CampaignDialogue:DID

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This is a transcription of all dialogue from Descent into Darkness. It is meant as a resource for Wesnoth writers. If you don't want spoilers, leave this page now.

Death Dialogue

Malin Keshar

I'm not ready to die yet...

In Descent into Darkness

So it ends like this ...

Mal Keshar

Then my battle against the orcs is lost!

Darken Volk

Fool boy! You have allowed my death, and now none in this world will aid you.

In "A Small Favor - part 3"

No! I will not fall this close to achieving the goal of so many years!

Drogan

Who will be left to defend Parthyn?

Dela Keshar

I'm... dying...

Time Over

Darken Volk: Your incompetence at this simple task is appalling. You will never grow strong enough to be of use to me.

Scenario 1: Saving Parthyn

Story Text

Malin Keshar was born ten years after the death of Haldric IV. He grew up in the northern border town of Parthyn, the second child and eldest son of the city's baron. Every summer, by the time the mountainous paths and high passes shed their wintry gowns of snow, orcs descended from the northern hills to ravage the settlements at the frontier. Every year, Malin's father led the townsfolk to repel the raids and force the orcs to retreat back to the north.

When Malin was ten, a passing mage sensed strong magical abilities in the boy and suggested he be sent to the Isle of Alduin for training in the magical arts. Malin studied there for eight years, learning all manner of magic from basic control over the elements, to the mystic arts and scrying, to alchemy and simple medicine.

Although his life on Alduin was luxurious and peaceful, Malin found the teachings of the scholarly mages to be too philosophical for his tastes. His thought turned back to Parthyn, where more practical magics were necessary to drive off the orcs. Malin began to research these magics on his own, but his lack of patience and general indiscretion eventually led to several confrontations with his teachers and other students. Believing Malin to be too reckless, the mages expelled him from Alduin.

When Malin returned to Parthyn, orcs had already begun to attack the city. Although he tried his best to fight them off, the raids were far more relentless and the town guard was far weaker than he had remembered. One night, a particularly powerful band of orcs overran the city walls and Malin could only watch as his father was cut down by one of the savage orcish warriors.

Shaken by the loss of their commander, the human defense began to falter. The orcs roared in anticipation of victory, but before they could overrun the city, skeleton warriors poured out of the woods to their rear. The undead cut down orc after orc, swords and axes hacking through flesh and bone with ruthless efficiency. The soldiers watched in half amazement, half fear as the orcs dropped and the skeletons turned toward them, empty eyes bleeding with fetid magic. All was dreadfully still as the blood and carnage settled in the rank darkness.

The silence was broken by the irregular shuffle of a man emerging from the trees. He stood before them, a hunched figure with a rasping voice reminiscent of crackling bones. "I am Darken Volk. While I know you don't love my kind, I think it's vital that we put aside our differences. The orcish menace grows in the north, and they'll soon return in even greater force. You can't hope to defend against them without my... help. For now, I ask only to refresh myself in your town."

Drogan, the captain of the guard, replied: "Nay, ye surely know that tha law says tha penalty fer necromancy be death. But since you've saved our town, I'll let ya rest here fer up ta three days. After, I'm banishin' ya from Parthyn. Should ye return, we'll attack ya on sight."

Malin, troubled by his father's death and the strength of the orcish assault, argued to no avail that Darken Volk be allowed to stay. After a couple days, the necromancer left Parthyn without incident.

Introductory Dialogue

Dela Keshar: You really think it was a good idea to send out a raidin' party right after the orcs just attacked us? Father isn't even here with us anymore...

Malin Keshar: Nor is Darken Volk. We're truly defenseless.

Dela Keshar: Not like we even need him. No way we're trusting a necromancer.

Drogan: Quit bickerin', you two. With most o' them orcs dead now, their camps will be lots weaker. Our raiders will clear 'em out and leave us a quiet summer.

Malin Keshar: So much for quiet, Drogan. Orcs amass north of the river!

Drogan: What? Curses! Why be thar still so many o' 'em?

Dela Keshar: Well ya sent out a bunch of our soldiers before we even started ta fix the city walls...

Drogan: Quiet you. Malin, you've got ta hold tha river fort or they'll overrun us. Tha raidin'party should be back in two days ta help us fight 'em off. Fer now, I'll send tha remaining guards to help ya.

Recruit a Walking Corpse

Drogan: What in blazes is that... that thing? Has tha necromancer returned already? His timin' couldn't be any worse...

Malin Keshar: No, Drogan. I raised this corpse with the skills Darken Volk taught me before he left. I have no love for it, but we need to take action, or we'll never be able to repel the orcs!

Drogan: I'm shamed of ya, Malin. Even if it'd ensure our survival, nothin' good ever comes of necromancy. The moment ya use it, you've already sold yer soul ta black magic!

Malin Keshar: What? I'm hardly evil, Drogan!

Drogan: Ya say that, but you've been very quiet 'bout why tha mages sent you home from Alduin. I'm beginning ta think you were already dabblin' in this witchcraft even before ya met that necromancer!

Malin Keshar: No! No... it was something stupid, something silly... it doesn't matter now! I won't stand by and allow the orcs to destroy my home while I have the power to prevent it!

Signpost

Narrator: Welcome to Parthyn

Book

Narrator: Ignorance is the parent of fear.

Monolith

Narrator: A monolith of pale stone, luminous and bright, but cold and brittle to the touch.

A walking corpse reaches the wreck

Malin Keshar: Someone left a dead fish here.

Victory Dialogue

Time Over

Swordsman: We're back from the raid, Drogan. Seems like we made it just in time!

Kreg'a'shar Trr: More humans! We'll need more fighters to squash 'em all. Grunts, retreat!

Necromancy

Malin Keshar: The orcs are dead!

Drogan: By all rights, Malin, I should have ya kill'd on tha spot. I can't believe ya let that necromancer corrupt you. I s'ppose part o' this is my fault, since I let 'im into Parthyn, but still... Since I showed 'im mercy, I'll show ya the same. I'm banishin' you from Parthyn.

Malin Keshar: Fine words, Drogan. Would you rather have let the orcs overrun the town?

Drogan: Aye, better that than ta even dabble in dark magic. We woulda rebuilt this place like always. Even if I died, 'least it woulda been with dignity. Too bad tha mages didn't teach ya more sense.

Malin Keshar: I only did it to protect what I care about! Is this really what I deserve for saving your hides?

Drogan: Yes, yes it is. Nobody'll support ya on yer crazy path to depravity.

Spearman: We should all be glad to see you gone, necromancer. I detest having fought by your side.

Malin Keshar: Dela? Sister?

Dela Keshar: Well...

Drogan: Ya can't support 'im on this one, Dela.

Dela Keshar: I... suppose you're right. You've decided your magic is more important than us, Malin. I can't help you.

Drogan: Begone, Malin. I've no wish to see your face around here ever again.

No Necromancy (as if that's possible)

Malin Keshar: The orcs are dead!

Drogan: Bravely done holdin' off them orcs by yerself, Malin. But we're not outta trouble yet. The raidin' party reports that more warlords be gatherin' their armies in the hills, just a few days north o'tha Great River. I don't know if we can fight 'em all off.

Malin Keshar: Then we must seek help. It hasn't been long since Darken Volk's departure. Perhaps I can find him and ask him to aid us.

Drogan: I'll pretend like I didn't hear that.

Malin Keshar: Then what would you have us do, Drogan? Let the orcs overrun Parthyn? Abandon our families to those savages?

Drogan: Yes. Leave Parthyn fer now and rebuild later, like we always do.

Malin Keshar: Or we can drive off the orcs altogether and make sure they never attack us again. Surely I can't be the only one who sees that what Drogan says is madness!

Drogan: If ya go out on a quest to seek depravity, none o' us will support ya.

Spearman: Better to die than to ally ourselves with a necromancer.

Malin Keshar: Dela? Sister?

Dela Keshar: I hope that you'll stay with us, Malin. Be reasonable.

Malin Keshar: Be reasonable? I'm the only one who sees reason here. If no-one will help me, I'll go by myself.

Dela Keshar: Malin, seekin' out the help of a necromancer is just... just foolhardy! We need ya here to help protect the town!

Malin Keshar: You'll eventually see that I'm right, Dela. I'm resolved.

