Dear readers, tonight with me is the Fourth for the Royal Archives. As the fourth son of the king he was expecting a life of parties, but his ability to manipulate magic puts him in the path of dark powers and legends.
Fourth, thank you for seeing me….. um, I guess we should get started… um, well, what was it like growing up as a prince? What was it like growing up and living in the Royal Palaces?
No need to thank me scholar. You know I’m only putting up with this because my brother ordered me to cooperate and answer your questions? He can be a little irritating like that but I guess if I don’t play this game with you, the first thing you’ll do is run to him and complain.
What was it like growing up as me, here? A life of privilege. I grew up as the fourth son of the king. As I’m sure you and people like you would imagine I wanted for very little. Servants ran to do my bidding, guards trailed behind me, everyone wanted to be my friend.
Do you know what it is like to be constantly watched? To live in a world where everyone wants something from you? Or rather from your father and brother but think you are the easy target? Where your whole existence is governed by duty?
I doubt you could really understand. Any more than I can really understand what it’s like not to live and grow up in the world I have. To be fair my father and brother tried to shelter me from all of that political side as much as they could, for as long as they could.
Still I’m the Fourth. Duty was always going to catch up with me eventually.
I see… what is your most cherished memory as a child?
Ah. I keep forgetting you are new to your position here in the palace. No one who knows me would really ask that question. They know better.
My most cherished memory as a child was going on a picnic with my lady mother. Just the two of us. Well, the two of us and the assorted guards and servants, as I already told you I was never really alone. None of us were.
Mother dropped her formality and played with me; we ran through the forest playing a game of catch. Then we had lunch. I remember I wanted to impress her that I was old enough to join her and father along with my brothers and sister at the big table for meals in the court. Then the meal finished, and it was time to go back to the palace.
I still remember that moment.
Why wouldn’t anyone ask you that Your Highness? It seems like a wonderful moment from your childhood.
Because right after that meal, that idyllic moment from my childhood is when things went wrong.
The Sundered one attacked and everyone in the party was killed. I watched as his hunting knife slit mothers throat and she crumpled to the ground, discarded, broken like one of my sisters and brothers toys.
That idyllic moment turned into the nightmare that plagued my dreams.
I guess I didn’t quite tell the truth earlier. I was alone then, alone in the forest with the cooling bodies of the guards and servants, of my mother.
I spent a great deal of time growing up running away from the palace to escape official functions. As much as I’d craved being a part of it before, I hated it all after that moment.
Ah, I’ve shocked you. You needn’t look so guilty scholar; it was all a long time ago when I was a child. Everyone knows that story. I’m surprised you don’t.
What did you first think when your father first proclaimed you as the Fourth?
Believe it or not I was angry, upset with him. I never wanted the rank even though it was mine from birth.
I’m no hero not like my uncle was during the Sundered War. Uncle Edward was the first to be proclaimed the Fourth, the one the legend and myth grew around. It was a different time, a different era back then. Before the Sundered War those born with power weren’t feared like they are today. But you’d know that better than me being a scholar.
I felt like a fraud.
I was terrified that I would turn into one of the Sundered Ones. As it turns out there was a fair bit my father was keeping from me, although I didn’t realise it at the time. Still I had to come to terms with it. I am the Fourth. It’s my duty. If I turn my back on it who else is there to stand between the people and those mad ones with power who seek to harm us all?Continue reading “Alexander Edward Rathadon (of The Being Of Dreams, by Catherine M Walker)”