Dragons of Rust
While Tarnum freed the good Dragons from the Dragon Queen's control, Mutare lured the savage Rust Dragons to her side. Soon, they flew at the front of her army, destroying anything that got in their way.
Tarnum must defeat all of the Dungeon Overlords in the area without dying himself. All Heroes will be limited to level 24, but Tarnum and two of his best Captains will transfer over to the next scenario.
|Day 1 - Stuff for enemy... (every 7 days)|
|Stuff for enemy|
|Day 1 - Day 1|
|While I was freeing the good Dragons from Mutare's control, the Dragon Queen lured the Rust Dragons to her side. At one time, these wild and unpredictable beasts were believed to be a myth because no one ever survived an encounter with them. Even the good Dragons thought they had all died off, but somehow Mutare found them.|
I have heard some of the stories, and if the Rust Dragons fight for Mutare now she has already tipped the balance of power in the world. Even worse, the loss of the good Dragons has attracted her attention to my actions. Somehow, she knows my name and she knows my mission. Aspen says this is further evidence that a spy is in our midst, but I say one of the good Dragons could've told her while under the Dragon Queen's control.
|Day 2 - Day 2|
|One of the Dungeon Overlords is entrenched on the border of AvLee in preparation for Mutare's invasion. Aspen has informed me that this Overlord has Rust Dragons at his disposal, so I guess I'm going to get a chance to meet these mysterious creatures after all.|
But I must act quickly and defeat the enemy that lurks beyond the border before he builds a force that could threaten AvLee.
|Day 5 - Day 5|
|Captain Valita has been riding next to me for five days now and she's never said more than three words to me at any time. I've tried to strike up a conversation on a few occasions, but she seems uncomfortable talking to me. Or is it talking in general?|
Today, I discretely asked if any of the Elves in my ranks knew Valita. Unfortunately, no one could help me.
|Day 6 - Day 6|
|Aspen was sipping tea, minding his own business as I walked by. I thought I was going to be able to avoid a conversation with the elderly spy, but I was wrong.|
"I see you've developed an interest in our fair Captain Valita," Aspen said.
I looked around to see if anyone was close enough to hear, but I shouldn't have bothered. Aspen always had a way of talking when no one else could possibly hear.
"Have you finally realized that I am always right?" Aspen asked with his usual cocky grin.
"No. The only thing I've realized is I wish I had a wise advisor and not an arrogant one!"
Aspen laughed despite the insult.
"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."
I rolled my eyes and immediately removed myself from my advisor's presence, but later I thought about Aspen's words. There was a time when I did consider myself incapable of losing a battle. In the end, I was wrong, but it took a sword in the gut to teach me that lesson.
And even now, I realize that I hadn't considered the possibility that I might lose my fight against Mutare. If she gains control of all the world's Dragons, how could I possibly win?
|Day 12 - Day 12|
|When we stopped at mid-day to water the horses, I took the opportunity to stretch my muscles and run around the camp. To my surprise, as I ran past the supply wagons I saw Captain Valita talking to my Master of Supplies, Kurbon. They seemed friendly toward each other, although Valita still took the short end of the conversation.|
I don't think I've ever heard a word come out of Kurbon's mouth that wasn't a complaint, so it was equally startling to see the Dwarf calm, even joking with the woman.
|Day 14 - Day 14|
|"You wanted to see me?" Kurbon said. It was the end of a long day and the Dwarf appeared tired.|
"Have a seat," I said, "this won't be long."
"I should hope not! I still have a few things to do before I retire. I don't have the luxury of lounging about and doin' nothing all day."
"No, just a quick question. I was wondering what you could tell me about Captain Valita. Do you know her well?"
The Dwarf's expression turned suspicious.
"She's one of my captains, and she talks very little. I'm curious. I like to know the people I command," I said.
"You don't come around asking about me," Kurbon said. He had me there.
"Besides," Kurbon continued, "she's a good Ranger. One of the best. That's all you should care about!"
"Yes," I said. This hadn't gone as I expected, so I ended it. One thing was for sure though. Kurbon did know Valita, or I wouldn't have seen his protective side.
So, what was this loyalty he felt toward the Elven woman?
|Day 20 - Day 20|
|Aspen came to me soon after we set camp last night. In his hand was a letter.|
"A report from the Elf King. I thought you would want to see it, although I could summarize it for you. It's very interesting!" Aspen said.
I waited for the advisor to explain.
