Part 32: Necropolis Campaign, Map Two, Part TwoSister against sister.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
Why did you do it? Were you afraid that he'd marry you to some wretched and ugly duke, like he did me?
I didn't kill him Irina. I had nothing to do with it. I loved him... I love you.
You love me?
You've always been jealous of me. Admit it! You've always wanted to be me!
I wanted to be like you! You were always... so beautiful... even smeared in mud and blood. You said whatever thought came to your lips... and everyone admired you the more for it...
So much that father gave me as a peace offering to the Duke of Wolf. He kept his little angel Anastasya, all dressed in compliments and superlatives, far from harm's way. Don't trust clothing given to you by others. There are far too many strings attached.
If I had been more like you... Father would still be alive! I've prayed! I've studied! ...I've worked so hard.
Father's Little Angel... it's not your fault! If only you had succeeded in becoming someone else... Wear the clothes you make yourself, Anastasya! Be yourself, or you will die no one at all.
The only tricky part about fighting Irina is that her army is faster than yours. Fortunately, she doesn't seem to know any spells, so you can easily heal off her damage and trounce her.
Our little dream area has several neutral Sanctuary stacks around, as well as another graveyard for reinforcements, this time with 45 Ghouls. To the south is our mission for this part of Anastasya's mind, a simple siege battle against a Hero-less Sanctuary town. Nothing really interesting.
This is only a dream... but your memories are real.
I actually pick the Blood option this time - there's no conversation after the option, and the 10 Ghosts are much more useful than the Alchemist Robe (which gives 1 random resource a day). After you destroy the town (it doesn't get converted, except to a pile of rubble), we can find Jorgen in the top-right to move to the next area.
We arrive in a new area, with apparitions of Sandor, Kraal and Valeska around it.
Anastasya, fear clouds your mind and hides your true self. Follow the dragon's blood... or shed the dragon's tears... choose your path.
Let's talk to Kraal first.
Choose, Slava's Little Angel. You save Orc. Or save library.
We get 125 Tears/Blood reputation for each of our choices here. Saving Kraal is Tears, saving the library is Blood.
Kraal... I choose you. We can always write the books again...
Kraal, I'm sorry, I must save the books. Without our written history, we are nothing.
You have confronted your fear of ignorance.
Look what I've found... it's beautiful. Here, it's for you... I've always wanted to be a part of the family. Will this buy my love from you?
Refusing the gift is tears, keeping it is Blood. (You don't actually get anything either way.)
Keep it Sandor... carry it as a true Griffin. You are my brother. My love for you has no price.
Thank you Sandor. I accept your gift... but you are my brother. Don't ever doubt my love for you again.
What you do not give you lose. What you give freely you keep forever.
There are three Meditiation Statues scattered throughout Ana's dream. Visiting them all completes a side quest and gives us our Champion unit. (We also have 2 other side quests, to collect 15 of each resource, giving us some stat boosts and 10 Ghouls/Ghosts.)
And finally, Valeska, at the top.
Anton is sick... I think he's going to die. I've tried everything. I'm not a good nurse maid. I told your father... Find someone else. He insisted. Please, take my place...
Letting Valeska go is Tears, telling her to stay is Blood.
Valeska... you were a good nurse maid. Anton has grown into a fine man. Live your life.. and we'll now live ours.
Valeska, stay and watch over Anton. If the Dragons take him, then it is their will. There is no better nurse maid in all of Ashan.
We are all afraid of being worthless. Help others and you help yourself.
Speaking of which, we obviously have enough reputation to advance Ana. If we get enough Blood reputation, by the way, we get a one-liner from Kaspar, for some reason.
Priestess Anastasya... As wizards grow stronger... they often start to imagine that they have a right to use that power to force others to agree with them. Beware of power... it can hide your eyes from the truth.
Sound advice, Kaspar. Let's heed it and shed some tears.
Give me a bone and piece of flesh, and Ill build an army
that will last forever.
Embalmers joined the ranks of the Necromancers to unlock the secrets of eternal life. They have become accomplished spirit guides and healers, capable of harnessing the lifeforce of both the living and the dead. Their reverence to the Spider Cult is sincere, and they are among the favourites of the Mother Namtaru, an avatar of the Spider Goddess, who they often spend years of their lives tending.
No Rest for the Wicked
Improves the effect of Necromancy by 5/7%.
Talking to Jorgen again moves us to the next area.
The next area has Haven troops. I think you know what that means.
Hoo boy. (As a side note, both Sandor and Anton are their Tears class in Ana's dream. Canon, or just her perception of them? You be the judge.)
