Legacy of the Azure Torch
Mad nobleman consumed by a curse
While proclaiming to be of noble birth and having the wealth and power to boast in it, his true lineage is somewhat of a mystery. Born into poverty in a lone cottage called Ebahod, he came to fear and detest his mother who beat him shamelessly for reasons he did not understand. His father was a bleak soul whom he never heard spoke a word-sometimes appearing more dead than alive in mysterious sorrows.
The family’s prize possession was an enormous stew pot, Sebus and his mother and father dreamed of the pot being filled to the brim with hot food, but it was far from so. Having little to eat and nowhere to work, Sebus sought escape from his daily troubles by using his vivid imagination round about the cliffs of the Ebahod cottage. Sebus’s favorite dream and game was to imagine he had a tamed blackbird name Lanon who brought him food and told him secrets of what he saw beyond Ebahod. Lanon, though imaginary, was the only friend Sebus had.
One sunny day after playing, Sebus returned to his home to find his father butchered and boiling in the stew pot—stirred by his mother, who’s starvation had driven her to murder her spouse. Convinced he would be next, Sebus took justice into his own hands, and cooked both his parents without regrets.
Rationing his portions, Sebus sought refuge elsewhere – and said good-bye to Ebahod victoriously. He swore to let nothing keep him down. He was hungry to know his identity—or forge that identity himself. Walking some miles out from Ebahod, he chanced to stumble upon an Elven village. Nearly shot to death for trespassing, Sebus was shown mercy by the head of the village, Glimbark—who considered him to be of no harm. Glimbark, a jovial man with a devilish but kind laughter came to love Sebus as his son.
Through the years, Sebus grew with the elves and adopted a wild spirit among them. He was especially fond of the other children – having long learned to distrust adults, save for Glimbark whom he came to love as his true father. Glimbark encouraged Sebus to take pride is his friendships, but also to rely on himself, telling him – albeit kindly – that no one should make him who he becomes. Such was a lesson he had learned from his father, and his father’s father after an insult between him and one house D’Varon. Whenever asked about the name D’Varon, Glimbark confessed he only knew the name and no one who bore it particularly, and whenever asked about the nature of the “insult,” he confessed his father never told him exactly what the insult had been and that it was of little consequence as far as anyone was concerned.
As Sebus grew, the character of Lanon evolved and changed, from a blackbird, to a sparrow, a condor, and at times even another elven friend.
There came a day when Sebus wandered the outskirts of town when he met a curious fellow who was reading a strange book with a gold trim. The sprightly young man revealed himself to be a disciple of Akahdi who was visiting the elves and was pursuing wisdom. His book, Ilybra, was his masterpiece. Enchanted with a ritual that allowed the book to record wisdom in the wild all on its own, it was the little man’s hope that the book would collect the ever changing and evolving wisdom on the wind for centuries to come.
The idea of an experimenter of living things intrigued Sebus beyond his wildest dreams—and after some days of visiting together, Sebus emplored the sprightly young man if he could forge a real Lanon, and he began describing the latest form of Sebus’s passionate imaginary companion…
The following day, Sebus returned to the outskirts to find the creature, Lanon, as he had described to his new friend: a majestic beast with the body of a horse and the face of a ferret, with a tail like a mighty whip. It’s creator however, was nowhere to be found, nor his gold-trimmed book. Sebus was scarcely about to embrace his friend come to life, when he tripped on a bloodied corpse of the sprightly young man—the head of a spear run through his heart. When Sebus looked harder at his surroundings, he saw numerous other cadavers lying mauled and gutted, with shields and spears, swords and other weaponry.
Sebus turned to see the beast, Lanon lick his stained-blooded chops. “You were defending him,” Sebus concluded. Proud of his new friend, Sebus came forward hoping to touch the beast. But at once, the creature—whose newborn mind was broken by the rage of battle, hissed back at him.
“Lanon! Its me! Sebus!”
But the beast of a free spirit of its own—Sebus could not force the beast to love him. The beast whom he had hoped to treasure pounced for him, but was thwarted by Glimbark. “Run, Sebus! Go!”
Sebus returned to the Elven town and warned the guards of what was happening. Long before they could dispatch the creature, the crazed beast pounced again, its chops stained with new blood…Glimbark’s.
“He’s dead,” Sebus thought. “It was me. I created that monster…it’s like I killed my own father!”
Sebus ran and abandoned the Elven village, uncaring of what he was leaving behind.
Unknowing of where else to go, Sebus returned to the mountains of Ebahod. He felt akin to a ghost, out of phase with the rest of existence. He was unthinking, unfeeling, and uncaring as his feet crunched over the snowfall. “Who can I trust?” he thought. “I can’t even trust myself.” He toiled with his identity, telling himself he was not a monster, and repeating that phrase over, and over again.
To his surprise, he saw not the old remains of the cottage where he had grown up on Ebahod’s summit—but the tallest mansion he had ever seen, with gray fresco walls, polished granite statues and elaborate stained glass windows of many colors. Long before he made it to the entryway, Sebus was greeted eagerly by a man who called himself Duke Omsan, a kind but stout gentleman who hailed from a town called Garenheim—a place he left behind due to what he called “cold memories.”
Sebus later learned from one of the maidens at the mansion of Ebahod, that Omsan’s six-year-old son had died of a grave and rare disease while in Garenheim. Shortly thereafter, his wife also died of the disease. Yearning to leave Garenheim behind him, Omsan took with him a new wife called Minia Scathorn, the same Scathorn whom he loved tenderly in the Ebahod mansion today.
Omsan looked after Sebus as a son. Cunning as Sebus was, he caught onto Omsan’s affections and he refused any fatherly love from him. He hoped to keep their relationship more “professional,” and though Omsan wished otherwise, he respected Sebus’s wishes.
“I don’t know who you are or where you come from, Sebus, nor what or who you’ll grow up to be. The past hurts, you and I both know, I’m sure. It can transform us into monsters, or it can make us into saints. The outcome is our choosing. Just promise me you’ll make the right choice.”
One morning, Sebus awoke to find Omsan lying still as stone in front of the breakfast table, pale as the plaster on the walls. He could scarcely react when Scathorn, Omsan’s wife grabbed him by the coat, ready to impale him with a kindling tool! Sebus fought back relentlessly!
“You killed him!” he growled.
“Shut up, whelp!” Scathorn hissed. “You’ll be next!”
The brawl ended with Scathorn on the floor, brandished with the sword of her fallen husband, wielded by Sebus himself. “Why?” Sebus hissed angrily. “Why’d you kill him?! He could have been my father!”
Cowardly, Scathorn revealed she had devised a poison to kill off both the son and first wife of Omsan—though she had tested it on a member of the Faireblood family. After wedding Omsan herself, she perfected the drug to being able to kill in days to killing within minutes, thus taking Omsans inheritance for herself!
“You pretended to love him!” Sebus shouted. “You murdered him! You murdered Father!” Old memories returned to Sebus from his early youth. The death of his mother, the death of all three Fathers, even the figurative death of Lanon, and seeing red, he beheaded Scathorn on the spot.
Revered as a hero, by the mansion staff, Sebus was given Omsan’s inhereitence. That heroic image was swayed and shifted as Sebus swore never to love anyone, and hold no one in any true esteem, not even himself. And as he grew and matured, he never knew what to believe. He succumbed to the pain of his past, a pain that became both a cage and a comfort. He came to believe in no one and nothing.
One might have said that Sebus was cursed by fate—all was a joke, and he was the fool. In truth, it was Sebus who cursed himself.