The Broken Crown

Jason's Backstory - Part 1

My name is Jason Aurix Dragonborn
If you are reading this, then I am most likely dead. I wrote this note at the end of my apprenticeship – to remind myself of my purpose.
And to warn others should I fail.

I am the youngest son of House Aurix, based on the outskirts of Askor. In recent years my House rose to prominence in Askor for a variety of reasons, these mostly centering around its charismatic leader, Carlton Dragonborn. I would never proclaim to know Carlton Dragonborn fully, that’s just not possible, however I know him better than most – he is my twin brother after all. What I do know is that as of today, House Aurix only has 2 Dragonborn constituents. The books will tell you otherwise, that we number 24 strong, and that we are a small but prosperous Dragonborn family – but that was years ago. Now, all save my brother and I are dead – and I helped him do it.

To understand why this is, let me explain my beginnings. I had caring, wealthy, and well respected parents, a heritage of ancient royalty, and a twin brother who enjoyed similar interests to me – I never once needed for anything. My brother and I were educated by the best teachers Askor had to offer, befitting of only the finest Dragonborn. Additionally, we were both trained to fight with sword and shield from a very early age – a tradition in my House – and we loved it. We loved everything about battle.

We were being groomed to lead our House to a resurgence; to revive our fortunes and past glory. Our House and name had fallen in Askor, due to various incidents in recent history – these mostly self inflicted.

We had a deeply fractured family, each relation with their own agenda to lead the our once “Great House”. My father currently held the title of head of House Aurix, but for how long was anyone’s guess. What we desperately needed was stable and unified leadership, my parents hoped that one of us could help bring it.

It was at 16 that I realised I was good. I was talented with the sword and equally so with my studies. I even had some skill for the arts and most things I tried for. I knew this because I was always just a bit behind someone who was great, maybe even genius like. Carlton Dragonborn was the undisputed golden star of our family, and it was simple to see why. Whilst being just as (if not more) talented than I was, he had a natural air of confidence, coupled with a sense of ambition and quick intelligence. When we fought our regular sparring sessions, his ability to find new ways to beat me often left me tired and frustrated. Just when I thought I had caught up, he would seamlessly pull away, as if suggesting we were never really level at all.

A few months after turning 16, my father publicly announced who would lead the family after he passed away. It was of no surprise to me that he announced my brother to be the future 47th head of the Aurix House – a huge honor. The private rumblings from our extended family were expected, no surprise given there were a fair few older candidates who believed themselves to be the right fit in such a situation, but they did not publicly voice their opinions – yet. The loudest of these rumblings came from our uncle, Cadmus Dragonborn, who had served in the Askor military as a high ranking officer. He had discipline and leadership written all over him, and everyone knew it was only a matter of time before he made a move.

My brother remained unfazed throughout the saga, and it was around that point I gave up trying to better him. I now had to put the future of my House first, and if that meant playing second fiddle, then I could live with that. Honestly, part of me was glad that Carlton was getting the responsibility. He always seemed to get the result he wanted, and to get our family unified was going to be a small miracle – but one I believed he may be able to accomplish.

Nearly 3 weeks after the announcement, my parents left us to travel south on business.

That was the last time I ever saw them.

Two days into their travels, their carriage and soldiers were ambushed by a well prepared force along the valley route. News came back that there were 13 dead with no survivors, and that the whole site had been burning for an hour or two. Most of the bodies were horribly burnt by the time the first witnesses had arrived.

Upon hearing the news shortly after they had been ambushed, I was left devastated – a mere shell of my usual vigor. My brother seemed to take it all in his stride – he had to, he was now leader of our House. After discussing the details with the messenger – who mentioned the corpses were being transported back as they spoke – Carlton naturally realised that there were only meant to be 10 convoy sent along with my parents, so perhaps the extra (13th) corpse could provide us with a clue as to our parents murderers.

The extra corpse, which arrived later that night, was a lone Dragonborn with a long gash down the left side of his face. He looked to have died from multiple stab wounds, but that was irrelevant in my mind. There was only one Dragonborn I knew with a mark like that, and that was Cadmus’ son – Kalmin. Rage and fury immediately boiled within me – it may as well have been public knowledge that Cadmus would make his move for the head title, but like this? It was all too much. I needed to know – right now – whether he had ordered his son to kill my parents. Else I may well kill someone before the day is done.

As it turned out, that was prophetic.

Looking back, I didn’t realise at the time how much of a coincidence it was that Cadmus was staying at the House Manor. His own family were based a couple of hours hard ride on the outer estates of Askor, and he hadn’t had time to reach them. He had needed to travel to the city for work – but as I found out later, had been delayed – so had taken up lodging in the House Manor, as was his right.

He clearly hadn’t heard the news either, as when my brother and I came charging into his room, he was definitely surprised.

Before he could say anything, I demanded of him where his son was. Maybe the corpse we found was fake. I knew that Cadmus and Kalmin often travelled together, as they were both officers in Askor’s military. My tone obviously held some impact as he answered after a moment’s silence.

“I don’t know” he said, “he travelled down south early yesterday without fully explaining the details, but he told me he had found a fantastic opportunity for the House. In fact, he should already be home now….”

I didn’t believe it for a second, Kalmin never did anything without his father’s permission. His father knew where he was at all times. The timing of his arrival back home matched perfectly as well. Had he survived the ambush, Kalmin could have easily ridden back on his stallion to their estates by tonight.

I was about to retort when my brother beat me to it.

“Your son killed our parents Cadmus” he said. Then he smiled mirthlessly and added: “And for that we will destroy you”

I saw the panic in Cadmus’ eyes, then I saw anger. He looked at me then at my brother, as if really seeing us for the first time. And I swear – I saw the shame behind the anger.

He immediately pulled for his side dagger, but I had already drawn mine. With blind fury, I lunged and stabbed him straight through the heart.

We topled to the ground, and as the life drained from his face, he mustered up one last word.

“Used”

And like that, I started a civil war within our family.

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