Iron Kingdoms 3.5
King Leto Raelthorne, The Younger
King Leto Raelthorne
Predictions were dispelled early on that King Leto’s reign would be known mainly for the shadow cast upon Cygnar by his brother and for the Younger’s efforts to piece together the fragments of a broken realm. He rejected the merciless approach to rule that had been the mark of both his father and brother. After a dozen years as king, Leto has more than proven his wisdom. For years he has bestowed a sublime and successful period with little to worry his subjects—until this past year, that is. These days Leto worries constantly about the numerous threats to his realm. He knows well the envy and malice of Cygnar’s enemies, and his people would have no other in his place during these dark days.
Leto was a quiet and introspective child; he was made aware at an early age that he was not destined to rule. His ambitious and bullying brother Vinter was the heir apparent and was trained from a toddler to emulate his namesake and father, Vinter the Stoneheart. Throughout his rearing Prince Leto was overlooked and kept secure only as a failsafe for the royal succession. During his tutoring, the young prince’s wit and intellect caught the attention of a priest named Arius who would one day become Primarch of the Church of Morrow.
Vinter labored under the scrutiny of the weapon masters and turned more ruthless with each passing day while his brother Leto spent more time delving into scholarly and religious pursuits under Arius’ tutelage. In time the Stoneheart ordered Leto to stop his religious aspirations. He turned his youngest son to soldiering “as befits a Prince of the blood,” he was known to have said. Leto tried to resist, but his father’s knights physically removed the young man from the Sancteum and sternly forced him to learn the way of the sword and spear. Leto had little choice but to take them up.
The adaptable Prince Leto took to soldiering as readily as he had the books of the seminary, and he soon became a skilled combatant and military leader. Leto may not be the blademaster his brother is, but he is far from easy prey. As a commander-general in the Cygnaran Army the prince rightly earned the respect of his men and was known for his role in assisting in the foundation of the legendary Stormblades.
The events surrounding Vinter III’s death are an enigma, but Leto has always suspected foul play. The rift between the two brothers—opened at an early age—widened after Vinter IV assumed the throne. King Vinter Raelthorne the Elder proved that his cruelty came not from the idle vagaries of youth, but were deep-seated within his personality. Leto felt powerless as he watched his brother commit endless atrocities turning noble institutions to dark purposes. Eventually the prince was compelled to act against his brother and deposed him in a bloody coup d’etat.
Although Leto never wanted to rule Cygnar, the mantle of kingship suits him. He is a pious, noble, and charismatic king who seeks to protect the people of his realm from the depredations of foreign powers. Though kind, he is often introspective and troubled. He has no small degree of charm, and his voice raised in passionate speech has rallied the hearts and minds of even his most jaded critics.
Concerned about Leto’s succession, many nobles are eager to find him a bride, but he has yet to show any interest in remarrying after the loss of his former love, the Lady Danae Cresswell, to his brother’s loyalists as the Elder escaped into the Bloodstone Marches. Indeed, Leto muses over the particulars of Woldred’s Covenant—to the interest of many who seek to appease him—as Grigor Malfast did for his grandfather, and in his most doleful hours he still broods pining away for a love that was lost so many years ago. It is thought that Vinter’s latest re-emergence in Corvis has agitated a wound that never quite healed, one some inches beneath the livid scar on his chest left by his brother’s blade over a decade ago.