My name is Fyodor Davin, the Silverbrand, the Liberator, the Bane of Haqar, lord of the desert and leader of men. I was born a noble into slavery. At the age of seventeen I killed my own mother to save her the humiliation of marrying a merchant. At that same age I led the armies of Freiland into the desert, where I ended an empire and freed my people in one swift stroke.
There I have reigned thereafter.
My banner is a silver pointed spear. My household guard adorn their helmets with the scales of slain basilisks. My sons lead armies, and my daughters give birth to kings. The towers of my keep will crumble long before my honor does.
I have washed the desert in blood. I have set it afire with the blood of demons. All this I have done and more.
Exactly how humiliating is it for a noble to marry a merchant in your land? I suppose it must be pretty bad if you killed your mother to prevent her from doing so. Was it her wish for you to do this, or did you take matters into your own hands and kill her against her will?
And how exactly did you end an Empire? What Empire was it that you put to an end?
You sound very interesting, my King, I look forward to knowing more about you.
To understand why my mother had to die you must understand what became of our lands when the Masters swept over us. Such was their arrogance and their contempt for us that “Master” was the only name we knew them by. The strong noble families were all executed, the weak ones adopted. In time our country became a series of principalities, led by merchant lords who were, in truth, slavers. All this occurred centuries prior to my birth.
Being an adopted noble, I was privileged. I received a formal education in warfare and statecraft. In short, I was raised to be a guard dog. All this turned against my oppressors when my mother was forced into marriage. As a rule, the nobility married into itself, refusing to mingle with the foreign taint on pain of death.
It was my mother who asked me to kill her. Simply put, she planned to become a martyr, the first victim of the revolution. By killing her I conserved what little honor my family name had left, and lit the fires of revolt. I fled the desert cities then. I went west, to Freiland.
Of the freilanders you must know that they are perhaps the greatest warriors alive. I did not believe a march against the Masters possible until I saw them myself, every man a warlord in his own right, covered in steel plate from head to toe, sword and spear close at hand. If I won, it was because of Freiland’s knights.
And so we went into the desert. We freed one city after another, encountering little opposition. The minstrels flatter me by singing that the final battle was unlike any the world had witnessed, but in truth, it was closer to a brawl. There was too much dust, confusion, and heat for that to have been a proper fight. We stumbled through it, hammering ourselves until there was no strength left in us, and when the enemy host broke, the desert was ours – mine. Oh, and how the Masters must have wept knowing that I would hang them all.
Some fled, though in time we found them. Some remained, either hoping I would heed their pleas, or thinking I wouldn't dare massacre them. The ones who remained
I did not slaughter the small folk, the ones that had to a certain extent mingled with my people. The merchants, the slavers, anyone who thought themselves superior, however, needed to be taught a lesson. Those I hung. I gave the eldest children as wards to the families of Freiland, keeping some in my own household. The ones who were resolute against me, I had killed - in time they would be my enemies, it was inevitable. The truly small ones, the ones who could still be changed, I had raised as though my own children.
As for the hanging... I offered them one small mercy. I had my men slit their throats as they choked, so as to not prolong their deaths needlessly. That was how I bathed the desert in blood, or so sing the minstrels.
The basilisk is to the desert what the bear would be the forest if only they hunted in packs. They are great, white reptiles whose scales turn into crystal over time. They blend seamlessly into the white of the desert. To slay a basilisk is a show of great courage and martial prowess. The dangers are twofold: slaying the basilisk itself, and escaping the pack.
Why bother hanging people if you were just going to slit their throats anyway? That seems like a waste of building materials, which must be rare in the desert. Also, I thought hanging killed by breaking necks most of the time. That's why it was used as a method of execution, because it was usually instantaneous. People only strangled sometimes.
Did your mother raise you to beleive in a revolution? Is that why she wanted to be a martyr, because she believed so strongly in freedom? What happened to your father, that she wasn't married to him?