This is a transcription of all dialogues from Secrets of the Ancients. It's meant as a resource for Wesnoth writers. If you don't want spoilers, leave this page now.
- 1 Death Dialogue
- 2 Scenario 1: Slipping Away
- 3 Scenario 2: Dark Business
- 4 Scenario 3: Bandits
- 5 Scenario 4: Becalmed
- 6 Scenario 5: Blackwater
- 7 Scenario 6: Following the Shadow
- 8 Scenario 7: Meeting of the Minds
- 9 Scenario 8: Carcyn
- 9.1 Story Text
- 9.2 Introductory Dialogue
- 9.3 Recruiting
- 9.4 Turn 2
- 9.5 Reaching the prison
- 9.6 Killing Carcyn Fisher
- 9.7 Leveling Shynal as a footpad
- 9.8 Leveling Carcyn as an outlaw
- 9.9 Killing the last enemy unit/Capturing the last house
- 10 Scenario 9: Training Session
- 11 Scenario 10: Merfolk Revenge
- 12 Scenario 11: Battleground
- 13 Scenario 12: Walking Trees
- 14 Scenario 13: Together Again
- 15 Scenario 14: Entering the Northlands
- 16 Scenario 15: Mountain Pass
- 17 Scenario 16: The Mage
- 18 Scenario 17: Mortality
- 19 Scenario 18: Abandoned Outpost
- 20 Scenario 19: Lava and Stone
- 21 Scenario 20: North Knalga
- 22 Scenario 21: Against the World
- 23 Epilogue
- 24 SotA: Specified Unit Names
No, no, NO, NO!
Ardryn-Na: But I still don't know how to bring you back to life!
Shynal: Oh, my beloved Carcyn!
You've always been so reckless...
Bring her back to life, please!
Ardryn-Na: I'm not sure it's good...
Ras-Tabahn: If you really insist...
Shynal: Car. Cyn.
Ras-Tabahn: The girl will still recognize you for a short time, so make the most of the time you have left.
Killed as a zombie
Carcyn: Maybe it was better that way.
Scenario 1: Slipping Away
From the Journal of Ardonna of Tarrynth
9 XII, 22 YW:
It's unfair that we humans must die after so few years. Elves and dwarves live far longer. Though this may be the natural order, we needn't embrace it! The lords on the Green Isle knew how to live forever. Pursuit of that knowledge was declared illegal by King Haldric I, but I believe it's worth the risk. As I watched my family waste away of various maladies, I vowed that I woudn't share their fate, and if I can rediscover the secrets of the ancients, I'll be a heroine to the whole continent! I shall begin research in earnest this winter.
26 II, 23 YW:
My experiments with bats have proven unfruitful. I have determined that they don't truly drain the life force of their victims - it's an illusion. The blood loss weakens the victim, while the bat gains vitality because it has fed. There's nothing I can learn from bats about extending life. Now I have a problem: I'm forced to keep the bats and pretend they're my pets because I can't admit why I was studying them. In truth, it's not a burden - I've grown somewhat fond of the creatures, and I don't mind appering eccentric. I'm already marked as different because my hair is so light and I lack a sense of smell.
4 III, 23 YW:
Today, headmaster Aimucasur himself taught a class on moving objects with one's mind. The technique involves projecting one's will inside the item and then learning to move it as an extension of the body. Incantations focused the mind to the task. We practiced with inanimate objects, but clearly the same principle could be applied to unliving flesh. Nobody dared voice the thought, because showing interest in the necromantic arts results in expulsion. I was pondering that fact in class when I noticed Aimucasur glowing at me. I must be more careful in the future about which of my thoughts appear on my face.
15 III, 23 YW:
One of my bats must have been old, for it died. Boldly then, I decided to animate the corpse. I was pleased to see that it worked, but what was interesting was this: the first time the bat twitched, I felt a last spark of life energy flash through its body. I noted that it flowed through some kind of pathway. That gave me an idea. With my mind, I searched out all the life force pathways in its body using what I could sense in the living bats as a guide. Then I animated them all at once, and the bat flapped off the floor on its own (That's a trick old Aimucasur probably doesn't know)! Even better, the energy running through the life force network seemed to maintain itself, so I didn't need to continue to concentrate. Could this be the whole secret? Could all the ancient lords have had someone bring them back after death? I'd need another mage I trusted completely, but perhaps I can find someone with whom to make a pact.
With further observation, I've determined that this isn't probably the way to avoid death. The reanimated bat has no will! It does nothing unless I nudge it with my mind. Perhaps the will of a human is stronger, and someday soon I'll have the opportunity to find out... because I'm quitting the Academy. I'll be in my room when old Morvihn checks for the night, but not two hours later! I grow weary of this place and its restrictions on thought. So, no more brown initiate's robes, no more being ridiculed on account of my hair, no more pompous instructors. I'll teach myself the so-called "dark" arts and learn how to live forever! The ancients from the Green Isle found a way, so I can discover it too. When all these oldsters here find themselves breathing their last, they'll have to beg me for the secret. Perhaps I'll be generous. Perhaps not.
Ardonna: I should get off the island in case the ethics committee is concerned about a rogue mage. I shall not be dragged back in disgrace! I should be able to reach the town of Llorvin before morning. I can hide there until I can head for the dock. I'll need some traveling money for that, so go, my bat friends, and find me some gold!
It would be good to have even more bats as well. There was a colony in that ruined castle where we practiced conjuring fire, so I'll try to find that. The castle was also infested with huge rats as I remember, but I can certainly destroy those. I'll have to use ice though, as I never mastered fire.
Seeing a wolf
Ardonna: A wolf! This journey could prove more dangerous than expected. Well, we could find shelter within the solid fences created by farmers and woodcutters.
Rats attack the fortress
Ardonna: I knew some rats would show up.
Scenario 2: Dark Business
16 III 23 YW:
I decided to hide in the cemetery: in this way, at nightfall, I will be able to put into practice my experiments aimed at reviving a human body. Thanks to my black tunic I look like a mourner; Also, if I lift the hood, no one can see my hair.
Syrillin: Why are we stuck here guarding a cemetery all night?
