Conquest

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The Tiers on the eve of the Conquest.

Conquest Mode defines the starting state of the gameworld. It is a vital part of character creation and sets the stage for the game's story, defining the fate of many settlements, their relations with each other and you, available quests, and so on and so forth.

Description[edit | edit source]

During the Conquest you will decide your character's actions during Kyros' invasion of the Tiers, shaping the world through which you will adventure over the course of the game. Each choice you make affects your character and how major factions of the Tiers respond to you. So choose wisely.

Flow of Conquest Mode[edit | edit source]

The Conquest mode follows a branching path, allowing you to choose between combat and governance assignments. Each year you can choose one assignment to focus on (for a total of three) and make decisions for. Each assignment will also feature three minor decisions along two paths (typically open combat and subterfuge), with one major one deciding the fate of the area.

Ultimately, you will wind up casting one of Kyros' Edicts.

428 TR 429 TR 430 TR

428 TR: Bastard City[edit | edit source]

Conquest Location BastardCity.png
The Bastard City stood on the northern border between Kyros' Empire and the Tiers. Built upon a natural harbor at the crossroads between realms, the city was a nexus of commerce. To the Tiers, it was the center of all wealth. To a northerner, it was little more than a backwater trading post. Its symbolic status as a gateway to the continent made it a natural first target in Kyros' military conquest. Circumstances were ideal for you to prove your worth as a soldier in Kyros' armies.

Taking this city would send a message to the rest of the Tiers: Kyros' will is insurmountable.

Stage I Stage II Stage III
Gates of Judgement
BastardCity GatesOfJudgement.png
The armies of Kyros took the battle to the Gates of Judgment - trumpeting the opening call of the Conquest of the Tiers. The two armies brought their distinctive sense of order and chaos to the assault. You went to battle alongside the army whose approach best suited your strengths.

Symbol disfavored.png Join battle alongside the Disfavored

Standing shield-to-shield with Kyros' iron-clad elite, you advanced on the mercenary army purchased by the nobles of the Bastard City. The legion wanted to send a message to the Tiers that superior breeding and disciplined training would win the day.

The Bastard City learned too late that a military is earned, and never bought. The mercenary army quickly found themselves outclassed by the superior tactics and formation of the Disfavored. Those few who lived to the end of the battle were rounded up, the weak executed and the strong enslaved to haul the army's wagons on the journey south.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Fight alongside the Scarlet Chorus

You rushed with the chaotic mass of the Scarlet Chorus, flanked the Bastard City's army, and drove them to flee.

You caught the mercenary army unprepared for the mania and disorder of the Scarlet Chorus. Your forces overwhelmed the Tiers defenses in a few short hours, hacking and burning their way into the continent. Any mercenaries who survived the battle found themselves initiated into the Scarlet Chorus, tortured by ruthless interrogators, or made the sport of competition as the army marched ruthlessly forward.

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To Judge the Enemy
VendriensWell BlueFlagofPeace.png
The soldiers of the Tiers fell by the hundreds, and Kyros' armies could not agree on how to handle what few survivors they dragged back to camp. Befitting your role, the commanders turned to you to decide the fate of those who occupied prison pens. There were only enough prisoners to support the plan of a single army.

Symbol disfavored.png Enslave the enemy

The Disfavored needed slaves to haul their gear, dig latrines, and keep their pallets warm at night. You consigned the survivors of battle to their subservient role among Graven Ashe's noble troops. Wounded and demoralized by prior defeat, the soldiers of the Tiers put up minimal resistance to their new status in Kyros' military.

The Disfavored enjoyed the luxury of putting others to work, but didn't allow themselves to grow soft - turning away from menial duties and focusing instead on a rigorous training regimen that left them alert and eager for combat. You gave the Tiers slaves their first assignment - digging a mass grave outside the Gates of Judgment, where a cloud of flies marked the passage of Kyros' army.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Conscript the enemy

You gave prisoners the chance to serve in Kyros' army or die. The Scarlet Chorus was in need of extra troops to fill up the vanguard, and your former enemies would occupy those slots nicely.

You armed cooperative ex-soldiers with scrap weapons and tossed them into the vanguard of the next Scarlet Chorus assault. Those who survived were welcome to take up the arms and armor of the fallen and eke out a desperate struggle to survive in Kyros' military. After their first victory, you rewarded the new recruits with the opportunity to execute their wounded or reluctant countrymen.

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Taking the Bastard City
BastardCity TunonJudgement.png

The armies of Kyros amassed around the Bastard City, the first bastion of the Tiers to fall. Both armies longed to storm the walled outpost - the Scarlet Chorus howling for plunder, and the Disfavored forming an unbreakable shield wall. Your prowess on the field of battle had carried them this far, but there was one more step before total victory.