Scenario 2: Peaceful Valley

Story Text

Bitter and alone, Malin follows the back-trail of the orcish band north from Parthyn. He curses the mages for casting him out from the Isle of Alduin only half-prepared, unprepared for conflict. He curses Drogan for lacking the resolve to make the necessary sacrifices to protect their home. Most fiercely, he curses the orcs for their mindless savagery, pillagers and raiders who view violence as little more than sport.

Three days' travel northeast, Malin stumbles upon Darken Volk, the necromancer who had saved Parthyn and taught him to raise the dead. The dark mage suggests that they travel together. Malin obliges, having been abandoned by his kinsmen. As the weeks pass, Darken Volk teaches Malin more dark magic.

Introductory Dialogue

Darken Volk: In truth, I share your hatred for the orcs. The Northlands have been my home for many years and the orcs have been a growing infestation in recent times. They despoil the beauty of the land wherever they go, hacking and burning everything without care or concern. If you are interested, I would be happy to take you on as my... apprentice... so that I can teach you to fight against them.

Malin Keshar: Yes! These orcs have threatened my friends and my home for too long. It's time I gained the power to put them in their place.

Darken Volk: Yes, perhaps removing the threat of orcish raids will persuade the people of Parthyn to welcome you home. But for now, I must train you. The orcs are powerful in the hills, strong enough that even I dare not confront them directly.

Malin Keshar: Then what shall we do?

Darken Volk: Strike at them where they're weak. A goblin village lies in this valley, just ahead. They're the bastard children of the orcs, feeble creatures individually, but annoying enough in large numbers. Subduing them will provide us a supply of fresh corpses and souls to use against the orcs.

...It will be a worthwhile test of your skills.

Swamp is Seen

Darken Volk: Ahhh... I did not realize there was a swamp near this village. Malin, it would be beneficial for your training if we were to investigate.

First Village Captured

Darken Volk: Beware the goblin guards in the villages.

Darken Volk enters the Swamp

Darken Volk: Rise from the realms of death and decay!

Malin Keshar: What are these things?

Darken Volk: They are ghouls - noxious beings fashioned from living flesh into carcasses of disease and poison. Those that outlive their masters gravitate towards the natural decay present in swamps and bogs.

Malin Keshar: Isn't it cruel to turn men into such hideous forms?

Darken Volk: You needn't pity them. Once, these were... evil men... murderers and outlaws, no better than the orcs you hunt. I've transformed them so their physical forms match the spirits within. Is that not fitting? No punishment is too great for their kind.

Malin Keshar: I suppose so...

Malin reaches the key

Malin Keshar: Someone dropped a key here.

Malin reaches the cage

Malin Keshar: There are some rotten corpses in this cage.

Darken Volk: Make use of them.

Anecromancer must always use whatever supplies he's given. Do it.

Malin Keshar: ...

Attacking a goblin

Enemy unit: Eeeek! Don't kill me!

Malin Keshar: ...

Darken Volk: Why do you hesitate? Did the orcs show your people any mercy when they attacked Parthyn?

Malin Keshar: ...no.

Attacking with a ghoul

Enemy unit: Ruuuun! The monster's going to eat us!

Killing the leader

Malin Keshar: The big wolf is done with.

Victory Dialogue

Malin Keshar: Sacking goblin villages is all well and good, but corpses and bats won't stand up to full orcish warriors.

Darken Volk: Have some patience. We've only just begun your training. These carcasses will supply you sufficient resources for practice. When you've mastered the basics, we'll then assault the orcs and you'll see you forces grow quickly.

Scenario 3: A Haunting in Winter

Story Text

Malin and Darken Volk spend the summer and fall traveling across the lower Northlands. They attacked goblin villages and small orcish camps when they find them. Although Darken Volk is occasionally demanding and irritable, he proves to be an effective mentor. Malin's power grows considerably under the necromancer's tutelage.

The colored patchwork of autumn eventually fades to wintry snowfall drifting over barren lands. The nights grow longer as the sun disappears behind a seemingly perpetual mist of pallid clouds. Hounded by the elements, the two necromancers retreat into the hills to seek shelter. By a stroke of good fortune, they stumble across a mostly abandoned cave just as the winter sets in.

Introductory Dialogue

Darken Volk: I sense many lifeforms in this cavern, but none are very powerful. Most likely they're merely nothing more than beasts. Still, we may be able to use them to continue your training.

Malin Keshar: Better than nothing. Which way do these creatures lie?

Darken Volk: East.

Young Ogre: Me kill you!

Young Ogre: No, me kill you!

Young Ogre: No, me kill - I see human!

Young Ogre: Human! We smash human!

Malin Keshar: Simple-minded, obtuse creatures.

Darken Volk: This should be an easy task for you. Once you've slain them both, we shall turn them into skeletons.

Killing the ogres

Young Ogre: Me... die...

Young Ogre: Arrghhaaughhh...

Malin Keshar: The ogres are dead.

Darken Volk: Good... I've already showed you how to raise a skeleton before, but perhaps it would be best if we... went over it once again. Other than for ghouls, flesh and blood are useless for undead creatures. First, let out the blood and innards, and dispose of them.

Malin Keshar: Very well.

What a mess.

Darken Volk: The ghouls will take care of it in due course. Next, strip away the flesh. A little remaining is fine; too much will hamper your skeletons' movement.

Malin Keshar: And then?

Darken Volk: Bind the strings of energy to the bone. Skeletons are no more than puppets. Novices will directly control their movement with strands of dark magic, but you should have no need for such crude methods. Instead, impart your will upon the skeleton, spread the threads over the bones, then let loose the twine from your hand. If your will is strong enough, the skeleton will be able to move on its own.

Malin Keshar: I'll try.

Darken Volk: Do it again.

Good. Now head north. I sense another ogre there.

Seeing the other ogre

Malin Keshar: I can turn this one into a skeleton as well.

Killing the ogre

Darken Volk: The ogre seems to have looted a bow. Use it to create a Skeleton Archer.

Malin Keshar: Very well.

Darken Volk: It seems that raising skeletons is already a trivial matter for you now. You are indeed... talented.

Malin Keshar: Perhaps, but I'll need more than a few skeletons to fight the orcs.

Darken Volk: They'll come in time, when you learn to control more of them at once. For now, continue exploring these caves. We may yet find something else of use.

Malin Keshar: Ick. Mudcrawlers. How did these things end up here?

Darken Volk: The magic of our world is unpredictable and random. Even without the interference of a trained mage, it sometimes coagulates by itself, giving rise to physical anomalies or breathing life into the inanimate. See there?

It's merely a small eddy of energy, but enough to animate the swamp water.

Malin Keshar: I see. Well, even if these mudcrawlers aren't much of a threat, they're still bothersome. I wonder if I could be rid of them. What's magic mud even weak to, anyway? Fire?

Darken Volk: You should be able to work it on your own.

Malin Keshar: ...I suppose you're right.

A unit reaches the village in the swamp

Malin Keshar: It seems like a merman used to live here.

Malin reaches the trident

Malin Keshar: Hmm, a storm trident. I wonder if it could be useful.

Killing the latest mudcrawler

Malin Keshar: Somehow, I feel that killing these mudcrawlers is a less than meaningful use of my time.

Malin reaches the rune

Narrator: Nothing happens.

Seeing the lv 1 rat

Malin Keshar: What a fat rat. I wonder where it came from?

Orcish camp is seen

Malin Keshar: A tattered, redfag. Some orcs used to live here, but it seems like they were slain in a fierce battle.

A unit kills a rat

Malin Keshar: I don't think there's much experience to be gained by fighting a few rats.

A necrophage/ghast reaches 112 max hitpoints

Malin Keshar: I must be absolutely mad to be spending hours here just feeding rats to this rotten pile of flesh...

A necrophage/ghast reaches 420 max hitpoints

Darken Volk: Has this boy been smoking again?

A necrophage/ghast reaches 1000 max hitpoints

Malin Keshar: Day 1337:

All sense of time and being are entombed within darkness. How long has passed since I came here? My senses are a blur. My past life, my prior goals, my very self is all but a distant memory. All I know now is the constant squealing of rats and the ever growing mountain of flesh that feasts before me.

A necrophage/ghast reaches 10000 max hitpoints

Malin Keshar: You. You there behind the screen. You are the one controlling me. Why are you doing this? What did I do to deserve this torment? Please, I beg of you. End me now. Release me from my misery!

Seeing the maimed wolves

Malin Keshar: A pack of wolves, the same that the goblins use as mounts. They were abandoned here for some reason.

