The old man at the inn paused, taking a drink of his ale. "Going to Mystery Lake, eh?" he continued. "Don’t go, Milord. I tell you, its haunted. I see, that you don’t know, what happened there. Get me one more ale and I’ll tell you.
Long ago some cruel lord in a far away country by the sea had a beautiful daughter. They say, that she was a kind of lonely girl, walking along the seaside every day, talking to the sea gulls. But when she grew up many men came to her fathers castle, wanting to marry her, you know. Her father didn’t like this, he didn’t like this at all. At first he chased them away, but at last he exiled his daughter to an isolated place in the mountains, far away from home. There was a tower on a small island in a lake. He locked her up in that tower. A cruel, heartless man he was, I told you. His own daughter! It seems, that the lake became salt from the tears she shed. Her friends, the sea gulls, came to accompany her. Nobody of us, peasants, had the courage to go to the lake. There were soldiers to guard her, you know. And gallows for people who came too nearby.
But one day an intrepid voyager told us, that the place was deserted. The soldiers were killed and the lady was gone. It seems, that an unknown young man attacked the guard and rescued her. A shepherd, hiding in the woods, was the only witness. Nobody ever saw the lady and the man again.
The sea gulls are still there though. They seem to watch over the ruins of the tower and attack everybody who comes nearby.
I tell you, its spooky there. The crying sea gulls, the silent lake. At night her sobbing is heard and the cries of the fighting men.
And there are the wolves, of course, and bears. Don’t go, Milord."
This is a Freebuild, with trading and farming. Try to get peasants to work for you. There are some signposts to trigger events, ( with F1), e.g. to test your castle. In case you have the courage to go there.
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Mystery Lake by LadyJane is a delightful freebuild, with a natural terrain and a great story behind it!
This map is well designed, with lots of options for replaying. The first time around I made a wood wall around my keep, but with the stone available, and plenty of room, I might try a larger castle the next time around.
Lots of wolves and bears to keep it interesting, but still easy to defend against, and I was able to keep the population happy the whole time.
A very nice, natural looking map! I loved the tower on the island in the center... very nicely done! I liked that not all the land was available for farming - it created visual interest, and increased playability.
Creativity & Map Design: 4
The story set the scene perfectly!
Thanks for a terrific map!
Mystery Lake - such a nice map deserves a second review. I haven't played too many freebuild's but the story was so interesting that I had to give it a try - and I was not disappointed.
I enjoyed the way the story was written - through the eyes of the old man at the inn. Well written and descriptive - it captures a person's imagination. Story 4.5
At the opening, the game is centered on the ruins of the lone tower on the little island in the lake. This has a very striking effect and fits in well with the story. I note the gallows beside the lake but also the flowers that you have submerged slightly in the soil to hide the edges - they look like wildflowers. Looks like you made the lake out of moat (nice “briney” color). Overall terrain detailing and features are excellent and well balanced. Map - 5
The map was fun to play but maybe a bit too easy. Except for the early months when I was concerned about defending the lord from the wolves there were no real barriers to growth and development. With abundant wood supplies I walled in a huge corner of the map and then began to consider stone for an inner wall. With the minimum of flat lowlands I started with apples but switched over to wheat/bread to supply the growing population. Might be a challenge to see how big I could make the population and still feed them off the land (without any trading).
Playability - 4.5, Balance - 3.
Regarding creativity here I would give high marks for the way you matched the interesting story to the map. You have produced a “mysterious” quality to Mystery Lake. Creativity – 4.5
Please excuse all my “.5’s” This map is close is many aspects and I find it hard to judge freebuilds.
Yes, I played this one with my kids looking over my shoulder and they enjoyed it too. Thanks for the most interesting map.
If you should become more militaristic it might be interesting to rework the scenario and resubmit this as in invasion or at least as an economic map with events and goals.