LoR- Lenfald LC18- Grand Duke Ashleigh Stanton
"Steel runs deep within the Blood of the Stantons."- Grand Duke Ashleigh Stanton, The Peerless Blade.
The current head of the oldest noble families in Lenfald, Grand Duke Ashleigh Stanton of Bladefall is an expected face at the current Lenfel Grand Council. Trained from a young age to be an expert in swordplay, as is the wont of the Stanton line, Ashleigh proved to more than merely talented, proving a better swordsman than his teachers by the young age of 7. He would hone his skill through years of combat as an officer in the grand Army of Lenfald, earning the title: "The Peerless Blade" as he never once received so much as a scratch in battle. However, even his unsurpassed skills could not save his family from cruel fate. Losing his eldest son to war during the Crusade on the Magic Isles, Ashleigh would fall into a great depression, only roused back to the field of battle when Loreos invaded his homeland with a large army. Swearing vengeance on the betrayers of Loreos, whom he already had begun to blame for the death of his son, Ashleigh stormed to the fields of battle and participated with his unit in the Battle of Dragonsmouth. There, the opposing Loreesi Army was defeated after a harsh conflict. Though Ashleigh's own contributions to the battle would prove legendary; cutting his way over 200 yards through enemy lines and slaying one of the Loreesi generals, pulling him from his horse and relieving him of his head; Ashleigh's 2nd son was killed in the fighting, brought low by loreesi arrows. Returning home after the conflict, Ashleigh was distraught to see that Bladefall had been sacked by a Loreesi detachment that had gotten lost and wandered north, his older brother, then the lord of Bladefall, and his own wife and young daughter were all slain by the invaders. The Loreesi responsible were never brought to justice. As the last male heir to the Stanton family line, Ashleigh would then ascend to the seat of the Duchy of Bladefall. A military man through and through, Ashleigh had not been trained to be the head of the family, and thus was a poor duke for the first few years, being unfamiliar to a life not filled with conflict and war, though he eventually grew to be a respected and effective leader. During the reign of the Queen, Grand Duke Stanton was kept trapped in his house by a miniature seige, with over 100 soldiers of the Queen kept in constant guard circling his estate, as Stanton was considered too dangerous to engage, and unlikely to co-operate. Upon the failure of the Queen's reign and the subsequent rebellion, Stanton himself and three of his closest retainers broke the seige during cloak of night and killed every single soldier, to a man. Stanton would then go on to lead a Lenfel division during the assault on the Royal isle, and had to be forcibly restrained and pulled back from the lines of battle after the retreat was issued. A good man, but embittered through years of war and harsh losses, Grand Duke Stanton holds in his heart a great love for Lenfald, and would take any course of action to increase his country's standing. Greater still however, is his hatred of Loreos.