So, you are interested in my tale, are you?
It all began when I was still wandering the streets of Monarch City. I was mostly mindind my own business, not causing any unnecessary trouble.
Thief? No, I wouldn't say I was a thief. I was merely redistributing wealth from those who had more than they needed.
Anyhow, things were quite peaceful until the rumors about the monsters appearing started. You know, demons, undead, and all of that.
At first, people in the city were doubtful about it, but when orcs were sighted in Father Oak Forest and even invaded Greenleaf Village, we saw that the rumors had been all too true.
Thus, we were not surprised to see a proclamation of the king, asking for heroes to step forward to stop the monsters. But none of us were prepared for the news of the great four evils themselves descending upon the world. Fighting a few orcs and maybe even undead was something many a scoundrel would have had no problem with. But facing Varkolak or Sapphire was a totally different story.
In the end no one volunteered. Quite on the contrary, people in Monarch City bagan to panic and riots and plundering began. The king's men had all hands full trying to keep the city in one piece. It was really a disgrace.
As you may have guessed, I did not join the plundering. It was far below my standards. Instead, I was intrigued by the chance to step forward and become a legend. And the recognition I would earn also helped, I guess.
So, I decided to accept the challenge.
As I was not one of the glorious knights or paladins, I couldn't hope to get into the castle. Instead, I asked Sullibus, a friend of mine and fortune teller, to give me at least one clue. Talking about my great future, he told me to look for the Amulet of the Gods in the Dark Woods. While he gave me detailed instructions for finding a twisted oak near a crescent moon pond, I was highly dubious about this. The fact that rumors reported that Varkolak's camp was situated right in the middle of those woods didn't really help either.
The Brookdale Gate
Not really convinced, I decided to give Sullibus' hint a try. I decided to move through Father Oak Forest so that I may also check out the orcs there (and maybe take out a few of them). My plan was to head first northeast as people had been talking about dragonkins on Wolf Pass. If those rumors were true, the dragonkins could easily reach Monarch City, and they posed a real threat in my eyes. Afterwards, I wanted to head to Father Oak Forest and then Brookdale Village. There was an old teleportation gate and I was confident I could get it back to work. As the enemy was closing in from all sides of the realm, having the gates available would come in handy.
Thus, I travelled along Wolf Pass, and indeed, within a few hours after leaving the city, I came upon a camp of dragonkins. It was a small band of those lizard-like humans, but I knew they were able warriors. I tried to find a weakness in their guard, but eventually had to give up. Right now, there was little I could do about them.
Unimpressed by this early defeat, I travelled back down the pass not towards the city, but rather directly towards the coast. I took a ferry over to the other side and entered Father Oak Forest.
It didn't take much searching to find the orcs' camp. They were more numerous than the dragonkin, but then again they were not half as good warriors. In addition, they were not really good at guarding their backs, so that I was able to stealthily take out half of them before they noticed that something was amiss.
As the orcs improved their defenses and I had more pressing business to attend to, I left the survivors as dawn broke and travelled west into Brookdale Village.
Together with the village witch, I was able to re-activate the gate.
I decided to stay for the night and listened to the elder talking about Varkolak and Balazarg.
The Amulet of The Gods
Bidding the good people of Brookdale Village goodbye, I crossed Rock Bridge Pass and entered Golden Oak Forest. The air was getting colder there, although none of the foes was to be seen.
And finally, crossing a narrow plain, I reached the Dark Woods. Varkolak's skeleton warriors were seemingly everywhere and it took all my stealth to avoid detection. In the end, I found the pond Sullibus had described, and began digging.
It felt like hours as I constantly feared getting caught by one of the undead patrols, but it were probably only a few minutes before I saw something shining beneath the earth. And there it was, the Amulet of the Gods!
Here, is it not wonderful? I have not parted with it ever since I found it. It fills you with strength and confidence, making you as strong as two men on the field of battle.
I decided to put the powers of the amulet to the test and tried to ambush the skeletons.
It was simply gorgeous. My bolts made them crumble to dust and my dagger cut through them as if they were made of snow. In the end, a horde of skeletons was destroyed, but there were still some left, a single war band, it would seem.
However, I was getting exhausted and I dared not rest right under the nose of Varkolak himself. Thus, I retreated back into Golden Oak Forest where I made a simple camp.
The next morning, I met a hunter who was able to tell me interesting tales about Varkolak and GOrgutt, but more importantly, he warned me that a large band of dragonkin had moved onto Rock Bridge Pass.
