Part 21: Necropolis Campaign, Map One, Part Three
Two gates open up to the south - both lead to a Haven Fort and a Mass Grave or two. Neither are really tough battles to take, and the south Fort has a Crystal Mine nearby.
Your reward for visitng all 5 Mass Graves (you don't have to use Ana to visit them, and can just use any Hero) is a small number of Necropolis Core troops. They're all unupgraded, though.
One of the two Haven heroes in the area seize our Fort just as we leave it. It's always better to take on the enemy outside a siege battle, as dumb as they might be during a siege.
Magic Heroes are always a pain to fight. This one knows Lightning Bolt.
On the bright side, we got the list we need for the Skeletons' quest.
These lists... there are annotations to the original... Crimes have been added to the interrogations, and they carry the mark of Great Inquisitor Salvatore himself. These bones seek justice!
And our reward is 50 Skeletal Spearmen and the ability to upgrade Skeletons.
Some Skeletons are specially selected by the Necromancers to wield enchanted armor and weapons, making them more than simple Dragon fodder. These superior servants carry spears equipped with a bulb of Namtaru silk residue that can spew a web upon impact.
Skeletal Spearman Damage: 4-6 (Might) Defense: 5 (11%) Magic Defense: 3 (7%) Health: 23 Initiative: 25 Movement: 4 (Walking) Range: Half Destiny: 6 Morale: 0 Cost: 125 Growth: 14/week Abilities: Hollow Bones, Webbing Spears, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light
Webbing Spears posted:
The necromantic power used to animate the Skeletal Spearman is tremendous and has an extraordinary side effect. In the immediate area around the Spearman target, all bones of any creature great and small that has fallen over the centuries, rise and form a sort of splintery and crackling garden that slows movement and commands respect.
Skeletal Spearmen's ranged attacks slow the movement of their target and all enemy stacks directly around the target by 1 for 2 turns.
The Skeletal Spearman gets a much needed damage increase and growth, and improved defensive stats. Webbing Spears might not reduce movement by too much, but the area of effect of the skill makes it useful for tying up multiple stacks. A solid upgrade especially with the increased growth, but the Half Range still puts them on the lower end of the damage spectrum.
The Snatching Gloves are available on this map, and the number of movement points you end up saving with them is invaluable. They allow Ana to pick up items or visit buildings without spending a movement point. You can replicate the effect with the Snatch skill, available at level 5, but I'd rather use the equipment then use up a valuable skill point. They carry over to future maps, too.
After money starts to roll in, it's usually worth it to trade gold for the rarer resources like Crystal. I wasn't going to wait 6 days to build the Advanced Town Portal.
The Northeastern of the 2 Forts also has a friendly group of creatures just nearby.
These ghosts are powerful... and they are attracted to you because of your growing magical power.
I can hear their complaints. They seek vengeance against the Inquisition. What is going on in the Holy Empire?
Wasn't Sveltana supposed to be away taking care of Elisabeth? A bit of a sequence breaker.
Oh well, we get to upgrade Ghosts now.
Specters are created through particularly slow and painful deaths. Their wounds, forever petrified and apparent, cause them to constantly relive the agony of their demise. Specters can psychically inflict upon an enemy the same suffering that they received. Necromancers control these tormented spirits by persuading them through magic, making them believe they are the only beings that can assuage their agony.
Specter Damage: 5-7 (Magic, Darkness) Defense: 4 (9%) Magic Defense: 7 (16%) Health: 23 Initiative: 35 Movement: 6 (Flying) Range: None Destiny: 7 Morale: 0 Cost: 160 Growth: 8/week Abilities: Immaterial, Wail of the Netherworld, Death Seal, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light, Spirit Form
Of all the children of Ashan, its their dead I hate the most! I smashed that specter seven times, before it finally gave up its ghost. The Arch-Demon Zol-Moran is said to have been the first to encounter an army of specters on the battlefield. His legion of Juggernauts was decimated and he swore that the next time he escaped Sheogh, he would bring magic users.
Immaterial replaces Incorporeal, turning a 20% Might resistance to a 35% one.
Wail of the Netherworld doesn't have a lore quote, but it makes up for that in spades. It restores a small amount of health to a friendly stack (improved by numbers and Hero's Magic Power) and deals that amount of damage to all surrounding enemy stacks.
Improved minimum damage, a hefty Might Defense boosting ability, and a healing ability all turn the Ghost from 'decent but not spectacular' to 'pretty good'. The Specter boasts solid defenses on both ends and is far more reliable in doing damage. Wail of the Netherworld isn't as strong as Heal or Waves of Renewal, and the damage is paltry compared to a normal attack, but it's yet another healing ability to add to the pile of Necropolis defensive options and the damage to enemies works with Drain Life - great for turning a surrounded ally to an offensive asset.
Luckily, this one's a Knight, easy pickings. In fact, thanks to our huge army of the unliving, we can roll over most of the battles on this map now.
We can head straight to the Castle that's been sending out these pesky invasions. There's also a third Fort to the east, but no invasions come from it and the only notable thing there is a Magic stat boost.
One claimed town later, and we're back underground.
