Part 66: Final Campaign (Blood), Part OneAs you guys voted, we're taking Anton through his bloody ride first.
Dark with Excessive Bright posted:
The Demon Invasion has been thwarted, but a new conflict, or rather the rekindling of an ancient one, has surfaced. The Archangel Michael has declared a war against the Faceless. In retribution, the Dragon Knight Cate, former Duchess of Grifin, has threatened to awaken the Faceless so that they might wage their own war against the powers of Light. If reasoning with her is impossible, armies will have to do the rest of the talking.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
We shall have no pity for the Faceless! Do you want your children to live in a world covered by the wings of Malassa? Where all things are in darkness, where the only colors are shades of gray, where the Light is nothing more than a memory?
Together, we can stop this nightmare before it even begins! Historians may vindicate us, but future generations will praise our names.
Malassa has created warrens that are deep and dangerous. Her children and followers lie in wait here.
Our task is to destroy them - all of them! It will not be easy, and many among us will fall. But this is the sacrifice we must accept if we wish to see the sun rise again on the faces of those we love.
Say what you like about the Angels, Michael makes a pretty good speech.
Your Main and Secondary Hero are split up at the beginning - Anton starts off with a low level Haven town in the far southwest of the map near a couple of unclaimed mines. They also seem to start with an army of two different types of Cores and several Elite creatures that befit their attributes - my Anton started with Griffins, while an Irina starts with Snow Maidens.
Your secondary Hero (in this case, Valeska), start with a Fort a little way to the East, with a smaller army, with a few Elite creatures that doesn't fit them as well - Valeska had Sun Riders, while Katashi had Kenshi. They can meet up with your Main Hero fairly quickly, and they have a few things around they can claim while they're here - notably, there's a Grimoire of the Master, which is a fantastic equipment for Magic Heroes, however, it's guarded by a pack of Sacred Kirin.
Whichever faction you chose, your Main Hero should have little trouble clearing things out in the beginning - either they're a Might Hero with extremely powerful Pressed Attacks, or a Magic Hero with deadly Chain Lightnings and Circle of Winter/Fire Balls. Anton (or a Might Irina) further trivializes it at the beginning because you should have the Guardian Breastplate on them from their last map, which blocks the first three attacks. With our high Morale/Destiny/Might Power build, Anton has no trouble right now.
As for our town, there's little need to build it up very much right now. Aiming for the Capitol is a good idea, as is a Marketplace and Town Portal, but otherwise you're better off conserving resources first.
The forts tap ancient veins of dragon magic - those are what give their barriers such power. You need to recapture the fort linked to each barrier to lift it.
The map is divided into five different parts, the first four linked to each of the factions the Faceless has allies (or spies) in. In this order, we face the Sanctuary, Stronghold, Haven and Necropolis, and we have to clear out one before we can move onto the next. Each area also has a 'mini-boss' that blocks our way to the next area. All the enemy Heroes here are also top-level, and usually have one or two nastier skills up their sleeve. This also means the Sanctuary has a slight advantage (since they won't have to convert anything at first), and the Inferno has a slight disadvantage (as they have to convert everything).
Click here to listen to the conversation!
This is my mother we're going after. I ask you only to let me be the one to bring her in.
I grant your request, Duke Anton. But if you fail... I will come down on her with a host of angels. I will not let Ashan be covered in Darkness.
I never imagined that it would come to this.
All of Ashan is divided into two camps. You must choose one.
I know. That's what my mother taught me. It's how we Griffin are cursed to rule.
Michael doesn't even lift a finger to help us, that jerk.
While one can find the Fragments of the Moon Disc here, and even complete it, there is no Tear of Asha on this map. The only reward is the completed Moon Disc that allows you to summon another three Phoenixes. But we can easily recruit more Champions, so the only Hero that would find this of use is Sandor, since he never got one during his campaign.
The Sanctuary Heroes start invading very quickly, and they have no qualms of making the first move. They usually recruit most to all tiers of creatures quickly, even if not in large numbers.
Since they're level 30, their Hero attacks hurt a bunch, too.
Incidentally, the level cap for this map is the same as the final maps of other campaigns (30). So that means that your Main Hero likely won't be able to gain any more levels here. You could use your secondary Hero instead, but we're using Valeksa who is not really that great - we're better off using a custom-made Mercenary Hero (who at least start at level 25).