Both of the armies had inspired schemes to take the Bastard City. Which did you support?

Symbol disfavored.png Assault on the main gates

You joined the Disfavored vanguard in a direct assault upon the city gates. No fortification would stand before the unstoppable legion.

With heroic courage and legendary determination, the Disfavored battered the gates of the Bastard City to splinters. Those who fell under the consistent hail of arrows or cascades of boiling pitch left the battlefield temporarily, only to appear hours later as Archon Graven Ashe's protection healed their numerous wounds. In time the gates gave way, and Kyros' forces spilled inside the city walls with resounding cheers of victory.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Burn the city

You joined the Scarlet Chorus in setting fire to the city and blocking the gates. The defenders would surrender or burn.

It was passing strange to barricade the very gates you sought to cross, but it all made sense when the fires began. The Scarlet Chorus sent a constant rain of flaming arrows over the walls of the Bastard City - a plague that lasted through long days and tireless nights. By the end, the blaze was too much for the city defenders to contain. Citizens crowded at the gates, pleading to be freed from their smoldering city. You and your army were happy to oblige them. When the gates opened, they opened from inside.

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Symbol kyros.png Sabotage the city's defenses

You led a mixed band of Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus scouts over the city walls to sabotage its defenses.

Though it was challenging to earn the cooperation of both armies, their shared interest in taking down the city defenses allowed your scouts to work as a single unit. Once your forces scaled the walls, a mixture of tactics and savagery destabilized the city guard, who quickly lost their command over the defenses and were forced to surrender. Lacking the support of archers or siege weapons, the Bastard City fell quickly to Kyros' superior might.

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Feeding the Host
BastardCity FeedingtheHostofWar.png

Against the most optimistic projections, the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus made short work of the local defenses. They did so well that the armies quickly outpaced their supply caravans. Troops were plentiful, but food was scarce. You only had time to execute one plan to secure provisions.

Symbol disfavored.png Confiscate merchant caravans

You authorized Disfavored troops to confiscate food and supplies from traveling merchant caravans. The Tiers had already spent ignorant centuries glutting themselves outside of Kyros' law.

After raiding the wagons of unsuspecting caravans, and securing days' worth of provisions and supplies, the Disfavored found a cache of goods behind a hidden panel. They confiscated potions and elixirs bound for secret contacts within the Bastard City. The haul filled the Disfavored larder with provisions for the following year, and denied the defenders of the Bastard City supplies that would be desperately needed in the siege to come.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Pillage farmlands

You authorized the Scarlet Chorus to send their horde out to pillage from farms and villages. Spreading the infamy of Kyros' army prepared the Tiers for the reality of the impending conquest.

Only too pleased to follow this particular order, the Scarlet Chorus divided up the outlying farms and villages among their gangs and set out to 'collect provisions.' Though they returned with wagons laden with supplies, the terror and destruction sowed in their path boosted morale and ensured that everyone from the Bastard City to Stalwart knew their name.

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Infiltrate the Tiers
BastardCity InfiltrateTheTiers.png

History would remember the Gates of Judgment as the first battle of the Conquest, but the real combat unfolded with advance units of both armies preparing for the coming war. The Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus each had a plan to infiltrate the capital city. Which army did you join?

Symbol disfavored.png Aid the Disfavored scouts

You lent your skills to the elite Disfavored scouts to capture a border garrison. Graven Ashe insisted that an early victory in the offensive would boost the morale of his troops, and diminish the haughty overconfidence of the southerners.

The Oath Bound scouts identified a modest border defense and collaborated on an organized attack that would leave the enemy uncoordinated and cut off from aid. You oversaw the preparations and offered your opinions on the strategy. When the clashing of swords and spears fell to silence, followed by the cheering of Disfavored scouts, you were the least surprised.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Conscript enemy fighters for the Scarlet Chorus

You joined the Scarlet Chorus as they raided villages and small towns, conscripting every able-bodied man and woman into the army. The Voices of Nerat emphasized the rewards of conscription and enslavement over wanton bloodshed. Apparently his soldiers needed the reminder.

The howling mobs of the Scarlet Chorus found easy pickings among the villages and frontier towns. Rallying an experienced gang under your control, you flooded the unprotected settlements with a deluge of bloodthirsty soldiers, rounding up the innocent for merciless rites of conscription. The young and infirm alike received makeshift weapons, and examples were made of all who challenged your forces. Bolstered with fresh recruits, your army gathered strength for the invasion to come.

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Inside Agent
BastardCity EnemyInformant.png

With the border garrison captured by your Disfavored allies, you traveled ahead of Kyros' armies and lurked in the shadows of the Bastard City. You decided that converting one of the locals to Kyros' side would help bring the city to its knees. After all, corruption starts from within.

