| Faction: |
Fellowship of Tes Pellaria (formerly)
Ravensworth Thieves' Guild (formerly)
Grand Alliance (formerly)
Refan d'Zarnagon is a thief from Remon and nemesis of Kareth d'Zarnagon and Jonathan Ferron. He has a dark and troubled past as he is the son of the archdemon Omaroch d'Zarnagon and has to constantly struggle with his demonic side as well as his feelings for Skye d'Zarnagon and Axikasha Keiran. Originally a supporter of the Grand Alliance, Refan joined the demons of the Northern Horde after the Battle of Vanna when his demonic side was finally unleashed.
- "Look, I don't want to pry, but you do have... connections amongst those who are, shall we say... less respectful of the law than others, correct?"
- —Leon Alcibiates to Refan
Refan was born into the family of the demon Omaroch d'Zarnagon and the human cleric Delora in Remonton during the time when Provisional Government ruled over the then-Confederacy of Remon. The family had to keep the connection to Omaroch a secret, because both the Clergy of Cardia and the Clergy of Mardük would have considered the marriage of a human and a demon blasphemy. Omaroch had to stay away from home simply to not draw any suspicion on the family, but Refan nevertheless lived a happy childhood.
Although Omaroch had managed to keep the clerics of Cardia and Mardük off his tail, he had not expected that his demonic brothers would come after him personally. He realized that facing his older brothers might mean death, so he appeared at Delora's home for the last time, saying bitter farewells to his family. He said sad farewells to the infant Refan, comforting him that his family would always be by his side. He also asked Kareth to become the man of the house while he was away. Kareth swore to keep the family safe.
A few years went by, and the family waited, but Omaroch never returned. Delora became weak from grief and assumed that her husband had perished. Refan saw her mother sad and tried to comfort her together with his older brother Kareth. The family was getting poorer and had to remain in hiding among the populace of Remonton. Delora was a good teacher and tutored Kareth and Refan at home.
Refan's happy life would come to a turning point, though. The Clergy of Mardük had somehow found out about where Delora and her sons were hiding, and they sent the infamous rogue, Derak, and his men to deal with this family that had committed the ultimate sin of having associated itself with a demon. Derak located the house and attacked in the evening, assaulting Delora. The 5-year-old Refan tried to protect her, but one of the rogues threw him at the wall, knocking him unconscious. In a way this was maybe a blessing because Refan never got to see what brutal things Derak did to Kareth and Delora.
Refan woke up sometime later and found himself in a wagon with Sullena who had been an old friend of Refan's parents. Sullena told Refan that Kareth and Delora were gone and that they could never return to Remonton. He promised to take care of Refan even though it would be a hard life. Refan, being young, could do nothing but let Sullena help him from then on. He became a member of Ravensworth Thieves' Guild and would live the next years as a thief.
During his time in Ravensworth Refan befriended the half-elf Izael Korath, and he, Izael and Sullena became an efficient trio of thieves who still followed the Code of Thieves which was used less and less among the thieves. Refan also learned swordplay from Sullena who gave him Smaragdos, the Emerald Blade. Unbeknownst to the young thief the sword had actually belonged to his father a long time ago.
A Fateful Encounter
- "Do you really think that you can challenge me? You do not know the power I possess!"
- —Zarnagon to Refan
Sullena heard something interesting during one of his walks in Ravensworth in 1000 AE. A lavish ship owned by Count Frederic Drima would stay at the city's docks until the following morning to resupply, and the count and clerics of Mardük had the invaluable Dragon Diamond with them. Realizing the diamond's worth and also recalling his past history with that dreaded artifact, Sullena decided to steal the diamond. He only let Izael and Refan know the essentials but wasn't willing to let them know his true reasons for stealing the diamond. The trio headed to the docks later that night... a trip which would have major consequences for all of them.
The trio located the Dragon Diamond with little effort. Refan was wary of the job being so easy but was dazzled by the diamond's beauty and soon forgot anything else. Just as they were about to take the diamond elsewhere, they were surrounded by Drima and his henchmen from the Clergy of Mardük.
It turned out that the clerics had intentionally lured the trio to the ship, and Drima gloatingly revealed his plan. He had been after the trio because he had managed to find out that one of them was related to an ancient sage who had created the Dragon Diamond. Once Drima found which of them was the true heir of the sage, he would use that person's blood as a catalyst and access the diamond's power which he would use to find the hidden prison of the dark dragon Frazzn'korth. The clergy would then enslave the dragon and use it to take over the world.
The dark cleric next to Drima used the diamond's glow to find out that Izael was the prophecized heir of the sage. Just as Drima, the cleric and their minions were about to take Izael, Sullena acted to help Refan and Izael escape and thus foil the clerics' plans. However, the dark cleric showed his power by fatally wounding Sullena and capturing Izael.
Refan was filled with rage when he witnessed the death of his mentor and the imprisonment of his friend, but he managed to think calmly long enough to understand that he stood no chance against the superior foes. He used the opening Izael and Sullena had created for him to escape from the ship. Refan was barely alive and vowed to make Drima and the dark cleric pay for what they had done. As night turned to morning, Refan had turned 18. He was now officially an adult but he did not care about any of it. He had lost everything he had cared for in only a few minutes, and he would not let the villains get away with it.
The young thief packed necessary supplies to his backpack and used his connections among the thieves to find out that Drima's ship was headed to Remonton. He followed the villains, intent on saving Izael before the clerics could use him to plunge Remon into chaos. He crossed the distance between Remonton and Ravensworth in a surprisingly small amount of time. Although he did not know it at time, this feat was possible thanks to his demonic blood which gave him the speed necessary to reach Remonton in time.
- " Drink more, Son of Darkness. Feel the power within! You are one of us, do not deny it. We are your family now!"
- —Malakhia d'Zarnagon to Refan through Smaragdos
Refan ended up in Fool's Haven, a local tavern where many adventurers came to rest and tell stories. He was running low on money so he tried to steal from one of the people in the inn. Unfortunately for him the man caught him in the act of stealing but chose not to report him to the police if he chose to serve him for a while. The man turned out to be mute and introduced himself via a written note as Daventhalas de Mont Hault, or just Daven. Although Refan was annoyed that he had to serve a big hulking armored man, he swallowed his pride and decided to do Daven's bidding for a while because he was in need of money and information.
Refan used his money to get drunk, and he sang the song that his mother Delora had once taught him. He also met various people in the tavern such as Abel Highwind, Leon Alcibiates, Mori'sul Agara, Tanya and Wygar Sleetfort among others. While he was overcome with emotion in a fit of drunken passion, he happened to overhear a private conversation between two clerics in a corner and he used the bits he heard from them to find out that these two people were in fact clerics of Mardük and were connected to Drima and the dark cleric who had killed Sullena and kidnapped Izael. He became enraged and approached the female cleric, Dorecia, when the other cleric had left. He demanded to know the whereabouts of Izael.
Dorecia was suddenly possessed by someone known as Zarnagon who informed Refan that he had been responsible for Sullena's death and had become interested in Smaragdos and wanted it for himself. This angered Refan who now knew his nemesis's name and attacked. The possessed Dorecia and Refan had a brief but brutal duel, and Refan only overcame the superior opponent when he heard a mysterious voice coming from his sword which helped him access a previously hidden inner power.
Zarnagon left Dorecia's body, and Refan drank the woman's blood. Refan quickly came to his senses, though, and realized what had happened: he had killed a person with his own hands for the first time in his life. Even though he despised the clergy, he couldn't believe that he'd been capable of killing anyone in cold blood, and this shock nearly drove him insane. The commotion caused quite an uproar, and Daven took the troubled Refan to his workshop to recover and to discover the cause of this strange bloodlust which he suspected was of demonic origin.
This first kill wound haunt Refan for years to come, and it was the first true hint at what powers his so far suppressed demonic side really possessed. He was also worried about the voices he had begun hearing and how they seemed to be connected to his sword Smaragdos somehow.
- "I knew yer mom, she was a real pretty woman. Too bad we had to kill her."
- —Derak to Refan
Refan and Daven had brief and fruitful conversations (well, Daven writing on paper because he was mute) in the shop, and Daven's suspicion about Refan's demonic parentage grew although he didn't tell Refan about it. The two were interrupted when a group of rogues led by Derak suddenly attacked the shop. It turned out that the Clergy of Mardük had found out about Dorecia's death and were now out for blood... albeit using thugs like Derak to do the dirty work for them.
Refan was knocked unconscious during the battle, and his suppressed memories returned as he tried to recall where he had seen Derak before. The scene of Delora and Kareth being assaulted by Derak came back in full force, and Refan awoke, sweating. When he questioned Derak about the matter, the rogue gleefully recalled the scene and told Refan in vivid detail how Delora had been raped and Kareth had been sold to a slave trader named the Black Widow. Derak then tried to kill Refan and bring Smaragdos to the clerics of Mardük, but the enraged Refan once again pulled strength from his dormant demonic side and slew Derak.
The rogues outnumbered Refan and Daven, however, and all seemed lost when suddenly many heroes from Fool's Haven joined the fray. The heroes were even joined by new faces such as Bella Sirius and Julian who came to help. Once the rogues had been dealt with, Mori'sul and Leon approached everyone and told them how all these attacks they had faced lately came from one source: the Clergy of Mardük. Mori'sul and Leon asked everyone around them to accompany them to Fragnar to put an end to the Clergy of Mardük's plan to escalate the racism between Remonian elves and men into an all-out civil war.
Since Refan was indebted to Daven and the other heroes who had saved his life, he chose to accompany them to Fragnar. He had also found out that Izael would currently be at Fragnar, and he would thuse use the heroes' mission as a means to reach the city safely and hopefully save Izael before it was too late.
While packing for the journey ahead, Refan was suddenly attacked by a bird which turned into a grotesque griffon. It turned out to be one of Zarnagon's experiments which had been sent after Refan, or more specifically Smaragdos. Refan barely survived this encounter, and his new companions became wary of him because they were worried why the Clergy of Mardük was attracted to him and his sword. Nevertheless they let him accompany them to Fragnar although their friendship became more tense from that day onward.
A Tragic Journey
- "Zarnagon... he has taken all the people I cared for from me! He kidnapped my best friend and is tormenting him as we speak! Then he forced me to kill a girl I cared for! And now... after he had killed my mentor, he defamed his body as well and left my mentor's head in a jar to me as a present! Zarnagon has taken everything from me! I HATE HIM!!!"
- —Refan to Bella Sirius
The heroes faced many dangers along the way such as Frosty the Snowman and a lonely, starving wolf which Tanya adopted as a pet but also gained valuable allies such as Ragnar Daenyathos Jaeger. The storm also grew worse, and Wygar foolishly believed that Mardük himself had raised it to stall the heroes.
Mori'sul thought that the group would never reach Fragnar in time if all sorts of monsters and wizards tried to stop them, so he to split the group up. The group led by Mori'sul would take the western route to Fragnar while the other group led by Daven would take the eastern route. They hoped that this way at least one group could reach Fragnar safely.
Refan was surprised to meet Jessica, an old flame of his, during the journey. Jessica and her friends claimed to have come from Fragnar and had a cheerful chat with Refan, reminiscing about the old times. However, something in Jessica's eyes seemed strange, and Bella tried to warn Refan who chose to ignore her advice because he thought she was jealous of the attention Jessica was giving to him.
Bella's observations turned out to be correct, however, when Jessica and her friends suddenly attacked the group. It turned out that they had been brainwashed by Zarnagon who had discovered their connections to Refan. While Daven and Julian dealt with the thugs, Jessica threatened to kill Bella unless Refan surrendered and handed Smaragdos over to her. Zarnagon even possessed Jessica briefly to directly mock Refan whom he saw as too weak if he could not kill a girl he loved to save others.
Refan was forced to make a choice, and he decided to act on instinct. He used his hidden dagger and threw it at Jessica, piercing her skull. As much as he cared for her, he could not part with his weapon and he didn't want his dear new friends Bella, Julian and Daven die. Zarnagon left Jessica who thanked Refan and begged for his forgiveness. She then died in the arms of Refan who cried out in anger. The young thief buried the girl he had loved nearby. He also briefly met with a mysterious person calling himself the Wanderer who said a few cryptic words and vanished before Refan could ask any questions.
