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Stronghold: Invasions » Ithélâ's Challenge (Map 8 in Saviour of Léugìm)

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Ithélâ's Challenge (Map 8 in Saviour of Léugìm)

Author File Description
Llungki pey
(id: younghappy)
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Hard
Made with version: 1.1

Other uploaded scenarios in the Campaign:

1. Mardonton - The siege
2. Bealaigh Hill - The Ambush
3. An Unlikely Saviour
4. The Lost Estate
5. Mountain's Fist
6. The Pilgrims' Progress
7. The City of Columbar
9. Mountain's Fist - The Healing
10. Ending a Dire Threat

Ithélâ's Challenge

Map No.8 in The Saviour of Léugìm Community Campaign.

You (Gregory) escape the Monument Valley and reach the fortress of the Ice god. To persuade him to your cause you must successfully seige his icy palace and kill all enemy units in a certain time. Prove yourself worthy of his allegiance!

Background Information

(Best read with Kingdom map enlarged)
Ithélâ the Ice god: No one quite knows the origins of this god. Some say he was sent to watch over the central lands, the lands which Léugìm lies within. Yet others say he was banished to the frozen wastes of the Diaga Mountains by more powerful deities of other lands. He has not been known to mingle with the affairs of man unless asked. Reaching Ithela himself is probably just as difficult as persuading him. His fortress is built in a valley surrounded by towering peaks, glaciers and frigid rivers. Yet the fortress is far more majestic than it's surroundings; Three solid stone rings reach the height of the mountains. It is a structure incomparable to any that man has built. Not much else is known of this place, it is barren, inhospitable and cold...very cold.


You play again as Gregory in this mission. You have escaped the Monument Valley alive after fighting off enemy troops whilst protecting faithful Pilgrims. After travelling the treacherous route of Gragria, you reach the fortress of Ithélâ the Ice god. Gregory briefly addresses his situation to the god and is set a challenge:
"But I will give you one chance. I will provide you siege equipment, soldiers, and archers, every kind of soldier the human race knows, and give you a chance of besieging my castle. You have to prove yourself worthy of my consent. You only have one try. If you fail, you will have to leave empty-handed."
In this mission you must kill the Lord and all enemy units in a certain time...the fate of Léugìm lies in your hands....

Campaign Map

Click thumbnail pic to see 250k JPEG


Gather together the forces Ithélâ has given you. Launch an attack on his fortress. You will need to dig through the moat and reach the walls. Kill the enemy Lord and all enemy troops whilst keeping to the time limit.


  • Kill Enemy Lord
  • No Enemy on Map
  • Game Starts on January 1084
  • Game ends at February 1088 (if you don't win first)

Hints for all players

>When moving troops, try to keep out of enemy firing range.
>Be quick to co-ordinate your attack.
>Try to protect moat diggers
>Seige equipment will prove vital to the completion of this map.
>Use your knights to clear a path for following troops.
>Watch out for pitch ditches.
>Watch out for wolves.

Author's Note

I volunteered to make this map as I wanted to create something different, something more of a challenge. I mostly create small forts and natural/common landscapes so this huge stone fortress surrounded by snow, himalayan terrain and a glacier was definately a challenge for me. I also wanted to create a challenge for the player so I made the castle very strong (three rings)...I actually found myself removing half of the enemy troops after my first playtest! When placing gatehouses, I placed them on alternated sides of each ring to make it more difficult for the player. However there is one intentional design feature I used to make this castle easier to defeat...

I hope you enjoy this map amd find it a challenge, comments and reviews are encouraged.

Zip Contents

-Invasion Map
-Map of progress
-Map of Léugìm
-Large Map overview (Panorama)


>FroobaChoob, the person who gave the idea to the Campaign.
>Lord Michael I for writing the story.
>Ericgolf, the playtester and the person who made the HTML template for the DL Section. Web-hosting of information and general technical help.
>Sir Ravenclaw: Designer of the campaign logo and for Hex-Editing the colours of this map.
>Younghappy: Map Designer. In charge of campaign after Froobachoob left. Designed large maps of Léugìm. Submits news articles.
>Staff and members of Stronghold Heaven.
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design5.0
Playability: 5
Unbelievable. Incredible. Chapter 8 of the campaign opens before you with a visually stunning creation courtesy of Younghappy, and what a splendid scenario this is too! The storyline is perfectly clear in terms of what you must do in order to win, yet the map offers so much more. Firstly, I loved the gathering of your army from the various locations across the canvas. This is a neat idea which immediately places your troops at risk of coming under fire if they choose a route too close to the defending archers. Once a starting location is secured, you have a few options available to you when it comes to laying siege to the Ice God's castle. Do you pound the outer gatehouse with catapults, then work your way from gatehouse to gatehouse, taking each one down before killing the Lord? Well, there is another way once you break through the outer gatehouse, but i'm not going to say what this is as it could spoil it for others. It's not too difficult to work out, and I suspect that this is the deliberate feature Younghappy refers to. It's a great idea nonetheless, only seen once before on a great map already in our downloads section, but never used on a scale such as this and never as an intricate means of moving around the castle.

