"The Mark in the Mirror" is a Season 4 Day 2 (February 15, 2015) event that takes sometime place before "The Final Confession," potentially in the morning after "Haddock Reunites with His Family."
Full Text Edit
Part 1 Edit
The king stood in front of a wash bowl, rinsing his face to start a new morning. As he pulled up a cloth to dry his face, he paused, staring into the water and his reflection in it. He hated to see the festering brand on the side of his forehead, but he could also not turn away from it. For better or for worse, the king stared at it, eyes unwavering.
You are nothing, Orskaf had said. Not a king.
Haddock glanced at the gold circlet carefully placed aside to his right.
He heard another voice in his head. “You’re no prince of the Wilderwest.”
Part 2 Edit
He had no brand on his forehead then, but he was in manacles as he was brought before the intimidating, red-haired man before him. Sturgeon Halibut Haddock, King of the Wilderwest, glared down at his son.
"It’s been three days since you killed one of your own guard, Rockguts,” the king began. “And I have had time to consider your future as you have sat in the dungeons.”
Eighteen-year-old Gareth ground his teeth irately at his father’s mention of the prisons. Get on with it. Don’t rub it in. The stay had not been comfortable for the young prince.
"You will not be pardoned."
"WHAT?!" screeched Gareth, surging forward. A pair of guards at each side of him held him back from his outraged charge. "Get off of me," he growled at the guards - both men he had commanded a few days back - and neither of them complied. They continued to hold on firmly to his forearm, even after Gareth quit furiously struggling, manacles rattling protestingly.
Sturgeon stood up and paced in front of his throne. “You have been nothing but a disgrace to the royal family,” the king pronounced. “You have always been fighting, always bringing chaos into the palace and the kingdom as a whole. You have started wars.
"You have killed innocent men."
"They were not innocent," Gareth growled.
”ALL of them - WERE - INNOCENT!” The king’s bass-baritone shout echoed through the palace. “Explain to me why you stabbed a surrendered man straight in the face on the borders with the North.”
"We had been fighting them, and this was an advantage to take revenge on -"
"No." The king wheeled on a foot and continued pacing again. "Or the merchants?"
Sturgeon glowered at that response.
"How about that young Wildest North mother you tortured in that innocentmerchant’s caravan?”
"If I remember correctly," the king continued. "She will be disfigured for the rest of her life because of the burn marks on her stomach and face. What was your excuse for grabbing that heated blacksmith’s rod and pounding it against her skin again and again in front of her eight year old child?”
Gareth’s eyes burned. “You weren’t there,” he said. “She insulted -“
"Everyone’s always insulting you!" the king shouted. He threw up his hands with his hall-shattering bellow. "And everyone will keep insulting you for as long as you act like a monster! Your pride is not worth more than a woman’s face.
"You destroy the honor and pride of the Haddock name. You do not defend it. You are detestable, irresponsible, and no son of mine. You are an outcast of the Wilderwest. No prince. No heir to the throne. You will only live," the king growled, "if you leave here at once and cross the borders in three days’ time."
Gareth began screaming incoherently at his father. His one-time father.
"Shut him up," Sturgeon commanded. Gareth tried to bite the hands of the guards who turned to silence him.
"Be lucky I am this merciful," the King of the Wilderwest huffed. "I could have executed you or branded you as a slave. All I want of you now is to leave."
Gareth finally shoved himself away from the guards - admittedly, because they let him this time. They ushered him out as they undid his manacles. Glaring back at his once-father one last time, Haddock screamed, “Fine then! I’ll leave if that’s all you want! I don’t need orders from the likes of you!”
Part 3 Edit
Haddock turned away from his reflection in the mirror. That brand had come eventually. Not for the same mistake he had made as a brash young man… but another mistake anyway, an irresponsibility of its own kind.
And I have been more than brash enough… his mind reflected on Greg Ericson, who had stood up and defied him.
Haddock had held a sword against an innocent man, one of his subjects. He had threatened to pierce the man’s heart.
What of his insults toward Stonegit? That was still for his hurt pride and no greater reason.
He could continue the list, onward and onward and onward. The knife he had held against Pitch Black, threatening to flay him if he did not give him information. Binding Clover, Emily, and more… all those who had been controlled by the Warden. Threatening lives, trying to kill people, physically harm them, over and over and over again, all in the name of “being king”.
What made him more worthy of the crown than that brand on his forehead?