Game Play Example: The Tale of Boyne
This is a game play example of what a randomly generated game of Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is like.
The Dark Days
Amarian, greatest of the Kings of his age led the host of the west in a desperate battle against Curgen, lord of the Titans. So great was their battle that it broke the world, dividing east and west by a great sea.
In that desolation, ancient creatures returned from the deep places of the earth and laid claim to vast swaths of the world. Where these elemental lords did not hold sway, the robbers, bandits and vile monsters that had existed only in the edges of civilization moved in.
For a century after the cataclysm, there was little hope that civilization would ever rise again.
It had been hoped, for a time, that Amarian’s daughter, Procipinee, would be able to unite the factions into a single kingdom. But as told elsewhere, her unwillingness to recognize that the world had changed led to a splintering of the realms of men.
Meanwhile, in the east, the collected hosts of the Fallen, had themselves broken into their own petty empires. Curgen’s Quendar lieutenant, Magnar, laid claim to the mantle of emperor. Outraged at the arrogance of the Quendar, the Trogs, the foot soldiers of the empire, formed their own empire called Yithril under their warlord, Verga.
Into the middle of this strife came the people of Boyne.
This is their tale.
Deb was not of noble birth, for the Boyne had no nobility. They were a people who lived near the sea.
But Deb was unique amongst her people. She was born with the rare gift of being able to channel magic from the shards of the world. It was obvious that there was something special about this as the lands increasingly prospered as Deb grew of age.
On her 18th birthday, she gathered her people together to found the city of Charlon, near the ancient water shard that rested near the cliffs of the the bay of Boyne.
Players can create their own character with their own backstory
Charlon as seen 159 years after the cataclysm
Being an agricultural people, the people of Charlon happily tended to their twilight bees and made full use of the nearby forests for timber and game. Deb also convinced the town elders that it would be beneficial to build a shrine on the water shard in enable her to tap into its energies more directly.
Soon, people began to immigrate to Charlon. People who had struggled to survive in the wastes amongst the robbers, bandits, and other dangers of the wilds now called Charlon home.
Deb recognized that such a concentration of people would make the Boyne a target. It was time for her to seek allies.
Deb had never traveled beyond the homelands of the Boyne. A town elder told her of the Inn of the Docile pony that still served travelers who occasionally took rest there.
The Docile Pony is..relatively safe.
Seeking rest, Deb stopped in and met a man who told her a tale of woe.
The Darklings, discarded creatures of Curgen that had long retreated to the depths were becoming more bold
The man’s shop was nearby.
Deb had no combat training and her knowledge of magic was at its beginning. She would need help first. Her first instinct was to search the edges of the wastes, where the fertile lands of Boyne ended. Anyone hardy enough to survive that would be an asset to her people.
That was when she met Karavox.
Karavox explained the history of his people – the Krax.
The story of Kraxis
The Krax were amongst the most loyal of Amarian’s followers in the great crusade against the Lord Curgen. However, when the world was broken, his people were cut off from the main host of Amarian, who had fallen in the battle of the Henge. To survive, they had to make due with the resources around them which included Death Shards.
Deb was horrified at the thought of men making use of Death magic.
"Do not fear, my lady," Karavox assured her. "We shall be friends. Death magic simply celebrates the transition from life into the after life."
As a token of their new friendship, they agreed to a non-aggression pact.
Sheriff Tagart had known Deb since she was a little girl. When Deb returned from her first foray into the wilds, he informed her that they had met Bacco the Beggar who had, in fact, become quite helpful due to his knowledge of the wilds. His presence in town had put people at ease enough that the Sheriff and his two deputies could accompany her on her quest to deal with the Darklings.
Luckily, Deb’s first confrontation would be with Mites, the smaller, weaker cousins of Darklings
When it came time to deal with the Darklings who had taken over the merchant’s shop, Deb got her first taste of dark magic.
Darkling’s aren’t big, it’s that Deb has been shrunk and cursed by Brunthus (not pictured).
Brunthus also blinded the Sheriff, making it hard for him to hit anything.
