Lord Gavin Richard Montague, Grand Duke of Maninberg, remembered all too well his life as a mortal man. He still carried the appearance of being a young man, in the prime of his life. His thick, dark hair did not thin or turn grey and his dark brown eyes did not dim or lose their focus. His strong warrior body did not weaken or stoop with the burden of age. Over the years, the sharp hollows of his cheeks may have grown more pronounced and the timbre of his voice may have deepened, but no other signs of age befell his being.
Time had passed, but his memories never faded. He’d been young, barely thirty years of age, proudly arrogant and supremely egotistical, when his father, the Grand Duke Richard David Montague, had died defending his kingdom. Focusing only on his desire to claim his birthright and gain ultimate control over his father’s realm, Gavin had called upon the highest powers of the land to grant his wish. For better or worse, his wish had been granted, almost too willingly, by the wizard Tazire.
It seemed so simple, so amazingly simple. In exchange for accepting immortality, he had been granted complete and total control of his kingdom, the small but prosperous Duchy of Maninberg. At the time he had thought it the most magnificent blessing possible, the ultimate fulfillment of his grandest desire, to live forever with complete and total control of Maninberg. However, he quickly discovered there was one stipulation he had not fully considered. He was absolutely, positively, and completely limited to inhabiting his domain and only his domain, always and forever, and not one step more.
Years upon years, decades upon decades, had given him ample time to repeatedly test this limitation. Countless times he had tested the power holding him confined to his land, and each time he had experienced the same disappointing results. He could not step one foot outside of his domain. He could not add one square inch of ground to his kingdom, nor could any be taken from him.
His kingdom had become his cage.