Veomyr: And why are we seven? Who would be crazy enough to want to raid a cemetery?
Glant: I don't know, but my brother told me that an Academy sorceress came here tonight to argue with the mayor.
Caradoc: Well, I say orders aren't to be discussed, so be quiet.
Ardonna: I think they're guarding the cemetery because of me! Perhaps Aimucasur really harbored suspicions. It's good that I'm already here, but how do I get out? Well, at this point I can also run my experiment; I'll worry about getting out of here later.
Walking Corpse: Uhngh.
Ardonna: Do you remember anything?
Walking Corpse: Uhrrr.
Ardonna: Apparently my first impression was correct: this poor creature is brainless.
Veomyr: I heard noises over there!
Glant: Who's there?
Ardonna: It's me, that's all. So the cemetery is closed? I was just about to leave.
Syrillin: You and... that other person. Who is he?
Ardonna: Oh, him! See, I don't mean to look for trouble, but he's a little... ah...
Caradoc: But he is dead! This is black magic, like in my grandfather's time on the Old Continent! The penalty for this offense is death. Attack them and kill them both!
Ardonna: Hey! Don't do it, or I'll have to call others back.
I would be better off if I had weapons: I think I can find some in the barracks. My comrades, go and get them.
Caradoc: Gwyllin, don't move from the barracks.
Reaching the healing temple
Ardonna: Oh, hello friend! I didn't know you were hiding here.
Hey, come back! I didn't mean to scare you.
Maybe I could lure him if I jingle a few coins.
Narrator: Right-click on a tomb adjacent to your leader to summon a bat.
Ardonna: Well? That guard said there were seven: where are the other two?
Reaching the barracks
Narrator: Now you can recruit skeletons and skeleton archers!
An enemy unit reachs the barracks
Narrator: You can no longer recruit skeletons or skeleton archers.
Scenario 3: Bandits
17 III 23 YW:
Despite the delay at the cemetery, I reached the outskirts of Llorvin at the first light of dawn; the city was already far behind me when the sun appeared over the mountain tops. I doubt that the Academy will come looking for me in the rugged wilderness inhabited only by lumberjacks; and then, thanks to my new companions, I feel safe on my journey in the light of day. I will go east and then north, towards the port. Within a few days a ship should set sail for Porto Acquacupa: I expect to be on board too.
Mossa: What do we have here?
Prey is approaching, honey. They are an unusual group of creatures, but those with weapons appear undernourished.
Garcyn: Then they will prove to be easy targets.
Ardonna: I think they just spotted us from that hill. Arms in hand, my friends! We may have been ambushed.
Reaching the enemies with an undead unit
Enemy unit: But they're not undernourished: they're dead! How can they be dead? They're disgusting creatures!
Garcyn: Uh ... well, they're certainly not the first repulsive things we've seen in the wilds. Your mace is great at burning bones to ashes, so tear them apart.
Enemy unit: And then there's a white-haired girl.
Garcyn: She must be in league with the dead, so you can tear her apart too.
You unleashed my anger, you filthy slut! Death will be too light a punishment for you!
Garcyn: Please! Don't kill me.
Ardonna: No? All right then. I came up with an idea for another experiment.
Scenario 4: Becalmed
22 III, 23 YW:
Research sometimes requires experiments, so I started mine. I pushed my willpower along the bandit's life force meridians, turning him into my puppet. He resisted, but thanks to my recent training my mind turned out to be stronger than his. Even stranger, the internal organs of his body also resisted by attacking the invader, which is me. However, since I was not physically present, his body ended up attacking itself! Within hours, whole pieces of flesh had weakened and threatened to fall off the skeletal frame, so I was forced to stitch them back into place.
Some of the bandit's companions had died in better conditions than their leader's, so I had the idea of adding their flesh to my puppet's. I stitched up the muscles where the fibers seemed to meet and used some spells to reinforce those welds, thus increasing the creature's strength. Initially, each new piece of flesh caused another violent reaction of rejection by the body's defenses. Eventually, however, the rejection had weakened and the body had stabilized in its new configuration, although by then it was rotting and therefore unrecognizable. The mind within the body babbled strange words about what it had become; but the bandit had wished for me a fate worse than death, so it didn't seem unfair to me.
As I spent the next day in the bandit's stronghold, I repeated the same procedure on some of his critically injured comrades, even though none of them turned into a creature as strong as their leader. One of them didn't survive, but it wasn't a serious loss - and I still enlisted him in my army anyway. Afterward, I headed to the docks and, under the cover of darkness, loaded my army into the hold of the docked ship. In the afternoon, I too embarked as a normal passenger.
25 III, 23 YW:
The voyage had started quite well, but by the dawn of the day following our departure, the wind had stopped completely: we were stuck in the sea. For the paying passengers there was enough food for two days, but there wasn't enough for my companions: therefore, the living creatures had quickly fallen prey to the pangs of hunger. On the second night, as a crew member had disappeared, I already had a suspicion about the cause. And I wasn't wrong.
Narrator: Now you can recruit the ghouls!
Joc: I found Janryn in the hold. Or at least ... what's left of him. He died. I didn't stay down there to find out who killed him, but something was slowly moving in the shadows and it smelled of rottenness.
Rudic: Murderers aboard my ship?! I won't tolerate such an affront! Gather the rest of the crew and bring them here - let's go hunting! All passengers must be locked up in their cabins with immediate effect.
You, dark-dressed girl! Why aren't you in your cabin?
Ardonna: What would happen if I said something in defense of illegal immigrants?
Rudic: I'd throw you overboard with them. What do you know about it?
Ardonna: They are my traveling companions: those poor creatures are terribly hungry. I'm sorry I couldn't pay the full amount, but maybe we can reach an agreement.
Rudic: Those beings killed a member of my crew and made me look stupid! The only deal I would sign right away is for your whole group to get off my ship, preferably at the bottom of the sea.
Ardonna: Oh dear! We'll have to do it again... come, my friends! If you're still hungry, first sink your fangs on one of the passengers.
Ardonna: Luckily it's over. But now, with the captain dead, who will steer the ship and guide us into port?
Get up, captain, and try to keep your memories.
Are you still capable of driving this ship?
