Lord Durand du Vide was the former sellsword who killed the Mage-Emperor Ildrius in 269 and established the Imperial Inquisition.
Little is known about Durand's early life, for he was not one to brag of his accomplishments. All that is known is that he was an adventuring mercenary of considerable skill, reputedly the best swordsman of his day. On his travels, he discovered the properties of the rare metal known as void iron.
After experiencing a few years under the shadow of the Mage-Emperor Ildrius, Durand gathered his most trusted men and pooled their earnings to buy void iron weapons and armor from the deep dwarves. It took many years to gather followers, with the magi constantly scouring the countryside for rebels, torturing local leaders and probing their minds magically for thoughts of insurrection. But gradually Durand was able to put together a force strong enough to face the armies of the Mage-Emperor. In the year 269 of the Imperial Calendar, he slew Ildrius in single combat, cutting off his head and presenting his crown to his most noble-born ally, who became Emperor Severus I .
Rise of the Inquisition
Emperor Severus dubbed the rebel leader Sir Durand du Vide ("of the Void") and named his black-armored followers the Imperial Inquisition. Durand was provided with enough funding to buy more void iron and increase the size of his forces. They quickly began hunting down and slaughtering all magi in Achaea. Ildrius's followers got their just deserts, but many innocent magically-gifted individuals were also slain. Few protested the executions. The reign of the Mage-Emperor had spread a hatred of all things magic throughout Achaea, and the Hidden, who had been trusted advisors to kings before the rise of Ildrius, were reduced to hidding in caves and sewers, disguising themselves in the lowest possible ways to escape the black swords of the Inquisition.
Karak du Vide
In 281, Emperor Severus II gained the throne. He was not so pleased with the Inquisition as his father had been. For two decades, they had kept Achaea in a void iron grip of terror, constantly seeking out magi to kill. Severus II threw them out of the capital, but made it appear gracious by giving the elderly Sir Durand the title of Lord and the ownership of a large island southwest of Deltalund. The castle there became Karak du Vide, the headquarters of the Inquisition from that point onward. Durand began to imprison magi there for study, to better understand his enemies.
He died four years later, in 285.