Part 20: Necropolis Campaign, Map One, Part TwoLots of conversations this time round. It's almost like the Tutorial Campaign again. And I'm already tired of typing out Anastasya's full name. Maybe I can find her an Azzie-like nickname.
Would you have rather I buried you in a grave?
No. Why don't you just tell me why we're here?
The Holy Inquisition is keeping the prisoner they're accusing of controlling you somewhere above us. I want to ask him a few questions myself...
We're going to liberate the prisoner who killed father?
No, I am. Something tells me that he is no more guilty than you are. While I do that, you need to grow stronger to protect your mind.
Always good to get fresh air. You can flag a few mines along the way, but you won't benefit from them till you capture the town just to the northeast. There's also a Haven hero running around, but he's an easy victory. The area is dotted with Haven troops as you might expect, but also Stronghold ones. Maybe Sandor and Anton didn't manage to liberate/drive out all the Orcs from the area.
Bluebeak... is there a seamstress back in Sveltana's castle?
<You're shivering, child!?!>
I'm cold no matter how many layers of robes I wear. Black is not my best colour...
<I think you look lovely, child!>
I don't care if black is beautiful to a Raven! The bird I have to impress is an Angel.
The only hilarious thing is that even if you have Anastasya as a Might Hero (where she'd be decked in armour) she'd still complain about wearing layers of robes.
One conversion later and you can start building up your already decent supply of Skeletons and Ghouls. You should have no problem keeping perfect victories, with all the defensive tools at your disposal (especially if you quickly pick up Regeneration and Drain Life). Just to the northwest of town is a Mass Grave, and approaching it triggers a cutscene.
Did You Miss Him?
We now have a secondary quest to visit all 5 Mass Graves. They're easy enough to spot while we're travelling, so it's an easy quest to fulfill.
I shall avenge your martyred souls. Join me now. Together we march upon those who betray Elrath's light...
Anasatysa also spits out a one-liner everytime you visit one.
Our little territory is safe enough (we won't get any attacks), but there's no real reason not to move onto the subterranean tunnel to our northwest. Along the way, Anastaysa hits level 5 and we get another conversation.
I know you brought me back for answers, Aunt Sveltana, but I don't remember anything about father's death.
I didn't bring you back for answers...
<She's a child, Sveltana... Your blood.>
Anastasya, there have been times when I've regretted the path of Necromancy. It's a lonely responsiblity. But had I not this power, you would be lost to me...
The Griffins have a habit of dying too young...
I am the Unliving proof of that.
I still feel so very cold.
This is a rarely touched upon side of Sveltana. For all the harping she did on Slava to do his duty first, Sveltana still does care for her family. It's natural for Anastasya to assume she was only brought back for answers, and only natural for Sveltana to be a little hurt that that was her first assumption. It's likely that Sveltana has seen more than her fair share of Griffin deaths, including at least Pavel and Slava. We don't know her reasons for going into Necromancy in the first place, but she seems to be a responsible user when it comes to family, at least so far - she could have brought back Slava, but she didn't. Instead, she brought Anastasya back, who had her whole life ahead of her lost and deserved to find out who cut it off. Heroes doesn't touch on the Undead perspective much, but it's nice to have a small perspective on it once in a while.
Champion creatures guarding a measly treasure chest? Normally they'd be guarding an online-only artifact. I've already gotten it, which is why they appear to only be guarding a chest. I'll show off all the online-only items eventually.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
Now that I'm a Necromancer, shouldn't you teach me the secret handshake of the cast? Is there a password? Or do you only recognize each other through your dark and scary robes?
Anastasya... I belong to a cult that reveres the Spider Queen, an aspect of the Dragon Goddess Asha. My order has vowed to protect the cycle of Life and Death... helping lost souls return to Asha so that they may be reincarnated to start new lives.
I'm some sort of guide for spirits... I must renounce Elrath to follow the Spider Queen...
The Dukes of Griffin have always respected two paths equally; those who punish without question and those who protect without fail. Choose one and follow it to the end, for there is no middle ground...
I just want to find the murderer of my father.
Sveltana is basically talking about the Tears/Blood choice here.
Back into the tunnels we go. It's good to have a mule hero behind Anastasya to pick up stray resources, saving you valuable movement points.
There're a friendly pile of Ghosts blocking our path. They also have a quest for us, so might as well.
...(unintelligible ghost whisper)
These ghosts are in great pain. I understand them perfectly.
This means your powers are growing. You are becoming attuned to the spirit world.
Lady Elisabeth. You don't think they're talking about Sandor's mother?
Whether Slava's Elisabeth or another brave lady, we must free her. The Holy Inquisition is filling jails, and soon they'll be filling cemetaries.
We're going to have to eventually accept the quest to move on, anyway.
Upon their death, the children of the Dragon Gods rise as spirits to the moon, to await reincarnation under the guiding hand of Asha. However, traumatic events can cause the creation of a Ghost, a spirit bound to the material world by a powerful, negative emotion. By performing a specific ritual, Necromancers can convert Ghosts into loyal servants, under their absolute control.
Ghost Damage: 3-7 (Magic, Darkness) Defense: 3 (7%) Magic Defense: 6 (14%) Health: 19 Initiative: 30 Movement: 6 (Flying) Range: None Destiny: 6 Morale: 0 Cost: 110 Growth: 6/week Abilities: Incorporeal, Death Seal, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light, Spirit Form
Ghosts are present both in the Spirit World and Ashan simultaneously, but never completely on either. This allows them to move through walls and trees without hindrance and when attacked physically, a part of the damage is lost to thin air. My sword went right through him... and then it... went right through me!
Reduces Might damage dealt to the Ghosts by 25%, and allows them to move through walls and obstacles, also immunizing them from traps.