Rudic: Driving... yes. Need for wind.
Ardonna: Oh, it worked! Captain, take us to port as soon as the wind blows in your favor.
Scenario 5: Blackwater
29 III, 23 YW:
Since the captain had retained his memories, I deduced that it may have been due to the fact that he had been revived so soon after his death. Further experiments conducted on the other passengers came to the same conclusion. Just think: they could be the first people on this continent to live for eternity!
Fortunately for me, the captain was a very rich man: this solved my income problems for some time. Now I have to go: the captain is preparing to dock the ship in port.
Gweddin: Hey, Rudic! Welcome! You're late, old sport.
Gweddin: Not very talkative today, huh? What happened to you?
Rudic: Happened? Dead.
Ardonna: (Be calm.)
Gweddin: Ah! Well, to be honest, you look really bad. You look... gray and your face is... but if we're talking in the here and now, you can't really be dead!
Rudic: Yes. Dead.
Gweddin: What devilry is this?
Bremen: This is magic, my lord. Black magic.
Gweddin: Necromancy! The penalty for this crime is death! Rudic, who is responsible for all this?
Ardonna: Ah, here ... I should have known that I wasn't going to get away with it cheaply.
Gweddin: Kill her!
Ardonna: Nobody has to stay alive to report our presence, otherwise the whole region will become a dangerous place for us. We have no choice: we have to kill them all.
Ardonna: Porto Acquacupa has been conquered, but we mustn't let anyone escape. Exterminate them all.
Killing the last enemy unit
Ardonna: Here we're done.
Shadow: Girl. You follow me.
Ardonna: What the hell are you?
Shadow: Spirit and shadow. You follow me.
Ardonna: But then you are a ghost ... a real ghost! Of course I'll follow you! Show me the way.
Scenario 6: Following the Shadow
3 IV, 23 YW
I was so sure I had the answer in hand, but I was wrong! I only wish I'd imagined it, but now it's clear that the captain's memories are fading. He still maintains the use of the word and the other units fight better under his control than he (after all, many of them were part of his crew, so they were already used to it), but now he remembers very little else. The same goes for my other recently reanimated friends. I'm sorry, but the presence of my strange new travel companion prevents me from falling into depression.
The spirit took us north. He identified himself as the ghost of an orc named Vash-Gorn. Then he remembers! Apparently the problem is solved, but the ghost ignores all my questions. Curiosity is burning, so I hope to reach our destination soon! We travel exclusively during the day, because at night the spirit is practically invisible. We haven't had any problems along the way yet, but we're a big company now, so I wasn't expecting that.
Ardonna: Let's follow him into that cave.
Blaust: I don't know, Bogdush. The chief said he wanted some useful things for the war.
Bogdush: Look, it's a wizard! It would be useful for the war, you idiot! It's only a human cub and, if the sight does not deceive me, she's also a female. She'll be an easy prey to catch.
Blaust: How about the others? They look like the dead beings who were on the Green Isle.
Bogdush: Yes, and that makes our task of killing them even easier!
Ardonna: You must be goblins. Stay away from me if you wish to save your lives.
Bogdush: Oh, even a sorceress who makes fun of us! Here we are.
In the cave
Ardonna: And so they're just bats ... but there are a lot of them.
Ardonna: But look, there's a cave under the floor of that cave. If we rushed into the cave, what kind of wasp's nest could we raise? I hope it's nothing worse than a few bats.
Ardonna: Surely the ghost would never go that way, where I can't follow him.
If there's a bat, there will surely be others. We must be cautious.
Near the end of the cave
Ardonna: There is a tunnel at the bottom of the cave! The ghost must have passed that way.
Reaching the end of the cave
Ardonna: And now let's see where that ghost went.
Scenario 7: Meeting of the Minds
9 IV, 23 YW
The tunnel at the bottom of the cave gradually narrowed and it took a long time to get through. Some mushroom colonies on the walls emitted a faint glow, which allowed me not to trip too much. Eventually I saw a stronger light ahead of us.
Ardonna: Oh, wow.
Ras-Tabahn: I'm Ras-Tabahn. Welcome to my laboratory, Ardonna of Tarrynth!
Ardonna: How do you know my name?
Ras-Tabahn: I know a lot about you. My ghosts have been spying on you for some time, and then we both share the goal of resisting death. I was hoping that a good number of students would free themselves from the yoke of that conservative academy, but it seems you were the only one who did. Fortunately, you are endowed with invectives and you have even managed to achieve a result that I have never achieved. You have some really useful creatures with you - "ghouls", is that what you call them?
Ardonna: Yes, I can show you how to make one. But haven't you already solved the problem with your ghosts?
Ras-Tabahn: Alas, no. Ghosts are able to retain some memories if they are revived quickly enough and prove to be good scouts and soldiers once you have some experience, but you never want to become one of them. Do you see the blades that Vash-Gorn carries with him? Binding metal to the spirit required a complex ritual, which cannot be done alone in the absence of a physical body. Not being able to interact with the world would be terribly frustrating. But it doesn't matter: I have another idea.
I think I know how to get the information we're looking for, but it would be too difficult for me to get it myself. Therefore, you and I will go on a mission. First we will have to expand our armies, then...
Ardonna: Wait a minute: I haven't heard anything yet that makes me think I can trust you.
Ras-Tabahn: Ah ... you're right: I'm afraid not. Let me teach you a little of what I currently know and let's see if that allows you to form an opinion on it. However, the question of trust is not the most important: my question is whether we can cooperate or not. Listen: The ancient Wesfolk honed their art over the generations. There is more knowledge to be discovered than a single individual can learn in a lifetime. If you do your research yourself, you will one day become as old as I am and death will blow your neck just as relentlessly. However, if we combine our searches, we will have a chance to finish them before it's too late for us.
Ardonna: For you, you mean! I'm only nineteen. However, your argument seems valid to me. For now we can work together.
Ras-Tabahn: Splendid! Here's what I propose to do. At first we will have to split up for some time: you will have to create a handful of ghosts according to my instructions. In the meantime, I will try to train some local farmers in the magical arts. I don't expect much from that crude scum, but with any luck I'll find someone smart enough to increase our firepower. When we get together, you'll show me how to make one of those lanky ghouls. Actually, I'm not in a hurry, as they give off a terrible smell.