A unit reaches the white banner

Malin Keshar: This banner is different than the other ones. It looks familiar.

Malin reaches the vial

Malin Keshar: An empty vial. I wonder if this could be useful.

Seeing the scorpion

Malin Keshar: This scorpion seems unusually large... and poisonous.

Malin reaches the scorpion's village

Malin Keshar: This scorpion's poison gland is still intact. I bet I can make a potion out of it.

Malin reaches the nest

Malin Keshar: It appears as if there are some rats living here, but the hole in the wall is too small to reach them.

After making the poison

Malin Keshar: I think I can pour in the poison from here.

These rats will no longer bother us.

Malin reaches the illuminated spot

Darken Volk: You've done well so far to master the reanimation of skeletons. Now, I shall teach you to control spirits. Are you ready?

Accept

Malin Keshar: I'm ready to learn about controlling spirits.

Darken Volk: Mastery over gosts, especially the most powerful ones, is something even experienced necromancers may struggle with. While other undead are nothing more than mindless slaves upon reanimation, spirits are the souls of their original owners and thus retain some degree of consciousness. If the spirit is stronger than you, it will break free of your hold. To master it, your own soul must be unwavering.

Malin Keshar: I doubt I shall be overcome by the soul of an orc.

Darken Volk: Perhaps, but that's not what I meant. Before you can begin to control other souls, you must first master your own.

Malin Keshar: What do you mean? I'm proud. I'm strong. If it's a matter of conviction-

Darken Volk: It's not I that you must convince, but yourself. Hold thy tongue and listen. After a great slaughter, even after the corpses are all rotted to nothing but bones, the bridge between the land of death and life is weakened. By placing yourself closer to death, you'll better understand who it's that you really are. But you mustn't speak. Be silent and embrace the darkness.

Malin Keshar: ...

Darken Volk: Concentrate.

Malin Keshar: What sorcery is this? Darken Volk, what's going... on..?

Where's everything? Who are you?

Malin Keshar: I'm Malin Keshar.

Malin Keshar: No, I am Malin Keshar. Tell me who you are, and this time, make it believable.

Malin Keshar: I'm Malin Keshar, but no longer the naïve, uncertain boy I once was.

Malin Keshar: I'm no boy, nor am I uncertain. And I certainly won't be questioned by a mere reflection like you.

Malin Keshar: The distorted reflection you see mirrors the reality within. An ever morphing perspective, warped by a profusion of uncertain ambitions.

Malin Keshar: Nonsense. My convictions are strong and my mind is set. I have but one goal. I'll gain power. I'll master death, and I'll use it to protect my home and slaughter these orcs. And I'll make my family and my people accept me back.

Malin Keshar: When you're drawn in many directions at once, which one will you choose? If you try for them all, you shall be torn apart.

Malin Keshar: Protecting my home and slaying the orcs are the same thing. If you mean choosing between my family and gaining more power... they'll come around and see reason. I'll make sure of it.

Malin Keshar: When you don't have the wisdom to see through the veil of lies you've told yourself, you mustn't seek the advice of one who only spins the web of deception further.

Malin Keshar: Enough with this. No proverbs are going to help me achieve my goals. This is just like back on Alduin. My teachers never understood what I needed. I don't need to think I don't need to philosophize about "the grand nature of my life and my place in the universe". Right now, I must train my skills with necromancy. That's it.

Malin Keshar: When you're sad and alone, even all the power in the world won't help you. In the barren void of endless night, will rage and hatred alone be enough to sustain you?

Malin Keshar: ...well, my choice is already made. Rethinking it now is pointless. I've never been one for regrets.

...damn it all. As if I'd pay any heed to a twisted doppelgänger of myself. Anyway...

What did Darken Volk say about it again? "After a great slaughter, even after the corpses are all rotted to nothing but bones, the bridge between the land of death and life is weakened." If I use that knowledge...

...I should be able to sense the soul past the barrier of life and death...

I did it! I-

Ghost: Freedom! Your sorceries can't shackle me, Malin the Damned!

Malin Keshar: I failed? No... it must have been because the spell was too tricky to master on the first attempt. No matter, no matter. It's only a single, weak spirit. It should be simple to crush it and exert my will back over it.

Defeating the ghost

Malin Keshar: I've got you!

Refuse

Malin Keshar: I'm not ready yet.

Victory Dialogue

Malin Keshar: I've done it! I've learned to summon the souls of the dead!

Darken Volk: So, you have, and you even managed to regain control of it when it slipped out of your grasp. Well done. Now pay head. A necromancer's first ghost is often special - use it carefully, and it will serve you well. Let it escape your control again, and it will be lost to you forever.

Malin Keshar: I see. I won't make the same mistake twice.

Darken Volk: We shall see. You've done well enough so far, but I still have much more to teach you. Come, we've work to do.

Scenario 4: Spring of Reprisal

Story Text

Weeks pass in cold and bare caverns. As the grip of black magic grows stronger, so does Malin's control over the undead. He finds it to be a mastery of a different sort than what he was taught at the Academy. The magic reaches out to him as it never has before: he listens it speaks back - he senses its will and lets it guide him - he embraces the dark magic as an extension of himself.

When spring comes, Darken Volk leads Malin towards the jagged mountain peaks in the north. In the higher reaches, snow begins to melt into rivulets of water, streaming downwards and fracturing the surface of the ice that blankets the river Listra. Though the unstable terrain is hazardous to traverse, the elder necromancer insists that they press on, saying that he hopes to catch the orcish fighters unprepared by arriving early in the year.

Introductory Dialogue

Darken Volk: Across this pass lies the eastern edge of the Heart Mountains proper. For their distinctive shape, the orcs call these the 'Whitefang Mountains', which is also the namesake of the dominant clan in this region. They are the very same who killed your father.

Malin Keshar: The White Fang orcs... so that's their name. When I was younger, I remember fearing the sight of their banners rais'd across the rivers. Now, though, it's something totally different. Loathing? Disgust? A desire for vengeance? Certainly... this is no longer a fight merely to protect Parthyn.

Darken Volk: Then it's a fight of enmity. For that, you must ensure that your hatred of these orcs is strong enough, else you'll never be able to achieve your goal.

Malin Keshar: You needn't worry about my will to fight. I only ask that you lead me to them.

Darken Volk: The fastest way to the core of their dominion lies through this mountain pass. Beyond here lies your main target.

Malin Keshar: Then let's go.

Book

Narrator: Revenge is a confession of pain.

An Orc Dies

Malin Keshar: The best orc is a dead orc.

Move to the Ice

Malin Keshar: The ice doesn't look very thick...

Darken Volk: ...

Ice Breaks

Narrator: The weak ice gives way beneath the undead creature, who becomes mired in the thick mud at the lake's bottom.

Narrator: The weak ice gives way beneath the heavy warrior, who drowns in the frigid mountain waters.

Killing a leader

Malin Keshar: These orcs aren't that strong after all!

Malin reaches the skeleton

Malin Keshar: Someone was pushed off from here.

Victory Dialogue

Reaching the signpost

Malin Keshar: We've finally a chance to strike at the heart of the Whitefang's territory. At last... we shall have revenge.

Killing the last leader

K'rrlar Oban: Wait, human! I may be of use to you! What's it that you desire? Slaves? Gold? Land?

Malin Keshar: What I desire is your death.

We've finally a chance to strike at the heart of the Whitefang's territory. At last... we shall have revenge.

Scenario 5: Schism

Story Text

The cycle of the seasons churns and summer and fall roll around once more. Malin's thoughts turn back to Parthyn frequently, where, a year prior, he had still been among family and friends in the rustic little town that he still thinks of as his home. He has since become a forsaken wanderer, he thinks, but the still burning image of his father being cut down amidst the ruins of his home is stamped deep into his thoughts.

Companionship and peace... perhaps they're but a farce and certainly an impossibility with the threat of the orcish clans still looming. It was a choice to live and suffer the path of solitary vengeance rather than appease the law of his land... and thus watch his home burn. It was a choice, he admits, not destiny, not fate. It's a choice that he oft ponders, but usually comes to the same conclusion. Perhaps there's no point in reminiscing on his once tranquil, pastoral life. He's never been one for regrets.

Malin turns his attention to the task at hand. Darken Volk leads him through the heart of Whitefang territory, where they terrorize and murder entire camps of orcs with their undead minions. Word spreads among the orcish towns, which begin to post more guards and dispatch frequent patrols to exterminate the two necromancers. All of their attempts fail.