The group eventually reached Fragnar where they met up with a young thief, Fehr, who instantly took a liking to Bella and who despised Refan. They managed to track Zarnagon's group to a nearby inn but when they entered the room, they noticed that the villains had already left. However, Zarnagon had left a note in which he mocked Refan's efforts. As if that wasn't enough, Refan even discovered a gruesome trophy that Zarnagon had left for him to see: Sullena's severed head in a glass jar. This, coupled with the death of Jessica, made Refan more determined than ever to save Izael and make Zarnagon and Drima pay for all they had done.
Refan also met with two vampiresses, Larosa and Tedia, in Fragnar and had a brief but brutal chat with them. He managed to force them to tell him more about the Black Widow's whereabouts as well as the destination where Zarnagon was headed. Refan hoped to find and free Kareth from the Black Widow and to track down Zarnagon before the dark dragon could be released.
Under the Yamatian Yoke
- "It's just that there's something else between me and Zarnagon than just this intense hatred towards each other. Some kind of connection but I don't know what it's about yet. I just... I just want him dead so that he won't kill any more people dear to me."
- —Refan to Leon Alcibiates
Everything changed, however, when the Yamatians took over Remon with the help of High Cleric Distreyd Thanadar XII and the Clergy of Mardük. Bella, Julian and Fehr disappeared in the ensuing chaos, and many of the heroes gave their lives in a futile struggle to fend off the Yamatian invaders whose sheer numbers crushed all opposition.
Zarnagon, Drima and Izael had disappeared, but at least they had not managed to release the dark dragon, so the world was safe for now. What hurt Refan the most, however, was that the Black Widow and her organization of slave traders had been wiped out during the Yamatian invasion. Refan had lost his last clue of discovering his brother Kareth's whereabouts.
Refan did not have much time to dwell on such sad news because he and Daven ended up saving a young elf named Nalaen Silverpond from Yamatians. Nalaen's Innate Ability became useful when she could communicate with Daven telepathically and thus act as his spokeswoman. The trio became wandering merchants who lived the best they could while fighting a desperate guerrilla war against Yamatian patrols in the countryside. Nalaen came to view Refan and Daven as her big brothers, and Refan was glad to be surrounded by Daven and Nalaen whose optimism cheered him on. However, he continued to suffer from terrible nightmares in which he saw visions of a horrible, demonic beast that resembled himself.
The three heroes eventually returned to Fragnar for resupply and met an old friend, Leon Alcibiates, who told them how Mori'sul had returned to Fragnar during the trio's absence and had turned into a tyrant until he had disappeared under mysterious circumstances and the Yamatians had taken over. Leon told the trio that they would have to gather a group of heroes who would then travel to the Crystal Catacombs below Tes Pellaria to commune with the dead and find the prophecized king of Remon who could then unite men, elves and dwarves under one banner and drive out the Yamatians.
The heroes immediately gained a new member when a man named Jonathan Ferron appeared and expressed his desire to join them. Although Refan was initially suspicious of this new man who somehow looked oddly familiar, he soon warmed up to the man when he turned out to be no sympathizer of the Clergy of Mardük and the Yamatians. Little did Refan know at the time that there was more to Ferron than met the eye, though.
Meetings at Tes Pellaria
- "You must find Zarnagon and defeat him, or all will be lost. Only by defeating that mage can you save your brother Kareth."
- —The shade of Delora to Refan
The core group of Fragnar was busy for two years until they finally acquired a big enough force of heroes to travel to Tes Pellaria safely. This force became known as the Fellowship of Tes Pellaria and had such people as Jono Renfield, Kage Ryouu, Scarecrow and Serenity in its ranks. They entered the ancient catacombs which Leon opened via magic, setting the Faerfolc free in the process.
Within the caves the fellowship saw images of the dead. Some of these manifestations were quite aggressive but the collective heroism of the fellowship as well as the Faerfolc's eagerness to leave the catacombs saved the fellowship from a certain death at the hands of the spirits. Refan met three important ghosts in the cavern although he was not sure if these beings really were the spirits of the deceased or just images conjured by the Faerfolc to trick him. Nevertheless he talked to these images of the dead who turned out to be his mother Delora, his loved one Jessica and his first kill Dorecia.
These three women had played a major part in Refan's life up to this point, and each of them told Refan to stop blaming himself for their deaths. Instead they encouraged Refan to continue the journey and to free Kareth. To Refan's surprise it seemed that Kareth and Zarnagon were connected somehow and that Refan would find his brother at long last once he defeated Zarnagon. Refan promised to free Kareth and destroy Zarnagon for good for the sake of the world... and his sanity.
Before leaving the cave, the Faerfolc revealed that one of the heroes, Marcus Sarillius, was the destined heir of Agarwaen and would become the king who could restore Remon to its former glory. They gave the fellowship a chest which held the crown of the king and which could only be opened with a magical key.
The Faerfolc also broadcasted the vision of Marcus all over Remon so that every sentient being would see what was happening at Tes Pellaria. This was both a gift and a curse: it would let the oppressed Remoners know that they could rally under the banner of a destined hero, but it would also alert the Yamatians and clerics of Mardük to the danger posed by Marcus and they would certainly try to kill him before he gathered enough supporters. A race against time had begun, and the fellowship had now become an enemy of the Yamatian state.
The fellowship spent the next few days running from Yamatian patrols led by the devious Yousei Kaizoku. They lost many heroes along the way but also befriended several later allies such as Skye who accidentally helped the heroes find the magical key in her village of Cassandria. Various people from all over Remon were travelling north to meet with Marcus, some out of curiosity and others out of loyalty and sense of adventure.
Battle of Drithenspire
- "Who the heck are you?"
- "I am the Shadow!"
- —Refan and the Shadow
Marcus eventually led the ever-growing fellowship to Drithenspire because he knew that they would all die unless he managed to make the dwarves join his cause. Although the dwarven King Arisol, Thane Aro and the rest of the dwarves were initially skeptic about Marcus's claims for the Remonian throne, they changed their minds when they saw that Marcus possessed Dusk, a blade forged by clerics of Hephaestus, the dwarven patron god.
However, the villains weren't lazy at this time either. Kaizoku sent his trusted minion, the illusionist Seishuu Kazejin, to disrupt the negotiations. Shuu managed to trick the dwarves into believing that the fellowship was only planning to use them as cannon fodder. The force consisting of clerics of Mardük, Yamatians and Black Hunters led by Kaizoku attacked the unsuspecting fellowship, and at the same time the enraged dwarves turned against the fellowship in what would be known as the Battle of Drithenspire.
During this battle Refan and Ferron faced Frederic Drima who had been reduced to a mere pawn of Zarnagon. Refan realized that Zarnagon was even more dangerous than he had expected. While Ferron killed Drima to Refan's dismay, a new foe known as the Shadow appeared and confronted Refan directly. The Shadow was essentially like a living shadow and nearly defeated Refan with its powers. However, Refan used the voices of his blade Smaragdos to his advantage and managed to outwit the monster, dealing a killing blow. This destroyed the Shadow but left Refan severely wounded.
The tide of the battle turned when Jono and a few others managed to uncover the illusionist Shuu's plot and drove him away. They managed to let Marcus know about this treachery, and Marcus in turn convinced Arisol and Aro that it had all been part of Kaizoku's plan to divide them. The dwarves saw the truth in Marcus's paladin eyes and joined the fellowship once more, utterly defeating the enemy forces and forcing Kaizoku and his surviving forces to flee. The clever strategies from newly arrived allies Alessandra DeKont and Raphael Darness also played a part in the Yamatians' defeat. The fellowship had scored its first major victory against the Yamatian overlords.
The fellowship and their new dwarven allies realized that it would only be a matter of time before Kaizoku got reinforcements and returned with an even bigger force. Even the dwarves' strength would not be enough to stop the combined forces of the warriors of Yamato and the mages of the Clergy of Mardük, so the fellowship had to gather more followers.
The heroes decided to travel south and recruit as many Remoners as possible until they would reach Folsworth Woods and hopefully convince the elves to join them. Although the elves' support was crucial for the fellowship, it was unclear how they would be able to make the elves forget years of persecution. They knew, however, that failure to form an alliance with the elves would result in the death of the entire fellowship.
- "I have something to return to you from back in the battlefield, and I can't let you get away with it."
- —Skye to Refan before kissing him
After a few skirmishes, the ever-growing fellowship reached Folsworth Woods, the home of the elves of Remon. They met with Krisler Garside, an idealistic elf who sympathized with the humans' plight. He escorted the fellowship to his home village of Codael Lake to meet with his father, Malthar Garside. Malthar was less than pleased by such intrusion from humans and dwarves but Krisler suggested that the fellowship could prove its worth by helping the elves deal with a serious problem in the woods.
This problem was known as the Beastmaster, a strange creature who had mutated various animals in the woods into ferocious beasts. Many elves had already fallen in battle against him, and now some whispered that he was only massing his forces for a final attack on the elven cities. Malthar suggested that if the fellowship could defeat the Beastmaster, the elven King Amandil might be willing to listen to proposals for an alliance. Seeing no other choice to earn the elves' trust, the fellowship agreed to take down the Beastmaster and save the woods from his reign of terror.
The heroes fought against Azrael and the minions of the Beastmaster and even crossed the dreaded Meadow of Red Bells. In the end they reached Myrael Toria, the Beastmaster's lair. There they faced the Beastmaster himself who had been expecting them. With a ferocious roar, the Beastmaster and his elite minions attacked the fellowship, and at the same time the other members of the fellowship defended Codael Lake and nearby elven communities from the Beastmaster's massive horde of mindless monsters.
Despite the heroes' valiant efforts all seemed lost because the Beastmaster's forces were too big. The tide of the battle changed, however, when Krisler managed to convince the reclusive elves of the southern mountains to come to the heroes' aid with their fast pegasi horses. At the same time a group of friendly Yamatian Remoners calling themselves the Akai Tora appeared with a detachment from Maar Sul to aid in the battle. This changed the tide of the battle, and the combined forces of the heroes and elves managed to overcome the Beastmaster.
The fellowship befriended the Akai Tora leader Kazuya Ofuchi and the Maar Sulais princes Geraud Aurelac and Kagetsu II. They promised to aid the fellowship in the campaign to free Remon if the fellowship would help depose of Hideyoshi Ofuchi in Remon and liberate Maar Sul from Yamatian forces and restore Kagetsu II to the throne of Maar Sul. Marcus agreed and thus gained these new allies.
However, the heroes soon discovered that the Beastmaster hadn't been the mastermind behind the daring plan to attack the elves, after all. In fact, Zarnagon had been behind it and had controlled things from behind the scenes. The item found from the Beastmaster's corpse identified the Beastmaster as Maiyr Korath whom Zarnagon had mutated into this gruesome form. As if that wasn't enough, Amandil's advisor, Firion Korath, was Maiyr's brother. The heroes realized that the Beastmaster, or Maiyr, had only been a distraction so that Firion could use the chaos to his advantage and assassinate the unguarded Amandil as per Zarnagon's orders.
The heroes raced to the elven capital of Sanae to save Amandil from the treacherous Firion. They arrived just in time to foil Firion's plan, but Firion managed to escape, vowing to make the heroes pay and taunting them that Zarnagon was already too many steps ahead of them. The battle was over for now, but the heroes knew that Firion would meet Kaizoku sooner or later and then launch an all-out attack on Folsworth Woods with him to wipe out Marcus Sarillius and the fellowship once and for all.
Forming the Alliance
- "Remember that darkness is not the answer. Love and compassion are the only things that can penetrate the black wall of hatred and vengeance."
- —Aramien to Refan
Amandil was impressed and grateful of the fellowship's valiant actions. After lengthy talks, the fellowship, the dwarves, the elves, the Akai Tora and the Maar Sulais knights decided to band under Marcus to drive the Yamatian menace out of Remon. The Grand Alliance of old had been revived at long last!
