A Barbarian King
Knowing where it all began will help you understand Tarnum, the choices he made, and the reason the Ancestors gave him a second chance. His people suffered generations of enslavement from Bracaduun and their henchmen, men like the brutal Rabak.
Tarnum must defeat the present Lord of the Clans, Rabak, so he can name himself King of the Barbarians. Everyone is limited to level 6, and Tarnum's strongest Captain will follow him to the next map.
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 1 - The Old Bard|
|An old man staggers up to you, frightening off some of your sheep, and stumbles right into your arms. That's when you notice an arrow in the elder's back. He's weak from loss of blood, but when he clutches your hand you can't pull away.|
He tells you he's a bard, one of the last of his kind. It's hard to believe, considering your people's oral historians were outlawed by the Empire of Bracaduun long ago because their heroic tales often spurred the Barbarian clans into rebellion.
Before his death, the bard gathers his strength to tell you his last story - a true history of your people that the Wizard-Kings have tried to hide.
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 1 - Jarg's Horde|
|Your people weren't always the slaves of the Empire of Bracaduun. Long ago, one of the ancestors of your own clan, a great warrior named Jarg, formed a massive Horde and conquered all the lands from ocean to ocean - including Bracaduun.|
Your heart begins to race as you hear the tale. It's like the games you used to play when you were a kid, hiding out here in the wilderness away from prying eyes. With a stick for a sword, you stood up to the evil Wizards. But when you grew up, you dismissed those games as a child's fantasy.
But it happened. It really happened!
And as you picture your present clan leaders, you can't imagine any of those drunken, pot-bellied fools leading an army, much less winning a battle. What happened to your people's courage?
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 4 - New Clan Chief|
|You thought your people would be as excited about Jarg's victories as you were, but the chief of your clan just laughs at the tale of Jarg and his mighty Horde.|
"A child's tale!" he calls it. "Told by a child."
Your blood boils as the other men join in his laughter. It's not a fantasy! It's real!
"What do you know, you fat Goblin!" you shout.
Your words can't be taken back, but neither do you want to. Even knowing that the other man is larger and more experienced than you, you still don't back down as the chief challenges you to a duel. Jarg wouldn't back down.
And like Jarg you find a way to win despite the odds, using your speed and a strength fueled by a rage you never knew you possessed. Stunned, the warriors of your clan declare their loyalty to you, their new chief.
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 5 - Treasure chests|
|One of your captains mentions that you'll need plenty of Gold if you're going to recruit an army. One easy way to obtain Gold is to take it from Treasure Chests instead of distributing it to the people. Another is to search out Gold Mines such as the one to the south.|
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 6 - Mercenaries from the Tavern|
|As you eat with the other soldiers, one of them mentions that he just came from the tavern where he saw some mercenaries who might be willing to join your cause - for the right price, of course.|
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 7 - Collect Resources|
|"Collect all resources, my chief," says one of your advisors. An army requires a lot of maintenance. "It might even be wise to hire another Hero just to collect resources and troops while you explore."|
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 8 - Rabak|
|Word of your victories is spreading like wildfire, and as your scouts return from every corner of your homeland you learn that the other clans remain quiet and neutral. They neither support you nor speak against you, except for one.|
The current Lord of the Clans, Rabak, was appointed by the Wizards as a spokesman for your people, but you've never heard Rabak say a bad word about Bracaduun. He sits in his Stronghold eating a feast each night while you recall many nights when your family went hungry because you had to clear out your stores to pay the taxes.
Rabak won't sit idle while you anger the Wizards. You're certain the two of you will soon meet, and not as friends.
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 11 - Tell me a story|
|"What do you know of our history?" you ask the older warrior sitting across from you at dinner.|
You've been asking your elders what they know of Barbarian history, hoping that someone could tell you more about the past glories of your people, but you've found their knowledge lacking. Most haven't even heard the name of Jarg.
The warrior looks up from his meal, shrugs.
"As much as anyone. My grandfather said we used to be a great nation - the greatest - but he didn't have all his wits. Maybe it's true, but no more. Everything falls, I guess. Even a great oak - a thousand years old - will fall one day."
You're impressed with the man's honest response, but annoyed that this veteran couldn't tell you more. How do you know who you are if you don't know where you came from? Is that why the Wizards outlawed the bards?
You extend your hand and ask, "What's your name?"
"Hardac," answers the warrior.
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 12 - A call for bards|
|Sitting alone last night, your pondered the tragic loss of your people's history. You haven't been able to find a single person who knows the tale of Jarg and his Horde. Some, pretending to be wise, made up some ridiculous story instead of admitting ignorance.|
Then a solution comes to mind. You tell your people to pass the word that you are looking for bards. Any who are brave enough to step from hiding will be under your protection. If your people are ever going to reclaim their courage, they need to rediscover their identity. And only the bards hold those secrets.
