Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Gryphon's Heart

Since the heroes don't carry over from scenario to scenario in this campaign, there's no need to spend extra effort improving your hero's stats. Speed is the key to the mission.

In A Gryphon's Heart, the necromancers decide to retrieve the body of King Gryphonheart and raise him from the dead. To do so, they must bring an artifact called the Spirit of Oppression to the Erathian castle in the center of the map within three months.

Three months may sound like a lot of time for such a small map. But in reality, the timing can be tricky if you're not sure what you're doing.

The scenario begins with three starting bonuses: a Skeleton Transformer, a Death Ripple scroll, and a Death Knight. The best choice here is to select the Death Ripple scroll. Having a Death Ripple spell in hand will allow you to quickly destroy enemies (without harming your undead troops). You can then harvest their bodies with your Necromancy skill.

Finding the Spirit of Oppression requires three fetch quests. First, you have to find the Pendant of Total Recall in the southwest corner of the underground map. The area is guarded by zealots, which are high level shooters.

Once you have the Pendant of Total Recall, trade it for the Hourglass of the Evil Hour at the tree-shaped seer hut along the route to the underground tunnel. You can then trade the Hourglass for a Pendant of Dispassion at the mushroom-shaped seer hut near the Marletto Tower in the northeastern corner of the underground map. Finally, trade the Pendant of Dispassion for the Spirit of Oppression at the thatched seer hut on the cursed ground near the garrison.

The final battle against the Castle hero will be easy if you've built up a strong army at your necropolis. In my game, I fought against Loynis the cleric. I'm not sure if Loynis is always the defender of Stonecastle or if the game selects a knight/cleric at random. In any case, Loynis' constantly used the Prayer spell on his marksmen.

My skeletons and zombies were too slow to effectively fight against Loynis' troops. In the end, I split my vampire lords into multiple stacks and used them to surround the marksmen. Vampire lords have the annoying ability to steal HP and rise from the dead whenever they attack a weak enemy. By preventing the marksmen from shooting, I bought the skeletons extra time to reach Loynis' ground troops and cut them to pieces.

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