Ardonna: Well, I don't have the sense of smell, so I wasn't aware of it.
Ras-Tabahn: A curious but useful detail for one of us.
Ardonna: Why can't I just revive some of the goblins out there?
Ras-Tabahn: Those goblins were too weak - their spirits would take too long to grow strong enough to be useful. Instead, you'll have to revive some warrior elves. A few miles into the Gray Woods lies the ancient battlefield of a civil war that broke out centuries ago. From there you will follow an ancient elven road and revive an army of ghosts as you visit Carcyn, a nearby town. We will meet at the end of the elf road, near the Great River: then I will explain where we will go next.
Ardonna: Very well. We'll do as you say.
Scenario 8: Carcyn
First we'll follow the adventures of Ras-Tabahn.
After a few days of traveling, he reached the frontier town called Carcyn.
Ras-Tabahn: Greetings! I'm the wizard Ras-Tabahn.
Carcyn Fisher: Greetings to you, traveler. I'm Carcyn Fisher II. How can I help you?
Ras-Tabahn: I come here to propose a training offer in the magical arts. An offer made of notions, adventure and escape from this city.
Carcyn Fisher: Nobody in my city wants to "escape"! We're not interested in hearing your offer. Go and sell your corruption elsewhere.
Ras-Tabahn: The offer wasn't addressed to you, but to the young people of your city. I'll send my agents to all homes and public places in this city and resubmit my offer. And you'll let me do it.
Carcyn Fisher: I will never do such a thing! I'd rather die than let you fool our young people with your spells!
Ras-Tabahn: Maybe that's the way things go.
Raydah: Look at him! He doesn't come from the academy.
Carcyn Fisher: Keep your tongue under control! I saw everything! I'm tolerant of instructors, but not when they just say the obvious.
Ras-Tabahn: Um... the young people who are most anxious to leave may be the ones locked up in prison. I should go take a look.
Reaching the prison
Carcyn: Carcyn Fisher at your service! This is my friend Shynal.
Shynal: "Friend"? (laughter) Oh yeah, we're really great friends...
Carcyn: Or... well, you know what. Thanks for getting us out of there, sir. We would be honored to follow you!
Ras-Tabahn: I assume you're Carcyn III, right?
Carcyn: Don't remind me ... it was my father who threw me in this sewer.
Carcyn Fisher: Stay out of this, my son.
Carcyn: Not even for an idea! All my life I've been waiting to see someone to put you back in line. And here comes someone you can't put your feet on your head!
Shynal: We are leaving this stinking city!
Killing Carcyn Fisher
Ras-Tabahn: I warned you not to challenge me.
Leveling Shynal as a footpad
Shynal: Hey, but I wanted to be a sorceress like you and live forever when you can find out the secret! I know that, eventually, I could become really powerful.
Ras-Tabahn: Keep your tongue in check! You will do as I order.
Ras-Tabahn: Very well. After all, having more adepts available might be a good idea.
Shynal: Damn! I wanted to be a sorceress like Carcyn.
Ras-Tabahn: Don't make me regret freeing you from prison. My decision is final.
Ras-Tabahn: I changed my mind. Maybe someday you'll become really powerful.
Shynal: Thank you!
Leveling Carcyn as an outlaw
Carcyn: Hey, but I wanted to be a wizard like you and live forever when you can find out the secret! I know that, after all, I could become really powerful.
Ras-Tabahn: Keep your tongue in check! You will do as I order.
Ras-Tabahn: Very well. After all, having more adepts available might be a good idea.
Carcyn: Damn! I wanted to become a wizard like Shynal.
Ras-Tabahn: Don't make me regret freeing you from prison. My decision is final.
Ras-Tabahn: I changed my mind. Maybe someday you'll become really powerful.
Carcyn: Thank you!
Killing the last enemy unit/Capturing the last house
Narrator: Now you can recruit Dark Adepts!
Scenario 9: Training Session
Ras-Tabahn's offering attracted a large group of young men, all eager to receive wizard training. The fact that it was illegal training in the use of the dark arts was irrelevant: the important thing was to escape the monotony of a future predetermined and planned in advance by their respective parents. Ras-Tabahn spent several days in the forest outside Carcyn, instructing them on how to connect with the spirit world and channel a small amount of its power. Shortly after leaving, they came across three farms along the river bank that showed clear signs of a raid.
Ras-Tabahn: Who knows what happened here... well, it doesn't matter: what was the downfall of those families will prove useful to us. I will revive those creatures and you will attack them. Practice attacks with both ice and life force. Each of you will be able to choose only one soldier from our army to protect him: I will call him for you, after which he will no longer help you. I expect most of you to survive the battle, so try not to get killed.
You can enjoy the show.
Shynal: Can we help too?
Ras-Tabahn: I suppose so. (coughing)
Narrator: You can recruit a unit in front of each Dark Adept only during the first turn.
Scenario 10: Merfolk Revenge
Ras-Tabahn's party reached the end of the elven road near the Great River, where they would have to wait for Ardonna to arrive. When they reached their destination, another group also arrived.
Okean: You! You have razed the city of Carcyn!
Ras-Tabahn: The city hasn't fallen in the least. I only encouraged the change of its rulers.
Okean: Your words sound like a mockery to us. Those humans were valuable trading counterparts to us. We will do justice!
Ras-Tabahn: In fact, I expect you to follow them underground if you try to harm us.
This mission will cost us a lot, but I would like to save some gold for emergencies - I think 50 coins will be fine. Guys, help me collect the gold we need. (cough)
Carcyn: Yes, sir.
Shynal: Do you feel OK?
Ras-Tabahn: Yes, yes, I'm fine.
Shynal: I don't like the idea of having to immerse myself in water to fight those beings.
Ras-Tabahn: No problem: we can attract them to the mainland.
Shynal: And how?
Ras-Tabahn: Have you never gone fishing before? With a lure, of course.
Ras-Tabahn: Great! We finished the mission with a fair amount of gold.
