Monday, August 19, 2013

Case Study No. 0928: The Librarian (Might & Magic Heroes VI)

Might & Magic Heroes VI Gameplay part 38 The Librarian's Death
No description available.
Tags: Gameplay Magic Battlefield Might Heroes VI part 38 The Librarian's Death
Added: 1 year ago
From: Universeal13
Views: 2,767

["The Invisible Library comes into view, encircled by a howling tornado of black wind. The windstorm seems to be alive and protects the entrance to the Faceless wonder. Kiril admires the sheer beauty of both the monument and the final adversary that he must defeat" appears on screen, as the player approaches a large rocky outcropping]
SARAH: Kiril, I'm going with you. You know now that we're not returning from this mission ... When you release the power of Chaos and Darkness, all will be consumed. The library, you, even Azkaal. I am proud to end this life by your side in service to Elrath.
KIRIL: Did anyone ever tell you that you take things too seriously?
SARAH: No one would have ever dared.
[the player enters the portal amongst the rocks, and is transported inside of a large stone building filled with pools and columns, as "Kiril stands before a gate made of a dark translucent glass. It opens magically and two Faceless appear, gesturing for him to follow. The walls seem somehow alive, and the ground he treads seems to be moving, as if he were walking atop the memories of the world" appears on screen]
[the player clicks on a large black figure (wearing a white facemask) floating above the floor]
THE LIBRARIAN: Welcome, Kiril of the Griffin. We are many ... and now you are one of us. Open your mind. Accept your brothers and sisters. You have earned your place amongst us. Share, and be one with all there is to know.
AZKAAL: Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!
THE LIBRARIAN: What knowledge do you seek?
KIRIL: I just want my life back. I want my name out of your library. I want to write my own destiny.
THE LIBRARIAN: We are many, and the Library is all of us. If you destroy this place, we shall be unbound and all of Ashan consumed in war. But here we are one, and the balance is maintained.
KIRIL: Damned if I do ... and damned if I don't. I've got a better idea.
["New objective available: defeat the guardians of the Library" appears on screen, as the player advances towards the other figure floating in the middle of the room]
[the player attacks and is able to defeat the "Neutral Army" of Elementals defending the Library, as "The angel Sarah lands gracefully onto the large balcony of Kiril's palace in Hell. It resembles the exact replica of the Invisible Library that mysteriously disappeared from the face of Ashan. Xana winces slightly as Sarah walks up to Kiril and gives him a long kiss. For better or worse, Kiril seems to have found himself a place to call home. Far in the distance, a familiar Arch-Demon stares down on the lovers' reunion, wearing a mischievously sincere smile" appears on screen]
KIRIL: To hell with them all. Let them keep their wars. Instead of taking sides, I brought the Library down to Sheogh. It's neither destroyed nor fully operational. As for the rest of my life ... it looks like winters in Sheogh and summers on some island in the Jade sea with the woman of my heart's desire. Now that's my idea of a destiny!
KHA-BELETH: Welcome home, Demonlord Kiril! I've got plans for you ...



Might & Magic Heroes VI is a turn-based strategy video game for Microsoft Windows developed by Black Hole Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. It is the sixth installment in the Heroes of Might and Magic series, and was released on October 13, 2011, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Might and Magic franchise. Heroes VI acts as a prequel to Heroes of Might and Magic V, occurring almost five centuries earlier, and is set in the fictional world of Ashan. The story follows the five heirs to the Griffin dynasty in their quests to repel a demon invasion and assist or impede Michael, a legendary Archangel general plotting to revive an ancient war.

As in previous Heroes of Might and Magic titles, the player can choose between single-player or multiplayer modes of play, and controls a number of heroes and towns associated with various factions, commanding armies of creatures between tactical overland exploration and a turn-based combat system to satisfy each scenario's victory conditions. Heroes VI alters some of the series' long-standing conventions, overhauling its chance-based skills system and reducing the number of resources in its economics model, and also introduces new mechanics, including a points-based reputation system and the ability to convert one faction's towns to another.

