Darmyn the Righteous b. 4178 SY d. 4421 SY
Tormyn’s son, Darmyn, was a throwback to the days before Arvyl’s Folly. Though afflicted with shadow as his father had been, Darmyn was a man of great strength who fought the madness every day of his life and by his efforts, stemmed Sangrithar’s slide into decadence and earned him the name Righteous. Compared to the centuries of curse-afflicted rule before and after him, Darmyn’s reign was like the eye of a hurricane.
It’s not known how Darmyn fended off the madness. He wasn’t immune to the curse – on his bad days he was capable of as much villainy as Tormyn or Tardyn, but he had many more good days than bad ones and always regretted his actions when his head cleared. I attributed his success to an unclouded, selfless world view. Every God-Emperor after Arvyl suffered from extreme narcissism, except Darmyn. Let’s review:
– can’t handle criticism. Check.
– manipulate others to achieve goals. Check.
– exaggerates self-importance. Double check.
– imagines self as overly successful, powerful, intelligent, etc. Check.
– requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others. Check.
– easily jealous. Check.
– lacking empathy. Check.
There’s more on the list, but you get the idea. Here’s a tip. If you run into someone believing himself a god reborn, you’ve encountered a budding narcissist. Darmyn wasn’t like that though, as shown by his relationship with Harrimin and Tildarin, his Lord Wardens. To endure Tormyn’s torment, Harrimin developed his trick, the one that allowed him to keep secrets from the God-Emperor, but after Darmyn took the throne, Harrimin didn’t need to use it. The righteous one would not invade his privacy, nor would he exercise the compulsion for personal gain. If Darmyn called upon his Lord Warden, it was with noble purpose.
Had Darmyn lived longer, the course of history might have been altered. He had the strength of character to defeat the curse, but died too soon, passing away one night in his sleep one night. At close to two and a half centuries, he wasn’t a young man, but he’d been in excellent health. Many at court whispered of foul play, but nothing could ever be proved. The most likely perpetrator was Prince Tardyn, but I doubt the prince had the intelligence to pull off his father’s murder. I think Maelryn the Vizier a more likely mastermind. Maelryn had to have wanted Darmyn’s reign to end, the righteous one’s noble cause was at odds with Maelryn’s goals. And, Maelryn had hidden his true loyalties for centuries – he could easily deflect suspicions elsewhere.
Soon after Darmyn’s death, Emerre left Gloryngael’s dungeons for the Shadowgrim. The grim warrior had hoped that Darmyn could restore Sangrithar. When Darmyn died, it was the last straw for Emerre. With Tardyn on the throne, Sangrithar would slide downhill and he didn’t want to have any part of it. His departure almost went unnoticed. After centuries lurking in the dungeons as the Gloryngael Ghoul, the legend of Emerre had nearly been forgotten. Maelryn though, noticed and smiled.