Scenario 11: Battleground
11 IV, 23 YW
Ras-Tabahn appears to be acceptable as an ally. he is very different from the boring academy masters, so full of themselves, who loved the sound of their own words ... besides, he never once discredited me for being a girl and he never even talked about my hair. As long as he keeps showing me respect, he'll be fine. If he doesn't, well ... I'm surrounded by the remains of those who thought I was weak.
The question remains whether it's wise to trust him. As he said himself, it's not necessary for me to do this at the moment, but it will become necessary if we're to travel together. He showed me an exceptional prodigy by introducing me to ghosts, and that's a big plus for him. After careful consideration, I've decided to trust him, but only provisionally. We're both vulnerable for now and he sure knows it wouldn't be wise to attack me. However, if he became indestructible first, I'd do well to stay alert.
The site of the battle immediately jumped to my eyes as soon as I set foot there. Numerous fortresses stood on either side of a reservoir that was now largely flooded. The water slowly accumulated near the road and every surface showed traces of rot and decay. Weapons, armor, and other less easily identifiable debris emerged from the swamp. I could easily imagine huge war machines throwing boulders at those walls that were now destroyed ruins, as well as fighters now reduced to piles of discolored white bones emerging from those remains.
Well, if they fought for me, those fighters would have a second chance at glory. Those among them with the greatest willpower may even have remembered to aspire to it.
Blianxkep: The fish-men paid very well for the last shipment. it is our desire to have more metal of that type.
Krissaz: But firssst ssshell out the amount we are owed.
Blianxkep: Wait: Someone approaches. Who are you?
Ardonna: I am a sorceress and pose no threat to you, gentle ... reptiles. I just want to revive some spirits, so I won't be a nuisance to your recovery operations.
Krissaz: No! You can't make thisss place more haunted than it already isss! Already now the femalesss no longer come here and we are forced to asssk for the protection of thossse sssnakesss.
Ardonna: I was just informing you out of courtesy. Actually, I don't need your permission.
Blianxkep: We'll help you kick your opponent out if you feel your share is fully paid.
Krissaz: When the sssorceresss isss dead and her sssoul isss sssilenced, we will find an agreement. By then we will have been adequately rewarded.
Ardonna: The same story every time...
Killing the last leader
Ardonna: Well. Now I can practice recruiting ghosts.
Narrator: Now you can recruit ghosts!
Vendraxis: Human, take me with you!
Ardonna: Why should I? Your people attacked me!
Vendraxis: I tried to disssuade them! For my part, it wasn't my desire to attack, but to learn. My race only livesss a few yearsss compared to yoursss. I'd like to learn how to extend my life: the planetsss have revealed to me that you know thisss secret.
Ardonna: To be sure, I myself am now on the hunt for that secret. But doesn't it bother you to submit to a woman's orders?
Vendraxis: I've gazed into the darknesss among the ssstarsss and haven't been intimidated by the void, but your mind holdsss another kind of darknesss, terrifying and forbidden by my clan. I sssubmit to your power. And now that I know that you're a girl, it will be easssier for me, as thisss isss the way thingsss are among my people.
Ardonna: Okay, you can come with me. My name is Ardonna.
Vendraxis: Yesss, but the planets tell me that now thisss name no longer tells the truth about you. I can't understand...
Ardonna: Me neither. Your planets express themselves rather cryptically.
Vendraxis: They reveal what they wish to reveal.
Scenario 12: Walking Trees
17 IV, 23 YW
I had achieved my main goal: I had managed to gather a good number of ghosts under my services and I also had a new travel companion who was skilled in the art of healing. I doubted Ras-Tabahn was already waiting for me at the meeting point, but I still wanted to move fast, so we followed the elf road north at the fastest pace possible. Luckily it was not in bad shape, although the grass had come to cover it in various places, leaving only a few smooth pebbles to show the way. The next day, we were still deep in the forest when we came across an elvish sorceress.
Isthiniel: I felt the dead awaken and corruption descend into the forest. When I set out to find the cause, I expected to find dark forces at work wrapped in their shrouds; and instead I discover that a human sorceress marches boldly along the road we have built! I will not allow you to continue disturbing our peace: you will have to free the dead you have placed under your slavery.
Ardonna: Well, I don't mean to. However, if you don't attack me, you'll get rid of me very soon, because I just want to get out of these woods.
Isthiniel: Attack? No, I can't do that. Most of my people won't get that far; to push me is only the sense of duty. However, the woods themselves are disturbed and chase you away with their own roots. I can feel their awakening.
Dolmathengalin: I give you my respects, o daughter of the elves. Why is the forest groaning in despair?
Vendraxis: That tree isss talking!
Isthiniel: That dark witch has awakened our dead and makes the air suffocating with her mere presence. Please, Elder, awaken your people from sleep and defeat her.
Dolmathengalin: It will be done.
Isthiniel: Now I have to leave you. I don't wish to witness such violence.
Scenario 13: Together Again
I'd never have been able to escape those trees without the help of ghosts - they proved their worth by saving my life. For this reason, Ras-Tabahn also deserves my esteem. After escaping the attack of the trees, we no longer encountered any resistance along the way; soon we arrived at the meeting point, where Ras-Tabahn was waiting for us.
Ras-Tabahn: Hello Ardonna! (coughs) I have been successful in my actions and I see that the same is true for you too.
Ardonna: Welcome back, Ras-Tabahn. Yes, I too have been successful. Now, will you explain the mission you told me about?
Ras-Tabahn: With pleasure. I assume you studied the figure of the great wizard Crelanu in history lessons. He fought alongside King Haldric I. Since he directly faced the immortal lords of the Green Isle, he'll no doubt know more about their methods than we do. I recently learned where we can find him.
Ardonna: I obviously studied Crelanu's life. But can we really force him to reveal his knowledge to us?
Ras-Tabahn: It shouldn't be necessary. I also learned that he has written a book containing all of his secrets about him, which will surely include everything he knows about immortality. We just need to borrow that book. I knew that getting it was not going to be a feat I could have accomplished on my own; but now, with an army like ours behind us, it should be a relatively easy task.
Ardonna: Yes, it would seem like a plan with a good chance of success. I'll join you in your endeavor.