The map is, in effect, split into three parts; firstly, kill the Lord (Ice God?). Then you must kill off all the other units, which is no easy feat. Finally, there is a time limit to achieve all this and this resulted in a frantic but carefully planned strategic assault where your own timing is of the essence in order to win. The map has bags of replayability as you could go for any number of different approaches if the mood suits you. Everything worked exactly as it should, even the wolf event early on in the scenario which can really upset the balance if you don't manoeuvre your army into position quickly. With so much going on all the time, you must never take your eye off the ball and constant checking of your progress is key. Once the Lord was defeated I decided to split my attacks into several groups to sweep up and kill the remaining defending units. A big plus point was the ability to use groups of crossbowmen placed around the castle walls to pick off any units that aren't hidden away.

This map is all about strategy, technique and fun! Absolutely faultless, in my opinion.

Balance: 5
Quite tough in general, but after a few attempts I managed to achieve victory. The second and third attempt dispensed with the job of taking down all of the gatehouses and concentrated on the 'special feature of the map', with the time limit reached on my second attempt and only four enemy units remaining! Oh, the frustration! The map really does need a planned and considered assault with every unit and their associated actions uppermost in your mind before you even begin to siege the castle. It is pleasing to see that the careful playtesting of the map resulted in the reduction of the defending units as anything more would have been overkill. What is even more pleasing is that the units chosen are strategically placed and not grouped together in vast numbers. This ensures that progress can be made without facing an obstacle (such as twenty crossbowmen on top of the keep) that can ultimately decide your success or otherwise. In other words, the spread of troops across the walls and gatehouses hinders you but never upsets the balance and doesn't distract from the need to complete the scenario within a limited amount of time. Not all of the catapults were needed, neither were all of the siege towers, but these proved a useful distraction to the archers as I sent them on a merry dance around the castle whilst I focused on getting to that keep as quickly as I could. Arguably, the map isn't overly difficult to beat for an experienced player, but i'm not letting this affect the score, which is, in my opinion, fully deserved.

Creativity: 5
Oh, come on! What other score could I consider awarding?! From the moment I saw this minimap in the Campaign thread I knew this was likely to be one of the finest visual creations on offer. It lives up to its' initial promise. Beautiful and serene, but truly chilling and harsh, the castle and surroundings are perfect. Once again the scenario takes a quite simple idea (kill Lord, all enemy, within time limit) but this is so perfectly executed it feels like something unique and never before seen in the Downloads Section. The little design trick to allow you to take an alternative route to the keep once that outer gatehouse has fallen has been done perfectly and blends in to the castle design really well, rather than an ugly and blatant design feature. In fact, this is what the scenario is all about; many little design tricks are employed but never do they seem to overwhelm the map or detract from the overall scenario you play.

Map Design: 5
This is a masterpiece. For someone who doesn't normally create large pre-built fortresses, preferring the more subtle approach, Younghappy has proved beyond doubt that he has a grasp of the editor that few other designers can boast, with talents and an imagination (which is key to success) that can tackle any scenario, any style you could throw at him. I just LOVE this map!

The depiction of the castle itself is stunning, and I really appreciate the concentric design which takes a departure from the usual circular or square structures and offers alayout somewhere in between. Visually, it's beyond fault. The lack of other buildings is justified in the brief design notes. It's just you and the castle. This design and the overall feel of the map is the nearest thing I have seen that matches the works of the author Michael Moorcock and whilst this wasn't intentional on the part of Younghappy, I can assure you it is a very high compliment! The landscape is... just... amazing, with the effect of snow and ice depicted so well. That river and the waterfall (which could be a glacier, depending on how you look at it) serves to impress and it's the little things such as the small tiles of snow/ice floating away from it that I really appreciate. The perma-frost appearance of the land is expertly done, the woodland represented by Pine or Fir trees as you would expect. Take a look at the winding path in the south west corner of the map and the pathway leading out from the valley to the surrounds of the Ice God's Palace. Younghappy didn't need to create this feature, but it's there and proves to me that every single part of this map design has been created specifically to serve a purpose. And with such dedication, I am nothing but impressed and respectful of someone who can truly design a masterpiece such as this map offers.

Story/Instructions: 5
The zip file contains the campaign maps and an overall screengrab of the landscape you will play on. The thread in the forums continues to support the designers' work and it reflects the time and dedication made by the team as a whole. A few key instructions by Younghappy offers a little bit of an insight into what he is attempting to create, which is appreciated. The story though is incredibly well written. It's easy to read, absorbing and full of detail and information that supports the scenario 100%. Ask a question to yourself why something appears in the map as it does, or why does such-and-such a function work like that and no doubt the story will answer this for you. I've said this before, but Lord Michael I continues to improve with each passing chapter of the campaign. Please, do NOT ignore the storyline for any of these maps because it would be a real shame to miss the hard work and dedication this offers.

Additional Comments:
This review is a bit gushy in places, a bit over the top in others, but I just don't care. The map is exquisite, as near to perfection as you could wish for. It is interesting to see the quality of the work this campaign has produced, as every map is right up there in terms of hitting the pinnacle of design in the Stronghold editor.

Thank you Younghappy for such a wonderful map!

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HGDL v0.8.2

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Map Design5.0
Favorites: [Who?]3
Size:2.21 MB