In the Shadow of the Throne is the fifth and final scenario of the Algirdas and Kestutis campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dawn of the Dukes. It is based on the Lithuanian Civil War (1381–1384).
When Lithuania was in dire straits, my father did not hesitate. He seized power — and kept it.
I tried to follow his example... and you can see where it has taken me. I aimed for the throne — yet I ended up in this dark, moldy prison cell.
It was old, steadfast Kestutis who locked me up, calling me a traitor for coming to an 'understanding' with our old enemy, the Teutonic Order. Yet he was the one who forced my hand.
My father chose me as his successor. I was to rule with Kestutis, the way that he had — but Kestutis no longer wanted to share his power.
I admired him once, you know. He truly was 'the Steadfast', a tempering influence on my father's bold, adventurous personality — but without Algirdas to animate him, Kestutis has turned into a stale, weary, reactionary leader. Now, Kestutis the Stubborn clings to throne that he no longer deserves.
Like all weak rulers, he fears the younger generation — the chains on my hands prove that — but I will not be kept from my rightful inheritance! If any sense remains in that aging mind of his, he would know that my father's heart, that boisterous heart of a wild predator, also beats in my chest...
...and as befits the leader of a pack, I have loyal followers who will not let me rot forever in this dungeon...
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: None; then 650 food, 1,000 wood, 650 gold, 325 stone
- Population limit: 200
- Starting units:
Differences between difficulty levels
- On standard difficulty, Imperial Age is researched right in the beginning, as well as Ballistics, Murder Holes, and the Long Swordsman upgrade.
- Bring the cart to Kestutis' Castle in time to ransom Jogaila.
- The ransom cart must not be destroyed.
After delivering the cart to Kestutis:
- Leave Kestutis' Castle.
- (subsequently) Bring Jogaila to either Trakai (west) or Kreva (east).
- Jogaila must survive.
After bringing Jogaila to one of the two towns:
- Kill Kestutis.
- Take back Trakai/Kreva by destroying Vytautas' Castle.
- Bring Jogaila to the Teutonic Order's camp to negotiate with them, or ignore their invitation to regain the trust of the Lithuanian Dukes.
- (if siding with the Teutonic Order) Declare war on the Pagan Dukes and destroy all of their Pagan Shrines to convince the Teutonic Order to support you again.
- (if siding with the Lithuanian Dukes) Declare war on the Teutonic Order and rescue the imprisoned pagan nobles.
- Jogaila and his followers can support a population of 200.
- To free Jogaila, you must deliver a ransom to Kestutis. Protect the cart that carries the ransom money from greedy bandits.
- Once Jogaila is freed, he can seek shelter in either Trakai or Kreva. Both options come with advantages and disadvantages.
- Later, Jogaila can choose to ally with the Teutonic Order or with the pagan Lithuanian nobles.
Your scouts report:
- Jogaila is initially in custody after his failed coup, but some of his loyal followers (1, Green) are on their way to Kestutis' lands with a cart of gold to ransom the young prince. They must protect it from local robber bands (8, Red).
- Kestutis (3, Cyan) resides in a castle to the south, which is guarded by a powerful army (2, Yellow) of heavy cavalry, Pikemen, Crossbowmen, and Trebuchets.
- Should Kestutis be attacked, he will likely turn to his ambitious son Vytautas (4, Orange) and his army of knights and swordsmen for help. Vytautas also constructs siege weapons such as Onagers and Bombard Cannons.
- The Teutonic Order (5, Grey) has recovered from its prior defeats at Lithuanian hands. These crusaders are eager to take revenge on Kestutis and will send Paladins and Teutonic Knights into battle.
- Lithuanian Dukes (6, Purple) reside in their castles to the east, where they cling to pagan beliefs and field armies of Knights and Leiciai.
- Player (Lithuanians) starts with a small army of Knights, Leiciai, Men-at-Arms, and Hand Cannoneers, tasked with delivering a Ransom Cart to free Jogaila. After being freed, Jogaila must reach either Trakai or Kreva to take control of one of those two cities and prepare his revenge against Kestutis.
- Lithuania (Lithuanians) is the neutral towns in the region. They originally control Kreva and Trakai. Once the player picks a town, the other will be given to Vytautas. Once Vytautas' castle is destroyed, all the production buildings will be given back to them and they will periodically tribute resources to the player.
