It is said that a huge dragon, named Frenlir, once roamed the earth, destroying and burning everything that came in his path. The fires of the dragon tormented the world, and ultimately, the end of the world was close. But then, the god Alrad stepped down from the heavens and fought the dragon.
The fighting itself ruined what had this far not been destroyed by the dragon, but finally, Alrad killed the dragon by smashing an enormous rock in its head. Upon his death, all of the dragon’s teeth fell out, and their poisonous saliva scorched the earth. The gods now rebuilt the world, and removed the dragon’s body as well as the dragon’s teeth, or so they thought. They missed one tooth, and that one still lies upon the earth.
Although the valley where the remaining tooth landed was scorched, things came to grow here once again, and wild animals to live here. And the tooth itself was in time covered with earth and became the hill known as Frenlir’s Tooth, and although plants now grow in the valley, it is said that nothing will ever grow on the hill itself.
It is also said that the malice of the dragon endured, and that anyone who settles in this valley will be struck by bad fortune. This was proved a hundred years ago, when Lord Sigurd, a brave old man, who had fought many wars, decided to live the rest of his life in peace, and out of public. However, within a year, he was killed by one of the fierce bears that roam the valley, his household fled, and his manor was left to ruin.
You also have been struck by bad fortune. You, sir Raganar, one of the great nobles of the Haraldian Empire.
Your father was a wealthy man, who many times fought in the Emperor’s service, risking his life to keep the barbarians at bay. A highly respectable man, that no one would have disliked, if not for one thing. He never got married. And yet he in time had a son, you. Being an illegitimate child. This was however forgiven and forgotten by the Emperor, who didn’t want to lose one of his finest men over such small a thing. But at the time you were 12, the Emperor died, and was succeeded by his much less glorious son, Harald IX, known as the Pig. The Pig had a grudge towards your father, since he had once saved his life upon the battlefield, making him, as the Emperor’s son, look stupid and helpless. He remembered that you were but an illegitimate son, and accused your father for whoredom. Your father was thrown into prison, where he later died, and you, banished, forever.
Since that day, you have been wandering the earth, trying to find a place where you could settle, but everywhere you turned there were enemies. Outside the Empire, the barbarians pillaged and burned, and inside the Empire, the Pig’s men haunted you.
In a final act of desperation, you, and few carefully chosen friends, stole some provisions from a military garrison within the Empire, and headed for the one place upon earth where you might be safe, Frenlir’s Tooth. In this dark and gloomy valley, no one lived, and surely, no one would follow you into this cruel place. But that was not the case.
The Pig was severely angered by you theft, and has sworn not to rest until you also lay dead, and small barbarian tribes have shown a sudden interest for the valley. Beware, sir Raganar, for two great evils now approach you…
Important note: Although this is a place-your-own-keep scenario, it has been designed for you to site your castle on top of the Tooth itself. The hill actually provides you with different opportunities as well: will you place you keep at the back of the Tooth, close to the corner, where there is plenty of building space or close to the edge, where resources are close at hand? You may of course place your keep anywhere, but the map has been playtested with the keep atop the Tooth, and some bugs might occur if you chose to place your keep someplace else.
The Author’s Notes:
First, thanks to Lord Ako and Stretch23 who helped me playtest this map.
I left the hill rather empty as write-up states that “nothing will ever grow on the hill itself”, and this is where you’re supposed to place your keep, so I wanted to allow a lot of building space.
The map may be played at any difficulty but has only been playtested at Easy and Normal (an earlier version of the map was playtested at Hard by Lord Ako, and since the scripting isn’t designed especially for Normal difficulty, I guess the map should play off pretty well at Hard and Very Hard as well). I have labelled the map as Normal, since I believe that most players will find the map to be of moderate difficulty. I personally found the map rather hard, but I still think that more experienced/skilled players would prefer to play the map at Hard or even Very Hard.
The bandits that will attack the castle represents the barbarian tribes.
As always: I hope you’ll enjoy the map as much as I enjoyed creating it.
And a few hints:
- Dragons have fiery breath.
- Fierce bears still roam the valley.
- Get weapons production going as early as possible.
- The same goes for mining stone.
- The Tooth is indeed a defensible spot, make use of its advantages.
- Defend the quarry!