forum The forced facade of insanity is a heavy weight to bear // oxo // closed // Mature
Started by @ElderGod-Icefire
tune

people_alt 80 followers

@ElderGod-Icefire

TW for sexual abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse, torture, just. Some dark stuff. Young ones pass no further, do not pass go, do not collect $100, this is not for you.


The Arden family has ruled Taero for a very long time.

Three years ago, the king, queen, and their oldest son were captured by a group of fanatic rebels. They were held captive for months, and by the end of that time period, the king and queen were dead, and their son was traumatized. While the family had been held captive, the youngest son had been named emergency regent, at the ripe age of 18 years old. Upon the return of the eldest, Cassio, most people expected the throne to be surrendered to him, as the eldest. But it wasn't. Cassio, upon return to the palace, seemed to decline in sanity. As if the experience had snapped his mind. And it certainly seemed that way.

So the younger brother, Marcus, never returned the throne. He was first regent, and then, when Cassio's state seemed to grow no better, was crowned king. Cassio, the mad brother, remained a prince, and is mostly kept out of the public eye. The few times he is seen in public, it is always close by his brother's side, along with one of his "caretakers"; people hired by Marcus to keep Cassio subdued and controlled as much as possible.

From the surface, from the outside, all seems as if the story told is the truth. Older brother is captured, goes through highly traumatic experience, and goes insane. Younger brother takes the throne, and ensures that his brother is taken care of by people who know what they're doing. Everyone lives happily ever after. But that's…not quite what is happening.

The caretakers are abusive and cruel, and Cassio's insanity is…not quite natural. Yes, there was deep-seated trauma. Yes, there was some instability. But, well, what he has become, what has happened to him? This is something being forced on him, magically imposed to keep him from being able to take the throne out of Marcus's clutches. He can barely grasp at sanity, can barely surface from it before he is pushed back under. When he's out of the palace for long periods of time, he becomes more lucid, more sane. But he is always dragged back to the palace before he can fully shake it off.


Enter (name), your character. They have been hired as Cassio's main guard, after a failed assassination attempt on the mad prince. At first, they believe everything that they have ever heard about Cassio and about the Arden family. Marcus is the prince who unwillingly took on the burden of kingship, the savior of the family, the caretaker of his brother. The golden son. Cassio is the mad prince, the heir who will never be king. But the more time they spend around Cassio, the more they discover that something more is going on here. That something is deeply wrong with this scenario.

They begin to help Cassio, trying to free him from his brother's clutches. All the while, the two are also slowly falling for each other, despite everything. But there are a lot of mysteries in this palace that (Name) knows nothing about, a lot of tension happening that they, as a guard, have not yet seen.


Rules:

  • Andrew's rules apply
  • Again, this is mature, please no one younger than 16
  • This is going to feature some dark shit. Please be aware of that and proceed accordingly
  • LGBTQ+ characters are of course welcome. Your character can be any gender or sexuality, I've purposefully left the gender vague. I would prefer mxm or mxnb, but I'm okay with anything
  • Please have proper grammar, and put some effort into your replies. No one or two sentence replies, I would prefer at least a decent sized paragraph
  • I reserve the right to say no

