A Distant Cry
Tarnum traveled alone, drawn to a distant, sparsely populated region to save something called the World Tree. He didn't know what it was, or even what threatened it, yet he felt he was the only one who could help.
Tarnum must defeat all Necropolis towns in the area. If Tarnum loses a battle then the entire campaign is lost for it is he that everyone relies on. Heroes are limited to level eight, but Tarnum and his two best Heroes will transfer over.
|Day 1 - Day 1|
|"Save the World Tree!"|
It was like a scream inside my head, startling me from my sleep. I would've dismissed the cry as part of a nightmare, except I felt compelled to travel to the northeast. Who but the Ancestors could give me such a message? But they usually call me before them when they assign me a task. Why would they give me such an obscure command?
Nonetheless, I followed the feeling inside me and rode hundreds of miles to the northeast where I joined the remnants of a Barbarian tribe. These people have lived here for countless generations, guarding the secret caves in the surrounding mountain even though they didn't know why. Then the Necromancers came, defeated them, and entered the caves.
No one has seen the Necromancers since.
I guess I have been summoned to this place to battle the Necromancers, so I've entered the caves as well.
|Day 3 - Day 3|
|One of my scouts witnesses a strange battle yesterday. He hid in the shadows as two Necromancers fought. They sent their armies of Skeletons and Zombies at each other for more than an hour, and when it was over only one of the Necromancers walked away.|
Apparently, my enemy fights among themselves. All the better for me. With a little luck, they'll kill each other off before I have to risk the lives of my own men.
|Day 4 - Day 4|
|There has been no sign of the Necromancers in this area, but we suspect they're entrenched in the tunnels below.|
The Necromancers probably expected someone to follow them into these tunnels. Hence, they were more thorough in their destruction of the things living in these tunnels. Food is scarce. I've been forced to ration our meals, and I've placed a heavy guard on the wagons that carry supplies from the surface. If my supply line should ever be cut off, we will all starve.
|Day 7 - Day 7|
|Still, the Ancestors are quiet. Not a word since I was awakened by the words, "Save the World Tree."|
I'm still not sure if I'm on the correct path. I seem to remember a story from my youth about the World Tree. According to Barbarian legend, the world was created when a pine cone fell from the World Tree. All life sprung from its fruit, and still does.
But how can I save the World Tree if I don't know where it is?
Perhaps that is what I should be doing - looking for the World Tree instead of fighting these blasted Undead.
|Day 11 - Day 11|
|I summoned five runners to my tent for a special task.|
"I have made a list of the five wisest shaman in the area. I want you to deliver these letters to each of them, and I want you to let them know the names of the other wise men who received the same letter," I said.
One of the runners seemed confused. He said, "You want us to give the same message to five different shaman? Why?"
"Because that way they'll know they're competing with the others and they'll work harder. Deliver them quickly."
|Day 15 - Day 15|
|All five of the shaman say they will help, although all of them warned me against trusting their peers. Even better, none of them asked for compensation. They're going to divulge their wisdom simply for the opportunity to prove that they are the wisest.|
So, I sent my runners back to the shaman with two questions. What is the World Tree? And where can I find it?
|Day 19 - Day 19|
|"Why do you consort with witches?" Grumba asked as we marched.|
Grumba was my second-in-command. He was a powerful Ogre, respected by the others for his combat prowess, but I chose him because he didn't seem too ambitious. Grumba was unlikely to attempt to challenge me for leadership of the army.
"What witches?" I said.
"You know, them shaman-types. They are spellcasters - not to be trusted, I say! My sire went to one once to cure a rash and he died two days later."
"I need the shaman to answer some questions for me. Besides, they're not so bad as long as you keep them at a distance," I said.
Grumba laughed, a deep hollow sound.
"A far distance, like in another land!"
|Day 22 - Day 22|
|One of my runners returned with a letter from one of the shaman. It reads:|
"The World Tree is that which brings life to all things. We Barbarians are the only ones to have seen it. The World Tree is not for the eyes of the faint of heart such as those Erathians. It is said that if one wants to find the World Tree, you must walk toward the rising sun until you get to the horizon. There, you build a boat and sail off the edge of the world and you will find the World Tree supporting the earth itself."
I put the letter down and said, "I do not think the Ancestors intended for me to sail off the edge of the world."
|Day 26 - Day 26|
|The other shaman had similar explanations about the identity of the World Tree, but none of them seem to know for sure where it is. They don't even agree on what it looks like, except that it is very, very large.|
Is the World Tree simply a story that has been passed down for ages?
No. The Ancestors wouldn't have called upon me if it wasn't real. And the World Tree must be nearby because I no longer feel as if I'm being drawn somewhere.
|Day 30 - Day 30|
|This morning, Grumba returned from answering the call of nature with a scrawny man tucked under one arm. The Ogre dropped the black-clad man unceremoniously in front of me.|
"Look what I found," Grumba said.
The small man's pale features and ragged garments gave him away. He was either a Necromancer or more likely a Necromancer's apprentice. And I could tell by his expression that it wouldn't take much to get the prisoner to talk.
"Rip his arm off, Grumba," I said.
Even before Grumba could reach for the apprentice, the small man jumped up and shouted, "NO! I'll tell you anything."
Unfortunately, the apprentice didn't know much. As I feared, the Necromancers came to these tunnels to destroy the World Tree. The Undead despise all living things. What better way to strike at the living than to destroy that which gave life to the world?
The apprentice knew very little about troop numbers, or strategies. He didn't even know where the World Tree was, except that is was deeper underground.
Now, at least, I know I must stop the Necromancers.
|9, 27, 0||Your horse stops, catching the distant sounds a moment before you do. Moaning.|
A shiver runs down your back, but you continue.
|3, 24, 1||Necropolis|
|4, 28, 0||Stronghold|
|9, 3, 1||Necropolis|
|26, 13, 1||Necropolis|
|3, 24, 1||Vidomina the Necromancer|
|4, 29, 0||Tarnum the Barbarian|
|9, 3, 1||Straker the Death Knight|
|26, 13, 1||Thant the Necromancer|
|2, 31, 0||Skeleton Warrior||Ahead, you spot the scene of an old battle. The skeletal remains of fallen soldiers litter the ground, and a foul stench wafts toward you. But wait! One of them moves! It stands, brandishing a sword much in need of a polish.|
Then another stands, and another. This is a trap!
|4, 19, 0||Zombie||The familiar, awful moaning that echoes endlessly through these tunnels gets louder and louder as you follow this path. Finally, out of the darkness stumble the source of the sound - Zombies!|
You're too close to avoid them, so you lift your sword looking forward to ending that horrible noise.
|1, 28, 0||Skull Helmet||This helm was made from my father's skull, and I will not be giving it up to you so easily!|