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Feedback Thread is here: To Follow Fate Feedback. Prequel to Shadow Tactician: To Challenge Fate Warnings for Rape/Non Con, Incest and Major Character Deaths. I don't want to hurt you so if you're not in a good place mentally, please, please do not read if you're easily triggered! This is not for the faint of heart. Rated M Summary: Prince Caleb is raised by his parents who are devote Grimleal. He is made to understand that he is Grima and thus undergoes the important rituals to gain the memories of his "past". His mother begins to waver as the Prince becomes more and more like the monster she fears. Chapter I: The Dark Prince Powerful spells charged the air as the fight pushed both men to their limits, one, the current king of Plegia, the other his son, fighting to stop the madness of his father's plans, though knowing ultimately it was a doomed battle. Neither could give an inch. The young man was still grieving the loss of his stillborn son, a child who was lost due to the King's interference with the young Prince's wife, forcing them to lose a child that could have bought peace, if nothing else between Plegia and Ylisse. Anger fueled him on as the dark magic rose around them. The Prince eager to shed his father's blood while the Ylissean exalt played witness to the most emotionally charged battle he'd seen in a while. A blast knocked Caleb back and he braced himself. “You-” his father began to yell, shocked at this turn of events Caleb's eyes narrowed, “Time to tip the scales!” the prince cried dark magic bursting from him and slamming into his target and Validar was knocked back from the impact. Caleb came to stand by Chrom's side, panting from exertion, “That should take care of that.” He said, anger still not sated and the desire for Validar's blood apparent. “This isn't over! DAMN YOU BOTH!” Caleb gasped in shock as the wave of magic rushed towards them. He shoved Chrom as hard out of the way as he physically could, the spell knocking him down and winding him. A low groan escaped the prince, and a pounding headache made him miss what Chrom was saying as memories started to flood his mind. He attacked Chrom. Blood fell into his hands as a gaping wound opened up in the Exalt’s armour. “This...isn't...your...fault…” The Exalt coughed out blood and it poured from his mouth, his body paling from the sudden loss of blood. The Prince shook his head and said softly, “Foolish human.” His voice was much darker than before, “I am the Wings of Despair, I am the Breath of Ruin. I am the Fell Dragon Grima!” Another blow of magic to the Exalt’s chest was all it took to fell him as crimson eyes gazed around him. Laughter filled the temple and the Prince found it grating on his nerves. He turned to see Validar approach and he smirked. This was going to be highly entertaining… ~~~ Plegia Two Years Ago There was a lull of activity as morning prayer wrapped up. Robin was impassive as both her son Caleb and his father Validar had set off to the Dragon's Table to do the ritual to prepare Caleb for Grima's awakening as he was the perfect Vessel for the Fell Dragon. She would join them later as her duties as Plegia’s Grandmaster would keep her from them. She had just brokered a peace deal with Ylisse. He son was starting to worry her with how violent he was becoming. He was much too war hungry for her liking and after each ritual, he kept getting worse. She had tried to instill the value of keeping soldiers alive as long as possible to grow powerful but her son didn't seem to have the slightest interest in doing so. In fact he seemed to use pretty much any tactics to defeat her, though she had not known why she couldn't teach him to care about the loss of life. Validar was annoyed that Robin had agreed to the peace deal with the Ylisseans. He'd lashed out at her and she bore numerous cuts and bruises from his last attack. It was as brutal as ever. She sighed and hoped that the marriage to come would change things. She prayed that Grima would show mercy to the Princess of Ylisse. Caleb let out a low grunt of pain as his father pushed him to release more Fell magic and draw on more of his strength. He was well aware of what the fool assumed the magic was meant to do. However Caleb knew better. He knew because as he did more of these rituals, he began to know more. His power woke him to the truth and as he allowed more of it to flow through his body, he became aware of what was missing. Eyes slowly turned crimson as the Grimleal pushed him to make use of yet more power. Caleb panted heavily. He knew he needed time, he needed time to adjust to his power. He needed to use it more frequently. He growled and tried to push himself harder. He eventually collapsed from the effort. The seal was still too strong. He let out a deep grunt of annoyance. He would not be able to do it today. He sighed and returned to his quarters with his father behind him. He was annoyed at the inability to do as he pleased. Sunlight filtered through the skies in the Plegian capital Perezia as a new morning dawned. The young prince in a Grimleal coat stood to welcome the sun. Hands lifted in prayer Caleb lifted his gaze to the sun. He was the walking incarnation of the Fell Dragon, the Mark on the back of his hand proved it and his body had been engaging in ritual after ritual to gain the needed memories and powers. He shrugged out of the coat, letting it fall to the ground. His clothing followed. Until his milky white skin was exposed entirely. The young Prince then walked slowly forwards to the place where his bath was waiting for him. His attendants