Click here to listen to the conversation!
Anton. You know me. It wasn't me...
Father's little angel, you must be here so that I can fix some mess you've made. The last time I had to kill you... to stop the Inquisition from flaying your body and mind. I was forced to kill my own kin...
It wasn't me! Someone took control of my mind.
You're doing it again. Always playing the part of the innocent victim. I'm tired of watching out for you. Grow up, Anastasya.
Become a woman! Or die a child!
The fight with Anton can be difficult if you haven't been conserving your troops. Anton's Glories are especially effective against our Undead, and his Hero attack will kill off several creatures in a single blow.
To add to the Meditation Statues, there are two Crematoriums around Ana's mind, for another side quest. The first one is just past Anton where the path splits, just to the right. We visit it and head back to the left; both paths eventually loop around, but we have another sidequest to get done. There's a two-way portal on the left path? Where does it lead? Well...
The demon army is actually fairly easy with decent conservation skills. Pit Lords sound threatening but are actually fairly easy to beat down with our masses of Ghouls (there's also another Graveyard on the way here, with 45 Ghosts). I also complete the resource gathering quest along the way.
The second Crematorium is near the top of the left path, giving us a lovely 15 Liches. They immediately do more damage than any of our creatures except Ghouls.
We can head to the northwest to continue the quest, but there's something more interesting to the east first.
Hedge mazes aside, there's also an Artifact Merchant to burn through all the Gold we've been carrying (there are also two more Shrines of the Seventh Dragon in Ana's mind for 2 levels - we need 30'000 gold and 14 Crystal for both of them). Heading further East are a few interesting things - a Unicorn Horn Bow to give our Skeletons full range, another Graveyard containing 10 Liches, and the last Meditiation Statue, to give us a very unique Champion creature. Since we get the upgraded version, I'll post both unupgraded and Upgraded ones.
Namtarus, or Fate Spinners, are emanations of the Mother Namtaru, an avatar of the Spider Goddess, a truly divine reflection of the Death aspect of Asha. They can either assume the form of a spider-woman hybrid or that of a female humanoid with two legs and six arms.
Worshipped by the Necromancers, who use their venom to sustain their ranks of Liches and Vampires, Namtarus will often be present at the founding of a Necropolis, like the queen of a hive, to fortify its foundations and nurture its growth. The Namtarus regularly counsel their devotees through whisper, rhyme, and even dream. Under their protection, the Undead comb the region for lost souls which they then recruit to swell their ranks.
Fate Spinner (Humanoid) Damage: 49-55 (Might) Defense: 30 (48%) Magic Defense: 28 (46%) Health: 280 Initiative: 40 Movement: 5 (Walking) Range: None Destiny: 6 Morale: 0 Cost: 1695 Gold + 1 Crystal Growth: 1/week Abilities: Large Creature, Dual Forms, Baleful Gaze, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light, Spirit Form Fate Spinner (Arachnid) Damage: 54-59 (Magical, Darkness) Defense: 22 (39%) Magic Defense: 22 (39%) Health: 280 Initiative: 45 Movement: 5 (Walking) Range: Full Destiny: 6 Morale: 0 Cost: 1695 Gold + 1 Crystal Growth: 1/week Abilities: Large Creature, Dual Forms, Venomous Touch, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light, Spirit Form
The Fate Weaver is Ashas compliment to the Fate Spinner. Where the latter unravels the fragile threads of life and death from the substance of Void, the Fate Weaver incorporates them into its very fabric, following the pattern that the Spider Queen has ordained. Asha has also given them the power to control time whenever their purpose warrants.
Note: Fate Spinners/Weavers start the fight in their Humanoid form, unless defending in a siege battle, where they start in their Arachnid form.
Fate Weaver (Humanoid) Damage: 53-59 (Might) Defense: 35 (53%) Magic Defense: 31 (49%) Health: 300 Initiative: 45 Movement: 6 (Walking) Range: None Destiny: 6 Morale: 0 Cost: 2190 Gold + 1 Crystal Growth: 2/week Abilities: Large Creature, Dual Forms, Baleful Gaze, Dance of Decay, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light, Spirit Form Fate Weaver (Arachnid) Damage: 57-64 (Magical, Darkness) Defense: 25 (43%) Magic Defense: 24 (43%) Health: 300 Initiative: 45 Movement: 5 (Walking) Range: Full Destiny: 6 Morale: 0 Cost: 2190 Gold + 1 Crystal Growth: 2/week Abilities: Large Creature, Dual Forms, Venomous Touch, Freezing Web, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light, Spirit Form
Dual Forms posted:
Spinner and Weaver, human or spider, theyre one and the same. Both will sever the thread that ties you to this world. Hashima gave this warning to the armies of Eternal Empress before waging battle with the Necromancers of the Seven Cities. The Fates have the power to change form, but both are extremely deadly.