Death Seal posted:
It was as if the specter had marked his soul for harvest. In the diary of Priestess Jane, she explains the difficulty she had resurrecting soldiers who had been attacked by specters. She claimed that the specter had the power to seal its victims rendez-vous with death, making it extremely difficult to bring them back to life during the heat of a battle.
The Ghosts' attack place a debuff that reduces the power of healing spells and abilities on the target and all surrounding enemy stacks by 50%. Will only affect living creatures.
While Ghosts are Magical creatures, which would be good under Anastasya, they tend to lose out to the Ghouls in terms of offense due to their large damage range and low Might Defense. It's a bit of a shame, as their decent Initiative and excellent mobility would make them decent frontline fighters if not for that. Ghosts form a dual purpose - they make good supporting attackers to take out Magically weak troops and weaken healing abilities, a great asset in long drawn-out battles. Their other benefit is that they are out first controllable unit with Spirit Form. As a reminder, Spirit Form gives the Ghosts 50% damage reduction from all sources till they do anything other than Defend. This can make them the core of some excellent defensive strategies. We don't have all the abilties to make them an asset yet, but I'll be displaying it once we do. For now, they're decent support for the Ghouls and frontline fighters in siege battles, and they fill that niche sufficiently enough.
You'll also be able to build the Ghost creature dwelling in town now.
There's a two-way portal while travelling along the tunnel that leads us to this small cliff with a bit of treasure. More notably, it gives us a vantage point to look at one of the Haven towns we'll eventually be claiming.
You shouldn't really have any trouble clearing the tunnel with perfect victories. When you exit, you can find the second Mass Grave just to the south, and an Arena to the west en route to the next Town. It's packed with a nasty number of Water and Earth Elementals, but you can always come back to it later and you don't have to worry about troop conversation in Arena fights, anyway.
Deploying only Ghosts can prove useful in fights where conserving troops is important. With Spirit Form, Regeneration and Drain Life, you can have your Ghosts Defend over and over while taking about 25% of incoming damage and slowly healing it off with Regeneration and Necromancy. It's a very slow way of killing, so don't use this tactic just yet unless you really need to.
I heard you the first five times, Aunt Sveltana. When we get to the prison, I stay outside...
This is not a joking matter, Anastasya. In spite of your growing powers, this is no ordinary prison, and is holding no ordinary prisoner! Jorgen may very well be the monster who is controlling your mind.
I understand. Just remember to ask him a few questions before you turn him into a ghoul!
If Jorgen is truly in league with the faceless, then it will be he who asks the questions, I'm counting on you to give the right answers.
<Darkness questioning shadows...>
What? Me? Aunt Sveltana?
In case you've forgotten, Jorgen was the wispy thing that revealed itself to Anton at the end of his first map. And maybe Sveltana wasn't completely altrustic in reviving Anastasya after all. Why couldn't she just visit him though? She was allowed access to see Anastasya, after all. And from the sounds of things, Anton might have more trouble with the Inquisition than we thought, especially after he gave Salvatore the boot.
As we approach the town, more talking.
The Inquisition has taken many prisoners, but no sign of Jorgen.
I can't believe they're accusing Jorgen of killing my father. He was his favorite councilor.
Whether Jorgen is implicated or not... we need to know.
Jorgen must know something or they wouldn't be keeping him.
And just to the south, a friendly group of skeletons with a quest.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
We were counted by Kilburn... he put us on a list... the list became our death...
These skeletons are stronger than most... It seems that some great betrayal... or sadness... has disrupted the cycle, and their bones may not rest till the curse is lifted.
Why can't I use my powers to force them to follow me?
<Power and force. The path of Pavel...>
You could. I'm proposing a harder path, Stasya. If you enlist your dead willingly, they will return to Asha peacefully when the time has come. Find the list that has cursed them... and they'll follow you.
Well with Sveltana watching our back, we have no choice but to help the skeletons find their list if we want to do their quest. The list can be found on a random Haven hero, and we'll run into them eventually.
The Inquisitor has a decent-sized army, but he's still not much of a threat. This was the first fight on the map where I lost some troops though (about 8 Ghouls).
Capture the town and time to find out who our prisoner was.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
Not my son!!! No!! Leave him alone!!! Kill me, leave Sandor alone!!! He is innocent! I know nothing of the Faceless!
<Her mind is broken...>
Elisabeth... You are safe now... It's me... Sveltana...
Sveltana! They've got Sandor!
She's been put to the question. Look at these wounds. She needs a healer...
<A healer probably did this to her.>
They've broken her mind and body... This is how the 'Holy' priests of Light go about finding the truth.
Abuse of this sort is abhorred by Elrath... It was Uriel's first lesson. This cannot be the Angels' work.
We're just below a Falcon prison...
This stinks of Emperor Liam. Father never liked him.
Imagine what they would have done to you if your brother hadn't given you a swift and painless execution. Something smells rotten in the Holy Falcon Empire... I need to find out what is going on.
<I know that look, Sveltana. I'm going to sharpen my beak.>
I'm taking Elisabeth back to my castle. I need to see the Mother Namtaru. Wait for me here with the army.
Yes! If Sandor discovers what they've done to his mother, I pity those who're responsible.
Pity only the innocent, Anastasya. The guilty always had a choice.
Well that's a sensible solution. Sveltana would have an easier time travelling through the countryside to find Jorgen anyway.
The next day...
Click here to listen to the conversation!
What does it look like I'm doing? I'm readying the army. We've been discovered. I'll not let them move Jorgen to another location, or worse... kill him.
<You're not ready!>
Jorgen was councilor and physician to our family for over a decade. He wasn't the one who controlled me.
<Sveltana will pluck your hair when she discovers this.>
Go and tell her if you want! She'll know where to find me!
Our job's never easy, is it?