This is the background of one of my most original and favorite D&D characters. As epic as this story is, this all takes place before I even roll the dice to generate my character's stats. I attribute this character with getting me through high school. This is, of course, my original creation, as are all other characters and events portrayed in this story.
There was a very beautiful maiden who caught the eye of a young noble. She worked at the castle cleaning and cooking, especially for the young noble. Years passed and the nobleman was arranged to marry a daughter of a wealthy family who bought their title. It was a cold coupling. Eventually the nobleman ascends to King and the openly live in two separate towers, while the beautiful maiden personally tended to the King.
Time passes, months turn into years, the royal family produced no children, but the young maiden was with child. She said there was no father, but most people assumed it was someone she couldn’t name. After the birth of her healthy daughter she never left the King’s tower again, most rumored the King feared the Queen’s wrath. Even after eight years the royal family bore no fruit, but the maiden was pregnant again. The Queen took exception to this and took steps to eliminate her “rival” while the King tried to ensure her safety. There are only rumors, but it is known that the woman, Elaine, died shortly after giving birth to a healthy baby boy, Jason. Some say the Queen’s assassin could kill the maiden, but not the child. Although there was much blood, there was only one body.
After Elaine’s death Julie and Jason lost all privileges and moved to the servant’s quarters. Julie worked around the clock to care for her infant brother and meet the demands of the Queen so they wouldn’t be put out on the street. The Queen eventually seemed to put them out of her mind. Since they were out of the castle the past could be forgotten, and rumor was she wouldn’t harm the boy for fear of what would happen to her.
About 5 years later the Kingdom held a great celebration on the anniversary of completing the extensive outer wall which made them safe from Orc attacks. On this occasion the Queen seduced the king, a pretty rare event and had never resulted in a child, until now. She began to show suspiciously early, and it was well known the King didn’t except the child, but they had no other apparent heir. The Queen was more secure and confident than ever before after the birth of her healthy boy, Cassimar.
The child cried constantly and demanded so much attention, so much so that the queen left for her family country home. Julie was forced to tend to the child. This meant six year old Jason never got to see Julie most days, and he began to hate Cass. The day that would forever set the two against each other should have been a happy one.
The Kingdom was fertile valley land that was protected from enemies and most weather because of the mountains. People enjoyed spending time eating on rolling hills amid the plush grass and new spring growth about a brisk hours walk from last planted field. The royal family would set the date for their first outing and the people would hold a festival using the last of their winter stores. The Queen set the date very early one year, but none would dare say so aloud for fear of retribution. Everything went well, except Cass would throw his toys and demand Julie retrieve them, until she wouldn’t do it anymore. Then a fierce storm of sleet and ice struck the land and everyone ran back to their homes.
Only then, when they were safe, did Cass realize he left his prized possessions on the hill. The Queen and Cass began hitting Julie and ripping out her hair for her incompetence. Only to stop the abuse, she swore she would brave the storm to get the toys. “Will no guards come with me?”
“What!,” snapped the queen.
“I merely asked…,”
“Do not assume I am the defective one, I heard you.”
“But you said …,”
“Don’t presume to repeat my words to me either. I was appalled that you would ask our important, noble guards would risk their lives in such a fierce winter storm. You’re the incompetence caused the problem so only you can fix the problem. Until you return, Jason will be locked in a spare room. Do not take too long, or we may forget which one.” Knowing the queen's genuine dislike for her little brother and the fact that she cared for nothing but her own child Julie was sure the queen would think it funny to leave Jason to end his days locked away. Horrified, Julie ran into the night facing the worst the heavens could throw at her.
Jason began to panic when guards began talking about searching for her body in the morning. Even so young he new the hills had blind drops, and sharp trails that could catch you off guard even on the best of days. Julie did return late that night, but she still had to walk back to the servant quarters after lights out, after they put out the night fire. Jason carried her home, gathered every spare piece of fabric for a blanket and slept beside her to give her extra warmth. Despite this, Julie fell seriously ill, but Jason vowed to care for her with his last breath. Jason worked harder and harder while Julie worsened. One night Jason collapsed from exhaustion and awoke to find Julie succumbed to her sickness. Jason vowed he would change the way people were treated, blur the lines of class and make everyone equals. He also vowed vengeance against Cassimar for killing Julie.
