Zethix Dakrannsson is the primary antagonist in the book Violet Sword Blade. He is the leader of the Cantharan army which is acting in direct service to Danethan Emperor Camadrai II, and is assigned to the destruction of the Nareikk forces which invade Danetha in the book.
Appearance and Personality Edit
Zethix wears black Cantharan armour, platemail covered in small spikes on the shoulder-pads, elbow-pads and kneecaps. His helmet is described as "coal-black", which he wears at all times, even when off-duty. During the Second Battle of Dunac, his helmet is knocked off by Mazzek Rettensauth, and his face is revealed. He has sandy-blonde hair, flecked with brown, but his face is horribly scarred as a result of Danethan tortures. Only one of his eyes can see, and the other he does not open, though it is embedded with a gold coin to fuel his magic. After the battle, Zethix does not bother wearing his helmet again. Zethix's sword has a long, jagged blade, which is described as "toothed", implying a serated edge. He uses this at all times and is very efficient with it.
Zethix has a very violent personality. He is sadistic, angry and takes pride in his killing ways, but he has a cunning mind and is a brilliant tactician and leader. While he is unforgiving and merciless to his enemies, Zethix has a great love and camraderie for his soldiers, and this is most notable when he is talking to his commanders, Taserks, Lorthes, Critus and his corporal. In addition to being a skilled and aggressive fighter, Zethix has some power over magic, and demonstrates this by summoning several Nai'shanuk to assist his men in battle. It is assumed that he gained magical powers by using the magic well on top of Mount Ryshese in Canthara.
Early Life Edit
Zethix was born in Canthara in the year 1214, just two years after the country was established by a colony of soldiers from Penethara, a small island kingdom in the Southern Hemisphere of Untaer, who were banished for the assassination of their king. Zethix's father, Dakrann, is believed to have been one of the soldiers who took part in the assassination. He grew up happy in the warm and luscious Canthara, until the age of twenty, when Canthara began to get caught up in the Sacrein Campaign, a conflict that was waged between Danetha and Nareikk under Emperor Sacrein.
The Army of Nareikk, whom Canthara was allied with, took their chance upon the death of Sacrein to build up their forces and try to deal some damage to Danetha while they were at their weakest. Using Canthara as a forward base, they dealt several effective and damaging raids on Danethan towns. However, the Danethans were not stunned for long and, shortly after Nareikk's plan came into action, struck back with full force. The conflict climaxed a the Battle of Mount Ryshese, an incredibly bloody and horrific battle which claimed the lives of countless Nareikkers, Sjurans and some Cantharans.
The battle was inconclusive, but it was all Danetha needed to declare war on Canthara. It wasn't long before the Danethan Military was marching onto Cantharan soil, and, in March 1235, a badly-timed avalanche aids in the defeat of the Cantharan military, and the country is crushed underfoot. Many towns are burned, and most of the warriors executed, but several groups of youths escape into the mountains and wait there for their opportune moment to strike. Zethix Dakrannsson is among these, and in August they make a daring attack on the now occupied countryside. While the fighting is fierce and the Cantharans decimate legions of Danethan soldiers, sheer numbers win out, and the Danethans prevail.
Service to the Emperor Edit
The ringleaders of the rebellion and significant fighters in the battle are rounded up out of the prisoners, and subjected to horrific and maddening tortures. Zethix is tortured physically - his face is marred and lacerated beyond recognition, he is left strung up on a tree branch for a full day, and he has red hot needles forced into his skin. Taserks, the second-in-command, is tortured mentally, and his mind eventually breaks, sending him mad. Lorthes, another commander in the battle, is tortured both physically and mentally.
Soon, the newly crowned Danethan Emperor, Camadrai II, visits the place of the battle, and meets with the leaders of the Cantharans. The scarred, mangled and insane rebels are brought to him, and he, seeing their resilliance and hearing of their prowess in battle, offers them a choice. They can either take their weapons back and die fighting for their freedom, or they can serve the Danethans as slaves and fight for them in the war. Zethix is given time to think on this, and eventually decides to take the Emperor's offer of service. He states that "Of course, my soldiers and I would naturally have picked the sword, and died heroes’ deaths, had we not seen a chance, a chance of revenge.". Zethix chose to serve the Danethans intending to work his way up the ranks in the Danethan army, proving himself loyal time and again, until he was close enough to the Emperor to kill him, and wreak his vengeance.
