Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oblivion's Edge

At last... we come to Oblivion's Edge, the final scenario in the Armageddon's Blade campaign.

After the defeat of Xeron, Lucifer Kreegan summons the overlords of Nighon to reinforce his armies. Sensing an opportunity to defeat the Kreegan armies once and for all, Catherine and her party fights their way into Kreelah, the capitol of Eeofol. The catch? She has 60 days to do so.

The scenario itself isn't very difficult. Eeofol's heroes send weak armies against your pre-built conflux towns. I decided to use Catherine purely as a defensive hero, teleporting her from town to town to gather troops and fight off any would-be invaders.

The city of Kreelah is very heavily guarded by Xeron's army and further protected by a magic garrison that prevents your hero from casting spells.

Like any good 'final scenario,' this map wraps up all of the loose plot points from previous maps.

Remember the halfling resistance movement? This map is littered with halfling huts, symbolizing the resurgence of the little critters. The first enemy camp that Gelu encounters on the map is a band of halflings seeking greater glory. The little guys are terrible in battle, but I admire their valor.

Later in the scenario, the halflings do manage to kill Xex. So all is well.

Also, do you remember the dark dreams that Gelu had? This time, he dreams that he is a conquering king who has united the nations of Antagarich under his iron rule. He also sees a beautiful woman with steel hair guiding his actions. I imagine she is the personification of Armageddon's Blade? I guess Armageddon's Blade is kind of like Sauron's ring in Lord of the Rings. It grants the wielder the power of domination but also corrupts its master.

While Gelu slowly descends into madness, Roland Ironfist has a spiritual awakening. Throughout this campaign, good king Roland has been portrayed as an angsty curmudgeon battling post-traumatic stress disorder.

One night, Roland is visited by the ghost of Khazandar. The ghost begs for Roland's forgiveness and also implores the king to change his ways before his soul is corrupted forever. We also learn why Khazandar created Armageddon's Blade. The grand forgemaster had been 'taken advantage of' by many people in his past. So when Xeron approached him with the request, Khazandar agreed to create the blade to spite all the people who had ruined his life. Seems a bit extreme to me.

Soon after, Roland sees a vision of his father shaking his head in disapproval. Lord Ironfist of Enroth is clearly unhappy that his son has resorted to genocide. This vision causes Roland to realize that he is becoming twisted and evil like his brother Archibald. Presumably, Roland changes his ways.

Afterwards, Roland and Catherine say 'screw it' and completely wipe out the Kreegan race from Antagarich.

The final battle takes place at the gates of Kreelah. Xeron has a tendency to use Town Portal whenever a hero gets close to Kreelah, so 9 times out of 10, he will lead the garrison army.

Truth be told, I wish NWC had bothered to create a unique Lucifer Kreegan hero for the final battle. We hear so much about evil King Lucifer throughout the campaign. He witness his manipulation behind the scenes. It would have been awesome to finally face him in the end and demolish his army. Instead, Gelu fights Lucifer's lackey and then kills him 'off screen.'

Xeron's favorite attack is Expert Implosion, which deals massive damage to a single creature stack. In two rounds, Xeron completely decimated my sharpshooters.

My original plan was to repeatedly cast Armageddon. However, I discovered that it was more important to keep my army alive. Thus, I reverted to the strategy of repeatedly casting Resurrection on my fallen sharpshooters.

In the end, great losses were suffered on both sides. But Xeron was defeated once and for all!

Of course, Xeron and Lucifer get the last laugh. Although Lucifer is slain at the hands of Gelu, the half-elf becomes corrupted by Armageddon's Blade and runs away with it. This ultimately leads to the fiery destruction of the world. So you see... Lucifer's dream was realized in the end.

What's Catherine's response to Gelu running away with the HORRIBLE EVIL SWORD THAT CAN DESTROY THE WORLD? She goes home to Enroth with Roland. Out of sight, out of mind.

...and they all lived happily ever after!

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