Peter I, Duke of Valwyck
Petyr Siegmund Baruch (1737 - 1777 ), known as "the Mad" or "the Beater" was the second Duke of Valwyck after the abdication of his father, Sigmar Baruch. He was born to Count Sigmar and Marya Ruthern-Baruch in 1737 within Marianburg Castle, situated in his fathers County of Ayr. He grew up the oldest amongst three siblings, known for bouts of insanity and his wroth, belligerent nature. A violent and troubled child, his tendencies carried on into his reign as Duke after ascending to the dais in 1753.
Petyr struggled as a child socially due to his unappealing nature, and often found himself alone. With constant fights with his Father Sigmar, it was clear from an early age that his reign would be far different than previous ones. Albeit recieving multiple threats of disownment and harsh beatings, he retained his noble name and claim - sometimes narrowly - and slowly grew more and more violent. He is known to have been a frequent harasser of Otto Alimar, Red Prince of Muldav, attacking him and breaking his knee when he was only nine years old with the help of Ivan Kortrevich. Otto would never walk the same again. Fueled with lust to inflict pain on others, he also arguably attempted murder on Lord Treasurer of Haense Hana Kovachev, trying and failing to push her from atop a balcony. Most of these offences were looked over by most officials due the lordlings young age. Though despite his rugged outward appearance, he felt guilt for his actions and confided only in his Mother, not knowing what it was inside him that caused such erratic behavior. Because of all this, he grew up mostly without friends, an isolated and mistreated boy.
Most of his physical attacks halted by the time he reached his teenage years, in favour of verbal attacks. Any friends he did have - including his sister Annaliese - were pushed away by his constant insults, threats, and nagging. Rarely did his these provocations escalate into physical violence, but on some occassions it did, and the young lordling was happy to take up arms. During his late teenage years, King Andrik IV died, leaving the Kingdom in regency. His father also abdicated slightly earlier, leaving a violent and disillusioned man the second Duke of Valwyck.
Petyr's first goal as Duke was the rebranding of Valwyck, to set it apart from Ayr. His childhood home of Marianburg Castle was quickly destroyed, replaced with a grandeur ducal palace dubbed Valstadt Castle. This was far more befitting the family's ducal status, and could more comfortably accomodate their cadet branch, the House of Gant. Petyr was recognized as having spent much time and dedication on this project, finishing it's construction only a few months after setting the first stone. However, unfortunately for him, the Regent of the Kingdom Tiberius Barrow perished to Ruberni soldiers, leaving his nemesis Otto Alimar as the new Regent. Otto, discontent with vassals constructing new castles, signed the Royal Decree of 305 ES, requiring all vassals to halt any construction and seek approval to continue. Petyr felt this was a personal attack and an affront to the rights of nobility, and thus decided to take action.
The Valwyck Pact
In 1755, Petyr invited multiple feudalist lords of Haense to a meeting within his new halls in Valstadt Castle. Many of these lords were just as angry with Regent Otto as he was, and the congregation spoke for hours on what to do about it. At the end, a document creating a super-alliance of lords was signed, proclaiming the genesis of The Valwyck Pact with Petyr at it's head. This alliance guaranteed military and economic support to all signatories, and also listed grievances against the Regency. He was sure to include a re-affirmation of loyalty to the King, ensuring the lords would not be charged with treason and executed. This proved essential, as many high ranking Haeseni officials called for treason charges, but Regent Otto opted to instead meet with Petyr and his associates. The meetings were tense and long, sometimes creating more questions than answers. However, Petyr - working for the good of Haense instead of his own self-interests - drafted a compromise that was brought to the Regent himself. The compromise called for vassals to concede various beliefs such as land entitlement, but also called for the Regent to clarify and rewrite multiple laws, as well as guaranteeing the continuation of Duma and preservation of noble titles. After some modification and discussion, Petyr and Otto both signed the document, dubbed The Valwyck Compromise in late 1756. The Pact was then reduced to a simple defensive alliance between lords.
Petyr's dedication to the Kingdom as well as bold nature to stand up for his beliefs led to Regent Otto proclaiming him Palatine-Aspirant in 1758. Now, the two high Lords - long enemies - put aside their differences and formed a mutual respect for one another. They worked together throughout the rest of the regency to ensure Haense's continued prosperity.
Tenure as Lord Palatine
Upon his ascension to the office of Lord Palatine, Petyr first announced his intentions to help Haense vassals settle in the wickwood, helping both House Ruthern and Vanir. He also declared the Lendian Crisis resolved shortly after. He hoped to reform the Aulic Council as well, creating the position of Deputy Palatine in lieu of Palatine-Aspirant, and replaced Royal Envoy with a restored Lord Kastellan. However, he later overhauled the entirety of the Aulic Government to represent a more beaurecratic system, with each Aulic Councillor heading an office of officials, with the overall government being dubbed the Aulic Government.
In 1768, the Scyfling Invasion began with an attack on his home fief of Valstadt Castle, with Petyr leading the defense. Outnumbered and outgunned, the makeshift group of defenders held out long enough to be relieved by the Haense Royal Army, led by King Sigismund II. He continued helping in counterattacks against the Scyflings, including taking part in the Siege of Vasiland and negotiating with Scyfling turncoats. He sustained multiple head injuries during the fights, which is believed to have contributed to his declining mental state later on in life.
In 1772, he hosted the wedding of his cousin Katharina to a local merchant, but the castle was ambushed by Scyfling leader Bralt the Boar. A great fight ensued in the great hall, climaxing with the capture of Petyr's second son, Matyas. He never fully recovered mentally from losing Matyas, and only became more violent and unruly because of it.
In the year 1777, Petyr's wife Sofiya Vanir committed suicide by jumping off the tower of Valstadt Castle. She did so after years of abuse and trauma from her husband, and the capture of Matyas. Petyr - ever the derranged and with a sharply declining mental state - believed his son was the cause of the suicide. Thus, he attacked him with a dagger, but was accidentally killed in retaliation.