This he did. He and the Cantharans were loyal, hardy and as strong as Camadrai had hoped. They were used in battles against both Nareikk and Sjuran forces, and always came out on top. To begin with they were used as auxiliaries to test the firepower of the enemy, but when it became apparent that they were far stronger than the untrained masses of grunts that Danetha's armies usually consisted of, they were promoted, again and again, and considered far more valuable to the army than the Danethans. Soon they were considered to be the Emperor's most prized warriors, and were one step away from becoming his personal bodyguards. Zethix knew this, and was eager to take on the next mission and prove himself once more. However, when he was pitted against the Kazdriel that had invaded Danetha under the command of Captain Xianorus, a Sjuran who was a brilliant speaker, Zethix's plan ran into a problem.
Though he fought the Nareikkers many times, they always seemed to slip through his fingers. One soldier in particular, Mazzek Kein Rettensauth, was successful in thwarting Zethix's plans many a time. Eventually, the Cantharans managed to kill Xianorus, and Mazzek was promoted to the rank of captain. Zethix relentlessly pursued Mazzek, briefly settling in the abandoned city of Dunac, fighting the Nareikkers in two battles and eventually being forced to flee the city, until they finally faced the Nareikkers in Lareoss, in a ruined town called Laberan. Emperor Camadrai himself came down to survey the battle that took place.
The Battle of Laberan Fields was a catastrophic one. Into it the Danethan Emperor sent the whole force of Cantharans, as well as several hundred Danethan footsoldiers. After several hours of overseeing the battle, Zethix entered and slew several Kazdriel before he was marked by Mazzek Rettensauth, the commander of the opposing armies. The two ascended a nearby hill to duel in peace.
The Nareikker captain was strong and wily, but Zethix's rage fuelled his fighting, and his skill with a sword was yet to be matched. Though Mazzek fought fiercely, Zethix had the upper hand for most of the battle and, after using his magic to disarm Mazzek, he offered to him once more the chance to join him, and says "All this death could be worthwhile if we joined together. The Emperor would be at our mercy." trying to tempt Mazzek into giving in. Mazzek, however, refuses, and Zethix pushes him over the edge of the hill, which is sheer and steep. Zethix was about to strike Mazzek down with his magic, finishing the fight, when Mazzek used his own magic to send a bolt of energy into Zethix, striking the hand that was about to cast and causing a reaction which set Zethix alight. In his blind rage, he hurled himself at Mazzek, who ducked out of the way, and Zethix sped over the edge of the cliff, presumably being killed either by the drop, or the fire that encircled his body.
Role in the Book Edit
Zethix's last task on the way to becoming the personal bodyguard of Emperor Camadrai II is to defeat the Nareikkers who have invaded Danetha and the participants of the Xianorus Campaign. In order for him to be able to get revenge on the Danethans for his country's destruction, Zethix must destroy the Nareikk forces, even though their mission is not wholly different from his beliefs. This makes Zethix the primary antagonist of the book, and he hounds the forces of Xianorus, and later Mazzek Rettensauth, for most of the story. Despite him following the orders to defeat Nareikk, he attempts to treat with them several times, using Critus Loersson, a man in his service of Nareikk blood, as a messenger. However, after the Nareikk captains refuse time and again, Zethix grows to hate them, and attacks them regardless of his orders. He and Mazzek meet several times over the course of the book, and it is learned that it was Zethix who commanded the attack on Mazzek's home village of Hanasae. Here Mazzek's sword and Zethix's coin clashed and the magics they both held combined, causing strange snippets of memories and emotions of each other to be invoked in both Mazzek and Zethix. Eventually, Zethix is killed by Mazzek at Laberan, in the chapter "The Battle of Laberan Fields".