Jason was shocked to find he was banished from the servant’s quarters since his sister no longer cleaned the castle. He didn’t get to see her buried and servant graves are not marked. As his life spun out of control he found very few options. He could be a homeless orphan and die of starvation, or work in a shop until eaten by some machinery, or become a slave and live a fate worse than death. Jason decided on a bold plan to work for the royal stable. As a bastard child with no experience he stood no chance, but Jason was sure he could prove himself. This decision would change his life forever.
He went to the stables demanding something to do to prove himself and most of the town could hear him, too. There was a wild colt that they were going to put down instead of breaking him. Jason said that he would do it and they let him do it just to see if he’d get killed. The whole stable gathered around and took bets as the horse tried to crush his head. Jason didn’t know how to break a horse, but his plan was to tire it out. He roped the horse around the neck and then dragged it to the hitching post. The horse made one last crushing attack as Jason tied it to the post. The horse kept struggling, but it gave out and then Jason straddled its back to prove his victory. Since he lived all the bets went to the stable master so Jason got the job as a stable boy.
He became known as one of the hardest workers because he had nowhere else to go. It was common for stable boys to go on long rides of those who would rent horses to ensure proper care. When Jason was 12 he got the incredibly rare honor of traveling with Juloche on a hunting trip into the Dark Forest. Volous “The Spear” Juloche was the Lance Calvary leader and right hand man of William Alexander, the King. Jason was shocked that he was chosen, as was everyone else, but he found out Juloche was also of humble birth, and was therefore denied a royal title. As two county boys they went hunting, but this would soon change.
While in the forest they unexpectedly ran into a hill giant. There were ill equipped for this fight but they would not run. As Juloche charged Jason fired the crossbow, missing the head, but took off its right ear. The giant kicked a mound of earth and rocks which buried Jason and his mount. Juloche fought bravely, but the giant was too strong. As the giant prepared to deliver the final blow Jason, who drug himself free, actually bit and dug into the giant’s heel. Surprised, the giant turned and took a measured swing, but that break gave Juloche a chance to drive the blade into its stomach. Both parties, badly injured, made their quickest path from each other. They returned home and word of Jason’s bravery spread far and wide.
Jason continued to work the stables, but Juloche promised to get him into the captain’s academy. This was almost impossible for someone like Jason, but when he got in he was only 16. Of course he couldn’t officially be in until 18, but he would come in as the whipping boy, a heavily padded fencer students practiced their strikes on. Jason’s future almost disappeared after was only there for a year. A senior boy wishing to make a point knocked Jason’s face mask so he could not see. Instead of backing off to let Jason fix his mask the senior launched a furious barrage on his helpless victim. Jason, concentrating, swept the seniors blade aside and knocked him down with a charge. The senior wanted revenge so he jammed his sword so hard the tip broke off and he began to twist. Filled with unfathomable rage, Jason snapped the wooden blade from its hilt and ran wooden shard clean through the senior’s arm while slinging him to the floor. Two more boys came to attack Jason, and, because he knocked off his mask to see, took two shots to the face. It didn’t matter because Jason grabbed two handfuls of the first’s jacket and sent him into the other. Many others jumped up just to stop the fight, but it didn’t matter because Jason attacked anyone nearby. Howling like a monster and fighting as a man possessed, Jason continued until brought down by the fencing master. Many caused uproar, calling for Jason to be put in stocks for his antics and others even called for a hanging for assaulting his superiors. Neither happened because Juloche spoke on Jason’s behalf, saying it only furthered the boy’s prowess. Still, it would have taken great influence to silence such influential nobles, but Jason took no notice of this.
When he joined at eighteen, Jason trained as a lancer because he liked the idea of charging boldly across the battlefield, taking first blood and cutting off slower units. He also showed a stunning aptitude for command. He could often find answers to complex problems, he could be personable with his troops, yet commanding and they would fight extra hard. Jason wasn’t the only new recruit, however, as Cass demanded to be the youngest boy ever enrolled, and not as whipping boy. Cass was only 12, but was also the only royal child so he got what he wanted. Cass focused solely on command and the bare minimum on combat because he felt commanders shouldn’t have to fight.
