Woten the Seer (Y451 – Y524) was a male human who was once a renowned general in the Du’un army, and Princess Myrrh’s bodyguard before he betrayed the empire and fled with his young charge to Scythia. The failed coup d’état initiated by the group of rebels led by Woten and Myrrh in Y490 is widely regarded as the beginning of the Holy War, a civil war that culminated in Emperor Sheol XIV’s death and the destruction of the empire. Woten was of mixed Scythian and Du’un heritage, and he chose to rebuild the Scythian stratocracy after the fall of the empire. Woten, like his fellow crusaders, received the blessing of Io before the Battle of Mersin in Y498, a battle that would have destroyed the Liberation Army had it not been for the Dragon God’s blessing. He wielded Gungnir, a heavenly lance said never to miss its target. Those who believe in the crusaders’ apotheosis revere Woten as the god of precognition, protector of soldiers, and lord of the sky.
The Imperial Age
Emperor Sheol XIII withdrew Woten from military service himself, knowing Woten’s loyalty to the empire, and entrusted him with the care of the Emperor’s forbidden daughter. Woten, who never took a wife and never had children of his own, was not only Myrrh’s guardian, but also her loving godfather. The emperor and empress showed kindness and love to their daughter, but had little opportunity to see her. Her very existence was forbidden by Du’un law, for the royal family was bound to raise only one child: a male heir to the imperial throne.
Woten was tutor to both Myrrh and her brother, teaching them swordplay, sorcery, etiquette, and simple tactics, among other arts. Woten could never have been as close to the crown prince as he was with Myrrh, nor love him as profoundly as he did his goddaughter. Woten was a man of thirty-nine years when the newly-crowned Emperor Sheol XIV murdered the previous emperor and empress. Fearing that an attempt on Myrrh’s life would take place the next night, Woten planned an escape route from the palace, using secret passages that he and Myrrh had discovered and explored many years before.
Woten lost his right eye to a stray arrow in a small skirmish at a Du’un outpost on the border of the Scythian mountains in the war’s early stages. Some of Scythia’s most famous relics are one-eyed helmets Woten wore on the battlefield. Some Du’un records suggest that Scythian regiments referred to Woten as “the cyclops,” and entire platoons would scatter if they spied his iconic helmet on the battlefield. When Io appeared to her faithful in the desert fortress of Mersin, she granted the crusaders great power. Woten, whose sight was once the most limited of the nine, was blessed with the power to see into the future, as well as the great Gungnir, a spear that would never miss its mark. Woten’s foresight was limited and imperfect, but his counsel changed the course of war. The Crusader’s ability to predict the actions of the Du’un army led the Liberation Army to victory after victory, until they arrived at the gates of Thariz, at the doorstep of the emperor.
Following the war, and after Scythia’s restoration, Woten retired to the peak of a great mountain to live in isolation. He came to be revered as an oracle, a mouth through which Io could speak to mortal kinds. His self-imposed exile was prompted by Baldur’s death, an event that he could not have foreseen. He hoped to prevent further disasters by withdrawing from the world and opening his mind to the divine. Woten passed away many years later; he died a peaceful death. It is said that when Woten passed, a young Scythian boy heard a calling in his dream, a calling to visit the oracle. The great seer was buried in his mountain home, but Gungnir remained in the hands of the Scythian monarchs.