|Restoration of Erathia|
|Shadow of Death|
|Horn of the Abyss|
If the Erathians had mounted a strong attack at the first sign of trouble, they would have squashed the Mudlanders before their rebellion could begin. These were, after all, just unarmed slaves. How could they possibly pose any real threat to the great forces of Erathia?
Tarnum must defeat Lord Onsten and all of his troops. All Heroes will be limited to level eight, but Tarnum and his two best Captains will transfer to the next scenario.
|Day 1 - Intro|
|There was a time when my soul was as dark as they come, when my heart was consumed with hatred. It brought my downfall and now that I've had the chance to live beyond the normal lifespan of a human, I've seen that my actions have scarred the world and its people as well.|
Those who I have harmed the most, besides my own people, are the Mudlanders. Today they are the nameless slaves of the world, without an identity of their own. Their short lives are filled with endless labour and pain.
Finally the Ancestors are giving me a chance to make amends. I entered the swamp dressed as one of their own Beastmasters, a sword in my hand to shatter the chains around the necks of the Mudlanders.
|Day 3 - Day 3|
|To mount a proper rebellion, I need the word of our fight to spread among the Mudlander slaves so they will be ready for my arrival. Unfortunately, the laws of the slavers don't allow slaves to loiter in groups of more than three, and anyone caught talking softly to each other is immediately whipped.|
But I shouldn't have underestimated the determination of these creatures. Even after hundreds of years of slavery, they have been able to summon strength from somewhere deep within and spread the word despite the punishment.
|Day 7 - Day 7|
|We have been able to take some of Lord Onsten's mines to help support our rebellion, but I was horrified at what I found inside.|
The slaves were chained to their work areas, never allowed to leave. They lived where they worked, and ultimately they died there as well. The stench of unwashed bodies was nauseating, and the sight of their frail frames was heartbreaking.
Even my people, the Barbarians, had not suffered like this under the cruel domination of the Wizards of Bracaduun. I do not think these Erathians are normally evil. They simply have a leader right now who is insane, but that doesn't explain why everyone else allows this brutality to continue.
Perhaps when some creature has been a slave for a very long time, people cease to see them as anything but a tool?
|Day 10 - Day 10|
|As much as I want to be angry at the Erathians for their treatment of the Mudlanders, I can't bring myself to feel even slightly enraged.|
It is, however, my fault. Long ago, when I led my people from their own slavery, I dominated the Mudlanders simply because I needed more troops to have a chance against the Empire of Bracaduun. I often used them in the front lines of battle, and when I was finished with them, I abandoned them. It is no surprise that after my death there were too few Mudlanders to protect themselves. They were enslaved because of their association with me.
|Day 14 - Day 14|
|I expected Onsten to send a message. I've been waiting for it, and I've known the message wouldn't be addressed to me but to the escaped slaves under my command.|
Onsten's message came in the form of a limbless Gnoll. Onsten punished him for attempting to escape by chopping off his arms and legs and cauterizing the wounds. Then the poor Gnoll was abandoned by the side of the road where we would find him. Instead of execution, this Gnoll was allowed to live for a few days longer simply to cast fear into the other escaped slaves.
"Give him a good burial," I commanded.
But I could see in the eyes of my troops that they feared they would end up the same way.
|Day 17 - Day 17|
|"Tarnum," my assistant called.|
We were breaking camp, preparing for another day's march, but I had noticed the troops were moving sluggishly today, so I had sent my assistant to find out why.
"What's wrong with them?" I asked.
"Rumours. They're getting out of hand ever since we saw that poor tortured Gnoll. Everyone believes Mad King Gryphonheart is sending 50,000 troops after us."
I almost laughed out loud.
"Do you realize what kind of effort it takes to mount an army that large? No, trust me, Erathia isn't sending an army," I said.
"Yeah, but they believe it's true. Many of them are questioning whether it is worth it to fight," my advisor said.
"Don't they want their freedom?"
"Of course! It's just we've been so long without it. Wearing the chains doesn't seem so bad when compared to having no arms or legs."
|Day 20 - Day 20|
|Today, we received word of a massacre.|
A large group of escaped slaves surrendered themselves to Lord Onsten, begging for mercy. Onsten placed chains around their necks and put them to work digging a massive hole in the swamp. When they were done, Onsten ordered all the slaves inside the hole, surrounded them with Archers, and killed them all.