Temps will be posted after someone joins

@ElderGod-Icefire

Name Cassio Tyvantus Arden
Nickname(s): Cas, Cassie
Title(s): Crown Prince (formerly), Prince (currently; is seen as formality only as the entire country believes he is insane and incapable of holding the throne)
Age: 23
Gender and Sexuality: Cis man, he/him. Pansexual
Looks: Cassio stands at 5'10", with a nicely muscled form. He has an inverted triangle body shape, though his muscle mass is less than it was when he was 20, due to him not being able to work out or exercise as much. He still has some good muscle tone, but it isn't as bulky as it used to be. He is Caucasian, with pale skin that doesn't have a tan. He does have a light spray of freckles across his nose, but they aren't very dark. He has reddish brown hair, with soft wavy curls that hang into his face and his eyes. It's soft and fluffy and just a little bit unkempt, but still looks good. He is generally clean-shaven, as he is usually allowed to shave himself as long as someone is watching. It is only when they are "worried for his safety" that he isn't allowed near a razor, in which case he develops some stubble along his jawline. He has soft brown eyes with hints of gold in them, especially when they catch the light. He has a sharp jawline, and a soft looking mouth, with dimples when he smiles. He has scarring on his body, though much of it isn't visible when he is clothed. There are some scars that reach down his hands, with some mottled scars on the tips of his fingers. He is missing the pinkie finger on his left hand. He was an expert fighter, prior to his capture, and his movements and mannerisms still reflect that.
Typical Clothing: Button-ups and slacks, or dress pants. He tends to look nice, at least in terms of his clothing, though he is only dressed in the full, more fancy royal regalia when he is being brought out in public. Doesn't usually have even a circlet of gold to denote his status as a royal, as there was one time that he broke the circlet and used it as a weapon. So now he is not allowed to have one, except when appearing in public. When he does appear in public, the outfits he is put into are often heavy and stiff, and designed to make it harder for him to move quickly and control his ability to move.
History: Cassio is the oldest of two, his younger brother being Marcus, the current king. His parents were Eron and Marthe Arden. As a child, Cassio was very quick and intelligent. Even when he was younger, he showed all the signs of being an excellent king. He was intelligent, kind, good with a sword, and good at logistics. Everyone, including his parents, thought he would be a good king. And he was raised to be one, with a private tutor, lessons designed to help mold him into a ruler that could shape this country. His brother, on the other hand, did not receive as much specialized training as he did. Their parents loved Marcus, yes, but it was always clear that Cassio was more favored. That he, bright and shining and the perfect prince, was the child that they preferred. The crown prince, versus the spare. As Cassio grew older, and more handsome, there were many who pursued him romantically. His parents considered various political marriages, and had been in talks with a few different nobles about pairing Cassio with one of their children. They were actually on their way to visit the estate of one of these noblemen when their carriage was captured. Upon being captured, well. Things went very poorly, very quickly. This time period is when Cassio lost the pinkie finger on his left hand. They were held captive for nearly eight months, and it was towards the end of the sixth that his mother was killed, right in front of him. Her corpse was left in the cell with him and his father, for both of them to watch as she slowly rotted. His father was the next to die, the next month, and, just like Marthe, Eron's body was left in the cell with their eldest son. Cassio could do nothing but watch as the bodies of his parents began to decompose before his very eyes. This is what began the fracturing of his mind, as his psyche could not handle the horrific sight that he was trapped with. When he was finally found, he was practically mute, with wide, terrified eyes. The country had hoped that he would recover, and at first, it seemed like he would. He seemed like he was calming down, like he would be able to move past the experience that he had gone through. And then, he was brought back to the palace. His brother greeted him with a hug, saying he was so happy to have his brother back. And then Cassio's progress stalled. He stopped working forward, stopped coming back to himself. And it soon became obvious that the crown prince, once the pride of the kingdom, would never be anything but a shadow of his former self. So Marcus was crowned king, and swore to take care of his older brother for as long as he lived. Cassio is not often seen by the public eye, as he is generally kept cooped within the palace, and mostly within the royal family's private quarters. An assassination attempt was made on him, though this was more a political thing aimed at his brother than anyone truly upset about Cassio.
Magic?: Unknown
Other: Does go selectively mute sometimes, typically when very stressed or upset

@ElderGod-Carrots

Name: Erix Paréth
Nicknames: None
Title: Personal Guard of Prince Cassio
Age: 24
Gender and sexuality: Cis male, he/him
Looks: Erix stands at 6’7, a tall man with a well built and large build to show for the fact that he’s a fighter and a warrior. He has sharp features when it comes to his face and jawline, a defined nose, dark, thick eye brows and long eyelashes that frame his striking ocean green eyes. Some say they look blue, others green, it depends how close you are to him and the lighting at the time. However, they really are a mix of both. Erix has what is basically the ‘modern mullet’, a shaggy style that’s tapered in at the sides, longer at the top and back and it is raven black. He stays clean shaven, taking any stubble or anything of the sort away before it has a chance to grow. The man has scars all over his body, with one right down the middle of his face that is jagged, cutting down from the right of his face, through his eye brown, nose and the bottom of his lip before ending at his chin. He has other small scars across his body in various places but the other most notable one is the large, crackling, lighting style scar in the centre of his chest.
Typical clothing: When not dressed in his guard attire - which consists of basic to full body armour, his sword etc etc - he tends to wear loose fitting shirts with a few buttons up the top, generally in white or dark purple, and black flowing pants. He also wears a purple gemstone necklace that he never takes off.
History: Erix comes from a low level family. His mother died giving birth to his youngest sibling (he’s the eldest of three) and his father was never around to begin with. Luckily, all his siblings were close in age. When he was younger he had to take care of all three of them which resulted in many hungry nights and cold nights but Erix was a natural fighter and was taken in by his mentor, Rowen, when he was a teenager. This resulted in him joining the army and the rest was history. His other brother (Emyr, the middle child) ended up passing away from a disease however his sister (Eira, the youngest) has since moved away. They keep in contact occasionally. He was in a large battle when he was 20 which is how he gained his two most prominent scars.
Personality: Erix is a solider through and through and presents as such on the outside. He doesn’t like bullshit and appears to be a man who is strict and serious for the most part however is a softie at heart. Caring for his siblings and losing his mother caused him to be a very kind and generous person as much as he doesn’t seem to be. Behind the hard exterior is a lover and a big one at that.
Magic: dark magic focusing mainly on illusions and the mind (think darcy from the winx club)
Other: none i can think of atm.

