After Julian Tryhard is captured by The Darkblade Guild, an old friend ventures to rescue him.
Shortly after the First Expedition to The Abyss, while alone in his keep, M3RL1N receives a visit from an unexpected guest.
King Offling arrives, seeking the wizard's help in rescuing Julian Tryhard who is set to be executed by The Darkblade Guild.
At first M3RL1N does not trust Offling, and believes he has come to steal The Jesters Wand which he has been experimenting with after taking it from Julian. This belief escalates the existing tension between the two, and M3RL1N attempts to kill King Offling with one of his spells, but Offling counters with some mental defenses.
They come to an understanding that The Jesters Wand is a corrupting artifact and that unless M3RL1N wishes to become a pawn to The Nameless Charter, he would be wise to escort King Offling to Crow's Den and return the wand to Chen.
Together, they ride to rescue Julian.
After prolonged torture at the hands of The Darkblade Guild, the crows gather for a ritual.
Chen berates Julian for his theft of The Jester's Wand as Julian begs for his life. He then covers Julian in viscera and let loose a murder of crows who peck out his eye while Chen extoles to all the heavy cost of betraying the guild.
Through this, Julian has his eye pecked out by a crow and Chen collects the Eye of Julian and claims it as a Token of Concord for The Darkblade Guild.
After a long journey to Crow's Den together, M3RL1N and Offling arrive to rescue Julian.
The two assault the keep, dispatching many Darkblades and killing one named Nextum Jobes through a combination of M3RL1N's magic, and King Offling's shielded offense.
Upon making their way to the center of the lair, and Julian's cell, they are confronted by Chen who demands the wizard return The Jester's Wand immediately. As M3RL1N complies, Chen states that the only option they have to spare Julian from execution is the ancient Darkblade ritual of trial by combat.
As King Offling accepts the terms, he looks around to find M3RL1N has already abandoned him and Julian to their own fate.
A crowd of excited Darkblades gather around Julian Tryhard's cell as King Offling and Chen prepare to battle.
The outcome of their fight will determine Julian's fate; Offling's victory would see him released from captivity, and Chen would see them both executed otherwise.
The battle begins as Chen questions why King Offling would risk his life for a fool like Julian, to which friendship is the only answer.
Offling charges Chen, but is too slow and met with a quick dagger as Julian watches in horror. Chen takes advantage of the early lead by again wedging his knife into the king's thigh.
The two tussle, and Offling knocks Chen back some distance with a thrust of his heater shield. As excitement grows, a Darkblade from the crowd throws a rock at Offling, bouncing it off his armor.
Though King is distracted for a moment, Chen does not press the opportunity, and instead uses the time to fire an arrow into the rock-tosser's head, reiterating the sanctity of the ritual combat; none shall interfere.
Not so hung on ceremony, Offling takes advantage of the space to return the rock at Chen with a mighty throw. This causes an outrage in Chen who proceedes to launch a volley of arrows unto the king, who has no choice but to cower behind his shield and press forward to close the space. Pushing Chen back against Julian's holding cell provides the captive with an opportunity to deal a vengeful blow to his captor.
Excited at his advantage, Offling begins boasting and recurring to the battles of his youth. Chen proceeds to grab the king's shield and hurl him into a nearby wall; asserting that he is uniquely capable.
Chen pulls his bow around Offling's neck, strangling him until the king can get his shield between them and drive a tired charge to fend him off, but it is not enough.
As Julian watches helplessly from the sideline, Chen works his way behind King and launches an arrow into the small of his back. The pain is debilitating and causes him to collapse.
Chen pulls three arrows from his quiver and pins Offling with them; aiming the third at his head.
But, before he can be executed, King Offling reveals one final trick up his sleeve by revealing that Vicar, a Darkblade under Chen's guidance, had been left alone in Stalwart Fortress and had been bound outside the chamber of Luta's Beacon.
King Offling claimed that, were he not to return to release him, the telepathic entity would pull all the secrets of The Darkblade Guild from his mind and broadcast them to all within The Forsaken Lands.
Outraged at this deception and dishonor, Chen lambasts Offling and the surrounding crows pelt him with rocks and mud.
He is allowed to leave alive, marked as a disgraced coward, but Julian Tryhard's life is forfeit.
Julian's execution would be shortly set.