They were both great on the field, but completely different ways. Jason often won with finesse, fighting very conservatively and only striking full on when a decisive victory was possible. Cass often won with brute force, sacrificing his men in combat in massive battles every time. Jason’s failing was his unit always charged in first with him doing the hardest fighting. Cass would never engage in combat, even leaving the field during close battles. When they fought each other Jason would lose when “killed” in a surprise maneuver, such as when Cass would call artillery on his own men. On the other hand, Cass’s forces would be slowly whittled down in hit and run tactics, and once Jason caught Cass’s caravan running away forcing him to surrender immediately.
Overall Jason was a rounded student and superb warrior, bar none. Cass also formidable and full of potential, but was still a kid. When Jason graduated he was given command of a lancer unit directly under Juloche. Cass forced them to graduate him on the same year, when he was only 17, before most were allowed to join. As another mark of his influence he was made a field general of a conglomerate battalion and had Jason placed specifically below him. This was annoying for Jason, to be sure, but there hadn’t been a major battle in over a generation. This was only a minor stumbling block on Cass’s path to be the greatest leader in the land and killing Jason.
Jason continued his training and honored his civic duties while Cass set the pieces in motion to have his moment of glory. He set fire to parts of the Hangan forest (home of the Black Orc tribe) and had it cleared for farmland. He promised potential farmers protection, but made sure his men weren’t around for the ensuing massacres. Cass would play these deaths up to make it look like he was the protector of the people. He demanded that the King declare war against the Black Orc tribe, but the king was hesitant to make such a move after two peaceful regimes.
At Cass’s behest his battalion took the lead in sorties with Jason’s men always in the forefront. Although these were blatant attempts to destroy the cavalry and shame or even kill Jason, Jason’s leadership cut loses in half and men lined up to fill the empty saddles. Cass would chase the Hangan in random battles which was always victorious, but accounted for little overall. The men grew weary which lead to higher casualties. The Hangan, on the other hand, became fiercer and grew more determined to completely annihilate the battalion. On the day of a truly bloody battle Cass’s battalion finally ran into the heart of the Hangan forces lead by a monstorous shaman. The battle was close, but Cass had the upper hand. In the end however he wouldn’t send in his honor guard (his personal protection) to turn the tide, so he began to retreat. Leaving now would ensure the commitment of even more battalions and massive loses. Jason planned to end this immediately.
Jason’s cavalry and any footman who would follow charged for the heart of the Hangan forces where the shaman laid in wait. The fighting was fierce and losing would mean everyone would die so Jason kept searching relentlessly. What he found next stole the breath from his lungs. There stood a massive hill giant wearing the battle headdress of the shaman and it was missing its right ear. Jason opened with a charge, but the giants reach was such that he was dismounted before the lance could strike. The fight went poorly as the giant began to toy with Jason, throwing trees when distant and using its massive weight to unfoot Jason, keeping him from striking. Still Jason was determined and threw himself into a wild assault. As Jason’s blade found its mark it uselessly became embedded into the giants flesh and Jason was disarmed with a flick of the giant’s wrist.
Soundly beaten, Jason languished in his defeat while the giant lifted his ceremonial spear for the coup de’ grace. At that moment Jason’s faithful black steed, the one he bested as a boy, rushed to Jason’s aide, but was sliced cleanly in two spraying the area in blood. It wasn’t much, but it gave Jason time to think about what got him here. The thoughts of the hard work at the academy, endless hours at the stables and waking to find his sister dead came to mind. That was all Cass’s fault and so was this! If he got out of here, no he would get out and make that bastard pay! Jason was snapped to by the pain of the giant’s ceremonial spear going through the left collar bone and out of the bottom of his ribs.
The last thing Jason remembered was inhuman rage coursing through his body so the story of what happened was told from recounts of battle survivors. The spear going through Jason’s body embedded into the ground was being twisted sadistically by the laughing giant as he toyed with his kill. Jason snapped the upper half of the spear off and swept the giant off his feet. With a look of madness in his eyes and daemonic laughter Jason plunged the blunt end of the hilt so far into the giant’s head Jason’s hand dug into the fresh earth. Orcs charged in to confirm the kill and Jason’s men came to rescue him, but they would all soon run for their lives. With the same swift snap the spear tip came free and he began killing friend and foe alike with a savage glee. No one knows what exactly happened next, but several days later Jason wandered from the forest covered in blood and muttering madly.
