Nobody would ever dare to actually name their child, Heinrich. It’s a name that puts a lot of pressure on the said individual. Wait, hold that thought. Replaying the tape on one particular unfortunate baby born in one winter evening in the capital of Bavaria, Munich, 1511. Yes, poor baby was named Heinrich, all because her mother had a dream a month before his delivery to the world. A name that was supposed to bring greatness, they said. All the great kings, emperors and dukes alike carried the name with great honor. Even several archbishops had them. Or so they claimed to say. He was a mere baby boy who knew no better why they named him with such a name. It wasn’t as if he could actually change them. It was a mundane affair, Judith von Deisser, and Johann von Ausberg. Two people who only ever seemed to care about what others think, fueling their desperate need to change everything, from rethinking their meal choices up to reforming the entire household itself. Suffice to say, the couple would not be eligible to compete for Parent of the Year.
Neither parents were human, but they were very much mortals. Judith von Deisser, was a Diviner in her own right, commonly known as a Necromancer where she was from, whilst Johann von Ausberg, was a Therianthrope, taking the form of a saber tooth tiger. Heinrich was their only child, it was clear that the others had started to give him their wishes for good fortune in the future. They were not wrong, he was groomed for everything from the very first day. As soon as he was able to murmur a few letters to syllables, Judith was more than happy to have the best tutors elected to take the position of her son's governess, she wanted the best of everything, especially education wise. To say that the boy was given everything on a silver platter since a young age would be a far-fetched truth that remained what it was; just a rumor.
The fact is, he was always told off by his father whenever he wanted to go out and play with his other friends, and would always be reprimanded by his mother whenever he sulked. There was no love there, such thing never roamed the household. No matter how many times Judith would tell her son that it was tough love to ensure his upbringing, Heinrich did not believe a single word of it. His father, however, was the exact opposite of what she claimed him to be. Johann von Ausberg is a very strict man who is always perceived to be cold and straightforward with what he wants and would not shy away from any risks. In a way, he was seen to be quite admirable in little Heinrich's eyes. Even to the outside world, their family were pretty much avoided by others. Even the family friends were mindful of their own actions and words as to not offend any of them. Heinrich never knew why, not until he grew older.
At some point, when he grew older and could understand what people around him was talking about, he decided to stop fashioning himself as Heinrich and preferred it when people would call him Henri instead. There was too much of a burden for a mere child of 8 to carry, his parents were relentless. But then again, as he grew, he also learned many new things; one of which being his parents' greed for power. Their thirst for it had made them very deceitful and ambitious. The two came from the nobility, which became quite apparent that they would do by any means necessary to keep their power out of reach from others. Paranoia stemmed inside the family, it was so bad that even Judith felt threatened by her own sister who wanted to stay away from the family drama.
He was educated in all sorts of things but the thing he was always so interested in was regarding his heritage. With a Diviner for a mother and a Therian for a father, it was clear that he would eventually inherit either one of the two species, which subsequently would have claimed him as a supernatural, much like the rest of his family and relatives. His father was proud of his lineage, that much was clear at every study session he had with him, in his room. That was quite possibly the only bonding time they ever had as a father and a son. Heinrich respected his father for keeping his boundaries, especially when he had made it known that he was nothing more than an heir to keep the line going. But it had also taught the young child one thing; he vowed to never be like Johann von Ausberg when it comes to being a father. He didn't want his children to grow in a somber household and be born out of forced marriage. He wanted his children to experience love, the way he never did.
However, despite being raised in such a household where competition was always around the corner, Henri had his way around with people, in general. They liked him and he liked them, he was someone one would refer to as a 'social butterfly'. With a dazzling smile adorning his lips, his hazel hues that would captivate most people once they meet his gaze, Henri was pretty much that guy everyone wants to befriend. He was witty and charming with his approaches so it wasn't surprising to see how good of a reputation he has managed to keep his forefront since his childhood days. Behind all of those smiles though, now that's a different kind of story. A story he never wanted to tell anyone. Ever. Or at least, that's what he thought. Teenagers have such a way of thinking that puts others in the back and only them in the front, like others, he wasn't exempted either.
People always expected the best from him but they never knew the trouble he had to go through just to get where he is now. There is no term of 'silver spoon' anywhere. His parents did not gain their power by having everything handed down to them, no, they had to take it. That's all he's been taught, to seize everything once he had them in his clutch. To never let go because everything withers. The world is a cruel place to live in and he intends to be a survivor, even if that meant being a different kind of person. Even if that meant being a lone survivor. Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe omnia. Three words he chose to remember from that day henceforth.
