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The Priory

Author File Description
File Details
Map Size: 300x300 (Medium)
Difficulty: Normal
This is a troubled time; you have taken it upon yourself to right wrongs, in the shadow of what was once a magnificent Priory, testament to the power of the monks that lived here. They were scholars, well-educated in not only their religion but in mathematics and language. The Priory was the hub in the wheel of a network of religious houses and was regarded as the most spiritual and holy place for hundreds of miles. Set up high on a cliff overlooking the sea, it was a place of purity and tranquility. The monks, though not naive to the rumblings of discontent in the centre of royal power, never imagined that they would experience such heresy at the hands of the 'Snake'.

In 1297, on a winter's day, the Snake's men, some recruited with promise of gold and silver, some fighting through their own free will, marched to the coast and razed the Priory, killing as many monks as they could find. Some escaped, but they were few. Local villagers, scared to rise up against the might of the Snake's men, hid in their shelters and waited. They crossed the gorge and, without a word, solemnly buried those they they found. The Priory was, as were many Abbeys and Priories, working centres that made healthy profits from the sale of their crops, the wool from their sheep and the meat from their livestock.

Luckily for you, the Snake did not entertain the idea of claiming your keep for his own, as many Barons and Lords in this land can testify. And it is from this base that you must rebuild the faith once upheld by the monks. Yet, you must protect what you create. The castle walls must be thick, for the Snake will no doubt turn against you once he discovers your plans. A few monks will return to you soon with reinforcements. What they lack in number to the Snake's men, they make up for in commitment to your cause.

Be careful: there are wild animals in these areas. You must also be prepared for local uprisings, as the Priory, now in ruins, is a rich source of stone that will sell well in a market. However, DO NOT destroy these ruins to fund your own construction. The Priory is in a sorry state, granted, but the remains are to be left as a monument to what once was, for it may never be matched again.

In addition, you must ensure you have sufficient goods to pass on once this bitter time in our history is at an end.

May God be with you.

AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
brave sir robyn
Map Design4.0
Playability: 4
This is an enjoyable scenario to play and definitely above average. Most things are available to the player so it suits a variety of playing styles. It's an attractive landscape that lets you get on with playing Stronghold, building your economy and constructing defences and in this sense it works very well. There are a few bad events that occur, wolves, plague etc, but nothing that will destroy your achievements or enjoyment of the scenario.
However ...

Balance: 3
This is where the scenario falls down slightly.
Although listed as an Invasion map I never actually suffered an Invasion before I won. This was somewhat disappointing as I'd built up my defences and troops in preparation for a visit from the Snake (as the story suggested).
**After playing I did look at the script and discovered that if I'd played longer I would have encountered quite a formidable invasion, but this does not occur until a long way into the game. - I won't say how long but if you take too much time to win you will need those defences. ;-) It's a real shame there weren't a few early Snake invasions to give the player something to think about and a reason to build a strong defence.
The early problems presented by wolves and bandits can be dealt with relatively easily and the economic requirements are simply a matter of time - with no Time Limit to pressure a player into mistakes it's just a steady progression towards Victory.
Some of the eco-goals feel slightly out of balance with one another too, It's easy to race to a far greater population than the 50-odd requirement but amassing 7000-odd gold can seem a little laborious.
Overall, if you don't take an excessive amount of time to reach the eco-goals this really plays more as an Economic Scenario than an Invasion.

Creativity: 4
This is a creative scenario, especially considering how old it is now. It's definitely above average even compared to some of the maps you see in the downloads today. Unfortunately though the (apparent) lack of invasions in an Invasion map does hurt it overall.
It's clear that Sulis knew how to create a natural and very pleasing landscape and understood the editor to a high degree. Along with a solid storyline this allowed him to present a very playable scenario that six years on I enjoyed playing.

Map Design: 4
Very good design. I only score this landscape a 4 because I've seen what Sulis has created since, if I'd rated this back when the map was made it'd probably have been a 5. The entire map is very well crafted and looks like a real place, perfectly natural and believable. There are no areas where anything looks out of place.
The river gorges cut the land into three distinct sections. One of which is inaccessible to enemies unless they go through your castle.
The inaccessible section where the Priory once was also contains the iron and stone deposits meaning they're safe from enemy attack. However the low lying farm areas are very vulnerable and will probably need rebuilding once or twice. The keep area itself has plenty of room around to construct a thriving economy. All in a very comfortable landscape to play on.

Story/Instructions: 5
Although personally I don't believe a long or complex story is necessary for any map this is an excellent storyline, both in the download section and the in-game description. It's a very believable story and really gives you a feel for what the map is about and sets up the scenario very well. It also ties in with the landscape perfectly. Story writing has never been a weak point in Sulis' work.

Additional Comments:
Overall a good map, apart from the Invasion anomaly. I would recommend you try it out. If you want to try the invasion then dig in and be patient, if you want to go economics only, then get a move on! :)
Sulis is easily one of the best map designers in the SH community and it was fascinating to see and play his first uploaded Invasion scenario.

[Edited on 04/23/08 @ 04:43 PM]

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Map Design4.0
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Size:515.12 KB