"The Elf King suffered a great loss recently. Nearly three hundred Elves were killed in an ambush composed primarily of Dragons - Red, Black, and Rust. The odd fact about the ambush is, these men - Sharpshooters - were experts at camouflage. They know better than anyone how to stay hidden. I wonder how the Dragon Queen knew where they would be?"
"Just say it, Aspen. I dislike word games," I said.
"It's further proof that a spy is feeding information to Nighon. I'm certain of it!" Aspen said.
"You may be right, but do you have any evidence about the identity of this traitor?"
Aspen shook his head, dropped the letter into my hand.
"Not yet," he promised. "But I think we both have an idea, don't we?"
I refused to answer.
|Day 25 - Day 25|
|We stopped at mid-day to replenish our food stores. I strolled back to the supply wagons where Kurbon and his workers were loading sacks of grain into the wagons and joined them for some much needed hard labor. It felt good to exercise the muscles again.|
After an hour of work, sweat rolled down my bare back. One of the workers handed me a small keg of ale so that I could take the first drink, but I handed it to Kurbon instead.
"He's the Master of Supplies here," I said, "I'm just a worker like you."
Kurbon took a long gulp from the keg, then turned it over to me. By the time everyone had a drink, our sweat had dried and we pulled on our shirts once again.
Before I left, I said, "Feel free to invite me to join you the next time, Kurbon. I enjoyed the work!"
"Don't think that I won't," the Dwarf said.
|Day 28 - Day 28|
|After another session of laboring for Kurbon, we sat in the cool shade beneath a tall oak and shared some ale. The Dwarf was the first to speak.|
"If you're doin' all this work to get on my good side, well it isn't going to work," Kurbon said.
I decided that this was the time for me to revert to my honest, blunt Barbarian ways.
"At first, that's exactly what I was doing, but I found I liked sweating. It reminds me of the days when I used to work from sunrise to dark."
"When did you do that?" Kurbon said.
"Long time ago, before you were born."
"So, you are blessed with immortality, as they say?"
"More like a curse," I said with a frown.
Kurbon wanted to know how I, a human, came to be so long-lived, but I couldn't bring myself to tell that story - not again. The Dwarf waited a long time in silence before he realized I wasn't going to share my tale.
Kurbon took one last drink, and said, "Hard work is good for the soul..."
"...but ale is better," I said, completing the Dwarven proverb.
|Day 31 - Day 31|
|Kurbon approached me during the early morning hours when I practice with my sword. He waited until I finished, then handed me a cup of ale.|
"What's your interest in Valita?" he asked bluntly.
"I want to know what's troubling her. Frankly, I want to know if I can count on her," I said.
"You can, entirely."
"How do you know her?"
"I trained her, back when I was still in the Forest Guard. She was my best student. Don't you go worrying about Valita, she's as loyal as they get! You been listening to that slippery Elf, Aspen, too much!" Kurbon said.
"I try to listen to him as little as possible," I said.
"That's wise, but I wouldn't be trusting him around your maps and things either."
"What's that mean?" I asked.
"I'm not a gossip, and I don't speak for anybody either. If you want to know what is bothering Valita, I suggest you ask her yourself!"
Part of me felt scolded when the Dwarf left. He was right. I should've talked to her directly!
|Day 34 - Day 34|
|Aspen returned from one of his mysterious scouting missions, but I could tell something had gone terribly wrong. Aspen's arm was in a sling, and there were only a few men left of his bodyguards.|
"What is it?" I asked the moment the Elf dismounted.
"Ambush!" Aspen snapped. "As if you didn't already know."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I demanded. My hand was inches from my sword before I realize what I was doing. I was no longer the man who rebuked every challenge with the point of a blade.
Aspen looked around, noticing the other soldiers watching them.
"This is not the place," he said.
So, we retired to a private spot well away from the troops - a place, I thought, where I could kill the Elf without prying eyes.
"I'm always careful. I was well hidden," Aspen began, "yet the ambushers knew exactly where to wait for me! Only a spy could give away that kind of information."
"And now you think I am the spy?" I said. I'm sure my tone warned the Elf to watch his words carefully.
"Are you not the one who refuses to allow me to check into the existence of a spy?" Aspen asked calmly.
That was it, wasn't it? Aspen wanted his witch hunt, and if I didn't allow it suspicion would be cast upon me.
I stepped back from the Elf, took a deep breath to cool my anger. I told myself that Aspen was only doing his job. And now, he was injured too - the Elf had reason to be angry. Besides, I had to admit there had been too many ambushes lately.
