Reigning from the house of Iligith in the fourth century, Zarfil
was the last and only remaining descent of Prince Argonel. He knew that
he was the rightful heir to the seat of power in Mareilon. The last
three kings of Quendor were from Galepath,
and thus Zarfil believed that no king would ever arise from Mareilon
unless it was taken by force. He believed that Entharion had planned
this from the beginning to ensure that for centuries to come his city
of weaklings could continue to dominate over Mareilon by leading them
to believe that they took part in an alliance of equals.
For many years, Zarfil lived as a rogue, an outlaw, dwelling in the darkest
districts of Mareilon, gathering the forces of the street gangs of the
city. He planned to seize control of Mareilon, regaining power once
held by his long dead ancestors. He lay in wait for years,
plotting his rise to power. As a resident of the darker side of Mareilon, Zarfil grew up
frequenting the illicit temples and shadowy ceremonies that most
citizens turn away from in shame or fear. Many of Zarfil’s friends in
the Millucis paid homage not to constantly hungry and demanding demons, including the fallen
Implementor Belegur. Familiar with the forms of dark communion
employed in those mysterious halls of worship, Zarfil had arrived at
the conclusion that the best possible weapon in the struggle that lay
ahead would be the force of dark magic. He allied with their leader
Marboz, the strongest of the dark magicians he could find.
In the many weeks leading up to the massive initial rally
at the Beeblebrox Square (Oracle 12, 398 GUE), Zarfil spent most of his time building up
an impressive array of connections, a network of advisors and
supporters all moving in unison to guarantee his victory over
Hegilburg, the current mayor of Mareilon, and the hated city of
Galepath. Along with the leaders of the Nightwings, Zarfil was also
able to convince the following influential people of Mareilon to join
his cause. Hembiz, one who controlled all business that went on from
day to day in the marketplaces. Poulizre, owner of one of the oldest
and most influential printing presses in the city. Ezkinil, the present
Chif Historian who could verify the ancestry of Zarfil to Prince
Argonel beyond a shadow of a doubt. And Mimb, one of the Hellhound
leaders. He also had several spies in both Mareilon and Galepath.
to involve himself with the evil acts, Ezkinil had always protested the
use of the magicians. He also found that the citizens of Mareilon would
not be willing to support a revolution backed by demons and evil
spirits. But Zarfil need every weapon available for the succession. The
rebel leader found it unlikely that the local gangs could overcome
their own inherent stupidity and hate for each other in time to form a
viable fighting force. But knowing that the rest of Mareilon would not
support him if they knew about the allegiance with the dark magicians,
Zarfil decided to keep it a secret for the time. Thus for several
weeks, Zarfil worked in preparation for the final seizure of power. He
kept the magicians away, granting them the autonomy to work entirely on
their own. Even his own rebel soldiers were kept in the dark about the
mysterious magicians, who worked in secret, isolated even from each
other, toiling ceaselessly in creation of powerful spells that would
destroy the opposition. Even though a truce managed to be formed
between the Nightwings and the Hellhounds, transforming them from a
criminal organization into a military force with a mission to attack
Galepath, Zarfil did not dismiss the aide of Marboz.
preparations had been made, Zarfil set about to announce his lineage to
all of Mareilon and to win its population over to his cause. He set the
date of 12 Oracle, and hired the local printing guilds to work overtime
publishing fliers and pamphlets of all kinds, often in defiance of
direct orders from the city government. No one in Mareilon knew
exactly who was behind all the fliers, but it was suspected that some
secret organization was working out of one of Mareilon’s poorer
districts. These new publications were almost never circulated near the
houses of ruling class, but in the common markets and the back alleys,
every wall was lined with posters that screamed out words of unrest.
Initially, about three weeks ago, the posters had been few, and vaguely
worded. As the days passed, more and more publications appeared, with
each new set aimed at a different type of person. Some cried out
against the miserable social conditions that existed in certain areas
of Mareilon. Others, targeted specifically at the local religious
communities, pointed out the multitude of ill-omens that have come from
the gods over the last weeks. Then one night, without warning, all
those posters were taken down and replaced with a simply worded
proclamation: “Beeblebrox Square, 12 Oracle 398, Noon.”
date was the most anticipated day for those gathered at Beeblebrox
Square, and by the arrival of that morning, seemingly every man, woman
and child in Mareilon had gathered there each with a different set of
expectations. Be it religious prophet, revolutionary prince, or
entertainment, everyone knew that something was indeed going to happen.