A period of frenetic training began among the troops while more and more heroes and mercenaries joined the Grand Alliance's ranks. Among the new allies were Axikasha Keiran and members of the Fellowship of Magestar such as Abel Highwind, BoB the Jaguar, Hector Blackwell and Reven Faldon.
These heroes brought invaluable intel to Marcus and also made him see that liberating Remon would only be the first step; to truly defeat the evil Distreyd Thanadar XII and Shogun Masamori Hyuga, the heroes would have to destroy the shards of Krystallopyr with the Cricket Ball of Magic and liberate the conquered kingdoms from the Yamatians and clerics of Mardük. Only then could the world be truly free.
Refan befriended many of these new heroes during this period, and one of the people he really got along with was Axikasha Keiran, whom he called Ax. The two really seemed to connect on an emotional level and had similar interests. However, Refan's mind was occupied with other things at the time: he and Skye had fallen in love.
For the first time in years Refan felt a sense of relief. Skye's youthful positivism and enthusiasm helped Refan bear the darkness that he carried within. With her he could truly be himself without worrying about tomorrow. And yet he was also afraid of losing her if Zarnagon ever figured out how important she was to him. He swore to keep Skye safe no matter what happened.
Refan also met a surprising figure who turned out to be Aramien, his godmother who had known his father well. The two talked for a while, and Aramien helped Refan harness his inner powers by channeling them into white magic. She told him that he would have to practice hard but if he didn't forget the light, his mother would always be by his side.
Refan wanted to hear more about his father, however, but things were interrupted by a surprise attack. He, Hector and a few others faced a scouting party sent by the Clergy of Mardük. They managed to subdue the attackers, and two of them turned out to be Tanya and Izael to Refan's shock. Refan found out that Zarnagon had brainwashed and corrupted those two once pure people, and this made him angrier at Zarnagon for doing such a vile deed.
Battle of Folsworth Woods
- "I can sense that you are here for a purpose. However, you shall not stop me from devouring this boy. His sword shall be mine just as my master ordered!"
- "He's my son, and his destiny is not to die by your hand."
- —The Shadow and Omaroch d'Zarnagon about Refan
News of the arrival of Kaizoku's army spread to Folsworth Woods soon after, and Izael and Tanya managed to escape in the ensuing chaos. Refan could see that someone from the inside had helped them escape but he didn't have time to figure out who. Meanwhile Marcus foolishly rushed to the battlefield alone when he found out that Ax, whom he had sent to scout the battlefield beforehand, had been wounded. Marcus's decision to save a single soldier roused the army of the Alliance which advanced from Folsworth Woods to protect Marcus and to beat some Yamatian ass. The Battle of Folsworth Woods had begun.
The battle was fierce, and the Yamatians and clerics of Mardük outnumbered even the combined forces of the Grand Alliance. Refan was shocked to discover that the Shadow had been resurrected, and the two entered into a fierce duel while the battle became more and more chaotic around them. The Shadow mocked Refan and actually poisoned Skye with his shadow magic.
While Ax's group breached the Yamatian fort, Refan discovered that the Shadow had grown too powerful for him to handle and would slay both him and Skye. Just as the monster was about to finish Refan and Skye off, the Wanderer appeared and defeated the Shadow with amazing skill.
Refan finally realized that the Wanderer was no other than his father Omaroch, and he demanded an explanation from him. Omaroch told him that he had been forced to abandon the family because his evil brothers had been seeking for them. The only way to protect his sons and wife had been to leave them forever in order to lure the demonic brothers away. Omaroch admitted to regretting this decision but he also told Refan that they, and Kareth, had a great destiny ahead of them. Before Refan could question him further, Omaroch vanished once more.
Yet another timely arrival of the pegasi warriors changed the tide of the battle. Ax's group managed to capture most of the Yamatian commanders, thus severly lowering the morale of the Yamatian forces. Kaizoku and his Black Hunters managed to escape, but the rest of the Yamatians and clerics of Mardük either fled, surrendered or died. The Grand Alliance had scored a major victory against the Yamato Empire, and now the Great War had truly begun in earnest.
Refan spent the days after the battle tending to the wounded with the best of his ability. He was worried about Skye's condition but was certain that he could find an antidote to the Shadow's poison eventually. He could not bear to see her die.
A Confused Heart
- "You stayed by my side all night long?"
- "Well, that's what friends are for. And isn't the Fellowship one big family, after all?"
- —Axikasha Keiran and Refan
The Alliance began its campaign to liberate Remon. The battles such as those in Opethburg helped cement the Alliance's popularity among the masses. Soon Marcus's army had grown so huge that it decided to march directly to Remonton where the Yamatian Council of Regents resided. Should Remonton fall, it would be relatively simple to secure the rest of Remon.
Marcus sent his most trusted companions to infiltrate Remonton at night. One group would open the gates from within so that the rest of the army could march in while the other group would capture the Yamatian councillors. Refan went with this second group and aided them in securing the councillors. However, things turned for the worse when Shyralis, one of the group members, betrayed the heroes and locked them and the councillors in a room with the Shadow which freed the councillors.
A fierce battle ensued during which some of the councillors as well as Scarecrow and Kage were killed while Ax was severely injured. The Shadow nearly won but the actions of Leon Alcibiates, Miyuki Ofuchi and Hideyoshi Ofuchi in the city caused a disturbance in magic which immobilized the Shadow long enough for Refan to defeat him. The Alliance's forces stormed Remonton soon after, winning this crucial battle.
Refan stayed by Ax's bed in the following days, and he was glad to see that she eventually recovered. However, he refused to think that he would in fact be falling in love with two women at the same time, and he pushed such thoughts out of his mind. He could not betray his love for Skye, not now or ever even though he had begun to care more about Ax lately. Duty came first, and Refan had to concentrate on defeating Zarnagon and the new menace, the Shadow, one way or another in the future.
While a large group of Alliance soldiers stayed behind in Remon, Refan chose to travel with the rest of the Alliance to Maar Sul to liberate it next. Meanwhile Ax led a group of heroes to Myridia in Aison to capture a powerful magical blade named Dawn. Refan was both sad and relieved by this: on the one hand he wouldn't be able to spend more time with Ax, but on the other hand it would give him time to figure out which woman he really loved more.
The Demon Awakes
- "Son of Darkness, the time has finally come! Witness the birthright of all the Children of Mardük!"
- —Malakhia d'Zarnagon through Smaragdos, triggering Refan's first transformation
Refan participated in the First Battle of Maar Sul during which the army of the Grand Alliance stormed Maar Sul City. Kagetsu II defeated the Shogun impostor but was nearly slain by the once again resurrected Shadow. Refan managed to intervene just in time to prevent the Shadow from dealing a finishing blow, although he was wounded in the process.
Taking over Maar Sul City was just the beginning, though. While the Delegation of Thirteen was sent to the Khitan Khanate, the rest of the Alliance participated in the First Battle of Victoire. The Yamatians were defeated once again, and Kagetsu and Marcus decided to have a huge party to entertain the battle-weary soldiers. Refan and Skye drank quite a bit at this time and had sex for the first time as their emotions overcame their senses.
This intimate encounter proved to be the catalyst that the darkness within Refan had been waiting for. He transformed into a grim demon form while he was making love, and Skye could do nothing but witness such a traumatic transformation. When Refan saw his demonic form from a nearby mirror, he fainted. Only his deep love for Skye prevented his demonic side from tearing Skye to pieces.
When morning came, Skye and Refan had the talk. Refan deeply apologized to Skye and was worried that she would leave him; he would understand such a reaction because he couldn't believe that he was actually a monster and that the things Aramien had hinted at in Folsworth Woods were coming full circle. However, to Refan's surprise Skye kissed him. She was frightened by his demonic form but refused to leave him alone. She told him that it didn't matter what Refan was because she still loved him. If this demonic form was dangerous, they would have to find a way to tame it but she would never leave Refan's side.
This confession moved Refan deeply, and the bond between him and Skye grew stronger. And yet Refan knew that he would have to face this demonic form again and he was unsure if he could ever change back to human once that happened. He was determined to at least fight to the bitter end, though.
Duel with Zarnagon
- "It's time to finish what we began years ago, thief. I'll squash you as easily as I squashed your pathetic little friends. No one can stop me from fulfilling my destiny!"
- "The only destiny a bastard like you will face is an agonizing death! I'll make you pay for all the suffering you've caused!"
- —Zarnagon and Refan
Once Maar Sul, the Khitan Khanate and Scundia had been taken, the Alliance once again left a few troops to keep peace while the rest of its ever-growing army moved to Aison. The heroes decided to launch a bold strike at Myridia, the Aisonian capital, itself in order to catch the enemies by surprise and to hopefully capture Zarnagon who was now known to be Distreyd XII's second-in-command. If the heroes succeeded, Zarnagon's defeat would be the beginning of Distreyd's downfall.
Although Refan was still troubled by the recent discovery of his demonic side, he wanted to accompany the heroes to Aison to finish what had begun years ago at the docks of Ravensworth. He knew he could never rest easily with Skye as long as Zarnagon was alive. He also wanted to save Kareth; he had failed to save Izael from Zarnagon, but he was determined to not make the same mistake once he found Kareth.
The heroes launched the attack, and a fierce battle began. Refan was joined by the survivors of Ax's group, and they eventually battled their way to the throne room of Zarnagon. Despite outnumbering the dark mage and having elite heroes at their disposal, the group was beaten. Zarnagon used the powers of the Dragon Diamond to mop the floor with various heroes, killing them left and right. Refan saw his friends fall, and he realized that it might be too late to stop Zarnagon anymore: the Alliance would be defeated here, at the heart of Zarnagon's dark realm.
Despite Zarnagon's awesome power, Refan was not willing to give up. Using the opening provided by his fallen friends, he directly engaged Zarnagon in a fierce duel. He was surprised to see that Zarnagon was wielding the Ruby Blade, Inferno, which was like a darker version of Refan's own sword Smaragdos. Zarnagon proved superior at first and severely beat Refan. It was then that Refan chose to take Zarnagon with him if he were to die, and he transformed into his powerful demonic form which caught Zarnagon completely by surprise.
As Zarnagon lay bleeding, the demonic Refan prepared to cut him down. To Refan's surprise Zarnagon transformed into a demonic form, and the duel began anew. They were equally matched in their demonic forms and fought long and hard until they managed to impale each other with their bloodstained, glowing blades. Both were tired but neither was willing to give up. They looked into each other's fiery, demonic eyes and waited for the other to make a move. Nothing else mattered.
- "You two are brothers... my sons... members of a powerful demon clan! Search for that familiar feeling deep within your hearts and cast aside your doubts, and you'll know it to be true."
- —Omaroch d'Zarnagon to Refan and Zarnagon
It was during that crucial moment in the duel between the thief and the mage when Ferron attacked, revealing his true colours. It turned out that the dark cleric who had been with Dorecia in Fool's Haven years ago had been none other than Ferron who had sent Derak after Refan for revenge. When Ferron had been betrayed by Zarnagon, he had sworn to make both Refan and Zarnagon pay. He had joined the Alliance and guided Refan to meet Zarnagon and now that the two men were weakened, he planned to finish them off.
Ferron would've succeeded but the surprising arrival of Omaroch ruined his plans. When he tried to attack again, Refan and Zarnagon were already free, and Refan's demonic form had regenerated enough to pose too big a threat for Ferron who escaped, cursing Refan as he left.
Omaroch calmly told the two men of their demonic heritage, explaining to Refan the reasons for the dark voices Refan had heard throughout his life. He also revealed that Zarnagon was in fact Kareth, Refan's long-lost older brother whom the Clergy of Mardük had bought from slave traders and brainwashed to serve Mardük, and Smaragdos and Inferno in fact housed the fragmented spirit of Malakhia d'Zarnagon, Omaroch's father, who had guided Refan and Zarnagon through all these years. The struggle of Refan and Zarnagon had been one of the last prophesied events needed to release Mardük, the God of Chaos, who could now take over the world at long last.
