Part 41: Necropolis Campaign, Map Three, Part Two
The Wake of Chaos is potentially very powerful, at it summons a giant worm that slowly consumes a random enemy stack. It's also only usable once per hero, not once a week or anything. Once a Hero uses it, that's it, they can't use that one anymore for the whole game. I won't really show how powerful it can be till another map, though.
We're at the final Inferno town of the map.
Urgh, see that? Not Deleb, I'll talk about her some other time. That bit under the Unique Buildings that says 'Altar of Destruction'? That's how you know this siege battle is going to be a horrible orgy of melting undead flesh.
And that is why. The Altar deals a large amount of Fire damage at the start of every round to all creatures outside the castle walls. There's no way to stop it, either - it keeps on firing till the end of combat. As you can see, you can hardly be able to mitigate it, every creature taking the same amount of damage. The only reason the Fate Weavers take half of that is because of Spirit Form. The longer the combat, the worse you'll fall behind.
So screw it, load up the last turn, and wait for Kaspar to arrive with a week's worth of reinforcements.
I lucked out this time - the AI chose to have Deleb (who has the larger army) fight us out in the open, while having Lorhish (who has a smaller army and is Might instead of Magic) defend the castle. This makes this much easier.
Yup, much better.
Kaspar then takes the siege fight - he has Teleport while Ana doesn't yet, so he can instantly send his Specters behind the castle walls and completely ignore the Altar of Destruction. With his improved Regeneration and Mass Agony, this fight goes much more smoothly. Aren't you glad we picked Tears for Anastasya now?
And with that, the demons are done. We can then move on to part 2: the Orcs.
To open the path to crush the Orcs, we have to send a Hero to the southwest of where our first Fort is. Doing this prompts a conversation.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
This is ludicrous! Did this Sharka sleep through the eclipse? Doesn't he realize that demons are invading Ashan?
I've never found it simple to reason with Orcs, Lady Anastasya. They only respect power. But this battle is not mine. I hold the Griffin family responsible and expect you to deal with it. I'll provide you with some vampires, but nothing else.
I will deal with the Orcs if they get in my way. I'm going to free Sveltana from Miranda's prison. On the way back, we'll deal with Sharka.
Anastasya, I warn you. If they come to me, I will point them in your direction. You are Sandor's sister are you not? I will not empty my castle while demons are about. My scouts caught two yesterday in my garden.
I understand and respect your position, Ludmilla. Thank you for being frank.
I will thank you in return when you've driven these Orcs from my lands.
So there's that, and the gate opens to the Orc territory. Ludmilla does keep her word and give us some Vampires, but we can't build their structure yet.
As they grow in power, Liches may earn the right to be embraced by the Spider Goddess herself to die and be reborn as Akhkharus, or Vampires.
They undergo an excruciating ritual but gain a rejuvenated body, cleansed from all defects. Vampires dont need to eat, drink, sleep or breathe anymore as all their organs are petrified and it is not blood, but the sacred spiders venom, that now flows in their veins. However, they need to drink human blood on a regular basis to thin this venom down, and prevent it from dissolving their body from the inside.
Vampire Damage: 13-14 (Might) Defense: 16 (31%) Magic Defense: 12 (25%) Health: 80 Initiative: 45 Movement: 4 (Teleporting) Range: None Destiny: 9 Cost: 360 Growth: 4/week Abilities: Out of Time, Vampiric Embrace, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light
Out of Time posted:
Smash twice. Only sure way to kill it. These words of advice from a warworn Cyclops are particularly good to remember when fighting a Vampire. When concentrating only on defense, the vampire is capable of entering the Spirit World just long enough to avoid an attack. If one wants to be sure to damage it, one must strike it again before it has time to regain its composure.
Out of Time is an active ability that is usable every other turn and does not consume the Vampire's action for the round. It causes the first source of damage to it (normal attacks or retaliation) to do no damage.
For some reason, Vampires seem to lack the ability in this map at least, when they should have it. Not sure if it's a campaign thing, so I'll go back and edit this if I find out they have it in a future map, or if it was moved to just their upgrades. Possibly because it used to be a passive ability and they never got round to changing it?
Vampiric Embrace posted:
They dont just drink blood to heal themselves, they need it to water down the venom flowing in their veins. When the armies of the Holy Empire first observed vampires fighting beside them during the wars with the Demons of the 2nd Blood Moon Eclipse, they didnt know which of the two was the greater evil.
It was the Great Inquisitrice Amanda who first wrote about their powers, reportedly having captured one and put it to the question. If the Vampire cannot feed, its own blood, a venom of sorts, consumes it from within.
When the Vampires attack living creatures, they drain 20% of that damage to heal themselves. This applies concurrently with any other forms of life draining.