Ras-Tabahn: I really hoped so. We need to cross the Great River and then head north into the middle of the Central Mountains.
Ardonna: Before leaving, I have a question unrelated to this topic: Vendraxis here told me that my name does not tell the truth about me. Do you have an idea what that means?
Ras-Tabahn: Maybe. When a magician completes their studies at the Academy, they're assigned a few syllables of power, which will constitute their new name. You have come well beyond that point, but now you belong to the independent wizard group, so you can choose your name. I myself was originally called Rassin Tabin, but it was a rather ordinary name and, at one point, I felt that he was no longer suitable for me.
Ardonna: I suppose you are right. Now I'm no longer a common girl named Ardonna: Vendraxis was right. From now on my name will be... Ardryn-Na.
Ras-Tabahn: Very well, Ardryn-Na. And now, marching north.
Scenario 14: Entering the Northlands
24 IV, 23 YW
We reached the Ford of Abez as the light shone with its rays behind the mountain peaks to the north. During the crossing, the dark water reached our waist, slowing down our movements. I didn't dare imagine what kind of sprawling creatures lived in those waters, but we completed the crossing without any problems. The water was cold from the melting snow, so when we got to the other side, our teeth were chattering from the cold; however the sun rose radiating its heat, so we dried out in a short time. Despite this, Ras-Tabahn did not feel well: he fell on the sand with a fit of cough, as strong as I had never felt before. When he regained his strength to speak, he assured me it was only from the cold and that I had no reason to worry. However, I still feel uncomfortable.
Ras-Tabahn: We crossed the river and came to the Northlands. Right in front of us is the dwarven kingdom of Knalga.
Shynal: I'm really far from home now! I've never been north of the Great River before. I hope I can see some dwarves!
Vok-Hroog: I claim this territory in the name of Krag-Ubor, ruler of all true orcs! Leave now, Ishnak, or face the wrath of the five gathered tribes.
Rod-Ishnak: I got there first, Hroog. This land is mine!
Ardryn-Na: This could prove to be a problem.
Ras-Tabahn: Many orcs are reputable (cough) types. I myself fought alongside Krag-Ubor, the character mentioned by the orc who spoke first.
Vok-Hroog: Stop! Who's there?
Rod-Ishnak: Wizards and corpses, just like the ones we fought in our home! I hate them, those! I suggest a contest: who among us kills the most wizards, skeletons and other beings will take this territory and enslave all the humans who inhabit it.
Vok-Hroog: Uh. Agree. Seems like a nice pastime.
Krongk: I declare the competition officially open! I'll support the winner's claims.
Vok-Hroog: Yeah, for sure...
Ardryn-Na: I said it was a problem.
Shynal: But we'll win, right?
Vendraxis: I have dark forebodingsss regarding the sssnow-capped peaks ahead of me. We may meet our fate if we don't have enough coinsss.
Krongk: They're attacking me!
Vok-Hroog: Yeah, for sure...
Scenario 15: Mountain Pass
We reached a pass in the mountains that Ras-Tabahn was aware of. The air is cold on these hills: in the afternoon the fog rises from the snow cover and the stalactites drop pure water from the rocky ledges. I find all this refreshing, but Ras-Tabahn's coughing fits become more frequent; sometimes he finds himself reduced to speaking for short periods due to shortness of breath. Actually, he's pretty old - he'll be at least 50 - but I'm sure he's also sick. His thinness makes me think it is tuberculosis, but he refuses to discuss it, preferring to deny the seriousness of his health problem.
Ardryn-Na: What dangers might lurk behind this fog?
Ras-Tabahn: Gryphons... live at these altitudes. We have to be careful.
Reaching the skeletal bird
Unit: Bones. Claws and wings.
Unit: I found huge bones on this side. I can make out claws and wings.
Ardryn-Na: I wonder who they belonged to... maybe a gryphon?
Ras-Tabahn: I'd rather say (coughs) to a large... flightless bird.
Ardryn-Na: Well, there's an easy way to find out the truth.
Oh, you were right!
Ras-Tabahn: I wonder... if it can carry... a light creature like Vendraxis.
Vendraxis: I'll never go to sssuch a ridiculousss creature.
Ardryn-Na: I believe a skeleton might be able to ride it.
Fantastic! These birds could be very useful to us.
Narrator: Now you can recruit chocobones!
Scenario 16: The Mage
3 VI, 23 YW
We crossed the highlands and forded the Arkan-thoria River, then returned to the mountains before we found the wizard. This was Ras-Tabahn's plan; with the goal at hand, he has regained a modicum of strength. However, he's now weak, sick and breathing heavily; I don't know how long he'll be able to survive.
Ras-Tabahn: Crelanu! (coughs) We came here... for your book.
Ardryn-Na: We have to borrow it.
Crelanu: Yes, I knew people like you would come here, but now the book is out of reach and that applies to everyone. I gave it to the elves: only they know where it is.
Ardryn-Na: Why would you ever want to do such a thing?
Crelanu: So that people like you don't fall into the temptation to do what you intend to do. Oh yes, I know what you are looking for.
Ardryn-Na: Then you can tell us what we want to know.
Crelanu: I never will.
Ras-Tabahn: We'll see.
Narrator: Ras-Tabahn is sick. He moves with difficulty, will lose 4 HP and die if they reach zero.
Recruiting an undead unit
Ginmera: It appears that the invaders are able to revive soldiers as undead, so I placed ampoules of holy water around the castle for its protection.
Rinconan and I will stay here to protect you.
Crelanu: Sure. Thanks, Ginmera.
Narrator: By moving a unit onto a vial of holy water, it will be removed. Any living unit can do this safely, but any undead unit will be destroyed.
Ardryn-Na: And now tell us the secret of immortality, or you will die!
Crelanu: There are no secrets, fools! Magic cannot stop the advancement of age! You can't live forever! This is the way of nature and the greatest characteristic we have in common with all creation. You too must die and your soul must move away from the body. I would never try for any reason to do such a thing.
Ardryn-Na: You are a fool, because you really revealed everything we needed. For this I'll spare your life so that you can spend more years in solitude and prey to your cowardice.
