Few people who have met the Immortal Hero have known his real identity, and my ancestor was one of the first to learn his secret. It was difficult for Tarnum to stay focused on his goal when someone was digging into his dark past, but he continued his search for the Pendant of Second Sight.
Tarnum must find the Pendant of Second Sight. All Heroes will be limited to level 28, but Tarnum and two of his best Captains will transfer to the next scenario with all of their spells, skills and experience.
|Day 1 - Day 1|
|I am facing three opponents now, all who have been bribed by Jorm. They'll try to stop me from finding the Pendant of Second Sight. Without the Pendant I will not have the bargaining chip I need to gain Duke Deezelisk's help. I just hope the old Demon wants his sight bad enough to betray one of his own.|
|(21, 46, 0) Castle: Day 1 - Day 14|
|The new recruits are ready for hire.|
|Day 6 - Day 6|
|I need more Captains if I'm going to explore this level. The scouts say these caverns are larger than anything we've seen so far - virtually an entire world beneath the real world.|
And somewhere in all this darkness is the Pendant of Second Sight. Such a small item will be hard to find without help, if not impossible. In the past, I've found these Underworlders more than willing to accept a bribe of one sort or another. I'm counting on finding a few more in order to complete my quest.
|Day 10 - Day 10|
|My Captain of Information, Mensor, is an excellent spy. He is average looking, with dark brown hair and no distinguishing features. Mensor's mind is quick and he remembers everything he sees and hears, a truly valuable asset to the campaign here. Without him, I would be fumbling blind in these tunnels.|
|Day 14 - Day 14|
|Mensor's spies have returned with some disturbing news. There is a vile, bubbling lake to the east that is constantly covered with noxious gases and fumes. They are looking for a way to cross the lake, to see if there is anything of interest there, but so far our efforts to find a Shipyard have turned up empty.|
|Day 18 - Day 18|
|I've been worried that Deezelisk may discover what we are doing here and try to snatch up the Pendant of Second Sight himself, so I've kept our real quest secret all this time, even from my own men. But these caverns are too vast for me to find the Pendant by myself.|
So, I confided in Mensor, certain that the man will keep this information confidential. When you need a devious plan, leave it up to a good spy. Since we'll be searching for something anyway, Mensor is going to let it slip to the soldiers that we're looking for an artifact of great power that will help us locate Rion Gryphonheart's soul. To support this rumor, I am to order the men to report the discovery of ANY magical item they find, and that rewards will be given to those who do.
An excellent plan, and it's not even a lie - not entirely.
|Day 22 - Day 22|
|A messenger from Queen Allison arrives, and I tense as he begins his story.|
"A band of Minotaurs managed to avoid our patrols in the upper level. They outnumbered Queen Allison's escort when they ambushed her away from her keep," the messenger says.
"What happened? Is she all right?"
"She led us to victory, Sir Tarnum!" That was a relief to hear.
"It was like fighting beside her father again," the messenger says proudly. "She held back the charge of the Champions even when they protested. The Marksmen held their attacks as well, until the Minotaurs came within range. Then the Queen released the full power of the Marksmen. Many of the enemy died in that exchanged, so she used the Champions to harass them further, charging then fleeing. By the time the Minotaurs reached our lines, there were too few to mount an effective offense."
I smile proudly at my student's success and say, "Return to the Queen and tell her that I am very impressed. Soon, she won't need me to lead her troops anymore!"
|Day 26 - Day 26|
|Mensor has been acting odd lately. It's the way he looks at me. He seems to watch my every movement, and when I meet his gaze I see something there that looks like suspicion. What would he have to suspect me of?|
I don't doubt his loyalty lies strongest with Queen Allison. If he thought for a moment I was a danger to the Crown, he would find a way to do away with me. So, what can I do about this? In the past, I might've killed the man just to be sure, but that is not my way anymore.
|Day 30 - Day 30|
|Some incidental information has come in about Deezelisk. Apparently he wasn't always blind, but lost his sight in a battle several years ago. He lost it to a Knight of Erathia during a failed attempt to grab a foothold in the upper world. His own bad luck.|
Now, the Demon sulks behind the walls of his well fortified home, protected by his many loyal servants.
|Day 34 - Day 34|
|A few of Mensor's spies attempted to build a raft and navigate the poisonous lake, but it ended in disaster. We've now learned the water is more than rancid, but acidic enough to eat apart a crude boat.|
The only remaining survivor, a badly burned man who may not make it through the night, said the lake is littered with many wrecks guarded by the ghosts of the dead. The spy did, however, spot an island but he was never able to explore it.
