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[Middle-earth] The Black Arrow: A Tale of Dale

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Stories & Tales' started by topsecret, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. topsecret

    topsecret Believer

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    Chapter Two

    Preface:

    Welcome to The Black Arrow, a tale from the Kingdom of Dale. This story is played out on my Middle-earth mod. I've been meaning to do a story for a while, and now's the time. I need to play through to get a better idea of balance, along with considering which units to add. So now's the time to play! At first, I'll be controlling everything, but as time goes on, I may recruit some Lords and Ladies of Dale to help govern the civilization. Let's fire up the mod:

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    Our fearless leader is Brand, grandson of Bard the Bowman. He'll be helping us on our quest to forge The Black Arrow, a group of fearless soldiers ready to face the evil plains of Mordor and stop the Easterlings. We'll get 2 :) in all cities thanks to being Mannish. Because Brand's a Trader, we get a bonus 50% :commerce: from trade routes and make 15% more :gold:. Finally, Brand's Warrior lineage means we have +50% GG emergence and free Combat I for Archery, Mounted, and Melee Units (which never expire in Middle-earth!)

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    We're playing the small map of Middle-earth on Prince, with v. 0.4 of the Middle-earth mod.

    But enough narrative talk. Let us begin!

    The Black Arrow

    Chapter One: Elder Days

    Long have the people of Dale dwelt in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain. But we have settled under its arms near the River Running. Our people have formed a village that will be the most prosperous in the North - the City of Dale!

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    Our kingdom will extend far across Wilderland, a kingdom that will be unmatched. I order the men to get together a workforce equal to daunting tasks. My scouts have reported prosperous resources to our north and south. Strange beasts roam the northern borders, but they are not threatening and their furs are valuable. To the south, corn grows in abundance. These men will form a Worker who shall be able to harness the true value of these resources.

    I have ordered our scribes and loremasters to study Farming, which will provide us with the ability to till the land around us. In the mean time, we have met our neighbor that dwells in Mirkwood - Oropher, King of the Woodland Ream, is forming a host of Elves under his allegiance there.

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    Oropher seems cautious towards us, and he greets me with a query. "Welcome to Greenwood. Peace will not be in Middle-earth unless our enemy Sauron is overcome. Do you seek war with Mirkwood?"

    "No, my friend Oropher, there shall be peace in our time!"

    Oropher bows. "I have many archers to train. I take my leave."

    What's the Elf doing in those woods? I wonder. But the Men of Dale will happily trade with the Woodland Realm, so I return to my kingdom.

    Shortly we meet our neighbor to the east, Durin and the Longbeard Dwarves. They live in the Iron Hills, where they will be strongly defended. They would best be friends rather than enemies.

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    "I slept alone, until in the deeps of time and the awakening of that people I came to Azanulbizar, and in the caves above Kheled-Zâram. Durin the Deathless greets you. Why have you come to greet me?" Durin asks.

    "We seek peace with the mighty Dwarves." I answer with a bow.

    "Good. The men of Dale will make excellent friends. If you happen to see any gold, do not hesitate to send it our way. We have plenty of iron here." Durin says.

    "I shall let you know."

    With Durin off, the men of Dale set out to accomplish our goals. My master scribe Girion reports that we have discovered the secrets of Farming:

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    And I order him to begin researching hunting, which will enable us to corral the beasts to the north and utilize their hides for the warmth and prosperity of Dale. Our ultimate goal is to obtain the power of Archery, allowing us to defend our borders in case the Elves of Mirkwood get power hungry.

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    Our researchers are wise men, and it does not take Girion long to finish his studies. "My Lord Brand, we have finished our studies of hunting. No foul beasts will be able to stand before our hunters. We can seek out new lands with our scouts, and we have developed woodland fighting abilities." I congratulate him on his wisdom and direct his attention to bow-crafting.

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    The men of Dale soon finish their band of Workers and we have a choice. What will be the next great project of our city? After consulting with my commander, Bain, I decide to build a force which should repel anyone seeking to take down our beautiful city.

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    Unfortunately we notice something dangerous to our southern borders. A large band of Wild Wargs has been spotted nearby.



    Wargs are difficult to deal with. We will need some strong warriors if we are to take them down, for our plans for expansion are all to the south. We will also need to develop a band of settlers in order to expand our kingdom. I retire to my chambers, considering the possibilities that lay ahead of us.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
  2. topsecret

    topsecret Believer

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    Chapter Two: Exploring the Celduin
    Far across the plains I rode. No foe could stop me now. Though they come against me with shield, spear, and bow, my sword is ready to strike. But what's this? In the corners of the world, the very darkness of the ancient Evil, I hear a sound. It is a cacophony of danger and death, a loathsome sound that emanates from the very edges of the world. Closer comes a cloud, blotting out the sky. I spot a small dwelling in the distance. I make for cover, lest the storm swallow me up. Breathing in the wavering air, I come upon the door. My head starts to spin, and from the door, I hear an curious noise.

