The nightmare is always the same. I shiver awake, watching the arrows rain down. I can feel the heat of burning tents. Hooves clatter, swords crash together, and bodies tumble into the dust. I can smell death. My three brothers lost their lives defending our tribe from the Hunnic raids.
On those nights I would roll close to Alaric. I touched every scar and remembered the sacrifices he made for his people. I loved him deeply, my husband and my king. Never before had the Goths been led by such a great man.
After the Hunnic invasion Alaric left our tribe to join the Roman army. Like so many of our young men, he longed for revenge. With his exceptional strength and cunning mind, his reputation grew, and he soon led centuries of men. But the Romans are treacherous masters.
Alaric grew weary of false promises of gold and land. While he fought the wars of other men hundreds of leagues away, we wandered, homeless. I still remember the thousands of campfires shining through the dark nights. When he did return, he rarely spoke. He stared embittered into the campfire as if he saw God staring back, just as silently.
Then one day everything changed. He swept into camp, took me in his arms, and kissed me like never before. And he laughed.
"Stilicho has agreed to a deal!"
"The Roman general?" I replied. "The one you've been butting heads against all these years? Why would he make a deal now?"
He gave me a cryptic smile. "There are always conspiracies in Rome, plays for power." He said. "But our people need land here and now, in Thrace. For that, I would make a deal even with Stilicho. He is willing to give it to us."
That night was filled with music and laughter, the joy of a thousand Gothic camps. Their king had found them a new home. But the pendulum of Roman conspiracy swings both ways. The campfires of that happy night soon smoldered into ashes. Our hopes followed when the refugees began pouring in. Children, wives, destitute masses of bleeding people, all terrified for their lives and exhausted from flight. It was then we heard: the Senate had found out about Stilicho and his deal. They killed him, and slaughtered every "barbarian" they found in Rome. Come morning, legions of Goths marched from camp, once again fighting for Rome: they would fight the Romans for it.
- Goths (Goths) have a camp in the south, while also possessing the player's initial units in the very beginning. The player must go to their camp and take over their units. Even though this player is 'defeated' at this point, they will take over the nearby Italian Market once Alaric reaches there.
- Goth refugees (Goths) has only one lone unit, a Man-at-Arms, in the east bank of the river. Upon meeting him, he will request to free some fellow Gothic refugees (Gaia units) from the Legions in the north.
- Italians (Italians) mainly consist of civilian units and buildings scattered over the southern half of the map (therefore referred as "civilians" in this article). They have a Monk in the southeast, and another Monk at the Roman Monastery in the west bank, and destroying this Monastery will obtain the Monk.
- Legions of Rome (Byzantines in The Forgotten/Italians in Forgotten Empires) are scattered all over the map, and have a prison camp in the north, holding Gothic refugees whom the lone refugee requests the player to free them. The player would encounter their elite troops, Legionary.
- Rome (Italians) is in the west, and the player should not attempt to enter the well-defended city, and they have their elite troops known as the Centurion. However the player must destroy three of their Watch Towers in the south.
- Yakub (Persians) and Wenceslaus I (Slavs) are two players that each begin with a Town Center, 3 Villagers, and a Scout Cavalry at a random location on the map. Yakub begins in the Dark Age, Wenceslaus I. begins in the Imperial Age. They are enemies to everyone and will usually be quickly defeated. This is likely a bug, and only appears in more recent versions of the game.
The player is playing as Alaric, and the camp is in the east. In this scenario, the player should not try to enter Rome, as it is too dangerous to do so, just fulfill the objectives outside Rome. The first task is to destroy the three Roman Watch Towers at the south of the river.
The player may go around the east bank of the river collecting refugees (actually Gaia units) to fight for the player. The player may occasionally encounter Legions around the map, and there is a group of refugees in the north being held by Legions.
One tower is just at the eastern shore of the river, while the other two are at the western shore, which requires the player to cross the river by the north (NOT the bridge, but through the small island at the south of the bridge). Along the way, apart from inland Watch Towers, the player also encounter a Roman Monastery, which destroying it will get the civilian Monk to the player's service. The player will face resistance by Legions before the player could destroy the two western Watch Towers. In the original mod Forgotten Empires, after the three towers are destroyed, Alaric must be brought to the civilian Dock on the western side.
After destroying the towers, Alaric has to meet some Gothic soldiers at the south, and the player will take over all of them. The player must defeat the Legions at the entrance of the Gothic camp. After that, the player must bring Alaric to the civilian Market at the northwest of the Gothic camp, and the Market will be taken over by the Goths.
The Legions of Rome will begin attacking the Market, and once the invaders are defeated, the scenario is won.
Our soldiers returned to a triumphant fanfare. They brought back carts laden with gold, jewelry, expensive spices, and other valuable treasures. More importantly, they brought back a promise: the Roman senate had agreed to persuade Emperor Honorius to grant us our long-awaited land. But not all faces were cheerful. Many sons did not return. Many wives stood vigil throughout the night, praying their husbands had only fallen behind. Some waited for days, each gloomier than the last, stoically watching, silently mourning.
Whispers spread in the dark corners of the camp. Some soldiers still desired the plunder of Rome itself, convinced that the wealth in their wagons was a pittance compared with the treasures remaining in Roman coffers. They whispered of Roman duplicity, and wondered if their King truly believed the Senate would uphold their desperate bargain. Was Alaric cowardly, to shy away from taking Rome? Did the Senate buy him with their carts of gold? Was he merely a Roman puppet?
- Alaric I in this scenario is actually the renamed form of the hero unit Theodoric the Goth.
- In the original unofficial Forgotten Empires, the player initially has a lone Arbalester at the northern tip of the map, as a placeholder unit to prevent the player from being prematurely 'defeated' (similar as the Crucible scenario in the Genghis Khan campaign).
- The scenario's name is a reference to the common saying "All roads lead to Rome".
- This scenario is the earliest chronological setting in the entire game.