As Malin and Darken Volk continue their raids on the orcs, they eventually force the usually fractious Whitefang chieftains to unite in opposition. The orcs pursue the two necromancers east towards the mouth of the river Men call the Longlier and Elves call the Arkhan-Thoria, where they manage to surround the humans and force a fight.

Introductory Dialogue

Malin Keshar: Even before the very founding of Wesnoth, you have hounded my people at every turn. You've trampled our fields, slaughtered our livestock and burned our houses. You've brought war to a place of peace, death to a place of life. You are nothing but remorseless killers and savage beasts. Your kind deserves no mercy and shall receive none. I will crush you into the dust and make you into my slaves for all eternity.

Borth: The silly necromancer is trying to talk us to death! You've caused enough trouble, human. It's time for you to die.

P'Gareth: Ummm... unless... you are already dead, like the skeletons?

K'Vark: Then it will be time for you to die again!

Killing the first leader

Malin Keshar: How puny and weak you look in death.

Victory Dialogue

Malin Keshar: You and your kind deserve no eternal rest in death. After this battle, I'll raise your corpse and make your bones dance for me, orc. But for now, I've the last one to take care of-

P'Gareth: Retreat!

Malin Keshar: He flees! The coward!

Darken Volk: That's no surprise. Orcs may like to make a show of strength, but will always flee in the face of an overwhelming force. Nevertheless, the Whitefangs are still numerous and have some ties to other orcish clans. You must hunt this chieftain down before he can alert the others, else we may soon have dozens more on our trail.

Malin Keshar: By 'you', you mean... on my own?

Darken Volk: Your apprenticeship is nearly over; you are more than capable of handling a single half-dead orc on your own. After you've dealt with him, I do have a small favour I'll ask of you. It will constitute the last part of your... training. I have some other things that I must attend to in preparation. In a few weeks, meet me to the west, near the town of Tath.

Malin Keshar: It will be done.

Scenario 6: Return to Parthyn

Story Text

Two days' travel south of the previous battle, Malin picks up the trail of the regrouped orcish warriors. He follows them down the western bank of the river Listra, past the Whitefang Mountains. He wonders why they continue rushing towards the Great River instead of calling for reinforcements, but after a bit of thought, he realizes where the orcs are headed. It's, after all, the season when they usually raid human towns.

'This chieftain has no intention of warning the rest of his clan about me. I suppose he must think that I intend to attack the rest of the Whitefangs rather than pursue him this far; with his brethren occupied against me, he will be able to raid more human towns undisturbed. Selfish creature. Exactly what one would expect from an orc.' Malin thinks carefully and quickly realizes what he should do.

He tramps through the woods tirelessly, forsaking several days' sleep as he and his servants draw closer to the Great River, hoping to cut off the orcs before they reach Parthyn. Soon, Malin recognizes some familiar surroundings...

Introductory Dialogue

Malin Keshar: I bring word from the north, Drogan! Orcs march on Parthyn, no more than a few hours' journey away. They mean to raid the village tonight!

Drogan: I hoped I'd never see ya again, Malin. You're obviously not taking yer banishment seriously, so I'll tell ya one last time - no matter why you've come back, we're not welcomin' ya here. Take one step closer to Parthyn and I'll order tha guards to attack ya.

Malin Keshar: Banishment or not, I'm here to help defend my home against the orcs!

Drogan: Orcs or not, ya gots ta leave!

Malin Keshar: Dela, help me! You, at least, must see reason!

Drogan: Ya know there's no way she's sidin' with ya.

Dela Keshar: That... I don't really...

Drogan: See? If ya keep bein' stubborn, we'll attack ya. Leave.

Ghost: Master, don't listen to them! He, too, has a choice, but he foolishly chooses to spurn your aid! He jeopardizes the safety of Parthyn!

Malin Keshar: Silence from you.

Drogan! With my newfound powers, I have already eliminated several orcish chieftains! If you allow me to help, I'll crush the one who comes here as well!

Drogan: Fine story ye be tellin' me. I find it likelier that ya brought yer pet orcs here ta help ya take revenge on us. If I let ya through, yer undead will kill us where we stand 'sack the whole city. Watchin' ya grow up, I never could've thought you'd turn into such a traitor.

Malin Keshar: And what of the rest of you? Dela, at least you don't believe that, do you?

Dela Keshar: I...

Drogan: Stop lookin' ta her, Malin! The fact that even Dela be rejectin' ya should tell ya how much o' a traitor ye are.

Ghost: Master, he threatens the safety of the city by standing in your way.

Malin Keshar: You're the traitor, Drogan! This is twice now that you've tried to prevent me from protecting Parthyn. I'll defend my home no matter the cost, even if it means I must cut you down first.

If I want the people of Parthyn to accept me back, I must be cautious. I mustn't kill any of them besides Drogan or they'll oust me for good.

Monolith

Narrator: A monolith of grey stone, appearing solid, but crumbling within.

Signpost

Narrator: Welcome to Parthyn

Kill a Regular Villager

Malin Keshar: Now the people of Parthyn will never accept me back!

Evening

P'Gareth: Grunts! Prepare the camp! We attack the city tonight - wait. You! Necromancer, you followed us all the way here?!

Malin Keshar: Did you really think you could outrun the dead, who needs neither rest nor sleep? Prepare to meet your makers, orc. Drogan, I'll show you what my new powers are capable of. You'll see how foolish you are to oppose me.

Drogan alive

Drogan, I'll show you what my new powers are capable of. You will see how foolish you are to oppose me.

Drogan Dies

Malin Keshar: See what your traitorous ways have won you, Drogan?

Dela Keshar: Drogan, no! Malin, you monster, how could ya just murder Drogan in cold blood?

Malin Keshar: He chose his fate for himself! I merely retaliated in turn!

Dela Keshar: How could ye possibly think Drogan was tha traitor when you're the one attacking Parthyn?

Malin Keshar: What? I have not harmed even a single villager or guardsman besides Drogan! I'm only trying to help, but none of you will listen to reason!

Dela Keshar: I tried to! I wanted ta believe in ya, I really did. After Father died, you and Drogan were all I had...

Malin Keshar: Then why did you listen to him instead of me? I was trying to keep us together. He was trying to tear us apart! You wouldn't even lift a finger to help me when he threatened to attack me!

Dela Keshar: Malin, that's-

Malin Keshar: You've always been like this. You never think for yourself. You always just follow whatever other people tell you. Not a single original thought in your head.

Dela Keshar: Malin-

Malin Keshar: That man used necromancy? He must be evil! Never mind that he be your own brother, trying to protect his own home!

Dela Keshar: Enough! There's nothing I can say ta someone who embraces evil so shamelessly! You'll pay for Drogan's death!

Malin Keshar: ...

So, no matter what, she'll be against me? Then this is hopeless. Even if they intend to fight me, I've no wish to fight the townsfolk...

I suppose I should just leave and find Darken Volk.

Dela Keshar is Defeated

Dela Keshar: I am defeated but not dead, foul thing that was once my brother. Watch your back, because I will come for you and I'll kill you...

Malin Escapes

Dela Keshar: Flee while you still can, Malin the Damned! When I have secured Parthyn against further raids, I'll hunt you down and I'll kill you. You are my brother no longer.

Malin Keshar: O gods, how did it come to this? My own sister determined to personally see to my demise. Banished from Parthyn, my country, my home... spurned by my people, whom I've given everything for... nothing has gone right ever since I got into an argument with that fat orc-loving toad Zephrin and tried to curse him. I was only testing my new spell on him! It was only supposed to be a simple curse! How was I supposed to know it would kill him? Blasted Academy.

...Now the only being who still wants to see me alive is a necromancer. I'm beginning to think I'm the one who was cursed...

Killing the orc leader

Narrator: The orc was carrying gold.

Dela Keshar: Run while you can, Malin the Damned! Once we have protected Parthyn from future raids, you can rest assured that he will hunt you down. You are no longer my brother.

Malin Keshar: O Gods, how did we get to this point? My sister is determined to see my death alone. Exiled from Parthyn, my homeland, my home ... rejected by my people, to whom I gave everything for... Nothing has gone right since I messed up that fat orc-kissing toad Zephrin and tried to curse him. I was just trying my new spell on him! It had to be just a simple curse! How was I to know it would kill him? Damn the Academy.

Now the only one who wants to keep me alive is a necromancer. I'm starting to think I'm the cursed one.

