William I, Holy Orenian Emperor

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William I
King of Oren
Reign: 1426-1427
Predecessor: Himself
(As Holy Orenian Emperor)
Enor Sheffield
(As King of Oren)
Successor: Silus Horen
Holy Orenian Emperor
Reign: 1420-1426
Coronation: 9th of the Grand Harvest, 1420
Predecessor: Horen I/V
Successor: Himself
(As King of Oren)
Sigismund I
(As Holy Orenian Emperor)
Born: 11th of the Amber Cold, 1402
Abresi Palace, Oren
Died: 13th of the Deep Cold, 1459 (aged 57)
Kaldonia, Oren
Spouse: Unwed
House: Horen
Father: Horen I/V
Mother: Ari Hightower

William I of the House of Horen (11th of the Amber Cold, 1402 – 13th of the Deep Cold, 1459), called the Weak, was Holy Orenian Emperor from 1420 until his forced dissolution of the Imperial Crown in 1426, from which time he was briefly King of Oren until his forced abdication to his cousin and rival, Silus. He holds the distinction of being the last emperor from the Horen dynasty until the accession of John I to the throne in 1526.

His inauspicious rule was shaped by war, turmoil and political collapse. Inheriting the throne from his father, Horen I, after the Exodus of 1420, which had resulted in over three-quarters of the Imperial population embarking upon the maritime journey to Aeldin in hopes of conquering it, William was left totally unprepared, surrounded by enemies, and sickly. In early 1407 he became bedridden, and named Owyn I his regent. The dwarves of the Grand Kingdom of Urguan took advantage of the Empire's sporadic weakness and invaded from the distant south, and in the chaos of the incursion several vassal states betrayed their emperor, conspiring alternately for their independence or survival, ending with the singing of The Edict of Three Kingdoms.

Popularly regarded as weak-willed, many historians traditionally attribute to him the blame for the First Empire's destruction. This has resulted in a relatively negative reputation within popular culture. Despite this, modern historians interpret William's reign through a different lens, contending that none could have succeeded in the unfortunate situation he inherited, and as a third son he was never adequately prepared for governance. With the Horen Restoration, it is now more commonly argued that his personal attributes, including his geniality and perseverance, greatly outweighed his faults, and that his circumstances were completely beyond his personal control. Consequently, William's reputation has been mostly posthumously rehabilitated. Even so, his monarchic epithet of 'the Weak' has proven impossible to shake in the minds of the educated and uneducated alike.

He died of consumption in the midst of the Third Empire, where he had been provided the means to live a comfortable life in internal exile by the Chivay emperor, Peter I.