Zarnagon accepted the facts calmly as everything made sense to him now and Omaroch's words had triggered his memory. Omaroch turned to Refan, saying that he wanted his sons to be by his side when the dark god would return to the world of mortals. It was then that Refan realized that his father had changed and become a pawn of Mardük just like everyone else. The world was doomed and worst of all, Refan's family were in fact his worst enemies.
Refan, unable to accept this horrible truth, fled the battle in terror and took Skye with him, deserting the Grand Alliance in the process. Omaroch and Zarnagon left as well, their destination unknown. This cowardly action would come back to haunt Refan for years to come although he didn't know it at the time.
The Great War continued, but Refan couldn't care less. He had learned to control his demonic form in some way but it had come with a terrible price. He had nearly gone mad from the dark revelation, and only Skye's company kept him sane. They retired to the woods in Northern Remon where Skye gave birth to a healthy baby boy whom they named Gabriel.
The Cataclysm eventually struck the world as the Godslayer emerged and devoured the gods Cardia and Mardük, but Refan and Skye were blissfully unaware of this. All they wanted was to live their life in peace from now on.
Fate was not so kind to them, though. Marcus Sarillius had disappeared after the Cataclysm, and Remon was close to falling into total anarchy while the Stewards' Council tried to desperately keep order. Jonathan Ferron had survived and took over the former Clergy of Cardia and remade it into the Church of the Memory of Cardia. Ferron used his newfound authority to send groups of knights templar after Refan.
Refan killed every cleric who tried to harm him and his family, and the family had to constantly move from place to place. Still, the pursuers always caught their trails no matter how the family moved, and ironically Refan's story had come full circle: his family had been hunted when he had been just a baby, and now he was a father whose family was hunted by a new menace which nevertheless had the same bias as the earlier hunters who had forced Omaroch to desert his family.
However, Refan was not willing to follow in his father's footsteps; instead, he stayed with his family even though he knew that sooner or later they would be captured because of him. He was close to falling to his inner demon during this time of turmoil, but the love of his wife and son strengthened him enough to keep his darker side at bay. Matters remained thus for years as the Age of Emptiness spread over the shattered world.
The Age of Emptiness
- "This is between you and me, Ferron! My son has nothing to do with this!"
- "Fool! There are bigger things at stake than that foolish grudge of yours, and I won't allow you to disobey!"
- —Refan and Jonathan Ferron
Ferron sent a new task force after Refan's family in 10 AOE, but this time this task force consisted of elites from the Church of the Memory of Cardia. The group happened upon the family's cottage while Skye was ill, and Refan took it to himself to deal with the intruders in order to keep Skye and Gabriel safe. However, the foes managed to surprise him when Unithien Greyrain unleashed a powerful spell to hold Refan while another cleric, Almaric Veer, took Gabriel hostage.
Refan, not willing to let his son die, willingly surrendered. The clerics took him and Gabriel as prisoners and burned the cottage down. Refan was horrified of this, assuming that his ill wife Skye perished in the flames. He lost his determination for the time being, but he promised to make Ferron pay one way or another. It seemed to him that the only way to stop this endless run would be to face Ferron and get rid of him permanently.
The group returned to Remonton and went to see Ferron in the Palace of Justice. Ferron savored his victory, taunting Refan and trying to force him to serve him. Ferron also explained that Marcus had not returned and thus Ferron held supreme power over Remonton with the Stewards' Council and would eventually become the new ruler of entire Remon. Refan openly defied Ferron, telling him that Marcus would return one day and the Stewards' Council would not let Ferron's reign of terror continue for long. Ferron became furious and sent Refan to the dungeon to be persuaded to see the wisdom of the church.
Deep within the dungeons of the Palace of Justice, Refan was horribly tortured by Almaric and Anthony Torquemada. While other clerics gleefully enjoyed the torture, Unithien was the only one of them trying to plead for Refan's life. The physical and emotional pain was too much for Refan to bear in the end, and he transformed into his demonic form. This grisly sight made Unithien flee in terror, but the other clerics continued their grim task to mold Refan into an obedient slave of the church.
Refan's will was almost broken when something unexpected happened. Andrei Pronin and the Proninist Party usurped power in Remonton by surprise and killed or imprisoned many of Ferron's supporters as well as the majority of the Stewards' Council. Refan managed to gather enough strength to break free from the dungeons, and he fled to the back alleys of Remonton to heal his wounds.
He found out that Ferron and Gabriel had left Remonton during the Proninist uprising, and it would take time for him to track them down. Thankfully Refan's demonic regeneration worked well, and he would be back in shape soon as long as he rested for a few days.
On Death's Trail
- "So you're leaving, then?"
- "I'm sure you know all about leaving."
- —Refan and Axikasha Keiran
Once Refan had recovered enough, he found out that Unithien had been captured and would be sentenced in the city square. She had been the only cleric who had shown compassion to Refan during his capture and torture. As much as Refan hated to help anyone in the church which had taken his wife and son away from him, he recalled the Code of Thieves which Sullena had taught him, and he knew he had to return the kindness which Unithien had shown him. He decided to rescue her because he was not willing to forget the Code as it was the last thing still keeping him an honourable person.
Refan managed to intervene just in time to save Unithien from the executor's axe. When he was surrounded and was about to cut the Proninists' heads off, he was surprised to hear Unithien to demand that he should not kill anyone on her behalf. Although this annoyed him, he decided to do as she said as her insistence to not kill reminded him of his days in the Grand Alliance.
It became increasingly difficult to incapacitate the Proninists as their forces grew more and more numerous. Refan realized that he and Unithien would be mowed down soon unless a miracle happened, and he was not willing to use his demonic form because he was unsure if he could prevent himself from killing anyone whenever he was fighting in that form.
To everyone's surprise a mage in a crimson cloak entered the fray and openly challenged Refan. The mage introduced himself as Belial de Ardyn and claimed that Refan had killed his brother. Refan had never seen this man, Belial, before and desperately tried to defend himself from Belial's furious attacks. However, they soon realized that Belial had actually mistaken Refan for Omaroch who had also wielded Smaragdos, the Emerald Blade, in Belial's youth.
Belial seemed to be familiar with the Code of Thieves as he told Refan that he would kill Unithien unless Refan chose to work under him for a time. Realizing that he would never be able to keep his promise to Unithien if he let her die, Refan reluctantly agreed to work for Belial. Another reason for his willingness to submit, however, was his curiosity of how Belial knew Omaroch. Refan hoped that by serving Belial he might be able to find out what had happened to Omaroch after the devastating Second Battle of Myridia.
Before Refan, Unithien and Belial could continue their conversation, they were surrounded by Proninist soldiers and mages who forced them to surrender by their sheer numbers. The trio were taken to Commissar Sergei Malik who was annoyed at the commotion they had caused and ordered them to be executed the following morning.
The prison time of the trio was short, however, when a group of pirates led by Rhyn Suzume helped them and other captives escape from the dungeon. As they got outside, they realized that Remonton had suddenly become a warzone: a huge ice elemental had appeared and was wreaking havoc in the city centre, demolishing buildings and killing people left and right. A group of heroes were desperately trying to beat this great foe back but they were suffering heavy casualties.
Refan, Belial and Unithien joined the fray, and a fierce battle against the elemental began. Refan was surprised to see familiar people among the heroes: Axikasha Keiran and Marcus Sarillius used the combined powers of their blades Dawn and Dusk to wound the elemental enough to force it to return to the High Plane. The battle was over, but many districts of Remonton had been destroyed, and thousands had lost their lives.
A group of Maar Sulais knights appeared on the scene, and Refan used the opportunity to talk with Ax whom he hadn't seen in years. The two had a brief talk during which Ax painfully pointed out how she had been hurt about Refan deserting the Grand Alliance. To Refan's surprise she seemed to show her feelings a bit when she offered Refan to accompany him to Drithenspire to talk to the dwarves who might be able to repair Dawn which the ice elemental had shattered. Refan, however, was honour-bound to be Belial's servant and thus had to decline Ax's offer.
A Game of Deception
- "You fled the battle when the truth was revealed, and in so doing you doomed this world. Your father and your brother released a being which turned out to be the Godslayer! Thanks to your family's meddling, countless people lost their lives and, worst of all, Mardük ended up dead and thus no one could close the portal to the demon realm anymore! If you had slain your brother that day instead of running away like a coward, we wouldn't have the demon problem, and we wouldn't have to fear for the Godslayer's awakening!"
- —Jonathan Ferron to Refan
Refan had many talks with Izael, whom Ax's Wanderers had caught prior to the ice elemental battle. It turned out that Izael had switched his allegiance from the Clergy of Mardük to the Totenkopfs although Izael now claimed that he had deserted the cult for the sake of his love for Shyralis.
Refan swallowed his pride and forgave Izael and actually told Izael to let Shyralis know about his feelings. Izael was surprised and grateful for Refan's advice. The former friends knew that they could never return to what they had used to be but they could at least try to rekindle their friendship step by step.
This quiet reminisce ended when various representatives of various races and Remonian city-states appeared in Remonton in 11 AOE. Marcus, Shyralis and Belial had called them to form the Grand Alliance anew although it would be hard to convince them. Refan seethed when he saw Ferron and Gabriel among the representatives but he knew he could do nothing to Ferron until the meeting was over.
The meeting didn't go too well at first, and to Refan's surprise Ferron called him and Izael to his room in a local inn during a break. It was then that Ferron revealed that he had brainwashed Gabriel into his obedient servant and had made him forget that Refan was his real father. He used this fact as a means to force Refan into his service, and he also reminded Refan that it was because of Refan's inability to kill Zarnagon and Omaroch that the Cataclysm had doomed the world to its current fate.
Angered by these accusations but understanding that Ferron had a point, Refan had no other chance but submit under his power for the time being. However, he swore to find a way to save Gabriel from Ferron and crush Ferron once and for all.
Thanks to an intervention from Tywion Crowley, Marcus managed to gather enough people from all races under his banner. The Grand Alliance had been born anew. However, some factions such as Dylas Rin Theron and his White Ravens refused to follow Marcus. Still, it was a good start.
When Rhylian Loras appeared to talk about the Blood Fever, Refan was surprised yet again when he saw Daven and Nalaen appearing among the crowd to support Rhylian's plan of using the Alliance's resources to find a cure to the Blood Fever while the army would also deal with the growing menace of the Proninist Party in Maar Sul. Ax also appeared with her Blades of Vigilance, pledging herself to Marcus's cause. Refan, emboldened by seeing so many friends, decided to join the Alliance, and Marcus eagerly accepted him.
Things turned more sinister when Krisler Garside, one of the elven representatives, demanded that Izael Korath be handed over to him for his association with the Beastmaster. It turned out that Izael had been related to the evil Korath brothers who had terrorized Folsworth Woods during the Beastmaster Incident. Refan was horrified to see that Marcus was willing to give Izael to Krisler in order to gain the elves' trust. It would mean that Izael would be executed for the sake of the elves' support, and Refan could do nothing to stop it. Izael willingly submitted, though, and told his former friends not to worry. As much as it grieved Refan, he understood that he would have to honour Izael's sacrifice for the sake of the Alliance.
Horrible nightmares plagued Refan that night. He had had increasingly disturbing nightmares these past few years, and once more he could see the glowing eyes of Zarnagon. Although he thought that Zarnagon had been defeated, he still had a nagging feeling that his nemesis, and brother, was still alive. He decided to go and get a cup of coffee from the inn.
He talk with Rhylian, Kaisa Blackwell, Nesa Mikoto and Ronove in the inn. Ronove's childish behaviour annoyed Refan to no end, and his cake trick (read: hitting Refan's face with cake) was enough for Refan to go into a murderous rage. He chased Ronove outside, intending to beat the crap out of him for the prank, but he suddenly stopped when he heard sounds of battle coming ahead.
Refan was surprised to see Ax, Shyralis, Abel Highwind (who was now calling himself Cain) and a growing group of heroes fighting against none other than the Shadow, a foe from Refan's past. He realized to his horror that if the Shadow, which had been originally summoned by Zarnagon, was still alive, it meant that Zarnagon was not dead either. Still, he couldn't let the Shadow kill Ax so he entered the fray.
