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CHAPTER 1 – THE SERPENTINE CITADEL

PART 1 - Introduction

Sir Lionel pulled hard on the reins. At the same time he felt the pull on his soul. Something was missing. His horse Excalibur - a grey stallion bred for the brutality of warfare coughed its displeasure. Despite its annoyance it came to an abrupt halt. He stared through the thick sea of trees directly ahread. The mass of ancient conifers coiled around each other. They seemed to be screaming in pain, or was it terror. He could not tell. Not did it matter, the forest was thinning out. Something was missing.

He adjusted the shield that rested on his left arm. It bore the crest of the one true king - Arthur. A symbol that he came from the lands of southern Britannia. Being a knight, he was trained to be unafraid. At least of most dangers. Even the type that most mortal persons would flee from. However, the creatures of Bedigrane Forest and beyond, were another matter. Still, something was missing.


Around him his retuine of companions and men-at-arms reigned in their own mounts. Surrounding him were a few dozen of his most seasoned soldiers. Warriors that during King Arthur's campaign had seen battle and hardship aplently. He had shed blood and sweat together with these men, to reunite a divided realm. Now those event past seemed long ago and far away. Now he ventured on a personal quest. One more important than serving the true king. Something remained missing.

It had happened a few nights past while Sir Lionel had been called out to investigate an attack on an nearby village. A distraction, he had reasoned. The vile scum had raided his home and kidnapped his beautiful bride to be, the fair lady Lyonesse. Together with the men who had ridden with him at the time, he had set off in all haste, in the direction she had been taken. To the north. Through the cursed forest. No doubt to the castle of the infamous Red Knight. Now they were finally nearing the edge of the forest. Something remained just out of reach.

His mind raced. He could feel it. Despair filled his stomach. That thing he yearned for was returning. Rage poured from his eyes. It was close. He badly needed it. Sir Lionel drew his weapon and yelled out a bloodthirsty cry. It encourged his horse forwards into a gallop. His men did likewise. It was there. Within reach. As he led his men through the last few miles of the forsaken forest, atop of a vast hill in the distance, he could see the objective of his quest. The Serpentine Citadel. He prayed his beloved would be inside. Finally, after days without it. The feeling had returned. Hope embraced his heart.
 
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PART 2 - The Quest​

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Sir Lionel's quest begins with his first mission. The Serpentine Citadel. I select his avatar on the campaign map and then click (or right-click) on the first glowing location. It brings pop-up displaying the overview of this mission. I click start to begin the adventure quest.

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Once the avatar has moved to the location spot on the map, the first event narrative pop-ups, as seen in the picture above. It is called the Strange Forest and the initial narrative coninues on from my humble attempt (above).

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Almost immediately the first dilemma presents itself. Damn this cursed place. Sir Lionel chooses to seek out what has befallen my men. He backtracks his way from whence he came, into the depth of the dark forest.

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It seems as though fate has conspired against Sir Lionel. There is nothing to do but continue. Dismounting from his mount, Sir Lionel continues onwards. The knight takes the only path available to him. Sword drawn ready for any action.

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The weather has turned for the worst. The eerie gloom adds a good weight to the encroaching coldness. Tiredness begins to grip the muscles and bones of our hero. After trekking for a hour or so through the fog of trees, Sir Lionel spies the ruins of a building. Torn between continuing forwards and taking shelter in the Ruined Manor, Sir Lionel chooses the lack. Damn the consequences.
 
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Picking a relatively dry spot to hunker down, Sir Lionel settles into an uneasy sleep. Drifting in and out of consciousness our hero is disturbed by a noise. Nearby two figures approach. Scouts? Trackers?? Hope begins to drain away.

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Reasoning that maybe he can find out what happened to his men, Sir Lionel rises with caution and approaches the men. With his hand resting ready on the pommel of his sword he takes a gamble. Maybe just maybe, they could be of some help to him.

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Valiance wins this day. The warriors explain who they are. Sir Lionel offers to lead them against their common foe. In return they offer him the chance of recruiting potential allies. Hope is rekindled.

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Caught in his in current predicament, alone without the assurance of his men at his side, Sir Lionel chooses to heed the advice given.

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Despite the late hour and his low energy levels, our hero leaves his horse behind and heads to the monastery in search of more allies.

