Valentine, King of Vampires
King Valentine Benedek
Any discussion of Valentine, the former King of Vampires, requires both balance and nuance. The self-styled "Butcher of Karifar" persisted in undeath for six hundred years as a hedonistic predator and indiscriminate killer of innocents. However, when the Far War came and the world was almost lost, his efforts saved all of us.
Oh yah, Valentine was a ruthless monster who did horrific things during his centuries of unlife. But in the end, he kicked the elves back into shape after their great defeat. He led the Coalition to victory on the moon and fought like a demon. Let's just say that I have a soft spot for monsters that do heroic things.
In life Baron Valentine Benedek was a minor noble from a small province in Karifar. He was killed and afflicted with Vampirism in his mid-20s, locking him into undeath at the height of his physical beauty. He spent a few decades in thrall to his maker. He gained a reputation for gentlemanly charm, megawatt charisma, and sadistic brutality.
Rise of Valentine
Valentine was released from thralldom late in his first century of unlife when his maker was hunted down and staked by adventurers. He joined the Blood Moon Covenant clan of vampires and swiftly rose through the ranks of their leadership. He dedicated himself to the darker aspect of the moon goddess Thaya. In five short decades, he rose to clan leader and then set his sights on an even bigger prize.
He began a war among the vampire clans, seeking the title of Vampire King. He started by assassinating the leaders of smaller clans and absorbing them whole into his Covenant. After decades of conflict and thousands of dusted vampires, he finally succeeded in uniting the clans beneath him. He became the one Vampire King as a relatively young vampire in his 2nd century of undeath.
Rule of Valentine
He maintained an iron grip on his station for four centuries. Valentine met all challengers without mercy, destroying them and their lines from root to branch. The vampire king kept the clans safe from many threats, hiding them from the Order of Tridenser's vampire hunters. He avoided becoming embroiled in the Lich-King's wars.
During his rule, he made many powerful vampires who owe direct allegiance to him. He was responsible for giving the gift of vampirism to the Blood Siren. He kept close ties with her throughout their undeath. They were infrequent lovers, but always made a point to share meals together at least once a decade.
Valentine Saves the World
On the Night of the Shattered Moon, the goddess that Valentine had devoted his life to was killed by the invading aberrant forces of the Far Realm. He followed his vampiric instincts and did nothing, allowing the more exciteable mortals to jump into the breach and drive off the invasion of the world.
He watched the tragedy of The First Armada with frustration and consternation. He didn't mind mortals spending their lives, but all that wasted blood and life! He decided that the vampire clans would have to finally enter the War Against the Far Realm to ensure their own survival. And to avenge their goddess.
Valentine went to the elves first to propose an alliance. He traveled to other mortal nations and organizations who shared the vampire's devotion to the moon goddess. They formed the Shattered Moon Coalition and began to turn the tide of the Far War.
We loved her as much as you did. Put aside your disgust for us, temporarily. Together, we will make sure that she did not die in vain.
Valentine himself joined in the battle and found satisfaction in fully unleashing his fury against a worthy foe. Towards the end of the War he took part in the ceremony that turned the corpse of the Bakunawa into the great tree Lokorn. He charged into a knot of aberrations who were about to interrupt the ritual. When the Ritual was completed, he never reappeared and has not been heard from since.
Now that the history books have been written, Valentine is recognized as one of the heroes of the Far War. His crimes have not been forgiven, but the Concordance for Survival acknowledges that it may never have come together without his example.
In the city of Eladriel Valentine's Statue commemorates Valentine's contributions to the War. It stands at the point where the Vampire King waited until Thirion Elf-King invited him into the city. Young elves flock to Valentine's Flag to celebrate and remember the dark romantic hero of the Far War.