It is no surprise that the Immortal Hero came to live among the long-lived Elves and Dragons. He was still human after all, and humans need companionship. Soon, the Dragons would learn how seriously Tarnum took friendship.
The good Dragons are missing, and the only person who might know their whereabouts is the Dragontalker. Tarnum must find her. Do not lose Tarnum. All Heroes will be limited to level six, but all of Tarnum's skills, spells and experience will transfer to the next scenario.
|Day 1 - Day 1|
|For the past twenty 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 favorite time of year is the Spring Festival - everyone is so filled with happiness and a love for life! It's a cheerful time that helps me forget my past. But this year the festival was 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 assigned 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.
But first there was Waerjak, the orphan boy I have been raising. I needed to find someone to watch him.
|Day 2 - day 2|
|Considering our past, I almost didn't call upon Adrienne, but she was the only one I trusted to watch the orphan boy I have come to think of as my son.|
As I approached her solitary hut, which I helped her build when we were still together, Adrienne, a dark-haired beauty, opened the door.
"It's been a while, Tarnum," she said. I could tell by her tone that she wished it hadn't been so long.
"I need a favor, Adrienne," I said.
"What makes you think I'll help you?" she said. She was still angry with me, still hurt because I ended our relationship with no excuse.
"Because I know you love Waerjak almost as much as I. I must go away. I need you to watch him."
"Where is the little devil?"
"Hunting," I said. "I don't want to be here when he gets back. I don't want to have to explain."
"Yeah, I understand. Explanations aren't your strong point, are they?" she snapped.
I sighed. Maybe I shouldn't have come here.
Then, Adrienne said, "I'll take him, of course! How long will you be gone? Should I tell him you're never coming back?"
"That's not fair, Adrienne!"
"So what! I'm not feeling like being fair today!"
I shook my head. If I didn't leave now, I never would.
"It may be as short as a couple weeks," I said. "Or as long as several months. I don't know yet."
"I'll tell him."
"Tell him I love him, Adrienne. And I swear I'll be back as soon as I can."
I turned away, telling myself that Waerjak would be safe.
"By the Ancestors," I prayed, "let me find the Dragons quickly!"
|Day 3 - Day 3|
|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.|
|Day 4 - Day 4|
|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.
|Day 6 - Day 6|
|"What could it be?" I ask one of the Elven captains. "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 captain 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 captain, nodding. "True."
That is the question that plagues me.
|Day 7 - Day 7|
|As I began to formally organize my army, I appointed a Dwarf named Kurbon as the Master of Supplies because his kind are obsessed with every minute detail. He'll make sure nothing turns up missing.|
During my first conference with Kurbon, he shook his head at the list in his hand and said, "You don't expect me to support this army on what I have here, do you?"
"Well, what do you need?"
"Everything! Wood, Gold, Ore, Gems - everything. Don't be leaving any piles of resources lying around, and you best flag all mines too. If such common work is too mundane for you, sir, then hire someone to do it for you while you go off killin' things."
|Day 8 - Day 8|
|The Elves are so willing to help me that I've had to tell many of them to return to their homes and wait. If I had need of them, I would 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.|
In the past, I rarely stayed anywhere for long because I never felt part of any one place. As an Immortal, 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.
|Day 9 - Day 9|
|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?
|Day 11 - Day 11|
|This morning as we prepared to leave, an elderly Elf approached riding on the back of a powerful stag. Despite his age, the Elf was still agile enough to drop off his mount and extend a hand.|
"I am Aspen, a Druid and your advisor," the old Elf said.
"My advisor?" I said. "I don't recall asking for one, much less selecting one."
"That's because my people selected one for you. They wanted someone wise and experienced, someone who knows much of the world. The choice, I admit, was obvious. I'm sure no one else was considered, since I am the wisest Elf alive."
"And so modest," I said.
"Modesty is for Halflings!" Aspen said, jumping onto the back of his stag. "So, where do we go today?"
I mounted my horse and said, "I would think someone as wise as yourself would already know that."
Aspen laughed, and we became immediate friends.
|Day 13 - Day 13|
|"Checkmate!" Aspen said as he knocked over my wooden King with his Rook.|
"You're good," I said. My fists were clenched at my sides. I hadn't lost a game of chess in a very long time, and I didn't like it.
"Yes, although when you're this good the game loses some of its appeal, I'm afraid," Aspen said as he scooped the wooden pieces into a pouch on his hip.
"Tomorrow, a rematch," I grumbled. It was even worse losing to this arrogant Elf.
"You said you had some news," I said.
"Oh, yes! I've arranged for troops to be trained at the Centaur Stables. Return there each week and they'll have new recruits waiting for you."
Aspen tucked his board under one arm and walked away.
|Day 17 - Day 17|
|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 time for a game.|
As long as they live, you would think the Elves would become somber, 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 them. We kicked 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.
|Day 19 - Day 19|
|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 Dragons so well, I would not have recognized its 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 the good creature I know into the enraged beast I saw last night?
|Day 23 - Day 23|
|My Master of Supplies, Kurbon, gripes endlessly about the way I spend Gold.|
"What are you doing - dropping it on the ground as you ride?" he often says.