Heroes VI takes place on the continent of Thallan in the fictional world of Ashan, a setting developed by Ubisoft between 2004 and 2008 for use in all of its Might and Magic-related projects, starting with Heroes of Might and Magic V in 2006. Ashan is populated by approximately eleven factions inspired by those appearing in previous Heroes games and real-life cultures, five of which are showcased in Heroes VI. In Ashan, dragons are deified, and each faction's worship system is centralized around one or more dragon gods linked to the classical elements; the conflict between the followers of Elrath, the Dragon of Light, and Malassa, the Dragon of Darkness, provides the background for the events of the game. Demon invaders periodically invade and terrorize Ashan during eclipses, which weaken the magical barrier trapping them in Sheogh, an otherworldly prison. Heroes VI also re-introduces passing references to the Ancients, a super-advanced society of beings which narratively connected previous worlds featured in the Might and Magic franchise.

Pavel Griffin is slain while defending his lands from a demon onslaught. His sister, Sveltana, witnesses his soul being trapped in the Griffin familial sword instead of passing on. The Angel then descends and steals the sword before Sveltana is able to intervene.

Counseled by Angels in the impending war against the demons, Emperor Liam Falcon posts a decree enabling Duke Gerhart of the Wolf duchy to exterminate Orcs in the Empire. Duke Slava, Pavel's son, retaliates in solidarity with the Orcs, and the Dukes' bickering forces cause the Archangel Uriel - Michael's brother - to intervene. Uriel decides that Slava's eldest daughter, Irina, is to be betrothed to Gerhart to force a lasting peace. A decade passes, and Sandor learns that Irina has been imprisoned in the Wolf Duchy's jails for injuring Gerhart. He rouses an army of Orcs to free his half-sister, and the renegades flee to the Jade Ocean, where Sandor leaves Irina in Hashima and departs. Irina quickly befriends the native Naga and assists them in destroying a Wolf trading port, before discovering she is pregnant with Gerhart's child.

Gerhart accuses Slava of orchestrating Sandor's attack, and the two dukes are called before the Emperor, where Slava's daughter Anastasya - Uriel's pupil and lover - kills Slava with a concealed knife before the court. Anton is crowned Duke, but the inquisition tries to force a confession from Anastasya, fearing she is in league with the Faceless; Anton elects to euthanize his sister before she can be tortured. He learns that Jorgen - one of Slava's former advisers - is an undercover Faceless, but not Slava's killer, while Anastasya is resurrected by Sveltana as an undead. Resolving to learn who manipulated her into slaying her father, she frees Jorgen from the inquisition before traveling onward to Heresh with her aunt. Meanwhile, Kiril finds himself abandoned in Sheogh by his mentor, the Archangel Sarah, with the soul of a demon prince sharing his body. Desperate to expunge the demon, he pursues Sarah as a renewed demon invasion begins.

Sveltana is kidnapped by Anastasya's rival, Miranda. Suspecting her of Slava's murder, Anastasya kills Miranda, and she explains that Anastasya was controlled with a comb empowered by Faceless magic. Irina ransacks the Wolf duchy, slaughtering Gerhart, and both she and Sandor devote their resources to the eradication of the demons. Michael dispatches Anton to assist Gerhart against the Naga, but Anton soon learns the Duke has already been killed. Using the comb, Anastasya enters the mind of her betrayer: Uriel, who had sought to use her soul to reincarnate his mother. Enraged, Anastasya destroys Uriel's mind, and both he and Emperor Liam are slain in battle, leaving Anton to eliminate the remaining demons. Kiril finally apprehends Sarah, who reveals she sold Kiril's soul to the demons in order to cripple the Faceless by destroying their repository of knowledge; Kiril usurps the repository and frees himself of possession, while Sveltana discovers that Pavel's soul was used to resurrect Michael.

With the demons overcome, Michael appeals to the Griffin heirs to assist him in ending his war against darkness. If the alignment of the player's chosen heir is Tears, the heir rejects Michael's calls to arms and leads armies against the Angels, alongside Cate. Michael is killed in battle and Cate succeeds in sending the remaining deceased Angels' souls to Elrath, but the ritual ultimately results in her death. Alternatively, if the heir's alignment is Blood, they launch an offensive against Cate, sponsored by Michael, and succeed in slaying her to apparently prevent the impending conflict.