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 14 - Looking for a Leader|
|Your name is on everyone's lips these days. Some say you're a troublemaker that is going to bring down the wrath of Bracaduun. Others wait to see if you have the strength to back up your words of conquest. You've heard that many secretly cheer you on, but there is still one obstacle in your way. Rabak, the Lord of the Clans.|
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 19 - A Gift|
|During a moment of weakness when you feel like no one but you cares about restoring the glory of your people, your father sneaks into camp late one night with a group of farmers and cattlemen. They say that they're impressed with your success thus far, but like many they have families to take care of and can't pick up a sword like they wish. Instead, they offer you a gift, the result of a collection taken up by your secret supporters.|
"This is the best we can do," they say. It's a start, at least.
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 25 - Rabak's Demand|
|One of your captains informs you that a messenger from Clanlord Rabak has just arrived. What could the man possibly have to say? He's certainly not going to join your cause. Probably some empty threat.|
"Tell the messenger," you say, "that unless he's bringing me Rabak's unconditional surrender, that I'll see the Clanlord on the battlefield!"
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 27 - New Recruits|
|Inspired by the boldness of your reply to Rabak's ultimatum, several bands of creatures come out of the wilderness hoping to join your army.|
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 30 - Bard's Home|
|A feral-looking man is brought before you. He looks like he's been hiding in the wild for a long time, and he hasn't been eating well either, as his protruding ribs indicate. The soldier who brought in the man says he was lurking just outside the camp.|
"Who are you?" you ask.
"I am a bard, my king."
"I'm not a king."
"Not from what I hear. But word is you will protect us bards from the law of the Wizard-Kings in exchange for our stories."
"You heard right," you say, barely able to sit still. So, the old bard who died in your arms wasn't the last one. Your people's history is not lost!
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 32 - Assassin|
|As you remove your armor after a long march, a shape jumps from the darkness swinging a gleaming blade. You dodge and club the assassin to the ground with your bare fists.|
Later, when your troops drag the thug away, you say, "Assassin! Rabak has learned the ways of the Wizard-Kings too well. Now, I know I'm on the right path!"
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 35 - Four Bards|
|Over the past few days, three more bards have come out of hiding, but they bring sad news. They are the last. You shudder to think how close your people came to losing the history that is locked within the minds of these four men. If not for their courage and determination to keep the old ways alive, you realize the Barbarians would've become simply the lap dogs of the Wizard-Kings.|
You immediately order each bard to take two apprentices so that their knowledge will not be lost if they should die.
"And teach them quickly," you say, "for next year you shall take two more apprentices and so on."
|(4, 4, 0) Stronghold: Day 38 - A Barbarian King|
|You sit with the four bards one night, listening to their accounts of Jarg and how he conquered every land between the two oceans. His heroic deeds were numerous.|
"Jarg lived so long ago," you say, "what of the Barbarian Kings that came after him?"
The bards exchanged a knowing glance, then the eldest says, "Jarg was the last. He ruled well into his old age, but when he died his kingdom crumbled. His sons fought each other for control and ended up too weak to stand up to the Wizards who formed Bracaduun."
"Jarg was the last?" you say, amazed.
"No," says the elder bard. "There must be another. Only a King can bring the people together. Only a King can throw off this yoke the Wizards have placed upon us!"
It takes you a moment to realize they are talking about you.
|5, 30, 0||You were enjoying the sea wind in your hair until most of the sailors strip off their sashes and draw their weapons.|
"Rabak has placed a hefty sum on your head," says their leader, "a sum we plan to collect!"
|17, 11, 0||Out of the shadowed treetops springs a pack of Obsidian Gargoyles looking for blood!|
|23, 26, 0||These lands belong to Rabak and his clan. By Barbarian standards, they are rich in resources - some say because Rabak is such good friends with the Wizards.|
|34, 14, 0||An ornate arch stands before you sparkling with magic. You've heard the Wizard-Kings sometimes use these to travel great distances in a single step. Although you distrust magic, a little lightshow isn't going to frighten you from your path.|
|4, 4, 0||Stronghold|
|13, 31, 0||Stronghold|
|28, 11, 0||Stronghold|
|4, 6, 0||Tarnum the Barbarian|
|13, 31, 0||Rabak the Barbarian|
|2, 30, 0||Stone Gargoyle||You heard this remote island was a retreat for Wizards who came to visit the Barbarian lands. You realize it must be true when a pack of Gargoyles swoops down out of the sky to attack.|
|Seer's Hut (14, 8, 0)|
|Ah, I knew you'd be coming. Dreamed about a handsome warrior coming to my door, yes I did. How would you like a sturdy weapon at your side? I'll give you one, but first you need to bring me 50 Wolf Riders to protect my home from the raiders that have been moving through these parts.|
|No luck in finding the 50 Wolf Riders, eh? Guess I'll see you later then.|
|At last, the 50 Wolf Riders to keep me safe! Here is your payment. Good luck!|