|This article is about the scenario in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten. For the scenario in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, see Arrival at Bari (Definitive Edition).|
I rushed back from the walls, my armor drenched in blood and sweat. The Normans were quite tenacious, and many soldiers were killed on the wall each day. After the battles, I usually went to an inn with my comrades to drink off the horrors of each day -- but not today. My father, the heroic Michael Nautikos, savior of Bari and slayer of rebels, was waiting for me.
Bursting through the doors to my father's house, I found the wizened old man sitting at the great table, looking out the window. "Foul, treacherous mercenary scum!" he muttered while observing some enemy soldiers loading a trebuchet. "Son, the inhabitants of this peninsula have been letting mercenaries in for almost 2,000 years. Not one bit of good it did them! When you win a battle with mercenaries, you switch one enemy for another."
Weary of the Normans, I addressed my father: "Father, I've spilled too much blood and seen far too much of these Normans for one day. Let us speak of more pleasant matters. Perhaps it would ease my mind if you could tell me the story of my great-grandfather?" I asked. "The old men still speak of him and tell stories, but I have heard so many that it is impossible to know the truth."
Michael spun around, a gleam in his sunken eyes. The sun shone off his wispy, silver hair and for a minute, he looked like he was half his age. "You want to hear the story of the family, son? Our family has pure Greek blood that runs back centuries! Nautikos, our surname -- it is so because we came here as sailors. You look much like I did, years ago... but very well, I will begin the tale," ending his musings with a smile.
"In the year 869, your great-grandfather, the sailor and knight Panos Nautikos, answered the summons of his Byzantine liege, Emperor Basil II. They had entered into an alliance with the Carolingians, who wished our aid in defeating the infidel scum tainting Italy. Panos led a contingent of men who were to aid the army of Louis II, the Carolingian Emperor. And so one sunny morning, Panos strode to the harbor to board his ship..."
- Bari (Saracens) is in the middle of the map, initially occupied by the Arabs. Their gates are locked, so the player must infiltrate by its 'weak spot' at its western part. After defeating the Arabs and Emperor Louis II gets imprisoned by the Lombards, the Lombards will take over Bari.
- Byzantine Empire (Byzantines) has a port at the southern tip (where the player starts), a military base in the northeast (which the player will take over to recapature Bari from the Lombards), and a few ships at the eastern tip (which the player will take over to fight the Lombards).
- Emperor Louis II (Franks) has his camp in the southwest, where the player must reach before the conquest on the Emirates. After defeating the Emirates of Bari, the player will possess the Emperor and his guards, and must bring the Emperor to a Castle in Bari.
- Oria (Italians) is in the north, occupied by the Arabs. After defeating the Arab occupants, the lord of Oria will give the player a few soldiers to defeat the remaining outlying Arab troops before invading Bari. The player must also get the sapper from Oria to breakthrough Bari.
Ally → enemy
- Lombards (Goths) have their initial base at the western tip, where the player will witness their Prince Adelchis of Benevento's argument with Emperor Louis II. After imprisoning Emperor Louis II, they will take over Bari and Emperor Louis' camp. They will initially defend Bari with infantry, cavalry and siege weapons, but after the player killed these, they will only be producing pikemen.
- Emirates of Bari (Saracens) is occupying Bari, Matera, and Oria, as well as having a fleet which will attempt to stop the player from landing on Italy, and also having several groups of soldiers between Matera and Oria.
- Matera (Italians) is in the southwest, just opposite to Emperor Louis II's camp. Either their Fire Tower or Castle will kill the player's Messenger who is supposed to ask them to surrender, and the player must siege Matera to avenge the Messenger's death. After the player kills the Matera troops, a large group of Arab cavalry comes out of Matera to fight the player. The player must destroy all the buildings except Houses, Gates and walls.
You are playing as Panos Nautikos, starting with himself and two soldiers at a Byzantine port. They are to board on a Byzantine transport ship and sail until you obtain several Gaia warships and transport ships with additional troops. You will encounter warships of Emirates of Bari (referred as 'Arabs' in this section) and you should transport your ground troops safely to Emperor Louis II's camp.
After the Emperor gave his briefing, bring your Messenger (a Scout Cavalry with only 5 HP) to the gate of Matera, supposedly asking them to surrender. But he will be killed by either a Castle or a fire tower. In order to avenge his death, you have to defeat Matera and destroy all the buildings within the walls, except Houses. After you have killed all the Matera soldiers, a large group of Arab army come and attack you.
After the siege of Matera, the Emperor will tell you to invade Oria by killing all the Arab troops inside. Upon meeting the lord of Oria, he will thank you and ask you to kill all the remaining Arab troops between Oria and Matera. Return to meet the Emperor at his camp.
The Emperor will assign you to invade the harbor of Bari (controlled by the Arabs) by destroying all the Towers and Docks. At this moment, your original Byzantine ships are no more but the Emperor will give you his own ships (Demolition Ships, transport ships and War Galleys). You shall use the demolition ships to destroy three of the towers at the edges. You will need to deal with Arab War Galleys and infantry. Once you have completed the task, your war Galleys will disappear and you might not finish killing the Arab soldiers at this moment.
You will learn that all the Gates of Bari are locked, so you need to meet a sapper (a Genitour, looks like a Militia, but has the icon and taunts of a cavalry archer) in Oria, and you must bring Panos and him to a "weak spot" of Bari, where there are rocks to be removed by the sapper. Along the way you will encounter a few Arab soldiers.
Bring your troops to sneak into Bari by the "weak spot" and kill all the Arab troops, including any remaining soldiers at the harbor you attacked previously. Once Emirates of Bari is defeated, bring Emperor Louis II to a Castle in Bari.
You will witness Louis II arguing with the Lombard Prince Adelchis of Benevento and get imprisoned by the Lombards. They would take over Bari and Louis II's camp. You must meet the Byzantine Commander at the Byzantine army camp, and you will take over the whole camp and army, as well as receiving tributes, so that you may replenish your troops anytime. Start besieging Bari by destroying all five Castles.
The Lombards would begin defending with various units, but once you have defeated them, they will only be producing pikemen. You win the scenario after destroying the Castles.
"And so our kin broke the Lombard defenses and subjected the city to a glorious sack!" Michael exclaimed. "After the rebuilding, Panos was offered lordship of the city, but he turned it down. He just wanted to live out his days in peace, much like us all. He settled down, and my father -- your grandfather was born several years later. Panos did what any good man would want to do -- bring glory to his house."
"But what of Louis?" I asked. The old man mused for a long time. The wine had clearly stalled his thought, but finally he seemed to recall. "Ah, Louis. He never came back," laughed Michael. "The Lombards said that he would lose his feet were he to tread on their land again. At least that's what he apparently said. More likely, he just had to deal with barbarians in the north. He died soon after."
Suddenly, a bell rang, followed by the cries of battle. The Normans were attempting to scale the wall in the dark of night, but a watchman had seen them approaching. I donned my armor and rushed out the door. Michael sighed and must have remembered his heyday, when he heroically donned armor and cut down foes with his longsword. Now I, his son, was doing the same, and it made him proud.