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With luck Sir Lionel finds the monastery. Not wasting any more time, Sir Lionel enters the isolated building. Knocking on the door, the abbot of the order appears and tells you of a curse.
 
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He goes on to offer some advice. Then to your delight he offers to provide assistance to your course. It seems this Red Knight has made more enemies than friends. Even in these parts. The abbot presents you with a choice.

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Belonging to Christian religion, Sir Lionel chooses help from the abbot. To his surprise, the abbot agrees to join Sir Lionel's cause. His heavenly powers will be of great value in the forthcoming battle. The abbot promises to meet you by the walls when you are ready. With a sizeable force now in tow, Sir Lionel heads back to find his warhorse. The seed of hope grows a little more.

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Curses. How did our hero miss the huge monstrosity! 'Should have gone back the way I came!' With no place to run to Sir Lionel draws his sword and prepares for the fight of his life. Sir Lionel hero of the campaign to reunite the lands under the one true king is no match for the behemoth. He offers him a truce and chance to live.

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The giant faced with no choice submits to Sir Lionel's will. How the fates have turned. Once again hope flourishes. Returning to collect his horse, the rest of the night is uneventful. By dawn, he has reached the base of the hill with the giant in tow. Already assembled in preparation are the abbot and his guards, and the two nobles and their small company of warriors.

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The battle is about to begin.
 
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PART 3 - Preparations

Sir Lionel listens to each of his new allies, taking in what they know of the terrain that awaits them. He quickly draws up a plan of action. Looking up at the vast citadel atop the hill, he murmurs a little pray to reach Lyonesse in time. To find her safe and sound.

Among the troops available are two squads of Cumbrian Archers with the ability to traverse the battlefield faster than normal.

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Two squads of Yeomen. Their ability to form a Spear Wall makes them doubly good at dealing with mounted foes.

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In addition there are two squads of heavy infantry: Breakshields Elite and Heavy Footmen. Neither of these have any special abilities. The latter are assigned to the Abbot.

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Sir Lionel takes command of the former.

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The giant shows itself to have a key ability (below), plus it is capable of regenerating and attack more enemies at the same time, up to a range of six metres.

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The abbott, a Father Locke appears to have a number of battle friendly attributes. These also include the ability to heal units and restore their stamina.

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As for Sir Lionel, he possess the skills that one may expect from an experienced knight of King Arthur's domain. As well as possessing the offensive ability of: Cleave, he can now call upon the Ordeal of Fire to blast his enemies. He also possesses the defensive abilites of: Guardian Angel and Invisibile Shield. He can also now count on the ability of Slow, to restrict the moment of his enemies.

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Unfortunately he has no special items to equip himself, so he makes do with his trusty sword. Maybe the battle ahead will bring the opportunity to gain some valuable artefact.

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With his force now ready, Sir Lionel draws his sword and points it to the top of the hill. A declaration of intent for his new allies to focus upon. As the sun rises to the east, together the men and giant scream a yell of determination and march forth.
 
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PART 4 – The Battle: Stage I

With the goal clear, the small force of warriors begins its trek up the slopes of the hill. Two key objectives lay. The prison camp half-way up the mountain and the citadel at the very top. With all haste the force moves up to confront the enemy forces that have no doubt been warned by now. Who must by now be waiting, ready for Sir Lionel and his band.

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They do not have long to wait as up ahead in the centre of a village await three large bands of enemy troops. Wearing black iron armour and armed with an assortment of swords and other hand-to-hand weapons these troops are battled ready.

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Sir Lionel orders forth his squads of Cumbrian Archers, to whittle down the enemies numbers before they have a chance to close ranks.

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As the enemy advances, the manage to loose three volleys of arrows before they make contact with the giant and other close combat groups.

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The combat is brief. Outnumbered by Sir Lionel's forces the enemy are slain to a man. While the giant took some minor damage only a handful of men where killed. Some of these where from the arrows of their own side. To be sure that it does not happen against, Sir Lionel shouts out a command to the groups sub-commanders.

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Rallying his men, Sir Lionel commands his force forwards around the next steep slope of hill. In the distance, in the centre of another village, two groups of menacing looking cavalry are drawn into combat lines. This foe looks ready. They will be no easy match.
 
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This time the enemy does not give the archers the opportunity to fire more than twice. Before they know they what's hit them, the enemy cavalry are in the midst of Sir Lionel's men. Fortunately, he had sent forth his spear carrying Yeomen. Manoeuvring them to into position to take the full brunt of the charge.

