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Monday, 4 October 2010

Eye of Heroes - levels and enemies

The storyline of the FL tactical computer game was to involve the young protagonist Tam recovering the souls of six heroes of legend. I'm copying the plot description here exactly as it was written in the design spec, although I'm not completely sure that the very Judaeo-Christian model of heaven and hell is exactly right for the Fabled Lands. However, I assume this part must have been written by Jamie - who else would know the setting that well? - and he's the ultimate authority on FL mythos.


Guided by the spirit of the Eye, Tam is told that he is on a quest to save the Fabled Lands but the precise nature of the threat is not disclosed until the very end of the game. Tam and his ghostly companions soon find themselves chased by cultists, and eventually the skies across the Fabled Lands darken and the souls of the dead start raining down.

Once his soul is freed, the wizard Targdaz is able to explain the threat. It is his old rival from centuries ago: a priest of Ebron called Qadarnai. Qadarnai earned so much favour with his deity whilst Targdaz was inside the ruby that he eventually ascended to Paradise as an angel. But Qadarnai grew jealous of Ebron’s power, and attempted to raise a celestial army against his master.

Ebron learned of this plot, and cast Qadarnai down to the Underworld. Qadarnai toiled in hell for generations, until slowly he earned the respect of his new masters. In time the fallen angel became a demon, capable of visiting earth to answer the summons of necromancers and mad priests.

Qadarnai had his own plans though. He seeded a cult on earth, and drew his plans against both Paradise and the Underworld. His aim: nothing more than the complete destruction of both. The cult of Qadarnai has made him strong, and now he gathers an army in the Underworld. Civil war rages throughout the Underworld, and the screaming spirits of the dead are spat from the flumes of Starspike Island to crash down upon the Fabled Lands.

Qadarnai aims to wrest control from the Gods of the Underworld, and open the Sinkhole of Worlds. This mighty plughole sits at the bottom of the deepest sea-gorge of the Violet Ocean. Opening it would flood the Underworld, extinguishing the fires of hell and draining the entire ocean. Robbed of all moisture, the people of the Fabled Lands would die of thirst. And without their worship, the Gods would soon follow.

Only the greatest heroes of the past can stop him. Only Tam can lead them. At the end of the game, Tam’s quest has but begun…

The first level of the game is set at night in Nerech, a peninsula on the North-eastern coast of Sokara. Nerech is home to the ravening Manbeasts. Passing through the gates of Fort Esgard, Tam is warned by the guards that his quest is sheer madness and will end in doom.

Ammunas’s bones are found within the roofless ruins of an ancient Shadar temple, exposed to the elements atop a craggy granite tor, and now home to a filthy settlement of Manbeasts. The level is staged in a thunderstorm, to the howling accompaniment of a thousand Manbeasts.

Manbeasts function as Warriors.

The second level is set by day in Akatsurai, in the depths of the Kwaidan Forest.

Roku’s skeleton is still entwined with that of his lover, bound together by thorns at the heart of an ancient, ruined village. Cherry blossom falls from the trees beside a sparkling waterfall, which has flooded much of the village. Temple dogs peer from the bushes, choked by vines. Butterflies drift through the air. Everything here is quiet, mystical…but not for long.

A clan of Ratmen has set their sights on Tam’s golden sword, and has followed him across the seas from Sokara. They catch up with him at the ruined village, and attempt to make the kill.

Ratmen function as Wayfarers.

The third level is set at night in the Mixen Sumps: a stretch of swampland on the southern coastline of Uttaku, the Land of Hidden Faces.

Kerrol’s bones are found on a rotted wooden altar at the heart of the swamps, surrounded by limp trees and lit by swirling marsh lights. A swathe of fog blankets the ground, and old Uttakin idols protrude from the murk.

Aware that Tam is assembling heroes to stop him, The enemy sends his cultists to intercept them. The cultists lead Manbeasts on chains, and have forged an alliance with the Ratmen.

Cultists function as Priests. Manbeasts (Warriors) and Ratmen (Wayfarers) support them.

The fourth level is set by day in the Feathered Lands, and is staged in and around the ruins of a crashed Arkship.

The wreck of the Thunderbound is sprawled across a tropical cove. The jungle spreads right up to the sand, stretching outwards to swallow the wreck. The howls of tropical beasts fill the air, and feathered snakes wing from branch to branch.

The zombies of his crew, cursed to guard his bones as barnacle men, still haunt Rusty Jack’s ship. All manner of traps are still active to prevent intruders from penetrating into the treasury. After Jack’s soul is freed the undead assassins of Sig swear to pursue him and bring him to justice.

Barnacle Men function as Rogues.

The fifth level is set around a Mannekin Village, at the foot of Sky Mountain, high in the Spine of Harkun.

The Mannekin village clings to the cliff face at the bottom of a great gorge. The Wing Warriors worship the bones of Niamh of the Whispers, who flung herself from the top of Sky Mountain thousands of years ago. A Mannekin shrine is built above her final resting place, riddled with Mannekin traps to deter those who would disturb her peace.

The enemy’s plans are now coming to fruition. The skies across the Fabled Lands rain down Spectres of the dead as civil war sweeps through the Underworld. As Tam arrives in the Mannekin village the Spectres swoop down around him, scattering the Mannekin to the safety of their homes. To compound matters, the cultists arrive after a few turns, accompanied by the clan of ratmen.

Spectres function as Troubadours. Cultists (Priests), Manbeasts (Warriors) and Ratmen (Wayfarers) arrive after a few turns.

The sixth level is set in the Tomb of Targdaz, buried high in the hills in the country of Atticala.

The Tomb of Targdaz is a majestic vault filled with traps and riddles: your greatest test yet. Statues of Atticalan warriors loom from the walls, and burning sconces illuminate the corridors with flickering light. Targdaz’s remains were taken here by the Order of Fire: insane wizards who look upon his bones as religious relics.

As the Order fight to protect their master’s tomb, the enemy’s servants catch up with the party once more. A few turns later the undead assassins of Sig arrive to capture the soul of Rusty Jack.

Fire Wizards function as Mages. Every other enemy encountered so far is also present: Cultists (Priests), Manbeasts (Warriors), Ratmen (Wayfarers), and Barnacle Men (Rogues). The Cultists have found a way to bottle the Spectres (Troubadours) that are falling from the heavens all across the Fabled Lands: and throw them as grenades in combat.

1 comment:

  1. Collecting each heroes' spirit would be a great idea for a penultimate Fabled Lands quest. You could have some sort of gauntlet or gem that absorbs them, and imbues upon the wearer some sort of title once filled.