okay i have an idea when it comes to Erix’s magic and Cassio if you wanna hear it but obvi you don’t have to lol

@ElderGod-Carrots

I like big guys aksjsks

and my idea was that because Erix has powers over the mind maybe part of him and Cassio bonding is him using his powers on Cassio to help with the trauma and the evil shit going on, maybe?

@ElderGod-Icefire

Oooo that could actually work really well, though I could also see Cassio having Issues with the idea of someone rooting around in his head again lol but! I think that would work really well, but probably wouldn't/shouldn't happen right away

@ElderGod-Carrots

Oh yeah totally lmao but like, after they build up some trust and what not Erix wants to help - maybe he senses something is up - and then tries to help and ✨bonding✨

would also be cool if Marcus didn’t know about that part of Erix’s magic so there’s no suspicion that they’re up to something

@ElderGod-Icefire

Yess perfect! Once Erix gets to know Cas more and starts figuring out "hey, something's not right here. This isn't a normal thing" and yes

That's what I was thinking too!

@ElderGod-Icefire

we are lmao. Is there anything else you wanna hammer out before we start?

Also, Important! Do you have any triggers that you would prefer I avoid? Because there's some,,, a lot of dark shit that has happened/might happen, and I need to know if there's anything I should steer clear of

@ElderGod-Icefire

Sweet! I don't have any triggers, so we're all good there (if anything changes with that, just lmk :) )

Shall I get a starter up, then? I was planning on starting with Erix starting/getting an orientation sort of thing?

@ElderGod-Icefire

Marcus had decided that his brother needed a personal guard to stick near him. Someone had tried to assassinate him. And while Marcus was well aware that this assassination attempt had been more about making a statement than someone truly targeting Cassio, he had still decided that more than just the regular palace guards were needed. So he had had the captain of the guard do some interviews, and the man had decided on some guy named Erix, who Marcus was now to give an initial interview to. He had to prep this guy for interacting with Cassio, after all. All the public knew of the mad prince was, well, the controlled calm of his public facade. The view of Cassio on a tight leash, restrained like a rabid dog.

Only four years ago, Cassio had been the country's golden boy. He had been well beloved by everyone. The younger people had all been half in love with him, and the older people had thought he would be such an amazing king. Had thought that he would be great at the kingship. He had been raised for it, after all. He had been well-mannered, kind, easy to get along with. A king in every way. And then he had disappeared, and when he had been found, he would never be the same again. And it had been a hard, rough adjustment for everyone, to realize that Marcus, the younger brother that had always been overshadowed and shoved to the corner, would be the king. Would be the ruler of the country.

To be fair, he had done a good job so far. He had not steered the country ill, but it had all been a strange time, especially the first year. Getting used to having King Marcus and Prince Cassio, rather than the other way around? Odd. Especially when Cassio was so rarely seen by the public eye. His madness was confirmed by the whispering and rumors, of course, but it was still something mostly kept out of the public eye.