Cass was furious to find all the glory went to the martyred Jason for the victory and that he was hailed as a hero upon his return. Cass would have to take solace in the fact that Jason would never see the field of battle again. The spear was covered in killing barbs which were right next to his heart and lungs. Pulling it out would ensure his death. Jason prayed for death to relieve him of this humiliation, but he soon discovered the art of magic. The intense research and arcane formulas drove the pain and frustration from his mind, but it also made him a recluse. He soon lost sight of his goals for the people.
On a rare outing for research Jason ran across a fight with a farmer and some guards. Jason couldn’t believe an honest farmer would be forced out for no reason. Jason sent the guards away promising he would deal with it. When in front of the court it was revealed the farmer was being forced off his land for minor taxes. Jason offered to pay, being awarded land for his services, but the courts refused to accept payment saying it was Cass’s orders. Jason hunted down Cass who was at a private castle guarded by his own private soldiers. Jason was shocked to be let in since he mastered magic and Cass failed completely, but nothing could prepare him for what he was about to find out. Cass’s plan was to throw the free farmers off their land and bring in foreign indentured servants who would work for free, i.e. great fortunes to be made. Of course it didn’t matter Jason knew because Cass had foreign legions brought in as a part of his coup to name him supreme ruler.
Jason was horrified and raised the country militia. Jason knew the militia couldn’t take on an organized army, but he hoped enough regulars could escape to help them and that magic would turn the tide. All the regulars were allowed to go freely and their sizable forces marched unhindered to the castle doors. Jason’s fireballs immediately broke the ranks of the legions which made it all seem too easy. Cass walked out of the main gates followed by two sorcerers. With only a few motions they stripped Jason’s power and revealed the illusions which showed they walked straight into a pincer attack.
Jason was quickly captured and most of the militia was just brutally massacred. Jason couldn’t believe he let his own self pity and ambition to cloud his ability to plan for Cass’s greed. Jason was put on trail for attacking the new supreme ruler. He was stripped of all rank, status, property and spell books. Then he was banished into the Black Forest. This was to make the general populace fear Jason and prevent him from becoming a martyr or leading another uprising. Jason felt he deserved his fate and marched boldly into the land that tried to claim his life years ago.
He walked boldly into the forest with only a simple blade, squire’s armor and the last of his magics which he would use to incinerate himself and the send the Hangan temple back into the pits of hell. He walked in unchallenged, but felt hundreds of hungry eyes watching him. When he got into the heard they revealed themselves, but not to fight. Jason could tell they were leading him somewhere, which was all good because he didn’t care where he died as long as he took them with him.
Jason was humbled when he walked into the inner sanctum of their temple. It was cold and distant, but yet familiar. He heard a cold, dead voice with a familiar dark tone.
“Why have you come back?”
“I have come here to die.”
“What of your people?”
“They suffer a fate worse than death.”
“So it would be better for them to die. And their leader?”
“I would rip out his heart, given the chance!”
“I thought you’d feel that way,” said the voice as it revealed its ghostly, familiar visage.
Garual, the hill giant that Jason bested twice floated before him. Jason is eventually convinced to take the mark of the black Orc shaman and lead the Orcs into Cassimar’s castle. Jason had to pass one test which the giant was cryptic about at best.
“So take me to this test!”
“But you are already here. You must look into the dark water and see your daemonic half.”
Jason did just that, but it seemed too easy. Just then clawed hands grabbed him and began pulling him into the pool. “What treachery is this!”
“The master said to bring you here and look into the waters.”
“But this creature is trying to kill me!”
“Of course, master would rather you be the vessel of his power, but I would rather you die! Either way you serve the cause.”
Jason began to panic because the creature almost had him in the pool. Then Jason decided not to fight, at least not with his brute force. If Jason couldn’t pull the monster from the water to kill it then he would take the water from the daemon. He plunged in his head and began drinking the vile water. He drained the pool and the creature lay helpless.
“I can’t believe you succeeded. It was said the chosen would take in the pool and annihilate our enemies. Do not fail us.”
The power coursed through him, giving Jason new life. Gone were the pains of old wounds. Lifted was the weight of a hard life. Dark new spells ran through his mind, giving him power like never before. With the command of the most savage creatures ever known Jason could see himself crushing Cass with his bare hands.