Vampires are the poster child of a defensive unit - they have solid defenses and decent health, and Vampiric Embrace also helps them live longer, but their damage is pretty bad. Having low damage really hurts them, as it also reduces the potential healing Vampiric Embrace could provide. Oddly, despite their high Initiative and teleporting abilities, they have a low Movement of 4. They also miss their classic No Retaliation ability from previous games. They're not much of an offensive threat really (unless led by a Might Hero, and even then Ravenous Ghouls are better), but they can last a very long time and absorb retaliations using Out of Time, especially since they tend to be ignored in favour of the more offensive threats like Liches. This also makes them great for stopping shooters, due to their teleporting ability and defensive attributes (though they really wish they had better Movement). If nothing else, they give the Necropolis a badly needed Initiative boost - they're already just as fast as the Fate Weaver, with 45 Initiative.
While Ludmilla stays put in her castle and we can't take it (and that remains that way for the rest of the map), we can still have Kaspar take out the creature stacks and reap the many resources and stat boosters available.
Oh right, Sharka. You'd think Sandor would have killed him. Ah well. This is why we didn't open the gate early - if we had, the Stronghold would have been harassing us while we dealt with the Demons and their strength would be much higher relative to ours. The Orc territory is quite small, so reaching Sharka's castle is very easy.
It's not really that hard of a fight. The only annoyance is that Sharka's army is faster, so he'll get the first move most of the time. This is also our last chance to use any abilities that affect the mind, like Life Drain or any scrolls of Blindness or Frenzy, since we'll be facing Undead for the rest of the map.
You young for Aunt of Kunyakti. But I see same fire in eyes. You are Griffin.
I assume you are speaking of Sandor... he's my brother.
Griffin big tribe. Sharka ready to die now! Become Ancestor of my tribe.
We're not... actually going to turn him into a ghoul, are we?
Then you shall. You have fought bravely, but stupidly. You should be fighting demons... not invading the lands of the Seven Cities.
Sharka make mistake. Better to fight demons than Griffin.
What a waste... these Orcs should have been fighting Demons...
I've healed as many of their wounded as I was able. These poor souls... attacking their own creators. What have we wizards done?
Kaspar... What is done is done. I need to return and tell Ludmilla that her lands have been freed. As for Sharka... If he can't be reasonable, he'll need to pass on.
But what's this? It seems Miranda's forces have started trying to invade us since the gate was open. (It's an easy wipeout.) Before we convert the Stronghold town though (which we get to keep, even after we return to Ludmilla), might as well check out their Advanced Market...
Oh. Yes please! This will be very, very helpful indeed. I really lucked out here.
Be a dear and talk to Ludmilla for us, won't you Kaspar?
It pleases me to know that Sveltana's niece honors her word.
I hope now that I won't have to watch my back whenever I'm around you.
As long as you never walk in front of me, you won't.
Ludmilla keeps her castle and we can't interact with her anymore. Oh well, at least we can now build the Vampire dwelling. Next time, we go Miranda hunting.
Bonus Content - Blood and Tears
Now for the ick version.
You won't be leaving us just yet. You committed a horrible crime by invading our lands during a demon invasion. You will now serve me as a ghoul...
Ghoul? Impossible. Sharka slave to no one.
You should have thought that through before attacking me.
What a waste. These Orcs should have been fighting Demons...
These treacherous fools are going to serve the armies of the Spider Queen as ghouls. Send one of them to Kaspar for healing. Tell him that Orcs do indeed have souls... and I'm going to use them.
And as if to drive the point home... yes, you do get a Ghoul after it. Urgh. Aren't you glad Ana is Tears now?
One more thing before we go back to the more cheerful Ana for the next map, when we go back to Ludmilla.
I'm impressed Anastasya... you've got the makings of a powerful Necromancer.
I'm not fighting for your flattery, Ludmilla. I expect you to leave your castle now and help me free my aunt... or at least do something to fight the demons.
I'll do both. If you're going after Miranda, you can count me among your followers. She is anything but a friend.
I accept, but should you betray me... I'll show no mercy.
Spoken like a true daughter of the Spider Queen. Asha uses all.
Born the daughter of the Duke of Bull, Ludmilla found from a young age that the politics of court were about as voltaile and ever-changing as a mouse's wind.
Instinctively grasping for a surer, faster form of power, Ludmilla found herself living a secret life as she fell in with a den of Necromancers who had great plans for the future.
When one of their number, a lavascious Vampire became her lover, she took to wearing a studded collar as a coded symbol of her blossoming rebellion - that or to cover the bite marks.
It was only a matter of time before she took the ritual, and became a Vampire herself. Immortaility is such a boon when you're a power-hungry sybarite.
Ludmilla joins a Blood Anastasya as a Blood Might secondary Hero. She joins at level 17, and like Kaspar, has none of her skill points spent, so we can customize her any way we wish.