Reign of Blood is the first scenario of the Montezuma Campaign in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors.

Intro Edit

Passed down to you by Cuauhtémoc, Eagle Warrior of Tenochtitlan. An omen appeared above the forest, the shape of an ear of corn, but blazing like daybreak. It seemed to bleed fire, drop by drop, like a wound in the sky. I am a warrior, not a priest, and knew not what to make of such thing.

I consulted with the seers and magicians to see if another great war was coming, but they answered only in riddles. 'The gods want more sacrifice,' was their answer. That was always their answer.

Much of our empire of rainforest and volcanoes has been conquered in the name of sacrifice. The magicians tell us that we must make a sacrifice every single day for the sun to continue to raise.

It took the relay teams two full days to carry my message the two hundred miles to our city of Tenochtitlan. After two more days, my uncle, Montezuma, sent his reply.

Montezuma's priests foretold that the god Quetzalcoatl might soon return from his long exile. How else to explain the omen?

Montezuma ordered my warriors to increase their efforts to consolidate the rainforest between our lands and those of our enemies. We must establish control over four shrines that are sacred to Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent.

Because the Aztec Empire is mighty and constantly expands, we have made many enemies. We must defend these shrines from our enemies in order to prepare for Quetzalcoatl's eventual return.

Scenario Instructions Edit

Starting Conditions Edit

Objectives Edit

  • Capture the 4 shrines (Monasteries) sacred to Quetzalcoatl.
  • Place a sacred Relic in each of the 4 shrines (Monasteries).

Hints Edit

  1. You must defend the shrines that are sacred to the god Quetzalcoatl. Making new Monasteries will not be sufficient to please him.
  2. Your enemies will attempt to destroy the shrines in order to embarrass you before the gods. Therefore, do not attempt to claim the shrines until you can defend them.
  3. Aztec Monks are very powerful when fully upgraded. Once you capture a shrine (Monastery) and have advanced to the Castle Age you can train Monks.
  4. The Aztecs are restricted to the Castle Age.

Scouts Edit

  • Your scouts report: Montezuma's forces (green) begin in the Feudal Age with only a few soldiers. These few must defend the Aztec town from early attacks.
  • Your enemies are three; the Tlatiluco (red) are located to the west. Their army of swordsmen and Eagle Warriors can be dealt with relatively early.
  • The Tepanaca (orange) dwell to the north of your town. Their walls may keep you out of their town until you have siege weapons. They train Archers and Eagle Warriors.
  • The Xochimilco (purple) are your most dangerous enemy. They live far to the north and train Archers and Scorpions. Do not engage them until you have many Eagle Warriors at your command.

Players Edit

  • Player (Aztecs): The player begins with a Town Center and a few Eagle Warriors and Villagers in the southeast.

Enemies Edit

  • Tepanaca (Mayans): The Tepanaca are based in the northeast, with their eastern flank defended by a gate and some Palisade Walls. They field archers and Eagle Warriors, and will train Plumed Archers if played on 'moderate' level and above.
  • Tlatiluco (Aztecs): The Tlatiluco are based in the southwest and is the weakest opponent. They field Men-at-Arms and Eagle Warriors.
  • Xochimilco (Mayans): The Xochimilco are based in the northwest and are the strongest opponent. They field archers, swordsmen, and Scorpions.

Strategy Edit

Soon after beginning, one of the player's Villagers will warn of wild Jaguars coming to the village. When they come, ring the Town Bell and kill them with garrisoned Villagers and the starting Eagle Warriors, but with care to not lose any.

There are only four Relics, each near a shrine, and no enemy can pick them as they cannot create Monks of their own. The two nearest shrines are near the roads northwest and northeast of the starting base; the third is at the north of the map, only accessible after crossing the Tepanaca base, and the fourth and furthest is isolated from the rest of the map by a river west of Xochimilco. It is advisable to build up before capturing the shrines, as they will have to be defended from the enemies. In particular, building walls and towers on the elevated ground north and west of the starting base, beyond the mines but before reaching Tepanaca territory or any shrine, is a good way to free troops and neutralize early enemy attacks. Defending the shrines can be accomplished by either stationing troops, or building towers and walls near them, in case the player chooses not to do it closer to the base.

