Alessandra Bianchi was a powerful witch, a demigod daughter of Hecate. She was born and raised in Pompeii, where she was known to the people as one of the greatest enchantresses of her time, often acting as a guardian and protector of their city from outside forces. She had a lot of enemies, and one of them managed to place a curse on her that tied her life force to the life of the city as a last resort. She was scared at first, but she paid no heed and moved on with her life after defeating her foe.
Her reputation grew as she became older and more powerful, and this attracted more of those who were jealous of her power, but her reputation also attracted the divine. In this case, it was Hephaestus who managed to captivate the witch, and they had a son together, one Alessandra decided to call Donello Bartolomeo.
Growing up, Donello was a good-hearted boy. He was really close to his mother, and spent most of his time being taught life lessons by her and being educated about the gods and the mythological mess the world is in. He was also a quiet boy, but he was very smart, much more mature than the other children of his age and a bit introverted, not having much friends.
As a son of Hephaestus, he displayed great talent in crafting and forging, and as he grew older and older, he started learning how to control fire under the tutelage of his mother. He then opened an armoury in Pompeii, to satisfy his creative mind and his craving to create different kinds of weaponry. He became well known in the city, and was regarded to be one of the best forgers in the whole of Pompeii.
Year later, the infamous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius took place and because of the curse placed on Alessandra, she couldn’t save herself. Once the city dies, she will too, regardless of any enchantments she places on herself. And so, she decides to pour all of her energy into saving the life of her son instead. Donello protested, but Alessandra wouldn’t hear any of it and proceeded with her protection spells. The son of Hephaestus was put into sleep and was placed inside an enchanted coffin, which preserved his age and kept his heart beating. The city was the engulfed by fire and ash, and along with it, Alessandra was destroyed, too.
Almost two thousand years later, in 2015, Donello’s coffin was discovered by a mafia gang. A ‘’demigod’’ mafia gang, to be exact. Their leader, Dante was also a son of Hecate, and he used his magic to restore Donello back into consciousness. The newly-awaken son of Hephaestus was very confused about the world, and it took quite some time before he got used to the “moderness” of everything. He was adopted by Dante, and was renamed Daniel. He also took the gang leader’s surname and officially called himself Daniel Bartolomeo Russo.
Daniel was grateful to the gang for restoring him, and so he took it upon himself to repay them by joining in and performing their deeds with them. Dante was impressed with Daniel’s control over fire, and he was often instructed to burn down the homes of the leader’s enemies. Daniel soon saw the true nature of his work, and realised that it reflected badly on who his mother was - a protector. But he has nowhere else to go to, and so he decided to stay in with them.
The more houses Daniel burned down, the more regretful and guilty he became. He sometimes couldn’t go to sleep without hearing the innocent children and families screaming in agony as their homes burned down on them first. But his adoptive father had a lot of enemies, and Daniel knew that he had plenty more houses to burn down, and he also knew that without the gang, he’d perish instantly in a world so advanced and has very little knowledge of. And so, he went with it. Even though it was against his morals, and the values taught to him by his mother, he still went with it because he didn’t have a choice.
Soon enough, the gang managed to gain access to the United States of America, and there, Dante lead his people in an operation to take over the “underground” of New York City. They gained some momentum, and this alerted the demigod community of Long Island, prompting Camp Half-Blood to send a group of talented questers to take them down.
The group succeeded in bringing the gang down, even killing a very stubborn Dante in the process because he refused to back down. There was quite a large number of those who perished, but there were also those who gave up willingly, not wanting to fight anymore. Daniel was one of them, and they were offered sanctuary and a chance to redeem themselves at Camp. Guilty and afraid, Daniel decided to not go.
This was the first time he was ever alone. Some of his gang mates who survived moved on with their lives, some of them finding the CoO and the Broken Covenant and joining those respective organisations. The son of Hephaestus, however, was left in the crossroads. He wanted a life at Camp, but the guilt of all the crime he’s done have weighed down on him, and he deemed himself unworthy of the kindness that the Campers had offered him. Instead, he remained in New York City and tried to fend for his own.
He didn’t stay in one job for too long, his inexperience often the reason why he couldn’t find a stable way to earn money. The training he received while in the gang proved useful though, for he was able to fend off monsters with the Celestial Bronze weapons he tinkered with when he still had access to Dante’s resources. After a while, it became a bit hard, and he almost gave up on his life. He was homeless, jobless, and constantly on the run.
One night though, an apparition of his mother appeared before him. She had always been watching, waited almost two thousand years even for someone to release Daniel from the coffin. But somehow, Dante was aware of this and his magic had blocked Alessandra out from seeing her son. It was only now that it wore off, and the daughter of Hecate was able to see her beloved Donello once again. It was a tearful reunion, and while Daniel was still very much guilty, his mother was able to convince him to go to Camp, to not let the opportunity to reconcile get away, for if he doesn’t do so, he’ll forever blame himself, even in the afterlife.
And so with a heavy heart, Daniel bid farewell to his mother who was finally at peace and moved on to Elysium. The son of Hephaestus made his way to Camp using a map given to him by one of the questers that he kept should he need it, and was claimed the second he stepped inside Camp.