We can find the first Sanctuary town quickly to the northeast. It should be a fairly easy siege battle.
The main reason why Valeska (and for that matter, Airini) are quite poor in combat is mainly because of their campaigns and starting build. Katashi starts off with Lightning Bolt, a proficiency in it, as well as Ice Armor, while Xana starts off with some solid Fire spells and picks up the Magister set in the Inferno campaign (provided Kiril isn't using it), which greatly amplifies her Magic Power. Kaspar is simply the best, as even if Anastasya is using the Magister set, his ability to start with no spent skill points by default makes him the best of the Magic secondary Heroes - an innate bonus to Regeneration also helps.
In contrast, Airini has an awkward starting build that has Regeneration and two defensive spells (Stone Skin and Idol of Earth), but poor offensive skills and no access to Meditation, which hurts her longevity. Valeska has a fairly bad specialization and starting build (save for Fire Bolt/Fire Ball), and has the Prophet set instead of Xana and Kaspar's Magister set. She also is more or less delegated to the fragile Sisters (since Glories are far more useful in Anton's army), while Xana and Kaspar get the suprerior Breeders/Ghosts (even Airini gets Dreamwalkers, which are decent defensively). She can still take out smaller packs of flying/walking mobs, but that's more or less it for now.
The main reason you want to conserve resources at the beginning is so you can covert the first Sanctuary town you capture (naturally, Irina doesn't have this issue). It's usually quite well built-up - mine had all the base creature dwellings built, and upgraded Praetorians/Marksmen (after conversion). Since it's cheaper to convert than to build from the ground up, once you convert the first town you get a fairly big power boost.
The first Sanctuary Fort is found west of the town, with a creature dwelling nearby. There's also another creature dwelling near where Valeska started off, if one wants to claim it. There are several stat boosts scattered throughout the map as well, which you should definitely visit when you can.
Having Seraphs also means we're back into Champions and Intimidation territory. Hoo-hah!
But okay, that would be fairly boring and slow. I'm still using Marksmen as well, as they deal great damage (especially since they ignore 35% of Might Defense), and I can easily keep them shielded with Guardian Angel and Regeneration. The Guardian Breastplate also takes a load off my shoulders in terms of healing. Even Magic Heroes are no longer as annoying!
The second (and last) Sanctuary town is in the northeast of the area. Again, a fairly easy capture and convert, and this one will probably be fairly well-built as well.
The Faceless. They divide. Son against mother.
Not if I can help it. I'll get to her first.
To get out of here, we'll need to head northwest - first, there's a final Fort to be claimed.
And our mini-boss for this area is Mukao.
Mukao has a fairly strong, fully-upgraded Sanctuary army. Unlike the last two times we fought him, he seems to have finally caught a brain and learned he can cast spells - he now has Mass Stone Skin. A Magic Hero should still have little trouble with him (Chain Lightning is absolute murder on him), but Anton might have a couple of difficulties, and I bring my Glories to join in with my Seraphs and Marksmen.
I actually ended up using a Summon Earth Elementals scroll that I found, and with use of Regeneration and Guardian Angel IV (I love that racial at level IV), I get a perfect win.
You will see us again, but there will be more of us, and the waters of Shalassa shall drown your chaos ridden blood!
In case you're wondering, no, Mukao and Irina don't share any additional lines between each other. In fact, I think it's never even clairified if Irina is still pregnant, if you use her (she probably is; after three maps of doing so, that thing's never going to pop).
And we'll leave it at that for now. More Faceless allies to kill next time!
Wonder what gems you guys are missing out for having picked Anton? Well, have a snippet:
Click here to listen to the conversation!
Have you seen the Light? Will you return to Elrath?
I have come to stop my mother's madness. I am lost to Elrath; you and your friends made it very clear that his way was not mine.
Apostasy is not easy to bear in an ally-
Nor are endless flowery speeches from a close-minded general who refuses to listen to anyone but himself.
You are your father's daughter. Just know, that if you fail with your Naga, I will finish it myself.
Enough. Accept that we are allies, not friends. Let us finish this that I may return to a place more pleasing to me.