"It's not arrogance, my friend. It's confidence! You have the same confidence in your battle skills. You have been victorious so many times that I'd wager the thought of losing doesn't even enter your head. Well, I have been right so many times that I have stopped considering the possibility that I might be wrong."
—Aspen, to Tarnum
"Modesty is for Halflings!"
Aspen is an elderly elven druid appearing in Clash of the Dragons, the fourth part of Heroes Chronicles. When Tarnum went out to free the green and gold dragons from Mutare's control, Aspen was sent along as his advisor, to Tarnum's surprise. Aspen was very wise, but also quite arrogant. He rode around on a stag and was agile, despite his advanced age.
Aspen was an excellent chessplayer, and could easily beat even Tarnum, who had played a lot of chess in his long life. As a former spy, Aspen had many spies gathering information for him, providing valuable intel to Tarnum.
Shortly after they rescued Valita, one of the Elf King's Captains, from the prison of a pit fiend, the army experienced a lot more ambushes, as if their enemies in Nighon knew where they were going. Aspen suspected that they had a spy in their army, and Captain Valita became the obvious suspect. Aspen tried to find evidence, especially after he himself was ambushed while scouting. He was wounded, and most of the men in his bodyguard were cut down, but he managed to escape.
Eventually, Aspen's men captured a harpy that had been delivering coded messages from the camp to Mutare. The harpy didn't know what the traitor looked like, only that the person used elven arrows with black and green feathers to pin the notes. Tarnum asked Kurbon, the Master of Supplies and an old friend of Valita, whether anyone other than Valita used those colors, but the answer was no.
Tarnum realized that they had looked in the wrong place for the traitor, and created a fake note for Aspen to find. When Aspen rode into camp with what he thought was a message for the spy, he was shot in the chest by Kurbon, who was the real spy. Kurbon needed to kill Aspen because he was the only one who could read Mutare's codes. Tarnum's men attempted to capture him, but he escaped.
Aspen was taken to the healer's tent, but it was clear that he was dying. He told Tarnum that he considered him a friend, and that he was a good man.
"Later that day, Aspen somehow dragged himself from his tent. He stood alone and watched as the sun slowly dropped below the treetops, and then he collapsed -dead."