A servant led Erix into an office, where Marcus was waiting. He looked up as Erix came in, greeting the tall man with a small smile. "Good morning." he said, standing from his seat. He looked every inch a king; a nice, pressed outfit, a crown perched in his brown hair. His face was clean-shaven, and he looked polished and put together. Like he had been born for this. He seemed so comfortable, too. Not ill-at-ease at all, despite the fact that this had been his father's before him and had been meant to be his brother's. But yet, he looked as if he belonged here. As if he owned it, and it was his and his alone, and always had been. "Erix Paréth, I assume?" this man was…very tall. Good. Physically imposing was a good thing, in a personal guard. Plus, it meant he was less at risk if Cassio snapped and lashed out again. The prince did that, every now and again. There was a reason that he occasionally needed to be restrained, rather than allowed to free roam his quarters.

@ElderGod-Carrots

Erix only knew of the mad prince from what the rumours and whisperings on the street said about him. About how Cassio was crazy, deranged, almost, and that the view of him that was presented to the outside world was only the right mask they kept over his face. The one that showed a calm exterior, a man who was as okay as he could be on the outside but was suffering within. He didn’t know the full extent of Cassio’s condition, no one did, really. It was a mystery as to what went on behind closed doors, what happened to the family when they had gone missing. It was all confusing and strange, but for the time being, the main focus was on Marcus and Cassio, the brothers that were loved, one more so than the other in previous times, and one that had once been overlooked ruling the country.

He didn’t care much for politics as long as he had a job. Erix had started as a royal guard, taken in by one of them at a young age and fought with them for a time. But he had left after the biggest battle of his life, the one that caused his scars and the one that had left him all but a bit internally scarred himself. It was why he had turned to private contracting. Easier to keep track of things, easier to earn more money, easier to be alone. Of course, that was what he told himself he wanted and needed. Deep down he knew it wasn’t true but he wasn’t about to face that now. There wasn’t time, something else that he kept telling himself.

The only good thing that had come from that battle, well, in a half fucked up way, were the scars themselves. Because even though they were an awful reminder of what had happened to him, it added to his intimidating look. It helped that he was taller than most, too, and it was why he was so good at what he did. Personal protection. Since he had left the army that was his main focus and he was damned good at it. At least that was what he was told, and he was going to give his contractors the benefit of the doubt on this one.

As he walked through the halls being led by the servant he could feel the gaze of others on him, on the tall, pale man with a wicked scar and a scowl. When the doors were opened and be was greeted by Marcus, Erix bowed low, placing a hand on his chest as he did so to show his respect, “Your Majesty,” He said, rising slowly, “A pleasure to be of service.”

@ElderGod-Icefire

Marcus waited as Erix rose back up to his full height, giving the man a quick smile. Erix had already filled out the paperwork necessary; this was only an introductory thing before Erix would begin. "A pleasure to meet you." he responded, sitting back down and gesturing to a chair so that Erix could sit down. "This will not take very long, and then someone will give you a quick tour of some areas of the palace, and then you will be starting." he said. "I know you were a royal guard for some time and, as such, are likely already familiar with many of the more public areas of the palace, but perhaps not the private areas. That is what the tour will be for, is to familiarize you with some of those hallways and rooms." he sorted a few papers on his desk in an idle way, thinking about what else he needed to say.

"Ah, right. You are to be my brother's personal guard. Someone attempted to assassinate him, and while I am sure that it was less personal and targeted towards him than more about making a statement, I cannot have him killed by some…some fanatic with a cause." a fanatic with a cause, like those who had taken their parents and Cassio, years ago. He took in a breath. pinching the bridge of his nose as he collected his thoughts. "I am…unsure how much you know of my brother's current state. He is not the man he used to be, and he likely will never be again. Do not approach this job thinking it will be like guarding anyone else. He is not a rational or sane person, and as such, this job does come with some dangers most other personal guardsmen do not face. You are of course being compensated extra for this personal danger."

He paused again, fingers tapping idly on the desk as he thought about what to say next. "The best way that I can describe my brother is that he is a ship with neither anchor nor rudder. Sometimes he may approach shore and seem rational, sane. May even seem to make sense, as if the madness has fled. But make no mistake, even when he seems as if he is in command of his faculties, it is only a short spell before the ship is drifting away again, far out to sea with no hope of bringing him back." it was the best metaphor he had; Cassio's mind seemed to swing between something almost normal, something logical and rational and in control, but before long he would always, always be pulled back out again, the madness consuming him again. "Do not mistake the times he is close to shore as him being no longer mad. Some have done so before, to their own detriment. My brother is…plagued by many issues, and even when externally he may appear in control of himself, he is not."