In both instances, the Griffins lament Cate's death and bury her with Slava, while Jorgen conspires with the Dark Elf Raelag to instigate the war against Elrath in the wake of her absence.

The game's story is described as a family tragedy by its developers, with a large array of main and supporting characters. The player assumes the role of each of the five children of Duke Slava of the Griffin dynasty (voiced by Mark Allan Stewart) in the main campaigns; the heirs can choose to begin as either a Might-based or Magic-based hero, and each commands a different faction. Sandor (Matt Nolan), Slava's illegitimate son, leads the Stronghold faction. Anton (Ben Diskin), Slava's son and his successor as the Griffin Duke, leads Haven armies. The twins Kiril (Chris Parson), a victim of demonic possession, and Anastasya (Julie Nathanson), the convicted murderer of Duke Slava, lead the Inferno and Necropolis factions respectively. Slava's eldest daughter Irina (Christine Lakin), betrothed to Slava's nemesis at a young age, commands the Sanctuary faction.

Notable supporting characters include Sveltana (Tatyana Yassukovich), Slava's necromancer aunt and Anastasya's mentor; Emperor Liam Falcon (Robin Atkin Downes), the current ruler of the Griffin Empire; Michael (D. C. Douglas), a legendary Archangel General revived long after his death to continue the war against his rivals, the Faceless race; and Cate (Yassukovich), Slava's wife and a long-time ally to Michael's Faceless enemies. Alternate incarnations of select heroes from New World Computing's entries in the Might and Magic franchise also re-emerge as recruitable "legacy heroes" in Heroes VI, including Lord Kilburn (Alan Shearman), a character whose first appearance in the series dates back to the original Might and Magic Book One: The Secret of the Inner Sanctum in 1986.



The Librarian
Introduced in: Might & Magic Heroes VI
Race: Faceless
Native world: Ashan
Status: Alive (as of Heroes VI)
Occupation: Librarian
Affiliation: Faceless

The Librarian is a character in Might & Magic: Heroes VI. Along with Jorgen, he is the only Faceless character who appears in his/her true form.

The Librarian is the Faceless who takes care of the Invisible Library. He/she knows much and will offer the students the knowledge they require.

Inferno Campaign
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: Kiril spots the Librarian who gives knowledge in the Invisible Library.



Inferno Campaign: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
"Kiril has followed a dark trail of magic to a peaceful valley on the Western borders of the Holy Falcon Empire. The Faceless seem to have a good sense of humor, hiding their precious Invisible Library, the ultimate depository of dark knowledge, near the very heart of an Empire dedicated to the Dragon God of Light. Kiril can sense that Sarah is close and he is eager to catch her."

Kiril and Xana (or Veyer) start off in a place that looks a lot like Sheogh, with no beginning conversations or cinematics. In fact, there are no cinematics for this whole map. It's almost eerily quiet. The only hint we have from opening our quest log is 'Payback' - Sarah is down here somewhere, and after three maps of chasing her around it's about time we get some answers.

Kiril starts off with a modest number of Cores as well as about a dozen Tormentors and Breeders. The Breeders go to Xana, who pass on her Cores to Kiril.

Just to the west, a small stack of Fire Elementals guard a randomized artifact. In an earlier patch you could farm some otherwise impossible-to-get Dynasty Weapons here, but now they only guard standard things. Since it's so close to the opening of the map you could just reload if you're looking for a particular one. I got a Lifeblood Pendant, which is a high-level neckpiece that raises the Health of all my creatures by 3. It's nice, but Kiril already has two neckpieces so I eventually pass it on to Xana.

The path is fairly linear - you might be moving a bit slower since we're underground (especially Xana), but there's really only one way to go. Eventually, we reach a small pleateau with plenty of buildings and loose resources. Xana can take care of them, Kiril has one other important goal in mind.

