The Let's Play Archive

Warlock 2: The Exiled

by JcDent

Part 23: Gatecrashing Ardania

Today's delay in posting is brought to you by tourism and arcades. Meanwhile, our sponsor "couple stuff" presents "Next Uptade Will Likely Be On Saturday, Sorry".

Cythereal posted:

Is there a reasonable guide as to what all you can build as what races? Starting to look into potentially getting this game, but I've gotten pretty confused from all the stuff you can apparently build without it mentioning what exactly it does. I've taken away that building temples to Krolm is a good idea, if nothing else.

I usually try to give some sort of fluffy description of buildings instead of mentioning numbers. Buildings usually fall into several cathegories: resource production (farm, mana collector and craftsmen district are basically universal), production modifiers (granary for food, tax offices and banks for gold, etc), unit buildings and upgrade production buildings. Most of them have some sort of upkeep, combine several roles and might be required to build certain building of higher mark. Fortifications come in fort (ranged) and magic tower (elemental) variety. Shrines are new to Warlock 2: they provide some favor with a god, as well as some other bonuses (Krolm shrines are -2 unrest, because everybody gets drunk and watches bloodsport, I guess).
The last are buildings that go on resource nodes: all races can build on resources, but sometimes there are alts depending on race. When you build on a unit resource (say, Minotaur), you can usually choose between unit production or a resource production/upgrade. Temples are the high end of this, since they're guarded by Greater Fire Elementals and let you build and, more importantly, upgrade units to Temple Units who kick ass (well, depends on unit in question).
It's all quite easy and there's no such juggling like in Civilization or Endless Space/Legend. Plus, since you only get one building per city level and, most of the time, only one copy of a building (farms and craftsmen districts are exempt), you don't have to toil as hard for a viable settlement.

Chapter 22: Gatecrashing Ardania

“I think I could use troops and heroes that are something else than angry trees”

“Not to worry, m'lord!”

"Samolom, like many other Svart machines, is a universal mechanism. In peacetime, it's used for digging pits and tunnels, and during war it's a perfect weapon for destroying enemy fortifications."

(from "Chronicles of New Worlds" written by Master Vardies Teleran)

The machine was huge. Six enormous metal legs held its frame high above the ground. The pilot sat in a box. And from that box extended a next that ended with a set of great metal jaws.

“That is... impressive”

“Aye, m'lord, it is. Mk. V Mining excavator is one serious beast. Samolom is the name that it uses on the front. The jaws, they can crush rock like nothing else. What a lucky coincidence that walls are also made from rock”

“I just wonder if it's going to survive the war we're fighting now. I mean, it's not simple monster towns that we're taking”

“Well, you can always resurrect the pilot!”

“You know, I'd like it if your men didn't start thinking that any sort of lapse in planing could be solved by resurrection”

“I thought I already had the spell to relocate my tower...”

It turned out that building a pyrotechnics factory in a land surrounded by lava wasn't the best idea.

The survivors used the ruins to build two smaller cities: one for people who decided they want to pursue their own lava related interests, and one dedicated to Krolm, as they were inspired by the Examplars who conquered the original city.

Krolm also gifted King Lich with the power to strip all beneficial enchantments off one target. Like with many spells granted by Krolm, it tooks shape of as astral fist just smashing the spells surrounding the target.

Now, another thing was the troops finding a scroll with Armageddon spell inscribed in it. The scrolls was black, gently smoking and the lettering was done in red runes that looked as if on fire, and if you gripped it, there would be blood left on your hands.

“I have an inkling that this might be something for the King”

“These don't look that powerful to me”

“I heard somebody found a scroll for Armageddon. Now that's exciting!”

"Death comes to out world as a huge stallion, glowing with infernal light. The sound of its hooves frightens even the bravest souls, and its glance chills even the bravest heart. Arethi elves believe that the Spirit of Death carries those faithful to the truth into the land of endless joy, while those without faith are thrown into an endless abyss of pain."
(From the "Servants of truth" by High Keeper Teyaran the Rigorous)

“Those elves don't know anything. Death comes as a GIANT FIST! KROOOLM!!!”

However, not all Examplars were comitted to the assault on Amberon's Keep. Some were still roaming around, killing dragons and other giant, deadly critters.

“I don't need armor of power. I already have ARMOR OF KROLM!”

But not all Svarts were that enamored with Krolm or Dauros. Some decided that they wanted to worship the god of wilderness and chaos, Fervus. Critics said that giant statues of wolves don't really capture the essence of wilderness or chaos.

While I'm naturally inclined towards order gods, Fervus' spells seem to be really interesting, and I regret not playing it. That said, his great weakness are the somewhat boring temple units. Dauros is the one most consistently awesome, although I kind of miss not trying out Black Reapers from Planetstriders. Seeing how it is, I will likely not be playing Warlock 2 after the LP

Amberon's Keep loomed before the Samolom, as giant and forboding as King Lich's tower in lichgrad.

But there was no way back and the mechine lurched forward. The jaws crashed into the outer wall and bit out a chunk of rocks.

It wasn't much, but I got the Exemplars to pound the ground in excitement!

“...and then fly in over the wall, shooting at everything as we go. ZAP ZAP, skeletons falling apart everywhere, zombies bursting like over-ripe pumpkins, bats turning to ashes before they hit the ground... it was great! Wait, I'm getting a message”

“Goblet-1, this is Lichtower. Enact scorched earth policy and get back to roaming status, over”

“...well, at least it's an undead city. We're not some dragoons to go pillaging villages”

All the while, more and more Exemplars answered the call and massed outside the walls of Amberon's keep.

