Heroes Chronicles/Hc4Prev

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Heroes Chronicles

�   ��   Clash of the DragonsŽ   When the good Dragons disappear, the Ancestors send Tarnum to find them.  What he discovers is an enemy with the power to conquer the world.  �"�   Preview Dragons.h3mŸ$    �      �                                     ����” ‰ � �” ��  �   �$    �   Preview��  The Dragons have not responded to the Elf King's call.  Tarnum heard of this and offered to seek the Dragontalker, an ancient woman who can speak with Dragons.  She may know what has transpired.  Without the support of the powerful Dragons the Elves may fall prey to their enemies.           ÿ        �  \  ÿ        c  o  ÿ     ��  �    ”¦�   Tarnum �   ”�   Tarnum      À  ÿ        ÷     ÿ              ÿ        x  P  ÿ      � 1 ��    ÿÿ                                                     ×�ß� À�€ÿÇÃ� À¾
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You don't see the archers until you turn toward the nearby trees.  A group of Elven outlaws step from their camouflage and attack!                            ÿÿ�   �� %                 �� %                 �� &                 �� &                  � '         � '        �� (                 �� (                  � )                 �� *                 �� %                 �� *                 �# '        �� '        �� +        áUt¶� � ��  	� ,        ßUt¶� �  �  �� -        ãUt¶� �     �# .        åUt¶� ��u   Stubborn like all Dwarves, this stocky band of warriors refuse to move from the path, nor will they listen to reason.                            ÿÿ��  !� /        �”ÿÿÿÿT�  Greetings, Tarnum!  The Dragons have spoken kindly of you - they call you a friend.  Not many humans have earned such respect from their kind, so it is fitting that you become their champion.

I fear for the good Dragons, Tarnum.  They were drawn from their caves as if pulled by some unseen hand.  I saw it in their eyes - they could not resist and they did not want to go.

Here!  Take this Badge of Courage to the Elven King and tell him that on behalf of the Dragons, I have selected you to save them.  He is bound by his alliance with the Dragons to give you whatever assistance you request.�   You are not Tarnum.  Begone!Û   Now, have a seat, Tarnum.  The story I have to tell you might take a while.  Let me make you some tea, and then I will tell you what I know of your enemy.  

To begin, let me tell you about the Dragon Queen of Nighon...�1   �� 0        "	 �        !� �        �� �        %� �        #� 1        "� 2        �� �        �� �        �� �        !� 
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 .        æUt¶  �     �� L        çUt¶  ��i�  You lean against a tree to get out of the hot mid-day sun, but suddenly a pair of strong arms wrap around you.  They squeeze the breath from your lungs and effortlessly lift you into the air, pitching you several feet away into the dirt.

When you come to your feet, you notice the entire forest moves.  The trees surround you and angrily close in for the kill!                            ÿÿ�   �� ,        éUt¶  �     "� M        êUt¶  �     "� N        ëUt¶� �     !  �        �� �        �  �        �� �        �� �        �� �        �	 �        �� O        �� P        ÿ   �� �        �� �        �� @        �� Q        �� H        �� 
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� �        �� 6        �� 1        �� R        �                �       ˆ�  ÿÿÿÿ��  A band of renegade Dwarves blocked this pass knowing that someone would one day need to enter the valley beyond.  One of the guards looks down at you from above and laughs.

"If you wanna pass, then you gotta pay!  5000 Gold and 15 Crystal is the current toll."€   "What are you bothering me for?" shout the Dwarven guard.  "We told you there's a price for passage.  5000 Gold and 15 Crystal!"ß   "Hold there while we count it," the Dwarven guard says, then disappears inside the tower.

You wait for more than an hour, and just when you think you've been tricked, the doors open.

"You're free to pass," the Dwarf says.�	 �        �	 �        
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� V                 �" W                 �� X        ÿ   �� X        ÿ   �� X        ÿ   �� Y        �� Z        �� [        �� Z        �� \        �� ]        �� E        �	 ^        '   Left - Unicorn Valley
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� K                 �� K                 �� -        ðUt¶  �     �� .        ñUt¶  �     �� '        �� +        òUt¶  �     �� $        ïUt¶  �     �� d        ôUt¶�”��   Tarnum �¦    ÿ�"�  Judged by the Ancestors as unworthy of entering Paradise, Tarnum wanders the land seeking redemption for the crimes of his past.  He's the Immortal Hero, a timeless protector, but personally troubled by the doubt that he can ever make up for the tremendous wrongs he performed in his youth.ÿ                  �� e         �
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 � �   �� g        �� h        �� h        �� '        �� i        íUt¶� ��e�  Ahead is the home of the Dragontalker, but even as you approach you notice a pair of angry Green Dragons tearing through her gardens.  They seem prepared to destroy the house and the Dragontalker as well.

