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The NINE GATES of HELL
The sun is setting on this day at the treshold of winter, and the smoke of hundreds of campfires fill the air. Your mind drift away to better times.
It is the 11th. day - of the 11th. month - in the year 1111 of Our Saviour.
The chill of a small breeze brings you back to reality. Your view of the surrounding landscape, your family's possession for countless centuries, is highly disturbed by the hostile presence of an army of disheartening size. You nod to your arms keeper, and he lead the way from the high tower to the hall.
The list of inventory is simple. There is virtually nothing left. All these months of hardship, and hope for relief, has been for nothing. The army surrounding your castle will not leave any time soon, and there is no hope of pardon for you - as well as your loyal fiefs and serfs - following the ferocious defense of your castle and rights of birth. Many an enemy has been slain!
The walls are about to breach, and you see only two options: Surrender, and be tortured to death - or, honourable resistance to the death. The choice is nothing more than hypothetical. You order your arms keeper to call for a last feast this very evening. The little provisions left will fill the stomachs of hungry men and their families, and death will emerge only in the distant future of tomorrow. Children will play and giggle, women will laugh and blush, and men will indulge themselves in competitive brawl and drinking of ale, silently weeping for the destiny about to be fulfilled.
At almost midnight there is still drinking and dancing, when you suddenly feel a presence. You turn rapidly, and sitting next to you is a person obscured by a black hooded robe. You do not hesitate to draw your dagger, and the men present in the hall quickly enclose the stranger.
"Who are you stranger, and what is your intent?" you ask in a voice as calm as possible. You do not understand how this stranger can suddenly sit beside you, as experienced - and alert - guards are on every wall, tower, and gate.
"I am the one who seeks lost souls", says the stranger, "and I see almost countless lost souls in this place!" You are puzzled by this answer and ask again for the strangers name and intent.
"I go by many names of which Ba'al is preferred, but if you will show me respect you may call me Ba'al muian, or Ba'al Z bub!", says the stranger calmly and continues: "If you pledge to honour and serve me for as long as I demand, I shall lead you - and your people - past the besiegers to a safe place. You will not only lose your freedom, but also your fiefdom. For that you have only yourself to blame!"
Your men is visibly discomforted by the situation, but you understand that the renewed sparkle in their eyes is a result of the prospect of escaping certain death - not only themselves, but their entire families.
After a few moments of thought, you answer the stranger calling himself Ba'al: "For the sake of my innocent people I shall let you lead us all to safety. I - and my subjects - wows to serve and to honour you for as long as you may demand!"
Following the strangers instructions, you all gather in the courtyard under the full moon, and awaits further directions. "Form a pentagram around me, and close your eyes, because whoever open an eye just so slightly shall remain in this yard."
The stranger instruct you to open your eyes. You have not moved, yet you are in an alien and gloomy place devoid of all things pleasant, and buzzing with flies. Worst of all, many of your people are missing!
Ba'al says: "Curiosity is an unfortunate human trait. One of MY finest traits is consequense! The missing people could not resist opening an eye. They are now left in the courtyard until morning, when the besiegers storm the castle and decide to rip off their limbs and spill their guts from the ramparts. Their souls shall join me when morning comes, but without the offer I am about to give you!"
"Your clergyman should know me by now. In his sermons he call me The Beast!" Your clergyman turns pale and falls to the ground - dead from fear! "Good", says The Beast, "in this modest part of the divine creation there is not much room for the likes of him, but his soul will do unspeakable things for me!"
The Beast goes on: "If you can break through The Nine Gates of this domain that I call Gehenna, eliminate my Forces of Darkness, and bring me a few jars of black pitch - very black, and very flammable pitch - then I shall release you all in your former world, but free of your enemies, and free of your wows to me."
"Just remember: If - in the attempt of freeing yourself - you feed me 666 souls of your own good men, your soul shall instantly belong to me for all eternity to come - and if you believe in only one eternity, you shall become sorrowly surprised!"
"The alternative is to stay here and live life on a diet of apples and cheese. Like the other animals you may entertain youself by rolling in the mud, and propagate there as well. That is: Until I take your souls!"
Will you choose
1. conformity, humiliation, agony, and the guaranteed loss of your soul, or will you choose
2. fear of the unknown, unbelievable carnage, the possibility of losing your soul, but also the chance of attaining freedom for you and your people?
Only YOU can answer the question! Let your new life begin after a long night void of any rest!
For an additional challenge, read the file "Notes.txt" included in the zip.
|Author||Comments ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Cool map, I liked your idea for this map and you did a nice job of laying it out, I played it twice and lost both times. The first time I used up my troops before I got close to the end, and found it frustrating trying to find out why my game would end until I remembered seeing the 666 troops lost.
The second play was a little different, I got into the iron and made swordsmen and managed to get to the final gate but didn't have enough troops to get the job done, good map!
The few things I thought were not so good, I played the second time at speed 90 and it was quite boring, I was kind of lost without my range units, I'm not used to playing with just melee troops, but that's just me. You gave us the horses but didn't allow the Knights in the barracks, it would have helped.
Anyway a good map with an interesting challenge, and a good story, thanks for the map, I hope you do well in the contest.
Thank you for the comments, Sir Vet! Much appreciated.
I wanted to make a unconventional (story, goal, script, limitations) scenario, and thought the end result was quite easy, but also suspected it could be tricky for many a good desktop commander. You have to ask yourself what it is that distinguish a good real life commander from a good desktop commander! Once you've realized that, and act accordingly, the scenario should be a "piece of cake"!
It is the place of the damned, but it's so much less boring when you win! ;-)