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A prince ought to have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else for his study, than war and its rules and discipline; for this is the sole art that belongs to him who rules, and it is of such force that it not only upholds those who are born princes, but it often enables men to rise from a private station to that rank.
His Grace, King Conrad the Third of His Name, of the Very Ancient and Kingly House of Fulgam, Lord of the Westernlands, Protector of the Ebony Marches, Shield of Caelidor, Bane of the Keshians and Warden of the West is a controversial figure.
By Imperial federalists, King Conrad is a cautious military commander and a skilled administrator, friend of the smallfolk and benefactor of artists. King Conrad is a legislator and a partisan of social progress, working towards the centralization of the Imperial Order. His victories during the Wars of Conquest and brilliant performance during the Battle of Fredegar made him a celebrated hero in the central part of the Imperial Order.
However, the provincial powers are more critical of King Conrad, believing him indecisive, merciful to an unreasonable extent, and some call him weak and mediocre. None doubt his good intents, but a few such as Dantena van Torquaz, a former acquaintance of his, calling a ‘devious spoiled but crowned child’. His family’s bitter enemies, all rallied behind High King Destrega the Greater’s League of the Eight, describe Conrad as a ‘brilliant mastermind’ who disguises himself as a kind monarch while being as selfish and scheming as his notorious family.
Despite the fact that House of Fulgam’s prestige and influence has drastically decreased since the Schism War ignited by his late father, King Otto von Fulgam, King Conrad is also credited as the Peacemaker, a masterful diplomat and inspiring leader during the Kovanni Rebellion. Despite being offered an alliance by his friend Godefroy of Lubac, self-styled Wolf-King, Conrad called his banners against him and refused the Imperial throne, facing his false friend at the Second Battle of Hestavian, defeating him while he tried to besieged the eponymous free city. Most think he won the war for Emperor Arius himself, hence creating a rift between Conrad and his mentor.
He was married to Sylvia hoff Stormfyldd, with whom he fathered Crowned Prince Malthan. After her death in Hawklanding during the Kovanni Rebellion, King Conrad decided to only wear black as a sign of grief and eternal sorrow, thus becoming known as the Dark King or Conrad the Black.
Being taught magic at the University and being trained in arcane and alteration at the Free City of Anvil Mar by Archon Ulthane the Wise himself, King Conrad was also a First Circle ky’ai of the Order of Prime Knights, making him arguably one of the strongest and able fighters in Imperial Order territory. A skeptical Dantena van Torquaz, once a very powerful Battle Mage himself, deems Conrad mediocre, having ‘bought’ his skills with birthright rather than merit, but the disgraced swordsman’s opinion isn’t really relevant.
A glimpse of Conrad and Dantena’s relationship here