Count Ventran Lightforge is an ancestral lord and patriarch of the now-extinct Lightforge family. Though a warrior, tactician, and statesman with few to equal, his rule was steeped in controversy. Though an ardent defender of both the House of Wrynn and the House of Montclair, his extreme brutality to his enemies and rebels alike is, to his detractors, one of the very reasons the Code of Chivalry exists in the first place.
Early Life Edit
The boy who would be known as Ventran was born shortly during the Stormwind Civil War. He was a paragon of a warrior even in his younger age. As the first in line for the seat of Fairpeak, he was given special attention in all things, his father grooming him to be one of the best statesmen of his time.
With a name as Lightforge, praises daily from apparently blessed skill, his handsome adolescent years made him infamously vain and proud in his own abilities. Though this hardly diminished his popularity, it did raise the brows of some of the more devout court members.
Brightwood Rebellion Edit
Ventran would be forced to prove his claims early into the Stormwind Civil War. His father Gregoire Lightforge, both a Westridge Cavalier and a Knight of the Brotherhood, was in the Westridge Keep visiting the ineffectual Lord Montclair at the time. Though his exact business is unknown, contemporary letters claim he was petitioning for the Duke to support the rebellion. He was a casualty when Alexander Montclair made his usurpation, barely having time to grab his sword before he was run through.
Fueled both by a rage at the sins of the Montclair, and a feeling that his family’s pride was challenged by such a dishonorable thing, Ventran rallied the armies of Fairpeak. Unaware of Frederick Montclair’s survival, he assumed he was alone- yet this did not dissuade the young, hot-headed warlord. Though his numbers paled in comparison to Alexander’s, it was written that he displayed a tactical prowess seldom seen in those days, turning what would have been Alexander’s smooth ascension of the throne into a bitter, if ill-fated struggle.
Despite the inevitability of Ventran's defeat, he bought time enough and weakened the efforts of the traitorous Alexander. Indeed, it was said that by the time Ventran’s strategic lines would finally collapse, Frederick returned from Stormwind triumphant for a decisive victory over his brother.
Marshal of Westridge Edit
For his faithful service, and stubborn loyalty, Frederick Montclair used his first action as Duke to name Count Ventran a marshal in the duchy’s armies. In this station, he was known to be particularly draconian. While Duke Frederick could play the part of the benevolent lord, any who had thoughts of disputing the Duke would be kept silent still out of fear of Count Ventran’s wrath.
Such a wrath was especially apparent during the Mirwood uprising. Though the Count had long attempted to stay the hand of the knights’ looting, his unceasing wrath was called when the peasantry rose up against the warriors of Montclair. For little other reason than believing his honor had been questioned, he caused no small amount of atrocities in his unchivalrous rampage, the worst of which being the impalement of peasantry alongside the road out from Mirwood.
When the house of De Vries finally apprehended the knights, Duke Frederick was appalled. In a show of enforcement for the newest code of chivalry, Count Ventran was stripped of his rank of Marshal, barred from leading the Duke’s armies again.
Later Reign Edit
However, in a stunning show of humility, the Count took this punishment to start a self-imposed repentance. For six months, he would embark alone into the Swamps in self-exile, entrusting the lordship of Fairpeak to his closest advisor, Bywin the Steward. It was written that when he returned, he offered the heads of twenty troll chieftains to the Duke before returning to his place in Fairpeak.
The rest of Ventran’s reign is believed to be relatively uneventful. Contemporary letters from this region imply, however, that he had brought an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity to the mountain folk. Few ever went hungry, and despite the difficult terrain, banditry was practically nonexistent. Less popular historical theses will attest, just as well, that the Count was a tyrant. Any who defied him would face the worst punishments imaginable, and rather than prosperity, the populace was bullied out of banditry.
Death & Legacy Edit
Regardless of the truth, it is known that his life thereafter was long. Passing shortly before his liege, he died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by a large wealth of sons and daughters to continue his legacy, and in the tallest tower of the great Castle Graywatch.
Despite his crimes, history ultimately looks upon Ventran favorably. Ironically, he is seen as a founding figure of knighthood with his skill in the tilts, in battle, and in duels, though he is conveniently neglected on matters of chivalry.
His actions ultimately cemented the newer house of Lightforge as the undisputed lords of the mountain through prestige alone. Few would insult the legacy of the Count by attempting to usurp the title, and so the Lightforges ruled the mountain for generations, until their eventual extermination in the First War.