Killing the orc leader, Drogan alive

Malin Keshar: Behold, Drogan! I've slain the orcish chieftain. Do you trust me now?

Drogan: I see that you've not lost all o' yer humanity by allying yerself with the orcs. But ya can't come back, Malin. No necromancer will ever be welcome in Parthyn.

Malin Keshar: What?! You ungrateful cur! You'd sack tha city and let everyone die, and for what? Only to spurn something you don't understand? You're a fool. Parthyn will only be under greater danger with you leading it. If we're to survive, you are the one who must leave!

Dela Keshar: Have ye lost yer mind, Malin? There's no way we're banishin' Drogan!

Drogan: Malin, ye were once one o' my friends and tha pride o' tha town. I truly don't want ta fight ya. I'll give ya one more chance. Leave Parthyn.

Malin Keshar: Your choice, not mine. If you refuse to leave by your own volition, then it will have to be by force. Attack him!

Kill a Villager, Drogan is Dead

Malin Keshar: See how you die when you spurn the help of Malin Keshar...

Scenario 7: A Small Favor

Story Text

Fleeing from the city of his birth, Malin escapes into the forested hills north of the Great River. Some distance west, he finally stops after several days bereft of rest or sleep. He closes his eyes, trying to purge the last few hours from his mind, but the darkness only makes the images all the more vivid. He is tired, so tired, but sleep doesn't come.

"No regrets. No regrets..." He repeats it under his breath like a chant, murmuring over and over in his half-unconscious state. After a while, a second voice joins, a voice that sounds very much like his own, but somehow feels foreign and alien. 'There could have been another way. You might have been wrong.'

"No, no. Even if there were another way, they'd have spurned me all the same. They're wrong... blind. I've no regrets about what I did. No regrets..." He quells the voice. Sleep comes, long stretches of dreamless darkness punctuated briefly by nightmarish forms - distorted, grotesque things that whisper in eerily familiar voices. 'You're cursed, Malin the Damned! Cursed! Cursed. Cursed...' They echo over and over, first a choir, then a duet, both male, then just one, a single voice alone in the darkness.

Malin wakes up to a plume of smoke rising behind him. He gives it only a brief thought before heading further west. Soon, he catches sight of the golden banners of Tath and reunites with his teacher just outside of the city.

"For your final test as my apprentice, you will aid me in retrieving a book," the necromancer says. "The book was... stolen from me long ago. It has personal value to me, so you may think of this as a small favour. Howeveer, this task will require you to act against your countrymen of Wesnoth, since it was one of them who took it from me."

Malin replies: "They're no longer countrymen of mine".

Darken Volk continues: "Excellent. There's a lady of Tath by the name of Karae. She was trained as a mage in her youth and now uses her wealth to support a large number of mages in their studies. Among her library is the book we seek. We shall break into her manor and search from there."

Introductory Dialogue

Darken Volk: The stolen book lies within Lady Karae's manor at the north end of the city. It will be difficult for us to defeat the entire city guard, so we must stay hidden as long as possible. For now, we can make use of this fog. I shall use it to cast a spell to obscure the town guards' vision.

This spell will not hide us completely. If we stray too close to the guards, they'll still be able to see us. Once we're spotted, we shall have to make a run for it. The faster we enter the manor, the more time we shall have to search for the book before the guards can pursue us.

Narrator: Note: Only the units you recruit now will be available to you once inside.

An enemy unit is seen

Enemy unit: This blasted fog is so thick! I can't see a thing!

Taylor: Stay alert, soldier. Report anything unusual immediately.

Reaching the vortex

Darken Volk: I've heard rumours that the mages of Tath have been experimenting on the wildlife...

Undead are Seen

Enemy unit: Undead are emerging from the forest!

Taylor: Wake the guards! To arms!

Reaching the temple

Darken Volk: Oh? The temple healers are trying to heal a man who's already dead. Perhaps you could... give them a little demonstration as to how it's actually done.

Defeat the enemy leader

Taylor: The undead are too strong! Retreat and regroup!

Both necromancers move to the manor

Darken Volk: Here's the entrance! Hurry!

Scenario 8: A Small Favor - Part 2

Introductory Dialogue

Narrator: Malin and Darken Volk enter the mage lady's manor, closing the heavy gates behind them.

Darken Volk: This gate won't hold back the soldiers for long. We must hurry.

Opening a gate

Enemy unit: Undead have entered the manor! Defend yourselves!

Reaching the notes

Narrator: There's only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve.

...the fear of failure.

Narrator: There's nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

Reaching the altars

Darken Volk: There's a torn up dress on this altar.

Darken Volk: Someone was... messing... with some potions here.

Reaching the holy water

Darken Volk: This vial of holy water is inscribed with a cross and two rings.

Reaching the ring

Darken Volk: This appears to be a wedding ring.

Reaching the green orb

Narrator: Emerald, verdant green gives way,

Touched by the shadow, dark dye of black,

An abhorrent stain of pestilence.

Reaching the red orb

Narrator: Crimson pool, essence of life,

Flesh and blood flow away to rot,

Leaving only bones to remain.

Reaching the blue orb

Narrator: Mirrors of shallow blue, cold and opaque, they stare,

Piercing, unblinking, a pitiless reflection,

Shattering our brittle, fancied reality.

Turn 6

Enemy unit: Hunt down the undead! Destroy them all!

Darken Volk: The city guard has entered the manor. We'll have to hold them off while we search.

Finding Lady Karae

Lady Karae: Darken Volk! I should have known it was you! What are you doing here?

Darken Volk: Taking back what's rightfully mine.

Lady Karae: As impudent as ever. What lies in that book isn't meant for human eyes - yours or mine.

Darken Volk: I'm not here to argue.

Lady Karae: Of course you're not. I assume your arrogance has only grown over the years.

Darken Volk: If you wish to continue lecturing me, by all means, do so. It will only make you easier to kill.

Lady Karae: I regret that it's come to this.

Lady Karae Dies

Lady Karae: Darken Volk... you... wouldn't dare...

Darken Volk: Enough with your decrepit prattling.

I feel the breaking of an illusion spell. The book is in the vault in the north-west corner of the manor. We must find the passageway leading there!

Victory Dialogue

Darken Volk: Here's the passage to the vault!

Time Over

Narrator: As dawn breaks, the city guards force their way into the manor and capture the two necromancers.

Scenario 9: A Small Favor - Part 3

Introductory Dialogue

Darken Volk: The book is very close, somewhere to the north-west.

Turn 2

Darken Volk: The guards continue to pursue us.

Reaching the altar

Malin Keshar: There are quite a few failed potions around here.

Reaching the notes

Narrator: Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself don't become a monster...

Narrator: Death is the twilight that follows the light of day.

Life fades with the setting sun into darkness.

Existence churns and the soul is reborn into endless night.

Reaching the coffin

Malin Keshar: This coffin is empty.

Reaching the urn

Malin Keshar: Be careful around those urns.

A unit reaches the book

Darken Volk: The book! Guard it with your unlife while I come to fetch it.

Malin Gets the Book

Darken Volk: Hand that over.

Malin Keshar: Can't it wait until we're away from all these guards?

Darken Volk: ...Fine. There's a small tunnel in the cellar to the north-east. It will lead us far enough out of the city that we can escape pursuit.

Darken Volk Gets the Book

Malin Keshar: We've got the book, but how do we get out of here?

Wait, you aren't leaving me behind, are you?

Turn 12

Malin Keshar: The guards are catching up to us.

Darken Volk escapes before Malin Keshar

Darken Volk: You have served me well, boy.

Narrator: As he heads into the tunnel, Darken Volk collapses the entrance, leaving Malin to be captured and executed by the city guards.

Victory

Malin Keshar: Let's get out of here.

Time Over

Narrator: As dawn breaks, the city guards force their way into the manor and capture the two necromancers.

Scenario 10: Alone at Last

Story Text

As he enters the tunnel underneath Lady Karae's manor, Darken Volk gestures, causing the entrance to collapse. The two necromancers turn and begin walking down the pitch-black tunnel, temporarily safe from pursuit.

Silence permeates the darkness, broken only by the irregular dripping of water from the musty cave walls. Malin looks towards Darken Volk occasionally, expecting something from the elder necromancer, but is met with stone-cold dispassion. There is no acknowledgment... no word of gratitude - only a sense of unease that has as much to do with the book as it does with Darken Volk.

They continue walking through the damp, cold air all through the morning and day, finally emerging as the last rays of sunlight sink below the horizon.