Even as you draw your sword and attack, you regret your actions.  To destroy such a beautiful creature is wrong, but you don't see any way to avoid it.                            ÿÿ��  �� J        �� j        �� k        �� l        �� m        �� n        
� o        �� p        �! q        �� r        �� s        	� t        �� o        �� u        ÞUt¶� ����  You hear the thunder of hooves on the earth and turn to face your enemy as a group of horsemen ride over a nearby rise.  No, not horsemen!  Centaurs - man and horse combined, you know them to be fierce warriors.  And this shaggy lot seems prepared to attack.                            ÿÿ��  �� v        �� w        �� x        �� y        �! z        �" {        �� |        �� }        �
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� ‰        $� Š        �� ‹        �� Œ        �" '        ## i        ?/U¹� ��H�  A few Green Dragons dive out of the sky, amazingly graceful for such a large creature.  Magnificent!  But as they claw the ground, digging up clumps of dirt larger than a grown man, you realize these beasts are under some sort of enchantment.  They spit angrily at the ground and stalk toward you like cats on an injured mouse.                             ÿÿ��  �   �   Day 1ô�  For the past forty or so years I have lived among the Elves in these beautiful forests.  I have fought beside them, laughed with them, and learned their ways.  Perhaps my favourite time of year is the Spring Festival - everyone is so filled with happiness and a love of life!  It's a cheerful time that helps me forget my past.  But this year the festival has been shadowed by the absence of the Green and Gold Dragons.  It's most unlike them to break a promise.

And then last night the Ancestors visited me.  They had another task for me to complete, but I already knew what they wanted me to do.

"I know," I said.  "The Dragons must be found."

Even if the Ancestors hadn't arrived to assign me this task, I would've gone in search of the good Dragons.  Over the years, these long-lived creatures have become my beloved friends.  They understand what I am, and they do not fear me.  To them, my past is just that - over.  For the friendship they have shown me, I owe it to them to find out what has happened.                            ÿ�                     �   Day 5:�  "What could it be?" I ask one of the Elven soldiers.  "What could possibly keep the Dragons from the Festival?"

"Hard to imagine anything powerful enough to kill them all, or imprison them.  No such force exists!  At least, I hope it doesn't," the soldier says.

"But the other alternative is just as unreasonable.  Dragons never break a promise, and even if it was something beyond their control, they would've told the Elven King about it and apologized for their absence."

"True," says the Elf, nodding.  "True."

"Then what?"

That is the question that plagues me.                            ÿ� �                   �   Day 7Ž�  The Elves of these forests are so willing to help me that I've had to tell many of them to return to their homes and wait.  If I should need them, I will send word.  Obviously, a strong bond has been formed between Elves and Dragons, and I suddenly realize why I have chosen to stay among these people for so long.

I admit, in the past I rarely stayed anywhere for long because I never felt part of any one place.  As an Immortal, if I were to stay I would only make friends that would age and die before my eyes.  But not the Elves and Dragons.  Not only do they live for a long time, but when they form a friendship there is nothing that can break it.                            ÿ� �                   �   Day 9’�  Last night, I witnessed another trait that I have learned to love about Elves.  Even when the seriousness of our quest to find the Dragons weighs heavily on their thoughts, my soldiers found the time last night for games.

As long as they live, you would think the Elves would become sombre, even boring.  Yes, they are thoughtful people, always willing to consider the consequences of their actions before they act, but they also know how to live each day.

Upon their request, I joined the Elven game kicking around a child's ball with no clear objective other than keeping it away from the other team.  I wish I could say my team won, but maybe next time.                            ÿ� �                   �   Day 11S�  I have learned that to reach the Dragontalker I must first pass through the Red Border Guard, and only the Keymaster in the red tent has the authority to give someone access.

I just hope the Dragontalker still lives.  If something happened to the Dragons, then couldn't the same thing have happened to the old healer who lives among them?                            ÿ� 
                   �   Day 3�  While in the service of AvLee, I fought in the Forest Guard beside a young Vori Elf named Gelu.  He invented an interesting bow, used only by the most experienced Archers.  These elite troops were called Sharpshooters.

Using Gelu's design for the bow, I am training my own Sharpshooters for the battle ahead.  These bows have an excellent range and are far more effective than almost all other ranged troops.  I just hope they serve me as well as they did Gelu.                            ÿ� �                   �   Day 13ž�  When I saw the Green Dragon swooping over the treetops last night, I thought my quest was over.  Perhaps the good Dragons simply forgot about the Spring Festival.  I called out, waving for it to land so we could talk, but the Dragon dove sharply at my position.

If I had not known Dragon's so well, I would not have recognized the battle dive.  It attacked!  Luckily, my men and I were able to take cover in a thick portion of the forest where the Green Dragon wasn't able to assault us, and eventually it gave up and flew away.

But the malevolent expression on its face bothers me still.  What could turn these good creatures into that enraged beast I saw last night?                            ÿ� �                   �   Day 2h�  I managed to convince the Elven King of AvLee to send me to find out what happened to the missing Dragons.  He suggests I seek the Dragontalker, an ancient Elven woman who lives among the good Dragons.  She knows them better than any other mortal.  But after centuries living among the Dragons, she has become a bit of a recluse.  Finding her may be a problem.                            ÿ� �