The Shadow had grown even more powerful since the last time Refan had faced him. Refan realized that he had to use his demonic form to stand a chance. He transformed and attacked the Shadow. Although Ax and the others were shocked to witness this, they quickly recovered thanks to Ax's determination and used the distraction that Refan had provided to finish off the Shadow with help from the shards of Dawn.
When the battle was over, Refan's psyche succumbed to the darkness of his demonic form, and his instincts took over. His hidden feelings for Ax surfaced violently as demonic lust and he tried to rape her. A timely knockout from Shyralis saved the day, and Refan, whose unconscious body returned back to its human form, was taken to the infirmary to recover.
Refan had yet another nightmare, this time about one of the prophecies that Leon had told him during their adventures in Remon. This prophecy of the Red One troubled Refan greatly because he remembered that all of Leon's prophecies had come true. Refan suddenly woke up when he felt someone intruding in his mind. He was angered to see Belial looming over his bed and telling him that they would have to meet with Ax immediately. Unithien and Belial escorted the hesitant and still recovering Refan to the inn where Ax was waiting.
Ax quickly explained that the Shadow had been accompanied by some mysterious people who had kidnapped Marcus while the Shadow had distracted everyone. If the leaders of the Grand Alliance found out that Marcus was gone, the Alliance would cease to exist as they had only banded together thanks to Marcus's charisma. Shyralis had turned Ronove into a fake Marcus who would lead the armies of the Alliance to Maar Sul to combat the Proninists, and Ax would lead a group of people to the Ruined Kingdom where Marcus was presumably kept.
It was clear that the kidnappers of Marcus had let the heroes know about their whereabouts because it was an obvious trap. Still, the heroes could not let Marcus die, so they decided to accompany Ax to the Ruined Kingdom. Refan decided to follow the group to this ominous region as well.
Echoes of War
- "What do you plan to do next? Will you stab us while we sleep? Will you let your goons kill us as soon as we reach Maar Sul while you take over Marcus's mind, using him to gain Remon's support? Leon's prophecies always mentioned nasty things, and you fit the role of the Red One all too well. I can't let you act as you please and plunge the world into darkness!"
- —Refan to Belial de Ardyn
The heroes reached the entrance of the Ruined Kingdom and decided to split in two. One group led by Ax went ahead while another group led by Dieter von Waldheim would follow later. That way they could come to Ax's aid if Marcus's kidnappers had indeed set a trap in the ruins.
Ax's group eventually entered the central temple in the ruined city. They ended up dealing with various obstacles such as the Soap as well as moving walls and rolling boulders. While they were dealing with these threats, Refan finally realized that Leon's old prophecy about the Red One might actually mean Belial because Belial always wore a red cloak.
Although it was just a wild guess, it certainly didn't make Refan trust the scheming Belial any more, and he decided to keep an eye on him from now on. However, it didn't stop Refan from having some fun on Belial's expense by trying to trip him constantly as they were running away from an advancing boulder while claiming it was just a demonic reflex.
They eventually reached the central room of the temple where they found Marcus and the kidnappers who turned out to be Xerathas d'Zarnagon and Varalia Earthhaven. Ax exchanged Marcus for Dawn but it quickly turned out that she had fooled Xerathas by using Nesa to craft a fake Dawn. Just as the heroes were about to leave the temple, they met with a large number of Totenkopfs who forced them to retreat back to the temple where Xerathas had discovered Ax's treachery.
A three-way battle between the heroes, Totenkopfs and the kidnappers began, and soon Waldheim's group appeared on the scene to lend a hand to the heroes. Nymgrock Sigiln accidentally dropped the Soap which he had caught in the earlier battle, and the Soap unleashed its fury to anyone who dared to curse in its presence.
During this chaotic battle Refan tried to steal Dusk from Xerathas but failed. Before Xerathas could finish Refan off, yet another dark figure emerged from the shadows: Jacob Seneron, the man responsible for the ice elemental's attack in Remonton, possessed by the god Nergal. As Jacob's eyes took on an eerie, golden glow, he revealed to those gathered that it had all been an elaborate setup to lure them all together.
While the possessed man hurled himself at Ax, Refan heard a pleading voice coming nearby. He was shocked to discover that the voice belonged to Mori'sul Agara, his companion from a lifetime ago. He also saw a familiar shard in the trapped elf's chest: it seemed some shards of Krystallopyr still existed. Mori'sul told Refan how he had been trapped in the temple ever since the Yamatian Invasion and that his body now housed the spirit of Shakkan whom Nergal had sealed into his body. He begged Refan to pull the Krystallopyr shard out because only the power of a god could be able to defeat Nergal.
Refan didn't know what to think. Although he was worried whether Shakkan could be trusted, he knew they had no other choice and something in his heart told him that Mori'sul was still the same dark elf he had befriended years ago. Refan pulled the shard out, an act which would have great ramifications for the future of the world, but at the time he pushed such thoughts aside and acted on instinct.
Shakkan took over Mori'sul body fully and launched himself at the possessed Jacob. At the same time Hephaestus entered Ax's body, and the two possessed heroes eventually managed to defeat Nergal's host but not before Nergal taunted them that they had traitors in their midst and would die one by one in the future.
Jacob's death released so much magic that it made the temple crumble. Mori'sul used the last of his lifeforce to create a portal which the heroes could use to escape from the temple. He and Shakkan told the heroes to continue the battle against darkness no matter how much the odds were against them. Although this was aimed at the group in general, the words also rang true in Refan's ears: it meant that Refan could fight against his demonic side and that he would not have to follow in his father's footsteps.
Mori'sul also asked Refan to tell Leon that he was sorry about what had happened earlier. Although Refan was unsure of what Mori'sul meant, he promised to let Leon know Mori'sul's last words. He wanted to save Mori'sul until Mori'sul told him that he had already saved him by letting him do the right thing. Refan reluctantly left his old friend behind to be buried by the falling debris of the temple.
Ax chose to take Varalia and Xerathas out of the temple as captives but left the remaining Totenkopfs behind to die. Once they got outside, Ax and Marcus briefly talked with Hephaestus and received a new mission from them. Meanwhile Refan found out that Xerathas was in fact Zarnagon's son and thus Refan was his uncle. Xerathas also confirmed what Refan had feared all along: the Shadow's existence meant that Zarnagon was still alive.
Refan's emotional stress finally came out in full force when he saw how rudely Belial treated Unithien who tried to talk to Varalia who turned out to be her long-lost mother. Refan openly accused Belial of many things and cited Nergal's words and Leon's prophecy as evidence that Belial had something to hide. To his surprise Belial openly admitted of aiding the Alliance only because it benefited his Order of the Black Rose. Refan's instincts had been right: Belial was only an opportunist.
This revelation shocked many of the heroes who began viewing Belial and his companions suspiciously. Refan enjoyed this sudden change but he was also worried what other secrets Belial might be hiding and what Belial would do now that his schemes had been revealed. Refan became more determined than ever to find out if Belial would be the destined destroyer of worlds and if Leon's grim prophecy could be avoided somehow.
Refan had to think of something else so he chose to confront Ax about the rape that had almost taken place during the Shadow battle in Remonton. He was about to reveal that he had fallen in love with Ax but he was suddenly interrupted by the Shadow out of all people. Refan prepared to fight but Xerathas calmed him down by saying that the Shadow would only accompany them and do no harm.
Although Refan was happy that he didn't have to fight, he wondered how Xerathas could be so bold despite being the Alliance's prisoner. He also chose not to continue the conversation he had started with Ax, thinking that it might be better to sort out his feelings in private before letting her know that he cared for her.
A Crimson Dawn
- "So what if we're just drunken fools, Ax? Our feelings are real, and that's what matters! We've been running away for years, but it's time to end that once and for all. If we're going to face hardships, so be it. Let them come. However, when that happens, we won't have to run away anymore because we can face any hardships from now on... together!"
- —Refan to Axikasha Keiran
Refan remained silent through the rest of the journey to Maar Sul City. He still had a hard time accepting the fact that Xerathas was his nephew, Zarnagon, or rather Kareth, was still alive and that Belial had been using him and the other heroes for his own gains all along. However, the thing he worried about the most was his growing feelings for her friend Ax. The two had had a few tender moments, but they had always been interrupted, and Refan tried to gather enough courage to tell her how he really felt about her.
The army of the Grand Alliance eventually reached Maar Sul, and a grand ball had been organized to celebrate the army's arrival. During the meeting Belial's servant Khalid revealed his true identity: Khalid was in fact royalty, an exiled emir from Vanna who asked Kings Gerard Aurelac and Marcus to help him travel to Vanna where he would dethrone his aunt and in exchange help the Alliance with his Sarquil warriors.
Refan was both shocked by Khalid's revelation. He also realized that Belial was once again using people for his own ends, and so he tried to warn the kings. Belial had influence in the court because of his status as a noble, however, and Refan was ignored.
Refan became frustrated and began drinking and eating Bud which made him even more drunk. He eventually approached Marcus and Shyralis and claimed that the two were lovers, which embarrassed Marcus and enraged Shyralis. Before the two could react properly, Refan was already with Ax. He realized that this might be the only chance he had to express his feelings, and so he told her how he really felt inside.
He caught Ax off guard and kissed her, but when he saw the same hesitation in her eyes as earlier, he began to despair. He apologized to her in shame and left the hall because he was too scared to hear her response. He decided to go to his room in a nearby inn and take a both, wanting to forget that the incident between him and Ax had ever happened.
Refan woke up the next morning in a terrible hangover and was not happy to see Ronove out of all people looking for cake from his pants. Refan noticed a note that Ronove was holding and snatched it from him. He soon realized that the note was from Ax who had written a touching note about her feelings for Refan and about her insecurity. At the same time Ronove began commenting about cake fillings, and his incoherent babble made Refan realize how he could confront Ax.
However, the morning turned sour when Refan heard that Belial had been murderered and that he was one of the suspects because his animosity towards Belial was well known. He wished to talk to Ax but realized that it would have to wait. Luckily the charges against him were dropped because of lack of clear evidence, although the Maar Sulais authorities kept a close on him when he attended Belial's funeral. Refan was shocked when Belial's will revealed that Khalid was the son of Belial. It was even more confusing because Khalid himself had not been aware of this.
Refan did not pay much attention to his surroundings despite this shocking revelation. Instead, he approached Ax and asked her to come with her once the funeral was over. However, when Marcus escorted the tired-looking Desdemona into a nearby manor, Ax decided to follow him in case Marcus or Desdemona were targeted by Belial's mysterious assassins. Refan realized that it was also an excuse and that Ax was running away again. He was about to pursue her, but Ronove's sudden comments made him change his mind. He decided not to force Ax do anything, and he went back to the inn with Ronove.
The journey to the inn was eventful as Ronove bumped into the hairdresser Fabian Mullet and asked him to trim Refan's beard. Despite protests from both Refan and Fabian, Ronove dragged both of them into the inn. Refan was surprised to meet Ax in the inn, and he managed to send Ronove and Fabian into his room while he had a moment with Ax.
Refan sounded awkward, but this time he did not force himself onto her like he had done before. He expressed how he felt, and he told Ax that he loved her the way she was and that he would protect her from now on so that she would not have to run away anymore. He was unsure of how Ax had felt and decided to leave, but he was surprised when Ax kissed him this time around.
However, Ax wished to have some time to think how she felt about Refan, and although Refan had hoped for more, he was content with her decision for now. As he headed back to his room, Ax commented that he would look better without a beard. Refan was overwhelmed by emotion and was about to answer but thought it was better to treasure their tender moment and hopefully talk more later. His love for her had grown even deeper now that she had shown affection willingly. He decided that a way to signify his change of heart was to get a new haircut and a shave, and he appeared the following morning as a changed man.
