The War for the Mudlands
Although the Wizard-Kings ruled the Mudlands, not even they were able to completely control these muggy swamps. Then Tarnum dragged his armies through the mud with just one goal in mind - join the forces of the Mudlands with his own, so he could finally bring down the Empire of Bracaduun.
To strengthen his armies, Tarnum must conquer his neighbors in the Mudlands, taking advantage of a civil war between the Lizardmen and Gnolls to name himself their new king. Conquer all towns without losing Tarnum. All Heroes are limited to level 18. Two Heroes will follow Tarnum to the next map.
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 1 - direction|
|As you and your Captains strategize over a map of the Mudlands drawn in the sand, your wisest advisor, Hardac, scratches his beard.|
"We know Gnolls and Lizardmen are fighting each other for control - civil wars are wicked and chaotic. Now's a good time to attack, but do it quickly, my King, before a new ruler is decided!"
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 2 - Seer's Quest|
|"Seek the Seer's Huts," said the wise woman standing outside your tent this morning. She could be some crazy old lady, but something about the way she disappeared when you glanced away gives you the impression that you had better listen to her.|
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 3 - Border Gates|
|The bards inform you that three Border Gates were built long ago to block passage between the Mudlands and your homeland. This is the only way between these two regions. If you gain control of them, you'll be able to pass into the Mudlands yet feel confident that your enemy is incapable of attacking you.|
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 5 - Windmill|
|As your Captains report the day's activities, one of them reminds you that the nearby Windmill should be exploited every week. It can provide valuable resources.|
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 7 - Yalla|
|Her name is Yalla. She entered your camp with several sheep trailing behind her, but you could tell the moment you saw her that she was no shepherd. The sword at her hip, the cautious way her eyes watch everything - she is a warrior.|
And she drives a hard bargain when she sells the sheep to your army.
Although you never deal with her directly, your eyes meet as she collects her pay. She doesn't turn away, nor does she seem impressed by your station. She winks, smiles, and leaves without another word.
This is the kind of Barbarian woman you imagine existed in Jarg's day. Proud, wild, independent. You've heard the bard's tales of women fighting and dying beside the men, of entire families of heroes standing up against incredible odds. Today, few women take up the sword, or dare travel alone across these rough lands.
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 15 - Yalla the Spy|
|Once again, Yalla enters your camp. This time she has information to sell, so you arrange for her to meet you alone in your tent.|
She tells you the fighting in the Mudlands is fierce, but primarily between three sides. Mirlanda, the Witch, flies an Orange flag. Wystan, the Lizardman, has a Blue flag. And finally, the Gnoll, Alkin, wears Red. All are devious opponents, but thankfully their hatred is directed at each other for the moment.
Yalla's information comes at a high price, but at least you get to talk to her for a while. When you ask her what clan she's from, she frowns and her eyes go cold.
"I'm clanless," she says, "clanless ever since we stood up to the Wizards. The men died fighting. My mother, and the other mothers of the clan weren't so lucky when the Wizards decided to punish us as well."
"Join me! I have all the clans behind me. Join my army and you'll have your revenge, I promise."
"No clan would help us then, so I don't ask for their help now!"
Yalla leaves, her mood suddenly dark.
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 19 - Observatory|
|"My lord! My lord!" shouts the senile old Goblin who has made himself your advisor.|
"Yes, uh, what's your name?" you reply.
"I just made an amazing discovery," says the Goblin without answering, "I climbed to the top of a redwood tree and boy could I see far. You know what? You could use that, yeah, to keep an eye on your enemy!" And then the crazy old Goblin staggers away.
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 24 - Dinner with Yalla|
|You find yourself distracted each night when you pitch camp, waiting and hoping for the beautiful Barbarian woman, Yalla, to arrive. She's been fighting the Wizards longer than you have, and you sense in her a connection - as if she knows you better even than your friend, Hardac.|
Finally, she appears trying to sell more goods stolen from Bracaduun.
So, you invite her to share your meal. Over mead and mutton, you talk late into the night about your dream of restoring your people to the glory of their past.
"I want to give our people strength so that one day every man, woman, and child would rather die than bow their head in shame." you say.
"A day when men would rather work than sit around the lodge drinking and complaining about their lot in life," Yalla adds bitterly. "That would be nice."
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 25 - Yalla's gone|
|When you wake this morning, Yalla is gone. This time, she didn't give you the opportunity to ask her to stay. Although you understand why she fights alone, you wish she would trust you enough to stand at your side. Together, the two of you could accomplish so much - maybe even destroy the entire Empire of Bracaduun.|
Imagine a Barbarian King ruling the world from ocean to ocean like in Jarg's day! But you realize that it is no longer just your dream. It's a goal that you now share with the warrior woman, Yalla.
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 27 - Gold rot|
|You're summoned to the well-guarded carts where you keep your Gold, finding a distraught Hardac placing his hand into one of the sack. His hand comes out and he scatters what looks like rusty pieces of iron on the ground.|
"What's this?" you say.
"Apparently, my King, some of the Gold we've collected was fake. Perhaps some kind of magic had been placed on it," Hardac says.
"How much of it?" you ask.
"I don't know, but I'll check."