Luckily, tiny Deb was able to defeat Brunthus and return to normal size.
In doing so, she learned a lot of important lessons.
With her Earth magic improved, she looked at her spell book to see how she might make better use of her growing powers.
Since Deb was not yet trained in combat, she decided to use her power to give herself a mystical armor
The tale of Relias
Upon returning to the Inn with news for the merchant, there was another man having a drink. His name was Relias. He told how he had formed a Kingdom in the south called Altar and was delighted to find out that there as another Channeler in the world.
Relias was an adventurer. He had been disowned by his noble parents and went into the wilds at an early age. He was, at one time, an agent of Queen Procipinee, Amarian’s daughter and considered (by herself anyway) as the rightful heir to the lands of the world.
He had only recently returned from a dangerous mission on behalf of Procipinee to seek the answer of a prophecy. The threat he found was dismissed by Procpinee which led him to gather as many people who would follow him and start their own kingdom.
With Charlon prospering, the people of Boyne sought to expand their influence into the neighboring, uninhabited areas. To this end, the pioneer expedition Alguire was trained and sent out. Along the way, the expedition found a buried trunk of armor. Most of it was ruined but an ill-fitting set of chest armor was able to be modified for her.
Deb with her rusty old sword and now matching rusty armor
The area around Alguire was rich in minerals and, more importantly crystal. This was important because the land was very poor in metal which greatly diminished their capacity to produce their own weapons and armor. Crystal, by contrast, provided an alternative – arcane weapons and armor.
Arcane weapons and armor tended to be much better but had the downside of being much harder to construct. And, of course, the people of Boyne knew nothing of weapons or armor of any kind. It would have to be re-learned from scratch.
To this end, the council determined that Alguire would become a conclave – a center for mystical learning.
Emissary of a Dark Queen
Ten years into Deb’s reign, the lands were peaceful. Relations with Altar and Kraxis were close. A new friend, the Ironeers, had been met and had grown close.
That was when >she came to Charlon.
Ceresa meant death
Representing the Empire of Resoln, the emissary told the council of their people, the Wraiths. It became very obvious that their leader, Ceresa, was unstable. Moreover, they were more powerful than any other faction you had met so far. And she herself was more powerful in terms of combat knowledge and raw magical power than any other leader including Deb.
For now, their lands were distant but the threat was palpable.
She knew a lot about the people of Boyne. But little was known of her. To this end, Deb hired Wallace the Mercenary to guide her and brought a team of deputies with her. She rode Pox, the warg she had found in a quest the previous year.
The wastes that separated Resoln from Boyne was very…very dangerous
Cereas agreed to meet with Deb. But it was obvious they had little interest in being friends
It was not surprising that the adventurer, Relias was out in the wastes as well.
Relias shyly admitted that he had just signed a treaty of tribute with Resoln. “We are struggling, my lady,” he explained. “Athica remains our sole city. Our second city, Haven, was destroyed by monsters. We must adapt to our circumstances.
After leaving Relias, Deb encountered an abandoned Inn. Living within it was the former proprietary who explained that his livestock was diseased. He gave directions to what he believed the source of his ills was.
This led Deb into a very very dangerous place.
Wallace and the Deputies were killed. Deb, badly injured, managed to escape. This brought home just how dangerous the world really was to Deb.
Some weeks later, when she had recovered, she asked the town council to begin training their own champions. While they would not necessarily be as effective as those who had traveled the wastes and gained immense experience, but given the resources of Ceresa and the dangers of the wilds, there was no alternative.
The Bard and the Shieldman
Using all of the influence she had, Deb was able to recruit two men to be trained for her elite forces. To this end, William the Bard and Balor the Shieldman became her two lieutenants.
William was sent out with a number of deputies from Alguire to give him sufficient experience to become a true asset to the people of Boyne.
William encounters a monstrous spider while exploring the tomb of A'raka
It was William’s travel into the deep West that they made a startling discovery…
Beyond the wastes there was unsettled, fertile land.
