An Audience with the Emperor
The heroes, accompanied by Lady Grace Prosek and Hendrix, journey from Dwermore, with the Orb, hoping that at either the Orb or the return of Grace could stop the war. While crossing the Varghen Mountains, the group was attacked by assassins sent by Allister Dunscon. These assailants, strange beings from beyond the Far Realms, had been sent to murder the party and recover Lady Prosek. The party fought valiantly and, with the aid of Lord Markus’s distant magic, was able to protect Lady Prosek and defeat the monsters.
One night, Jamir, vanished and returned the next morning. Fearing that it would be uncovered soon, Jamir confessed a hidden history to the party. General Lucas Reid had accused Jamir of being a war-criminal, and Jamir explained that that story had been created as a cover. He explained that he had been a Quinslin solider, an AA special forces troop, and had become a covert operative, but only the Prime Minister and Scout General of Quinslin knew that. To everyone else, he was a brutal murder and carried a real death sentence. This was done to make the story believable and allow him to appear as a desperate criminal, which would allow him to join the Castelonian ranks. Jamir explained that his mission had been to aid Castelon in harming the Coalition, forcing the later to send more and more troops away from Quinslin. With the war now over in Quinslin, his mission was complete. He worried that one or more elements in the Coalition would figure this out (as General Reid had in his last moments) and compromise the party’s mission to save Castelon. Jamir wished to stay with the party and aid them in completing their quest. The party debated briefly, but agreed that Jamir had only been trying to help save his home from Coalition destruction and welcomed him back.
The heroes continued into Coalition territory and be quickly captured by a patrol. Before these soliders could execute the party, Lady Prosek intervened, revealing that the party had saved her and demand that they accompany her to meet with the Emperor. The patrol become the bodyguard of Lady Prosek and the group now marches to the massive fortified city of Chible.
On entering the city, the party was separated by the Emperor’s High Guards as he speaks to his wife. Lady Grace explains that the party saved her from the clutches of the Federation of Magic. The Emperor’s son Karl was present and advocating that heroes be executed anyway for being “Creed’s Knives”. The Emperor, either swayed by his wife or Farrilad’s wish, offers the heroes a public audience with him to plead the case to end the war.
In front of a military assembly, including the Emperor, Lady Prosek and Karl Prosek, the heroes offered an impassioned plea to stop the war and offered to remove the Warmaster Scard by force as long as the Northern Army stopped its advance on Castelon. Lady Prosek supports Castelon, whereas Karl Prosek argued that Castelon is on the brink of collapse and now is the time to finish the “demon-filled nation”. The general assembly awaited the Emperor’s opinion and, before he could decide, the party offered a final gift to close their case: the Orb of Zorlon. The Emperor had a scribe take the Orb and bring it to him. The moment he touched the artifact, he gasped and collapses. Immediately, guards and battle wizards attacked the party and subdued them. Karl Prosek ordered that you be killed then and there in the hall but, before he could carry this out, the Emperor stopped him. He looked stunned, almost speechless, but ordered that the Heroes of Castelon be taken to the dungeon to await public execution in the morning.
That night, while the party awaited their deaths, Emperor Prosek snuck into the dungeon to meet with them. He appeared before the group a remorseful and changed man. He saw the destruction and death that his fear had caused and is crushed. Egg notes that Emperor Prosek must have been the “king blinded by fear” from the prophecy of Zorlon. The Emperor wished to stop the war in any way but knew the cost would be high, likely causing a civil war within the Coalition. Prosek explained that he prevented the party’s immediate execution so that they could escape that night and race to Castelon to stop Scard. The party agreed that Scard must be stopped and the Emperor unlocked the cell. The party fled from the dungeon, fighting several guards along the way. Before Prosek could escape, he was spotted by the remaining guards. The Emperor ordered these men to stand down, but they appeared to be loyal only to Karl Prosek. The guards broke and ran, leaving the party (and Emperor Prosek) with no choice but to flee before more troops arrived. The party fled through the night and, with the aid of Egg’s teleportation spells, escaped the city of Chible.