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An End and a Beginning is the first scenario of the Sforza campaign in the Forgotten expansion of Age of Empires II.


A man who comes from nothing to become great. A boy in grief becomes a man. At that moment, though, I had more to think about than my position in life as the Alpine winds bite my skin. I was a mercenary once, and now that I think about it, I was sorry at how far I'd fell. Penniless, I would have to beg to sit by a fire, much less eat. But first, I would have to find shelter. All other houses were dark, and there were no inns. I saw a few candles lit through the windows of a grand building in the distance.

So I ran. I'm not as fast as those Scots, and we people of Italia don't seem to believe in having squires carry our belongings for us. I was a Condottiero, but I gave up my armor and horse to run on foot. Heh. I ran into the building in search of warmth. To my surprise, the doors creaked open. A massive library! It was warm, too, someone had taken great care to stay warm and I would have used the books as tinder. Ah! Am I not a man of the contract? We pride ourselves on being learned men, the successors of the Legions.

A young man approached me. "Hello, stranger. Welcome to the University of Florence! Or its library, anyway. You can stay a while. What do you do?" I laughed. "I WAS a Condottiero. Now I am an old man who wears chainmail." The man smiled and told me he was reading about Dukes and Princes. He asked me if I knew of any. I said yes and I began, "Once there was a young man who fought under his father, who thought himself worldly and hardened - but in actuality was sheltered and not expecting to be thrust into the world of grief - but then again, no one ever does."


The player starts with eleven Condottieri, one of which is no other than Francesco Sforza himself, as a buffed-up version of the generic Condottiero unit.


  • Captain Johannes (Italians) - The first captain to be encountered, he and his forces lie to the southwest of the village. This player's forces consist of Captain Johannes himself, as well as a Heavy Scorpion a Spearman, some Men-at-Arms and Genoese Crossbowmen. He is a renamed Two-Handed Swordsman unit.
  • Captain Bontolmo (Italians) - His forces are encountered to a Castle to the south of Johannes. To join Sforza, the player must bring a Monk of the red player to this position. Forces include three Genoese Crossbowmen, five Spearmen (though only two join) and five Condottieri. He is a renamed Condottiero unit.
  • Captain Guitano (Italians) - Sited to the southwest of the map, just south of a swamp, forces include ten Light Cavalry units and Guitano himself, a renamed Knight unit.
  • Captain Luigeusi (Italians) - His forces lie just south of the village and east of the central part of the map. They mostly consist of infantry units, including two Condottieri, but also a Siege Tower and a Siege Ram. This player also owns the aqueduct needed to supply the orange player with fresh water, as soon as Luigeusi joins the player, however.
  • Captain Marcelo (Italians) - Sited just to the east of the village, this player controls nine Cavalry Archers, of which five will join as soon as Marcelo's request is completed.
  • Village (Italians) - The village is sited to the southeast of the spot where Muzio drowned. A Monk at the Monastery just outside the village is part of the quest to convince Captain Bontolmo to join forces with Francesco Sforza.


  • Raiders (Franks) - Representing Carmagnola's forces, their units can be found all around the map in small to medium groups. Initial groups encountered consist of Light Cavalry, Crossbowmen and Long Swordsmen. To the west of Johannes also lie Heavy Pikemen, more Crossbowmen, Condottieri, a Flamethrower and a Knight. To the very center of the map, to the east of Bontolmo they also own Huskarls. To the south parts of the map lurk - among others - Genoese Crossbowmen, Archers, Man-at-arms and Long Swordsmen. Also, this player owns a walled Fortress to the westernmost part of the map, that must be destroyed in order to complete this scenario.


The scenario begins with the Sforza father and son leading a band of Condottieri, and as they reach the river, the father, Muzio, insisted on trying to cross the river, despite flood warning by his son, Francesco. The son helplessly witness his father being swept away by the water tide, while refusing to accept his father's death. Captain Johannes would come and give his condolences, but claiming that the Captains, who were previously serving Muzio Sforza, are not automatically obligated to serve the son. Therefore, Francesco Sforza is now on a quest of convincing all the five Captains, including Johannes, before attacking the Raiders. This scenario is somewhat similar to the Crucible scenario of the Genghis Khan campaign.

To convince Johannes, the player must kill the bandit leader at the west of his camp.

To convince Marcelo, the player must use the Trade Cart he lends the player to collect some hays for him. If the Trade Cart dies, the player will lose the scenario.

To convince Bontolmo, the player must bring him the healer (with the appearance of a Monk at the Monastery near Johannes' camp, just outside the village. The healer will still remain serving the player. If the healer dies while he isn´t brought at the Bontolmo's Castle, the player will lose the scenario.

To convince Luigeusi, the player must send Sforza to collect five wheels from broken carts for him. Note that some of the wheels are broken. The player must fulfill this task before fulfilling Guitano's task.

To convince Guitano, the player must get water from the aqueduct in Luigeusi's camp for his horses.

There is a cave in the east being a passage for Sforza to a tournament ground at the southeast, where he must kill a bear and destroy two stone blocks in order to reveal part of the enemy base. The exit will be marked after the player had done these. However this is optional.

After convincing all the five Captains, the player must to destroy the Raiders' fortress. The player might need to lure out the enemies and kill them before actually besieging. Once the player is done, each of the Captains will pledge allegiance to Francesco Sforza and the scenario is won.


"...and that is how Francesco Sforza went from boy to man." The young man followed my every word with thoughtfulness in his eyes. He disappeared for a while, then brought some parchment and ink. Oh, and he also brought my two favorite things, salted pork and filone. "That can't be the end of Francesco Sforza's tale, could it?" he bribed me with delicious food to write his book! I said no, that was not the end. Francesco Sforza's tale was far from over.


  • Before The African Kingdoms, clicking the lumberjack of the Village will trigger a dialog: "I work hard to earn my salumi". This is removed in The African Kingdoms.
  • It is possible to make all captains join the players' army. Once getting the Monk, use it to convert the Captains, since all of them are general units. Switch the diplomacy when converting.