I thanked the good man, but decided that I would not be deterred.
Freeing Greenleaf Village
Thus, I returned to Rock Bridge Pass, careful not to attract the attention of the dragonkin.
Their camp was larger than the one at the Wolf Pass, and they had taken hold of the bridge that gave name to the pass.
I tried to sneak up on them, but a tiny wrong move sent a small avalanche of pebbles down the slopes into the abyss. The noise attracted the attention of the guards and all I could do was to avoid getting caught. However, this accident did draw enough of the dragonkin out of the camp to allow me to sneak across the bridge.
Having thus cleared the pass, I continued towards Brookdale Village and warned them of the nearby danger. I regretted not having the time to help them properly, but I had a hunch that things in the east were not looking good.
Thus, I entered the gate and travelled to the Dancing Stone just east of Monarch City. Travelling south, I reached Greenleaf Village.
The orcs had set up camp in the village square and were harrassing the people, seemingly enjoying their power. Fortunately, they didn't pay much attention to what was going on around them, so I swiftly organized a peasant militia. I assured them that I would bring victory to them, showing off the amulet.
According to my plan, the villagers started turning against the orcs. As they drew the attention of the orcs, I engaged in a series of backstabbing attacks to take out the monsters. The plan worked like a gem and before night fell, there was no living orc left in the village and I was hailed as a hero. It was really a glorious day.
We celebrated that night and I heard tales of Sapphire and Varkolak that gave me more insights about them.
The next morning, however, dire news reached us. Not only had more and more monsters appeared around the realm, but Sapphire had also left her seat at the Blizzard Mountains and had descended into Heavens Glade.
Just A Small Needle in The Side
I didn't feel up to the task of fighting Sapphire yet, but I felt that the rumors about monsters virtually controlling the eastern portion of the realm were too alarming to ignore.
Thus, I headed south east. The road took me to the Mountains of Mist. After getting past them, I reached the Land of Amazons. But instead of finding these valiant warrior maidens, I encountered bands of Varkolak's skeletons.
I quickly defeated a band of them, but they were simply too numerous. Thus, I pressed onward, reaching Wyvern Forest. But I found it occupied by orcs, their stench being nearly unbearable.
I decided to let them be and instead proceed west to the Crystal Hills, where I encountered a small army of dragonkin. This time, I was able to sneak up on them and kill quite a number of them. But then they noticed that something was amiss and I had to retreat. In my hideout, I thought about my next move.
Only later did I learn that Balazarg began advancing towards the Raven Forest back then. I was confronted by the much more pressing issue of a new band of dragonkin joining those on the Crystal Hills.
Making Modest Progress
I couldn't leave things as they were, so I started another assault on the dragonkin.
I still had no clear method for defeating them, but my first assault yielded several of them dead and I felt confident to try a second run at them. When I finally ceased my attack, their camp was littered with lifeless bodies, but there was still a small band of them ready to defend itself.
Instead of finishing them off, I decided to return to the orcs in Wyvern Forest, who were now more numerous and a great threat in their own right.
I spent two days preparing an elaborate set of traps using wooden spikes and pitfalls, but finally, I was able to lure the orcs into a perfect ambush. They didn't stand a chance and before night fell on the third day, all of them were slain.
Thus encouraged, I continued northeast, and up onto the Cursed Plateau. Quite fittingly, it was housing a large camp of demons. I tried to lay an ambush, but the fould creatures sensed my presence, and before I could run away, they had confronted me.
Fortunately, the amulet aided me, and with its power blessing my blade, I was able to turn the table and destroy the entire demonic horde.
It was a great victory, but I was outright exhausted in the end after all. And thus, I stayed on the plateau to rest.
Hunting Dragonkin and Orcs
Feeling more confident, I travelled north, past a small camp of demons on the Whithered Hills up the slopes of the Blizzard Mountains. While Sapphire had left the region, a horde of her followers remained.
Without their supreme leader, I figured they would be relatively easy to defeat, although they were mighty warriors. And indeed, I succeeded in slaying most of them.
Feeling that the dragonkin had been sufficiently weakened, I continued onward, travelling down to Heavens Glade. I knew I couldn't face Sapphire yet, but at least I could go for the orish army of Gorgutt. Thus, I travelled to the Thorny Woods.
The orcish camp was nothing you could miss. I figured that I needed a large distraction, so I set the camp aflame. As chaos ensued, I was able to hunt down the orcs individually, and as the last fire died down, only Gorgutt remained alive. He was furious, but I was wise enough not to confront him yet. He would have bashed in my head just because of the indignity he had suffered.