would arrive soon enough and they would bring him new clothing to change into, as well as a towel to dry off with. For now though the Prince didn’t care. He wanted to spend the morning doing his own thing, not the useless training his father insisted in as he progressively got older. So what if he had to partake in the Royal court. The Prince had no need...no desire to deal with half of the snakes at his father’s side. Even so Caleb knew that he would have to act befitting of a fine young Prince for a while longer until the seal on his powers were broken. He grimaced at the thought of being a mere prince without his god-like status. Why couldn’t his fool of a father leave the tactics to him and just be a faithful little servant instead? If he was a god why did they insist on making him go through such useless motions…? Caleb frowned, and why did they not use his proper name? He was Grima surely...surely they would get that much right? He sighed and cleaned himself as the morning sun began to warm his private courtyard. Today promised to be interesting at least. Today Caleb would be allowed to deal with a prisoner however he wished. He was looking forward to the screaming for mercy. His mother, if she could be called that frequently said she was “worried ” about him. Caleb didn’t care. Why should he? He was Grima, thus a god. He would have to take lives, after all that was what he was meant to do as well as destroy the world- though he wouldn't get ahead of himself just yet, he wasn't quite strong enough yet he knew. Caleb snarled. Curse them and their coddling. He was a god! He would awaken at his appointed time when they completed the Fire Emblem with its gemstones. There was nothing to worry about. Even so as he bathed he wondered what he would do when he finally did, and most importantly of all he had to work out who to kill first. There was nothing to worry about other than that... Well almost nothing. As it turned out Caleb's ‘entertainment’ was postponed by his “mother” as she had some important details to share. Caleb decided that for this slight he would kill her when the opportunity arose for him to do so. So while he was seething with anger, Caleb did his best to appear calm and collected. The entertainment being postponed was not the worst thing that could happen, though Caleb was sure that his so called “mother” was trying to sabotage his training to use his power. He glared at Robin for a full hour now and the woman who was his mother seemed little affected by her son’s anger. Robin tried to ignore the glare of her son who had grown up learning how to kill people in various ways for entertainment. It did not sit well with her as she feared that Validar was turning Caleb into a monster. That their son was going to be lost if he became Grima. That...she did not want to believe that he should be like this. She was tempted to sneak into the Grimleal archives for answers. Validar however was quick to promise their son would get his fill of death for the day and a king overruled a queen. Caleb smirked and seemed to be happy about the compromise as Robin explained what she was planning. The room became cold in an instant. Validar was the first to speak and he was furious. Apparently Ylisse had sent messengers to say that they wanted to accept the peace treaty with Plegia. Of course Validar had not agreed with it at all, but here Robin was pushing it as best she could...and Caleb listened half-heartedly until his name was mentioned. It was then that Validar yelled, “Fool woman! You would have us carry Naga’s taint?!” “What else would you have us do Validar?! The last war nearly ruined us! At least this way we can get to the gemstones and have them under our control!” Robin yelled back. Gods what Caleb wouldn’t give to put that bitch in her place. Then he realised what they were saying, “You mean to tell me, Mother,” he forced the word out, “That we are to play house with the Ylisseans.” He moved to look her right in the eye and frowned, “You are…” He said suddenly less than pleased, “I for one think a wife might be a good influence-” “Still your tongue!” Caleb snapped, “Not another word woman.” Which caused both King and Queen to stare at him, “I have heard enough. Save the useless drivel for someone who actually cares.” The prince snapped “Now, now,” Validar was quick to act, “You must understand-” “Shut up!” Caleb snarled, “I will not tolerate your excuses. If you are quite done, I will retire to my study. Do not disturb me unless there is someone for me to rip apart!” Both King and Queen gaped at their son’s behaviour. Then like the god he was Caleb rose with dignity and left the room. Silence was golden after all and he wasn't interested in his mother's pathetic little plan. He didn't need her or Validar. He could awaken his power on his own given the chance. They were mere decorations and merely vessels in producing him, what did he care if they died? Or more importantly got in his way? He didn't care for them and had no need to. He half hummed at the thought. His anger still seething under his skin of their presumption that they could tell him what to do like some common insect. When he reclaimed his power... Caleb paced in his study- he was beyond angry. He was to marry an Ylissean woman he didn't even know by the command of his so called “mother” who felt a bride would be a “good influence” on him. The woman might be royalty but he wasn't sure an Ylissean was the right kind of woman. He needed a Plegian woman as far as he was aware. However he supposed he'd wait and see what was to become of this union before he judged it. He pulled out a