The Tepanaca start with a gate and walls on their southern flank. It is possible to avoid them altogether by following the road of the nearest shrine and attacking Tepanaca from the west, though in this case there is a couple of towers and a small lake forcing attackers into the center of the Tepanaca base, which includes a Castle. It is also possible to enter the base from the east, by tearing down two lines of Palisade Walls and dealing with wild jaguars between them, but this will also lead straight into the Castle.

Send a sizeable force of upgraded swordsmen, Skirmishers, and siege weapons against the Tepanaca. Do not think of simply capturing the Tepanaca shrine with an Eagle Warrior in a suicide mission, because this will leave the shrine and any Monks trained there at the mercy of the Tepanaca. The Tepanaca always build an Archery Range just east of the shrine, and a trigger spawns several free Tepanaca Eagle Warriors north of the shrine when it is captured.

Reaching the westernmost shrine requires dealing with the defenses of Tlatiluco (two towers on the water road) and Xochimilco (a Castle and several military units, both ranged and melee). Xochimilco must at least be driven away from the river shore before the player can build a Dock and Transport Ships to cross the water, as there are no shallows. Obviously, this either requires bringing in some Villagers under the soldiers' protection, or converting some from the Tlatiluco and Xochimilco with Monks. The shrine is further defended by wild Jaguars, but they ignore Eagle Warriors and Monks, so it isn't actually necessary to kill them before reaching the shrine and capturing the Relic.

It is not necessary to defeat any enemies, and defeating all enemies will not result in victory. This can be triggered only by garrisoning the Relics inside each of the four Monasteries.

Trading is strongly un-recommended, due to the map having plenty of Gold Mines and the first captured Relics providing additional gold already. If the player wishes to do so anyway, the best Market is Tlatiluco's, as their military capacity is the easiest to cripple without actually defeating them, and their Market is further than Tepanaca's and therefore more profitable.

Outro Edit

When my warriors had captured the shrines and defeated the Xochimilco and Tlatiluco, we made the long journey back to Tenochtitlan, laden with gifts for Emperor Montezuma: jade, feathers, and of course, prisoners.

The sheer vastness of our city on the lake seemed staggering after having been in the rainforest for so many days.

Emperor Montezuma lives on the most sumptuous rooms with his wives and concubines. While we spoke, he drank frothing chocolate from a golden cup. Musicians played their drums and flutes and masked women danced.

When my uncle, Montezuma, first ascended the great pyramid many years ago to become emperor, there was a great celebration. Yet now some question his leadership. He sometimes makes decisions slowly, and rarely does he lead the warriors into combat.

Montezuma's priests informed us that Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, would soon return to Tenochtitlan to reclaim his kingdom. Since I had helped prepare for his coming, I was given a new obsidian macana and promoted to the rank of Jaguar Warrior. There was more feasting and dancing that night. The air was heavy with perfume.

However, I noticed as I walked down the steps of the emperor's palace that the omen still hung heavily over the lake, spraying sparks over the midnight sky. So says Cuauhtémoc, Jaguar Warrior of Tenochtitlan.

Trivia Edit

  • This scenario was the only one included in the The Conquerors demo.
  • This is the only scenario in the campaign where neither the Spanish nor the Tlaxcalans are present.

Historical comparison Edit

  • According to Ensemble Studios, the scenario was designed to showcase the new Mesoamerican civilizations, architecture, unique units, trees, and animals for the demo, and was not based on any historical military campaign.
  • Though Tepanaca and Xochimilco are depicted as Mayans, in reality they were Nahua peoples, just like the Tlatiluco and the Aztecs themselves.
  • Furthermore, all three enemies lived near Tenochtitlan and were conquered by the Aztecs long before the time of the campaign. Montezuma actually campaigned against the Mixtecs, Huejotzincans, Tlaxcalans, Cholulans, and Zapotecs.
  • On the other hand, it is true that Montezuma tried to consolidate the empire's rule over lands conquered by his predecessors, more than just expand, and this included taking direct control of strategic temples and fortifications.
  • The omen mentioned in the intro was a comet seen over Tenochtitlan in 1517. According to the indigenous sources recorded by Sahagún and Durán, it was the first of eight bad omens that preceded the Spanish conquest.

Gallery Edit

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