• The Splendour of War -
    Birth of a Prince

    A prince was born in the country Asrael, slipping from his mother’s womb and sliding through his sister’s bloody wake. He was a small, sickly thing, while his twin seemed fit and healthy. The faerie-doctors, cold in their perfect logic, recommended euthanasia for the blood-coughing infant. The woman, through love for children only just sighted, begged for his life. As was their duty, the faerie-doctors carried out the woman’s will, injecting the prince with all their drugs and ancient medicines. He grew up smaller than his sister, sicker, and timid. Shy, he never made friends, save for one boy named Naata. The prince, confused by his feelings, confided in his friend that he loved him – and kissed him lightly on the cheek.
    A day later, Naata was found dead in his room, having hung himself in a bought of madness. Naata’s family, so very high in the nobility, rejected the young prince for his exclusive homosexuality and the strange ‘curse’ that seemed to ride upon his lips.
    The princess spent night after night with her brother, cradling him through hours of hopeless tears.
    Life went on. The young prince grew cold and distant, reachable only by his kind twin. Over the years, members of their parental marriage group began to leave, or die. With each one, another careful, precise scar was added to the prince’s wrist. Before long, he wore five, and was left with his father and his father’s closest partner, a good man named Jaisha.
    Then, when the princess was lost to oblivion, the prince changed. He was cold, remote and cruel. In a fit of mad rage, he took up his ceremonial blade, and slaughtered one thousand men and women. His father, as ruler of the country, saw his son’s worth on the battlefield.
    The prince was given a true sword and told to defend the land. He took to his task with gusto, which didn’t last the first bloodbath.