I tell Mensor to hold off any further expeditions until we can find a way to sail those evil waters.
|Day 38 - Day 38|
|Every so often I enjoy sitting with the men at night, listening to their stories. It takes away the loneliness for a while, makes me feel a part of this world instead of a timeless servant of the Ancestors.|
Last night, however, Mensor asked me an unexpected question.
"Where were you born, Sir Tarnum?"
I would've choked on my ale, except I forced it down my throat in a large gulp and tried not to react until I could think of an answer.
"Aberton Falls. It's a little village on the Erathian-Krewlod border. We dealt often with the Barbarians. My parents and sister were killed by one of those brutal savages, and my other sister was kidnapped."
My tone was harsh, darkening a normally pleasant moment for the men. But the memories of my family always wrench up my insides until they hurt. I can still picture my second sister, dead and laying in a village my own men had slaughtered. My answer wasn't a lie. A bloodthirsty savage did kill my sister. Me!
|Day 42 - Day 42|
|I put away Queen Allison's most recent letter, thinking about how much more confident her words seem. She's really becoming quite a leader, and her concern for the lives of her men is impressive. Maybe that's why they love her so much. They know that she will not lead them into a battle unless it was absolutely necessary, and that makes a man feel good.|
It's about time for her to join me here, to ride by my side into battle. In fact, it may be time for her to take over.
|Day 46 - Day 46|
|Mensor caught three men attempting to sneak through the Castle gates while everyone was asleep. They had information on them about our position, our exact numbers, and our real quest. It's no doubt they planned to seek a profit with it.|
When I asked Mensor how he caught the men, he just smiled and said, "I've been watching them all along. I watch everyone, Sir Tarnum."
All three spies were immediately put to death.
|Day 50 - Day 50|
|Mensor has managed to get some information from a prisoner who used to serve the Demon lord flying the Orange banner. Apparently, there is no way to reach his primary fortress from this level of the Underworld, yet he has a One-way Monolith that can bring his troops here. We will never be able to defeat him completely.|
So, I suppressed that information, otherwise the men will think our fight here is futile. Finding the Pendant remains my primary goal.
|Day 54 - Day 54|
|Another evening around the campfire, and perhaps a few too many ales, brought down my defenses last night. Foolish of me, I know, since I have become the subject of Mensor's recent suspicions.|
"Who trained you to be a Knight, Sir Tarnum?" Mensor asked.
It was a difficult question to answer. If I named someone who was either still alive or had trained one of those present then I'd be exposed as a liar. But after Mensor's last probing question, I prepared myself for more. Luckily, this was one I already considered.
"Why, Sir Thandos did. I was devastated when he died. He was an excellent Knight and served Rion Gryphonheart well."
My choice was a good one. Sir Thandos was known as something of an eccentric and a recluse, but he was in the King's favor since he had once saved Gryphonheart's life. I already knew that no one in my army had been trained under the man.
"Let us toast Sir Thandos and his glorious deeds!" I shouted, raising my tankard.
The men all shouted in unison, "Here, here!"
|Day 58 - Day 58|
|Mensor must suspect that I am not who I claim to be. I don't blame him for his paranoia - I just wish it wasn't aimed at me. What if he figured out that I am Tarnum the Barbarian King? To these people, I am like a child's nightmare. All they know about me is I am the greatest evil of their recent past.|
But the fact that I should be dead must be throwing Mensor off. He suspects something, but how could I be someone who is dead? I just hope he gives up before he realizes that it is not so impossible for a man to return from death.
|Day 62 - Day 62|
|I often slip out alone to think. Yes, it's a risk but my sword arm has only failed me once. Besides, I'm immortal. This time, however, I spotted Mensor sneaking among the rocks so I followed him.|
Mensor's clandestine meeting was with an Erathian Knight, not a Demon as I was beginning to believe. Why else would he be sneaking out here alone?