Sarah just has a small Inferno army. Intimidation won't work here because of her Maniacs (which are immune to them), but with a Reinforced Hell Hound stack you should have no trouble.

But let's get some answers before we gut her.

Kiril: Take Azkaal out of me.
Sarah: I can't. Let me explain first, Kiril. Will you grant me a chance, before you put an end to this?
Kiril: So you can lie to me again?
Sarah: Angels cannot lie... but we're not forced to tell the truth.
Kiril: I went on a mission with you to save the world, and you left me behind with a demon in my body. You traded my soul for a sword just to destroy a house full of books?
Sarah: The Blade of Binding is very powerful, Kiril, but it cannot destroy the Invisible Library. The weapon designed for that purpose... is you.
Kiril: What are you saying?
Sarah: Kiril. You wield the power of Chaos, you've mastered a demon's soul. Very few can find the Invisible Library. And only you can destroy it.
Kiril: Sarah, you've damned the both of us. Let the Dragons decide the fate of the world!
Sarah: If you do nothing, your choice will be made for you. The Faceless will rule the world. Kill me now, please. I have done my part. I have turned my body to abomination in service to Elrath.
Kiril: I want my life back. And until I get it you are not leaving this world. You have a debt to pay and I'm holding you to it. As for the Faceless, I'll give them the choice. They can free me of Azkaal or they can kiss their library goodbye.
Sarah: Kiril! Do not reason with the Faceless. They will decieve you...
Kiril: Oh, them too?

Well, fine. This is going to be our main base for a while. Xana can continue gathering all the resources around, while Kiril can head to the exit in the northwest. There isn't much priority for our town development, but Pit Fiends should definitely be a priority, with probably Cerberi afterwards. Everything after that is kind of building it whenever you want to (even Lilim, yes).

One notable part of the underground is a free stack of Fire Elementals - Xana makes good use of them. This map is also one of the few where you get to recruit Elementals, and we'll be fighting a lot of them this map.

Kiril: I've found Sarah but I still have to see this through. All my roads lead to that damned invisible library. It seems I have no choice but to save the world.
Xana: So that's your idea of vengeance? Giving her a tent next to ours.
Kiril: She's not allowed to die until I get my life back...
Xana: Interesting paradox... it seems like you want to keep her forever.
Kiril: No. Just until she understands my defintion of destiny.

Xana is surprisingly competent, especially when compared to Valeksa. Mainly because she gets a ranged creature with high Initiative (Breeders), unlike Valeska, who was more or less stuck with Sisters. Once she gets them upgraded to Breeder Mothers, she even benefits from a free Reinforcements every battle. Considering she also gets pieces of the Magister set, she's one of the better secondary Heroes around, oddly enough, despite her wonky starting stats.

We have a few directions to go once we reach topside. The quick thing to note is that the final piece of the Warlord Set is guarded by a stack of Pit Lords right near the exit - it adds a very nice +7 Might Power, not to mention the full set bonus if you've picked up everything else. We'll head south while Kiril and Sarah fill us in on what we're supposed to be doing.

Kiril: You're saying that I'll be able to find the Invisible Library once I've defeated seven Shadow Elementals.
Sarah: Yes. They are the focus of the spell in this valley. But you must not only defeat them, you must absorb their power into your body. Then the Invisible Library will appear.
Kiril: That sounds simple enough. Let's do this.
Xana: Don't you think your body has got enough problems? You've already got a Prince of Destruction in there.
Sarah: His spirit is strong. It's been reinforced by Light magic for twelve generations.
Kiril: Quiet! Both of you. We've got a library to find, remember?
Kiril: Why did you fuse me with Azkaal? Why not a lesser demon... Even Kha-Beleth didn't see that coming.
Sarah: He is the most dangerous demon I have ever met. But he has one redeeming quality.
Kiril: It's not his sense of humor...
Sarah: He is true to Urgash. He believes with all his heart that the world we live in must be destroyed. He cares nothing of personal gain.
Kiril: Azkaal wants to destroy Ashan. Turn it into cinder and ash. How could that purpose be useful?
Sarah: If you know where a man is headed... you need only go there to find him. You yourself have used this logic to find me.
Kiril: How did you know I could control him?
Sarah: Angels don't know. They hope, they believe... My Kiril would never allow anyone to destroy the world.
Xana: I spotted signs of other demons. Is it the illusion?
Kiril: No. Someone else is here. I can feel it too.