He remembered that day, it was on his 18th name day and it was supposed to be the day he found out which of the two species he inherited the gene from. Coincidentally, it had been a full moon that night, the bright light from the moon shone the garden, almost as if it was trying to antagonize Henri. Looking up at the moon with a confused stare, it wasn't long until he felt every bone in his body cracking. The agonizing pain was never-ending, it was as if his body was lit up on fire. It was a foreign feeling, and it was something Henri will never get used to despite being prepped by his father for years long before this day. 10 years of preparation was thrown out of the window because for once in his life, he allowed his instincts and emotions to take over. Instead of feeling guilty, he felt free. His eyes met the white paw standing on the grass and it took him awhile to realize that was him. It didn't take a genius to know that he inherited his father's ailuranthrope gene instead of his mother's. Though Henri wasn't sure if he should feel relieved or not.
Upon finding out that he had turned into a snow tiger that night, no thanks to a passerby that made him panic for a brief while, Henri was quick to seek the mysterious female the next morning. Thankfully it wasn't as hard for him to find someone when he clearly remembered how she looked like physically; long blonde locks, emerald green hues, it was hard to miss the striking eyes she possessed, it was beautiful. She was beautiful. To say otherwise would mean he's denying himself of how attractive he found her to be. Beauty may have been subjective but to Henri, the moment he knocked on the doors to her estate, he wasn't expecting her to be the one who greeted him. Because boy he was mesmerized. Anja von Fraser, that's her name. For a while, Henri actually felt too awestruck that his throat felt dry and no words came out of his mouth, even after she asked him politely who he is searching for. That mischievous glint in her bright hues did not escape his attention. She knew why he was there.
Anja promised to keep his secret with her own terms and conditions, ones which Henri will have to fulfill in order to keep her lips sealed regarding his transformation into an animal, and his supernatural status. He told her nothing about it but Anja was a smart girl. Of course, he never thought that secret of his would bring him down in the future. Not when she had been so tight-lipped ever since. Not when she always smiled genuinely to him and reassured him every time, that she would not betray their friendship. Maybe it hurts being disregarded that way, that she saw his love for her being far from a friendly one. He had assumed his father's title as patriarch figure of the household when he passed away while he was only 21. Surprisingly, his death affected Henri by a mile, he never expected to outlive his healthy father, but they were still very much mortals. He should've known that his father would not live to see his wedding or future the moment he agreed to participate in the civil war ensuing chaos across the border.
Once everyone else returned after the victory that was gained with the blood, sweat, and tears from all the soldiers, Henri tried to comfort his mother who took the death of his father as a triggering event for her to make sure their family's legacy lives on. She started by once again pressuring Henri to take a bride and continue the line of succession, her paranoia had led her to believe that following the death of their current Duke of Bavaria, they would come after them next seeing as she was the elder sister of the previous duke. With how unstable their household was after the death of Johann, Judith was overruled by fear that her younger brother would eradicate any other possible successors to assume its title. With Henri being her only son and her only means of survival, she needed a reassurance that he would protect her. It occurred to Henri that his mother didn't care for him or anyone else but herself. But she was still very much his mother, abandoning her at a time like that would be an unthinkable act.
Henri promised her he would marry. His choice would've easily been Anja, she the perfect choice; she is of nobility, her father is a Lord. It would have been. Had it not been for the fact that Anja was already betrothed to another; and someone she actually loves romantically. No matter how much love he had for her, Henri knew deep down that Anja will never reciprocate. Not when she looks at her betroth like that. Everything withers; even power. He remembered what his mother said very clearly. In order to appease her mother while also ensuring their survival, Henri sought out another bride, this time somewhere far from Bavaria. Thankfully, his connections are widespread, he always did manage to recount every affiliation and friendship he created with countless others. It landed him with a marriage proposal, that was all that matters.
