The First Tatalian War
Prince Niven joins Tarnum to free both the Mudlanders and Erathia from Mad King Gryphonheart's brutal reign.
|Day 1 - day 1|
|I met briefly with Niven when I arrived in this region. He had grown a moustache since I last saw him - probably an attempt to make himself appear a little older. He was, after all, a young king.|
Droglo rode next to him, still dressed in his mud-stained leather tunic. A few smudges of dirt and the angry pink scar on his jaw marred his otherwise perfect face. Droglo couldn't grow a moustache if he spent the next three years trying. He would always look young when standing next to his friend.
"Well, I guess I should call you King now," I said, taking Niven's hand.
"It's only a title, Tarnum," Niven said.
As much as we wanted to continue joking to keep this pleasant moment alive, we had serious work ahead of us.
"Your father's armies are in the south. Unfortunately, we took heavy losses driving him there and need to rebuild our forces," I said.
Niven nodded his understanding.
"I've taken some losses of my own. When we first arrived, we suffered heavy losses to ambushes from the natives of these swamps. I tried to reason with them, but they would not believe we were allies until Droglo convinced them to stop their attacks," Niven stated.
"So, we're both having trouble. The only good news is your father has lost his support from home. He's alone, except for the thieves and mercenaries he's been hiring. Are you prepared to keep this war going until he is defeated?"
"Absolutely! I have sworn it," King Niven said.
|Day 6 - Day 6|
|Today we captured some Rogues when they tried to ambush our supply wagons. When we searched them, however, we discovered a note bearing Mad King Gryphonheart's royal seal.|
"It's a bounty on the head of his own son, Niven," I said aloud.
"How much?" asked Adamina, who was always at my side these days, perhaps to make sure I didn't make any decisions without the consent of the wisewomen.
"Twice as much as he has offered for my head - 20,000 Gold."
"King Niven must've really angered him," Adamina said.
"Yeah," I said, crumpling the paper, "and if I know anything about Gryphonheart, he'll do anything to get his way."
Turning to the nearest soldier, I said, "Hurry! Get me our fastest runner."
|Day 15 - Day 15|
|Just as I suspected, Mad King Gryphonheart sent an assassin after his own son.|
I received word from Niven this morning that someone recently tried to kill him, and if not for the messenger I sent to warn him, the assassin might have succeeded. The killer came in the middle of the night disguised as a Monk loyal to Niven's cause. By the time he slipped into Niven's tent, Droglo had already spotted him.
As Niven described it, the Monk drew a long blade from the folds of his robes but before he could attack, Droglo jumped on the killer's back and dragged him to the ground. There was a brief struggle ending with the assassin's death.
|Day 22 - Day 22|
|Today Droglo (representing Tatalia) and Niven (representing Erathia) signed a treaty stating that no man, woman, or creature can hold another as slave.|
Niven has a difficult task ahead of him restructuring Erathia's economy now that he's freed all the slaves, but I think the boy is up to the task. Perhaps this bold agreement will spread to other nations as well.
|Day 27 - Day 27|
|I asked Droglo to rejoin my army now that we're getting closer to defeating Mad King Gryphonheart. It's good to have the boy around again. There are still a few things I want to teach him before I have to leave, and as long as he's at my side I can protect him from harm.|
Droglo doesn't know it yet, but he's the future of Tatalia. If these creatures of the swamp are ever going to build a nation, they'll need a strong leader.
|Day 36 - Day 36|
|A fire set by Gryphonheart's Rogues spread through most of the camp last night. Thankfully, no one was killed. There were, however, numerous injuries and several of our supply wagons burned up as well.|
|Day 42 - Day 42|
|Gryphonheart has been using our own tactics against us, ambushing our column as we march through the swamp.|
Today, they came close to killing me. A crossbow bolt hit me in the shoulder before we even knew we were under attack. A few inches lower and it would have pierced my heart.
Droglo saw me slump in the saddle and shouted, "Ambush!"
And then he charged the ambushers. That was the only way to break an ambush - charge directly at them.
After the initial shock, I snapped off the shaft of the arrow in case the head was barbed and chased after Droglo to make sure the boy didn't get into trouble. I came to the spot where most of the Rogues had been killed, but there was no sign of Droglo.