Zarfil marched into the square, with the highest powers of the
Nightwings with him, including Hembiz, Poulizre, Ezkinil, and Mimb. The
rebel leader announced his lineage from Prince Argonel of Mareilon. He
publicly demanded the resignation of Mayor Hegilburg of Mareilon in
favor of a regime that would bring about the immediate and
unconditional session from their league with Galepath and those who
ruled from Largoneth. He additionally demanded the end of Mayor
Umberthar Spildo’s reign in Galepath as the only way to avenge that
city’s guilty deeds of having risen with Entharion against Mareilon.
Zarfil threatened to march immediately against Galepath and destroy it.
He also called for an end to the entire Kingdom of Quendor, declaring
the unforgettable words, “The end of the Kingdom of Quendor is at hand.” Gradually
the news of Zarfil’s demands made their way to Galepath and even to
Castle Largoneth itself. Belegur was pleased with the results.
Those who saw Zarfil at Beeblebrox Square described him as a short, scrawny-looking dark-haired man Dressed in
tattered brown leathers, a dirty cap, and horribly worn boots, he
looked like any number of street beggars that could be found lurking in
the Millucis, and seemed to add an odd comic touch to the whole
Mayor Hegilburg of Mareilon received word of Zarfil’s rebellion, his
head quickly was flooded with news of shadow conspiracies, inevitable
revolutions, political convulsions, and numerous traitors in his midst.
These tidings sparked his desire for action, resulting in a secret
summoning of Zarfil to the Firestone Mansion. Zarfil had planned this.
He had played his cards just right, and he and his followers, including
Pouilzre and Ezkinil marched proudly into the Firestone Mansion. Zarfil
boldly declared to the mayor that he would take control of the city one
way or another no matter how long it took, and demanded that authority
be passed to him. Zarfil never planned that the mayor would simply hand
him the key to the city; this was the first stage of his scheme. And,
as expected, Hegilburg refused. The mayor would do everything to ensure
that Zarfil would be hanged. Spitting in disgust, Zarfil walked out
alive, assured that the mayor would never have him in his grasp again.
Zarfil had gathered quite a following in the Millicus district. He
organized large mobs to instigate riots in the streets, robbing and
beating anyone who got in their way. Buildings were set aflame, and the
entire unified Nightwing and Hellhound gangs began their revolution
against the Mareilon government.
Throughout the streets of the
Millucis district and all of Mareilon, the paranoid power-wielder that
ruled the Firestone Mansion had issued a blank check to his personal
militia, an order to track down Zarfil and all of his supporters any
way possible. House to house searches began, bringing slaughter to any
who would resist. Zarfil’s forces fought back in their own way, dodging
the militia and disappearing through secret alleys familiar only to
them and their kind. Once again the city government stormed into the
Millucis, this time not with the intent to reform but with pressing
urgency of halting a budding revolution.
Almost immediately it
became clear that the edge belonged to Zarfil. He had seized the
element of surprise with his massive initial rally and had not
slackened his pace since that first day. The city government had at
first no idea how to react to his threats, and when they finally took
the first necessary steps, they did so only to find that most of the
city was openly against them. The mysterious lack of any kind of
authority or news coming out of Largoneth coupled with several years of
worsening poverty in Mareilon had made the moment ripe for Zarfil.
Eager to find someone to blame for their misfortunes, the locals fell
easily into the rebel corner. The city government and the relatively
innocent but conveniently distant metropolis of Galepath bore the brunt
of the peoples’ hatred. Every corner filled with the random products of
destruction. Stores raided and completely gutted stood next to
ever-vacant lots now filled with piles of burning debris.
the dirty city of Mareilon from high atop the Backbone Hills, hundreds
of Zarfil’s supporters had met to plan the violent seizure of power.
Almost immediately after the first outbreak of rioting, the renegade
prince had given the order to disperse and reassemble a short distance
outside the city. His strategy was a simple one. The city militia,
unaware of Zarfil’s presence in the hills, would scour the Millucis
from floor to ceiling trying to find him and his followers, while
encountering stiff resistance from the usual innocent bystanders.
miracle of speed and organization, the rebels had already organized and
divvied up the rag-tag band into well-structured brigades, each with a
different task leading towards the “liberation” of Mareilon. Once the
call to battle had been given, one unit would storm the already
battered Millucis, carefully arranging several more spontaneous
uprisings and demonstrations of loyal affection to Zarfil. Word from
his inside sources had told the rebel leader that most of the city
militia had itself reached the breaking point. Many of the young men
making up the mayor’s police force had come out of the Millucis in
hopes of working their way to a better life. Being ordered to ransack
the streets of their childhood stirred a great deal of discontent among
the ranks. One aspect of the rebel plan called for storming the guard
headquarters and imprisoning the highest ranking among that city
militia. Without senior officers to give orders, the militia might then
be persuaded to join Zarfil’s ranks against Mayor Hegilburg. Even if
that aspect of the plan fell through, the bulk of the rebel force would
already be storming the Citadel itself, opposition too scattered and
distracted by the other areas of fighting.