A few still roamed around, usually using themselves as bait to lure in dragon... and then punch them into dragon pulp! There were thoughts about installing a miniature sprocket cannery that would process the meat tenderized by the Exemplar, but it was decided that it would likely be a blasphemy, especially since Krolm's barbarians rarely eat food they didn't kill themselves.

This played readily into farmer's hands, since blademasters would line up to reap wheat as they had to kill their own bread, too.

“It like they didn't do any maintenance to this sea at all. Not even long shores had some many lairs”

“Well, Razor-2, that's why we're here. To bring peace and stability to the land, and to kill anybody who doesn't like it”

Unfortunately, Samolom's driver had to take his que in the “Waiting for Resurrection (no gambling)” line as the spells protecting Amberon's Keep proved to be too much.

Fortunately, Exemplars didn't really care about such paltry incantations.

Soon, walls were ripped apart and the biggest blocks were thrown at the tower, all to bring it down sooner and faster. The imposing structure shuddered and collapsed, leaving behind a scenic tower ruin, as per tower ruin traditions forged at the begging of time, set by the first dwarf and the first tower.

“Ardania is within reach! And likely filled with uncounted horrors. Nobody enters the gate until we get some scouts here!”

Meanwhile, in a plane far far away, goblin shamans were starting to realize that the city – the future site of which they were guarding – would not likely materialize soon or at all. That was a dreadful idea – being left behind in an empty shard while all others were at the front. And the for the first time in their lives, the goblins had to fend off thoughts about ending themselves.

Seeing how their were goblins, it wasn't that hard to dodge Death's icy grip.

“Ah, this looks like a potent spell. Never have I seen it before... or heard of it. This will be interesting!”

“Lichtower, we have finished translation to Ardania, and we have Cecinia in tow.”

“Excellent. Now, to kill the United One's leutenants and be dealt with him”.

“Now why would that kill him?'

“Because getting all sorts of magical power doesn't mean that you become that smarter. Else he wouldn't have antagonized the gods. Now, he was sealed in Ardania, but great mages were not. So, fearing mages that didn't bow to him – mages like me – he invested power in his lackeys, who would go out into the shards to hunt us”

“Unfortunately, Great Mage doesn't mean a good warrior, either. You see, Amberon the Dark stayed there because he thought that United One was the Truth, for some reason, and groveled at his feet. Elspritster is likely still too scared of losing to go out for a real fight. The Empress, well, she was always too keep to use the undead for her goals. I mean, can you really call yourself emperor when you're ruling over people who can't rebel against you?”

“I knew that you lot are a bunch slackwits. Wait, what about the dragon?”

“He's powerful by the virtue of being his father's son. Almost a spitting image, especially in laziness”

“So we have four powerful individuals who can't go against the United One as the source of their power, and are too drunk with power to do anything that matters”

“Maybe we should have stayed with the Stone King. He doesn't seem that bad compared to you”

King Lich smiled – which meant that his ghostlight eyes flared.

“Well, this was very beneficial for me”

“The origin of Shadow Dragons remains a mystery, despite the best efforts of Mages and Alchemists. Only thing is for sure – Shadow Dragons are somehow connected to the extermination of the dragons of Ardania”

“What is that? I think United One's meddling has made Ardania worse for wear. I'm going to have so much trouble once I retake it”

"Five Dragomort Guardsmen from 'Sky Hawks' Royal Regiment in their newest heavy combat stupas are flying by the castle, with the head stupa piloted by Mayor Dagar Streltsoff, holder of the Order of Stone Heart and Heaven Glory of 2nd degree"

(from the report of the military parade in honour of the millennial anniversary of the King of Svarts)

Dragomort Guardsmen were required to know parade drills, be trained not to fall for lone, attractive women, to shoot on sight at anything suspicious or taller than a Svart, not to fly while drunk and show all sorts of gallantry.

But it was mostly done to get the spiffy new armor which Dragomorts envied the Halberdiers and Veterans.

“Oh hell, a dragon? In a spider nest?”

"These land-locked ratmen are true sea wolves. That is to say, well, yes many of them have never even seen the sea in their lives, but the free-wheeling spirit of a sea wolf lives in the hearts of each of these rogues."

From the collected works of His Majesty's Advisor.

Luckily, it was one of the ubiquitous Shadows of Vendral, the most common and annoying kind of dragon. Even the ratmen robbers – his first victims, after the dragon flew off to the mountains – didn't occur as often as Shadows did.

“Oooh, shiny things!”

“Damn it, Razor-3, concentrate! You're a trained reconnaissance crow in King Lich's service, start acting like one!”

Back in Lichanium, a manufactory was built by some of the hardiest svarts around. Their mission? To extract swamp iron and make it into the hardest steel there was...

...Dwarven Steel.

“Why is it called like that? I have never seen a dwarf!”

The fact that Svarts might not known dwarfs didn't matter: the steel was hard and deadly efficient.

Dragons died and Tormentors fled before the onslaught of Svart rage, Krolm's fury and flurry of Dwarven steel axes.



“I swear there we no tormentors in Ardania before that United One business. What did that fool do?”

Back in Ainadra, two Shadows of Vendral were fighting. While dragons usually stroke fear into the hearts of men, it was nice to see two of the pests going against each other.

“Lunar wisps are not nimble, but they are playful creatures. They just love to play catch and play it with everything that moves. Actually, they never run themselves, but they prefer to chase...”

There were other, shiny problems in Burnouts. So shiny one could not look at them directly, but that didn't stop King Lich from absentmindedly casting a spell in their direction. After all, he was more concerned with something else...

“Big words for a man who spent the Dremer invasion locked in a tower and going through books and scrolls faster than anyone else. Why, if you had spent time outside, maybe you would have learned something about war and real power”

“Now, you will pay for it. Prepare to die!”