Growing up was supposed to be easy.
See, Rythion was born a young into a loving, middle class Heartlander family. His mother was caring, and, despite being with child, full of boundless cheerful energy. If Rythion came home one day miserable and burying his head in his pillows, she waltz in and cheer him up with a warm sweet set of tarts. If he come home happy and chirpy, she’d be the first one to ask, and he’d tell her all about it, whether it was a good time with friends, a date with a girl, or even a few minas he’d found on the street corner.
His father, on the other hand, was strong and silent. A stoic man from Sutica in his forties, He seemed the kind of man to make any maid swoon, and yet he was faithful and kind to his family, providing for them and their new home which they had yet to pay off, as a blacksmith to various noble families. Sometimes, as a young adult, Rythion thinks back, and wondered where all the kindness of his parents went, in creating him. See Rythion was kind, but also cold. He could be charming, but only when he needed to be. He wasn’t quite nice the way his parents were, and he could feel it. But he never thought much of it, because his life was so well-formed it never became an issue.
But things changed, and fast.
One day, out the blue, his father was laid off from work. Disaster. See, as a young child, Rythion hadn’t understood how the financing of their house had come about. As all children do, he had thought they’d paid up-front, like one might buy a tart from the local baker. But things were not so simple.
Rythion was age 11 as the problems started to set in. He was young but observant. his parents could banish him to his room, but they couldn’t banish the echoes of their raised voices from his head. They could send him out, but they couldn’t send away the strange men who came banging on their doors. It felt as though everything was falling apart. His perfect bubble of happiness was falling apart.
His Father, given one last commission by some noble, began working feverishly on a new project. He would never explain to Rythion what he was creating, and all he would say to explain the frightening dark circles under his eyes was that “It’ll all be okay, soon.”. He was working on something unlike anything Rythion had ever heard before. Instead of the solid clanging of metal on metal, all he could hear were the sharp repetitive sounds of glasswork. Although he was using the forge daily, he seemed to be doing something new entirely. Despite his best attempts, Rythion never saw what he was created, but he couldn’t ignore the increasingly urgent sounding arguments of his parents when he slept at night.
Then, one day, it happened.
Coming back from a day at the river Leuven with friends, he walked back to his house, in a joyful mood, only to find the front door slightly ajar. Not good. Nervous, he kicked the door ajar, only to feel his jaw drop at the volumes of blood left around the scene. He stepped inside, fear coursing through his veins. Coming to the end of the corridor, he edged the living room door open, his heart in his throat. What he saw next made his heart drop. His mother, sprawled out on the living room floor, stomach sliced open. His father was nowhere to be seen.
He didn’t know how long he laid there, curled on his floor, but what he did know is that when he finally opened his eyes again, underneath the now ruined wooden cabinet where his father usually locked his projects up, was something aqua blue and eye-catching. Hands tracking through the blood of his mother, he crawled over. And finally pulled free a blue, crystal crown. For who his father was making this work of art, or what he would have been paid for the commission, Rythion never found out.
The rest of his life was a blur.
From being out on the streets at age 12, begging whilst hoarding a secret jewel which might have been worth more than his house, to meeting an urchin in need, and running a con to scam a merchant of a roll of silk, to meeting a few more orphans at the age of 15, and making a little gang, to bully the other street kids out of what little they had. To growing older, falling in love with the daughter of a noble at 17, and being happily in love for three years, only to discover her infidelity and rob her of half her riches in mixed rage and avarice.
It was time for a change. Rythion packed up his newfound minas and bought himself some extravagant attire, that he hoped would impress nobles, and set out for the human capital of Helena. Jaw set forward, with determination to no longer live as an urchin, he straightens his back and, to the gasps of the others around him, draws out the sky blue crown he has kept hidden his whole life, and places it on his head. He was no prince, but he’d be damned if he didn’t live like one. Jaw set, chin up, he sets forward, looking for the destiny he’d always promised himself.