This news has nearly broken the will of my army. All these people really need is a victory - one glorious defeat of their enemy. I was just going to lead these people out of this land, but now we have to make a stop first.
Lord Onsten has to die.
|Day 23 - Day 23|
|I gained a new advisor today.|
She was a wizened old Gnoll, a retired Witch named Adamina. One eye was closed from an old wound, but the other was alert and watchful. Her arthritic hands clutched a cane as she hobbled through the camp. Despite her state of obvious weakness, the others respected and took care of her.
She joined my forces when we stopped to water the horses, stepping out of the dense swamp where she lived, and immediately demanded to talk to me.
"Proceed with care," she told me, pointing a gnarled old finger my way.
"Hope is a dangerous thing," she continued. "Take it from someone and you have already defeated them. Give it to them, and they can do anything! My people are strangers to hope, Tarnum Hopewielder. Proceed with care!"
"They are my people too," I insisted.
"Oh," the Witch said with one eyebrow raised suspiciously, "are they?"
|7, 32, 0||Fortress|
|29, 4, 0||Castle|
|1, 22, 0||Swordsman||"This treasure has been collected for Lord Onsten! Back to the pens, swamp-slime!"|
|3, 32, 0||Halberdier||"Stop mongrels! This mine belongs to Lord Onsten!"|
|4, 35, 0||Lizardman||As you approach the Windmill, you see a small group of Lizardmen standing outside, lounging. Something is wrong here, because slaves are never allowed to relax until well after nightfall.|
"What's going on here?" you ask.
"We heard someone took over the town, so we saw no reason to work for the miller anymore. We're going to be free as soon as the rebels come for us!"
"Oh, really! Well, it's your lucky day. We're the rebels," you say.
|10, 20, 0||Gnoll||The Gnolls drop to their knees the moment they see you.|
"We were afraid Lord Onsten would get to us before you did. Please, let us join you!" the Gnolls beg.
|13, 33, 0||Halberdier||"Go back to your pens! Lord Onsten will have your heads for this!"|
|17, 31, 0||Gnoll||The Gnolls bark excitedly as you approach, and break out of their own pens.|
"We heard about your uprising - didn't believe it until now. Let us join you. We'd rather die free than live another day in chains!"
|18, 15, 0||Pikeman||"This is our Lord's mill. Stand back!"|
|18, 20, 0||Marksman||"It's back to the pens with you, dogs!" the Marksmen shout as they take aim.|
|18, 29, 0||Griffin||The Griffins dive from their perches on the hilltops, screeching angrily, but you were prepared for such an ambush. Lord Onsten would never leave this Gold Mine unguarded.|
|21, 28, 0||Archer||"Halt in the name of Lord Onsten!"|
|22, 35, 0||Halberdier||"Back to your pens, mongrels!"|
|24, 29, 0||Halberdier||"Only Lord Onsten can steal the Leprechaun's treasure. Stealing the Leprechaun's Gold without the permission of Lord Onsten is punishable by death," says the leader of the Halberdiers.|
"So," you reply, "Lord Onsten is the only one who can be a thief?"
The Halberdiers lower their weapons at this insult to their master.
Your own troops prepare for battle as you say, "Tell me, do I have to get Onsten's permission to kill someone, or is he the only murderer in this land?"
The Halberdiers attack.
|27, 34, 0||Gnoll||"We are prepared to fight for our freedom, if you'll have us," the Gnolls say. They may be thin, but a lifetime of hard work has made them strong.|
|29, 15, 0||Marksman||"Back! The penalty for leaving the slave pens is death!"|
The Marksmen bring their crossbows to their shoulders and take aim.
|33, 29, 0||Archer||"Return to your hovels, dogs, or you'll end up like them!" the Archers shout.|
You grit your teeth in anger when you see half a dozen Lizardmen dangling from the trees. Each one has at least a score of arrows protruding from their bodies.
"No! I'll have vengeance instead!" you shout.
|7, 33, 0||Tarnum the Beastmaster|
|29, 4, 0||Christian the Knight|