We could not make camp in the damp forest glade, so I led my companions along an old path towards the base of the mountain. It was overgrown with all manner of foliage, and the footing was difficult. Armor and weapons littered the path, and stakes stood tall, covered with vines and moss.
Glancing around, I spotted a magnificent blade. Light yet firm and unblemished by the elements, it shone in the rain and lightning, a lone light in the darkening trail. The hilt was fashioned from steel, inlaid with silver and gold to form the figure of a defiant, wingless dragon.
As we reached the summit, I could not believe my eyes. A ruined yet imposing castle loomed above us. Quietly rejoicing, my comrades moved towards their new camp. Then we heard the howls. Two massive wolves bounded out of the door of the castle towards my soldiers.
Fearing for their lives, they drew weapons, only to hear a voice from the shadows address the wolves--or the men--in a thick Wallachian accent. "Stand down, fellows!" Throwing large slabs of meat to the ravenous wolves, he calmed them and satiated their hunger.
We could not make camp in the damp and wet forest glade, so I led my companions towards the base of the mountain. Moving close, I noticed an old path leading along its side. It was overgrown with bushes and all manner of foliage, and the footing was difficult. One could sight armor and weapons from time to time along the path, and stakes stood tall, covered with vines and moss. Glancing around, I spotted a magnificent blade.
Light yet firm and unblemished by the elements, it shone in the rain and lightning, seeming to illuminate the darkening trail as we walked. The hilt was fashioned from what seemed to be steel inlaid with silver, copper, and gold to form the figure of a wingless yet defiant drake, a torrent of flame spewing from its mouth. The scabbard was equally ornate and from it emanated a feeling of power, majesty, but also ruthlessness.
Reaching the summit, I could not believe my eyes. A ruined yet nonetheless imposing castle loomed above us, clearly a relic of a past era. Quietly rejoicing, my comrades moved toward their new camp, ready to roast their well-earned dinner. Then we heard the howls and growls. Two massive wolves bounded out the door of the castle towards the soldiers in front that stood dumbfounded by the sheer size of the creatures.
Fearing for their lives, they drew weapons, only to hear a voice from the shadows speak to the wolves -- or the men, we couldn't tell. A thick Wallachian accent was laced with Magyar, Szekely, and Bulgar influences, and it was clear that this man had seen much of the Carpathian basin. "Stand down, fellows!" he commanded. Throwing large slabs of meat to the ravenous wolves, he calmed them and satiated their hunger.
Differences between difficulty levels
- On Standard, the player will start with a Monk. The Capped Ram from Voivod Jakub will be upgraded to a Siege Ram. Danesti Forces won't have any Scorpion defending the road. The army attacking Voivod Mircea's base will have no Battering Ram.
- On Hard, there will be a Mangonel guarding the Gunpowder Tower, and the Gunpowder Tower have enough HP to survive the Demolition Ship. The army attacking Voivod Mircea's base will also have a Mangonel. The last Vladislav II base will have Scorpions defending it.
- Vlad Dracula must survive.
- Bring Vlad Dracula to the local voivods to convince them to join you against Vladislav II.
- Find a way to destroy the bridge near Istvan's camp.
- Destroy Vladislav's tower near the bridge.
- Defeat the army attacking Mircea's camp.
- Prevent Voivod Mircea from being wounded (killed), if you can.
- Reconquer Jakub's settlement from Vladislav II.
- Find a way to destroy the bridge near Istvan's camp.
- Tear down Vladislav's military camp and slay all defenders.
- Wallachia is a dense and mountainous region. Use your ranged units well, but beware those of your enemies.
- The local voivods and their troops are a means to an end. Be frugal, but do not despair if some fall in battle.
- Keep an eye out for Wallachian partisans that are willing to join your army.
- Demolition ships are deadly to anything too close to the shoreline. Deleting them when they are adjacent to a target accomplishes the same effect as a direct hit.
- The explosion of the Danesti gunpowder tower will destroy the bridge-and anything on it. Do not lose men needlessly.