    BRRRR....

    BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR...

    BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR...

    "Brand!"

    I wake up in the middle of the night. I am in my own bed. It was a dream. And a strange one. I hear my wife calling me, half-asleep.

    Strange dreams. I ponder. What does the darkness hold for me?

    ---

    Girion arrives in the morning, strangely excited. "My Lord Brand, we have discovered the secrets to Archery!" I simply nod, prepossessed with my strange dream.

    "My Lord Brand?"

    "Thank you, Girion. I am not the same. Some shadow troubles my dreams. And I hear rumors of a darkness growing in the east. The Men of Rhûn will not wait forever. I know who lurks there, plotting our demise."

    "Yes, my Lord Brand. Our Archers will be of much use against our enemies."

    If only Girion knew what I knew.

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    B.S.R. 2960 - Our workers strove to improve our lands, and soon they did. A farm was built to the south, where we sent many villagers to grow corn for the hungry children. These men and women would be the future of our great Kingdom. For now, we would have to...

    Suddenly I looked to the north. A black smoke came down with an evil wind.

    "Girion, what news from the North?"

    "Lord Brand, there has been a fire. The villagers have fled and some of the wild beasts have been killed. Many were lost, and the land will not be as productive."

    Without the gold to replant the trees or bury the dead, we simply had to watch as our woods burned. I was not sure this was an accident.

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    "Girion, we need to send scouts down the Celduin. What news have you heard from the southern borders?"


    "A strange country comes from the west, my Lord. Dressed in blue. They appear to be Elves."

    Sure enough, I look up to find Galadriel on my doorstep.


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    The White Lady of the Golden Wood greets me. "Brand, King of Dale! Do not let your heart be troubled. We bring gifts of peace."

    "Thank you, Lady Galadriel." I wonder what her aims are. Even Elves have ambition in Middle-earth.

    "We shall meet again soon," Galadriel replies.

    Strange. I wonder why she left so quickly.

    The same day, I hear horses ride up. It is Eorl, who has ridden from the far south.

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    "Greetings from the Horse-Lords!" Eorl greets me. "What strange land have we found."

    "You have arrived in Dale, a land of wonder and joy. What brings Rohan so far north?"

    "We seek our ancient homes, where we lived before we rode south. This land gives us much to remember."

    "Indeed. Dale is a place of beauty. Come, Eorl, and I shall show you my kingdom!"

    ---

    Through much difficulty, we trained Warriors, strong men who would be able to explore the Celduin river and search out our enemies. I sent them south, on a quick journey to find what they could and bring word to me again. They soon found honey and wheat, a rich land that the Kingdom of Dale needed to claim for its own.

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    I rode south with them, in hopes that we could find someone that I had not seen for an age, someone who I needed to find before he found me with ten thousand footmen. But before we found anyone, a pack of Wargs found us!

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    The evil wolves bore down upon the warriors. The battle was fierce and quick, and the Wargs did not given in easily. They were strong and ready to destroy us. My warriors fought hard, but soon we lost some of them.

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    A Warg came upon me. I swung my sword and missed. It jumped on me and knocked me over. My head was spinning, but I saw where my sword fell, just a bit away. I crawled toward it, but I could feel the foul wolf breathing down on me. Suddenly one of the men appeared and beat back the Warg. I sighed in relief, then grabbed my sword and continued to fight.

    We survived the brutal struggle and left the carcasses.

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    Finally, after many weeks of traveling, we arrived at the place I had long sought: Rhûn. There was the man who I long sought, the man was plotting the demise of Dale.

    Ulfang.

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    Dominus the Mentat and lfgr like this.
  3. ChineseWarlord

    ChineseWarlord Prince

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    Why should you care?
    I will say that I'm looking forward to the UHVs for your mod. Rhye's and Fall has spoiled me to the point where I can't just play a normal game of Civ...
     
  4. topsecret

    topsecret Believer

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    They will come. Just gotta figure out how to code them in the DLL.

    When (if :D) I do, other modders can merge and make UHV's with XML. :)
     
  5. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    I actually dislike a lot of RFC UHV's, they turn the game into a short quest. Some more multi-dimensional, however, are OK.

    Maybe the LoTR setting is more suitable for a quest-like UHV than world-history spanning RFC.
     
  6. topsecret

    topsecret Believer

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    All will be moddable, but yes I think the subject is more suitable. Because they are victories, one could always turn them off.
     

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