knife from his coat and threw it at the wooden door. It made a loud THWOK as it plunged into the door. Caleb grimaced and pulled the blade out of the door when it suddenly opened, “Caleb we need to talk.” Caleb scoffed and turned his back to her, “I have no need to speak with you.” He threw the knife again and it landed inches from her head embedded into the door. She flinched from the movement, “You do.” Her voice was level, “Please see reas-” And explosive shot of Thoron hit the knife, “ Get out .” He said darkly, “Caleb!” “I said, GET OUT!” Caleb roared eyes flashing crimson as dark magic flashed across the room missing the terrified woman by mere inches. She couldn't help the near scream that erupted. She ran and he retrieved the knife. He muttered softly, “Foolish worm.” He sat at the desk and looked at potential strategies he could make use of. He would deal with them both later. Right now, he had tactics to study. The knife sat in his palm as he stared at the map. Then he threw it at a point. The boder between Ylisse and Plegia, his home. A thought crossed his mind and for the moment at least, he was calm. ~~~ The first memory came to him not long after his so called mother ran away from him… ~~~ He was so small. Tiny in fact and already in so much pain. At that time he was desperate, he wanted to understand his place in the world. He didn't know it was wrong to harm others; his creator killed thousands of people, their screams oddly unnerving to the tiny creature as somehow he knew it was wrong, though he thought it was because he was being a bad creature to not be able to endure the screams. He saw the Creator gaze upon his tiny form and frown. He tried to reassure the Creator that he'd be the perfect creature, he'd kill all the humans his Creator wanted, anything to see the Creator smile, anything . He clung to a small hope that maybe when he was larger he'd be pleasing to his Creator. He begged for someone to help him. A tiny voice in a great void. And he grew. By the time he was large as a...what was the creature again? A...puppy? He thinks, he showed his Creator how strong he was becoming, hoping that would make the Creator happy. He was shocked then when his Creator tried to harm him. Shocked and Angry. What had he done wrong? He only did what his Creator wanted him to do! In hurt he'd lashed out and the smell of blood scared him. Had he a human voice he'd have screamed. He wasn't sure how much time passed. He was lonely with the dead walking about, shuffling as they moved. He was beginning to not be able to fit in the room which he was trapped. Again his voice cried out to the void for someone to help him, someone to save him! He cried, the sound other worldly than what he'd known. He'd begged for someone to help him and still no one came or even answered him. He was beginning to lose all hope. He was nearly the size of the chamber and everything hurt , there wasn't enough room for him. He couldn't tell the time that had passed. He'd already consumed his Creator's corpse to sustain himself and he was so hungry and so very scared . He heard strange sounds, sounds of fighting, clashing of steel and cries of pain. He was trapped. The doors of the chambers opened suddenly and the smell of blood hit his nose. The light almost blinded him, “ Gods what is the monstrosity!” A male voice cried and he felt like correcting them, “ Forneus' work clearly.” Said a female voice, “Disgusting.” He winced and tried to communicate. It wasn't his fault that he looked like he did. His eyes fell on the humans for the first time. These people were unlike anything he'd ever seen. He had no idea that they intended to harm him. The man had a sword that glowed and somehow he knew it would hurt him. He tried to protect himself when the man lashed out with the blade. A shriek of pain escaped him as it cut through his body. Agony...never ending agony...that was Naga's answer to his plea. He learned the hard way that humans were not to be trusted as he was sealed away. He could never trust a human...and, most importantly of all he could never trust Naga to help him. She would never help him… ~~~ He groaned as the pain faded. It was the first clear recollection he had, the others being mere glimpses of the past. Caleb let out a pained grunt. This was...a first. He looked around his study, everything was as it should be. He rose and made his way towards the place where he knew the hierophant would be at this hour of the. The old man was the current leader of the Grimleal and a trusted adviser to the royal family. However this was one of those times where Caleb felt his father should not know about what had happened...he stopped mid way and drew in some air. He was uncertain what to do. He let out a frustrated noise and went to turn away when a decidedly female voice said, “Going somewhere, your highness?” Caleb spotted the Hierophant's attendant. His jaw tightened, “No. Perhaps you could send Aran my regards.” Caleb said smoothly. His head was aching again. Normally he would have gone to find out what he'd seen but...this was something he knew he couldn't speak of. Not yet. “He has a request of your presence Milord.” She said bowing slightly. Caleb frowned, “I had not thought a mere prince would be worth his time.” Caleb said with a calm tone hiding his annoyance. The attendant bowed again, “He has something he wishes to discuss away from the King and Queen's ears, something only for you Milord. A reading that your parents had done when they themselves were your age.” She said and Caleb raised an eyebrow, “Really now?” the Prince asked, “But of course Milord.” She replied.