Echoes of Heroes is the fourth scenario of the Ivaylo campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. It is based on the Battle of Devina.

Intro[edit | edit source]

Ivaylo rode south, galloping past torched villages and overturned fields. He rode under the tall peaks and through the narrow passages of the Balkan Mountains. There, the remnants of his army would make their final stand.

A great Roman army was approaching, sent to reinforce Ivan's faction in Tarnovo. The army was commanded by the general Michael Glabas, who had strengthened his already impressive numbers with Tatar mercenaries.

With Ivan in the north and the Romans marching from the south, Ivaylo knew neither refuge nor retreat remained for his last followers. His men would win or die in these mountain passes.

But these valleys have witnessed impossible victories before. Here was where Bulgarian khans and tsars etched their places in history. The walls of granite rock echoed the names of heroes like Krum, Simeon, and Kaloyan the Romanslayer. To these, the names of Ivaylo and his men would be added.

Scenario instructions[edit | edit source]

Starting conditions[edit | edit source]

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Ivaylo, Georgi Terter, and the Bulgarians must survive.
  • Bring Ivaylo to the allied Bulgarian camp.
  • Bring Ivaylo to the Castle in Devaya.
  • Find the mysterious Tatar raider.
  • Find the Roman supply camp.

Hints[edit | edit source]

  1. You are restricted to a population limit of 200.
  2. The Bulgarians are outmatched. They will need the help of Georgi Terter and the monks to survive.
  3. The Bogomils mark their hideouts with small statues. Bringing units near them will often reveal new friends.
  4. Some Bogomil villagers wander the passes. If Kozma can convert them, Ivaylo may be able to train a small army before reaching his destination.
  5. Use Kozma's far-reaching vision to avoid fights you cannot win.
  6. The Tatars are mercenaries and have no economy of their own. Only by weakening the Romans will they be weakened.
  7. While destroying the Romans and Tatars is not necessary, their defeat will secure your rear for the attack on Ivan Asen.

Scouts[edit | edit source]

Your scouts report:

  • The Bulgarians defend the Kotel Pass, but are outnumbered. With the nearby town of Devaya under Ivan Asen's control, Ivaylo must find a way through the mountains to reach the pass before it is overrun.
  • In Ivaylo's way are Roman Infiltrators (4, Green) who will ambush him in the mountains. Fortunately, the priest Kozma may be able to find friends among the persecuted Bogomils, if he is able to speak with them.
  • The Romans (5, Purple) and Tatars (6, Yellow) attack the Bulgarians. The Tatars are mercenaries and will fight as long as the Romans are able to support them. The total defeat of both forces is not necessary, but crossing the Kamchiya River to reach Devaya will be difficult if they remain strong.

Players[edit | edit source]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

As Kozma briefly mentions in his dialog, the pigs near Ivaylo's starting point can be used as improvised scouts.

As briefly mentioned in the hints, the player can convert Villagers to collect resources in the first phase of the game. However, the Romans will eventually attack the Bulgarian base aggressively (around 40 minutes after game starts on hard difficulty). Thus, it is better not to waste time. 

The 'mysterious' Tatar who will ally with the player is the very same Kasim Beg from the previous scenario. The player can benefit the most of him and his army if they first clear the walls and gates of the Romans (the purple team). Until he is 'invisible' for the player, the Romans will not attack him.

Outro[edit | edit source]

Ivaylo's impossible victory at the Kotel Pass brought fear to Ivan. He abandoned Tarnovo and fled to the emperor's court. The emperor offered no solace to the coward.

In Tarnovo, no sooner had the bolyars discovered the tsar's throne empty than they began to squabble over it. The wisest of the bolyars reminded the others that the kingdom was still threatened by both Mongols and Romans. Bulgaria needed stability and that would mean all bolyars would need to unite under a single banner.

From among their ranks, the bolyars found a warrior to defend and unite the kingdom – a man descended from the tribe of the legendary Cuman warrior, Kotyan. They chose Georgi Terter as the tsar.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Devina (Девина) or Devaya (Девая) is a fortress in the Kotel Pass. Not to be confused with Devnya (Девня) which is the contemporary name of Marcianopolis from the third scenario of the Attila the Hun campaign.
  • The Bogomils appeared for a first time about 10th c. in Bulgaria. Persecuted by the law, some of them escaped to Western Europe and were known as kathars, and their ideas would be eventually at the basics of Protestant Christianity. It comes from the name of the priest Bogomil (Bulgarian: Богомил) whose name translates roughly as 'kind to God'.
  • Despite having their own civilization, the Tatars are represented by the Turks. This is historically inaccurate, as the Tatars who fought in Ivaylo's uprising were the Golden Horde, not the Turks who became Anatolian Turkish today.
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