Next, I travelled past Amarak Peak where a small horde of dragonkin was gathering and reached the McCorm Highlands. The fortress there was being besieged by an army of skeletons.
Coming from an unexpected direction, I was able to vanquish most of the undead, supported by the brave men and women from the fortress. Still, we were not able to hunt down all the undead.
Satisfied with the situation, I continued, crossing the Serpent Swamp with its treacherous paths and finally reached the Gryphon Inn in the heart of the Gryphon forest.
I listened around at the inn, gathering valuable information about Varkolak.
Using a spell taught to me by the village witch, I teleported to Brookdale Village. Not losing any time, I headed northeast to Seabird Port which was also being besieged by the undead, just like the fortress on the McCorm Highlands.
I tried to duplicate my success there, but somehow, the skeletons noticed me sooner and the battle dragged on much longer. In the end, only a few skeletons remained, few enough that I felt sure they wouldn't pose a problem for the guards as I ventured north.
I decided to take the route via the Windy Pass, having heard that Varkolak was still up in the Dark Woods.
After getting some rest in my camp on Windy Pass, I descended down into the Dark Woods.
Fearing that they may get behind me, I first dispatched of the skeletons that were staying there with Varkolak.
Then, I approached the undead general. Even before he could have seen me, he turned to face me.
"There is no need to try to hide. It is useless. None of your tricks, magical or otherwise will work here."
His voice was chilling and as he spoke, I noticed that the Amulet of The Gods had become dull and its strength had left me. But there was no turning back, so I stepped forward into the open.
He was quite impressive in his dark armor and I felt the urge to run. But that would only have earned me a swift death from behind.
"You have fought well to defeat my servants, but I will no longer suffer your existance!"
With these words, Varkolak rushed at me. At the last moment, I dodged his onslaught. First firing a bolt into his side, I dropped the crossbow and drew my daggers. Before he could turn, I was upon him, stabbing him wildly. He threw me off with unearthly strength, but he was desoriented. I, on the other hand, landed on my feet and was back at him not giving him a chance to react.
Finally, he sank to his knees and crumpled down on the ground. It would seem odd to say that he who had already passed death's gate was dead, but I knew that he was no more.
I was all alone in the Dark Woods.
After resting a while, I decided to return the way I had come. At Seabird Port, I cleared away the remaining skeletons, much to the joy of the populace who were even more happy upon learning of Varkolak's demise.
Driving Back The Undead
Having disposed of the general of the undead, I decided to clear out the undead hordes that had begun to threaten the south of the realms, travelling past Brookdale Village and Pleasant Hill, I routed the armies at the Angel Tear Falls and the Fire River.
It seemed as if my victory over Varkolak had blessed my arms as I fell the undead as if they were wheat before the reaper. In no time, I had destroyed all of the undead in the south.
Greenleaf Village Again and the Dancing Stone
Passing Mermaid Harbor and Bounty Bay, I returned to Greenleaf Village. I was displeased to see that the orcs had returned with even a larger army and were mistreating the people more horribly than before. Confident with my skills, I started assaults on the orcs, but while I slew many of them, a small band of them huddled up in a group of buildings on the edge of the village.
I had heard rumors about undead claiming the Dancing Stone, and while I wanted to help the poor people at Greenleaf Village, I felt that the defense of the Dancing Stone was more pressing.
Thus, I left for the holy site.
I was surprised to find only a small band of undead camping beneath the monumental stones and had no problems putting them back to rest for good.
Setting The Stage
While not being awfully useful, the battle at the Dancing Stone had given me an idea. I travelled east, past the Whispering Woods and Heavens Glade into the Throny Woods.
I had heard rumors about an old magical gate there. After a little bit of searching, I found its stone arch, overgrown with weeds and hidden in the shadows of the trees. Mimmicking the witch from Brookdale Village, I finally succeeded in reactivating it. Now, I had an easy access to the location so near to Gorgutt.
But the time was not ripe yet to strike at Gorgutt. Instead, I travelled to Amarak Peak where a considerable horde of dragonkin had gathered.
While they were excellent warriors, their common sense was somewhat lacking. They had chosen a place near a steep slope with overhanging rocks, probably to find shelter from the thunder storms that often haunted this area. But this left them vulnerable to a well-placed avalanche.
In the end, I had very little trouble defeating the few who survived the rocks.
