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Welcome to the my Strategy blog for the campaigns!

The start is with the first mission of the Elven Court Campaign, Council of Origins.

Mission Intro

--By Sundren

Rogue Princess

My father is King Saridas, once First Stormlord of the Dark Elves. My mother is Julia, former Queen of the Wood Elves. Their passion reunited Dark and Light souls, restoring the High Elves. Their power reinvigorated the glory of Inioch's ancient Elven Court.

My brother, Prince Thannis, is firstborn. He is schooled in war and statecraft, destined to great deeds. I was born second and a girl. All my father wants me to do is secure a powerful husband. But I want none of that. In public I may be a dutiful daughter, but I have trained and I have spied. I will be more than just a princess.

In the court, envoys come and go. Everyone talks of war. Many flock the the banner of our Elven Court, seeking refuge from the Human-run Commonwealth with their technologies of metal and smoke.

About My People

My grandfather Inioch was king when the High Elves last ruled. Then the humans came and murdered him. The Elves' hearts were broken in two. Inioch's daughter, my mother, pursued healing, leading the Wood Elves, while his son, Meandor, chose vengeance, leading the Dark Elves.

While we fought ourselves, the humans grew in power. Then came the shadow to consume us all. For the first time, the world stood as one. Victorious, leaders of all races joined together to form the Commonwealth. My mother guided them, but one by one the mortal founders died. Their children forgot their forefathers. In two generations, they sought gold over virtue. My mother's dream of harmonious equality died.

The Dark and Wood Elves withdrew from the Commonwealth, turning to each other for survival. My parents' love was their catalyst. One Midsummer Eve, those broken Elves gathered for a night of sacred unification. Bodied and souls joined, performing a mystic ritual we call the The Mending. My brother and I, the first of a new generation, were born thereafter. The High Elves had returned.

Escaping the Gilded Cage

I found an opportunity to escape my gilded cage when Thannis was sent to negotiate with the Commonwealth at the Council of Origins. I slipped out amongst the entourage and joined my brother. Thannis thinks war can be averted, but during my nightly spying I have overheard even our trusted allies lusting for power. These lords would sell their own families for an advantage in the impending conflict.

Though a warrior, Thannis favors peace. He repeats my mother's words:"Diplomacy is essential to prevent war". I fear they are to late, and history favors the one who strikes first. The Council is to be held at the Pool of Origins. It is a sacred place where leaders go to settle disputes. It is guarded by a wise Orc named Gamblag. His power ensure envoys can attend the Council without fear of violence. Yet, on our approach we hear movement in the woods, trailing us. Thannis leaves his guards with me while he enters Gamblag's Domain.

Strategy

This scenario, you're going to play a Rogue. Mainly, your race will be High Elves, though you will get a single stack of Draconians, and you will get access to Humans and Orcs once you start going on the offensive.

For research, it's always a good idea to get a scout, so it can be beneficial to research Summon Grimbeak Crows.png Summon Grimbeak Crows if you don't have it yet. However, any opening should work fine.

Players:

Opening Turns

You start in the woods near a (dysfunctional) Teleporter to the heart of Gamblag's Domain (Green border). Throughout this mission, there will be a couple of hints explaining a few gameplay basics. First, combine your army. You start with Sundren, a High Elf Rogue leader, and a Storm Sister, a Union Guard, a Swordsman and two Longbowman. Right now, the archers are the most important part of your army, since they have Shoot Longbow.png Shoot Longbow, and suffer no range penalty like other archers. In battle, protect them. The first objective is to clear out a bandit camp to the west, so go that way and clear them out. For an easy and slightly abusive time, put a single archer in such a location that he can hit just one hex, and watch all scoundrels standing there one by one, since they're much weaker in a ranged combat like this. Once you disposed of these bandits, travel south. You will encounter another stack, this time with an assassin, but the battle is on the open field. If you can get your Longbowman to shoot thrice on a scoundrel without obstacle penalty, chances are they'll die in a single turn, so try to do it that way, to limit the damage your troops take. Once you defeated the second stack, the town of Eldaste to the south will become yours. Since it's your first city, it automatically becomes your Throne.


While this is happening, Gamblag will declare war on you, claiming that you brother Thannis attempted to assassinate another envoy. Thannis is killed, ending his short campaign appearance. The objective becomes to take the Pool of Origins by force. While I'm OK with crying for your brother's death for a while, don't blame yourself - there's really no way to stop it from happening.

Exploring your surroundings

Once you start exploring the surroundings, you notice a Fey dwelling (Sylanui Refuge) to the east of Eldaste. When approached, they will give you a quest to conquer a fortress (Bridgeguard) to the North of their site, and they will join you if you do. If you go a little bit further to the East, you'll meet Reskar, a Draconian Arch Druid, who will join you, and provide you with a second stack. This includes a Draconian Elder, whose Dragon Ancestry.png Dragon Ancestry will bestow Fire Damage.png Fire Strike (among other things) upon a draconian. If this is done on Reskar, the will provide an additional +5 Fire Damage Damage on his Shoot Longbow, making it a very strong attack. Also, Reskar has a Settler with him, and he's standing on a pretty good spot for a new town.