Kiril's goal is to find seven stacks of Darkness Elementals scattered around the map and defeat them - an easy enough task. We're heading south and -

A Haven Hero approaches from the east. We should take care of that.

But first, we quickly grab this town.

A Tears Kiril actually has a secondary quest not to convert any towns or forts till he finds the Invisible Library. There's actually little point to it, though - chances are we've already maxed out our reputation, and there's no tangible reward for actually doing it - we get Tears reputation (useless at this point) and a Necklace of Tears, which, while nice, isn't worth giving up a full set bonus for. But let's play by their rules. So we'll only have one Inferno town, and a few other Haven ones by the end of the map.

Sarah: This is horrifying. The people of this valley serve the Faceless but are convinced they serve Elrath.
Kiril: The Invisibile Libary is guarded by knights of the Holy Empire? You have to admit that they're clever.
Sarah: I must have come here at least a dozen times in the last four centuries, yet I have no memory of it. When you leave the valley you forget its very existence.
Kiril: How do you fight an illusion? This knight can't die because he doesn't believe it when we kill him.
Sarah: The Faceless don't have that power. He's using Light magic to resurrect himself. There must be a priest or powerful artifact hidden somewhere. If we can destroy it we can end this masquerade.

For now, we'll take out the first stack of Darkness Elementals, which is just southwest of the first Haven town. There's also a friendly group of Juggernauts northeast of the town.

The Darkness Elemental sizes vary from fairly modest to quite big, but it actually matters little to a Might Kiril - Intimidation will shut them down for a good 6+ rounds, whch should be more than enough for Pit Fiends, bolstered by Heroism, Inner Fire and Kiril's own physical attacks to take them down. You can also summon Phoenixes to help contribute, which are also Champions and thus the Elementals are Intimidated.

The Pit Lord is extremely well-suited for an offensive role - it has the highest damage in the game (beating even Cyclops), and fantastic Initiative and Movement to go along with it. Boundless Hate isn't amazing unless you're a Magic Hero, but having the option is always nice. With Cerberi and Lacerators to go along with them, the Inferno can be a huge threat offensively in a very physical-oriented build. Probably its drawback is that it doesn't have the support almost every other Champion does, but in the long run, with offenses like that, it might not even matter.

There's another Haven Fort to the south, with a creature dwelling in its territory. Recall that, while we can't convert Towns and Forts, creature dwellings are fair game.

It might seem like building up Haven towns is a waste of time, but there's really only two buildings you want to focus on with them, aside from Town Halls - Advanced Marketplaces (which is gold for the Inferno, since they don't normally have it), and Celestials.

Meanwhile, after finishing clearing out the area around our Inferno town, Xana also exits and starts clearing the north - there's a Crystal Mine here as well as another Haven Fort.

By the way, in case anyone's confused, here's a recap of our Angels' plots:

Uriel's Plot:

* Control Anastasya's mind using Faceless magic
* Use her to kill her father, then get her convicted and sentenced to death
* Carry out the killing himself, then use holy rituals to meld her with his mother
* Hope really hard that nothing interferes in Step 3, like Sveltana resurrecting her, or her own brother killing her, because only a crazy person would do that
* ???
* Profit!

I... guess that makes Uriel Orochimaru, or something.

Xana is actually doing pretty well at clearing. Not as good as Kaspar, but her spell damage is generally excellent and Fire Ball is strong enough to deal over 1,000 damage. She can also pick up Immolation and Fire Power III to amplify that further.

The second Darkness Elemental stack is just east of the Fort. Kiril will take care of it.

