Tuesday Tales, Part VII: “A Brief Recounting of the Life of King Darien Odell”

His Majesty the King Darien Odell was born the elder of two children into a minor noble family in Wayhaven, Caxton.  His sister, Her Royal Highness Princess Valencia Odell, is six years younger.

As a child, King Darien’s buoyant personality and natural tendency to earn the trust of those around him seemed to indicate a bright future as a public official; by the time the young Darien had turned fourteen, the Right Honorable Count Matthias Hakebourne had expressed himself “very well pleased” with the boy’s development as a soon-to-be vassal within his county.  However, it quickly became clear that young Darien was intended for something much greater.

Shortly after turning sixteen years old, the boy was laid low with a sickness that had spread throughout the duchy of Caxton.  Although most victims of the illness suffered only from fatigue and a fever, young Darien was much more strongly affected.  Despite the efforts of several renowned healers and herbalists, the youth’s condition continued to deteriorate and, over the course of six days, he died six times.  On the seventh night of his illness, the boy bade his parents farewell and closed his eyes for what he knew would be the last time.  The fever lulled him into a pleasant, calm sleep as his family and friends stood weeping at his bedside.

The next morning young Darien awoke, restored to the vigor and health he had displayed before the sickness came.  His parents, amazed and thankful, praised the White God for safeguarding their son in his time of need; but after another week had passed, the true reason for his recovery became apparent when he awoke to discover a purple light emanating from his body, signaling his position as the next monarch of Braelin.  Word spread swiftly and soon the entire duchy of Caxton was celebrating the arrival of their next king, a Caxtoner by birth.

Considering His Majesty the King Nicholas Everett’s advancing age, it was clear that the next ruler’s time would soon be at hand.  Then-Crown Prince Darien spent the next five years of his life shadowing King Nicholas, learning about the day-to-day affairs of managing the country as well as the responsibilities and dangers of ascending to the Braelinese throne.  Finally, in 1206, King Nicholas passed on in his sleep and Darien Odell stepped into his position as the rightful king of Braelin.  For the past six years, King Darien has ruled over a period of peace and prosperity.  Refusing—as His Majesty says—to remain “locked up in the palace,” he has pursued an active lifestyle and frequently visits the regions around Esos.  In his own words, the king has “made it a point to visit every duchy at least once per year to make sure all is well.”