Dantena van Torquaz’s Hero’s Journey

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All systems of morality are fine. The gospel alone has exhibited a complete assemblage of the principles of morality, divested of all absurdity. It is not composed, like your creed, of a few common-place sentences put into bad verse. Do you wish to see that which is really sublime? Repeat the Lord’s Prayer.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Departure

The Call to Adventure

The hero begins in a situation of normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown.

Dantena van Torquaz was born in 1436, during the second phase of the Three-centuries war and his Early life has witnessed the Schism War, where Otto von Fulgam, King of Temeros, has entered open conflict against the Imperial Order. After the trial by battle in 1449, he joined the University at King Conrad’s orders, where he met Godfrey of Lubac. Later, all three would reconquer most the Aeirn territory and re-establish the powerful Fulgam Dynasty. However, civil war between House Torquaz, above all other Temerian Baronnies, and Godfrey’s faction occured with the birth of Malthan in 1459. Even if the Keshian Wars had left Torquaz disgraced from his failure, he rose with the Kovanni rebellion where Dantena distinguished himself in particular, which encouraged the god-emperor Arius to grant Torquaz a post in his Night Watch, promising him the Inquisition after one year of service. But Sebastian Melogre has broken that dream, keeping the mighty Torquaz as his weapon in his political games… However, after one mission in particular, Torquaz feels disillusioned with the Empire and deserts, abandoning his House and sister, called by the thrill of vengeance: the kingslayer, who he believes has been Hoshin’s accomplice during the wars, his last witness.

Refusal of the Call

Often when the call is given, the future hero first refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.

Originally, Dantena van Torquaz goes on the kingslayer hunt to clear his name but soon becomes distracted as he enjoys Folk Hero status by saving Doll, a girl captured by the Werestag of Rubaron, which he later killswhen it attacks Silver Hook. There, he enters the Crimson Inn tavern, where he meets Gunner who tells him where to find the Kingslayer, while Destrega von Stormfyll appears…

Supernatural Aid

Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his guide and magical helper appears or becomes known. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the hero with one or more talismans or artifacts that will aid him later in his quest.

After Gunner vanishes and Destrega has slaughtered Doll, revealing the Silver Hand’s group of slayers, Dantena is summoned at the gathering of camps, post-Avalan’s evasion, and is confronted by King Conrad himself. He requests of Dantena to help him investigate a rumour, in return for naming him Great Inquisitor at the conclave, above all inquisitors. This position would help Dantena get revenge on the kingslayer and unravel the conspiracy heading the Empire into crusades… And take on Rohan!

Crossing the First Threshold

This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.

Entering the Temerian court, Dantena meets with all the different factions, House Torquaz and the Aeirn spies, the claims of Prince Malthan, greatest tactician of his time, to be a rumour. He travels to the Griffin Coast’s baronny of Torquaz, he rekindles with his family, including his dominating father Vito von Torquaz, the ‘dragonslayer’ and former Second Kyai of the Iron Order, and rival to Manfred von Fulgam and Armand von Stormfyldd. His House plans to move on the Fulgam, and he chooses to help his father, by torturing and killing Aryn the Swift to hunt the secret from lord Warrick, banker of the Underworld, associate with the Eastern Kingdoms Company. He turns darker…


Belly of the Whale

The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. By entering this stage, the person shows willingness to undergo a metamorphosis. When First entering the stage the hero may encounter a minor danger or set back.

His handling of the Warrick raid.

Initiation

The Road of Trials

The road of trials is a series of tests that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.

Dantena undergoes taking down the iron fortress of Amyr in order to find the kingslayer, holder of the last answers, for he knows what happened in Kesh, with Malthan etc. The kingslayer tells him he will explain everything against the breaking of Amyr, and Dantena accepts. The kingslayer is hanged and the beggars rebel, the Twieves guild’s bearer being Elijah who pretends to be the reincarnated Frates. The Greyfox legend.

The Meeting with the Goddess

Dantena finds a keshian girl, street child called Jyn, who offers him a bracelet, similar that of Rohan, the one of the free folk. 

Woman as Temptress

In this step, the hero faces those temptations, often of a physical or pleasurable nature, that may lead him or her to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, since the hero-knight was often tempted by lust from his spiritual journey.

Dantena struggles from fel-addiction and prefers to die a horrible death instead of stealing pipe from a beggar. He finds hope in his sister’s future and vows to protect, if not his House, but the Dragonslayer’s legacy of true knighthood.

Atonement with the Father

In this step the person must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving into this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power.

Dantena confronts Rohan, and exposes his role in hiding the truth against the Fulgams and of experimenting alchemy on the smallfolk, which could have saved the Empire from the Kovanni rebellion. However, he reveals him that he has ensured stability through the cyclical nature of history and his identity remains mystery but he earns Dantena’s trust.

Apotheosis

This is the point of realization in which a greater understanding is achieved. Armed with this new knowledge and perception, the hero is resolved and ready for the more difficult part of the adventure.

Dantena breaks Amyr and finds the truth on Malthan, understanding that he has the power to end the Fulgam dynasty and put his father, and then himself, on the throne. 

The Ultimate Boon

The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step, since in many myths the boon is something transcendent like the elixir of life itself, or a plant that supplies immortality, or the holy grail.

He spears Destrega, avenges the Kingslayer, thus completing his part of the bargain, and scatters House Stormfyldd, thus establishing lord Torquaz as king of Gisgo. He keeps the truth on Malthan to himself and arranges a meeting with Emperor Arius.

Return

Refusal of the Return

Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man.

Destrega refuses to give in to Arius, and forces him into abdication by threatening to print the proof which implies conflict with Conrad who has a great chance of becoming Warmaster. Arius summons the Summit of Kings to abdicate.

The Magic Fligh

Sometimes the hero must escape with the boon, if it is something that the gods have been jealously guarding. It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it.

Arius is slaughtered by a demon summoned by Rohan through his alchemical experiences, after Arius has named Conrad his heir. Dantena and Norman fight together but are defeated by the demonking. Ismair valenKel slaughters the demon-king with his iron sword.

Rescue from Without

Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, often he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience.

Ismair valenKel offers Dantena an advice concerning chaos and order, and quotes patience as the mightiest of the three king’s attributes (might, wit and patience). Dantena acknowledges that he would be tempted to use the proof against the Fulgam, but acknowledging Conrad as Emperor would essentially end the Three-Hundred Years War.

The Crossing of the Return Threshold

The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world.

Dantena presses the Elector-Princes to name Conrad Emperor, threatening with Elijah acting as the Kingslayer. However, they are defeated by the Stormfyldds, whom are headed by Deregen, who has returned from the Holy Land. He heads the Eastern Kingdoms Company and is the richest man in the world. Dantena accepts the price of gold, remembering Ismair’s word on patience. He has yet to avenge the Kingslayer.

Master of Two Worlds

This step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Gautama Buddha. For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds.

Dantena is named Grand Inquisitor by Destrega Stormfyldd, thus being branded traitor by Conrad and restarting the Age of Fire… 

Freedom to Live

Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.

He meets the sorceress, who calls herself Death, and she accepts to take him across the silver sea if he keeps his oath of salvation for Elena’s death. He accepts, and before setting sail for Kesh as diplomat he burns the proof of Conrad’s bloodline, his debt is paid. The bargain of bones is complete.

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