|Start of Reign|
|End of Reign|
|Died||1039 KF (executed)|
|Parents||Morrachane Ladradun, unnamed father (deceased)|
|Siblings||At least two unnamed brothers|
|Wife||Kofrinna Ladradun (deceased)|
|Children||Unnamed children (all deceased)|
|Occupation||Head of the Kugiskan Fire Brigade|
|Law Enforcement of|
|Circle Universe character|
|Only Appearance||Cold Fire|
Bennat Ladradun (pronounced BEHN-naht lah-DRAH-duhn), nicknamed Ben, was a Namornese commoner, and the heir to a Kugiskan merchant family, House Ladradun. He was the son of the late Morrachane Ladradun, the matriarch of their fur empire. He was tried and charged with arson in 1039 KF and sentenced to death by burning. Daja Kisubo helped speed the execution by causing the fire to take him faster.
Bennat grew up disliking his mother very strongly, as she had always dreamed that he would take their merchant business more seriously and really further the family. He married a woman named Kofrinna, whom his mother adored. They had a few children as well, and Bennat accepted the task of heading the merchant family.
One day, his wife and children died in a devastating fire, and he was never the same after that. He left Kugisko, much to his mother's disappointment. He became a student under Pawel Godsforge, a famed fire mage. Godsforge taught Bennat everything he needed to know about firefighting.
Return to Kugisko
After Bennat returned to Kugisko, he started a firefighting group of volunteers in the city. His mother was also disappointed in him for this, as she wanted Ben to accept his position as the head of the Ladradun merchant family. Ben ignored her and became famed in Kugisko for his firefighting skills.
After a while, he became even more obsessed with stopping fires, and was annoyed when town officials did not take firefighting seriously. This came from a very personal part of Ben, seeing as his beloved family had died in a fire that could have been stopped and even prevented from occurring. He started setting fires to help town officials and residents see that they were dealing with a beast.
Acquainting a smith mage
Ben first saw Daja Kisubo as she was climbing through a large burning building from a fire that he had set. She had rescued a woman and birds, and was able to ward off the fire. He became entranced with her.
They started a friendship, and it became a close one. To help Ben fight fires, Daja made him living metal gloves, that would allow him to touch fires. Ben was delighted, but it also made it so it would be easier to set fires. After he committed arson again, Heluda Salt, a magistrate's mage, detected traces of Daja's power where the fire was set. She confronted Daja about this and learned that she had made living metal gloves for Ben. He became aware that Heluda was onto him after she had asked to visit with him at Ladradun House to talk about firefighting and to give him an award. After he figured out that she meant to arrest him, he made plans to run away. He murdered his mother and set a fire in his house.
Ben set one last fire at Yorgiry's Hospital, where Jory Bancanor was studying cooking magic under Olennika Potcracker, the famed cook mage. He was about to make his escape, when he was cornered by Daja. He tried to talk her out of it, by saying they were friends, but Daja did not listen to him, as she felt too betrayed. He insulted her Trader origins and tried to make a run for it, but Daja made the metal of his ice skates burning hot so he would sink into the ice, and made the gloves shackle his wrists together.
Ben was tried and sentenced to death by burning. A huge crowd of people came to see the execution for a variety of reasons. Most of the town just felt betrayed by him, as he was someone whom they looked up to. While the fire started to cause him pain, Daja, Olennika, Frostpine, Jory, and a few other mages used their power to make the fire grow 30 ft in the air, consuming Ben, and thus quickening his death.
Series of attacks
Ben killed 150 people in total and injured hundreds more. His greatest crime was his last attack at Yorgiry's Hospital, his second was the one at the bathhouse. He used his attacks as punishment for the city councils that denied him funding.
List of attacks:
- Confectioner's shop. He used this as a means to convince councils to give him more funding for his fire brigade.
- Olaksan Jossaryk's house. Used as revenge against Romachko Skuretty for denying him funding.
- Asinding Bathhouse, second most devastating crime.
- Ladradun House. After killing his mother, he set fire to his own house.
- Yorgiry's Hospital. Most devastating crime.
Personality and traits
It's important to note that he displayed strong serial killer mentality: excitement at carnage, planning the fire, and taking glee from setting the fires. He took meticulous time in planning his arson attacks, instead of just taking a torch and tossing it at a house. When Daja captured him, he still tries to convince her of his innocence, even though he still takes joy from setting fires. He views his arson attacks as a lesson for the city, so that they will be prepared for anything. It is also assumed that he was trying to punish the city for letting his wife and children be burned in a fire that they were not prepared to deal with. The deaths of his wife and children act as a catalyst for Ben's actions, and his downward spiral.
Ben is in his early thirties, a tall man with a "big soft body of a well broken-in armchair." He has reddish-brown curls that are thinning on top and deep blue eyes. His broad cheeks have a mole on each, one high and one low. His fleshy, pointed nose sits over a thin mouth.
Ben befriended Daja almost instantly, knowing that there was value in the smith-mage. He made her trust him, and they seemed to share a real friendship. However, after she discovered his involvement with the arson attacks and the many deaths in Kugisko, she turned him in to the state. Although it seemed as if he respected her for who she was, Ben greatly underestimated Daja's power, in thinking he would be able to get away from her so easily. He also insulted her culture by calling the Traders dung-grubbers, angering her. Nevertheless he still continued to plead. His execution was sped up by many fire wielding mages, including Daja, Frostpine, and Olennika Potcracker.
Bennat had a very strained relationship with his mother, and he even hated her. When his wife and children died in a fire, Morrachane urged him to forget it and to marry again to continue the line and the name. Ben refused, hating his mother for suggesting such a thing, and left Kugisko to study fire with Pawel Godsforge. When he returned, Morrachane tried to push his familial duties back onto him, trying to force him to remarry. He did not listen, and hated her even more. In the end, her cruelty made him into something he hated, and he killed her for it.
Notes and References
- Cold Fire, Ch. 16 (pp. 346—347; Scholastic paperback)
- Coldfire, Ch. 1 (pg 13; Scholastic ebook)