The Fall of Marath
First War of Shadow
Malakor first tried to invade our world during a time when the Empire was not one, but nine. The Nine Kingdoms stood separate and alone and their mortal armies fell quickly to Malakor’s demonic hordes. A single nation could not withstand the Prince of Corruption’s might.
The kingdoms fell under Malakor’s corruption, but his demonic hosts were opposed by nine mortal champions. They hailed from each of the Nine Kingdoms and distinguished themselves in fighting the demon prince’s servants. Their efforts inspired their battered brethren to continue fighting, even when the end seemed to close.
The Nine Champions
- The mightiest of the champions was a young human from Ambria named Marath Elysion. In the beginning, he was called the Sword, but eventually he became known as the First Emperor. He descended from a minor noble line, almost extinguished and in their waning years, but within him he carried a fire that would one day unite the Nine Kingdoms into one Empire and seal the demon prince into his Abyssal prison. The bards and minstrels still sing of his silver hair and golden armor and his legendary sword, Palantor, has been the symbol of the Empire since its inception.
Marath was the mightiest of the Nine Champions, but he was not the only one. Without the aid of the others, it was unlikely that he would have succeeded in sealing Malakor.
- The first of his companions was the eladrin princess from the fey realm, Silvea El’arathi, known as the Starlight Sorceress. She was his companion and love and stood beside him during the darkest of times. Silvea eventually bore Marath a son, who continued his lineage down to the Emperors of today. The greatest of her accomplishments was the defeat of the warlock Balal, the greatest of Malakor’s servants. She died tragically after Malakor’s banishment, but is remembered in the Feylands and across the Empire.
- The second of his companions was Artorian Galais, a human wizard from the kingdom of Calenar, called the Archmage for his mastery of the arcane. He became best of friends with Marath, though they came from rival nations. Artorian worked devotedly to protect Illmere from the Corruption and is credited with being the one to discover the ritual to seal Malakor back into the Abyss. He also founded the Arcane Tower and the order of mages who would later serve the Empire. Artorian accompanied Marath when the First Emperor performed the ritual to seal Malakor.
- Another of his companions was another human, a knight-errant from the kingdom of Ostland, Ser Lorac Margrave, the Morningstar. Lorac eventually became king of Ostland, the crown granted to him by Marath’s son after the last king died childless. He was a great knight, the very image of chivalry and godliness. Lorac joined forces with Marath after the Sword beat him in a duel of honor. The Morningstar fought many great battles against the demonspawn of Malakor and his memory lives on in glory in Ostland.
- Marath was also joined by Holm Thunderstone, a dwarf hero from the mountain clans. Holm’s name was given to the eventual confederation of dwarven clans that became the kingdom known as Holmstead. Holm was a doughty warrior, possessed of a wild fury and a famed tolerance for pain. Holm’s axes claimed the lives of many Malakor demonspawn and Marath and he saved the lives of his companions on more than one occasion. Holm entered legend when he sacrificed his life slaying Barbaratul, an immensely powerful balor in Malakor’s service, in single combat.