To your west, you can explore a bit, and you'll encounter a roaming stack of 3 Wargs, who will attack you on sight. The have Overwhelm.png Overwhelm, dealing bonus damage to your Infantry (since they're Shield.png Shielded) and your Pikes, but they are quick to die. Once you disposed of them, you'll be joined by two High Elf Monster Hunters. There will also be a couple of resources, and a good site to build either a Fort or a City, if you feel like it. Going to the south, you'll encounter a Fort with a couple of Crusaders and Martyrs, behind which you can find two Gold Mines and a Forbidden Sanctum(30 Mana Mana income when explored). Watch out for the spiders here.

Though it might not matter that much, I personally tend to send Sundren to the west to capture everything there, and have Reskar take the Fort near the fairy dwelling. However, any division will work just fine here. When attacking the fort, remember that Pikemen have Polearm.png Polearm, dealing bonus damage against the Flying.png Flying Exalted inside the fort. This can be done with either Sundren's High Elf Union Guard or Reskar's Draconian Charger. When you have captured the fort, the Fey dwelling will join you and provide you with some additional forces in the form of 2 Buttercup Fairies and 2 Toadstool Fairies. While very weak and vulnerable in Melee combat, their Fairy Fire.png Fairy Fire can deal a tremendous around of damage, especially against Gamblag's OrcIcon.png Orcs, who have a -1 Resistance malus as a race. Remember that with (medium) ranged attacks, they will do full damage when the there are 2 or less hexes between the shooter and the target. Using the Fairies at full damage distance will easily hit your enemies for around 15 damage per shot. If you have sustained losses, think about putting the Buttercup Fairies in your other armies - they have Bard Skills.png Bard Skills, and as such will enhance your army's effectiveness by making your units do Critical Hit damage more often.

On the Offensive

After consolidating your immediate surroundings, there are at least two ways to invade Gamblag's domain. To the North of Bridgeguard, the Fortress you captured for the Fey Dwelling, there is a cave entrance. Entering it, you will find water blocking your way, and a disfuntional teleporter. You can either research Basic Seafaring.png Basic Seafaring, or just have your fairies float to the other side, and if you defeat the guardians of the teleporter, you can use it to teleport your units across the water, and invade Gamblag's domain from the inside. You could call this the "sneaky route".

Alternatively, you could just head east from the point where you find Reskar, and circle the Impassable mountains surrounding the Pool of Origins that way. It may be less subtle, but it has the advantage of not finding a hostile army in your back. Also, this will enable you to proceed further east, away from Gamblag's realm, where there are a couple of treasures waiting for you, though not really much to write home about.

Either way, when you approach Gamblag's Throne city of Origin Temple(located to the north of the pool), Reskar will provide you with a Battering Ram and a Trebuchet, to help you siege his Throne. Most likely, Gamblag has a Shrine of Smiting here. This is the Theocrat Tier IV unit, has high ranged damage at Long(7 hexes) range, and a devastating AoE attack called Divine Vengeance.png Divine Vengeance, which hits all non-Devout.png Devout targets inside a 4-hex radius. Note that the second one can only be used once, and once it's been used, you can safely have a few units gang up on the shrine. It's got a 100 Hit Points base health, but it'll go down eventually. Also, it's Reinforced.png Reinforced makes it resistant against Physical Damage Physical ranged attacks, so do not waste those on the Shrine if you got another target in range.

Most likely, Gamblag will be with his Throne City, but otherwise, you can hunt him down somewhere close - there's not much space to run here. If you got the Throne, you'll also most likely have taken out the brunt of his forces, and if you missed Gamblag, he's likely to be only lightly defended.


Mission Outtro

Visions of Fire and Blood

There's no way back. Thannis is dead. Oh my poor, dear, foolish brother. I should've kept you safe from traitors. I knew the greed of these Lords. But now is not the time to mourn.

I now know the heart of my enemy, this "Commonwealth". They will desecrate anything to fuel their appetite to expand. Ruled by mortal men with short lives - how can they value life when death is their destiny?

Before departing, I took Reskar to the Pool of Origins. He has a Draconian artifact called the Radiant Egg. He bathed the egg in the mystic waters and began speaking of prophecy and restoring the trust of dragons so his people can find a homeland. There was much I did not understand, but the egg now glows like the sun. As I was there I gazed into the Pool of Origins. I've never been one to believe in visions or prophecies, but as the ripples clear, I saw something.

Reskar's Need

The world blurred around me. Great gear clacked with the rhythm of war-drums. On one side, a brother died; on the other, temples fell to ruin. Honor must be defended. Armies rallied. The blood of my enemies mingled in the pure waters of my people - a torrent of blood. Then a well of deep shadows gathered, drinking the sea of blood. Lastly I saw, floating across the crimson void, a speck of light, distant and flickering like a torch.

Then Reskar pulled me from my trance and we fled. I need time to sort out what happened. Our resistance has attracted the Commonwealth. Somehow they knew both of us would be here. My spies say there's a price on my head. Something has gone terribly wrong here. I cannot return to my father - not yet. He would use this incident to insure I never leave, and I would never discover the truth. I must prove that I am more than the last living heir.

I commanded the Elf troops to take Thannis's body back to the Elven Court. Their movement should distract the Commonwealth spies, while I help Reskar escape and follow his vision.

Information

  • First Level of the Elven Court Campain (Sundren's Story)
  • Next Level: Promised Lands
  • Max Hero Level: 4 (200 Experience Exp)

My Estimation:

  • Estimated duration: 20-40 Turn Turns, depending on play style
  • Difficulty: Easy
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