Sarah's Plot:

* Use Slava's death as an excuse to get Kiril into Sheogh
* Betray him and get him infused with a demon in exchange for passage through Sheogh
* Get clawed through the chest, hope she survives and that the claw snaps off so she can use it
* Trigger eclipse early
* Use the claw to make a sword to control mind of demons
* Hope really hard that Kiril survives Step 2 and... doesn't die or anything, and pursue her in search of revenge
* Lure him and ask him to hey, while you're here, can you destroy the Invisible Library please
* ???
* Profit!

I... guess that makes Sarah Itachi, or something? I dunno, I never really kept up with it past season... 3 or something.

You know what's also nice? Killing off six of your enemy's seven stacks in the first round because thanks to Cerberi's triple-tile attack and Cleave. If I'd gotten a Morale boost I'd have killed the whole lot instead of dealing with MAGIC HEROES.

As we head East, we can find Montbard's castle. He stays in his castle and sends out a Magic Hero with low armies out every once in a while. We're not strong enough to handle him yet because he has lots of Glories, but soon enough.

The ruins south of that offer an interesting reward for clearing it - a nice stack of Darkness Elementals. These go to Xana, who appreciates a stack with No Retaliation and could use the damage boost.

Kiril: Hey Azzie... have your ever actually fought Faceless in your hundreds of years of life?
Azkaal: Yes. I once made a bed of Faceless wings. They're impossibly soft. But I burned it. It gave me strange dreams.

South of that is another Fort.

We've more or less established that the girls pretty much got the better end of the campaign stick. Among the three guys though, I probably got the most disappointed with Kiril. While Sandor and Anton never really went anywhere beyond 'decent enough', Kiril's started off with enormous promise. You had him with a Demon Prince in his body, a fleeing angel, snark and wit to match Irina, and a hard first map culminating in an amazing boss fight. After that, anything else would almost seem like a disappointment.

East of our latest Fort is the third stack of Darkness Elementals.

The elementals stacks swell again to about 180+, and you really want Kiril's Might Power to be as high as you can afford it (which is why the Warlord set is beter than the Trickster set on him) to make up for our currently low numbers of Pit Lords. Which is one reason why one should focus on them at the beginning, with maybe only a pit stop for Cerberi.

Kiril's second map was okay - it wasn't terribly exciting, but it still ended it with a nice boss fight. Overall, you had two boss fights in just as many maps, which sounds like it was shaping up to be a pretty great campaign.

Kiril: More dark energy! It's a strange power. As if... as if nothing's really that important anymore.
Azkaal: The Faceless once created an illusion in Sheogh, to make us think we had already destroyed the world. Or at least I think they did. My memories aren't clear.

The reason why I use Cerberi instead of Pit Lords for the wandering Heroes is because I can Reinforce the Cerberi, they can hit multiple stacks at once (and more effectively than the Pit Lords), and the enemy creatures aren't so much a threat as the Magic Heroes' Heal or Lightning Bolt spells. It's also easier to Gate in Cerberi, which you can then use Seal of Power on to recoup losses.

Then you hit Kiril's third map and it's just... disappointing. There is barely any plot and it's ridiculously easy. It's also around this time that you realize you've been more or less sent on a glorified goose chase, chasing Sarah from one point to another, like the creators needed to give Kiril a third map and just stuck this in. Not that maps need to be ridiculously hard, but it's a bit sad to walk over it so easily. Kiril's personality also becomes more... bland and very unlike map 1 Kiril.

Southwest is another Haven Fort, which Xana claims. Xana at this point, using Breeder (Mothers), Fire Elementals and Darkness Elementals in conjunction with her spells can clear most stacks on the map save for the Darkness Elemental ones (and Light Elemental/Glory stacks because those are just annoying).

Elemental stack Four is west of this Fort.

East is the final Haven town. And I'm glad that Ubi has a sense of humour at least when it comes to naming towns.

I have kind of mixed feelings about the final map. On one hand, it's still pretty easy and some of the plot points is just [:psyduck:]. But Kiril also makes a bit of a semi-return, and it's... better than the other guys' final maps, I suppose.

Xana is actually doing scarily well, to think I pegged her as really bad one map earlier, probably because she didn't have access to third level spells for most of it. Valeksa might also have boosted Xana in my eyes because she's worse.