"Okay," I said. "Find your spy, but you make no move without talking to me first. I want evidence! Not the slightest accusation will be made against anyone without my say, do you understand?"
Aspen nodded. The matter was settled, but why did my stomach tense as if I had made a terrible mistake?
|9, 29, 0||The grass suddenly catches fire all around you, kicking up huge plumes of smoke. When it clears, you face a group of Magogs ready to attack!|
|32, 5, 0||Dungeon|
|33, 26, 0||Rampart|
|5, 34, 0||Black Dragon||Several Black Dragons are perched outside the Dragon Caves, keeping the young Green Dragons trapped within. You already see the bones of one brave Dragon that attempted to escape littering the ground beneath the caves. Apparently, the evil Dragons cannibalized it.|
|8, 21, 0||Rust Dragon||You catch a foul odor in the air that nearly makes you gag.|
"Rotten eggs!" says the soldier next to you.
"No," you say, "not quite. Something else."
You move cautiously forward. Parting the trees, you see a pair of massive, reddish-brown Dragons larger than any you have ever seen. They lounge before the Dragon Caves. You notice deeps scars in the stone around the caves, and all the plant life in the area is dead. Then one of the Dragons comes to its feet and spits a stream of reeking acid at the rock.
Now you know the source of that smell.
"Rust Dragons," you tell the soldier next to you.
|19, 24, 0||Red Dragon||Several Red Dragons are tormenting the young Green Dragons within the Dragon Caves, blasting huge gouts of flame into the caverns as they fly about. The young ones trapped within are incapable of freeing themselves until you kill the Red Dragons.|
|28, 30, 0||Your most powerful hero from the The Dragon Mothers scenario.|
|29, 35, 0||Your most powerful hero from the The Dragon Mothers scenario.|
|32, 6, 0||Deemer the Warlock|
|33, 27, 0||Tarnum the Ranger|
|13, 16, 0||Pendant of Dispassion||A horde of Harpies and Harpy Hags have gathered at the water's edge. Some are fishing the dark water, others are tearing up flowers from nearby flowerbeds as their beauty offended them.|
You see a Pendant around the neck of one of the Hags and realize it must be magical. Do you want to try to take the Pendant away from the creatures?
|Seer's Hut (1, 14, 0)|
|I am researching a way to turn base metals into gold, but I am short of materials for my workshop. If you could bring me 10000 Gold, I would be most grateful.|
"But how long is that going to take? No, I'm offering 8,500 Gold to anyone who kills these Dragons. If you don't want the Gold, I'm sure someone else will come along. Good day!"
|Oh my, that's simply not enough. I need 10000 Gold. I'll never complete it with what you have.|
|Finally! Here, give the 10000 Gold to me, and I'll give you this in return.|
|Quest Guard (7, 6, 0)|
|Shortly after you knock on the gate to this tower, the door flies open and a middle-aged Cleric steps out with his hands clenched at his side.|
"What! Don't you have better things to do than knock on my door all day?" the Cleric shouts.
"Sorry," you say, "I was just hoping to pass through."
"Oh-oh-ooh! You want to pass? Like I don't have a tower here for a reason! Maybe I like sitting in this tower all day, letting just anybody through for no more reason than they WANT to! I couldn't be guarding this pass, no! What do I look like?"
"Well, not a kindly priest, but a priest nonetheless."
"Funny man! Hey, are you a comedian?"
You take a deep breath, fighting down your own anger, and ask, "What are you so mad at?"
"I lost something! Is that all right with you, Mister Stick-his-nose-in-my-business? I've been tearing the place apart, and I just can't find it. Unless you can help, go away!"
The Cleric slams the door in your face, leaving you confused and angry all at once.
|"Oh-oh-ooh! I can't believe you're bothering me again! Are you stupid, or do you have nothing better to do than knock on doors all day!"|
|The door to the tower opens so quickly it nearly rips off its hinges. The Cleric looks at you, rolls his eyes skyward.|
"Spare me this idiot, will you?!" he screams toward the heavens.
You dangle the Pendant of Dispassion in front of his face, grinning. If there was ever a man in this world that needed it, it was this Cleric.
"Is this yours?" you ask.
Do you give him the Pendant now so you can pass?
|Quest Guard (8, 5, 0)|
|"Are you sure you want to pass into enemy lands now?"|
|The guards here will only let those who fly the Green flag pass.|
|"Are you sure you want to pass into enemy lands now?"|