It was during the reign of King Richard VI of England that conscription had been made compulsory on every male citizen of Britain above the age of fifteen, due to the impending war against Spaniards with nothing but conquest on their minds.
It was no wonder that the King was the only Richard to follow after Richard III Plantagenet, who had lost at the Battle of Bosworth to Henry VII back in the 15th century – in other words a long, long time ago.
Among those who were forced to align themselves to the British Royal Army was a young man named Shagor Miah. A Bengali by ethnicity but British-born, he was loath to join the army, even though his slightly-ignorant and patriotic parents thought it a good opportunity for their son to become a man.
Years spent in the army had hardened Shagor, and he’d progressed slowly – helping to win wars against the Spanish, the French and others – and he’d picked up many awards (being knighted by the King himself) and had been given many titles: the most popular being Shagor the Shadow. He could not progress up the ranks further than a sergeant-at-arms (as the British were always about maintaining a certain image, and Shagor did not look very… well, English), but that suited him fine.
One of his older comrades had recognised Shagor’s quality, and had given him his daughter in marriage: Lady Nancy of the house of Night.
The world came to a peaceful stand-still for several months, as if to acknowledge the joyous wedding of these two persons. And so, Shagor and Nancy married – coining the name of their household: Shadownight.
But peace, as it happened, is always a temporary arrangement.
Shagor was called to arms once more – against Italy this time – just after the birth of his first child: Crion Shadownight. As he left, Nancy heard him say the words: “If only my loyalties were not so divided. My loyalties to the King only go so far. Surely, the loyalties to my son and wife are far greater.”
Nancy looked on as he walked out the door, a look of confusion on her face but a twinge of gratitude prodding her. It felt nice to know that the man one loved cared more for one’s health, than his work. Then again, such words were blasphemous in the eyes of the King. Growing more and more paranoid daily, Richard IV had spies everywhere, and if such a remark reached him – Shagor could be punished severely.
Nancy kept this in mind, waiting for her husband’s return with eagerness…