Introductory Dialogue

Malin Keshar: Well, we got your precious book and made it out of Tath in one piece. What do we do now?

Darken Volk: 'We'? We do nothing.

Malin Has the Book

Darken Volk: Now give the book to me.

Narrator: Darken Volk grabs the mysterious book from Malin's hands and stalks away.

Darken Volk Has the Book

Darken Volk: Now go your own way and I'll go mine.

Dialogue Continues

Malin Keshar: You can't just leave me here!

Eidolon: Master, don't you see? He's merely been using you to get that book!

Malin Keshar: What do you mean?

Eidolon: He cares not about your noble quest to push back the orcs. He needed your help to fight the mages!

Malin Keshar: Wait!

You used me! You knew the people of Parthyn would cast me out - you knew I had nobody else to turn to! You knew I would do whatever you said...

After all this time... I haven't just been a pawn to you... have I?

Why don't you say anything?! Don't you care at all?!

...you can't abandon me too, not the way they did... Father, Drogan, Dela...

Eidolon: He won't help you, but perhaps the book might. You were the one who helped him retrieve it. It's rightfully yours!

Malin Keshar: Yes, I suppose that's right...

Darken Volk! That book is as much mine as it's yours! Give it back, or I'll have to take it by force!

Darken Volk: You're even more of a fool than I thought.

Monolith

Narrator: A monolith of dark stone, marred by cracks running throughout.

Narrator: A monolith of black stone, broken shards inexplicably held together by nothingness.

Attack Darken Volk's Side

Malin Keshar: You let me believe Parthyn would accept me back, so, when they didn't, I would be willing to attack my own countrymen!

Darken Volk: What you let yourself believe is no fault of mine. I gave you more power than you could have possibly dreamed. Use it to fight the orcs that annoy you so, not me.

Malin Keshar: You took my home away from me. You took Drogan away. You turned my sister against me! You've ruined my life!

Darken Volk: The only thing I've done is giving you the power to achieve your own goals. The rest, you've done yourself.

Malin Keshar: That's not true! You can't abandon me like this!

Darken Volk: Fighting the orcs is your ambition, not mine. You can't expect me to help you in an endeavour that doesn't concern me at all.

Malin Keshar: The very same for you! I helped you retrieve that book! If you don't help me with my mission, I'll at least keep the fruits of my labour.

Darken Volk: Hardly. I'll crush you easily.

Malin Keshar: Perhaps, but I have nothing left to lose...

Attack Darken Volk

Malin Keshar: Now you shall pay for what you've done to me.

Darken Volk: Done? I've done nothing but give you an opportunity. What you choose to do with your life isn't my business. Leave me alone!

Paladins Attack!

Sir Cadaeus: Your travels in this region have not gone unnoticed, necromancers! The disaster you wreaked upon the good city of Tath and the noble Lady Karae can only be paid back in turn with your blood. Yes, on this day, you shall have to answer for your innumerable crimes.

Darken Volk: Pompous words from an arrogant fool. We shall see how well you fare once I've finished this upstart.

Darken Volk Dies

Malin Keshar: See? This is what happens when you abandon me!

Darken Volk: Ungrateful wretch, this is how you repay me? Curse you, Malin the Damned!

Malin Keshar: I have already been cursed many times over. One more time is nothing...

Well, I suppose I should get that book off the battlefield.

Narrator: Pick up the book by moving a unit onto it. Bats and ghosts cannot carry the book.

Get the Book

Bat

Bat: Neep! Neep!

Malin Keshar: It's impossible for a bat to carry a book that heavy.

Ghost

Ghost: I'm sorry, master, but this book is too heavy for me.

Anyone else

Malin Keshar: My minions have captured the book.

Killing the Paladin

Sir Cadaeus: For the Light I fall...

Reaching the lighthouse

Malin Keshar: This lighthouse has been dark for quite some time. I wonder if I could relight it?

...no, that would be silly...

Dela Joins in the Fun!

Dela Keshar: I finally found you, Malin! At last, you'll pay fer what you've done to my people and my home. I won't let you live ta see another sunset.

Malin Keshar: ...I suppose you did vow to kill me...

Dela Keshar: You didn't think I'd keep my word? You thought I'd forgive you fer killing Drogan and tearing apart our town? You don't know how badly I want ta kill ya, Malin.

Malin Keshar: ...

Dela Keshar: Nothing to say this time? No quip 'bout how we don't understand ya? No comment about yer moral superiority? I can only hope you'll be so quiet when I kill you.

Killing Dela Keshar

Dela Keshar: Vile fiend... I regret that I was... not strong enough... to destroy you...

Malin Keshar: You brought this on yourself...

Victory Dialogue

All the enemy leaders dead

Malin Keshar: So, they are all dead. The paladin, Darken Volk, Dela...

All that I've fought for, everyone who I've tried to protect, everything is gone. Everyone is dead. Is this truly all that I'm left with?

...nothing at all...

At least an enemy leader alive

Malin Keshar: The terrain is hazardous in these mountains. Neither the Paladins nor Dela will be able to pursue me.

...then again, is there a point? Even should I escape, then what? All that I have fought for, everyone who I have tried to protect, everything is gone to me.

Life, death... unlife - at this point, I could accept any of them and nothing would change.

...but, I suppose giving up now would be a waste...

Scenario 11: Descent into Darkness

Story Text

'To become a lich, one must first die.'

So reads the book that Malin has reclaimed: "The spells of necromancy can free the spirit from the limitations of the flesh, but only once the soul has been unbound from the body. The necromancer must make the necessary incantations with their dying breath, then conquer their own spirit much the same way they bind the spirits of others. Because they retain their own will, however, the lich can call upon the awesome powers of the spirit world."

Malin closes the book. After all this time and all that he's struggled for, could he just surrender to despair and perish? He's never been one to simply give up, but then, is there anything left for him to struggle for? Still, the words, that terrifying idea, stick in the back of his mind. Life has offered him nothing; could death be any worse? Death... and not rebirth, but not death.

With all of Wesnoth forbidden to him, Malin finds refuge in an secluded frontier village where few questions are asked. When word eventually filters to the town that Parthyn has been overrun by orcs, Malin rouses himself from his listless state without really knowing why, and heads northwards.

Malin soon finds the track of an enormous orc army and follows them until he reaches their camps. As he sees the number of orcs, he begins to realize the futility of his quest - harassing and harrying one clan of orcs is a far different task than waging a truly meaningful war against them as a whole. Then again, perhaps he's beyond the point of ordinary reason.

There is nothing else left for me to do anyway, Malin thinks, and raises his undead to assault the camp. Within mere minutes, nearly his entire army is destroyed and he is badly injured by a poisoned dagger. Malin retreats and finds refuge in a small cave.

Introductory Dialogue

Malin Keshar: Cursed beasts!

I won't go down like this, felled by an orc's blade!

Eidolon: Master, you're gravely injured!

Malin Keshar: So it seems...

Perhaps it would probably be a suitable end. The orcs were the ones who provoked this journey of mine. Wouldn't it be fitting for them to end my quest as well?

Advisor: There's another way, master. Remember the book!

Malin Keshar: Yes... yes. The book. That half-rotten, tattered tome which I gave my blood and soul for. I forsook my people, my family, my home... to follow that damned necromancer! And in the end he betrayed me too, just like Drogan, just like Dela...

Everyone has betrayed me. I am alone. All that is left...

Leave me while I prepare.

Eidolon: Yes sir.

Malin Keshar: ...I suppose I've never been one for regrets...

I feel... different. Where am I?

Why is my body still intact? Am I still alive? Or...

...something isn't quite right.

I see, accepting death wasn't enough. To become a lich, I must master it.

First comes the flesh, the physical form of life. Blood is the crux of life for mortal creatures, but if I wish to ascend beyond that...

Stepping on a rune

Malin Keshar: These runes seem to be useful.

Killing the ghoul

Malin Keshar: These thralls contain only a meagre amount of energy, but enough to sustain me.

Seeing the necrophage

Malin Keshar: The flesh appears, distorted and warped, but somehow strangely familiar.

Killing the necrophage

Malin Keshar: The flesh dies, and then...

Drain the blood, strip away the meat, and all that's left is the bone.

I remember a time when I thought skeletons were repulsive, sickening things. I suppose it's only natural for the living to fear the most prominent figure of death. Even if I grew out of such a naïve thought... I suppose I couldn't have expected Drogan and Dela to follow suit so easily. My family and friends, yes, but they were nothing but simpletons. If only they'd tried to understand me instead of shunning me outright.