As usual, where there’s danger, there is Relias
While returning home, William came across Relias, once again adventuring in the wilds. He was now the most powerful of the sovereigns thanks to his vast experience. Altar, however, remained a good friend to the people of Boyne. He was happy to negotiate a new trade treaty and extend the existing non-aggression pact.
Altar invited William to visit Athica to see how much it had grown.
Athica in 189AC
It was indeed true that Athica was a bigger town than Charlon. But Boyne had Alquire as well.
The Oracle Strikes
The day had long been expected and feared. The Wraiths were coming.
The people of Boyne had no history of warfare with anyone. Now they would see if they could rely on their friends.
Kraxis had no interest in going to war with the mighty Wraiths. Gilden was already at war with them. But Relias was willing.
Relias and the Altar would lend their support in the unprovoked war with Resoln – for a price.
With the knowledge that one day, the Wraiths would come for them, the people of Boyne, led by the sages of Alguire, had focused their efforts into ways of making use of the one resource they had in some abundance, crystal.
Riding Pox, Deb took on a dangerous scouting mission deep into Wraith territory. There, she found the city of Hagudst and was dismayed.
It was, by far, the largest city she had ever seen.
When Deb returned, the council had two pieces of good news. First, the academy was training the first “War Mages”. Second, an emissary from the Queen had arrived.
Procipinee’s humility is uplifting
Procipinee was 8 years old when her father, Amarian, king of all men, perished in the battle of the Henge. While the brightest, most gifted channeler of the new age, her rise to power did not prepare her for the changes that the cataclysm brought.
Child of the cataclysm. Procipinee has the beauty of youth despite being over a century old now. Having seen her domain split into various factions, she now seeks to reclaim her father’s realm under the banner of New Pariden.
The Sacking of Charlon
From the north came Ceresa herself leading a frightful army of bound widows, demons and wraiths.
Ceresa's small band of villains strikes directly at Charon
Sheriff Tagart and Baco led the defense of the city.
The Wraith army included their dreaded Skirmishers:
Well equipped, Ceresa’s soldiers were quite lethal
Tagart would lose his life. Bacco would survive with a concussion. Charlon was now enslaved.
What was worse when word came from Gilden, there was something called "Magnar" out there.
Our so-called friend, Karavox, betrayed the people of Boyne. They had sided with the evil Wraith. The Death Magic had consumed Karavox.
Return to Charlon
With Ceresa out fighting the war, Charlon was momentarily vulnerable. Deb did not squander the chance to liberate her home.
Only the injured Augus stood between Deb and her home. No Skirmishers. And Deb did not come alone. She brought with her two parties of Marshalls, a band of War mages and a group of deputies.
Charlon was liberated
But Altar was failing. Athica was under Wraith control.
Athica would be the first foreign city liberated by the people of Boyne
The known world 200 years after the cataclysm.
Fate of the Betrayer
While Resoln remained powerful in the north, Kraxis was cut off from their aid by the growing power of Deb’s forces. It was decided that Kraxis would be brought to heel.
The people of Boyne have little tolerance for treachery
Instead, Karavox would become Deb’s vassal.
Karavox would serve out the remainder of his days as a general in Deb’s armies.
Flight of the Altar
On a summer morning, Queen Deb and King Relias met on the fields of Kalinor in the western sweeps. There, he informed her that he was satisfied with Athica being part of Boyne’s kingdom. But his cause was lost. It was time for him and his allies to go into the wilds where they could best serve the war effort.
Altar ceased to exist
What you would later learn is that Relias had sacrificed much of himself to not just keeping Resoln from marching down into the lands of Boyne but in thwarting the designs of Magnar.
But the primary defier of Mangar was Pariden.
The Oracle Fights
Ceresa in battle was a sight to behold.
Ceresa and Deb meet in battle with Deb coming out on top
Even Alguire fell
The tenacity of the people of Boyne enraged the mighty Ceresa who had already had a hand in destroying Pariden and Altar
Eventually, Magnar would enter the fray. And then Yithril as well
Deb takes on giant form in another battle with Ceresa, this time Ceresa gains the upper hand
Noontide of the Empires
250 seasons from the beginning of Deb’s reign, the world is dominated by Yithril and Magnar. Pariden and Altar have been destroyed by them. The Wraiths, led by Ceresa, remain the most formidable local threat.