Symbol disfavored.png A well-informed Guard Captain

You enlisted a bitter Captain of the Guard to sell military secrets to the Disfavored. Better that Kyros' forces march to their next inevitable victory well-informed.

The Captain of the Guard was of a mind that the Bastard City was corrupt and deserving of better leadership. You did nothing to convince him otherwise. After taking your promises of stature and security to heart, he offered you a list of valuable assets - from weakened stones in the rampart to the state of siege provisions, capping it off with a list of city officials whose loyalties could likewise be turned to support your cause.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png A fast-talking smuggler

You came to an arrangement with a well-connected smuggler who knew how to sneak agents of the Scarlet Chorus behind the city walls. The Scarlet Chorus were better operatives than soldiers, and this work required a subtle touch.

After accepting his deserved payment, the smuggler uncovered a long-forgotten tunnel that intersected with the sewers of the Bastard City. Armed with maps of the subterranean layout, your Scarlet Chorus allies fanned out to occupy various city districts under cover. They spent the ensuing weeks murdering key officials and sabotaging defenses wherever possible, weakening the Tiers capital under the very noses of its leaders.

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Betrayal of the Bastard City
BastardCity TunonJudgement.png

Your tactics of infiltration placed you in the Bastard City ahead of the main armies. Your work softened the city defenses for the arrival of Kyros' forces, but you wanted a decisive gesture that would give your allies a meaningful advantage. How did you assist in the fall of the Bastard City?

Symbol disfavored.png Duel the City Marshal

You challenged the commander of the Bastard City's defenses to an honorable fight to the death. The Disfavored wished to spare soldier lives for the battles ahead, and civilian lives for occupation.

The City Marshal was an old but experienced fighter, and his value to the guard was an accepted truth. After making guarantees for your protection, you met him in the square of the Market District and fought in the view of tense onlookers. The battle drew on longer than you thought possible. Good fortune struck when an ornamental chain hanging from the Marshal's armor snagged the quillon of his sword, granting you the opportunity to end his life swiftly. Kyros' forces celebrated your return to camp, and the dissolution of enemy morale. All agreed that the Bastard City was poised to crumble.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Incite a riot

Spreading the word of Kyros, you converted the poor and disaffected into a hidden army of the Scarlet Chorus. Once the dust settled, the army wished to bolster their troops with these sleeper cells.

It didn't take much to convince the Bastard City's downtrodden that Kyros was the superior power. You armed them with weapons and knowledge of a signal you would raise when the time was right. As the armies appeared outside the walls, you ignited the spark that fanned their anger into a full-scale riot. The chaos they spread in Kyros' name weakened the city to such an extent that its inevitable fall was but a formality.

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Symbol kyros.png Spread fear through assassination

Keeping to the shadows, you eliminated the leaders of the Bastard City, one by one.

Some deaths were quiet and unnoticed, while others were gruesome beyond words. As a wave of murder overtook the city's elite, your deeds swelled in infamy. Well before the armies arrived, no one in the Bastard City felt safe in their homes - much less behind their walls. By the time Kyros' forces crested the horizon, the city was fearful enough to throw open the gates and welcome their new protectors.

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Containing the Fire
BastardCity CapturedMage.png

Your fiercest opponents in the Bastard City were the mages of the School of Wild Wrath. Too barbaric to use their power responsibly, the unbridled practitioners needed to be stopped. How did you trick the hot-tempered mages into their own undoing?

Symbol disfavored.png Lure them to a Disfavored ambush

You lured the hot-headed mages to an ambush, where a legion of Disfavored waited to spring the trap. The soldiers were hungry for a chance to subdue the arcane branch of Tiers resistance. The mages took their more dangerous research outside of the Bastard City walls. You sent a scout to sabotage a delicate ritual, which caused an explosion that injured or killed many senior practitioners. Enraged, the survivors expended themselves on a chase through the surrounding hills, where the Disfavored surrounded them, and brought them to heel. The few that survived the attacked were conscripted by the Scarlet Chorus.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png A meeting with the Voices of Nerat

You tricked the guild elders into meeting with the Voices of Nerat, Archon of Secrets. The Archon was notorious for his cruel and mysterious interrogation techniques. The mages were never seen again. There were few who could describe what horrors the Archon of Secrets visited upon his enemies during the Conquest. Whether the elder mages knew little of the Archon's reputation or met with him out of curiosity didn't matter. Once the flap of the Archon's tent closed, none of them were heard from again - save for a strangled cry of alarm that ended just as swiftly. Leaderless, the School of Wild Wrath fell into disorder, and their remaining members were slain by the Disfavored or conscripted into the Scarlet Chorus.