With most of the territory under our map, I think it's time to take on Montbard.

I got really lucky here, as Montbard's lacky Hero (the Magic one that's been wandering around) decides to carry his huge Glory stack instead of giving it to Montbard. This makes things so much easier, as I can quickly waste it using Pit Lords now instead of potentially running out of Intimidation time and causing them to Searing Light my Pit Lords. Eduardo's lower Might Defense here is also nice, and any damage he can throw I can mitigate using Drain Life and Regeneration.

With his army greatly weakened, Montbard is now significantly less of a threat than he could be. He knows some supportive spells like Mass Regeneration, but at this point it's delaying the inevitable.

Kiril: I'm not a demon! I only look like one. For the last month you've been calling me a Faceless!
Montbard: How... the demons are gone! Locked in Sheogh! The Faceless are everywhere! I don't understand.
Kiril: Sarah... can you do something?
Sarah: It would be easier to kill him. Elrath will understand his innocence. And Asha will give him a new life. He'll never be able to recover totally from what the Faceless have done to him.
Xana: Just sit down with him and tell him the truth. If he wants to die after that, your angel here can smite him.
Kiril: Life was easier when they all wanted to kill me.

Geez, which here is the angel and which is the demon, again?

Montbard appears again for one last fight outside the castle - defeating him ends the sidequest. I didn't get any conversation afterwards, and I'm not sure what happens on the Blood side, so who knows what happened to him.

Kiril: Azzie... I'm feeling more powerful here every day.
Azkaal: You just imagine you are. Beware of the shadow magic... it plays dangerous tricks with your mind.

We need to take to the sea next - there's a shipyard just east of the upper one of the two southeastern towns (the one not named Baywatch). Aside from a few stat boosts, there's an island where we can find Darkness Elemental stack five. It's also a bit annoying since you might end up missing this one entirely if you don't know where to look, since you have no indicator of where the Elementals are and just have to explore every nook and cranny.

Our Pit Lords are becoming scarily powerful under Kiril's command. Nothing that beats the Sacred Kirin's Hailstorm Aura under Irina's command, but just about nothing does.

One common theme about the campaigns is that it is very much about claiming your own destiny - after all, it's a major component of the Tear/Blood choices. And with each separate campaign you could say that they did take charge of their lives, or found another purpose in life. Sandor found a home. Irina discovered another life to look out for besides her own, and claimed her revenge. Anastasysa reached her independence. Anton, while shaky, claimed his freedom fron the Celestial cycle and mastered his voices rather than getting tormented by them (though how much of that will progress beyond the game is anybody's guess).

Next, we'll need to go back to Montbard's castle, and head east. We'll do two things. First is to finally recruit all the Celestials that have been piling up in all our Haven castles and put them in Kiril's army. The second is to capture the last Fort here (there's also a Champion creature dwelling, a bit too late for us maybe).

The Inferno campaign, oddly, has the weakest claim of truly claiming one's own destiny, which is funny because it's the faction that places the most emphasis on it. Kiril constantly claims to want to control his own life back, but ultimately does little of that that we've seen - three maps he spends chasing Sarah and he doesn't really go anywhere as a result. The ending does feature, to some degree, Kiril claiming his own destiny, but well... I'll let you all see it for yourself.

Further east are two familiar faces, and... hey, why are you guys back at level 1? I didn't spend about 20 hours separately on each of you for nothing! Anton, you're not even on the right reputation!

Anton: Hello, little brother. What's with the fire and brimstone?
Kiril: I'm on a mission to save the world.
Anton: There's been a lot of that going around lately.
Kiril: Could you do me a favor? Give this to Ulah. Maybe she'll know some Orc shaman ritual that will send Toghrul back to Mother Earth. It's not safe for the family to have him returning home.
Anton: You've been busy. I've heard you're on your way to the Invisible Library.
Kiril: And I've got another demon to get rid of first.
Anton: If you're going after the Faceless, Kiril, you might want him with you.