The known world at this stage (large map)
Fortunately, the Empires, true to their nature, squabble amongst themselves. Any one of them has the power to destroy the people of Boyne at this stage. However, they war amongst themselves keeping them from focusing their full might on the last viable kingdom of men.
The Kingdom Strikes Back
In the darkness of night, the council of Charlon met.
The Kingdom of Boyne was the only realm of men remaining in the world. The violent Trogs from the Empire of Yithril controlled much of the world. The Empire of Magnar and the Wraith Queen fought amongst themselves.
And all of them sought the destruction of mankind.
Boyne was poor in metal. It had none. It had some crystal and a lot of horses and wargs to call upon. It was time to make effective use of its resources and take from the Empires the resources it would need to eventually confront the Trogs.
The strategists at Charlon devised a new, type of trained warrior: The Charlon Knight
Charlon knights would be equipped with the crystal-based banishing mace. They’d ride the proud steeds of Boyne and be equipped with the crafted armor from Alguire.
The first squad of Charlon Knights
They would be led by Deb and her new servant, Karavox
The first town to be liberated would be the former Kraxis capital.
Ceresa met them in person.
Deb’s magic had become powerful over the years
Meanwhile, scouts had located Warlord Verga, the greatest warrior of the age.
His soldiers were the opposite of those of Boyne. They were clad in chain mail. Chain mail is extremely effective against cutting weapons (like swords) but does much less for blunt weapons (like hammers).
The first encounter would be an ambush. The fast moving Warg archers from Charon caught a small force of Trogs in the woodlands.
It was a massacre.
No one from Charlon returned. Verga single handedly slew them all.
The problem was that without metal, Boyne had relied on arcane weaponry. This strategy worked well when dealing with the lightly armored Wraiths. But now they were coming up against well equipped soldiers with real armor and very strong weapons.
What was needed was defense. Arcane Armor was the only viable choice. The Sages of Alguire estimated that it would take approximately 5 years to recover the lost art of Arcane Armor. Could they survive in the meantime?
During this time, a number of battles were fought with terrible losses for Boyne.
The Oracle Resigns
In the end it was not the people of Boyne who brought the Wraith Queen down. It was Magnar, lord of doom and destruction, Emperor of the Quendar who crushed the Wraith.
The Wraiths flight back into the wilds created an opportunity for the people of Boyne. The lands once occupied by the Wraith were now open to expansion and relatively protected from direct assault from the Trogs or Quendar.
However, this meant that the Quendar led by their Emperor, could focus their vast armies exclusively on Boyne. Swallowing her pride, Deb knew she needed to make peace with the Quendar, no matter the cost.
Magnar, having finished off the Wraiths, was willing to grant Deb a reprieve
Lest you think the Boyne weren’t desperate, the first wave of Quendar had just arrived
The Kingdom of Boyne at the end of the first Quendar war
(note, we are modifying the arcane armor to not require metal, but for now, I will need to find some source of metal)
For now we will have to trade with the sexy sexy Gilden…
No, HE is Spartacus
Return of the Magi
The trace pact with Gilden opened the way to train the most powerful, most elite unit ever seen in this world. Christened “Knight of the Magi”, his burning battle axe, Arcane Armor, and dedicated training ensured that in battle, he would face no equal.
Knight of the Magi
A group of 4 of them rivaled a small army
And they came none too soon for the Quendar attacked the moment Deb’s treaty of tribute expired.
It would be later said that this was the most important battle in the Quendar/Boyne wars:
Vastly outnumbered, the Boyne had to hope that their Magi were up to the challenge.
Baaco had not gotten a lot of experience but had really stepped up after the death of the Sheriff many years prior. Now, growing old, he would see his day of heroism and honor arrive with the victory at Alguire Valley.
South of Alguire, the Magnar had taken an old Gilderian mine.
At last, Boyne would have access to metal.