I had felt so confident, but then word reached me that Balazarg had marched forward. He had already reached Bounty Bay and was getting ready to attack Monarch City.
I travelled through the magic gate to the Dancing Stone, from there south through Greenleaf Village to reach Bounty Bay.
Fortunately, Balazarg had only brought a small band of demons with him, and I had no problem defeating them. But Balazarg himself was by far too much of a mystery for me to tackle on my own.
I prayed to the gods that everything may remain calm, and they heard my pleas.
Another Defeat at Rock Bridge Pass
Helpless to stop Balazarg as it were, I decided to gather information. First, I travelled via Monarch City to Father Oak Forest. In a swift and violent battle, I defeated a medium-sized horde of orcs before continuing towards Seabird Port.
From there, I travelled west to Rock Bridge Pass and tried to sneak up on the dragonkin. But again, they were simply too vigilant for me to make any progress.
Reaching Eagle Nest Inn
I then proceeded to enter the Enchanted Glade, using a small path at the mountain's edge to evade the dragonkins on the bridge.
The Enchanted Glade was held by an army of undead, but again, I was able to defeat them easily. And there, beyond the Enchanted Glade, I found the Eagle Nest Inn where travellers from far away gathered.
I decided to stay for a while to learn as much as possible about Balazarg.
While I was gathering lots of valuable information, the king's guards attacked the orcs and dragonkin in the areas directly surrounding Monarch City. I was glad to hear that as it would make my assault on Balazarg that much easier.
Still, I had to be careful as more and more monsters arrived, the orcs reclaiming Father Oak Forest shortly after the guards had finished their assault.
Having gathered a lot of information, I finally decided to strike.
First, I envoked the teleportation gates and travelled to the Dancing Stone. From there, I travelled south through Greenleaf Village to Bounty Bay.
Fortunately, no new monsters had gathered around Balazarg, so he was alone when I arrived.
"You are weak, mortal. You may have defeated Varkolak, but he was merely a human who had fallen to his own ambitions. Your mission will end here."
With confidence, the demon approached, holding a flaming sword. I fired the crossbow at him, and the bolt stuck in his arm.
He stopped, surprised, and then started to run, raising his sword. I swiftly switched to my daggers and ran to meet him. Rolling under his murderous blade, I stabbed him. The Amulet of The Gods glowed in a holy light and I felt something give way.
Balazarg had stopped in his tracks and fearing a counter-attack, I scrambled away from under him. He turn his head to face me, utter disbelieve in his eyes, and then he dropped over, dead.
Balazarg, lord of demons was no more.
While I rejoiced at the swift victory, I knew that I would not get much chance to rest. Sapphire and Gorgutt were still alive and they would surely not rest before Monarch City fell.
Reaching Scorpion Canyon
With Balazarg gone, I decided to head for Scorpion Canyon. But first, I took a horse from one of the stables at Bounty Bay and travelled to the Pleasant Hill. The demons there fled before my fury and as the last had either perished or fled, I re-instated the gate that had lain there hidden for many years. In doing so, I received a blessing that would one day save me in the time of need.
I continued onward, travelling past the demons at Raven Forest and finally reached Scorpion Canyon where Balazarg had originally entered this world. It was teeming with demons and their foul influence and while I was able to swiftly destroy the hellish spawn, the taint on the land remained, a thick atmosphere that made it difficult to breathe.
Not seeing any use in staying there, I decided to move to the Blood Flats which had also become infested with a horde of demons.
At first, I hunted down the demons on the Blood Flats, then I continued in Raven Forest. Passing Pleasant Hill, I attacked the orcs at Father Oak Forest, but was not able to defeat all of them.
Monsters in Monarch City
A wise woman I had met in the Forest agreed to cast a spell for me that would create a magical gate whereever I desired. I asked her to place it in Gryphon Forest for I hoped to visit Gryphon Inn for more information about Gorgutt and Sapphire.
Next, I challenged the remaining orcs and was able to defeat them swiftly. Using the gate at Pleasant Hill, I was able to teleport to the new gate at Gryphon Forest, only to run into more orcs. I was able to slay many of them, but even repeating my assaults failed to enable me to defeat them all.
With a heavy heart, I searched out the inn as I felt I shouldn't waste any more time.
And indeed, while I was there, bands of dragonkin and undead sneaked into Monarch city, spreading fear among the people.