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This time the battle is fought more harshly. Father Locke the abbott, casts a healing spell to ensure that any Yeomen are kept alive for as long as possible. However, in the ensuing melee Sir Lionel's numbers finally tell and another two groups of enemies are dispatched for the loss of a few yeomen.

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With the skirmish won, the remaining forces move into the village. There are no signs of its inhabitants. Most likely they have hidden themselves in their huts or sought refuge in behind the citadel's walls. The irony is not lost on Sir Lionel.

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Strange pools of glowing lights flicker amongst the myriad of thatched huts. Upon inspection they seem to radiate an inviting aura of blue and green. Father Locke calls out to Sir Lionel, telling him that the pools replenish energy. Blue for mana used in magics. Green for creature lifeforce. Orange for those inbued with special abilities. For now Sir Lionel chooses to leave these alone, in case they are needed shortly.
 
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PART 5 – The Battle: Stage II

Around the next corner awaits the strongest force encountered so far. Two groups of bowmen and two groups of wasteland warriors stand in another village at the top of a slanting rise.

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Forming up in a protective formation, Sir Lionel's armoured Breakshields are joined by the equally protected Heavy Footmen and the resilent giant. Who has been able to regenerate his wounds thanks to its regeneration ability and is at 100% health.

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Given the enemy's ability to fire a concerted number of volleys from two units Sir Lionel orders the giant to move forward. A two pronged benefit to this decision is the giants high number of hitpoints and it is the fastest moving unit of the group. So it will be able to close the distance very rapidly. To add an extra dimension to this plan, Sir Lionel bestows the Protective Shield ability upon the giant, which will protect it from missile fire and should last long enough until the giant reaches its foes.

With the rest of the units in formation, with Sir Lionel and Father Locke units in tow, the Cumbrian archers follow and the weakest units against missile fire – the Yeoman come last. As the units set out the formations are changed to horde – to ensure the least likelihood of damage from missile fire.

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The plan works a treat. The giant races up the hill drawning fire from the enemy archers. It manages to get into hand-to-hand combat with one of the unit of armed warriors, but the other races down to mean the approaching Sir Lionel and his immediate forces. The enemy archers turn their attention to the Cumbrian archers. As each unit enters combat range, I change the unit formations to wedges for the infantry fighters and close for the archers – to give the best chance of inflicting the most casualties.

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As the rest of Sir Lionel's forces race up the hill, the archers on both sides begin a mortal contest to see who will live to fight the next battle and who will not. Casualties begin to mount.
 
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Father Locke and Sir Lionel lead their troops against one group of enemy footsoldiers, while the giant takes care of the other. Combat between these groups is a close affair. Though the wasteland warriors are outnumbered, they put up stiff resistance. Sir Lionel calls forth his cleave ability, which soon slices a great big swath of enemy soliders across the field of battle. The tide is turning.

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Now that the Yeomen have reached the frontline, one group is sent to tackle one set of enemy bowmen, the other is sent against the other.


As both groups race forwards, one is drawn into the battle where Sir Lionel is fighting. Fortunately, one group of Cumbrian are hitting their targets and soon dispatch the last few bowmen on the right flank.

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A few more minutes and Sir Lionel's forces gain an unbeatable upper hand. With the Yeoman engaging the enemy bowmen on the left flank, the battle is almost over.

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A few more blows connect and this engagement is over.

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With such a hard fought battle, Sir Lionel takes the chance to go back one of the spirit pools and recharges the mana he has used up so far. So ends stage two of the battle.
 
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PART 6 – The Battle: Stage III

Moving to the crest of the next corner, Sir Lionel's forces see a new obstacle in their way. The high walls of the prison facility can be seen along a ridge on the right fork of the hill track. Inside its walls, a force of Bowmen and Rust Warriors are position in from of three groups of prisoners.

The main track that leads to the citadel, holds another set of enemies. But it is to far to tell the exact make-up of this force.

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Deciding to keep things simple, and re-use a tactic that worked so well, Sir Lionel orders the giant to take point and lead the assault on the prison. If the walk isn't dealt with and quickly, the attackers could be whittled down and exterminated. Especially if the enemy can remove the threat of the Cumbrian archers and keep their own forces intact.