The Magi were successful at keeping Magnar at bay. But Yithril and their Trog hordes were simply beyond reckoning. Hope was failing. Murmurs of surrender began to circulate. The wounded and the maimed told tales of the might of the Trog. They were, it seemed, unstoppable.
The Magi had bought time, but not victory.
Forge of the Overlord
Long ago, the Ereog, the greatest of the ancient magicians, constructed the Forge of the Overlord. Upon doing so, he gained a mastery over all of creation – for a time. In doing so, he attracted the attention of the powers of the universe itself which led to the arrival of the Titans.
With the hope of victory fading, the council of Charlon had considered the possibility of reconstructing the Forge of the Overlord. Deb’s mastery over the shards was nearly complete. She was, it was believed, powerful enough to cast the spell of making on the Forge of the Overlord.
The question now was, could the Magi hold the combined forces of the Quendar and the Trogs at bay long enough to construct the 3 towers and the forge?
Decades of war had done much harm to Bacco.
Bacco met with Deb. His usefulness in fighting was past. They discussed which city should be the home of the Forge.
In honor of Relias, and because Athica remained the greatest city in the Boyne Kingdom, it would be constructed there. Athica, also had Gilden at its flank, a friend.
The problem: Time.
Last of the Magi
It is never a good idea to ignore an Ironeer. Especially if they have Iron Golems
If you read the book Elemental: Destiny's Embers you know how powerful just one iron golem was. Supplemented by the last of the Magi Knights, the Ironeers had taken the offensive.
Meanwhile, the Trogs had been saving up their secret weapon: Juggernauts.
Juggernauts vs. Guardian statues with Deb backing them up
Alguire was defended but at great cost. Only Karavox remained unscathed.
Yithril, however, had a second army waiting to attack Charon itself.
Charon was well defended. But its weaponry was simply out classed.
The situation was becoming desperate.
Wrath of a Broken crown
Nearly a century had passed since the founding of the Kingdom of Boyne. It had grown from a single village to, at its height, five prosperous cities. Now, it was being crushed by impossibly strong Trogs of Yithril.
Charon was occupied by Juggernauts, its lands sickening and dying. Beyond the crumbling borders, endless streams of enemies were closing in.
"Enough," Deb said. "I shall destroy them."
The Boyne were poor in metal but rich in mana.
"If it is destruction they crave, it is destruction they shall have."
She gathered her greatest warriors.
"First, we shall liberate Charon," she proclaimed.
Deb gathered the greatest and most powerful force Boyne had assembled
The last of the Magi Knights, now level 7.
Balor had become a devastating warrior
And they were backed by the Silver Mages
The fate of the Boyne rested on this battle
The last of the Magi would fall in this battle. But Charon was freed.
The Boyne had no metal. Only through trade with Gilden had they acquired enough metal to train the Magi and now they were gone. The tower of the sword required metal.
What the Boyne did have in abundance was mana and crystal.
"I shall give them ruin from the ground," Deb hissed. "I shall bring down the fires of heaven upon them."
And she rode alone, deep into the darkness. Deep into the uknown lands in the north where the Trogs seemed to come endlessly. Dodging enemies she made it to Blackstead, which was, even then, training Juggernauts:
Blackstead, in the heart of the Trog Empire
Opening her spell book she found what she was looking for...
I shall bring them hell on earth
Die, she said
And they did
The Fallen Age
The destruction of Blackstead was an emotional victory. But in the year 239AC (about a century since the founding of Charlon), the Empires dominated the land.
The only hope for the people of Boyne was the Forge of the Overlord.
This single Foundry, taken from Magnar, was the only source of metal for Boyne
Athica continued its effort to construct the Forge of the Overlord while Yithril slowly conquered the outlying provinces of Boyne.
Relations with the Ironeers remained very good. But they were a non-factor in the world at this stage. They only existed because Boyne shielded
The only other allies available were…less savory. But perhaps it was time to approach them.
Listrid and the Queen meet
One summer evening, while touring Athica to see the progress on the Tower of the Padars, the situation was put plainly.