"As such, he can pose a danger to you. If, for some reason, he ever does strike out at you, you may subdue him, but do not draw a weapon on him. Do not allow him to get his hands on one, either. He was a talented swordsman, and unfortunately that talent still lies within him. If he needs to be restrained in order to keep him from lashing out, there are restraints in his room. Though I do ask that if he must be restrained for any reason, you send for one of his Caretakers immediately, that they may work to remedy the issue. He is not usually a violent sort of madman, but unfortunately, he is unpredictable, and he cannot be counted on to control himself."

@ElderGod-Carrots

Erix took up his position on the chair opposite Marcus and adjusted his shirt in order to sit more comfortably. It felt strange to be sitting in front of the king and being tasked with such a large job, one that would be difficult to say the least, but he wasn’t a man that didn’t take chances on the occasion. This was a chance and a job that paid too well to pass up and provided the security he needed for something stable. The prince wasn’t going to die anytime soon, he wasn’t sick in physical health, only in the mind, and if it was one thing that Erix knew, it was the psyche.

His magic stemmed from that of the dark arts. His mother had never been fond of that and his father had made it abundantly clear that he wasn’t any son of his if his magic stemmed from such a terrible original form, but there was nothing he could do about it. Either way, it had become quite fitting over the years, and definitely fit now. Although, he never told anyone that he was able to manipulate and understand the mind greater than anyone else. Illusions worked as part of it, sure, and he was able to control the other dark elements that came with the territory of his magic but mind control? If anyone knew he was sure it wouldn’t end up well for anyone involved. It was why he was glad he had left that tidbit out of his application and interview for the job. Not even his old mentor knew what he was fully capable of, if given the time and at his full strength.

A part of Erix called to him to help Cassio. If the prince was sick in the dead then maybe he could help. But it wasn’t his place, nor his job, to do such a thing. Surely Marcus would have already tried every outlet in order to see his brother turn back into the man he once was, or at least close to the man he had been. Why wouldn’t he? Who would want to see their family suffer at the hands of their own thoughts? Erix was more than aware of what the mind was capable of, and he knew that what Cassio was going through was far worse than it seemed to the public. Maybe taking the job had been from a small place of selfishness, too, in order to understand what was really going on with the mad prince.

He nodded to Marcus’ words, “I will do my best to make sure he comes to no harm to himself, or others. You have my word, Majesty,” Erix’s gaze flicked to the table and back up to meet the others eyes, “Will I be sharing chambers close to His Highness? I’m assuming this is round the clock protection, no?” Because leaving the prince to himself over night on one end of the palace when he was on the other was bound to cause issues. What if there was another assassination attempt? Then he would have failed at his job miserably.

@ElderGod-Icefire

"Yes, you will have chambers adjoining his." Marcus responded. "You have a shared doorway to get into his room, along with another to get into the hallway so that you do not have to go through his chambers to leave yours. You may guard him in…whatever way you deem the most fitting, I shall not try to tell you how to do your job. However, there are a few caveats to that. Whenever any of his Caretakers are with him, you are not to be in the room with them. You may stand outside the door if you wish, but beforewarned that they use dampening magic to ensure privacy while they work, and you may not be able to hear anything. There is an alert system in place that can be utilized, should your help be needed."

Marcus seemed like a good, caring brother. Like he was doing his best to ensure that Cassio was being taken care of, and that any recovery that could be given was being helped along. He was making an effort to protect Cassio, had hired people to take care of him, and now had hired Erix, too. All in an effort to keep Cassio safe and protected and hidden away from the prying eyes of the public. He cleared his throat faintly, seemingly in thought for another moment. "Do you have any questions for me? If not, then I shall ring for a servant to give you your tour and take you to your quarters. If you ahve any luggage that you need, then that can be brought."

He went quiet, then drew his brows together. "Ah, and I almost forgot. Should you ever need or want leave, simply speak to the captain of the guard so that he can choose a man or two to cover your absence. I am not expecting you to be tied down to this job 24/7, and I understand you must have a life outside of this job, that I would not want to keep you from." it seemed Marcus was a fair sort of man. He wasn't wanting to work Erix like a slave, and he was making sure that Erix would have time away. Like a good boss, who wanted to take care of his employees.