The Saint Emperor is the most glorious ruler in the history of the west and is one of the few men who could claim utter ownership of the entirety of the west. A man who arose from obscurity, to supremacy, and finally to madness.
The Emperor was born to the Laurë Arraz, a branch of the clan that ruled the former capital of the clan after the fall of the eldest branch of the family. He was a second son. His mother raised him in a sheltered and sparse lifestyle, devoted to the cult of Créspienism. When Valén was a child, he once claimed that he had a dream, in which a saint, wearing the clothes of a courtier, said that the godhead had chosen him to hold authority over all Arraz. But his faith was in peril in the court of the Reya. For the prince of the Laurë was known as Reya Aulas the Apostate, a Reya who had returned to the divine ancestor of the Laurë for strength. He despised the Arrazëans and particularly Valén’s orthodox father.
His father, once the master of the Palace of Aleron, found himself banished from the royal court after being accused of treasonous religious beliefs. They were left ruling the ruins of the capital and so, the Reya soon threatened to banish them from Arraz. His entire caste prepared to bid farewell to their titles and their lives. But Valén ran from home and rode to the court of the current Laurë Reya. He was accompanied only by his loyal childhood friend: Relen. The future Reya then made an impassioned appeal for his father’s sake. He echoed that divine providence had placed his caste in command of Arraz and that this divine providence was the same that placed the Reya upon the throne.
The Reya then dethroned his father but raised Valén to his place as head of the caste, proclaiming that the will of the Reya was providence. It was this act of malevolent generosity that changed Valén into the autocratic personality to would conquer the world. He proved himself to be an extremely skilled administrator and he eventually returned to the court. The Saint came again to him in his dreams, wearing the armor and arms of a paladin, giving unto him command over the whole nation. And so he supported the Laurëan Reya against a rebellion, and was rewarded with the highest rank in the entire Reyan: Depalatine, the Deya of the Paladins. Paladins were the caste of retainers who served the nobility and to be put in charge of the Paladins was to be given power over the whole of the lower nobility.
Valén served the Reya faithfully but his ambition could not be sated and he never forgot his vision. And then, he received a vision of the Saint standing over a field of corpses outside the besieged the city of Aman and proclaimed that by that city, he would be given the whole world.
Valén assembled the whole host of the Paladins in secret and rode to the city Aman, besieged by the pagan forces of all the Princes of the west. He mustered all of the paladins and ordered them to paint the hand of God upon their shield and led a great charge into the host of the pagans. It is said that the divine saints possessed the bodies of the Paladins and that the Paladins drove the pagan host before them. It is said that not a single paladin fell. After the battle, Valén stood among the corpses, kneeled, and sang a song to the Godhead.
The Paladins, seeing the miracle of their victory, followed him into Aman. There, he kneeled before the Ecclesiarch, and pledged his loyalty to Aman. The host of Paladin also kneeled and seeing the miracle of the battle, they dedicated their lives to the Ecclesia. The successors to the saints welcomed them to the city and granted upon him, the banner of the Saints and proclaimed him to be the Reya of Laurë. And he returned to the Laurë with the Paladins at his back and met Aulas in a field outside of Sallé. There, Valén’s head was covered in a magnificent halo and as he spoke to the apostate, Aulas was filled with wonder and fell on his knees. He gave his royal crown unto Valén and devoted his life unto that of a hermit.
Now called Reya Valén, he gathered the entire host of Paladins and the Laurëan Phalanxes and set about the claiming of the whole world. He first marched into the northern lands and fought the Mallanë, conquering their fortresses one by one until the climactic Battle of the Grey Fields. The Mallanë clan’s remaining forces fled and joined with the Rélinë. The latter, seeing an opportunity to destroy their former vassals drew their swords and invaded the Laurëan Reyan and besieged the city of Orëcien. Valén’s counter-attack was swift, for he split his force, leading the phalanxes and a third of his paladins across the north to Marën itself. Immediately, the Rélinë gathered their hosts to meet Valén, but the Paladins of the Laurë harried them until they reached the fields of Ourane Fields, known as the Battle of the Magnificent Radiance, where Valén personally led his troops and called beams of heavenly light down from the skies and burned his enemies. And it was over the scorched remains of the Reya of the Rélinë that Valén was proclaimed Reya of the Rélinë and determined the nature of his vision.
He marched into Marën unopposed and “released” the hostages he took during the previous battle. There, they all proclaimed him to be the Repalatine of the Rélinë and he was made emperor for the first time in his life.
The massive Laurëan expansion seemed to be at an end, but Valén was visited by a man from the Palatine and was met by Pethenon Pallas. No one knows what happened during this period, but one Palatine, Pethenon the Devout, was moved by the Godhead and he did the unthinkable and offered Valén kingship over Pallas.
The Saint-Emperor Valén was stunned and amazed. He immediately rode to the city and cast out the Palatines and prepared to proclaim himself king. But he soon found that the people of Pallas identified completely with their Palatine. He set to reconquering all of the former city-states, placing his own men as the new Paladins. He then held an election and the Paladins elected Valén as the Répalatine and Reya of Pallas. Inspired by the crumbling ruins, he moved his capital from Arras to Pallas. There, he appointed a new Council of Palatines. Valén was celebrated and (much to his shock) the populace and the new council of Palatines crowned him as the Palatine Emperor.
And finally, a final vision appeared in his mind, and the Godhead himself revealed himself to him, and proclaimed that he was no longer the Emperor of any of the realms of the West but the whole of the West. And so, he rode once more to holy Aman. There, the Ecclesiarch himself greeted him and proclaimed him to be Répalatine of the West. Thrice was he emperor, once by kings, once by the people, and once by God.
In his remaining years, he conquered little, adding the Lenorë clan by force and losing his childhood friend, Relen in the process. Distraught, he took it upon himself to unite the west by diplomacy and conquered the southern princes through his very words and the cities of the south kneeled. Seeing the whole west bow before him, he chose to bring law unto his new empire and did that which amazed all men: He declared that no clans existed and that all the clan in his empire would be called Laurëan and that everyone would live under the same laws. He reformed the caste system and created a new world order.
In the Emperor’s final days, it is said that he walked throughout the halls of the Palace of Summer, as he desperately sought to preserve his empire, despite his own laws. For he had set up the law, and yet he was now bound to it. At one point, one story claims that he grew so deranged that he commanded that the Paladin’s execute all of his children by his eldest, so that there would be no need to violate the law. This was not done.
- The Secret Histories of Valén