The Verden Realms
Luther WrathMourn, King of WrathMourn
Wise beyond his years, the soft-spoken King of WrathMourn combines compassion, piety, and power in one convienant persona.
Tall, strong and square-jawed, his shoulder length blond hair is usually pulled into a tight pony tail. Luther is usually seen in armor or other military attire, and is never without a sword at his hip.
To say Luther WrathMourn had a difficult childhood would be an understatement. But, he would never complain nor change it – only state it made him the man he is.
“It is the life put on my plate, I either eat it or choke upon it. As my mother often says, ‘just chew.’”
Luther grew up avoiding his father at all costs. While his father could be fun and delightful at times, his mood often and unexpectedly turned cruel and frightening. Worse, his father would want him to participate in the cruelty he found so much fun. When Luther was just five, his father found the boy playing with a litter of kittens. He showed his son how to scratch them behind the ears, how they liked their belly rubbed, and then grabbed one by the feet and bashed its head open upon the wall. Luther was terrified as his father handed him another and told him, “Give it a swing, son.”
The boy ran crying to his mother, leaving his father’s laughter and the meowls of kittens behind him. Beatrice had simply held him tightly and said, “I have a wise son, for you find no joy in the pain of others. Keep it that way, Luther.”
Over the years, Luther began to understand his father’s insanity. He knew when to hide from his father’s rages, how to please him and most importantly – how to remain quietly unnoticed. He also began to see the same insanity in his father’s siblings – and made a point to never be alone with either his aunt or uncle. Moreso, he never allowed his little sister, Victoria (Tori), to be anywhere with them. As his mother protected him, so would he protect his little sister! However, the older he became, the more his father sought him out to “teach” him lessons; lessons which Luther found full of cruelty and hate. And the more his father would stare at Tori with that horrible expression on his face.
However, during his tenth year, his life changed dramatically. Lying upon the floor, his nose broken, he heard his mother speak against his father for the first time in his memory. In the numerous times he had heard his father beat his mother, he had never heard her utter a word against him. But, this time, he clearly heard Beatrice speak; “I give you my word, if you ever lay hand on either of our children again, I will no longer consider you my husband, nor my King. And, I will kill you.”
Luther had no doubt in his mind his mother meant every word.
The next few weeks he lived in fear. His mother’s wounds had been healed magically by the family cleric, only a few bruises remained. But, Luther knew that his mother had drawn a line that his father would not resist the urge to cross; it simply was not in Raphael’s nature. And what would Luther do without his mother? She was the one who protected him, sheltered him. She taught him chess and how to read. She loved him. What would he do? And worse, what would become of Tori if his mother was not that to protect her? Luther made up his mind; he would have to save his mother somehow.
But, as luck would have it, he worried for nothing. For as he begged his father not to strike him again, hoping that his mother had not been near, his eyes widened with amazement as his mother taunted his father. And as his father attacked her, she gave no quarter. Beatrice parried his blows as if she was swatting at flies. She was not afraid of him; she was going to kill him.
Even as Luther watched his mother calmly hack his father’s head from his shoulders, he could feel no sorrow for his father. Only wonder that his mother had not destroyed this man sooner. If it was this easy for her, why would she not….
And then Luther saw the disaster that was coming for his mother, his sister, and himself. His mother had just killed her husband and King. His uncle would want the throne, and do anything to get it. His aunt was a dangerous creature, and would be deadly so unleashed upon his family. Like a great game of chess, Luther saw the plays his enemies would make -and it dawned on him exactly why his mother had not acted earlier. She needed him to be strong enough, old enough, prepared.
He may not have been able to slay his father, but he could surely protect his family.
Before his father’s blood had stopped flowing, Luther ordered his the guards loyal to him to arrest his mother and place her safely under guard. No soul but himself, Tori and the family cleric was to see her. He quickly ordered his uncle and aunt placed in “protective custody” – and within hours had “found” orders drafted earlier by his father to send them to Mordova as “official emissaries.” They would leave immediately, with royal guard to ensure they arrived at their destination – his father would have wanted it that way, after all. And then Luther went to his father’s library and poured over books for hours on end. Three days later, he found exactly what he was looking for.
His coronation ceremony was held five days after his father’s death. After the crown was upon his head, he ordered his mother brought to him to stand for her crimes.
Luther found his mother innocent of regicide and patricide – his mother had given her word, had she not, that if Raphael struck his children again, she would consider him neither king or husband? Luther also stated she clearly had not murdered his father. She had given him the opportunity to defend himself, which he had failed to do. The facts were clear, King Raphael had been killed while participating in an honorable duel against his wife.
However, the rules for the duel had not been firm – when the king was unable to defend himself further, the duel was at an end. Therefore, the Queen was guilty of manslaughter – for the passion of the fight overtook her. Luther then pulled out an ancient case, where a man, possessed of passion in the throes of a duel, had killed his helpless enemy. The man was found guilty of manslaughter, and as his punishment would receive twenty lashes and serve as a replacement father to the children and wife of the man he had killed until the eldest child released him from service. Clearly, this case mirrored his mother’s own predicament – and the judge of that case? None other than Emperor Viori himself. Who was Luther to doubt the logic of the great Viori?
Therefore, Luther ordered his mother to receive twenty lashes, administered by himself. She would be stripped of all titles, and her duty would be to serve as parent to her victim’s children. While one of his soldiers offered to dole out the punishment in his place, Luther smiled at the man and said, “No. These are the last twenty strikes my mother will ever take. I pity the man that ever lays hand on her again.”
So did Luther WrathMourn come to power. Within a few years, he had hired noble warriors, retired generals and respected scholars to travel to WrathMourn to be his teachers. While he remained a private person, with little for friends save his family and his soldiers, he is considered a personable and unerringly polite young man. His people tell stories of a dirty boy that would walk the streets at night with a quiet woman, doing good deeds for the peasants. Their king, being kind and humble.
There are those that still worry – he reflects the strength and nobility of his mother. But, is there any of his father in him? Will the insanity of his family find him?