Kurbon insists I visit the Windmill and the Mystical Garden each week to pick up the Gold and resources they provide. Anything to shut the Dwarf up!
|Day 25 - Day 25|
|A report comes in that an Elven farm was mysteriously ransacked last night. The field was torn up and all the animals are missing. Thankfully, the farmer was away at the time.|
I sent Aspen to investigate the scene.
|Day 30 - Day 30|
|Aspen returns from his investigation of the ransacked farm.|
"It's a true mystery, Tarnum. The entire farm was destroyed and anything that was remotely edible was stolen," Aspen says.
"Could it be a Dragon?" I ask.
"No. There were no tracks in or out of the farm, but there were plenty left behind at the site. They were small, and a lot of them, but I can't tell you what they belong to," the elder Elf says, shaking his head.
|Day 33 - Day 33|
|There have been two more raids on farms. This time, however, the farmers weren't so lucky as to be away at the time. They were killed.|
I have noticed a pattern in the attacks though. They always happen at night, and they're moving in one direction - north. I promise to put an end to them, but since I can't be everywhere at once I call upon some of the Elves that wanted to join me earlier to pick up their bows and stand guard over the farms each night. I hope that's enough.
|4, 7, 0||You're admiring the flowery fields around you when the ground suddenly gives out beneath you. You don't drop far, but by the time you pick yourself up you find that you are surrounded. Out of little holes spring a horde of a nasty eyeless creature - Troglodytes!|
These Troglodytes must be the ones who have been raiding the local farms.
One of them sniffs the air, then turns directly toward you.
"Ah, so you're the one we've been sent for," says a Troglodyte. "Come along now."
And they attack!
|2, 18, 0||Rampart|
|2, 19, 0||Tarnum the Ranger|
|4, 31, 0||Wood Elf||You hear a whistling sound whip by, then you cry out and grab your shoulder. Your tunic and the flesh underneath are torn. Buried in the ground several yards behind you is an arrow.|
You don't see the archers until you turn toward the nearby trees. A group of Elven outlaws step from their camouflage and attack!
|7, 21, 0||Centaur||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.|
|9, 24, 0||Centaur Captain||The Centaurs that normally guard this Sawmill from bandits beg to join your army in search of the Dragons.|
As their leader explains, "We've all fought beside them in battle, and each of us owes a blood debt to the Dragons. If you do not let us join, then we shall take up your quest anyway!"
Sometimes, Centaurs just don't take 'no' for an answer, so you let them join your ranks.
|11, 35, 0||Battle Dwarf||Stubborn like all Dwarves, this stocky band of warriors refuse to move from the path, nor will they listen to reason.|
|25, 24, 0||Dendroid Soldier||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!
|31, 1, 0||Green Dragon||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.
|34, 34, 0||War Unicorn||Although normally sensible, a pack of War Unicorns blocks your path to the Monolith ahead. They refuse to listen to reason. They snort and stomp about, taunting you - and then you notice a froth collecting in the mouths of the beasts.|
Wildweed! Unicorns normally know better than to eat wildweed, so you wonder if someone managed to feed it to them without them knowing it.
|1, 28, 0||Centaur's Axe||You wander across a group of adolescent Centaurs wrestling each other, and as you approach they invite you to join them.|
When a man wrestles a Centaur, he's at a great disadvantage both of size and strength, but you have countless years of skill behind you. One by one you eliminate the teens until you stand victorious over them all.
And just before you leave, they present you with a gift - your prize for such a tremendous display of prowess.
|2, 33, 0||Shield of the Dwarven Lords||The stoic Dwarves aren't known for their carefree games, but when they do play there is always a wager on the contest.|
As you join a group of Dwarves in an axe throwing game, you bet your horse against the Shield of the Dwarven Lords. A burly Dwarf takes the first throw, hitting just above the bull's-eye! Unfortunately, the shaft of his axe is blocking the target - there's no way you can win.
Gritting your teeth, you pitch your axe sidearm with all your strength, cleaving the first axe in two as you hit dead center. To the amazement of the Dwarves, you win!
|3, 2, 0||Pendant of Total Recall||The sun reflects off something in a flowerbed, so you dismount and carefully step between the beautiful flowers so you don't crush any. And there, long forgotten, is the Pendant of Total Recall!|
|Seer's Hut (32, 1, 0)|
|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, you will need these War Unicorns to get safely back to the Elven King. 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!|
|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...
|Quest Guard (4, 8, 0)|
|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!"|
|"Hold there while we count it," the Dwarven guard says, and 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.
|Quest Guard (24, 2, 0)|
|"We would love to let you through, Tarnum," a guard shouts from one of the windows, "but the one who holds the key to the gate slipped and hit his head last week. His memory hasn't been the same since. You see, he forgot where he hid the key."|
"But I must get through!" you say.
"Well, there is one chance. If you could find the Pendant of Total Recall, perhaps that will cure the gatekeeper's forgetfulness."
"It's worth a try," you say.
|"We've torn the place apart - still no sign of the key. I'm afraid you'll never get through unless you find the Pendant of Total Recall," the guard says apologetically.|
|"The Pendant! Throw it up here!"|
The guard disappears for a long time, and just when you think they've forgotten you, the doors open. Standing in the doorway with a sheepish grin on his face is the gatekeeper.
"Sorry about that. Next time, I'll leave the key under the doormat."
|12, 9, 0||Left - Unicorn Valley|
Right - Unknown