I didn't recognize the man, but I suspected he was part of Queen Allison's troops. Using my Barbarian hunting skills, I managed to get close enough to hear the end of their conversation.
"Are you sure?" That was Mensor.
"Yes," said the other. "My father never had a squire named Tarnum. He took only two squires in his entire life. I was one, and my brother was the other."
Blast! I messed up. The Knight must be the son of Sir Thandos. My first instinct was to kill the two men - to silence them forever. But I can't. For all the trouble they're causing me, they were not bad men.
|Day 66 - Day 66|
|So, Mensor knows I am a liar, but he has not yet acted. Knowing I am a liar is not enough. A man like Mensor must have all the facts. He must know who I am before he'll act. Still, I get little sleep these days as I sit up late wondering if Mensor is the type to slip a knife into a sleeping man's throat.|
|Day 70 - Day 70|
|Seems we weren't as thorough with the upper levels as we thought. Queen Allison has had her hands full with ambushes against our supply lines and two full-blown assaults on the Castles themselves. Apparently she's been handling herself well. I've received several letters from Knights claiming she is ready to be knighted, but that she won't let anyone but me give her such an honor.|
It's time. I quickly compose a letter asking Allison to pass command to her most trusted captain and join me as soon as she can.
Her confidence in me has only made me realize that I have sat idle too long about this matter with Mensor. Something must be done. If I had confronted him from the beginning, perhaps it wouldn't be so bad now.
|Day 72 - Day 72|
|I have been so concerned with Mensor's suspicions and the exploration of this vast territory that my attention to things at the Castle has been lax. Last night two thieves slipped in and took off with a hoard of Gold and Gems. A costly error I don't plan to make twice.|
|Day 78 - Day 78|
|Mensor's spies have discovered the location of the Pendant of Second Sight!|
It's on that cursed island in the poisonous lake. Several Archdevils patrol the area, and there's a guard post blocking access. The spies say those who man the post demand a high price in gold for passage.
One bit of good news though. The enemy can't get the Pendant either. There's a second guard tower that they can't cross. Unfortunately, the spies couldn't get close enough to find out what their demand will be.
|Day 84 - Day 84|
|"Sir Tarnum, I would like to have a word with you in private," Mensor said as the strategy session came to an end. I nodded and dismissed the other Captains, knowing that this was the confrontation I had been dreading.|
"Maybe I should call you King Tarnum, the Tyrant?" Mensor said. No reason denying it now.
"Yes, I was once the Barbarian King. I didn't set out to be a tyrant though. Before I knew it, I had become exactly what I set out to battle. Things happened that I..."
"Don't give me pathetic excuses! How is it you're alive, walking around, and no older than when you supposedly died, if my figures are right? What are you, a Lich? Some kind of unnatural? What kind of beast are you?"
"A man, like you," I said.
"Not like me! You're a murderer!"
"Quiet!" I hushed him. He had shouted that last part loud enough for everyone to hear.
"Tell a single soul and you'll kill us all," I warned him. "My actions speak for themselves. I've gotten us this far, but now is not the time for everything to fall apart. You know as well as I that we are committed to this quest. No turning back now. I am here because I want to help Queen Allison.
If you don't want to hear my story, fine. But if you try to expose my secret, you'll learn what a tyrant I can truly be. I won't let these men die because of one man who enjoys poking his nose where it doesn't belong!"
|Day 86 - Day 86|
|I gave Mensor and myself a couple days to cool off, then I summoned him to my tent. When he entered, he stared at me, open hatred in his eyes. I'd seen worse, but I also knew by his cautious stance that he was plotting my assassination.|
"Mensor, maybe you'll never believe that I truly am on your side. I'm here to help Queen Allison - that's all. When I'm done, you'll never see me again. But until you believe me, I've decided that I have to play your game for the sake of all these men">p>A look of uncertainty flickered across his face.
