In today’s DevBlog, we finally get to tell you more about one of the two heroes of Prodigy! Gather round as I tell you about the past of Orin, the Watcher of Thorns.
Orin was born in the Aki family, aristocratic Shirazs that were tightly bound to the service of Kazim, ruler of the northern kingdoms.
His father, Tarund Aki, was a stern man who never displayed any kind of appreciation towards his son. Like many others of his rank, he had been ordered by Kazim to wed a human spouse in order to try to father a child of Fate – a future Watcher. And like many others, he succeeded.
The kids that were born this way didn’t have a name for the first twenty years of their lives. They formed a coalition of strictly trained warriors, children fighters educated to reach excellency in all domains. Young or old, these units were called the Heralds of Dis.
The Heralds were nameless ghosts under the direct orders of Kazim, and carried out his wishes with flawless efficiency. Bribery, poisoning and espionage for the youngest; diplomacy, direct murder and raids for the older ones.
The son of Tarund received an especially spartan schooling: his father didn’t tolerate failure or mistakes, and each misstep was punished by a cruel flogging. His child learned to strive for perfection as his body grew covered in scars. When he failed his first assassination, Tarund cut his left arm and waited for one full year before replacing it with a manasteel prosthesis.
To this day, the magical artifact still reacts to Orin’s Shiraz blood and burns his flesh – but his human heritage prevents the metal from killing him.
The kid didn’t know his mother. When he was around three years old, she disappeared from Dis and was only followed by a trail of rumors and gossip. Tarund Aki didn’t show any affliction at the disappearance of his wife, and courtiers soon whispered that the vanishing of Tarund’s human spouse might have been ordered by the man himself.
The Heralds were to receive a first name in the tongue of Dragons only after Kazim examined them. When they came of age, the Shiraz was to submit them to a series of trials in order to determine if they were worthy to be Watchers. Each generation, Kazim chose only one champion among the Heralds and bestowed upon him the title of Watcher.
Tarund’s son brilliantly passed the first trials. The fear of his father’s wrath and his will to please his master pushed him forward. However, the last ordeal was nothing he had been prepared for. The remaining two Heralds that had passed the previous trials were supposed to meditate for a night and, at dawn, tell Kazim which element should be associated to their future Guardian.
The son of the Aki family was at a loss. He spent the night trying to imagine what choice might be the most relevant one, fighting the panic crawling through his stomach, as his father paced before him and thought out loud about which element his son should choose. When the next day came, the young man had no answer.
The two contestants stood before Kazim. The first one announced his choice; Tarund’s son remained silent. Then Kazim bestowed upon them their names: the first man was to be his new champion, Ori, “he who silences”, and the mute would remain a Herald of Dis as Orin, “he who is silenced”. Devastated and humiliated, Orin fled and hid in the depths of Dis, wishing that his father would not come after him.
When night fell, a shadow slipped into Ori’s room and delicately arranged poisonous thorns on his sleeping face. Silent as the wind, it disappeared into darkness.
At dawn, Ori was dead. Orin Aki presented himself before Kazim – he apologized for his conduct at the trials and offered to be the replacement of the regretted champion.
Kazim smiled knowingly and made him his new champion: the Watcher of Thorns.
Kazim’s artificial process of creation of children of Fate is oppressive and unnatural, but it’s what gave Orin his access to power. We find it extremely interesting to have in Elon a Watcher that is the embodiment of free will and random picks of fate, and on the other hand Orin, which is the exact opposite. Allegedly, Orin Aki was not even supposed to be a Watcher in the first place!
His name does not only reflect his attitude during the trials, it mirrors his whole life.
Orin accepted the coercion of Tarund and Kazim as a child, then grew past it. His coming of age was not only receiving a name and a title, it was the first act he did for himself, of his own will. He chose to murder Ori, and that first act of free will is what made him a Watcher.
Now that he’s tasted it, it will be hard to let go… It will be up to you to guide him in his newfound freedom.
Do you think Orin is good hero material? Are you eager to learn more, anxious to stand against him? Let us know what you think of this character on our forums!