Ways of Light and Darkness
Author: Milady Dragon
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, but let's face it…the ones who do don't treat it very well.
Author's note: This is the sequel to The Immortality of the Deathless. If you haven't read that, go and read it now! Pretty please?
I wasn't going to post this so fast, but impatience got the better of me. Hope you all enjoy it!
He was born on the island of Argentyn Devastal, which was so ancient a name that no one remembered that it translated as Silver Devastation. It had also been forgotten why it was named that, since there was no silver on the island at all, and no sign of devastation; the ancient race of Wizards would have remembered, if there were any around who would have reason to recall the old stories. It was a fairly small island off the northern coast of the Wild Western Lands, and not very important in the grand scheme of things.
That would change.
His parents were ordinary: a fisherman and a seamstress. But their only son was quick, and clever, and even at an early age could look at a person as if he were seeing into their soul. He would disappear for hours at a time, and when he would return home there would be tell-tale signs that all was not well: blood under his fingernails, or suspicious stains on his clothing, or that strange smile that would send a shiver down his parents' spines. They said nothing, though; they were afraid to, not so much that their neighbors would think them mad, but because they didn't know what their child would do if anyone else knew about his oddness.
When he turned ten, be began to make his toys move on their own.
That was when his mother called in the local priest.
The man left after attempting to cast out whatever spirit had inhabited the child, his face drawn and pale, his eyes panicked.
He committed suicide that night.
The child simply smiled, and played with his animated toys, and his parents looked on in terror.
They didn't call anyone else.
Things changed once more, the day the boy turned twelve. That was when he vanished for three days.
His parents didn't report him missing, even though the island was small and the magistrate would have heard about it eventually. They saw it as a blessing, thinking that whatever hell their demon-child had been spat out from had come to claim him once more. They had no idea why they had been cursed, but they had, and thought perhaps the Gods believed that they had suffered enough, and that it was now over.
When the boy returned, they knew he'd truly been damned.
That night, his father tried to kill him.
It didn't work.
The next morning, the neighbors found the house burnt to the ground, the only survivor a weeping child.
The islanders took pity on him. Perhaps, if his parents had been more forthcoming of their fears of their own son, he might have been drowned at once, or at the very least watched suspiciously. But no one knew, and the child wormed his way into their affections, and was taken care of.
He acted normally. No one suspected that he was anything but a happy, healthy boy. It was at night that he would sneak off, and perform whatever rituals only he knew, and he kept his darkness hidden behind a face that grew more handsome the older he became.
At sixteen, he began to court the mayor's daughter. Lucy was a beautiful fifteen-year-old, intelligent yet self-effacing. He lavished attention on her, as if she was the most precious thing in the world, and she blossomed under his praises and flatteries.
The mayor encouraged the match, because he had no idea what the boy – no, young man now – actually was. If he had been, he would have killed his own daughter before letting her fall under the other's power.
But he never knew, until it was far too late to save her.
As the two became closer, the young man began to show Lucy things…small things at first, but as she proved receptive he began to expose her to more and more of his darkness. At times, she would baulk at what he would teach her, but it was a simple matter to turn her to his way of thinking. They would perform strange rituals, summon things that were best left alone. Only she had the privilege of seeing the darkness in his gaze as he called the power to him, and he would share with her the gifts it gave to him.
They married when the young man was eighteen. It was a lavish ceremony, fit for the daughter of the mayor. That worthy was so proud of his handsome son-in-law, even going so far as to having a home built for the newly married couple high on the slopes of the mountain at the center of the island. It was an extinct volcano, and it made the young man darkly happy to have a home above the rest of the villagers, as if he were a God looking down on his domain.
And, to him, it truly was his.
It was also too bad that no one could recall the danger that mountain truly imposed. But then, it was tied into the island's name, and the Wizards who would have known were all gone.
It was after he was secure in his position of power – being the mayor's son-in-law brought much prestige with it – that the young man began his own campaign of whispers. He began with the village magistrate, knowing he would need that dignitary on his side if his final plan was to be successful. His dark words fell on receptive ears, and soon his message was being carried to the rest of the islanders. Some didn't accept it, and they would have "accidents" that would take them quietly out of the picture. But the young man was supremely persuasive, his darkness giving weight to the words he shared.
In time, the people believed him.
He began to promise things. Impossible things, but the islanders were under his thumb now and they rejoiced that this handsome young man cared so very much about them. He asked for favors, for proofs of loyalty, and they were only too happy to obey. They didn't know that he was manipulating them, using his own dark power against them. He was their savior.
He truly was their God.
All of this took ridiculously little time. By the young man's thirtieth birthday they were worshiping him, and he could demand anything of them that he wished and they would gladly give him whatever he wanted and call it an offering to their God. All the while, his dark power grew as did his personal power, and his terrible showings of that power were hailed as miracles. He had achieved dominion.
He had Utopia.
And he was content…for a while.
One day though, as he neared his thirty-fifth year, he felt something. He stretched out his power, trying to find what had disturbed him so badly. When he found it, it shook him to his core.
It was inimical to his own darkness.
It was Light.
It was Life.
And it was brought to his Utopia by three mysterious travelers and a dragon.