- On standard difficulty, a Monk will accompany your force.
Your scouts report:
- Dracula (1, Red) has arrived in Wallachia at the head of a small Ottoman force. These men will serve to guard him initially, but more men must be recruited if Wallachia is to be taken.
- Three local voivods (4, Yellow) rule the southern half of the map. Should Dracula prove his mettle, they may swear fealty to him.
- Dracula's enemies are Vladislav II (2, Cyan) and his Danesti forces (3, Blue). Vladislav holds a fortified camp in the north of the map and a trading settlement to the east. The Danesti forces are scattered about the map, guarding river crossings and patrolling the roads in search of their foes.
- The designs of Hungary (5, Green) are unknown, but it is no friend of Dracula's Turkish patrons.
- Hungary (Magyars): Plays no role in the scenario
- Ottoman Empire (Turks) - Consists of the city of Edirne (Adrianopolis), as well as of Murad II and his Janissary guard.
- Voivod Jakub (Magyars) - The first Voivod to be encountered, and his domain. Must survive, and has to reach Moldova with the rest of the lords and Dracula in order to win.
- Voivod Istvan (Magyars) - The third Voivod to be encountered, and his domain. Must survive, and has to reach Moldova with the rest of the lords and Dracula in order to win.
- Voivod Danislav (Slavs) - The second Voivod to be encountered, and his domain. Must survive, and has to reach Moldova with the rest of the lords and Dracula in order to win.
- Local Wallachians (Huns) - Not relevant to the gameplay, outside of the first village encountered.
Enemy → Ally → Enemy → Ally → Enemy
- Vladislav II (Magyars) - The main enemy of this scenario, their forces cause trouble to the local lords, and the player must destroy various of their forces, in order for the lords to support Dracula with troops. Also, commands the final army that must be destroyed, as well some Galleys that guard the waters between Moldova and Wallachia. Vladislav II himself appears in the final battle as a renamed Kushluk with over 20 000 hp. Although not required, it is possible to kill him, but this has no effect whatsoever.
Neutral → Enemy
This scenario was redone from the ground up in the Definitive Edition. While many key elements remain, such as being a baseless mission played as the Turks, and having to enlist the aid of local voivods, the map is overall more simple.
Dracula and his men, a collection of Hussars and Hand Cannoneers (along with a Monk if played on Standard difficulty only), begin in the south of the map. Danesti Forces (Blue) prowl the roads, and care must be taken as they include many Pikemen who pose a threat to Dracula himself and his Hussars. Without a Monk, it is best to use the regenerating Dracula to 'bait' enemies into giving chase, while the Hand Cannoneers shoot them down, and to use the eastern Voivod's Castle to garrison injured units between fights. The player's first objective is to secure the loyalty of three Voivods (Yellow), who give out tasks to be completed before they join forces.
It is recommended to save the Voivod in the middle of the map (Mircea) for last, as his task is easily the most difficult, and can inflict severe damage to the player's manpower.
Moving right, the eastern Voivod (Jakub) requires that the nearby trading settlement be recaptured by destroying its Watch Tower along with any hostile forces, and gives a Capped Ram (Siege Ram on Standard difficulty) to help accomplish this task. While his Castle and men will not attack the blue Danesti forces, they will attack Vladislav's men (Cyan), so luring them back can be effective in preserving units. Once the village is recaptured, he hands over use of his Archery Range to the player, along with 250 gold, which, combined with the player's starting 225 food, is enough to train five more Hand Cannoneers. Keep the Ram here for now, as there is no need for it in the other Voivods' tasks and it will come in extremely useful later.
Heading back out, leave the middle Voivod alone for now and head to the westernmost Voivod (Istvan's) camp. There, he will ask that the bridge nearby be destroyed, and coincidentally, the Danesti have placed a Gunpowder Tower right in the middle. Moving a bit to the right of the bridge, a small path leads to a pair of Heavy Demolition Ships, who can be used to attack the tower. However, on Hard difficulty, both Demolition Ships will not be sufficient to destroy the tower, and it must be finished off with ranged units on land (the Mangonel given by Istvan can destroy it on its own). After doing so, he hands over his entire army to the player.