Mareilon’s Citadel at dawn. The long night battle lay behind him and
victory had been won. He sat in the same chair that Mayor Hegilburg had
vacated only several hours before. Mareilon belonged to him. But this
was just the beginning. All of Quendor lay before him for the taking.
That afternoon, a proclamation had already gone up around the city of Mareilon:
general warrant has been issued for the interrogation and arrest of all
those citizens known to be in the employ of the outlaw regime of former
mayor Hegilburg. All engaging in trade and/or military espionage with
the city of Galepath and the Kingdom of Quendor are declared to have
forfeited their rights and property to the state. All citizens
discovered giving aid and shelter to the enemies of Prince Zarfil and
the city of Mareilon do so under the penalty of death. The Rulers of
the Citadel have spoken.
House to house searches began in the
large luxurious halls to the north of the city. One particularly lucky
patrol group did a little bit more than find one of the mayor’s
advisors. Near the northern gate, on the road just inside the city
walls, they found the mayor himself. Barely twelve hours had passed
since Hegilburg had trembled in fright, listening to the aborted
midnight chimes. With just enough time for a brief stop-over at the
Mareilon coffers, Hegilburg had sneaked out of the Firestone Mansion
through the rear supply entrance at nearly the same time Gezlin and his
troops marched from the bell tower into the mansion’s massive front
doors. Dodging from house to house with only his friend Eeble for
company, the mayor managed to avoid the patrols quite successfully
until his urgent desire to reach the gates brought him out into the
open just a moment too soon, and he was captured.
energy, he drafted another public notice, this time detailing
Hegilburg’s crimes against the city of Mareilon. Trial proceedings were
brought against the former mayor the next day. A formal charge of
treason was announced, and the jury handpicked from among Zarfil’s
Millucis revolutionaries. The outcome of the trial was never in doubt.
Former mayor Hegilburg died at the scaffold early the next morning.
had been downright opposed to nearly every more Zarfil had made since
the initial rally. The rebel leader was determined to make an example.
Ezkinil would not be seen in Mareilon again. His disappearance and
subsequent rumored death were by no means unique. Nearly every city
employee, from the most hated tax collector to the menial stablehands,
fit the description of those covered by Zarfil’s arrest warrant.
Baffled old Citadel janitors were hauled off and thrown into the same
cell as the mayor’s personal advisors.
Following the possession
of Mareilon, Zarfil immediately marched his men towards Galepath. The
Millucis gangs, familiar with little more than their own back alleys,
were unaccustomed to long marches laden down with camping and military
equipment. Zarfil’s frustration at the slow progress was tempered by
the intelligence that Spildo’s own armies lay encamped a mere three
bloits in the distance. By noon, Zarfil's forces filled the ridge above
the Jerrimore Plains, where Spildo's men were camped within. They had
caught them unawares. As Zarfil took up arms against Galepath, the
Nezgeth tribe from the western arrived. (No one had ever actually been
to the hated city of Galepath, and it
would be some time before the rebel army would realize that the Nezgeth
warriors were not Galepath natives.)
The dark-alley Hellhounds
and Nightwings launched themselves upon the firm right flank of the
Nezgeth invaders. They were no match for them. Even the strongest of
the Hellhounds began to succumb to the
overwhelming Nezgeth pressure. Short street knives and leather tunics
were no match for the viciously barbed spears sported by the Kovalli
natives. One by one, Zarfil’s own guards fell to the ground, leaving
the rebel prince open to any who would attack him. The armies of
Galepath and Mareilon clustered together only to be overwhelmed.
day had begun with the two armies of Spildo and Zarfil marching
inexorably towards civil war. All thoughts of hatred between Galepath
and Mareilon long forgotten, the defenders soon found themselves
collapsing in fatigue, while the advancing hordes seemed to be further
invigorated with each successive skirmish. Both Zarfil and Spildo,
standing together side-by-side, both met their simultaneous end at the
hands of the Nezgeth warriors. The two armies of the two proud, ancient
cities, had suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth.