night sky. My last memory of that life was seeing her final smile as we both prepared to drink our poisons.