I don't really regret following my own path that much.

Seeing the revenant

Malin Keshar: I feel an aching in my bones, as if they're crumbling inside me.

Killing the revenant

Malin Keshar: The physical form collapses altogether. What remains?

The soul. Dela always said I was a creature without a soul. I suppose she was jesting at the time, but maybe not after I killed Drogan.

Bah! I don't deserve this, and I certainly don't answer to someone like her. I've only ever fought to protect my people and my family, but the only thing I received in return was scorn and exile. My own sister thought I was a monster for using my power to save our town. My people would rather feed themseves to orcs than follow my 'sorcerous ways'. Drogan, Dela... all of them! They're the ones without souls, not me!

I shouldn't really care anymore. I don't care anymore. According to them, I've forsaken my soul already. So what does it matter?

I shouldn't regret anything. I'm not really one for regrets...

Seeing the spectre

Malin Keshar: Cold... it's so very cold. Not a biting chill, but a numbness, an emptiness that eats at me from within...

Killing the spectre

Narrator: There's darkness...

and peace...

for a moment.

Then, they are replaced by a pulling, a pain too strong to resist, and then...

...by emptiness.

Mal Keshar: AAAaaiiigghh!!

The cold, it burns!

I need warmth... life...

I sense some primitive life in that direction. Perhaps I can sustain myself upon them.

Monolith

Narrator: A monolith of black stone, a fractured surface shrouded by darkened shadow.

A bat attacks

Mal Keshar: Why are these bats chasing me?

Attack Something with Drain

Mal Keshar: Yes! I can draw energy from even these insignificant creatures.

A rat attacks

Mal Keshar: Blasted rats!

Signpost

Narrator: Welcome to Zephryn's laboratory. Please be mindful of ongoing experiments during your visit. This territory is the domain of the mighty Xanthric. All unwelcome intruders shall die.

Mal Keshar: The mage's name is suspiciously... familiar.

Seeing the lv 3 Dread Bat

Mal Keshar: What an unusual bat.

Reaching the boxes

Narrator: You found some gold!

Reaching the Reflection pool

Mal Keshar: This place seems familiar.

The blood is drained and the flesh is stripped. The bone remains, waiting to be reanimated. A necromancer's most basic weapon is that, the puppet body of a skeleton.

...but that's not what I'm looking at, is it? This is what I've become...

Mal Keshar: A skeleton, yourself.

Mal Keshar: A skeleton - a puppet for Darken Volk's manipulation, yes.

Mal Keshar: A puppet of your own machinations.

Mal Keshar: I...

Mal Keshar: From the outset, deep down, you knew. If you followed this path, they'd never accept you. Yet, you manipulated yourself into believing the opposite. You couldn't face the truth.

Mal Keshar: But I was right. My logic was sound. My reasoning was flawless. They should have accepted me...

Mal Keshar: A puppet shackled by the limitations of your own feelings. No matter its faultlessness, logic couldn't have displaced the reality of your world. A culture of preconception supplanting even the instinct for survival.

Mal Keshar: Enough of this.

Mal Keshar: This is what you've become. A decaying soul chained within the puppet form of a skeleton.

Mal Keshar: A rotten soul? I was never concerned with such things to begin with. When you're slain by orcs and decompose into nothing but a maggot-eaten carcass, no 'soul' is going to be of any use.

Mal Keshar: Better to sacrifice the spirit and live, than to die with dignity?

Mal Keshar: Dignity in death is a notion contrived of by fools. It's an assertion of lies, told by humans to comfort themselves in the face of an immutable force. But not I. By sacrificing my soul, I've conquered death and will live on past all those who tried to destroy me.

Mal Keshar: For what purpose? You'll persist on, bitter and alone, until the end of time?

Mal Keshar: ...

I regret nothing.

Seeing the spider

Mal Keshar: Dela used to be afraid of spiders. Imagine if she saw something like this...

Killing the spider

Mal Keshar: For a moment, I was a little worried there. To have come so far and conquered death... only to be slain by an oversized arachnid! What a tale that would be.

1st ritual

Narrator: Dark water beneath crystal ice,

Unmasked by a lick of flame,

Transmuted by the altar of darkness

Into pitch black shadow.

Mal Keshar: Someone left their experiment unfinished here.

Narrator: You picked up a brazier!

You melted the ice.

You picked up an empty flask.

You filled the flask.

You picked up the flask of water.

You created a new potion!

Mal Keshar drinks the potion and feels energy flow through his skeletal form. The power of death surges in his vacant body, threatening to overflow, to burst free, but at the last moment, he reins it in. The stream of magic trickles down to drops, diminished, tempered, but manageable.

2nd ritual

Narrator: Bones, scatterd carelessly onto the floor,

Remains laid without rest,

Reside outside their coffin, locked away,

In eternal wakefulness.

Then, the key is found and the lid opened,

And the tongue of fire begets ashen repose.

Narrator: You picked up a key!

You opened the coffin.

You found a skeleton.

Mal Keshar: There are some robe scraps stuck to this skeleton. This must have once been a mage.

Narrator: You placed the skeleton in the coffin.

You picked up a brazier.

You cremated the bones!

Ash swirls upwards, charred remnants of the once-living. Charcoal from bone, embers from flesh, he consumes the pallid cinders, siphoning away the energy with a draining touch.

See Your Goal

Mal Keshar: I sense the lair of something powerful nearby. Capturing that castle may be a worthwhile endeavour, but I shall have to approach carefully.

Reaching the castle

Xanthric: What manner of vile creature intrudes upon my domain?!

Mal Keshar: I suppose there's some irony in this.

I wasn't aware that dragons still existed. This was most unexpected. Nevertheless, this shall be a worthwhile test of my new powers.

Xanthric: A derelict corpse like you has no business challenging a dragon! Even my lowly elementals will be more than a match for you. Rise, my thralls!

Mal Keshar: Fire magic. Annoying, but you're not the only one who can summon minions to your aid.

Xanthric: A few decrepit souls will do you no good, necromancer! Your bones shall soon join my garden of carcasses!

Stepping in the castle

Xanthric: How dare you?! That stone is my throne! I am the king of this domain!

Mal Keshar: Peasant, warrior, king and emperor, all living things are the subjects of death. Eternity will claim your soul as its own if I don't.

Killing Xanthric

Xanthric: How could this happen...

Mal Keshar: You weren't as powerful as you thought.

Xanthric: It's... so... cold...

Mal Keshar: So, the beast dies. I'll have to make a few modifications to this lair later. First, I shall have to test the extent to which I can push these new powers.

Excellent! My will is even strong enough to conquer a dragon. None can stand against me any longer! To those who cursed me prior, I spit at thee! For I am Mal Keshar the Damned, he who's spurned by all who live and draw breath! I laugh, for now, you are all nought but remains and dust, and I live on, alone...

Scenario 12: Endless Night

Story Text

Years pass. Every summer, by the time the mountainous paths and high passes shed their wintry gowns of snow, the lich sends his soldiers to attack the orcs, removing all human, elven and dwarven patrols that impede them. Every year the undead inflict some damage before being repelled.

The lich sometimes wonders if his endeavours are nought but a fruitless crusade, but then again, so what? Life, unlife, death... nothing has ever given his existence meaning. And yet, he still persist on? For what?

Reason and purpose...

He needs none. Philosophy only begets misery. Violence and savagery have always been the essence of his existence, a conviction that he's only embraced more wholly in undeath. Better to simply kill without deliberation, without consideration. He's never been one for regrets.

Rumours circulate of a lich who preys on scouting patrols. A hero, gathering his loyal troops to him, decides to put an end to the evil.

Part 2

Mal Keshar continues to study the book and re-reads the final entry.

"We prevailed today on the field, but our victory did not please me. I realize now... the world is not ready for our knowledge. They cannot understand that we have conquered that primordial fear: death. Instead, as they look upon us, judgment of our appearance drives them to ignorant terror. I give up on all of them. [...] In some future time, less conservative attitudes may dominate and our knowledge can be put to good use. I can certainly afford to wait. In the meantime, we are doing what we can to hasten that day."

"As for me, I'll make my journal conspicuous on this battlefield. I suspect that most will fear it enough to try to destroy it, but I have placed several wards on my journal to protect it. This way, it should survive long enough to make its way into the hands of someone more open-minded. Tath, in particular, is home to many mages. It only takes one who is willing to learn..."

