|Warlords and Cowards|
"I am Apollyon, Warlord of the Blackstone Legion. In that year, I sent one of my commanders, Holden Cross, to punish a betrayer. There was a Warden there, in the way. There are many Wardens. This one would prove unique."
A Knight called Hervis Daubeny had deserted the Blackstone Legion, the more militant of many Legions of knights occupying the land of Ashfeld. As a consequence, he, his soldiers and his castle have come under attack. The player character is introduced as a Warden, a member of an ancient order dedicated to serving the people, now currently brought to Daubeny's service as a mercenary. The opposition is lead by the second-in-command of the Blackstone Legion, a Lawbringer by the name of Holden Cross.
The player's first command is to defend the East Wall, cutting down many Blackstone captains. They battle their way down to where a handful of Blackstone soldiers are attempting to take the courtyard. Felling the threat, the Warden is ambushed by a line of archers from above, and then fights their way up along the opposite wall to reach a downed catapult blocking their path to the archers. Thinking quickly and realizing that the catapult is still ready to fire, The Warden cuts the rope and fires the catapult pointed at the enemy, sending the archers tumbling from the rampart. Intrigued, Cross signals to his men to bring in a massive ram-headed battering ram, managing to blow open a hole away from the gate into the yard, sending a battalion of captains and soldiers in, only for the Warden to successfully hold them off. Soon, however, the main gate is finally destroyed and Holden Cross enters, cutting down a few men before demanding that Daubeny step forward.
Cross tells Daubeny that his no more of his warriors need to die and challenges him to trial by combat. Daubeny refuses, labeling a fight with Cross as no trail, just "an execution." Holden responds by sending forth his second, a Blackstone-affiliated Warden named Ademar, while Daubeny designates the Warden as his second. The Warden bests Ademar in the trial. Cross spares Daubeny but knights and inducts The Warden into the Blackstone Legion.
The Warden: (voice over) That day I learned I was serving the wrong warlord: Hervis Daubeny.
Camera cuts to Daubeny rushing out a door, watching as a rock flies over the castle wall and crashes nearby.
Daubeny: (yelling to the courtyard) Defend the walls!
Daubeny runs to the edge of the wall and looks into the distance, watching as an army of Blackstone knights marches down the path.
The Warden: (voice over) The day I met the Blackstone Legion. And Holden Cross.
Camera cuts to Cross leading the troops.
Cross: Come out! Daubeny! It doesn't have to be like this!
Several soldiers raise ladders against the castle walls. The camera cuts to Daubeny, who watches an arrow hit the soldier next to him. He quickly checks on the corpse before retreating.
Daubeny: (to a Lawbringer behind him) Keep them off the walls!
Camera cuts back to Cross and his second, Ademar.
Ademar: (handing Cross his helmet) My lord...
Cross: (growls) Break it down.
Ademar: (to the troops) Break it down!
Camera pans to reveal a battering ram being pushed to the castle gate.
Camera then cuts to The Warden, who rushes to the castle wall. The Warden watches as arrows and rocks fly past, destroying the wall and killing soldiers.
Blackstone Knight: (in the background) Arms at the ready! Fire at will!
The Warden: (voice over) But I am a Warden and I had a job to do.
Mission Objective: DEFEND the east wall
(The Warden succeeds in holding the east wall but realizes soldiers are making it over the others and dropping into the courtyard.)
Mission Objective: REACH the courtyard
(Daubeny's captains take over guarding the wall. Meanwhile, the Warden races for the courtyard.)
Mission Objective: HOLD the door
(The courtyard is cleared out but then volleys of arrows rain down upon the men.)
The camera cuts to the front gate. A soldier falls from the wall to the ground. The camera pans up to reveal archers have taken the wall.
Blackstone Captain: Ready! Fire at will!
Mission Objective: REACH the archers
(The Warden realizes archers had taken the front wall and fights his/her way to the wall. As he/she approaches the archers, he/she realizes the catapult that they had disabled was still ready to fire.)
The camera follows the Warden as he/she dodges arrows before taking cover behind the downed catapult. He/She ponders what to do as he/she is pinned down. It is then he/she realizes the catapult is aimed at the archers. He/She cuts the rope, firing the siege weapon and knocking the archers off the walls.
The camera cuts to Cross outside, who watched what just happened. He then watches as two rocks strike the side of the castle wall, creating a hole.
Cross: Charge! Hah! Through the breach!
Camera cuts back to the Warden, who watches as Blackstone Legion pour through the breach into the courtyard.
Mission Objective: HOLD the castle from the invaders
(The Warden helps clear out the courtyard but the battering ram finally bashes open the front gate.)