With new power at his command Jason was ready to slake his thirst for vengeance. He knew that this would mean killing those he once protected, destroying generations of work and giving this land to the forces of darkness which they fought against since the dawn of time. It was worth it to Jason; even selling his soul was worth it. He would finally defeat Cassimar Alexander on the field of battle and crush his neck beneath his boots.
The Orcs spread like a plague across the lands. Villages were ransacked, fields were put to the flame and forts were gutted. As each town fell the survivors were lined up at the village square where they were cut down and the pieces eaten before their blood turned cold. The screams were deafening and blood soaked the ground to feed the Orcs crop of death. Jason never questioned his choice, but he couldn’t believe that Cassimar would let so many to be put to the sword without trying to stop him. All the farmland was under Jason’s control, and with no fields of food the castle wouldn’t survive the winter. So Jason would wait until spring when the Orcs would knock down the castle walls and put down any survivors. Things, however, rarely go as one plans.
Spring came and the walls fell, but desperate, starving survivors were not what greeted Jason’s soldiers. Cass had all the soldiers within the walls and were ready and waiting, as if they had been there for days at attention. The soldiers fought with unnatural ferocity which didn’t fit with the scene of desperation Jason envisioned. Cass’s men didn’t bleed or tire and even got up after losing limbs. Jason read of this before, but it was the first he had ever seen of the undead. The battle was turning as the smaller army wouldn’t stay down so Jason knew he had to go and put Cassimar down personally if he was going to have his revenge.
Once Jason broke through the lines he ran unopposed through the castle as if Cassimar wanted him to come. Jason crashed through the antique vaulted doors where Cass sat with a bloody knife embedded in the arm of his throne.
“You’ve always acted like an animal, but what else can one expect from a bastard child.”
“You’re the bastard! How could you let the people be slaughtered, how could you damn your own men?”
“Please (with a wry smile) go see your father. The winter was hard on him and I think something terrible happened to him.”
“Father? My father!” was all Jason could manage. Cass knew he had Jason where he wanted and would soon throw his hated rival’s body over the castle’s wall.
Jason walked solemnly into the large bedroom. There was a massive bed where a familiar man laid dying. Taken aback with all the slaughtering he moved forward to meet the man said to be his father. He approached King William Alexander.
Jason cautiously knelt at the foot of the big bed, “My King! King Alexander can you hear me!”
“Yes, I can hear you. Come closer so I may see you,” whispered the King as he weakly raised his hand.
“What has that traitor done to you?”
Weakly raising his hand to calm Jason the King began to speak earnestly, “Do you know who I am?”
“The lord of these lands who has been betrayed by his bastard son!”
“No, no… who I really am, to you?” Moments passed as the weighted words sank in. “Your mother was beautiful and she alone had my heart…”
“If you are truly my father, why? Why didn’t you ever …?!” Awash in a wave of confusion Jason couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“I was married to a powerful family… if they knew for sure you would be dead already. I fear you will be soon.”
“But all that time and now…” Jason’s fury began to mount uncontrollably.
“You do not think I felt guilty. Living in comfort and that bastard child Cassimar, who is not my child, gets what you deserve!”
“What do you mean?”
“Whether she made a deal with daemons, or slept with a thousand lovers I do not know, but Cassimar is not mine.”
“After everything I have done to pull myself ahead I am held back by a bastard wearing my shoes…”
“I helped you every chance I could…”
“No! I’m the one who worked the stables, and took the beatings. I crushed the Hangan Shaman! No one stood beside me!”
“Of course not … that is why I am so proud of you…” Jason could see the King fading fast and a new wave of regret washed over him.
“Please, what can I do?”
“For me, nothing my son, but give that bastard the death he deserves!”
“I will put him down once and for all!”
As Jason walked away he could hear the King raspy draw his last breath. A massive weight was lifted from his shoulders and he now had the strength of a family line. Jason Alexander had the blood of kings in his veins and now he would finally crush the bastard usurper. Then he would claim his throne as the rightful ruler and once again crush the Hangan Orcs. Everything would finally be as the way it should, except Jason underestimated Cassimar’s resourcefulness and determination.
Jason stormed up the tower focusing solely on how he would soon be crushing the life out of Cassimar. As he reached the top he could see Cass and moon light through the crack of the door.
“How could you kill him? He raised you like a son?” Jason yelled as he threw open the door.
“Well, you started killing everyone else so I thought I would finish the job!”