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 29 - Empty coffers|
|Your trusted advisor, Hardac, approaches with a sour expression on his face.|
"Why do you never bring good news?" you joke.
"At least I'm not the old Goblin," Hardac replies.
After a shared laugh, Hardac says, "After that incident with the rusting Gold, we'll be needing more money, my King. I suggest you sell any surplus resources - you know, Sulfur or Gems or something - at the Marketplace. We may not get a fair trade, but at least it's Gold."
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 30 - Yalla returns|
|The Barbarian woman, Yalla, returns, but this time she brings a band of escaped criminals willing to join your cause. All that she asks in return is a finder's fee.|
The two of you find a private spot where you spend an hour sparring, each dealing the other a couple minor cuts. Yalla is a fierce competitor - something else you like about her. As the two of you rest, you ask her what she does when she's not helping your army.
Kicking her heavy boots off, she places her bare feet in your lap for a massage.
"Basically, I'm a thorn," Yalla says. "I make it my business to be a constant pain in the backside of Bracaduun."
"So am I," you say, regretting the moment when she will leave again. How can you get her to stay?
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 31 - Asking Yalla to Stay|
|You've enjoyed another day with the Barbarian woman, Yalla, and couldn't be happier. But as she mounts to leave, you place a hand on her knee.|
"Stay," you ask softly. "I hate it when you leave."
She smirks down at you, combs her fingers through your long hair.
"But it makes it so much better when I come back. You can wait a couple days. Kings don't get everything they want, you know."
And she rides off.
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 40 - Yalla's missing|
|The last time Yalla visited, she promised to return in a few days. It's been nine! You've grown so concerned that you order four scouts to depart in four different directions in search of the Barbarian woman.|
|(35, 66, 0) Stronghold: Day 47 - Yalla's death|
|A scout returns and nervously gives you bad news.|
The Wizards of Bracaduun have plucked the thorn from their backside. Yalla was captured while robbing a Bracaduun Gold Mine - apparently, it was a trap she couldn't resist. The scout witnessed Yalla's public execution. She boldly stood up to her captors and spat in face of the spellcaster who conjured the lightning that killed her.
You clench your fists and demand to be alone. For hours you take your axe to the nearest trees, felling the entire grove, and then chopping them into pieces too small to even make good firewood. All the while you picture them wearing the colorful robes of a Wizard.
|20, 56, 0||This pass leads into dangerous ravines known to be the home of murderers and hideous creatures. Few dare to travel it, and far fewer manage to get through alive.|
|38, 31, 0||You're thinking about stopping at a nearby tavern when bandits swing down from the trees, knives held between their teeth.|
"Oor gole owr oor ife!" their leader shouts.
"Huh?" you say.
But it's too late. They attack before you can tell them, "Never ambush with your mouth full."
|59, 20, 0||Your troops become bogged down in a particularly muddy portion of the swamp. One man almost drowns in quicksand. You quickly organize your troops, cut down nearby trees and use them as a makeshift walkway through this section. Today, you've learned something about commanding your troops in the swamp. They don't call it the Mudlands for nothing.|
|4, 32, 0||Stronghold|
|13, 9, 0||Fortress|
|34, 41, 0||Fortress|
|35, 66, 0||Stronghold|
|40, 13, 0||Fortress|
|61, 31, 0||Fortress|
|64, 9, 0||Fortress|
|65, 52, 0||Stronghold|
|27, 50, 0||Monk||Stand back! A mad woman lives beyond this point, and it is our solemn vow not to let anyone pass.|
|13, 10, 0||Mirlanda the Witch|
|32, 70, 0||Your most powerful hero from the Ultimatum scenario.|
|35, 68, 0||Tarnum the Barbarian|
|40, 14, 0||Wystan the Beastmaster|
|50, 61, 0||Your most powerful hero from the Ultimatum scenario.|
|64, 10, 0||Alkin the Beastmaster|
|Seer's Hut (27, 48, 0)|
|Ah, yes, I was expecting someone, but not you! The bones said a kind warrior would visit. Oh, well. Somewhere among all this mess I have in my possession the Tunic of the Cyclops King - might prove useful for the battles ahead. Bring to me the Ring of Life, and it is yours.|
|Nothing, eh? I'm sure you will find the Ring of Life soon. Please keep looking.|
|The Ring of Life! I sense it on you...please give it to me and you'll have your reward.|
|Seer's Hut (51, 41, 0)|
|Okay, so maybe gambling with a Titan wasn't smart, but no need to lecture me! I owe him a lot of Gold - 9,000 to be exact - and I need it fast. I gotta deliver it to the Titan soon or I'm dead meat. If you can help me out, I'll give you something in return. But hurry! That Titan won't wait forever.|
|Oh my, that's simply not enough. I need 9,000 Gold. Weren't you listening?|
|Finally! Just in the nick of time. I think that Titan was about to do something bad to my kneecaps if I didn't get him his 9,000 Gold. Oh, yeah, I promised you a reward, didn't I?|
|6, 26, 0||Mudlands - North|
|26, 16, 0||To the Lost Gold Mine|
|38, 3, 0||The Lost Gold Mine - Beware of BIG Snakes|