Despite the late hour, the market of Aksum was still crowded. Vendors shouted from several wooden stalls, describing their goods: bolts of silk from the Far East, olibanum incense from Arabia, bracelets made from Egyptian glass, our own Ethiopian ivory, – products from all over the world have been exchanged in the city since ancient times.
At every stall, Daniel was enthralled by some exotic items he had never seen before – not a very good situation to start bargaining, but I could not spoil his mood just to save a few coins. In the end, we settled on some beautiful, golden earrings for mother. She had always liked jewelry.'Father', Daniel asked me just after the purchase, 'You promised to tell me the story of Yodit's exile once we brought a present for mother.'
So there we were, sitting on some low wall next to the shop. I was tired from browsing all of the stalls, but a man should keep his word, especially to his son.
Sighing, I began: 'Yodit traveled north for many years, searching for someone who could help her seek revenge for the humiliation she suffered at the hands of Gidajan. Eventually, when making a camp near the border of Egypt, the princess heard a rumor that perhaps presented the opportunity she had been waiting. The Syrian prince Zanobis was traveling the region, looking for a suitable bride. But how could she, an exiled princess, convince such a powerful man?'
- Beja Tribes (Ethiopians) consist of four tribes, each of which has to be helped in order to build a reputation. They are allied with all other factions.
Allies, potential enemies Edit
- Nobatia (Ethiopians) control a city in the west fortified by walls, towers and a Castle. Their initial army consists mostly of Shotel Warriors and Archers of the Eyes, along with a few other units. During the course of the scenario the player has to decide whether to declare war on either Nobatia or the Ikshids (via the deplomacy menu or by constructing a building on their land). When provoked they train Shotel Warriors, Scout Cavalry, Skirmishers (both of which they will upgrade, given the time), Pikemen, Mangonels and Battering Rams. They resign when their Castle is destroyed.
- Ikshids (Saracens) have a city in the northwest, which is somewhat better fortified, boasting two castles. At the start of the scenario their city is guarded by a wide variety of mounted units, supported by a few Pikemen. In time of war they produce additional Camels, Mamelukes, Cavalry Archers and Battering Rams. They also resign when their Castles are razed.
- Pirates (Saracens) occupy two islands with Docks and Towers on them. Their initial fleet includes two Fire Ships, but they will only produce War Galleys.
- Hostile Beja Tribes (Ethiopians) inhabit the desert, passively guarding resources or Relics. They consist of Camels, Camel Archers, Crossbowmen and some Shotel Warriors and Eastern Swordsmen. They also have some Guard Towers.
- Raiders (Ethiopians) have three spawning points where motley bands of different warriors appear. Additionally they have a spawning point for War Galleys. Contrary to their name they don't conduct much raiding but rather arbitrarily spread their units around their spawning points.
Please be advised that this entry was made prior to patches which result in a constant stream of auto-spawning enemies attacking the player ever few minutes. With that in mind, most of the objectives don't have to be completed in a rush. To win, each of the four Beja Tribes has to be impressed, and either Nobatia or the Ikshids have to be defeated for the other one.
- The village directly southwest of Yodit's harbor fears raids and wants Yodit to build 5 Watch Towers within their village limits. This demand can be postponed indefinitely as the Raiders are actually allied with the Beja Tribes in diplomacy settings, so they won't get attacked anyway.
- The village northeast of Yodit's base is tributary to Aydhab (the easternmost Beja Tribes town at the sea, with a Castle) and wants her to pay the tribute by placing two relics inside Aydhab's Monastery. Like the previous objective, this one is in no rush to be completed, in contrast, captured Relics should be kept by the player until the end of the scenario in order to generate additional gold. A total of four Relics can be found on the map, two of which coincide with the following two objectives.
- The easternmost city claim their trade routes are plundered by Pirates (even though they aren't) and they want the Pirates' Docks destroyed.
- The chief of the northern village laments that his daughter Makeda has been kidnapped and taken north and wants Yodit to free her and bring her back.
- Lastly, Nobatia demands the Ikshids wiped out, whereas the Ikshids in turn want the Nobatians defeated. Naturally only one of the two demands can be met, the decision is up to the player. As neither of the two adversaries starts producing units before war is declared upon them, this objective can be delayed as well.
Like mentioned before the player isn't put under much stress in this scenario, as no enemy directly attacks their base (apparently no longer the case since 4.8b). The first two objectives to be completed should be the one with the Pirate Docks and the one with the captive daughter, as there is a Raiders spawning point both at Makeda's prison and near the Docks, so the armies there become gradually larger. There is a possibility to wall off the raider spawning points so that the player can focus on completing the quests.
Makeda is held prisoner north, watched by a Guard Tower, Hostile Beja Tribes Shotel Warriors, Eastern Swordsmen, Camels, Camel Archers and Crossbowmen as well as Raiders Camels, Camel Archers, Cavalry Archers and Light Cavalry. Right next to her a Relic can be found.
The Pirates produce new ships very quickly but are limited to a population of 25 so it might be a good idea to blow up their Docks using Demolition Ships, backed up by Fire Ships or War Galleys to draw fire.Otherwise the fight might become rather drawn-out. On their island in the eastern corner of the map another relic is located. Like mentioned before, the Relics shouldn't be immediately delivered to Aydhab but instead be put in an own Monastery to accumulate gold in the meantime.
With the two rising threats dealt with, the conquest objective of Nobatia or Ikshids can be tackled. Like mentioned before it is up to the player's preference which of the two cities they want to subdue (check the Players section above for information about their armies). Yodit is limited to the Castle Age but has access to Capped Rams in the Siege Workshop, making dealing with the Castles a little easier. Both enemies resign when their Castle(s) are destroyed, completing the objective. A sound strategy against either enemy is to build a Castle near the entrance to their respective city, but this should be deliberate, as finishing the construction of any building on their land automatically is considered a declaration of war, so an army should be amassed beforehand.
The last two objectives should be smooth sailing by now. The two already captured Relics have to be transferred to the Monastery in the city with the Castle and once enough stone is available, 5 Watch Towers can be built in the village near Yodit's harbour.
With all 5 objectives completed, Zanobis is impressed and proposes to Yodit, making her victorious.
'Of course, Zanobis was impressed by Yodit's achievements. He went looking for this famous princess and asked her to marry him', I concluded. Smiling broadly, Daniel responded: 'Queen Yodit is truly a strong woman, father. But how did she...' I quickly raised my hand to stop him: 'No, son. No more questions now.
It will soon be dark and we need to return to the inn. A meal will do us both much good.' Daniel looked disappointed. My, the boy was fond of this story! 'Perhaps I'll tell you about one of her great victories before going to bed', I conceded before leaving the market.
Bugs and changes Edit
- AI should appear less passive and attack the player.
- Player colors have been updated to use the correct color.
- Player 8 has been removed from the scenario.