His marriage may have been a political move, solely to appease his mother and relatives but he did found love with Gisela, a love that flourished and gifted them with three daughters. Henri was indeed, happy. Their wealth and power was restored, they didn't have to worry about anything anymore. But just like what his mother said, everything withers. An assassination attempt while he was gone on a trip to Rome. He returned home only to find out that there was no one greeted him. No wife and certainly no children. He was grief-stricken and wouldn't move on for months. His mother remained the only survivor and he hated it. Henri hated that while everyone he cared for left him, she was still there. Judith was a reminder of what his life will forever be like. Refusing to remarry again just to keep the power he didn't even want in the first place, Henri fought a long argument with his mother before deciding to leave. There was nothing there for him anymore. Power meant nothing to him. Nothing means anything to him.
What Happened After
He stayed in Luxembourg for a brief while where he got himself into a drunken fight with a few men in a local tavern. His emotions overpowered him and following all the insults he heard from the men who would not stop spouting vile things regarding his family that they don't even know, he charged towards them with a cry of anger. Surprisingly, he still held onto that small part of him that told his inner tiger to calm down. He won, obviously. He spent the night at the inn nearby and wondered where he was going to go and what he'll do. He abandoned his past. When he was travelling in his form past a village through the hidden woods the next day, he heard a commotion and all he saw was red. When he reverted back to his human form, that was all that he saw too. Red. Everywhere. The entire place had been a mess, a mess someone made he concurred. Standing in the middle of the village, Henri was ashamed of himself for even thinking to leave before anyone else come and blame him for something he did not do. The therian scurried off to find a fresh pair of clothes and returned as quickly as he could to give them a proper burial. He couldn't leave it at that. That wasn't him. He promised to be better than this. But upon returning, there was someone there; she was dressed properly, as in fine silk adorning her. Aurelia Ivakov was around the area just taking care of her mission per usual when she came across the sight. Henri tried convincing her it wasn't him but she told him they would know later on.
Before leaving, he insisted that he give them a proper burial first, for his conscious begs him to do so. The place she brought him to, it was called the Isle of Skye. It was a peculiar place, it seemed so serene and ethereal from the outside but he knew nothing of the inside. Sometimes looks can be deceiving. He was able to pass the barrier, not that he knew there was one when he came to the shore with her guiding him to the entrance. There, he was greeted by the Ailward Aspects and Guards alike. For someone who's lived most of his life quite mundane, it was a bit hard for him to accept that the island was inhabited by supernaturals and humans alike, who worked together to ensure there is peace in the world they live in. It seemed too good to be true. The Aspects were kind to him, offering him a place to stay at for the time being upon finding out about his situation. Everyone was welcoming, it felt foreign to Henri to be greeted with such behavior by others. It felt so nice to be there he didn't even want to leave. For once, he didn't have to do things because one demands it.
Henri did grew close to one particular Aspect, Venetus. The therian had been staring at the sea for hours long just before the dawn sets in its course for the day and the Aspect of Realm just so happened to be strolling. At that time, Venetus had given him so many helpful advice that helped him find what he potential wanted for his future. He also told him that if he was still unsure, they could really use someone like him and that the Ailward faction will welcome him into their arms. He told Henri he had heard of his honorable act from Aurelia, on how he insisted to give the people he didn't even know, a proper burial. Ven told him that despite being broken, his heart was true and pure. He was touched by the genuineness in the Aspect's words and decided to stay and join them, to help them lead the world to a better future and ensure the peace. Since he was a mortal still, Ven had his brother, the Aspect of Life, Virindeus, give him an immortality ring that allowed the Guards to keep on their service should they choose it.
All those years of his service to the Guard, Henri felt himself becoming happier and more content with what he's doing. He finds himself again and was glad he found the right people to associate himself with. He even changed his surname because this is in fact, his new life. He kept his first name as a sign of respect for both his parents. Heinrich Ferdinand von Ausberg is no more. It's Henri Aleshire now. He particularly befriended Aurelia as soon as he joined, thanking her for bringing him to the Isle that had unknowingly gift him a second chance at life. In all his years of service, he found himself drawn to the Forensics division in the Guard and remained in it for more years to come. It was due to his personal close friendship with Venetus that he was eventually promoted as his personal guard. Before the fall of the Isle, Henri was very disheartened to hear that they would be leaving for Evermore but the moment he set foot in the eternal city, he was taken aback by how everything was. He thought the only place he could see species co-existing with one another was only at the Isle but there was another place. When the Isle fell, he mourned his fallen comrades and took quite some time to get back on his feet and continue his work. They needed to be united more than ever.
But with his Aspect's condition dragging himself down, would Henri be able to keep the latter stable? Trouble has been secretly brewing from day 1 and he intends to be there to protect his family.