“They died because of you! You could have protected them!”
“No, you are the one with the blood on his hands. You never want to take responsibility for what you do. You killed your own men in the forest, but you were confused. (Shut up.) You nearly killed a cadet, but it was his fault, he wouldn’t stop hitting you … (Enough!) And then there is your sister (You shut your damn mouth) whose death you blame on me, but she died because you were too pathetic to stay awake for one night. (I will kill you, bastard!)” Jason began to charge wildly swinging an axe, but the blow did little to faze Cass.
With one quick swipe Jason flew into the opposite wall. Cass had inhuman strength which could only mean one thing, he was undead as well. He wasn’t like the others though; he was something much more insidious.
As Jason began focusing on Cass, he began to grow fangs. “You notice I am a little different? I am a vampire, an immortal creature of the night.”
“You sold your soul for power!”
“Just like you! You smell like an animal and look like one, too. When the master dies his beasts are put down with him, except I plan to make you my eternal slave with just enough sense to know you are in an eternal hell!” and with those words Cass picked up Jason by the neck. Mindlessly Jason dropped the axe and broke Cass’s arm in two. Shocked, Cass stumbled away, and Jason continued striking which broke Cass’s jaw, cracked his ribs and crushed him into the wall. He fell flat to the ground as Jason swung both fists into his victim’s back. Relentlessly Jason fell on the body in a bloody rampage, but suddenly he went stiff and floated into the air.
Jason was prepared to fight magic, but in the heat of the moment he let his guard down, and now he would pay for the mistake. A young man with a powerful air seemed to come from the night itself. The slight flick of this creature’s wrist Jason crashed into the wall, sending mortar and stone onto the soldiers below.
“Poor Cass is all broken. You are disappointing me more and more. You can’t be taught magic, aren’t truly of royal blood and you can’t even take down a lone Orc…” Just then Cass tried to mumble something, but his jaw still hung lifelessly. “Wait, this is no Orc, but a man dressed like them, like their leader no less!” and with that the man sliced open Jason’s face. His eyes opened wide as he licked the blood off his claw, “He is the true heir of this royal blood line! (turns to Cass) You were going to steal him for yourself! You were trying to add one to your collection that I couldn’t have. I should stake you and leave you for the Sun’s embrace.”
“No! He will be my slave, serve me…” Cass began moving again.
“You would dare deny your master!”
As the two were arguing heatedly they didn’t hear Jason mumble an incantation, or how he moved his hands in a circular motion and thrust them out. The young man felt the wave of energy from the Dispel and froze at the sound of Jason boots touching the ground.
“You claim me as if I were defeated!” Suddenly there was the crackle of magic and the heat of fire.”
As Cass’s master turned around he could see Jason retching black blood into his open palms which burst into obsidian flames. Jason effortlessly blew the flames which surrounded the new vampire as Cass threw himself head first off the tower in a shear panic.
“How fantastic, he knows magic! You are such a find. I realize, however, this is only a desperate threat (the flames began burning the vampires clothes). The flames burn me, but you are the source of the fire. I can already see it is taking a toll.”
Jason’s flesh began to brown and licks of flame and smoke began breaking through. With a manic smile Jason replied, “I will gladly sacrificing myself to destroy you.”
“I can see you truly mean that, but you are far too special to be destroyed.” With that the vampire spoke an ancient incantation, crossed his arms over his chest and sucked the fire right out of Jason. As Jason began to recover the vampire shot out a jet of flames square into Jason’s chest nearly sending him over the tower’s edge. As Jason’s bare, hairless body collapsed the vampire blew the flames into the sky like a beacon signaling the fall of a kingdom, death of a king and the defeat of a great warrior. The ancient vampire collected his prize, and if Cass could revive himself before dawn it would be a pair, otherwise it would be no great loss.
Jason didn’t remember being turned, but he awoke completely renewed the next night. He was years younger, more powerful than even before and the crippling wounds of battles past. Not until Jason looked around did he notice Cassimar sitting next to his bed with a stake of wood and hand axe.
“Why didn’t you kill me?”
“Because he would have destroyed me!”
“I would have done it.”
“We have an eternity to settle our fight. Besides, you are not your own man anymore. The beast has a master…”
“Who is this master?”
“He is your sire and lord of this realm. He is as old as time itself. He collects those he thinks are unique.”