Allies → Enemies
- Kestutis' Forces (Lithuanians) is the main enemy of the scenario and controls the stronghold in the south. Their Town Center is inside the walled area. They mostly train Cavaliers (which they soon upgrade to Paladins), Winged Hussars, Leiciai, Crossbowmen, Halberdiers, and Trebuchets.
- Kestutis (Lithuanians) commands an elite army in the middle of Yellow's stronghold. He and his army are passive and will only engage if the player gets too close.
Neutral → Enemy
- Vytautas (Lithuanians) originally is not present on the map. However, he will take over the town that the player doesn't choose. He attacks the player with Paladins, Champions, Monks, Onagers, and Bombard Cannons. Once his Castle is destroyed, he will resign and delete all his military units and buildings. The rest of the buildings and Villagers will be given to the Blue player.
Neutral → Potential Ally/Enemy
- The Teutonic Order (Teutons) have a stronghold in the far west. Their supplies come from outside the map, so they do not have any resource-gathering operations locally. If the player chooses them instead of the nobles by sending Jogaila to meet with them, they will request the player to destroy the pagan shrines inside the Dukes' base. They become active once the player completes their request. They build Paladins, Teutonic Knights, and Trebuchets. After some time, they will also give the player control of some Crusader Knights. Should the player choose to work with the Dukes instead, they are passive and will only guard their holdings and will resign and delete their military buildings after the player completes the Dukes' request.
- Lithuanian Dukes (Lithuanians) control the region across the bridge in the east. They are initially passive and their area is initially inaccessible as the bridges are broken. If the player chooses to work with them instead of the Teutons by ignoring the Teutons' request, they will make a request to free their captive inside the Teutons' base. Once their request is fulfilled, they become active and start producing units, mainly Paladins, Leiciai, and rams. However, they are not hostile to Vytautas but rather just Neutral and will only attack Kestutis' forces. If the player chooses to work with the Teutons instead, they will be passive and will only defend themselves with their starting units, though they may replace their losses. Once the player destroys all their shrines, they will resign and delete all their military buildings.
- Robber Bands (Lithuanians) have some units on the roads and attack whoever gets close. They are hostile to everyone.
The player plays as Algirdas' son, Jogaila. At the start, the player must bring a ransom (Trade Cart) to Yellow's Castle in under 6 minutes. Should the player strive for the achievement "Mint Condition" (to deliver the Cart undamaged), it is advisable not to go straight south towards the objective, but rather east around the wood-line then south, hugging it. This way offers less resistance, namely a group of Light Cavalry, then 3 Crossbowmen, another group of Light Cavalry that attack from the rear (north) and two Crossbowmen. Then, head west inside the Outpost, taking care not to draw any patrol from the starting location valley. Give or take, the player should be able to deliver the cart around the 1:20 mark left on the clock.
Alternately, the player can also attack-move northwards first (to clear out the ambushing force coming down), then simply attack-move all the way down to Kestutis' base. The Trade Cart can leisurely follow behind - also in "Mint Condition".
There are four Relics on this map. One southwest of the Teuton base (Grey). Another inside the city of Trakai just right the Town Center. Another one in the north corner of the map following the river all the way up (north of Trakai). Last one in the marshes south of Kreva on the map's edge.
Once Jogaila is bailed out, the player is offered a choice between two bases to pick from, namely Trakai to the west and Kreva to the east. Opting for the former, Trakai, the player would get early access to all the Relics for the civilization bonus (+1 attack for Knights and Leiciai per Relic, max +4). There are several downsides to this location, however. First, the town is very open, difficult to wall off with no natural chokes. Second, most resources are outside the town perimeter, vulnerable to raids. Lastly, once the scenario develops further, it would place the player's base between their ally and their enemy (Grey and Purple), opening an additional front to cover. It could, however, be the best choice should the player opt to ally with Grey to be closer to their ally. Kreva, on the other side of the map, offers great natural defense with its dense forest to the south, easy to wall. The player also cleared most of the forces (Red) standing between them and the city. It also houses resources in the back of the base, ideal spots for two early Town Centers for booming. It also grants access to the river for fishing (the river does not have a lot of fish though). Finally, the player can easily go Relic hunting as soon as they gain control and can easily grab the Teutonic Relic, the one all the way north and the one just next to their base, forfeiting all but a single Relic inside Trakai (Orange will build an array of towers immediately, therefore no Monk can approach the town). The Relic does not get stored anywhere, so the player will have it once they deal with Orange later on. Out of the two approaches, Kreva overall is a safer, easier option.
