Part 18: Inferno Campaign, Map One, Part Four
With the gate now open, we can teleport back to our second town and go through it. Or if the enemy hero doesn't attack us first.
One thing to remember is that you don't get to replay battles if you weren't the initiator. So if you don't like how a battle went where they attacked you, you'd have to load back on your past save.
Up ahead are a free stack of units.
Are you saying that these... 'Tormentors' think I'm Azkaal?
They've joined you because they believe you share his destiny.
Fantastic. Let's keep moving.
Tormentors are the servants of Ur-Traggal, the Demon Overlord of Pain. Consumed by the endless suffering of Urgash, they inflict upon their own bodies unthinkable horrors. They draw power from their own agony, and use their deformations to strike their enemies. The Tormentors skeletons are their main weapons, as they are able to tear out pieces of their body to use in combat. Their ribs can pierce through their chests to pin an adversary, their bones can elongate and project through their fingers to provide them with razor-like talons.
Tormentor Damage: 15-20 (Might) Defense: 11 (23%) Magic Defense: 4 (9%) Health: 76 Initiative: 40 Movement: 6 (Walking) Range: None Destiny: 20 Morale: 4 Cost: 495 Growth: 3/week Abilities: Taste of Pain, Retractable Spikes, Dead Flesh, Fireproof Skin, Vulnerability to Light, Living
Taste of Pain posted:
Ur-Traggal, the Demon Overlord of Pain, awards power to demons that seek situations where pain is distributed abundantly. There is no better place than on a battlefield. Ur-Traggals favored creatures, the Tormented and Lacerators, have vowed unwavering allegiance to the philosophy and become more powerful with each blow they deliver or receive. Thus their common phrase of greeting Give me your pain! is often politely accompanied by a generous punch in the face.
Taste of Pain increases the damage of the Tormentors each time they're harmed by 15%. This stacks up to 3 times for a damage increase of 45% till the end of the battle.
Retractable Spikes posted:
It is said that nothing is more painful than a compound fracture, when pieces of bone pierce through the skin. A notable exception is when someone elses bones come piercing into your own. The Tormentors, who worship pain religiously, have the power to use their bones as weapons. They explode from their bodies like spikes and attack indiscriminately anyone who has the misfortune to be standing beside them. It hurts their victims even more than it hurts them.
Exploding Spikes is an activated ability that has the Tormentors explode in spikes to deal normal damage to all enemies around them. This attack can't be retaliated and can be used every other turn.
There's no description for it, but the Dead Flesh passive reduces Might damage taken by 20%.
Tormentors are the Inferno's melee supplementary units - they hit fairly hard and any damage makes them hit even harder. High Initiative and movement along with a small size and an excellent no-retaliation special on a low cooldown all compound to make them a solid frontline fighter. Defenses are shabby though - Might Defense is made up for slightly by Dead Flesh, but they crumble under magical assault. Take care deploying them against enemies like Sisters. At the end of the day, they're good, but not as good as the Hell Hounds.
After squashing another easy Brown hero (and taking their Fort), we see Sarah up ahead, who flies away... with Kiril making no move to chase after her.
I know where you're going Sarah. I'm going to catch you.
Look at this... what's Sarah up to? From the campsites I found it looks like she's forging something from the metals of Sheogh.
Angels cannot lie, Lord Kiril, and Sarah told me that she came here to forge a weapon that could save Ashan from darknes...
Quoting the angel that sold you my soul will get you nowhere.
Like it or not, I'm your only friend with any power down here. Catch Sarah if you can. She tricked me. And that's no easy thing to do.
And anyone who played HoMM V's expansions would disagree.
Heading north again reveals Toghrul in front of an Inferno town, with lots of nice lava flows and stalacties.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
You think slaying demons will bring back your own Humanity. You're embracing the blood, becoming your own demon.
I doubt you're shedding a sulfurous tear for your brethren. No one gives a damn about anyone down here. And no one really dies!
Demons were created to fight the people of Ashan, but the cards are stacked against us. No matter how many cities we topple, forests we burn and fields we trample, our Princes in their unruly pride are eventually defeated. A reflection of the battle that goes on for your soul.
My soul was stolen. I want it back.
Do what you must. Fight to free yourself of the demon, or free the demon to fight for you.
It's our first real glimpse as to how different Kha-Beleth is from other Demons - he doesn't want wanton destruction, but he's more amiable, more willing to cooperate. If he was playable, he'd likely be Tears.