“What’s the monster’s name!”
“Count Avious. Fight him if you want, but you will soon learn he has complete control over you.”
Jason did fight, which only served to prove Avious’s control was total. When he wanted to prove a point or he thought Jason was getting too strong he would starve Jason. Though Cass would break quickly, Jason would last until he was more beast than man, tearing at his own flesh to satisfy his hunger. Disturbingly for Avious, Jason’s endurance increased and he only needed half the blood the other two needed. Eventually Avious quit starving Jason for fear of what might happen.
On the outside Jason was playing the part of the good student. Often Avious would have them both experiment with the dark arts and set them against each other. It would become a perverse game where the loser would be at the hands of the winner. These things would more naturally come to Jason which meant Cass would also be tortured by Avious, on a personal level, for being continuously inferior.
Even though Jason began enjoying the gifts of the undead, learning the dark arts from a timeless master and a life of extravagance washed away years of squalid living, Jason knew Avious and Cassimar were his most hated enemies. When Avious would deprive him of blood Jason realized he could last longer and longer without blood. Jason believed every crux or weakness of a vampire was simply a case of mind over matter. Avious would sleep well after sunset and even Cassimar was becoming harder and harder to rouse. Jason, on the other hand, began staying awake longer and raising earlier everyday. Originally Jason planned to run away at dusk, but Count Avious would wake in time to pick him off. Jason would eventually stay awake for days on end which gave him more time to delve into his dark arts giving him the edge to put down Cassimar every time. Eventually Jason would go after the master to free himself once and for all.
For years Cassimar would suffered one humility after another. Jason was supposed to be his play toy, a little puppet he could torture at a whim. Instead, he was the golden child once again, the one with all the skills and talents. Avious made it even more unbearable. Always bringing up every small flaw and error, highlighting how much greater Jason was than him. Cass knew it was because Avious collected prize mortals of unique skill and breeding. Cass was shocked to learn he was not the last heir of a bloodline from the time of the dragons, but an imposter usurping the throne. It still didn’t compare to Avious’s rage at being tricked into changing someone of inferior birth. Family can be funny like that. Everything would soon change, though. He had long since formed a plan to turn his eternal hell into an unlife of pleasure.
Time after time Cass would fail to beat Jason in one of Avious’s twisted contests. So much so that Avious rarely pitted them against each other anymore. Cass was also less likely to run away than Jason so Cass would be allowed to roam the countryside. He would spend time in some of Avious’s other dwellings which were always lavish manors or austere castles. Lately these ventures were to attract wayward warriors. Cass planned to assemble a small army of vampire hunters which he would lead to Avious’s manor and stake his master. He found the bravest and the strongest in all the lands. He would unleash his furry and stake Avious on the night of the new moon, when Avious was at his weakest.
The night finally came and the army was bombarding the front gates before Avious knew of his peril.
“Guards! Servants! Everyone to the front gates and fight them to the man!”
“Is there a problem sire?”
“Jason! We are under attack and must flee immediately.”
“Hmmm… I never run from battle, especially within my own domain. I thought better of you.”
“I have all of eternity, which I am not going to waste fighting vampire hunters.”
“Yes (with a smile), elite warriors who know your every flaw and weakness, with every device known to render you powerless, just waiting to cut your unlife short.” Even for Jason, the thought of crazed zealots trained to destroy him brought up second thoughts. “The only thing I regret is losing my vast collection.”
“Your collection? I thought that Cass and I were supposed to be your collection.”
“My boy, you may be a crowning piece, but you are hardly the entire collection.”
“There are other people? You keep them here? Why have I never seen them?”
“There are many great secrets you will never know about.”
(Jason becomes irritated with his smugness.) “Can they fight!” (Avious gets a shocked, but surprised smile across his face.)
Avious began leading Jason through winding corridors, going deeper into the castle. He began explaining that just a 1000 years after the Time of the Dragons only a hundred families could trace their blood lines back to the beginning of time. Years of wars and catastrophes further reduced that number to 13, and with the death of William Alexander, it was now 12. Jason asked why this mattered and he was told that being a vampire drove people insane. Only those of superior breeding could take the toll of unlife and only Jason showed the potential to endure the test of time. Jason asked what happened to those who couldn’t keep their sanity. Jason was shocked to learn that they would be staked and put on display in a perverse museum. Avious planned to remove the stakes and the smell of blood would rouse their inner beasts. Their insane, blood thirsty rage would take the hunters by surprise. What they found, however, would mean the end of an era and the doom of Avious.
