Trunting

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First of all, this is a big IF. If AoW IV came into existence and if it had a campaign, which kind of story would you prefer.

I am currently playing the campaign of AoW3.

Some things I like are that the people in the campaign hold conversations and that there are minor quests along the way.

Storywise I think the Shadow Demons should make a return, but not necessarily in the form we used to see in SM. Perhaps, the All-Devourer has been defeated and there are lots of independent hives left, which have developed an own identity.

The Dark Elves could serve as a minor faction.

If I were to write the story, it would look like this (with regard to AoW lore as far as I know it):

"In the Shadow Realm, thousands of years have passed. Meandor's forces have defeated the All-Devourer, but have discovered countless of other worlds.
These worlds sometimes resemble Athla, but sometimes, they are different or even uninhabited.

On one of these worlds, a new power has been discovered. Meandor wants to push for the power, preventing dangerous others from claiming it. Meanwhile, a secret Dark Elf faction has allied with a demon hive led by Xukul. They intend to claim the power for the All-Devourer and destroy the multiverse.
Meanwhile, an Archon faction has betrayed Meandor and trapped him on the new discovered world. Launching an invasion of Athla to purge it from the Elves, a resistance force of the races of Athla has first to defeat those renegade Archons and then push into the Shadow World to free Meandor.

Brainstorming it, somehow like this I would write it. What are your ideas?
 

Refineus

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You could always try the workshop campaigns to discover the stories for AoW 3 following the aftermath of the Shadow Gate opening.

Both Shadow Realm Campaign and Wasteland Campaign features stories in the Age of Wonders 3. Of course non-canon, but lore friendly. Perhaps it would serve for some inspiration.
 

Trunting

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I might give them a shot, once I've finished AoW3's campaign. With this thread, I wanted to encourage people to talk about the lore of AoW. When I was 14, I played first Aow2, then 1 and then SM. And I really loved the story. So there is some kind of emotional connection here.