A single father with an obligation to protect the world from a wrathful goddess. A loyal warrior torn between her oath and her love. Perhaps together, they may be able to avert tragedy if their own hearts do not get in the way first.
The little boy peeked out from behind a thick pine tree. His pursuer was nowhere in sight, but the six-year old knew better than to assume he had alluded him. He stepped carefully and tried to avoid the light snow on the ground to prevent leaving tracks. He stuck low to the ground, passing into the shadows cast by the tree branches, and becoming one with them. He moved between them with caution, knowing that whenever he was exposed, he was at risk of-
“I see you!” called a man’s voice.
“Eep!” cried the little boy as he tried to run but he was gently grabbed and whirled around playfully. The boy began to giggle.
“That’s a new record, Phineas!” Vexius said to his child. The man wore a hood with a scarf wrapped around his neck. His eyes were two different colors, one red and one blue, which was the only indication of his inner nature. A beaded bracelet was on his wrist and a wedding ring on his finger.
“Are you proud of me?” Phineas said to his father.
“Of course, I am!” Vexius said with a smile. “You’ve gotten so good at this game!”
“Yay!” Phineas exclaimed happily.
Once, the man had lived with his wife and their son, Phineas. His name had been Asmodeus, and he was a Weapon created by the Goddess of Death: Thana. His wife, the powerful War Cleric Adryis, attempted to cure him of this by knocking out the emotion that fueled him: pride, but it backfired and started a chain of events resulting in the man he was today. His memory left fractured, he had gone by the name Verial for a time, then back to Asmodeus briefly. Through the intervention of another woman he loved, his soul shard had managed to take control of his Weapon nature, but his power still remained. He came to see that he was neither Asmodeus nor was he Verial. As such, he had taken to calling himself Vexius Pryde. He had never been much for subtleties.
“And what, little man, is your name!?” Vexius exclaimed, placing Phineas on the ground.
“Phineas Awakened Pryde!” Phineas said happily.
Vexius smiled, happy that Phineas had learned his proper name. Dubbing him the name Lycaon, the surname of Asmodeus, seemed wrong. Every day had been a struggle for the father and son. The challenges of raising Phineas, who had inherited some of his own dark power was difficult enough. But Vexius knew that if he were not careful, he could fall back into becoming Asmodeus at any time. He would be a threat to the entire world, and he did not wish to ever become that again. At the least, Phineas deserved a true father.
“You hungry?” Vexius asked.
“I am!” Phineas said.
“No!” Phineas said. “I want berries!”
Vexius sighed. “We haven’t found any lately, buddy. It’s been getting cold. Can you just have some rabbit and we’ll try to find some berries as we walk?”
“I guess so…” Phineas said sadly.