Dual Forms is the most interesting aspect of the Necropolis' Champion creature. They can swap forms freely during battle, changing form taking up a Wait turn (so they won't get to act again till the end of the turn). As can be seen by their stats, the Humanoid form deals Might damage and has better defenses, while the Arachnid form is a powerful Ranged attacker that deals Magical damage and is slightly faster, but at the expense of its defenses. The first time it changes form, the Fates also benefit from any 'first X turn' effects, such as Ambush.
Baleful Gaze posted:
How amazing! It knows youre trying to kill it before even you do. The Arch-Demon Kha-Beleth was reportedly so amazed by the Baleful Gaze of the Fate Spinner that he spent a century trying to convince one to become his succubus. The Arch-Demon claimed that they could see briefly into the future and divine the violent intentions of their enemy. I want one of those!
Baleful Gaze is only accessible to the Humanoid form - the first creature that attacks them in any way is instantly dealt Darkness damage, Weavers doing slightly more.
Venomous Touch posted:
Kill the spiders quickly. Time is deaths ally. The Venomous Touch of the Fates favors them in a prolonged conflict on the battlefield. The Naga general Maturato devoted an entire chapter in his famous epic poem of war, encouraging his students to change their traditional tactical strategies when encountering the terrible spiders in combat.
Venomous Touch is only available to the Arachnid forms. Creatures engaging them in melee get poisoned, taking minor Earth damage for three turns.
Dance of Decay posted:
Life and Death is a sacred cycle! Growing older is just the proof that Asha still knows your name. When a Fate Weaver starts to dance time seems to dance with her, and if you stand too close you will pass on to the Dragon-Goddess before your normally appointed time. The Dance of Decay accelerates the aging process, and is considered proof that the Fates do indeed draw their power from Asha, the Dragon of Order.
The Dance of Decay is only available to the Weaver's Humanoid form, and usable once per battle. It deals Prime, unhealable damage to all enemy targets around the Weaver worth 10% of their initial health, and also accelerates all non-permanent effects on all creatures around it by 1 turn. For example, if we had our Ghouls around the Fate Weaver with Regeneration on it that would last for 3 turns, and we use Dance of Decay, our Ghouls would instantly recover health equal to one Regeneration, and it would be left with 2 turns. Both positive and negative effects will be sped up.
Freezing Web posted:
Tricky Spider got away. My blade still sticky. The Fate Weaver is a formidable foe and very difficult to kill if given the time to spin a web around itself. The Orcs hate their trapping ability in particular, as it counters their traditional charge and slash tactics, and requires a great deal of patience to defeat.
On the other hand, the Freezing Web is only accessible to the Weaver's Arachnid form, and similiarly usable once per battle. It snares all enemy creatures around it and disables them for 1-2 turns, depending on the disparity in strength between the Weaver and them. Like the Blazing Glory's Searing Light, the effect isn't dispelled by damage, so Freezing Web allows us to wail on the affected creatures without fear till it wears off.
That's a lot of words! And plenty to talk about. The Fates are very unique creatures, and the Necropolis benefits from both forms.
The Arachnid form is the one more commonly used, and it's easy to see why - their damage is scarily high, and the Weaver is almost as strong as a Cyclops! (pre-1.5, the Weaver actually had a damage range of 60-67, making it the strongest Champion in the game) It also has Full Range, and being a Magic creature under Anastasya makes it even deadlier. Both forms also give the Necropolis a badly needed Initiative boost, as well. Venomous Touch isn't amazing but having some form of punishment for melee attackers is always nice, especially since the Arachnid form has considerably lower defenses. If using Arachnid form, it's best to wait till the end of the turn in the Humanoid form before changing, just in case the Fate gets blocked off by a melee, and to make use of the Humanoid's better defenses.
The Humanoid form is less used, but just as deadly. Damage is lower, as expected, though still not too shabby for a Champion - the Spinner only loses out to the Arachnid, Kirin and Cyclops in terms of unupgraded creatures. Where the Spinner is valuable is its durability, tying with Kirin for overall toughness. The Weaver is arguably the best defensive Champion with its stats, too. Baleful Gaze is a nice finger to whoever attacks it first, as well. We won't be using it too much compared to the Arachnid form, but it's good to know it's there.