"I have a piece of information that would not only bring down Queen Allison, but the Kingdom of Erathia as well. Knowing how much you care for your people, you'll not want to risk this secret getting out. Especially if, say, I were to mysteriously die, and then a loyal soldier with orders to take a certain letter to the upper world and give it to the first minstrel he finds. Minstrels are notoriously bad at keeping secrets, you know."
"What secret?" Mensor asked hesitantly. This was the game he was used to playing, and he could tell that I was not bluffing.
|Day 86 - Day 86 - 2|
|"It's public knowledge that Rion Gryphonheart rescued Allison's mother from a little village. What people don't know is that the sister of the Barbarian King lived in that village," I said.|
"I don't believe you!"
"Believe me! I wonder what would happen if everyone found out that Queen Allison is the niece of Tarnum the Barbarian Tyrant? Mayhem, I would think. Certainly, Allison would lose her head. Everything I have said can be confirmed, you know I'm not lying."
Mensor left the tent, stunned and confused. Even though I hoped it was enough to get the spy to leave me alone, I still wasn't going to get any sleep tonight.
|Day 98 - Day 98|
|Mensor has been cold toward me for some time now, but as least no one has attempted to put a dagger in my back. He's returned to his work with a vengeance, but now he only sends his reports in written form.|
When we first started working together I got the impression he liked me, and I certainly liked him. My attempts to explain myself have been met with polite refusals. Mensor simply doesn't want to talk to me, and I suspect there is a deeper reason for such hatred.
|Day 102 - Day 102|
|Pit Fiends swept through the camp last night. They burned supplies and spoiled much of our food. By the time I reached the commotion, I saw Mensor fighting a losing battle with one of the enemy. He's a better spy than swordsman. I pushed my way to Mensor's side just as he tripped over one of the bodies, then I killed the Pit Fiend looming over Mensor. The rest of the ambushers were dead in minutes.|
When the combat was over, I met Mensor's gaze but he said nothing. His wounds were still minor, but I sent him to the healer to have them treated.
|Day 106 - Day 106|
|"Tarnum, why did you save me?" Mensor's question was direct, asked the instant he stepped into my tent.|
"Because you were in trouble. It's what friends do for each other," I said matter-of-factly. I wasn't in the mood to deal with this man's anger, so I turned my attention back to sharpening my sword.
"Your secret could've been safe with me dead?"
Mensor shook his head and left.
|Day 110 - Day 110|
|Finally, last night Mensor showed up at my tent with a tankard of ale and two mugs. He filled them to the brim and sat.|
I looked at the amber liquid in my cup and smiled, "Wouldn't be poisoned, would it?"
And I drank it down before Mensor could reply, showing him that I trusted him despite our disagreement.
"I'm ready to hear your story, Tarnum," Mensor said softly. He took a large gulp too.
"Fine. I'll tell you everything, but I want you to know right now that I'm making no excuses. I did the crimes you hate me for. Just like I'm no longer the Barbarian Tyrant, nor was I the tyrant in the beginning. In fact, I was a simple herder barely surviving in a harsh land..."
|Day 114 - Day 114|
|It's been a few days since I told Mensor about my long life. Quiet days.|
Then he rode up next to me this morning and said, "I've heard stories about your death. King Gryphonheart's wife, your sister, wept for days, and when she couldn't be consoled Gryphonheart returned to the battlefield to recover your body. Of course, he didn't find it, but he assumed some of your own kind carried it away to some secret place. The Queen honored you, even though you were our enemy."
Tears were already flowing down my cheeks.
"I thought you would like to know that she forgave you," Mensor said. "I can't forgive the Barbarian King - many of my bloodline were killed by your armies."
So, that's why he hated me so much. I'm responsible for the deaths of several of his family members.
"But I can forgive you," Mensor continued with some effort. "You're a different person now - I can see that."
