Rise and Fall
Solomon grew up a plantation slave in South Carolina. Working a plantation isn’t a life. He was regularly beaten and demeaned, and never learnt to read or write. The manumission in 1864 changed his life, and saw him join the South Carolina Colored Infantry Regiment. He was a Freedman, finally, and no-one could take that away from him.
Solomon served a 10 year term in the Confederate army. He was coined ‘the lucky negro’ among the white officers after he returned unscathed from some of the war’s most deadly engagements in which the Colored Infantry often led the charge.
After his service he returned home to South Carolina expecting a new world, one of hope and opportunity. What he found was far from that. Part of a new social class, the lowest of the low. He found no work. There few employers willing to hire ‘free blacks’ and those that did had their positions filled. Now he was on the street, impoverished, while the white aristocrats who’d never worked a day, these people he’d fought to protect, sneered down on him. It filled his heart with bitterness and vengeance.
After countless months on the street he found himself at his lowest point. At just this time a kindly old woman invited him into her home. She fed him, bathed him, and tended to his wounds. She said she was a fortune teller, a wise woman. Clean and with a full belly, Solomon eagerly awaited his fortune. He was to draw cards, and from the cards she would see his future. She told him of the great wealth he would acquire, how his fortune would surpass the aristocrats who’d beaten him. She told him how he’d have vengeance on anyone who’d wronged him, and she told him how to obtain this power, how to use the cards of fate to control his destiny. For weeks he stayed with her, learning what she called the ‘game of spirits’. She taught him to use the cards to protect himself, and to soothe the pain of others. She taught him to manipulate objects with his mind, and bind people so he would never again be bound. Finally, she taught him how to destroy those who’d wronged him.
Armed with this power he returned to his plantation, seeking to confront his master. His rage was intense. He demanded to see him and was laughed at. He snapped and the spirits flew. His guards, his manservant, his wife and concubines. All in the way suffered the wrath of the spirits. When there was only him and his master left, things calmed. He bound him in swirling energy, took down the whip, the whip that had lashed a thousand slaves, and beat him to death with it. After that he fled. He fled back to the city, to the safety of the seer, but she was nowhere to be found. Just as suddenly as she’d arrived she was gone. The house she’d lived in looked unused and bare. Overnight she’d vanished.
He needed to leave that place, it’s racism and class inequality. He’d heard anyone can find their fortune in California. Surely that was his destiny. Solomon is hungry for power and influence, the same power that subjugated him for years would one day be his. This was his vow.