To one of the Gnolls, I demanded, "Where is Droglo?"
"He went running off after one of them who escaped. He was plenty mad!" the Gnoll said.
I raced off after the foolish boy. What did he think he was doing? What if he ran right into another trap? Droglo should know better.
|Day 42 - day 42-b|
|But there was no trap.|
I found Droglo standing over the body of the leader of the bandits. He didn't seem to notice my approach. Instead, he just stared off into a nearby mound of vegetation. I drew my sword in case Droglo had spotted another enemy, but when I realized what the boy was looking at I nearly dropped it.
I looked around at the swamp, spotting the signs that we were standing in the middle of what had once been a busy town. Abandoned for who knows how many years, nature had reclaimed the land. But what I thought had been a mound turned out to be the cracked head and torso of a giant statue of a man. It had fallen on its side. Vines hugged it tightly like a dying child.
Droglo turned slowly to stare at me.
"Yes," I said.
|Day 43 - day 43|
|"Let me explain," I said, entering Droglo's tent.|
The boy hadn't said a word to me since we saw the statue yesterday. I knew he had asked Adamina about the statue, and perhaps about the past as well.
How much did Droglo know? Did he know that the Barbarian Tyrant once dominated this land and its people? Did he know that, in his arrogance, the Barbarian Tyrant had statues of himself erected all over the continent? Did he know that I had been the Barbarian Tyrant?
"Explain?" Droglo asked. "Can you explain why you have the face of the Tyrant? I don't see how. You can't be the Tyrant - he's been dead for a very long time. So, it must be coincidence, right?"
I could tell by the tears in Droglo's eyes that he didn't believe his own words.
"That's right," I said. If Droglo didn't want to talk about it, I had to accept that, but he deserved some kind of explanation.
I asked, "If a man - a King - made many terrible mistakes, do you think he should have the chance to redeem himself?"
"Depends on the man, I think," Droglo said. "Take Mad King Gryphonheart, for instance. His crimes are too great! He deserves only to rot in a pit for all eternity!"
If only the boy knew Gryphonheart's crimes were nothing compared to my own.
"Well, if that man got the chance to make things right, he would probably look for someone who was nothing like he used to be - someone fair and good - to take over when he was gone."
I left the tent knowing that this revolt would be over soon and I would never see Droglo again. But I smiled. Erathia was in good hands with Niven as their King, and Droglo would protect the people of Tatalia for as long as he lived.
And one day soon that statue of the Barbarian Tyrant would vanish into the swamp forever. Finally, the wounds of old will have a chance to heal.
|8, 23, 0||Another ambush from Mad King Gryphonheart's Rogues!|
|10, 69, 0||Another ambush from Mad King Gryphonheart's Rogues!|
|13, 36, 0||Another ambush from Mad King Gryphonheart's Rogues!|
|26, 42, 0||Another ambush from Mad King Gryphonheart's Rogues!|
|29, 18, 0||Another ambush from Mad King Gryphonheart's Rogues!|
|49, 22, 0||Another ambush from Mad King Gryphonheart's Rogues!|
|53, 48, 0||Another ambush from Mad King Gryphonheart's Rogues!|
|58, 71, 0||Another ambush from Mad King Gryphonheart's Rogues!|
|69, 42, 0||Another ambush from Mad King Gryphonheart's Rogues!|
|6, 6, 0||Fortress|
|13, 35, 0||Fortress|
|33, 66, 0||Castle|
|37, 43, 0||Castle|
|57, 10, 0||Castle|
|63, 49, 0||Castle|
|2, 8, 0||Your most powerful hero from Naming a Nation scenario.|
|6, 7, 0||Tarnum the Beastmaster|
|8, 13, 0||Your most powerful hero from Naming a Nation scenario.|
|33, 66, 0||Cuthbert the Cleric|
|57, 12, 0||Niven the Knight|
|63, 50, 0||Gryphonheart the Knight|
Mad King Gryphonheart's army fought to the last man. In all the chaos, Tarnum faced Gryphonheart himself, but although the Immortal Hero was a far better swordsman, the two leaders dealt each other a mortal blow. That night, before the Tatalians could bury him, Tarnum's body disappeared.