Mensor extended his hand in friendship and I accepted it gladly.
|Day 122 - Day 122|
|If my sister could forgive me for my crimes, I can forgive the Ancestors for the punishment that has made me the Immortal Hero.|
My actions have practically destroyed my people's culture, all because of my hatred. Why the Ancestors have given me a second chance, I don't know. I didn't deserve it, but maybe some day I will.
|16, 42, 0||A group of men in dirty and torn clothing steps out from behind the rocks. They rush forward and immediately drop to one knee.|
"Sir, we beg to join your armies. The Dungeon Overlords are cruel masters, and we would rather die free than live as slaves."
You accept their offer and send them back to the castle to be trained.
|21, 49, 0||A scout has returned with excellent news. The Sandals of the Saint, another piece of the Angelic Alliance, are located southeast of here and they're only guarded by Magogs.|
|9, 6, 0||Inferno|
|17, 77, 0||Dungeon|
|21, 46, 0||Castle|
|33, 103, 0||Inferno|
|44, 6, 0||Dungeon|
|49, 45, 0||Castle|
|51, 86, 0||Inferno|
|52, 36, 0||Dungeon|
|55, 71, 0||Castle|
|75, 60, 0||Inferno|
|78, 25, 1||Dungeon|
|80, 27, 0||Inferno|
|80, 86, 0||Dungeon|
|89, 8, 0||Inferno|
|102, 66, 0||Dungeon|
|104, 105, 0||Castle|
|15, 49, 0||Your most powerful hero from Jorm's Ambush scenario.|
|17, 78, 0||Dace the Overlord|
|21, 47, 0||Tarnum the Knight|
|24, 51, 0||Your most powerful hero from Jorm's Ambush scenario.|
|33, 104, 0||Xarfax the Heretic|
|44, 7, 0||Deemer the Warlock|
|52, 37, 0||Lorelei the Overlord|
|78, 26, 1||Damacon the Overlord|
|89, 9, 0||Rashka the Demoniac|
|102, 66, 0||Jeddite the Warlock|
|32, 57, 0||Magog||Those Sandals belong to us and we will not allow you or anyone else to take them from us. Prepare to die you unworthy mongrels.|
|104, 106, 0||Dread Knight||A band of Dread Knights stands in your way. These are the Knights who came down here long ago to fight evil, but they lost their battle and were turned into these undead warriors.|
|33, 58, 0||Sandals of the Saint||These Sandals are the second to last item that Tarnum needs in order to complete the Angelic Alliance. The power of the Angelic Alliance will surely tip battles in his favor.|
|75, 30, 0||Pendant of Second Sight||You have found the Pendant of Second Sight! This will allow you to bribe Deezelisk into handing over Jorm and allowing you to get the soul of Rion Gryphonheart. Your quest is nearing the end.|
|Quest Guard (45, 63, 0)|
|Quest Guard (76, 30, 0)|
|I have been here for so long, decades I think. I'm waiting for someone, waiting to meet Tarnum. I want only to ask him one question, and then I can find myself a final resting place.|
|You are not Tarnum. Go away!|
|"I am finally looking into the face of Tarnum. I have but one question for you. Why did you lead our people astray?" The old man asks of you.|
You think you might recognize this old man, but it can't be!
"I was angry. Sorry."
The elder shakes his head and walks away sadly.
|Quest Guard (77, 31, 0)|
|You can't bust this guard post down. Believe me, many have tried. But a bribe might work where siege engines fail. There are ten of us in here. We figure 5,000 Gold apiece should help us buy our way out of the Underworld. So, if you want to pass by, bring us 50,000 Gold. No less.|
|Didn't think I'd count it, did you? I said 50,000 Gold. Don't try to cheat me!|
|50,000! I've never seen so much gold in one place. And lucky me! My poor companions have all passed away waiting for your arrival - something they ate, I think. Oh, well. Maybe this gold will relieve me of my grief.|
|Quest Guard (102, 106, 0)|
|Our fathers came down here long ago to fight the evil beings of this land, and today we continue that fight. If you wish to pass, you must prove that you're a true enemy of the Underworld. Return with 40 Harpy Hags so we can lock them in our dungeons. Only then will we let you pass.|
|You do not have 40 Harpy Hags, which means you are not fighting the forces of evil.|
|Give us the 40 Harpy Hags as a token that you are fighting for the side of good and we'll let you pass.|