Refan witnessed a heated conversation between Khalid and Ax about whether she should go to Vanna or not. Once Khalid had left, Refan told Ax that he would accompany her to the desert so that she would never have to be alone ever again. He was surprised when he saw Ax's hesitation, however, but chose not to influence her decision much because he wanted to give her time to think about it. He did not tell Ax, though, that he would be forced to travel to Vanna whether he wanted to or not because now that Belial was dead, Khalid as a son of Belial had inherited Refan as his slave and thus Refan would have to follow Khalid for the time being.
He was glad to see Ax accompany him and Khalid the following morning. He hoped that he could spend some quality time with Ax, although she just wanted them to stay as friends for now. The Alliance was busy fighting against the Proninists in Maar Sul, so only a small task force could travel to Vanna with Khalid. Because the Proninists controlled the path to Libaterra and Vanna, the only option for the heroes would be to reach Vanna by sea. However, it would require taking over a port city from the Proninists.
As fate would have it, the heroes' new ally Titaniel Focker, a former Proninist, knew that the port city of Jardine mainly had a Scun garrison and that the best way to fool them would be to send black people as well as a few others to act in a homosexual way because the Scuns were racists and homophobic.
Part of Titaniel's crazy plan was using Refan and Ronove as bait by presenting them as a homosexual couple to the Scunnish Proninists in Jardine. Although Refan refused to act like a gay, the top brass of the Alliance persuaded him, Ronove and Ismail to follow Titaniel's plan. It turned out to be a success as the Scunnish Proninists were distracted long enough for the Alliance to contact Amarawyn Jardine and take over the city by force.
Ax kept teasing Refan about the making-out session with Ronove, and even Ronove seemed to show some bisexual attraction to Refan. Luckily for Refan, the Hiltraud arrived soon after. The heroes boarded it and began their long voyage to Libaterra.
Tears of the Sun
- "There's this thing, it's called foreplay. You really should read up on it!"
- —Axikasha Keiran to Refan
Refan was surprised to see Xerathas, Varalia, Shadow and their new companions Lobo and Noche join the group even though they should be in jail. Xerathas quickly skirted around the question, and before Refan could ask more questions, the skies took a dump, and the Fellowship of Maar Sul appeared onboard the Hiltraud. Among the fellowship was Leon Alcibiates, and Refan was glad to see him.
Leon told him that he had met Omaroch in Alent. Refan didn't know how to feel about it but reminded himself to pay a visit to Alent one day to finally confront his father and set things right. He immediately went to talk to Khalid who promised to grant him freedom from service once he had helped take over Vanna from his aunt Adela al-Saif and the Clergy of Artemicia.
The three groups caught up with one another, and Leon asked the heroes to help him combat with the threat posed by the Blood Fever because if it could be erased, Remon would become strong enough to protect Maar Sul from enemies. Leon told the heroes that he would need both Dawn and Dusk to rid the world of the Blood Fever, but Ax explained that Marcus, the wielder of Dusk, had already returned to Remon and the heroes would have to finish the mission in Vanna first before going back to Remon. Leon's fellowship decided to accompany the heroes for the time being.
The heroes eventually reached Libaterra and bought camels and supplies from local Simoe tribes to begin the trek to Vanna. They also happened to meet a starving, blind man in the desert, and to Refan's surprise this man was no other than Jono Renfield, an old war buddy who had been missing since the end of the Great War. The heroes took Jono with them and eventually reached Vanna, the heart of the Sultanate of Karaganda.
Jono and Refan talked about what they had been up to these past few years. Although Refan was happy to see more faces from the past appearing, he also couldn't help but wonder if all of this was part of some divine plan. However, Refan's good mood disappeared when he went to the room he shared with Khalid and saw both Khalid and Ax naked in a bathtub having a seemingly intimate session. Refan quickly punched Khalid in the face but was punched by Ax in return as she furiously shouted that she was no one's property.
Khalid took a group of heroes to the palace with him the following morning while Refan stayed with Ismail's group to find out how many supporters Khalid had in the city. It turned out that most of the Sarquil were too afraid to openly move against Adela. However, the heroes found an ally from Sheikh Miraj al-Zarar who suggested that they hurry to the throne room because Adela and her advisor Iblis al-Djinn had apparently set up a trap for the heroes.
The heroes reached the throne room just in time to see Khalid nearly fall for Adela's tricks. Before things could heat up between the factions, the goddess Artemicia appeared and trapped Khalid and Xerathas in a giant magical hourglass. She delivered an ultimatum: the heroes could only gain the right to free their friends and challenge Adela if they travelled to the desert and brought back the head of Qadohi, leader of the Sirithai lizardmen who had been fighting against the clerics of Artemicia ever since the Cataclysm. If the heroes didn't return with Qadohi's head in time, Khalid and Xerathas would drown in sand. Seeing no other option, the heroes agreed to Artemicia's terms and left to the desert.
Ax suggested that they shouldn't cause more bloodshed; instead, they could bring Qadohi back alive and hopefully form an alliance with the Sirithai and use their help to depose Adela. After all, the terms didn't specify that Qadohi's head had to be detached from her shoulders. Although it was unclear if the Sirithai would be willing to listen to reason, the heroes understood that they didn't have much of a choice in the matter. The journey to the Sirithai lands began.
Refan used the opportunity to talk about the punchout session with Ax. The two reached an agreement, and Refan expressed his concern about why Noche seemed so familiar to him. Their conversation was cut short when they were attacked by a bunch of sand gnomes, but thankfully they dealt with this threat swiftly.
While the heroes were camping and munching on sand gnome legs, a group of Sirithai appeared and captured four heroes, Refan being among them. While the heroes began the pursuit, the Sirithai had already gained a headstart and soon reached Xibalba, their head lair. As Refan was tied to a pole with the other prisoners, he discovered that the Sirithai were led by none other than Shakkan whom Refan had freed in the Ruined Kingdom. Shakkan refused to listen to Refan's pleas and instead accused humans of persecuting his children, the Sirithai. Realizing that Shakkan was too furious to listen to reason, Refan hoped that Ax and the others would arrive in time.
Refan's wish came true when he saw the heroes entering the grand arena. Ax managed to talk to Shakkan and Qadohi and proposed an alliance. Although Shakkan seemed pleased by Ax's bravery, he demanded that the heroes prove their worth by facing his deadliest creation, Plushiebunny, in combat. The heroes agreed and went to free Refan and the others, and the battle against Plushiebunny began.
The heroes were victorious after fighting brutally against the deceptively cute monster but Refan's demonic side took over at the end of the battle and he tried to rape Ax once again. Ax quickly used Refan's crotch to her advantage by kicking it and thus incapacitated Refan long enough for Varalia to knock him out. It didn't take long for Refan to wake up, and he was visibly embarrassed of what had transpired.
Just when everything seemed to turn out for the better, Awar out of all people betrayed the group by activating a shard of Krystallopyr which he had snatched in the Ruined Kingdom and using it to trap Shakkan's essence within. At the same time a group of Black Guard led by Obama appeared and tried to force the heroes to assassinate Qadohi. However, the heroes chose to aid the Sirithai and slaughtered Obama and his men. Thanks to Fel Ridoon, Awar was captured as well, but Shakkan's essence remained trapped in the Krystallopyr shard.
It turned out that Iblis and Adela were planning to use the lifeforce of Shakkan and the pure-hearted Nalaen Silverpond, who had remained in Vanna, in a ritual to reforge Krystallopyr. If Krystallopyr became whole again, Adela and her goddess Artemicia would gain complete control over the world. The Sirithai promised to help the heroes foil the villains' plan if the heroes in turn helped release Shakkan. The two factions reached an agreement and prepared for war.
The Winds of Wrath
- "How could you leave Remon in the hands of some impostor? And worst of all, you deceived us! We're your friends, not pawns!"
- —Refan to Marcus Sarillius
The heroes met with Miraj al-Zarar on the way to Vanna, and Miraj informed them of what they knew: Adela had imprisoned Nalaen and was planning to use the Krystallopyr shard for some dark ritual. Miraj suggested that the heroes meet with his nephew Azriel al-Zarar who would be sympathetic for their cause.
Once they got back to Vanna, the heroes went to meet with Azriel who managed to let them know what had happened in the city since Miraj had left. They also met Harrad U'niviel who provided them with more information about Artemicia's involvement. While Azriel stayed behind to rally support, Ax led the heroes to the throne room with Qadohi to confront Adela. At first Adela was angry at Ax for not killing Qadohi, but Ax reminded her that Artemicia never specified that Qadohi's head had to be detached.
It was then that Artemicia appeared and taunted the heroes. She told them that she had never intended to set Khalid free and that he was only a bait to lure the heroes to her. She would force the heroes to watch Khalid's death and then she would dispose of all of them. However, Hephaestus interfered with Artemicia's plan by releasing Khalid and Xerathas. The two gods returned to the High Plane to begin their duel, and Khalid openly challenged Adela at long last.
Suddenly, a group of masked people who turned out to be the Vulfsatz appeared and attacked both Adela's faction and the heroes. It turned out that they had appeared to take back Adela's "son" who was actually Hannibal Losstarot, their master. Things got even more chaotic when Totenkopfs appeared to help Adela, and a three-way battle between the heroes, the Vulfsatz and Adela's supporters began.
Iblis used the ensuing chaos to free Awar and capture Qadohi and the Krystallopyr shard. They fled up the tower with Adela, ready to perform the ritual. Refan and various heroes gave chase.
The heroes cornered the trio but were suddenly attacked by Xerathas's posse. It turned out that Xerathas had in fact escaped from prison and had only used the heroes for his own ends. He now desired Krystallopyr for himself. Noche transformed into Marcus Sarillius at the same time, finally explaining why Refan had felt a familiar aura around him, and Lobo transformed into Gerard Aurelac to everyone's surprise. Xerathas had been behind more things than anyone had assumed.
Iblis grew annoyed by these interruptions and transformed into a powerful demon. Once he had sent Adela back to the throne room to kill Khalid, he attacked the heroes with his full powers. Nesa sacrificed himself to save Nalaen from a certain death, and he was whisked away to the High Plane. Fel appeared in the scene as well, warning Refan that Iblis actually had a more complex plan which didn't involve Nalaen but Daven, and Nalaen was only a bait to lure Nalaen to him.
However, this warning came too late because Daven acted to save Nalaen and shot the Black Stone which housed the recharging Krystallopyr. The stone and Krystallopyr were destroyed and Daven regained his voice. Iblis revealed at the same time that it had been his plan all along. He had actually been a mole working for the Southern Horde and he had pitted the heroes and Adela against each other so that he would either gain Krystallopyr for himself to get it destroyed so that it couldn't threaten the demons anymore.
While Iblis was giving his lecture, the image of a powerful demon, Yurius, appeared in the sky. It turned out that the destruction of Krystallopyr was one of the phases of weakening his ethereal prison and that he would eventually break flee and engulf the world in the flames of war. When the image disappeared, Shakkan broke free and attacked Iblis who was now threatening Qadohi. The wounded Iblis and Awar teleported away but not before Awar stabbed Nalaen out of spite. Refan swore to make Awar pay for killing Nalaen who had been like a little sister to Refan.
As the weary heroes returned to the throne room, they found out that the battle had been won. Khalid and the others had imprisoned Adela, Razoul, Hannibal and the Vulfsatz, but the Totenkopfs, Xerathas and the Shadow had escaped. Despite this victory the heroes were gloomy: they had lost many brave men and women, and Iblis's ominous words still hung in the air. Demons would arrive one day, and Vanna had to be prepared for their invasion.
Refan openly accused Marcus after the battle for withholding information; as it turned out, Marcus hadn't been under Xerathas's power but had acted independently to break free of Shyralis's control. This made people wonder who the Marcus who had returned to Remon was and whether the real Marcus had now doomed Remon to a fate worse than death. Marcus made few excuses, and Refan stormed off the scene in frustration.
Things didn't turn any better for Refan when he later discovered Marcus and Ax kissing. He blamed Ax in rage, and Ax in turn answered angrily and left. Refan didn't know what to think anymore. Nalaen had died, Khalid had turned out to be a selfish jerk as far as Refan was concerned, Ax was having a good time with men behind Refan's back, and Xerathas, the Totenkopfs and the demons were still somewhere out there.