We get a new main quest to claim Edenrose, the Haven town after going through the tunnels. Well we're going to plunder the Inquisition for all they're worth anyway.
This is the only noteworthy part of the underground, because heading east leads to another online-only weapon. We already have it, so I'm not going there.
Let's take a moment to... savour the impending killing the first of many Haven jerks to come in the future.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
Anastasya Griffin! If Duke Anton had given you to me, you would still be alive. Now I understand his treachery... he preferred you undead, rather than as a purified priestess of Elrath. He follows darkness... like your father.
Salvatore, the Light has blinded you... You kill the innocent... It is you who casts a shadow of fear and deceit.
I am Light. Who is innocent? All must be cleansed by Elrath! If you cannot see this, then return to the grave from which you've crawled.
It's time you return to Asha. You can plead your case to the Dragons when you meet them.
The Emperors' armies will be here soon enough, and we will build your next grave out of stone.
So... what was her grave made of before?
Click here to watch the full battle!
Salvatore isn't really a tough battle. He uses Mass Stone Skin and Guardin Angel is annoying, but he's nothing your Specters and Necromancy can't deal with. Just be sure to take out his Glories first, as they have the potential to be a huge thorn in your side.
Salvatore, Vestals, and Glories all deal Light damage, which deal extra damage to your troops. Also note the much weakened effects of Heal in this battle - the Specters' Death Seal working its magic. I also use a Scroll of Earthquake I'd found, which dazes all enemies caught in it, reducing their Initiative by 20 for 2 turns, and deals 1 damage to all walls caught in it.
Once you crush Salvatore, the portal to Jorgen's prison open up. There are two notable things in the area before you leave. First is an important piece of equipment just south of the town, a Cloak of Elrath that gives +10 Magic Defense against Light damage. It doesn't carry over, but it's very helpful in the next fight. The second is that this town, after you've converted it, starts producing Liches.
Higher ranking Necromancers are given a life-prolonging elixir that is milked from the venom of the Namtarus, Ashas sacred spider spirits, that they must mix with their food. This treatment turns them into Asakkus, or Liches, their bodies desiccated but now freed from the passions of the flesh. They keep aging however, until they ressemble little more than walking mummies. The venom mixture also colors their entire eyes bright green.
Lich Damage: 14-17 (Magic, Darkness) Defense: 10 (21%) Magic Defense: 11 (23%) Health: 65 Initiative: 25 Movement: 4 (Walking) Range: Full Destiny: 6 Morale: 0 Cost: 420 Growth: 3/week Abilities: Dark Embrace, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light
Dark Embrace posted:
When a Lich is on the battlefield, watch the shadows they grow longer. The Lich emits a permanent aura of Darkness that makes magical cursing as easy as calling someone a dirty name. Though Liches themselves seldom use vulgar language, many a sorry opponent has sworn and cussed when suffering from their augmented spells.
Dark Embrace cause the Lich's ranged attacks to inflict a debuff that reduces the target and all surrounding enemy stacks' Magic Defense against Dark attacks considerably for 2 turns.
Liches recieved a hefty damage nerf in a recent patch, but they're still one of Necropolis' kingpins. Full-range Magic Damage (excellent new for Ana) and an area-of-effect debuff that increases the damage dealt by not only them but also Specters make them fantastic ranged shooters. They may be undeniably slow and fragile, but given just a little support they are Ana's best damage dealers from the next map onwards.
Unfortuantely, we won't get to build up a large supply of Liches. Into the portal we go!
Ahh... This light... My soul... There is no absolute truth... Malassa, cover me in your darkness.
<Someone's being tortured!>
I hear a voice... screaming in my mind. It's Master Jorgen.
Are you ready for more Glories than you'll ever want to see?
Special battle: Save Jorgen
Click here to watch the (almost full) battle!
This is a timed battle - Jorgen takes damage at the end of every round, and if you don't win the battle in about 12 rounds, game over.
You face a lot of Searing/Blazing Glories in this fight. They're especially annoying because they deal Light damage, the bane of Undead creatures, they teleport and attack without retaliation, they have high Initiative, and they dispel both positive and negative effects when they teleport. You're definitely not leaving this fight unscathed.
The good thing for us is that Glories are incredibly fragile, and they're vulnerable to Darkness. We have too few Liches and none of the Darkness damage spells are that impressive, so that leaves our Specters, supported by our Ghouls. Don't rely on buffs for this fight; due to their dispelling nature, Drain Life will only last 1 attack (though you should still use it when you can), and Regeneration might never get a chance to go off. Bust out all your direct damage spells and scrolls Ana may have found before the battle, and use your Specters' Wail of Darkness in conjunction with Drain Life to heal lots of damage. Ghouls and even Skeletal Spearmen also deal respectable damage to the Glories' weak Might Defense, and you can 'overload' the Glories with debuffs - Specters, Skeletal Spearmen and Liches all debuff with their attacks, and the Glories can only dispel one at a time each time they teleport. Use Necromancy whenever it's up, and you should prevail.
Our losses are sizble though; we lose a LOT of Specters. But it's the final battle of this map so oh well.
Is That Your Final Answer? (YouTube via Polsy)