Part 3

The last entry gnaws at Mal Keshar. While he'd been Darken Volk's pawn, both of them were being used as pawns by the author of the book. Has his whole existence been nothing more than that of a puppet?

Still, despite his misgivings about being manipulated, he feels that he can learn something from the book. Orcs had only ever been half of the story - the other had been his own people being unable to accept his use of dark magic. But, if he allowed a foolish hero to take a copy of the book, would others eventually follow in his footsteps? If enough people began to view necromancy as merely another magical art, could it eventually be accepted in society?

Introductory Dialogue

Loyalist

Foolish Hero: Your doom is at hand, lich! It's nigh time you answered for your crimes against humanity!

Mal Keshar: Narrow-minded and obtuse, as one would expect of city-folk. Go back to your manors and taverns before I decide to kill you.

Bandits

Foolish Hero: You've preyed on too many of my men. Our territory will be much more secure without your undead pestering us.

Mal Keshar: Not even real soldiers. How meaningless.

Elves

Foolish Hero: We've finally found you, lich! Long have we heard of your abominable deeds, ensnaring the living with your dark sorceries and mouding them into your slaves. Your wretched unlife ends here!

Mal Keshar: Life or death, it's all the same. There are always those who try to kill me. Ever do they fail.

Dwarves

Foolish Hero: We haven't destroyed any undead in a long time. Here it looks really full of bones to be mangled with my hammer.

Mal Keshar: And it's been a long time since I've stocked up on dwarven corpses to work with. I guess I can use your hammers profitably in the mines.

Orcs

Foolish Hero: I finally found your lair, lich! You have attacked my tribe and wreaked havoc on our homes for many years. You slew my father and turned his body into one of your nasty creations. With your death, your annoying minions will pester us no longer!

Mal Keshar: The Whitefang Orcs! It is you who despoiled my motherland and razed my home. It's you who forced me to resort to necromancy to protect myself. It is you who ended my mortal life and forced me to become a lich. And you desire vengeance? Hah! The irony of this would be hysterical, if I could still feel such an emotion.

Part 2

Mal Keshar: I will destroy you like the last foolish hero who challenged me.

Part 3

Mal Keshar: Another foolish hero? Seriously?

Taunting

Mal Keshar: Is there an endless supply of foolish heroes with death wishes? Honestly, where do you all come from?

Monolith

Narrator: A monolith of black stone, cold and brittle to the touch.

Reaching the vortex

Inky: Gllllbbbg!

First time

Mal Keshar: A cuttlefish! Perhaps I shall make it my pet.

Second time

Mal Keshar: We meet again, squiddy one.

Defeating the cuttlefish

First time

Mal Keshar: Curses. She got away.

Second time

Mal Keshar: It appears that she's evaded me once again.

Mal Keshar Dies

Orcs

Mal Keshar: Shot down by an orc... so it ends... like this...

Foolish Hero: The lich is dead! I have finally avenged my father.

Enemy Unit: Chief, who do you think he was?

Foolish Hero: Just a distressed wizard who turned to dark magic when he swore to take revenge on us. Funny that he was more annoying dead than alive. Annoying that it took so long to kill him.

Anyway, gather the wolves. I go home.

Anyone else

Mal Keshar: Darkness descends... and I...

Foolish Hero: It's done. He'll trouble us no more.

Enemy Unit: Who do you think he was before becoming a lich?

Foolish Hero: Likely one of those arrogant mages who think themselves superior to everyone else. He probably learned necromancy just to subjugate people like us.

Enemy Unit: So he was an evil tyrant. How dreadful.

Foolish Hero: Probably. Anyway, there's no use in dwelling upon one so wicked. Let's go.

An enemy unit steps on the book

Enemy Unit: That's a malicious grimoire!

Foolish Hero: Try to destroy this damn thing.

Mal Keshar: (false pain) Aaargh!

Enemy Unit: My ax doesn't cut paper. Magic protects paper!

Foolish Hero: Yet it seems to somehow harm the lich. Let's take it with us, retreat and let the forge destroy it.

The foolish hero has been tricked into believing both that the book can be destroyed and that the lich can be weakened in this way.

Safe outside the cave, the mad hero tries to destroy the book. None of the attempts left more than a dent or a scratch, but with each attempt a new scream could be heard coming from the mouth of the cave. Eventually, the cave entrance collapsed and everything stood still. Satisfied and a little intrigued, the foolish hero left the crumbling lair behind him, the book safely stowed - and secretly - in his backpack.

Years go by. Each summer, as the mountain trails and high passes remove their winter clothes from the snow, humans, elves and dwarves patrol to repel the marauding orcs. The undead are no longer a problem for patrols and the lich's memories fade to become a mere legend.

Rumors are circulating about a spirit of good luck protecting these guards. It's said that when they're attacked by orcs at night, darkness itself descends to repel the attackers.

DiD-Specific Descriptions

Generic Unit

Apprentice Mage: Lvl 1

Trained in swordsmanship as a boy and the magical arts as a young man, Malin Keshar is talented at both but an expert in neither.

Apprentice Necromancer: Lvl 2

Despite his increased magical powers, Malin holds on to his short sword as his melee weapon of choice.

Dark Mage: Lvl 3

Although Malin's sword has grown rusty from lack of proper care, his increasing skill with magic more than compensates.

Frontier Baroness: Lvl 2

On the frontiers of Wesnoth, all able-bodied men and women must be able to defend the town at need. While the men are most often trained in the use of sword or bow, the women learn the use of staff and sling. The most proficient are more than a match for any orcs foolish enough to engage them in combat.

Ghast: Lvl 3 (unused)

The ghast is a creature taken from humankind's most primal nightmares. Unlike their lesser cousins, ghouls and necrophages, ghasts are not patient enough to wait for their victim to die from poison before consuming the body. They attack directly with their enormous mouths, trying to rip the flesh straight from their foes. Once their enemy is defeated, they eat the rest of the body, gaining strength in the process.

Giant Rat: Lvl 0

Given an adequate supply of food, some rats can grow to truly impressive sizes. They can also grow quite aggressive.

DiD: Specified Unit Names

Humans

  • Malin Keshar (Apprentice Mage/Dark Mage)
  • Darken Volk (Dark Sorcerer)
  • Drogan (Sergeant/Lieutenant)
  • Gorak Cole (Bandit)
  • Dela Keshar (Frontier Baroness)
  • River fort guard (Spearman/Bowman)
  • Lady Karae (Silver Mage)
  • Taylor (General)
  • Night Watchmen (Spearman/Mage/Red Mage/Silver Mage)
  • Gate Guard (Pikeman/Heavy Infantryman)
  • Head Trainer (Sergeant/Lieutenant)
  • Townperson (Spearman)
  • Guard (Halberdier)
  • Guardian (Mage/Silver Mage/Red Mage/White Mage)
  • Sir Caddaeus (Paladin)
  • Foolish Hero (Royal Guard/Assassin)

Orcs

  • Kreg'a'shar Trr (Orcish Warrior)
  • Gron'r Hronk (Orcish Warlord)
  • K'rrlar Oban (Orcish Warlord)
  • Borth (Orcish Warlord)
  • P'Gareth (Orcish Slurbow)
  • K'Vark (Orcish Warlord)
  • Foolish Hero (Orcish Warlord)

Goblins

  • T'shar Lggi (Goblin Knight)
  • Villager (Goblin Spearman)
  • Shaun (Goblin Spearman)
  • Ed (Goblin Spearman)

Dwarves

  • Dap Horner (Dwarvish Steelclad)
  • Watchman (Dwarvish Guardsman)
  • Foolish Hero (Dwarvish Lord)

Elves

  • Foolish Hero (Elvish Marshal)

Wose

  • Dumdumbadoom (Ancient Wose)

Undead

  • Mal Keshar (Ancient Lich)
  • Sushi (Soulless)
  • Fat Jaime the Drunk Sailor (Soulless)
  • Flesh of Malin Keshar (Necrophage)
  • Bones of Malin Keshar (Revenant)
  • Soul of Malin Keshar (Spectre)
  • Xanthric (Skeletal Dragon)

Monsters

  • Tentacly (Tentacle of the Deep)
  • Xanthric (Fire Dragon)
  • Inky (Cuttlefish)

Places (labels)

  • River Longlier
This page was last edited on 10 November 2022, at 17:42.