The Weight of the World is on Her Shoulders
Vinter Raelthorne IV
The exiled king of Cygnar
Vinter Raelthorne IV was born sometime in the 550s, acceding to the throne of Cygnar in 576 following the suspicious death of his father, Vinter III the Stoneheart. Unlike his father, who was coldly distant and ruthlessly objective as a monarch, Vinter IV was bloody-minded, violent, and thoroughly paranoid; the people during Vinter’s reign loved his brother Leto—nicknamed the Younger—more than their rightful King, and with good reason. Even as he gained glory personally leading the armies of Cygnar in the Scharde Invasions of the 580s, the Elder was enacting laws and dictates restricting the freedoms of the citizens and the leverage of the various churches that were permitted to practice in Cygnar legally, especially the Church of Morrow. Fearing arcane trickery, Vinter established an organization of agents throughout the country called the Inquisition; officially, the Inquisition was created to track down and contain Thamarite cults, but increasingly it operated against legitimately-practicing wizards, sorcerers, official arcane orders, and those Vinter perceived as enemies of the crown—by which, he meant himself.
After the Scharde Invasions concluded, Vinter’s paranoia reached new heights; and in 594 AR, Leto was forced to act. Using his position as Warmaster General, Leto had spent several years modernizing the military and setting regulations to protect certain branches from being gutted by his brother’s Inquisitors. This fostered a great loyalty towards the Prince among the military, and Leto deposed his brother in what has become known as the Lion’s Coup; throughout Castle Raelthorne, Cygnaran guards and soldiers battled each other over who would wear the crown. Vinter was almost untouchable during the Coup, taking a huge toll in lives with Kingslayer, the ancestral weapon of the Raelthornes; until some form of trickery saved the life of the Prince by disabling the King at the very last instant. Though sentenced to death, swift action by Vinter’s Inquisitors gave the Elder a reprieve, and he vanished into the Bloodstone Marches, presumed dead until years later.
Following his exodus east, Vinter singlehandedly conquered the Skorne Empire, earning yet another epithet: the Conquerer. Consolidating his position, he bided his time until 603, when he returned west, launching a failed invasion of the historic Cygnaran city of Corvis. After this, he was forced to reconquer the Skorne Empire, wiping out several major houses in a bloody purge.
Since then, Vinter has kept his Skorne on a war footing, commanding a perpetual invasion of Western Immoren. He has not proven infallible, however; and has lost the loyalty of a dominant percentage of the Skorne military along with that of his closest supporters, Makeda, Morghoul, and perhaps even Asheth Magnus. But even now, Vinter is by no means finally defeated; and a reckoning will come…