The Character of Nathanial West
Warning: will contain major spoilers
Nathanial West appears in ‘Echoes of a Storm’, ‘Scions of the Storm’, two stories in ‘A Storm Filled Night’, two stories in Tales of Solomon Pace, & ‘My Name is’ (see notes) The following is a character summary of Nathanial West, using around 900 words.
The Early Years
Nathanial West was originally known by a different name which has been lost in history. He grew up in the Star Mountains and had a fairly normal life up to the age of ten, when he broke his leg. He was given special herbs to make him sleep and take away the pain. However, a witch called Jennifer, who had been spurned by Nathanial’s father, cancelled the effects of the painkilling and sleep-inducing aspects of the herbs, and, instead, replaced them with a paralysing effect. Young Nathanial spent two days locked in agony within his own body.
Later on, Nathanial was picked to become a ‘Chosen’; this meant that an Air Spirit would possess his body, turning him into an unstoppable warrior. However, there was a heavy price to pay, as the Chosen would die when the Air Spirit left his body. By sheer force of will, Nathanial kept the Air Spirit inside him and, hence, survived where all others had failed. For this, he was exiled from his tribe.
The Exiled years
Very little is known about Nathanial West during these years, only that he changed his name to Nathanial West during this time and that he fought with a mercenary band for a few years.
When Nathanial reached Zarekland, he was a much-changed man – a battle-hardened veteran with cold hard eyes and a death-wish approach to battle. He quickly rose to the rank of Captain and took charge of the 3rd Lowland Infantry – a regiment known for its lack of discipline as much as its fighting ability. They fought many campaigns, but it was the Battle of Bridgehead where they and their Captain earned their deadly reputation.
The Bodyguard years
At the Battle of the Swallow Hills, whilst defending a gorge, Nathanial was mortally wounded and whisked away by Solomon Pace. The 3rd Lowland Infantry, along with the church soldiers, successfully held the gorge, but were decimated in the process. Barely eighty of them survived the battle.
Nathanial returned six weeks later, fully fit, and took up the post of Bodyguard for Queen Alexandra. They quickly became lovers. The affair was brief, but fruitful, as they became parents to Princess Kathleen. The King, though, thought Kathleen to be his own.
Within Nathanial, the Air Spirit had gone insane and, although it granted him great powers as a warrior, it constantly tried to chip away at his sanity. After the Battle of the Gorge, Solomon Pace places an Earth Spirit within Nathanial, which caused him to become a Dev’ver, or werewolf, at will. The Earth Spirits name is Red Claw. From then on, Nathanial fought a constant battle between himself, the beast, and the evil one.
The Peaceful years
For two years, Nathanial finds peace with a woman called Elizabeth; whom he marries. However, that peace was ripped apart when he had to make a choice between saving his daughter, the Princess Kathleen, or his beloved wife. Nathanial chose to protect his daughter.
The Return of the Warrior
With the death of his wife, Nathanial returns to his old self and dedicates his life to protecting his daughter. (See Echoes of a Storm for full details)
Scions of the Storm
At the end of Echoes of a Storm, Solomon Pace had successfully destroyed most of the royal family and exiled Nathanial into the wilderness, leaving only Kathleen and her new husband as his puppet rulers.
At the start of Scions of the Storm, Nathanial is losing the battle of wills with the insane Air Spirit, who is now known as the Midnight Man.
Knowing there is a prophecy that a young woman called Jane Hughes will kill the Midnight Man, Nathanial deliberately hides himself away in the woods until Jane becomes strong enough to kill him and, hence, the Midnight Man.
The Rise of the Midnight Man
Nathanial eventually loses the fight and the Midnight Man comes to the fore. Now loose, the Midnight Man begins a subtle campaign of pure evil, spreading his hate of life across the entire continent.
The Fall of the Midnight Man
In the grand finale of Scions, a battle takes place in a huge underground cavern. During this battle Jane Hughes is on her knees before the Midnight Man, utterly defeated and about to die, when, through the strength of his will, Nathanial manages to overcome the Midnight Man. He tells Jane that he can only hold back the Midnight Man for a short time, but that should be time enough to allow Red Claw (his werewolf) to come to the fore. Nathanial tells Jane to persuade Red Claw to die by attacking alone the enemy ranks
The Death of Nathanial West
Whilst Nathanial’s struggle for control with the Midnight Man. Jane persuades Red Claw that to save everyone the Midnight Man must die. Red Claw’ howls out a challenge and charge into the ranks of the enemy, only to be cut down in a flurry of claws and teeth, hence, killing himself, the Midnight Man, and Nathanial West.
Notes – ‘My Name is’ was only released for 4 months in 2013. I am planning to add it to a collection of short stories sometime in the future.