Camera cuts to the gate, which takes one more hit before it flies open. Cross steps out of the smoke with the Blackstone Legion behind him. Soldiers rush to confront him but he easily dispatches three and knocks away a fourth.
The Warden and several other soldiers stop before Cross, still ready to fight.
Cross: Daubeny! Daubeny! Show yourself!
The camera cuts to Daubeny, who walks past his troops to stand in front of Cross.
Cross: These warriors don't have to die! Trial by combat! Right now!
Daubeny: What, fight you? That's not a trial. That's an execution.
Cross: (walks up to Daubeny) Then fight my second.
Cross gestures to Ademar, who steps forth.
Daubeny: (to The Warden) You! You will be my second.
The Warden: (looks around for a moment before stepping forward) Alright then.
The Warden: (voice over) If I refused there would be a slaughter.
Mission Objective: KILL Holden Cross' champion
(The Warden and Ademar engage in a duel. The Warden silently admits he/she is only doing for the sake of the men and his/her oath as a knight. Finally, he/she defeats and kills Ademar)
Camera cuts to Cross, who had been watching the fight.
The Warden: (voice over) We were still at their mercy.
Cross walks up to Daubeny, handing his poleaxe to a lieutenant on the way.
Cross: It will not do for a knight of the Blackstone Legion to be defeated by a common mercenary.
Cross takes Daubeny's sword. Though initially resisting, he lets Cross have it.
Cross: (walks up to The Warden) Kneel.
The Warden kneels down as Cross takes off his helmet.
Cross: (knights the Warden) For valor in battle. For honor in service. I, Holden Cross, raise you. Stand, Knight of the Blackstone Legion.
Cross helps The Warden to his/her feet, handing him/her Daubeny's sword. He then tosses Daubeny The Warden's old sword.
Cross: We're finished here.
Cross takes his poleaxe back and begins to leave.
Cross: (to The Warden) Come on.
The Warden looks back at Daubeny before following his/her new master.
The Warden: (voice over) That was how I joined the Blackstone Legion.
- Hervis Daubeny
- The moment you take control of the Warden, tilt the camera up. You can see Daubeny atop the tower commanding the troops.
- "Hervis Daubeny. Blackstone, for a single season. And then, he thought to turn away from us. To take from us. That would prove his undoing."
- The Fort
- The moment you take control of The Warden, look to the left. It should be on the tower.
- "That fort had belonged to ten warlords in ten years. Daubeny was just the most recent. He joined the Blackstone Legion and then tried to leave us. That would not stand unpunished."
- Holden Cross
- The moment you take control of The Warden, rush to the edge of the castle wall. You can see Holden Cross standing in front of one of the catapults.
- "Holden Cross. My second in command, and my most stalwart ally. Holden is a practical man, of limited ambition, but of endless talent. We are fortunate to have him."
- The moment you take control of The Warden, go to the edge of the castle wall and look left. You can see a castle tower in the distance.
- "Ashfeld. I was born here, out in the scrublands. Twenty years ago, the Iron Legion had been on the verge of losing it to the Vikings entirely. Now, my Blackstone Legion had taken it back."
- Once you complete the tutorial, as you proceed down the stairs the observable should be at the bottom.
- "So much of warfare is about walls. Gates. Hills. Doors. Every day, battles are won and lost on the choice of battlefield alone."
- Lay of the Land
- Once you complete the tutorial, turn around and look up. It should be right where you came in.
- "Almost every fortress in these lands was first built a millennium ago. We lay new construction on top of old and call it our own. We are children, playing at empire."
- The Tapestry
- After you face a few enemies, you will come to the base of a spiral staircase. There will be pottery scattered about. Right as you reach the base of the stairs, look left at the tapestry.
- "The fall of the last Sanctuary in Ashfeld. A thousand years have passed since then. Our ancestors held out for six years against a hundred thousand desperate, starving warriors. Or, so the story goes."
- The Iron Legion
- After you face a few enemies, you will come to the base of a spiral staircase. There will be pottery scattered about. Right as you reach the base of the stairs, look right at the two lion statues.
- "The Iron Legion is made up of many smaller Legions. The lion was the symbol of the Regal Legion. They were strong once. Now, they have fallen to Blackstone might."
- Oaths of a Warden
- Climb up the spiral stair case. You should see Daubeny right as you get to the top. Before going outside, go to the room on the right and look at the coat of arms.
- "The Iron Legion has a habit of mounting Warden statues in front of doors. But they are hypocrites. The oaths of a Warden reach far beyond what any common Legion warrior can live up to."
- Rules of Nature
- Climb up the spiral stair case. Once you reach outside and help Daubeny clear out the Blackstone knights, look to the wall that would be to your right as you exit the building.
- "When we stop fighting against it, nature will always reassert itself. So it is with stone. So it is with plants, with animals. And so it is with people."