Marching at full speed the giant makes its way towards the wall. With his mana replaced, Sir Lionel against bestows the Protective Shield upon the allied giant.

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As the giant strides across the the ridge, the enemy bowmen furiously launch their volleys of missiles. The protection spell works perfectly as the giant draw the enemy fire towards it. Sir Lionel and Father Locke together with their units follow. The archers are just behind. For this battle the Yeomen remain in position protecting any possible attack from the rear by those forces on the horizon.

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As the giant reaches the wall it unleashes its Earth-shaker Blow ability and demolishes the wall. With their defences breached, the enemy Rust Warriors are caught off-guard. Allowing the giant to immediately engage one group to the left. The Cumbrian bowmen quickly fire its own tirade at the other group of enemy archers, givin Sir Lionel's force the chance to close the gap.

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It does not take long before the enemy is split into two groups, one fighting the giant and the other fighting Sir Lionel group. Father Locke's forces remain in reserve. Just in case they are needed. As time flies by, the enemy is putting up stiffer resistance. The giant especially, is having its health reduced at an alarming rate.
 
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Father Locke reading the state of affairs orders his Heavy Footmen forth and cast the Heavenly Sword spell on the enemy archers firing at the giant. His force then joins the giant to despatch the enemies faced. The tipping point is reached and another encounter is won.

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As the last of the enemy resistance is quashed Sir Lionel is directed to a weapon emitted an aura of power. He picks it up and conceals the item in his inventory, for when he is able to examine more closely. No doubt this will be of great use in the coming battles.

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Beyond the bodies of the dead, three groups of prisoners thank you for releasing them from their bondage and pledge to fight along your side to vanquish the Red Knight and his servants. Joining you are a unit of Cumbrian archers, another of Yeoman and one more group of Breakshields.

After fighting such a tough battle, Sir Lionel's forces replenish lost health and mana using the four pools of energy nearby. Once satisfied they turn and rejoin the main force arrayed by the hill side and prepare to march against another prepared position. How many more enemies stand in their way?
 

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PART 7 – The Battle: Stage IV

The new army of Sir Lionel positions itself along the breadth ridge where the last battle took place. Sending force a unit of Yeomen to scout out the enemy forces, it moves up to the front line but remains vigilant in case it needs to make a hasty retreat.

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Two units of Longshields and one Breakshields elites await. The sternest test faced so far. The yeomen are used to draw the enemy from the protection of the narrow entrance into their village.

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Once they leave the safety of their positions I force them to move through the bottleneck beyond my forces.

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Its time for magic. As the enemy comes into range, Father Locke unleashes the destructive forces of Heaven Sword spell. It decimates the first group of Longshields.

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Almost immediately after Sir Lionel casts a Slow spell against the second group at the rear. Giving the archers the time to rein down their lethal volleys of arrows. In next to no time that unit is removed from the skirmish. Leaving the Breakshields Elites to be overwhelmed by the superior numbers of Sir Lionel's forces.

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Moving past the the dead and through the empty looking village Sir Lionel can sense how close he is too his goal. Has he reached his beloved Lyonesse in time? Can he defeat the final massed forces that the Red Knight must have waiting for him?

Only time will tell.
 
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ch0pper

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I don't want to read before playing the game. Any spoilers?
 
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Hi, the encounter at the end of the level isnt included in the account above. Deliberately left out.

Otherwise all other encounters are touched upon is some detail. These include virtually everything else in the first mission: items to be captured, enemies faced, order faced, where to find pools, allies etc. I tried to be brief and show the range of different tactics available for each encounter. So you can see what you will be able to do in later missions - which get much, much harder.

However, note that I played this mission on easy. So it wont be the same challenge as most players will experience. The game is much, much tougher on the harder settings, as you probably already know. And the range of tactics available become restricted the further you get into the scenario.

However, I suggest that if you want your experience of the game to be as genuine as possible, that perhaps you wait for the game's release! :)
 

ch0pper

Sergeant
18 Badges
Sep 15, 2010
89
0
  • King Arthur II
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • War of the Roses
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • March of the Eagles
  • Darkest Hour
Thanks for clarifications. Still not reading it yet :)

With respect to difficulty level, I know in KA1 the "Hard" setting is the one where enemy AI doesn't get health and damage penalties. This is the setting I usually like playing on. Does this hold true for Fallen Champions?