"My Queen," Listrid began. "You recruited me after the fall of the Tarth in a land you have never seen. I can tell you, the Trogs are relentless. You have asked me on the progress of the Forge of the Overlord. For 10 years we have worked on completing the necessary prerequisites. But know this, they consume metal and crystal that could be used by our armies to fight the Trogs."
Deb listened intently. "You speak truth, Listrid. But as you say, the Trogs are relentless. Even now, they threaten the eastern borders of Higgins, which was once deep within Kraxis. I see no victory through arms. I see only salvation through Ereog's lost work. Only the Forge will save us."
"I pray you are correct, my queen. But I fear time is not on our side," she concluded.
"Then make all haste, Listrid."
To that end, Queen Deb sent her most trusted champions to Athica to reduce the growing unrest due to the need to raise taxes to pay for the war effort.
The Forge of the Overlord
The tower of the Witch had been raised. The tower of the Sword have been built. And the tower of the Padars had been constructed.
Now, Deb would cast the “Set in Stone” enchantment to sacrifice research for more production. In a little over two years, the forge would be built.
Time was running out
The Trogs captured Alquire. They were less than two days ride from Athica.
The Juggernauts were now arriving in force.
Deb found herself alone. The Magi were gone. Her champions too injured (or trying to aid in the construction of the tower).
Deb used as many spells as she could.
Deb had to be careful, she knew casting the Spell of Making on the Forge of the Overlord would tap her mana reserves. She just needed a little more time.
Goodbye sexy Gilden
In the Fall of 243AC, the Forge of the Overlord was constructed. Now, all that was needed was the necessary 500 mana. Deb had consumed a great deal of it. It would take her over a year to reserve so much arcane power.
Every day was pain.
Every day was a desperate battle to hold on for tomorrow.
With the resources no longer being used on the towers, Athica was able to turn its amazing construction abilities towards training a new type of unit: Lord of the Magi.
Athica was surrounded.
The spell was ready, but it would take time to cast
Deb began the incantations. A whirlpool of light and energy began to surround her and emanated out of Athica to be seen by all... including the enemies of Boyne.
Could they hold out?
Again and again, the forces of Magnar and Yithril attacked Athica. Each time, there were casualties. But they held.
The Fallen became increasingly desperate. Only a year left. The defenders were becoming weaker and weaker but then so too were the attackers.
With Deb incapacitated (casting the spell) it came down to fewer and fewer defenders
The Spell of Making
Out in the fog of war, one could hear but not see the spells being cast. Spells of horror and evil.
With only 2 seasons left, Magnar himself attacked Athica
Magnar’s forces had dwindled but he had not.
Opposing him were the old standby’s. Bacco the Beggar. Karavox. Even William the Bard was there. Here they would make their stand.
So powerful was Magnar that he brought low all who opposed him. All save Karavox. In the end, it was the traitor Karavox who would save the people of Boyne.
Before the dust began to clear, there was a sound emanating from the city. It sounded like music and yet it came from no living thing. It was the sound of the world itself. The Spell of Making had been cast.
It took approximately 13 real world hours to play through this one randomly generated map. Each game is different. One never knows what one might encounter.
In this world, the Wildlands were far into the distance and never were a factor for the Boyne. The Master Quest was never an option, so firmly in the land of Yithril did it lie. And, after all, only a fool would travel deep into the heart of enemy territory on quest that had little hope for victory...(cough).
On behalf of the Stardock team, thanks for reading this game play example. Those who have read others know how different they can be. This is the first time I’ve ever won through this means. It was not, when I set out, the means to which I expected to win (I had anticipated winning through conquest). But that is what makes this game special, one never knows what will happen from game to game.
Ones strategy must adapt based on the conditions on the ground. The lack of metal meant I had to choose a different direction. If I had, for instance, had access to more prestigious locations, I could have used it to get the varying opponents to fight amongst themselves.
One thing I also didn’t show was all the starting options. I could have made the world thick and dangerous with monsters or had hardly any of them. There’s a lot of different settings that ensure that each game is a different experience – and that’s before we even start talking about mods.