The two abilities unique to the upgraded forms are also interesting. Freezing Web, available to the Arachnid form, is a very potent ability, allowing us to regenerate health or wail on creatures without worry for a couple of turns. Dance of Decay is also unique and potentially powerful. It can speed up healing, accelerate damage over time abilities like Fire Bolt, and dealing unhealable damage is also nice. Dance of Decay is unaffected by stack size, so you can even have multiple Weavers deal multiple Dance of Decays.
The Fate Weaver starts the fight in its Humanoid form. We wait till the end of the turn, using its better defenses and Spirit Form, then change forms...
And gain access to a powerful ranged attack.
Is this my mind? Or the Spirit World... or is it a mixture of both? Could I travel to other people's minds from here? This is how I was controlled!
I'd normally cut off the update here, but we're almost done with the map. Heading back to the hedge mazes, we go northwest.
This map, and journey through Ana's mind, has been about her growth. As mentioned, being the youngest of the family, she never had any pressures to grow up or take responsibilities. With Slava's death by her hand, she's been forced into a situation where she has to. Clinging to her old self won't help her through this, and it won't help her find her father's killer. She has to move on.
No matter who she has to face.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
Kiril! I love you... You are my closest friend.
Am I? Father dubbed me the 'little demon' and you the 'little angel'. You broke the window with the kite... and I took the blame...
We were only children... And... I know you. You are good... you kept me out of trouble...
You killed father.
No, Kiril! It wasn't me!
You cannot blame it on anyone else! Not even me...
Silence! Shut your mouth or I'll make you eat your words!
It's all too common a scene during war - children too young have to grow up quickly. But eventually you have to stop blaming others.
Click here to watch the full battle! (YouTube via Polsy)
It wasn't me Kiril! Take it back!
Father! It wasn't me! It was Anastasya! She killed you.
Shut up Kiril! Stop it!
It was your fault! Your fault!
Please... don't tell father! Please!
The fight with Kiril isn't very tough, but I put up a video of it just so you can hear their conversation. It's pretty well voice-acted. You can also see one example of how to use Dance of Decay. Kiril has a sizable amount of Cores, with his biggest threat being his large Maniac stack. Aside from a physical attack, he also knows the Fire Bolt spell, that's pretty much it.
You can blame the world, Anastasya... but if you truly want to be free... you need to take a long look at the mirror...
I let myself be controlled. I wanted to remain a child the rest of my life... And I let someone use me... My weakness killed father.
No! Anastasya! We are the victims... of this horrible world!
I don't know about this world... but my life is what I make of it! I forgive myself. A part of me must die!
Irina represents Anastasya's envy. Sandor her ignorance. Anton her guilt. Kiril her childishness. None of them are necessarily bad qualities, but they are if they hold her back from doing what she must.
The other Anastasya disappears, and we have to go back to Jorgen near the entrance of this part of her mind to gain access to the final area.
Jorgen... where are you? Is this part of my dream?
Come to think of it, weren't Sveltana and Miranda supposed to have been at the Mother Namtaru before us? We didn't see them there.
It's time for our heroine to put her past self behind her. It's time to forgive herself.
Anastasya's Reflection has a unique disadvantage for herself, in that being a Necropolis Hero leading Inferno troops, she can't use Necromancy (it only works on Undead), and all her troops have negative Morale. However, she knows several powerful spells, like Lightning Bolt, Mass Weakness and Summon Earth Elemental, so it won't exactly be a walk in the park - this might be the only battle on the map where you lose a decent number of troops.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
My dear Anastasya, you have killed the part of yourself that needed a mother. You are now a woman!
Father! I am so sorry. It is all my fault. My pride and selfishness allowed someone to control me.
Forgive yourself, my little angel. I forgive you.
I miss you, father.
I am proud of you, Anastasya Griffin...
It's not as easy as I once thought... It's hard... to know who to trust and who to... punish.
There is no light without darkness. Whether Angel or Faceless, Demon or Man, we are all part of Ashan. The difference is in your actions! Follow your heart... it alone knows what to do with certainty.
Even in a dream, Cate is all about the
Are you ready to leave us now?
Yes! I still have much to do...
I really do like this map. Like Irina's first map, it's not very difficult, but plotwise, I like it.
Sveltana, why couldn't you leave her in her grave!
The Eclipse Begins (YouTube via Polsy)
Hope you enjoyed the map!