Daniel was the first follower of the prophet Vormund. A controversial figure even in Vormundism, his sins were considered especially abhorrent and repulsive, and he had the greatest difficulty resisting temptation.
Vormund was accused of hiding Daniel, a fugitive; this was the official cause given for Vormund's execution, although it is generally believed that he was killed because he had too much influence.
Daniel was born in the remote northern village of Audel. He was the only child of Andrew and Maude Zuse. His mother wanted a daughter, but the couple was unable to have more children.
His madness began to manifest in the empty house, as his parents were too busy to pay much attention to him and didn't see the signs that something was wrong. The young Daniel was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, becoming a farmer and marrying one of the local village girls.
During a summer fair when he was nineteen, Daniel chased a girl wearing a black velvet band in her hair into an open field and strangled her with her braid. When the body was discovered and evidence pointed to him, he was chased out of the village.
Daniel fled into the wilderness, where he lived like an animal, naked and alone. The isolation further deteriorated his sanity.
However, a chance encounter with Vormund changed his life. He was "cured" of his madness by Vormund's presence and refused to leave his side, afraid he would once again return to the abyss.
In the city of Zemar, the former prostitute Clara Belgrade began to follow Vormund. Clara noticed that Daniel grew nervous around her and later concluded it was because he was afraid she would excite his bloodlust.
As the cult grew in size, Daniel lived in the cave with the others, but was considered quiet, introverted, and rather strange. His desire to kill had not completely left him and he constantly feared he would cause someone harm.
One evening Daniel found himself alone with Melissa. Beset by his urges, he nearly killed her. Horrified at what he had done, he fled deeper into the forest.
Daniel retrieved a hidden dagger belonging to Lord Gavin Zosimus and used it to emasculate himself. He managed to make it back to the river before collapsing from blood loss. Gavin and Rowan found him and carried him to the cave.
While he lay in critical condition, the midnight sun phenomena occurred. Vormund remained with Daniel in the cave, praying for him.
In the meantime, the other cult members discussed what to do with him. Various suggestions were made, including sending him to the insane asylums in Zemar, but they could not agree on a decision.
Rowan witnessed Daniel's confession.
The king's soldiers arrived at the cave without warning. According to the king's orders, Vormund was under arrest for harboring a fugitive and obstructing justice.