I learned a lot at the Inn and I was able to arrange for a battle strategy that would allow the local people to assist me. Sending messengers around, I was able not only to remove the monsters at Monarch city, but also to trick Gorgutt into moving back into the Thorny Woods. That was exactly where I wanted him.
Using the gate at Gryphon Forest, I teleported into Thorny Woods.
Gorgutt was expecting an attack, but just like his minions, he was not good at guarding his back. Before he even noticed me, I had sneaked up on him. Stabbing him from behind, I fell him without giving him a chance.
Not heroic? Maybe. But this was war and if I was defeated due to chivalry, I don't think the people at Monarch City would have found any mercy at the hands of Gorgutt.
Having succeeded quite well thus far, I used the gate to return to Gryphon Forest so as to prepare for the final battle against Sapphire.
The Crystal of Light
I had heard about the Crystal of Light a while ago, but only now had I learned about a way to quickly travel to the Ghost Marsh where the crystal was said to be hidden.
Having arrived at the marsh, I searched for a whole day, but found nothing. In the end, I had to abandon this quest, as it seemed impossible to find the crystal within the murky depths.
Thus, I travelled to Amarak Peak and then Thorny Woods and passing through its gate reached Gryphon Forest where I entered the Gryphon Inn.
Little did I know that I had unleashed the hordes of darkness upon the land. With three of the four generals dead, the forces of darkness doubled their efforts. Before anyone was able to react, the demons had corrupted Orc Valley - not a pleasant place to begin with, but still. At the same time, several hordes of orcs gathered at Father Oak Forest and as that place could no longer hold them, they flooded into the surrounding lands. The forest itself was severely damaged by the brutish army residing there.
I listened to the news at the inn for a while, but there was really nothing at all that could help my quest. Thus, I returned to the forest and from there via the magical gate to the Dancing Stone. Borrowing a horse, I travelled past Greenleaf Village to the Ancient Ruins where Sapphire was planning her next move.
But she was not alone, as a band of demons had joined her band of dragonkin guarding her from any approaches. Seeing my goal so close before me, I was able to get into a murderous rage and before I knew what was happening, I had defeated all the minions, leaving only Sapphire.
The dragon eyed me with suspicion but didn't say a word. Instead, she suddenly shot forward with her head, her mouth wide open. I was lucky to evade her attack which in turn placed us literally eye to eye. I didn't let the chance pass. With all my might, I stabbed my daggers into her eye. As she raised her head screaming out in pain, I hung on for dear life pushing the daggers deeper and deeper, my arms sinking deep into the broken eye.
Finally, something cracked and I felt the daggers move through an obstacle that had suddenly given way.
With a loud thud, Sapphire's head crashed into the ground. I managed to jump off at the last minute, but was still shaken by the impact. There she lay, dead and defeated, the last of the generals.
The rest of the story is not that exciting. While I was hailed as the saviour of the realm, peasant militia and the king's guards made short work of the remaining monsters who had lost all sense of purpose as the last of their leaders had been struck down. It didn't take the priests long to heal the land.
And this is how I restored peace to the land so that it could become the prosperous realm you all know.
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- Richard LauniusUnited States
A great tale by a brave and crafty heroine. Thanks for sharing your imagination with us and I hope someday to defend the realm with you - I think it would be a fun gaming experience.
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Thank you for your kind words. Hearing this from the game's designer feels somewhat weird (I am relatively new to BGG, so I am not used to getting in touch with game designers directly (^_^;; ) but also good as I take it that I was not totally wrong in my approach to the game's world.
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- Rob Bell(DrCrow)United States
PennsylvaniaYou learn more about a person in an hour of gaming than you do in a year of conversation.
Deathworks wrote:Hearing this from the game's designer feels somewhat weird (I am relatively new to BGG, so I am not used to getting in touch with game designers directlyWell, you should get used to this over here in the Defenders Forums at least. I can assure you that King Richard's support of this game is nothing short of Legendary.
Welcome to the Realm (and BGG), Deathworks!
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- William Minsinger(wminsing)United States
Seriously epic report, I'm assuming you must have written things down as you went?
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Hello!wminsing wrote:Seriously epic report, I'm assuming you must have written things down as you went?
Thank you for your kindness.
Yes, I switched to writing things down in prose as I played. In previous session reports for other games, I would have only written down the raw data and then written the prose later after finishing the game, but I found that I never finished writing those session reports at all. So, now I play one or two rounds (depending on the game), run to the computer (different room (T_T) ), type in the prose narration, then return to the game... Seems needlessly complicated, but at least it worked :) :) :)
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