Time to waltz up and crush Toghrul once and for all. There's a Magic stat boost just above his castle that's easy to miss.
Toghrul has the largest (well, second largest) army on this map, including lots of Hell Hounds, Maniacs, as well as a pack of the Inferno Elite creature, Pit Fiends. The Pit Fiends can teleport and have a high movement rate, and will retaliate against multiple creatures at once if you gang up on it, as well as force your creatures to attack each other if they're adjacent. You can quickly shoot them down with your Lilim, and use the Gating trick to keep his Lilim, Tormentors and Maniacs occupied. From there, slowly shoot him down. Being a Warlock, Toghrul also knows many annoying spells, most notably Weakness (which cuts the damage of one of your stacks by a third).
I couldn't help the losses this time - he slaughtered my Breeders early.
Let Me See Your 'Oh Crap' Face (YouTube via Polsy)
Click here to watch the full battle! (YouTube via Polsy)
Seriously Xana? If you had an army that size, couldn't you have walked over this map for us?
Welcome to the first Boss battle of the game. Boss battles feature a larger than normal battlefield, and usually a special creature (in this case, Azkaal), that are extra large with multiple special moves and lots of HP.
This battle is unique though, since you're playing as Azkaal, fighting against Xana! The only thing that changes how difficult this fight is is what difficulty you're playing on - on Hard, Xana's army swells to include over 1'300 Cerberi!
Being a similiar creature to a Pit Lord, Azkaal has many of their abilities. Here are all of Azkaal's moves:
-Boundless Hate inflicts heavy Fire damage to all of Xana's creatures. You'll be firing this off as often as possible. It has a cooldown of 2 turns.
-Mark of Chaos triples Fire damage taken by a stack till the end of the battle. Has no cooldown. You'll want to mark Xana's most dangerous stacks (Cerberi, Lilim) with this so Boundless Hate becomes even more powerful.
-Frenzy immediately forces a stack of your choosing to attack an adjacent stack, using up its turn. If there are no stacks around it, the target is stunned for 2 rounds instead. Exploit this to get Xana's Cerberi to massacre her own troops (or stun them for 2 rounds).
-Azkaal can teleport around the battlefield. You'll want to avoid the Cerberi this way, though likely you won't be doing much running around in the first place.
-Azkaal will steal 10 Destiny with his physical attacks and add it to himself. This can activate on multiple stacks.
-When retaliating, Azkaal will hit all creatures that have previously attacked him in any way for Fire damage instead. This damage is affected by Mark of Chaos.
-As a boss creature, Azkaal gets 2 turns a round.
Xana's biggest threats are the Cerberi (who hit very hard) and the Lilim (who can deal over 2k damage with their ranged attacks if they get a Lucky strike). Xana will throw out a lot of spells on her Cerberi, including Burning Determinination (+100 Morale), Stone Skin, and Merciless Assault (guaranteed max damage rolls). She will also use Gating, and she's a Demonist, so she has the Linked Gating passive (which transfers about a third of the damage dealt to the original stack to their gated counterparts).
Your strategy should be to use Frenzy to incapitate the Cerberi or force them to attack their allies whenever possible, use Boundless Hate whenever possible, and Mark any of Xana's stacks that aren't close to dying. You can also box yourself in a corner and let Xana's other creatures surround you so her Cerberi can't reach you (Xana will usually Wait with her Cerberi the first turn anyway). Azkaal's physical attacks are decent when you're forced to use them, too.
It's likely Xana's last troop standing will be her Cerberi, where you can easily trade physical attacks till they die.
It's Never Explained Where Daeva Is Throughout All This
I want answers... why me?
They couldn't put a Prince of Destruction into just anyone. Azkaal would have killed them during the ritual. You are no ordinary Human. You're a son of a dynasty forged to house angel souls to bring back the children of the Light who fell in battles against the Faceless during the Elder Wars.
Do you realize how unlikely that sounds?
Ask Sarah. You are her invention. The Angels are desperate, their race diminishes. Your ducal dynasties are the result of their desperation.
Well let's. Kha-Beleth could have easily been lying - he IS a demon.
I apologize for the stuttering in the video - as I've said before, the game randomly slows down like this. Very annoying. I'll try to get a smoother one when I go through it on my Blood run.
A Vacation in Hell Involves New Hair
Darn. Next time then.