Acrid smoke and the heat of fire were the first things that greeted them. The sneering visage of Cassimar was the second.
“Cassimar! What have you done? They were our only hope!”
“Is this what you planned to do to me?”
“No, you imbecile! Your blood was too common! (with a toothy grin) I would just leave you to burn in the morning sun. I wouldn’t even bother to spread you ashes!”
“I will be the one to see you burn. I have decided to finish you off personally.”
“You think you can kill me…”
As Avious approached Cass, Cassimar quickly whipped out a stake and drove it deep into his sire’s breast. Avious let out a furious scream and ripped off Cass’s arm which pulled out the stake. Then Avious began pulling out the vital organs through the new hole in a twisted search for Cass’s heart. The search became a grotesque game where Avious would feel random organs, guess what they were and throw them in a near by fire. Cass became desperate and pulled out a something carefully wrapped in cloth which began to burn his flesh. He shoved the holy medallion into Avious’s mouth which burst into flames. Cass scrambled away as smoke billowed from Avious’s throat until the medal ate its way though his chest and hit the floor with a loud ring.
Jason had been trapped in a trance. The sight of people staked in the heart, positioned like dolls and left to burn in the fire because they couldn’t save themselves was too much to take. Only the resonating ring of the medallion broke Jason’s trance. “I will kill you!” was Jason’s only words as he launched into a flurry of strikes. Avious was deftly blocking the wild strikes and was recovering from the holy symbol.
“Why? That puppet Cassimar will live while we fight to a stalemate. Then the hunters will arrive and finish us both. Let us join together and kill those who would kill us.”
“A daemon like you deserves to die, no matter the cost!”
“Do not be a damn fool! You can not slay me, but the two of us could easily take the hunters.”
“I will crush your body and take your head!”
“I know your every spell, there will be no sunlight until dawn and only sakes made by a holy man and wielded by an acolyte can hold me. However, if you are determined to die in battle then I will oblige!”
With that Avious pulled flames from the pits of hell and set the fire upon Jason. Though Jason burned to the bone he didn’t panic, instead he recited an incantation he heard once before, swallowed in the flames and hit Avious with the wicked stream of flames.
“It seems I know your every spell as well.”
Avious collapsed in exhaustion, but Jason knew he would quickly recover and they would be at their stalemate. Jason sat with a moment to himself thinking about what lead him to this moment and Avious’s words. An old pain kept bothering Jason until he remembered one fateful day and his old life of pain. Jason began wildly clawing his ribs, cutting through flesh and breaking bones.
“Decided to destroy yourself?” was the only response Avious could manage, but the fear was apparent in his voice.
Jason howled as he ripped a long forgotten spear lodged within his body by a Hangan shaman who pronounced him as the heir of the Dark Orc power, their acolyte. Ancient runes flared to life as Jason drove the nearly blunt shaft into Avious’s heart. Avious became stiff and his hands shriveled and curled as he reached for the holy wood.
Avious became stiff and his skin pulled tightly, like the bones were trying to escape his body. Jason could see the pleading in his victim’s eyes as he ripped his master’s head. Jason artfully placed the vacant face into the hands of a marble statue. It was fitting that Avious be the last thing displayed in the macabre museum.
Jason was confronted by several hunters while fleeing the castle which took a lot out of him. Confused, Jason was flushed to the top of the towers. In desperation he leaped with all his might into a raging river below which quickly swept him away. Jason wearily pulled himself free of the water and into a cave. During his long sleep is memories became twisted and distorted. He knew Cass had laid helplessly on the ground after staking Avious and that he drove a stake into someone’s chest. He surmised that since Avious was staked by Cass, he must have staked Cass and finally claimed revenge for his father, his sister and his mother. Finally all the people who were slain because of Cass could rest in peace. All the evil he committed to put Cass down, to bring him to justice, would be forgiven and he could live with a clean slate. One day, when his time finally came, he might be allowed into the Kingdom of the Honored Dead as the great warrior he used to be.
This concludes the first act of Jason’s awesome epic crusade to become the ultimate power. This story is everything that happened before I began playing him as a character and only a few people have read this recently written portion.