Refan attended the Festival of the Dead later that night. He couldn't understand why the Sarquil celebrated death, and he refused to listen to Khalid's explanations. Things didn't become any better when the heroes found out that the tomes which had knowledge about the Blood Fever had been burned to the ground, and Briss Phoenixheart had betrayed the heroes and escaped with Adela.
Refan couldn't care less about what was going on, though. He realized that his priorities had now changed, and he had to figure out how to deal with his increasing frustration as well as the darkness within which became more and more seductive as time moved on.
- "I'm scared, Leon. Sooner or later I'll be forced to rely on my demonic side, but what if I can't change back? What if that darkness within takes over me... permanently?"
- —Refan to Leon Alcibiates
Refan attended the coronation of Khalid and Ax as Sultan and Sultana of Vanna. He assumed it was just a political ploy by Khalid to seize power through legal means, but he still couldn't forgive Ax for playing with his feelings. He was also aware of the debate about whether to set Hannibal Losstarot and the Vulfsatz free or keep them as prisoners but refused to comment. He had long since lost interest in politics and grew weary of these constant battles. He was also more worried of Ax who had been mugged and whose sword Dawn had been stolen. The culprit had vanished without a trace, and Refan suspected that it had been Xerathas.
Refan had been set free by Khalid and although he wished to accompany Waldheim's group to Alent to meet with Omaroch, he somehow felt that he would be needed in Vanna. He couldn't pinpoint why he felt this way, but his instincts had often served him well and he wasn't willing to ignore them now. He thought that he could travel to Alent later.
He bid farewell to a group led by Waldheim which left for Alent to find more information about the Blood Fever and was not surprised to hear that Jono and Vaetris Redfield had broken Hannibal free from jail and escaped from Vanna. It turned out like everyone was betraying one another left and right, and Refan wondered if Shakkan's prophecy would indeed come true after all.
Refan also used his new free time to talk with Ronove who had grown increasingly erratic after Nesa's disappearance. Ronove and Nesa had been close, and Refan wanted to comfort him even though he had often been annoyed by Ronove's silly antics. And still he felt some sort of connection with Ronove... as if they had been as close as brothers. This feeling troubled him greatly as well as the fact that Iblis had seemed to recognize Ronove before fleeing. Refan wondered if there was more to Ronove than met the eye but he couldn't make Ronove answer anything in a satisfactory manner.
The conversation was cut short when a massive army of demons appeared outside Vanna. Surprisingly this army wasn't the Southern Horde but actually its rival, the Northern Horde. The army's leader, Dreadlord Leraje Thanadar, demanded Vanna to surrender or he would kill thousands of prisoners. Quick thinking from Ismail was the only thing that delayed the slaughter as he challenged Leraje to a duel.
A group of heroes would use the distraction provided by Leraje and Ismail's duel to sneak behind the demon army and release the prisoners. Refan chose to stay in Vanna, however, because he had an uneasy feeling about Leraje and wanted to observe the duel.
The fight between Ismail and Leraje was brief but brutal. Although Ismail had the upper hand at first, Leraje proved his cunning and cut Ismail down when Ismail was distracted by something and tried to warn the heroes about a traitor. Refan was alarmed by this news and wondered who the traitor might be. Meanwhile Razoul was appointed as the new captain of Vanna who would coordinate the city's defenses against the Northern Horde. Leraje returned back to his army, triumphant, and the siege of Vanna began in earnest.
Refan was disgusted to see how the demons used heads of the captured Sarquil as ammo to lower the morale of the defenders of Vanna. Although a strike team led by Miraj and Qadohi had succeeded to save some Sarquil, the rest of the prisoners were torn apart by the ravenous horde while the black mages bombarded the defenders with these gruesome scenes relentlessly.
Refan was surprised to meet an old ally, Ragnar Daenyathos Jaeger, in the midst of the siege. After a brief chat the two went their separate ways once again as Ragnar defended the lower areas while Refan took care of the ramparts. The surprise attack by a demon colossus and chaos dwarves kept the heroes busy, and Refan wondered how he and his comrades could defeat such a massive demon. Refan also could've sworn that he had seen Reven Faldon in the crowd of defenders but he assumed that he was just imagining things.
The sudden arrival of the Akai Tora, the Forgotten and the Sirithai reinforcements helped to stall the enemy's advancement, which gave Azriel enough time to stun the beast and for Marcus to finish it with Dusk. The demons, surprised by Dusk's chaos-destroying powers, retreated back to their horde for the time being to regroup. At the same time the group which had travelled to Alent--sans Waldheim, Harrad and Ferron--suddenly appeared in Vanna via a teleport to further boost the city's defenses. The heroes were accompanied by some new faces, namely Lynnea Stargazer and Taliesin.
Refan had a brief chat with Leon, voicing his disapproval of the Akai Tora and the Forgotten who represented the dark forces--Yamatians and clerics of Mardük--who Refan had fought against during the Great War. He was also worried about Leon's resurrected mentor Taliesin who, according to him, reeked of darkness.
Leon tried to calm Refan down and reassured him that the Alliance would need the help of Taliesin and the others if they were to survive. Refan was less optimistic and in a moment of weakness told Leon that it was getting harder and harder for him to contain his demonic side. Leon only offered cryptic advice, which made Refan feel all the more miserable.
The battle had quieted down for the time being, but Refan's demonic side whispered that it was only the beginning. Refan knew all too well that the demons would renew their attack and this time they would no longer hold back.
- "You've always feared the darkness within, but there's nothing to be afraid of! Everyone needs an equal share of light and darkness. Similarly, you as a half-demon share both human and demon blood. You must accept your heritage and stop running away from yourself. I'll help you achieve your true potential."
- —Ronove Thanadar to Refan
Refan attended a strategy meeting between various representatives. He nearly lost his mind when he saw how many representatives took Ronove's idiotic suggestion of letting the demons walk into the city seriously.
According to the Akai Tora the only way to beat the overwhelming enemy was to lure Dreadlord Leraje into the city and slay him there. However, only a person of demonic blood could do so; if a non-demon killed Leraje, the Northern Horde would simply continue its rampage because they only saw demons as worthy successors to the horde. Because Refan was the only known person to be at least partially demonic, he was chosen to be the one to finish off the Dreadlord.
Refan was pissed off at this crazy strategy and voiced his disapproval. He couldn't defeat Zarnagon who had been a half-demon, so he saw no way he could beat a powerful, fully demonic warrior such as Leraje. The others tried to calm him down and reminded him that they would help Refan wear the Dreadlord down. This troubled Refan greatly and he doubted that he could pull it off successfully. Having to bear such a heavy burden seemed to be too much for him. However, he understood that he would have to try for the sake of all the innocents in the city who would be slaughtered if he failed.
The Northern Horde renewed its attack soon after, this time sending the full might of the horde towards the city. The demons and their savage allies attacked from all directions, and the most fearsome sight on the battlefield was a huge siege tower called the Helepolis which had been designed for the sole purpose of penetrating Vanna's defenses. Refan realized that the Helepolis was an even greater threat than the demon colossus, and he hoped his friends would figure out a way to stop the siege tower before it was too late.
Thankfully Azriel arrived in time and defeated the Helepolis with help from an unlikely source: an earth elemental. The beast even helped the heroes defend the walls against advancing Deathwings, giant flying demons. Meanwhile the Alliance succeeded in luring Dreadlord Leraje into the city and trapping him there. Leraje was after Marcus and Dusk and thus the Alliance managed to take him into a place which was optimal for ambush.
Unfortunately for the heroes, Leraje turned out to be even stronger than they had expected. He single-handedly slew most of the heroes attacking him and reminded Refan of the time when he had confronted Zarnagon in Myridia. When Leraje was about to finish off Khasra and Marcus, Refan finally acted and entered the fray. However, despite his best efforts Refan was no match for the Dreadlord who defeated him easily. Refan was forced to turn into his demonic form to even stand a chance.
Leraje gained the upper hand and was about to finish Refan off when Ronove out of all people saved Refan. after initial surprise Leraje suddenly told the duo that he recognized Ronove as his long-lost brother. After saying that he beat the confused Ronove and would've killed him if the already injured Refan hadn't stopped him.
Refan was shocked and confused about what he had heard but he refused to think that Ronove was a bloodthirsty demon like Leraje. That's why he decided to do everything in his power to defeat Leraje once and for all. However, the Dreadlord was too powerful for Refan to handle, and he snatched Dusk which he planned to use to kill Refan, Marcus and anyone else who stood in his way.
To the duo's surprise Ronove stood up and moved in a more determined way than ever before. It turned out that he had finally recovered his memories and was now using his true powers to face the Dreadlord. Leraje was pleased by this and released all his power, intending to strike Ronove down once and for all. Refan tried to warn his friend but in vain; Ronove only stood still and waited for Leraje's lunge. Refan closed his eyes, not wanting to see the demise of his friend. He swore to give his life to avenge him and finally defeat the Dreadlord.
However, when Refan opened his eyes, he noticed that Ronove was still alive and had actually beaten Leraje. Before Refan could react to this surprise, Ronove surprised him even further by gathering the attacking demons together and claiming the title of Dreadlord for himself. Ronove also stated that he would take over Vanna and the survivors had only a few days to evacuate before the horde would hunt them down.
Ronove's betrayal shocked Refan who argued against Ronove's decision. However, it was in vain because Ronove blackmailed Refan into joining the horde by promising to make him stronger and threatening to kill Refan's friends if Refan didn't comply. Seeing no other choice, Refan joined the horde and left Vanna with mixed feelings. He didn't fell his former friends the reason for this seeming betrayal because he feared that Ronove might retaliate. It was painful for him to see the shock in his friends' eyes but he knew this was the only way to save his friends from total annihilation.
Refan's trials were far from over, though. As soon as they had set foot in the demon camp, Ronove disappeared only to return with a familiar face from the past: Awar, the hunchback mage who had murdered Nalaen in cold blood during the battle against Adela's forces. When Ronove mentioned that they would be working towards a common goal, Refan could barely contain his rage. He hadn't forgotten Awar's treachery and crimes, and he questioned Ronove's judgement.
However, to both Awar and Refan's surprise Ronove stated that his intention was to help Refan realize his full potential, and Awar was crucial to that. He gave Refan permission to do whatever he wished with Awar. He even suggested that Refan should take Awar's life to avenge Nalaen's because he sensed that this was what Refan's demonic side desired.
The terrified Awar fled, and Refan gave chase. When he was about to kill the helpless mage, he snapped out of his rage for a moment as he hesitated to deliver the finishing blow. Refan recalled how Sullena, his mentor during this thief days, had told him never to strike down helpless opponents. Ronove goaded Refan to strike nevertheless, but Refan still hesitated. It was then that Awar, sensing Refan's insecurity, tried to bribe him to save him by revealing that he knew something dark about Daven: apparently the Lefein had made a deal with some evil person in Maar Sul City.
Refan's anger returned when he heard the mage accuse his Lefein friend of being a traitor. He didn't believe that Daven would ever do anything like that, and he tried to grab Awar to yell at him and force him to apologize on Daven's behalf. However, Awar mistook Refan's actions as an attack and retaliated in desperation by throwing a fireball at him. Refan roared in pain as the spell hit him, and he instinctively swung his demonic claw at Awar and accidentally impaled him.
The sight and smell of blood, the fear in Awar's eyes, Ronove's persuasive whispers and the stress from all the battles he had been through finally made Refan snap and triggered his demonic instincts. No longer able to contain himself, the thief killed Awar in cold blood and devoured his heart, thus finally finishing his initiation to demonhood. Refan had passed the point of no return.
The Point of No Return
More info later.
Aliases and Nicknames
- Used by Ronove to refer to bearded Refan.
- Used by Ronove to refer to shaven Refan.
- Used by many of his loved ones.
- Son of Darkness
- What the spirit of Malakhia d'Zarnagon called Refan through Smaragdos to awaken his demonic side.
- Used derogatorily by Ferron and Zarnagon.
