‘Twas early morning in the foul black marshes when the familiar “pop” of a teleportation spell signaled Gimerick’s return. He brought with him foul news, the adventurers had been ambushed, and now Nargothlien had all three pieces of the Scepter of Summoning. The adventurers themselves had traveled with him through the nether, and were ready to assault Blackmarsh Castle with us.
We marched through the muck and mire for the rest of the day, and I gave the command to stop before we got too close to the Dark Elf’s encampment. Night fell, and I brought the adventurers into my tent for a conference. I told them of the layout of the complex, from the scouting information that Gimerick had given us. We knew that above all we had to stop the summoning ritual.
Morning came, and we charged the embankments. The dwarf sappers made quick work of the earthen barriers, and we smashed the orc forces against the base of the ziggurat. They had hidden basilisks in the mud that emerged and petrified dozens of soldiers.
Before I could begin to ascend the ziggurat Inoxim the black dragon attacked. I called the adventurers to me, and while i focused Inoxim’s attentions on me they pummeled him, using some sort of magical arrows that Gimerick had given them. Once the dragon was slain we fought our way to the top of the ziggurat, where fiendish power cackled in the air.
Nargothlien had succeeded, and his father Niarlias has been summoned, though he was not yet fully in this world. The adventurers attacked, while I battled Nargothlien myself. He was a wily combatant, but his arts were more focused on evil magics than the ways of war. I overhwelmed him, driving him to the ground unconscious just as the others had forced the Demon Lord back into the Nine Hells.
I was racked with indecision, but on the advice of the group I slew the Dark Elf so that no chance of continued scheming remained. Gimerick returned, and enchanted my voice so that I might entreat the orcs to flee or lay down arms. We were successful, and the adventurers would return to Narwington with me, to be celebrated like the heroes they are.
I am saddened to release them from my service, for they have been invaluable in the trying months; but they have earned much more than freedom. Since the thaws of spring I have seen so many of my people slain by orcs and monsters called forth by the twisted half-fiend elf. I saw my Uncle Stron seduced by the dark powers of his minions, and seen my father slain on the field of battle by a man who he once called brother. I have been thrust from the simple duties of Prince into the grave responsibilites of King, and forced to lead an army into war. Throughout all of these trials and hardships, they have stood by me and stood by Aria.
Hassan Tal’Sheek, always bold and stern. He fought with the hardiness and courage that define his people, and brought the mystic wisdom of the earth to our fellowship.
Allaren, quiet in specch but strong in his faith. He brought the righteous wrath of Sarenrae to his foes and holy healing to his friends in time of need.
Tel’ Naikelea Gurtha, though we might not share the same moral compass, brought the trained eyes and blade of the Haiva to our party. We will miss his sword in Aria.
Emryn, small but courageous. He made his uncle proud, fit to stand amongst giants on the field of battle.
Wallril, though I knew him but a short time, rained bombs of alchemical fire on the dragon Inoxim when we needed him most. He proved his mettle to me this day.
They have earned our respect, and a place among the heroes of the kingdom. They will all be missed.
- King Ashton I of Aria
Sol’s Day, 3rd day of Deepsummer 2926 EOM