I was honoured to receive Nephira as a new initiate. She was young and somewhat spoiled, but she came from an illustrious bloodline and a tangible power ran through her veins. As she pledged her loyalty I discerned my adepts’ thoughts; sympathies were shifting, alliances were being forged, and machinations had begun. She was the catalyst for change our ancient order had long sought.
Nephira proved more talented than even I could have foreseen. Her greatest strengths lay in the arts of summoning and binding demons - the most prestigious skills of all. The other adepts rallied to her, or challenged her and met swift deaths. I prided myself on her progress, but less so on her attitude, which worsened as her power grew. First she demanded luxuries unbefitting of her post. When these were refused she dared to misuse arcane rites for selfish ends. To teach her some humility I sent her to the Outer Realm, where the winds are lamentations and the dust the ashes of the damned. For provisions, she had her jewellery, for travelling clothes, her most tasteless attire, and for defence, the ritual knife that I had never seen her draw.
I did not expect her to return, but she did, prouder than before, with fiercer fires in her eyes and colder hatred in her heart. She brought a monstrous entity that answered to her will alone. My guards were powerless against it, and my adepts’ frantic litanies ceased when it tore out their entrails and smeared their brains across the floor.
Most of my followers are dead, and the rest have turned against me; but this world holds no more fear. Zaraghola, Night Eternal, let this final testament be proof I served you to the end! I deserve your harshest judgment; my only source of comfort is the worthiness of my successor. May hers be no more merciful!