Refan wears a black and grey outfit and a hooded jacket which is suitable for thieves. He grew a beard after the Great War but shaved it after he finally got a grip of himself. Nowadays he has short, dark hair and a shaven face. Refan has blue eyes which had turned darker over the years probably because of his demonic heritage. He has a tall and slender figure. He also has a small scar on his right cheek and an earring in his left ear. He wears an amethyst ring that has a picture of a small green dragon and wields Smaragdos, the Emerald Blade.
Personality and Traits
The once polite, flirty and charming Refan is now a brooding, jaded person who is driven by his demonic instincts. He tends to have violent outbursts because of his short temper. He is extremely protective of those he holds dear such as his wife and son, and will not hesitate to kill or torture anyone who threatens them. He is also conflicted about what to feel about his brother and father, and recently his growing feelings for Ax are making things even more complicated.
Powers and Abilities
Refan is moderately skilled with swords and daggers and has very limited knowledge of white magic. His true power, however, is his demonic side. He can transform into a demonic form which is stronger and faster than his human form, but it also has a downside as it makes him more impulsive and destructive. He tries to avoid using his demonic side as long as possible, although the darkness within is slowly taking its toll on him.
Refan has recently realized that he has feelings for Ax. After all, he had stayed by her side when she had been wounded during the First Battle of Remonton in the Great War. He can also relate to her because both share similar pasts and scars. However, Refan is sort of scared about the fact that he loves both Ax and Skye.
He has always treated Ax as a close friend, and for a long time he was not willing to risk that friendship by admitting his feelings to her. It actually took the intervention of his demonic self to just bluntly show those feelings, and he confronted Ax two times to talk things through. The first time began promisingly but was interrupted by the Shadow, but Refan got drunk and finally managed to tell Ax everything during a ball at Maar Sul City. However, after their short kiss he realized that he had been too blunt and he was worried that he had hurt her feelings.
He left the ball in a hurry, wishing he had not told her how he really felt, but he received a note from Ax later. After listening to Ronove's incoherent babble for a while, he finally realized how he could explain his feelings to her. He was delayed by various things, however, and did not get a chance to talk with Ax until the following night.
Refan told Ax how he felt and how he loved her the way she was. He promised to protect her even if she would only consider him a friend. He decided to give Ax some time to think after his lengthy speech, but he was surprised when Ax kissed her on the cheek. He was somewhat disappointed that she was not ready to give a definite answer yet, but he was nevertheless happy that she had expressed her feelings openly and in person for the first time. As time has moved on, Refan has become an adamant supporter of Ax. Whether she is willing to return his love or not is irrelevant; they will at least remain friends, and Refan will stand by her side and face the future together with her.
Belial de Ardyn
Belial had met Refan only recently, but an animosity immediately grew between them. It began with a fierce duel and has never really calmed down since then. Belial was angry at Refan who resembled young Omaroch d'Zarnagon, and he planned to use him for his own ends. Refan was not happy about being manipulated and had grown increasingly hostile towards Belial, but the two men never got to settle their animosity because Belial died under mysterious circumstances during their stay in Maar Sul.
Daventhalas de Mont Hault
Although the friendship between Refan and Daven began in an awkward way as Refan tried to steal Daven's money, the two soon bonded although originally both sought help from one another. Daven could sense a demonic aura in Refan and wanted to study him while Refan needed protection. They eventually came to see each other as brothers, and Daven was one of the few people Refan could talk to openly... for the most part. Although Refan did not reveal everything about his troubled past, Daven could read between the lines and decided to help Refan find solace. Although years have gone by, the two are still close, and Daven is one of the oldest living friends of Refan.
Refan's love for his mother Delora was immense. She served as the only woman figure in his life for a long time, and her brutal death scarred Refan emotionally. Even the talk with Delora's spirit in Tes Pellaria did not quite ease Refan's mind, but as years have gone by, he has moved on and hopes that his mother is happy in the afterlife.
Gabriel has a special place in Refan's heart. Being a father has opened up a new world for Refan, and he wishes to keep his son safe from harm and to prevent him from succumbing into the darkness of his legacy. The Church of the Memory of Cardia kidnapped Gabriel and brainwashed him, and Refan has sworn to find a way to get his son back. He is glad that his son is safe, but he is horrified that Gabriel does not remember him at all thanks to the brainwash.
Izael and Refan were best friends in their youth. Refan was one of the half-elf's few friends and a person who never shunned Izael despite the half-elf's ghostly skin and weird eyes. Unfortunately they were separated when Zarnagon kidnapped Izael and brainwashed him. The reunion of Refan and Izael was bittersweet as they worked for opposite sides. Refan failed to connect with Izael but nevertheless seemed to stir some lost emotions in the half-elf's heart. It took the devastating battle in Remonton and Izael's love for Shyralis to make Izael connect with Refan. Although their friendship can never return to what it once were, they seemed to have accepted it and do their best to help each other. Although Refan knows that Izael's crimes in the service of the Clergy of Mardük have been horrible, he is aware that he himself is not free of guilt either.
Jessica and Refan were good friends, and Refan even had a crush on her during their teen years. They eventually drifted apart, but Refan never quite forgot her. When they were reunited in 1000 AE, Refan was happy. However, the happiness soon turned to dread when it turned out that Zarnagon was controlling Jessica to steal Refan's sword Smaragdos. After a tragic battle, Refan had no chance but to slay Jessica to save his friends from Zarnagon. Her death had an effect on Refan who began hating Zarnagon even more.
Jonathan Ferron hated Refan ever since Refan killed Ferron's loved one, Dorecia, although Refan did not know it at the time. The two met officially a few years after Dorecia's death, and Refan trusted him maybe too blindly. Ferron was only using Refan to reach Zarnagon and kill the two of them in one stroke, but his growing bond made him falter for a moment whether he should carry out his plan. This eventually came to pass during the Second Battle of Myridia when Ferron attacked both Zarnagon and Refan but failed miserably. Zarnagon beat him easily, and Refan figured out Ferron's true colours. Ferron escaped from battle and continued working for the Grand Alliance which was unaware of his betrayal. When Ferron discovered the existence of demons, he decided to use Refan as a means to locate the demons in Remon and kill them. He sent squads after Refan and eventually captured him in the year 10 AOE. The animosity between the two men grew stronger when Ferron kidnapped and brainwashed Refan's son Gabriel and forced Refan to become his agent. Refan is bitter about this, and his hate might eventually lead him into a murderous rage which might be Ferron's demise.
Refan's relationship with Kareth is complex. They began as loving brothers until they were separated as children. They grew up in different environments, and Kareth was brainwashed to become a member of the Clergy of Mardük. As fate would have it, the two became bitter archrivals although they did not know their relationship as brothers at that time. Kareth tormented Refan as Zarnagon both emotionally and physically in order to guide the thief to a confrontation which would help him fulfill an ancient prophecy which he could then use to release the dragon Frazzn'korth. The two finally confronted each other during the Second Battle of Myridia and were close to killing each other when Omaroch appeared and revealed that they were brothers. Refan could not take this information in one sitting and fled in terror, but Kareth assessed the idea calmly and decided to carry out his plan anyway. It seemed that Kareth's hatred calmed down a bit after the revelation, but Refan still has to confront his brother and settle the animosity between them once and for all.
Khalid and Refan do not get along, especially when Refan learned of Khalid's involvement with Belial and the Order of the Black Rose and when Khalid heard that Refan was one of the people who were suspected of murdering Belial. Because Belial had forced Refan to become his slave, Khalid continued treating Refan as a servant although he was suspicious of him. He said he would grant Refan freedom once Vanna had been liberated from Adela's rule but he began wondering if he should eliminate Refan once he would no longer be honour-bound to him as a master. The relationship between Khalid and Refan turned more complicated when Refan became jealous of Khalid's and Ax's "romance". He saw Khalid as a suitor who threatened his love for Ax, and Khalid saw Refan was a mindless buffoon whose antics would endager his plans to challenge Adela. Ironically Refan became one of the few people Khalid could count on when Artemicia trapped Khalid.
Refan and Leon formed a close bond because both were gifted musically and had tragic backstories. Refan liked listening to Leon's stories although he did not understand half of the things that the bard said. Nevertheless they continued to stay on good terms until Leon debarked on his solo adventure. Refan was sad to see him go but understood that they had different paths that they had to take. He was surprised to learn in the year 10 AOE that Leon had become a prince of Maar Sul, and their brief reunion during the adventure in Vanna was a breath of fresh air after all the struggles they had been through.
Refan was wary of Marcus at first, but the two bonded during their battles. He became one of Marcus's first supporters, and Marcus saw potential in Refan. It was maybe bad luck that they both began caring for Ax although neither realized it at the time. Their relationship became strained when they met years later and accused each other for deserting their once noble cause. Refan had fled during the Battle of Aison whereas Marcus disappeared after the Cataclysm. Things turned even worse when both men figured out that they cared for Ax, and jealousy emerged between them. Refan has remained Marcus's loyal supporter, but Marcus feels that Refan is stealing Ax away from him, and the two have not talked much lately.
When Nalaen joined Refan and Daven's posse, she became their little sister. Refan had a good time with her, and she taught Refan to smile in the terrible years of the Yamatian Invasion. They got along well, although Refan did not want to bother her with telling about her dark past. Nalaen, however, could read Refan's mind during his dreams, and she became sad when she realized what a heavy burden Refan carried. The two remained good friends, and their recent reunion made them both happy. Nalaen was glad to see Refan in a happier mood, but Refan was sad to notice that Nalaen was succumbing to the fatal Blood Fever and that he could do nothing to save her from such a grisly fate. Nalaen's death at the hands of Awar was almost too much for Refan to bear, and he swore to make Awar pay for killing her.
Refan has a troubled past with his father Omaroch. He saw very little of Omaroch as a child, and their reunion years later was a mysterious and frustrating experience. Omaroch's secrets only made Refan more anxious to learn why Omaroch had not come to save Delora and Kareth in time. However, when the time for the revelation came, Refan was shocked to discover that Omaroch was in fact a demon and Zarnagon was Refan's brother. Horrified by his dark family legacy, Refan fled and vowed to stay away from Omaroch. However, the recent conversations with Ax have encouraged Refan to face his past, and he is determined to confront his father one last time and talk things through. Unbeknownst to Refan, Omaroch loves him deeply as a father even if he has had a hard time showing it.
Although Refan found Ronove to be really annoying at first, their experiences together managed to make them grow closer. Ronove's attraction to Refan didn't help matters but nevertheless Refan felt that the curious man had an aura of mystery which intrigued him. Refan has tried to keep Ronove out of trouble ever since although recent events in Vanna have made him wonder if there's more to Ronove than meets the eye. Ronove's betrayal of the Alliance came as a deep shock to Refan but he had no choice but to join Ronove's horde in order to save his friends from total demise.
Refan and Skye got along well the first moment they met, and they could relate to each other, especially after many of Skye's friends and family were massacred by the Yamatians. He took her under his protection, and their friendship grew into an eventual relationship. Skye could feel safe in Refan's arms, and Refan could forget his troubled past when he faced the innocence and joy of life in Skye.
They discovered Refan's demonic heritage while having sex, and although Skye was shocked at first, she wanted to stay by Refan's side because she felt that demonic blood did not necessarily mean that a person was inherently evil. Skye became pregnant, and this coupled with other things helped in Refan's decision to desert the Grand Alliance and take Skye to safety in Remon. Their bond grew even stronger when Gabriel was born, but constant harrassment from the Church of the Memory of Cardia forced them to relocate often and live in fear.
Refan lost contact with Skye when the clerics raided the family cottage in 10 AOE, and Refan has not seen Skye since. His feelings for Skye are still strong, but he has equally strong feelings for Ax and secretly fears what might happen if Skye appears and hears about the growing relationship between Refan and Ax.
Sullena was the mentor of both Izael and Refan and treated them like his sons. He was also Refan's godfather but never told him that, hoping to spare him the details of the half-demon heritage. Zarnagon's killing of Sullena and him later putting Sullena's severed head in a glass jar for Refan to find was the last straw for Refan who swore from that day on to hunt Zarnagon down and make him pay for all the suffering he had caused to Refan's loved ones.