Ras-Tabahn: I don't understand. What would Crelanu reveal to us?
Ardryn-Na: I'll explain shortly, but first let us take you to a safe place. We will take refuge in that cave. Come with me.
Scenario 17: Mortality
6 VI, 23 YW
Just beyond the entrance to the cave was a ruined castle, built in a style unknown to me. Ras-Tabahn exclaimed: "Dwarves!". However, the castle is infested with rats - it is clear that no dwarf has lived here for a long time.
Ardryn-Na: A few more steps.
Ras-Tabahn: I am dying, Ardryn-Na... (coughs) I don't think... I can stop the phenomenon.
Ardryn-Na: You shouldn't either! Indeed, you should take advantage of the opportunity: this is what Crelanu said. He also admitted that your life force will have to leave your body, but he didn't say she would never come back to you!
Ras-Tabahn: What do you... propose to do?
Ardryn-Na: You have to project your will onto another object, for example your staff, for it to become part of you. If you do this at the exact moment your body dies, your consciousness should follow the flow of your will entirely, as it will have nowhere else to go.
Ras-Tabahn: Well, it could end up in the... lands of the dead. However... if I had an altar... the stone could serve me to anchor (coughing) myself to this plane... and stop the flow of my soul to the earth... for a single moment.
Ardryn-Na: And just a moment is all you need! You just have to project your will back into your body, reviving it as you would any other creature!
Ras-Tabahn: It seems to me that you have... more certainties than me, and in any case (coughing) I have no choice.
Ardryn-Na: Crelanu said he wouldn't do that. But this implies that he could have, so he too believed the operation would work. And, as you said, he himself should have known. For now you can rest: soon we'll have built an altar.
There's no need to wait for you to die - we can perform the ritual immediately. While none of us need to recite the spells aloud this time, this time you should, as any mistake would have dire consequences.
Ras-Tabahn: Yes, I'm ready. Perform the ritual.
Scenario 18: Abandoned Outpost
9 VI, 23 YW
To become a lich you must first die. Necromancy spells bind the spirit, but only once it has detached itself from the body. To become a lich, the magician must cast the necessary spells with their last breath: thus they bind their own spirit in the same way that they bind those of others... it's necessary to have an altar to keep their soul on the physical plane enough to long to make the transition; furthermore, a suitable object must be found to keep consciousness alive at that crucial moment, when the body stops living.
13 VI, 23 YW
And so, now Ras-Tabahn has become an undead. At first his health hadn't improved and he complained of being cold; his life force was weak, yet he was able to absorb it from the rats that infested the ancient castle. He's now stronger and more vigorous than I've ever seen him before, and all this despite the fact that his flesh begins to decompose. However, this process doesn't bother him at all, and besides, he no longer has a much better sense of smell than mine. Hopefully, I'll make the transition myself.
17 VI, 23 YW
Now the process is complete for both of us. I have placed a guard so that nothing happens to me in my weakened state and nothing happened. I feel reborn. I don't feel very different from before, but I'm afraid I look awful. Patience: I can't help it. But my main goal is achieved: I can't die! I suppose I could be torn apart like a skeleton, or perhaps set on fire, but I don't have to fear these unlikely eventualities: the incredible powers of the spirit realm flow through me and will be able to more than adequately protect me! My next goal will be to share my knowledge with the rest of the world so that no one has to die anymore.
Narrator: Now you can advance dark wizards as liches! For the rest of the campaign, you can also right-click on a necromancer already in the ranks to turn them into a lich, provided they're in a castle. If the lich has enough experience, they'll immediately level up and transform into an ancient lich!
Ardryn-Na: We have defeated death! Let's go back and take the news to Wesnoth. We need to make sure all people know that from now on no one will have to die.
Ras-Tabahn: I myself had in mind to go in that direction, so I do not object. However, we will no longer have to cross those hateful mountain passes - these tunnels should lead to the kingdom of Knalga and take us directly there.
Ardryn-Na: Why would the dwarf empire want to abandon such an outpost?
Ras-Tabahn: We'll find out soon. We should proceed with caution.
Reaching the spiders
Vendraxis: Giant spidersss! Here are all the cobwebsss around here explained...
Ardryn-Na: They don't move much. I really hope they keep sleeping...
Shynal: Should they wake up now?! Pay attention!
Scenario 19: Lava and Stone
21 VI, 23 YW
We continued our march along the tunnel, immersed for some time in the darkness, which however didn't present great difficulties: the bats were perfectly comfortable in their movements and all the wizards could perceive exactly where they were. Ras-Tabahn and I discussed what to do. His plan is to go to Elensefar, as he believes he can overthrow the city government and proclaim himself ruler of an empire of the undead. Citizens will have to follow him on the path of undeath: like it or not, everyone will have to do it. If they don't join him voluntarily or don't have the mental strength to move to the lich stage, they'll naturally become mindless slaves.
Ras-Tabahn tried to persuade me to join his venture, but I have serious doubts about his plan. I'm not optimistic that he can defeat the city guards; furthermore, it was by enslaving the population that the ancient lords of the Wesfolk earned their bad reputation. I believe a more benevolent approach has a better chance of ensuring someone follows in our footsteps. We need to spread the word of our success and invite citizens to join us voluntarily. I will head south, into the realm of Wesnoth itself, and visit the cities of Dan'Tonk and Weldyn. Probably in the future, at some point, my new friends and the submissive population of Ras-Tabahn will clash with each other, but it will be a problem to be solved later: for the moment each of us continues to see the other as an ally.
Our journey continued and, eventually, an amber glow appeared before us.
Ardryn-Na: I heard that mountains sometimes spit fire like dragons, but it just seemed like fictional stories. From the look of this mountain, I would say it might be true.
Ras-Tabahn: Yes, that's absolutely true. Fire from these mountains also has various uses: for example, trolls use it to weld pieces of rough armor together.
Ardryn-Na: Troll!? Do you think we will meet some specimens?
Ras-Tabahn: I see no reason why we should expect...
Brek: Let's crush them!
Ras-Tabahn: ...Yes, I think so.