Bluebeak: Crraawwwaaaaa ...
Anastasya: It looks to me like you've fallen for the angel. I thought you were going to kill her.
Kiril: Well, she has been plotting to save the world.
Anastasya: I think I would have killed her all the same.
Kiril: I still might. But she didn't have anything to do with Father's death or yours. She's just been following her Dragon, and I somehow got in the way.
Anastasya: Be careful, little brother. Falling in love with an angel is dangerous. We don't have wings.
Kiril: Like there's a choice. You know the Griffin creed. Follow your heart!
Bluebeak: [Personally, I'll keep my wings.]
Anastasya: Kiril, when you find that library, and I know you will, remember one thing. The Faceless don't give clear answers, they ask more questions. And you'll find you already know the answers.

Both of them leave, and we now have access to the penultimate Darkness Elemental stack.

Double the number of Champions means twice the effectiveness under Intimidation!

Kiril's is also the third campaign to feature revenge (though all the maps do to some extent). And while Irina and Anastasya eventually found theirs, Kiril never really does, and his comes off as the worst of the three as a result, not to mention repeating the whole 'REVENGE!' deal gets a bit tiresome over three campaigns.

For our last trek, we'll head back to Not-Baywatch, where there's a small strip of land over the water northeast of it.

A subterranean tunnel is here. There's also a final Shrine of the Seventh Dragon there, if you feel like levelling Xana for whatever reason (considering the luck she's had lately, she might as well get something out of this).

The seventh and final Darkness Elemental stack. With that, let's move forward through the tunnels.

Azkaal: How Elrathian to consult me before destroying my soul.
Kiril: I thought you deserved the right to know. We should discuss it at least.
Azkaal: A soul who's lived for centuries doesn't have time for idle pleasures, and a Prince of Destruction does not plead. He destroys or is destroyed.
Kiril: In another life, Azzie... I would have loved to be your enemy.
Azkaal: Ha, I would have burned your armies down like so many fields of wheat!

Up we go.

Now, I have a strong beef with the last bit of this campaign. What it means for Xana, Azkaal and more importantly Kiril. I can see the writers' reasons for doing so in regards to Kiril, but I ultimately think it's poor writing. But you'll have to watch things unfold from here, I'll refrain from commenting on the rest of this map's plot.

The portal here doesn't activate till all the Darkness Elemental stacks are defeated.

Kiril's got strong, well rounded stats, and excellent Morale and Destiny as well. He doesn't have as much Might Power as Anton, but he's doing pretty well for himself. At this point you'll likely have two sets to choose from (Warlord and Trickster), so it's ultimately up to one to choose - the Warlord set offers more Might Power, and the Trickster set has extremely potent -Morale/Destiny/Initiative effects and provides more Destiny.

At this point, having discovered the Invisible Libary, Kiril gets his Necklace of Tears, and we can convert everything again without fear. But at this point, we're almost at the end.

The final fight features, as you may or may not expect, Elementals of every flavour.

The final fight can actually be challenging for a normal army, as the Elementals synergize surprisngly well togeter. Air Elementals hit multiple targets, and Water Elementals stop your creatures in their tracks while their attacks Soak them up to take more damage from Air attacks. Darkness and Light elementals attack without retaliation, and either dispel your buffs or Time Stasis your creatures (Light Elementals also heal all other elementals when retaliating). Earth is tanky, and Fire hits harder at close range (when you're likely focusing on the other more annoying elements), and burns melee attackers as well as exploding for some intense damage when they're dying.

Luckily for us, we have plenty of Champions. If we'd come in with only Pit Lords it wouldn't be enough, but with some Celestials thrown into the mix we can easily take them on before Intimidation runs out (at this point, a Tears Kiril would have it running for 8 to 9 turns). The only challenge would be healing off the Fire Elementals' damage shields when striking and killing them - Drain Life is a helpful option, as is Seal of Power when gating in Pit Lords. With Intimidation up, it's strictly a damage race to knock them out, as all their nastiest work is rendered helpless.

I lose a few Celestials from attacking Fire Elementals, but that's it.

No comments:

Post a Comment