Forged by Flames

A Darkened Skies Prequel

Not a soldier. Not a prince. Not even a son. A weapon…

Varojin Auris didn’t ask to be a prince. As the illegitimate child of the Helosian emperor, he was never meant for the world he grew up in, and he knows it. When his father enlists Varojin in the military two years before the service age, it’s clear he’s no longer welcome in the court. So, forced to follow the emperor’s orders, Varojin severs ties with his old life and sets off for Fort Ironwing.

Amid the ranks of junior soldiers, Varojin finds himself as unwelcome as he was at the palace—only this time, there are no rules protecting him from superiors who use far more force with him than on his peers. So when Varojin is offered the opportunity to leave basic training behind and join a highly specialized, secretive unit, he accepts.

But the relief of being flanked by those who support him is tainted by a new reality: the responsibility to take lives when duty calls. When a crisis reveals the full extent of Varojin’s powers, he fears he has finally become his father’s son. In the midst of destruction, the weary prince finds himself faced with a choice: fight for the rubble of his past, or rebuild his life anew.

Content Warnings

  • Fantasy and magical violence, including character deaths and serious injuries
  • Alcohol consumption
  • War and imperialism
  • Nightmares
  • Grief and loss
  • Mildly disordered eating and exercising (not described)
  • Verbal and physical abuse by authority and parental figures
  • References to parental death
  • References to sex, including brief discussions of possible asexual identity


Forged by Flames is Prince Varojin’s prequel and does not contain much romance or spice. Included are the following moments:

  • Mentions of sex
  • One kissing scene, which ends abruptly

Tropes & Microtropes

  • Illegitimate prince turned soldier
  • Elemental magic, including healers and empaths
  • Royal family drama
  • Post-industrial worldbuilding
  • Deadly cinnamon roll MMC
  • Chosen family
  • Solo POV, medium pacing
  • War and conflict between empires
  • Angry fire mage prince with a heart of gold
  • His brother takes him to a night club and it all goes wrong
  • Dreams about his best friend on his death bed

The Darkened Skies World