To head to Kreva proper, the player should proceed via the same route, but prior to entering the city, take a small detour west. Get back to the starting location Pavilions and further west, south of Trakai, encounter patrolling Red units to dispatch. This is so that the player can send a Monk towards the Relic behind the Teutonic Knights without encountering said patrol. Head back to Kreva, get Jogaila to the Town Center and take over the town. Immediately send a Villager west and build a Monastery next to the player's Pavilions. Once built, train two Monks, research fervor and send the first Monk to grab the Relic behind Grey's base, the second along the river for the one all the way north. The player should put all the Villagers to work. Use the easternmost two (idle on farms) to build two additional Town Centers by the gold pile and stone pile in the back of the base. The player should then send a freshly created Villager south via the edge of the map to wall the edge just past the stone mine there. Once done, that Villager should build another Monastery inside the player's base for Relic drop-off and then wall the opening by a gold pile. Another Villager should wall the riverside (by a herd of Deer) as well. This would leave only the road that connects the player's base to Orange open. The player should build two Castles in that position just east of the gold pile by a T-shaped cliff structure.
At this point, the player should have been notified about Orange taking over Trakai, readying for an assault. The Monk that went for Grey's Relic could need some waypoints (babysitting) in order to avoid a Stable that Orange builds and uses to train Knights close to the crossing on that river.
The immediate threat to the player is the combined attack that Orange and Yellow will soon launch. The player should expect a mirror force of their own, fielding Leiciai, Cavaliers, Halberdiers, Crossbowmen, Hussars, Onagers, Bombard Cannons, and Trebuchets to knock on their door at regular intervals. The initial wave is the hardest, depending on if the player managed to erect both Castles in time, how their economy is faring and the amount of troops and upgrades they managed to research. Notably, researching Halberdier, Crossbowman, Cavalier, Bracer, Imperial Age, and defensive technologies such as Masonry, Ballistics, and Murder Holes will determine how well the player can hold all the while destroying the Trebuchets before they unpack. Eventually, the player can place a few Outposts to help maneuver their troops before the Trebuchets are even a threat to their Castles. Notably, one Outpost in the northeast corner to the T-shape cliff structure and another next to a Boar southwest of the gold pile (where the player fought three Crossbowmen when delivering the ransom earlier) are a godsend, as they will warn off the player of both Orange and Yellow advance. Spotting the Trebuchets can help the player sally forth the cavalry to meet them early.
Soon, the player is notified by the Teutonic Order that they grant an audience for Jogaila near their Castle in the west. They give the player some time to respond to their request. Whether to oblige or ignore their request will change which faction the player allies with. Should the player bring Jogaila near the Teutons' base, there will be a warning from the Nobles in which they give a counter-offer, which is just to ignore the Teutons' request until the timer runs out.
Alliance with the Teutonic Order
If the player sends Jogaila to the Teutons' Castle, the Teutons will make a request to destroy the Pagan shrines inside the Nobles' base in the east. To complete this objective, the easiest way is to train a handful of Knights and/or Leiciai. The Nobles' base has a Castle defending the front entrance, so it is better to enter from the northernmost bridge and start working from there. It might be a good idea to switch stance with them to Neutral so that the players' units avoid attacking their other buildings unnecessarily. Only attack the defending units that gets in the way and focus on taking down the shrines. Once all the shrines are destroyed, the Teutonic Order will become active and starts attacking.
Alliance with Lithuanian Nobles
To fulfil the first part of their request, the player just simply has to ignore the Teutons' request until the timer runs out. Once the timer runs out, they will make a request to free their captured brethren inside the Teutons' base. The player only needs to destroy the gate of the prison that holds the nobles captive. This is best done by training some Leiciai and attack from the western gate of the base since there are less defenses there and it leads straight to the prison. There are a few units defending it in addition to a tower, but this is otherwise a simple snatch and grab. It might be a good idea to switch stance with the Teutons to Neutral so that the players' units avoid attacking unnecessary buildings in the way. Care must be taken to avoid getting into the line of fire of their Castles. The objective is complete once the gate is destroyed.
