You awake and step out on the balcony of your castle. It is a shambles. There is only one thing new here, unweathered, unbroken -- a looming statue of almost living marble, larger than life, depicting a stern-faced paladin holding forth the Sword Unerring. At its base is in an inscription -- “Aldarion – our protector, our savior, beloved friend – greatest of the Dunharrows.” Before he was a statue, he was your father. In the morning, with the sun rising in the east, you awaken in father's shadow. Have the last few weeks been a dream? Can this be real? Can father really be dead? And how is it that you ... YOU ... once a peasant have been created a Lord of Dunharrow?
Everyone knows father's name -- Aldarion -- savior, paragon, paladin, redeemer, hero. Say the word and crowds cheer, maidens swoon and old men tell their favorite tales. A whole saga has grown up around father only about half of which he ever did.
Which is not to say that Aldarion was not a real hero. He defeated the lich-lord Kyrannus, king of the Dead Ice, not once but twice! He bested the lich-lord’s demonic allies, countless undead minions, and even an orcish warlord cowed into the dead-king’s service. He led the expedition that at last solved the riddle of Mad King Moldath’s Tomb and retrieved the Sword Unerring from its centuries of hiding. With that sword he laid low the lich’s greatest creation – the undead dragon Scathya Hellwing. He thwarted the Blackguard Leandra de Varn in her scheme to build a permanent bridge between the material realm and the Nine Hells, later converting her to the path of righteousness.
And when Kyrannus returned as a demon-lich to finally conquer the free lands of the west, it was Aldarion who journeyed to the Obsidian Tower, slew the reborn abomination and shattered the Gate of Twelve Locks forever. Alas, breaking the demonic artifact also shattered the Sword Unerring (which it turned out was also the thirteenth key – thus completing Mad Moldath’s centuries old scheme to save his lands). Aldarion's body was recovered but was so tainted with demonic energy that any resurrection was impossible. His body was burned and consecrated. His ashes were given to his widow the redeemed Lady Leandra (who he had married). She scattered her beloved to the winds. The free peoples owe much to Aldarion and now he has gone to his reward – forever.
Everyone knows father's name. When word reached the throne-city of Talos of his triumphant demise, the king of Dalmark declared a day of mourning. Aldarion’s state funeral was sincere, massive, thronged. To the unanimous applause of the masses, the king decreed that Aldarion’s descendants would be elevated to the title of Duke and given the Duchy of Dunharrow to rule forever. “It is the least our grateful land can do.” You were there when the words were spoken. Now, by royal decree, you life is forever changed.
Everyone knows father's name – but no one has heard of you. You have been given a troubled and tiny borderland, long mismanaged by its former owner. You have a castle but it is nearly a ruin. The treasury is empty. There are rumors of monsters in the woods and former guardsmen turned bandit. Most of your subjects have fled to safer neighboring duchies. Maybe the king doesn't really like you after all.
Everyone knows father's name – but will they remember you?