Finally, the middle Voivod asks for help in defending his camp. Sure enough, a horde of Vladislav's men come pouring out of the north, and on Hard difficulty his forces include siege weapons such as Mangonels. Garrison some Hand Cannoneers in his base's towers to better preserve them, and focus on defending the north side, as the Voivod's men can defend the east on their own. If Voivod Mircea is still alive once the attack is beaten off, he gives control of his Stable, and 400 food, which is enough to train five more Hussars.
You are playing as Dracula, who is starting alone. You need to see the Ottoman Sultan Murad II outside his castle, before boarding on his Transport Ship to cross the river. The ship will crash against the rocks, but you will survive. You will meet a few Wallachian soldiers who will be yours. Then you need to meet the local chief at a Wallachian village nearby, and he will ask you to meet the three Voivods: Danislav, Istvan, and Jakub.
Go to Voivod Jakub first. He will ask you to destroy the military tower and the general in another small base of Vladislav, south of Jakub's city. March towards the village and you will see a band of guards patrolling the bridge, so you will need to go back to the market in the first Wallachian village and click on it to obtain a "powdered cart". Bring the cart into the enemy base. At this moment you become 'allied' with Vladislav and your army switches to the Otoman Empire. The cart may have trouble crossing the bridge, being obstructed by the marching guards, so you must manually charge him forward. Then bring the cart to the mine at the right to put arson and distract the guards. Then the cart will blow up himself together with the guards. You become 'enemies' with Vladislav again and your army switches back to you. As you get close to the tower, a group of soldiers will be waiting for you. Kill them, fulfill Jakub's tasks, and return to him. Obtain Jakub's troops.
Now that you have more soldiers, go to Voivod Danislav's village. Walk all the way west to the first Wallachian village, then north to Voivod Danislav's village. You will encounter a spy on the way. Voivod Danislav just fled his city under Vladislav's occupation, and will ask you to defeat Vladislav's army there. Kill all the enemies and destroy all the "military buildings" before Dracula returns to meet Danislav, then all of his soldiers become yours, while Danislav disappears.
You will encounter some enemy soldiers and buildings before reaching Istvan's base. When you get to Istvan's village, you will obtain some of his units, while he asks you to help him defend against Vladislav's army. You will have 3 minutes to prepare for Vladislav's attack.Then you must destroy all the buildings in the enemy base in the southeast of Istvan's base.
Bring your troops to move further southeast and meet the three Voivods there again. You become 'allied' with Vladislav again while you observe the battlefield. When you have finished talking to the Voivods, you will get all the soldiers and will have 3 minutes to prepare for a battle. Make sure all your 4 heroes survive.
I stepped forth, holding out the mysterious sword and scabbard for our host to inspect. "The Order of the Dragon," he said at once. "What you have just brought me is the lost blade of Vlad Dracula himself!"
I was shocked and immediately demanded an explanation. Our host's eyes flashed and there was a strained look on his face. Finally, the rush of memories seemed to slow and become more controlled. "That is a long story...but then again, we have a long time until dawn."
As we watched our meal cook, I stepped forth, addressing our host: "We found this on the trail leading up the mountain," I said, holding out the sword and scabbard. "I have never seen its like before. Perhaps you know something about it?" The host smiled. "The Order of the Dragon," he said at once. "What you have just brought me is the lost blade of Vlad Dracula himself!"
I was shocked. "The sword of Vlad Dracula! How did it come to be lost?" Our host smiled. His eyes flashed, and when he looked up, there was a strained look on his face. At one moment he looked like he had seen far too many seasons, and the next he appeared young and lively. Finally, the rush of memories seemed to slow and become more controlled. "That is a long story...but then again, we have a long time until dawn."