Once the player researched most of their army-related technologies, they should move out with Leiciai, Paladins, Halberdiers, Crossbowmen and Trebuchets towards Orange. Leave an equal force at home to fend off the increasingly large Yellow attacks. Orange employs Onagers, so the player must protect their Crossbowmen accordingly. The player should focus on destroying Orange's Castle rather than attacking their infrastructure, as the enemy resigns once it is destroyed and all buildings revert to the original city (Blue). The player can then get the Relic that was previously inaccessible inside Trakai.
Yellow employs high-pierce-armor cavalry and Crossbowmen. The player can either go for Hand Cannoneers or Skirmishers to complement their troops or simply overwhelm the enemy with more cavalry of their own (the enemy does have two Relics and Leiciai though). Destroy the small outpost north of their city first. Once in the city proper, killing Kestusis is the only requirement for the player to achieve victory and therefore coming to this campaign's conclusion. Yellow also has a Monastery in the bottom left area with 2 Relics inside. Due to its close proximity to their main stronghold, it is difficult to retrieve these Relics and they do not train Monks. However, destroying their Monastery or at least damaging it enough so that the Relics get ejected will drop the attack bonus of their Paladins and Leciai and may give the player an upper hand.
Alternative strategy 1
The player can avoid fighting two enemies at the same time by killing Kestutis right after delivering the cart. For this, upon delivering the cart, make Jogaila leave Kestutis' base until he is far enough but leave the remaining units next to Kestutis. Have the units surround Kestutis and, when Jogaila is safe and far away, change the diplomatic stance with Cyan to neutral and kill the hero unit. Both Cyan and Yellow will react by changing their diplomatic stance to enemy but, if the player is lucky enough, their units will kill Kestutis before they all die. After killing Kestutis, bring Jogaila to either Trakai or Kreva (ignore any Robber Bands' units on the way) and, when Jogaila arrives in one of them, the objective of killing Kestutis will appear and will be immediately crossed, making Yellow resign. This way the player only has to worry about Vytautas and destroying his Castle.
Alternative strategy 2
Alternately, if the player decides to ally with the Lithuanian nobles (Purple), it is possible to move the forces over and safely boom in their camp instead. This is feasible because firstly, the bridges that connect them to the rest of the map remains broken until the imprisoned nobles have been rescued; secondly, there is a spot between the top and middle bridges allows the player to build a Dock; and finally, Purple has a Market to trade with.
Note: Firstly, do not use all the wood when building Transport Ships. The player will need at least 100 wood to build a Lumber Camp, and later rebuild the base. Secondly, as Purple's stance is neutral until the player finally breaks off all ties with the Teutonic Order, military will be attacked on sight. Hence, send Villagers over first.
(Warning: This strategy causes a massive number of enemy units to accumulate at the edge of the water next to Purple's base. For the game to process, this requires a fair bit of CPU power. Hence, the CPU could heat up and hence slow down).
We have come a long way, foreigner. We met as strangers in a filthy dungeon... and now we stand together in the throne room of Vilnius!
Wolves still surround Lithuania, enemies that long for our downfall — but I shall not stray from the path down which I have started. I will rule as my father did — and, one day, I shall surpass even him.
Perhaps we will meet again, foreigner, if your travels ever bring you back here — but even if we do not, I have the feeling that this will not be the last time that you hear the name Jogaila, Grand Duke of Lithuania!
- With this scenario, one of the two campaign protagonists, Kestutis, becomes the main enemy, and the player is required to kill him. The other such campaign scenario where a title character is one of the enemies is the fourth scenario of the Montezuma campaign, though not as explicit since Montezuma is represented by a faction called "Conquered Aztecs" and there is no hero unit that the player is required to kill. However, Montezuma ends up having the same fate as Kestutis (though only mentioned in the narration outro in Montezuma's case).
- The events of this scenario lead to the Jadwiga campaign, where Jogaila will be one of the main protagonists and Vytautas will reappear, first as an enemy and then as an ally.
- This is the only scenario in Dawn of the Dukes where the Teutonic Order is an ally, albeit an optional one.