Scenario 20: North Knalga
27 VI, 23 YW
We left the fire of the mountain behind to plunge once again into darkness. After a long walk, we were forced to stop, as the tunnel ended in a dead end. But the wall wasn't solid...
Ardryn-Na: To tell the truth, I don't think the tunnel ends here: the air enters from this point. Help me move these stones.
Where are we now?
Ras-Tabahn: Apparently we ended up in a dwarven burial chamber. This is good: we could always recruit a few more soldiers.
Aigondur: Human invaders arriving from the Hall of Heroes! I'm going to lock the Troll Door right now!
Ardryn-Na: Well, we can't go through here.
Ras-Tabahn: Look here: there is a big crack in the wall to our left! I'm sure we could go through there.
We just have to remove the statue...
... and push the coffin away.
Reaching the caves
Alamatis: Damn! The invaders have entered the Crystal Caves!
Reaching the enemy castle
Golbanduth: The invaders are closing in! Bring the last chest of gold here - we'll need it to summon more soldiers.
Glamalsil: Yes, sir.
Scenario 21: Against the World
30 VI, 23 YW
From the northern region of the Knalga kingdom, the tunnel branched out into numerous tunnels. Our ability to sense the life force of the dwarves allowed us to follow mostly free tunnels, an advantage we took of.
3 VII, 23 YW
We finally managed to escape from the mountains. We crossed Abez ford in the late morning and headed southeast to reach the town of Tath for the rest of the day. We had planned to part ways there: I would go south, to Dan'Tonk and Weldyn, to break the news, while Ras-Tabahn would march on Elensefar to implement his plan to carve out a specific place in the world (and become a kind of king, I presume).
However, it didn't have to be. We were about to part when suddenly the plains became more crowded.
Enemy unit: This is where Crelanu's gryphon told us to go; that group over there has a sinister aspect.
Gwendir: Yes, I believe that's our goal.
Ras-Tabahn: That Crelanu! He still haunts us now. Remind me again why we didn't kill him.
Gwendir: Ardonna of Tarrynth and Rassin Tabin, you have been found guilty of necromancy, so you will be sentenced to death!
Ras-Tabahn: That's all? Death does not terrify us, because we're already dead. And soon you will follow the same fate.
Gwendir: The blessed swords of our order will soon give you a reason to be afraid again.
Enemy unit: Sir, the wizards haven't arrived yet ...
Gwendir: It does not matter. We mustn't be terrified of such darkness, nor must we wait for the masters of magic to arrive.
Taxtrimon: We found them! Those wizards have destroyed a profitable merchant enterprise. We will have our revenge! You humans on horseback can help us.
Mauapan: I'll give you a hand too. Too many innocent people have died, but that's where it ends today.
Ardryn-Na: We are surrounded! We must defeat this horde of opponents.
Fizztsars: We have arrived, Taxssstrimon. We will fight by your ssside. They will pay for killing our malesss!
Taxtrimon: Nice to meet you, Fizztsars. Now those creatures will surely be defeated.
Thrigalurd: Now we will avenge the fallen of Knalga!
Ras-Tabahn: Watch! The dwarves have formed a circle in front of us.
Ardryn-Na: That's why it was so easy to get through the kingdom of Knalga.
Killing the latest enemy leader
Carmyna: The enemy forces are already about to attack! They must have anticipated our arrival. No rest, my friends: we must get into action immediately.
Ardryn-Na: Others keep coming! But really nobody even considered our offer?
Isthiniel: What?! Does the enemy ambush us in our forests? To arms! Let's rid our country of so much evil immediately!
Ardryn-Na: We have the whole world against.
Killing the last enemy leader
Ras-Tabahn: Well, it was something intense.
Ardryn-Na: At least, in the end, we came out as winners!
10 VII, 23 YW - Last note
Today we won on the battlefield, but in some ways ours was a bitter victory. Everyone was scared or angry to the point that they attacked us immediately, instead of hearing the news we brought. Now I understand ... the world is not yet ready for our knowledge. They fail to understand that we have defeated the primal terror: death. Instead, when they look at us, the appearance leads them to an ignorant terror. I surrender, I give up everything. I will retire, I intend to go and live in the old troll town and learn the applications of mountain fire. In some future, less conservative attitudes will prevail and I can certainly afford to wait. In the meantime, we will do everything in our power to hasten the arrival of that day.
Ras-Tabahn intends to rebuild his army and proceed to Elensefar. Most of the others will go with him - I wish them success. Vendraxis now knows what he has to learn to replicate our metamorphosis; he will spend his remaining years studying and practicing while in the meantime he will try to change people's attitudes towards him. As for me, I will show my journal's skills on this battlefield. I suspect most of them fear it to the point of attempting to destroy it, but I have cast some spells on it to protect it. That way, I hope it stays whole and one day can fall into the hands of someone more open-minded. Tath, in particular, is home to many wizards. It is enough for one of them to be eager to learn the secrets of the ancients.
SotA: Specified Unit Names
- Ardonna/Ardryn-Na (Necromancer)
- Ras-Tabahn (Necromancer)
- Carcyn (Ruffian)
- Shynal (Delinquent)
- Mossa (Outlaw)
- Garcyn (Bandit)
- Joc (Sailor)
- Rudic (Sea Captain)
- Gweddin (Knight)
- Bremen (Mage)
- Carcyn Fisher (Swordsman)
- Raydah (Mage)
- Crelanu (Elder Mage)
- Ginmera (White Mage)
- Rinconan (White Mage)
- Gwendir (Paladin)
- Carmyna (Great Mage)
- Ardryn-Na (Ancient Lich)
- Ras-Tabahn (Ancient Lich)
- Garcyn (Ghoul)
- Rudic (Bone Captain)
- Vash-Gorn (Shadow)
- Vendraxis (Saurian Soothsayer)
- Fizztsars (Saurian Flanker)
- Blaust (Goblin Pillager)
- Bogdush (Direwolf Rider)
- Okean (Merman Triton)
- Mauapan (Merman Hoplite)
- Taxtrimon (Naga Myrmidon)
- Isthiniel (Elvish Enchantress)
- Dolmathengalin (Ancient Wose)
- Thrigalurd (Dwarvish Dragonguard)