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429 TR[edit | edit source]

Apex[edit | edit source]

Conquest Location Apex.png

The mountain nation of Apex, ruled for generations by the Queens of House Vendrien, stood at the heart of the Tiers. No army could bypass the landlocked realm without leaving their flank exposed to attack.

By the second year of the war, the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus had pushed deep into the Tiers. Elements of both armies were dispatched to conquer Apex. Tunon assigned you to accompany them, tasked with bringing Kyros' law to the territory as well as keeping an eye on both armies.

Stage I Stage II Stage III
The Battle of Edgering Pass
VendriensWell EdgeringPass.png
The Disfavored sent their most destructive ally to crush Edgering Fort. Cairn, Archon of Stone, buried the stronghold under an avalanche triggered from the surrounding mountains. The Scarlet Chorus were promised captured enemies for recruitment, yet none survived the onslaught. The Chorus demanded compensation.

Symbol disfavored.png Side with the Disfavored

You congratulated the Disfavored for taking the pass without risking the lives of Kyros’ loyal servants. At this stage of the campaign, it was vital to use any advantage that would mitigate ally losses.

The Scarlet Chorus claims were insignificant compared to the lossless victory. You congratulated the Disfavored and encouraged the Scarlet Chorus to better value their soldiers' lives - a suggestion that gang bosses took worse than the original offense. Vowing to remember this, the slighted army returned to camp to sulk, if not lick their wounds.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Side with the Scarlet Chorus

You upheld the Scarlet Chorus’ claim, and demanded that the youngest Disfavored scouts join the Chorus to settle the debt.

In the aftermath of your ruling, the main force of both armies turned out to witness Disfavored scouts conscripted into the Scarlet Chorus - a rarity of which few could recall any precedent. Archon Graven Ashe, though vocal in his earlier opposition, held his dignity and shed only silent tears for his lost soldiers. The Chorus mob swarmed around the new recruits, hoisting them up and tearing at their Disfavored raiments as they began a hazing ritual that lasted through the night.

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The Marriage Bed Armistice
VendriensWell TheMarriageBedArmistice.png
The enemy readied for a peacetime festival as Kyros’ forces armed for battle. The Disfavored paid no mind to the southern custom, and planned to attack the Vendrien forces during their annual celebration. The Scarlet Chorus insisted on a day of nonviolence. As former Tiersmen, many could grasp the decency of a temporary reprieve.

Symbol disfavored.png Choose the Disfavored plan

You sided with the Disfavored commander and paid no homage to this bygone custom, interrupting a cultural pastime and slaughtering your way through noncombatants.

The Disfavored marched on the realm of Apex, setting fire to decorations and putting any brave revelers to the sword. The Scarlet Chorus sat out the battle in uncharacteristic respect, earning the ire, confusion and amusement of the Voices of Nerat. You contented yourself in knowing that the Tiers must submit to Kyros, and no indulgence would be made for uncooperative foes.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Choose the Scarlet Chorus plan

You offered the locals their last feast – sending a few Scarlet Chorus agents into the mix in good faith. The army hoped that the gesture would foster an air of partnership for the occupation to come.

The festivities went off as expected, and the Scarlet Chorus recruits you sent to enjoy themselves reported little animosity among the revelers. The Disfavored protested your ruling as too merciful, and waged all-night training drills to combat the sound of celebration with an anthem of swords and shields. You sent forces to attack the following day, a battle from which the Disfavored recused themselves out of protest.

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The Fall of Apex
VendriensWell FallOfTheWell.png
With the defeat of Apex an inevitability, the armies of Kyros met to discuss how to put an end to this stage of the Conquest. Both armies agreed to send an offer of parley. Along with their acceptance, the enemy requested that you appear at the meeting. Word of your fair dealings had apparently spread to their ranks.

How did you orchestrate the surrender of the Realm of Apex?

Symbol disfavored.png Negotiate surrender

Through days of mediation, you negotiated the surrender of the valley to Kyros' forces, putting an end to further bloodshed.

Your former enemies were loath to part with their lands, but they were even more reluctant to continue a war they were losing at every turn. The Tiersmen are a stubborn lot, and despite their grim situation, it still took days of discussion and diplomacy to show them the madness of tenacity. On the third day of mediation, the rules of Apex finally submit to your terms of surrender, putting an end to the war in the valley, and freeing up Kyros' forces to march deeper into the Tiers.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Challenge the Queen

Taunting the Queen of Apex into striking you under a banner of truce, you baited the Queen of Apex into a duel and slew her, frightening her vassals into submission.

The Scarlet Chorus urged you to show the Overlord's strength by any means necessary. During peace talks, a well-placed insult goaded the Queen of Apex into striking you. You responded to the slight by challenging her to a duel. Though the Queen was skilled in battle, your field experience outmatched her court training. As her body lay cooling on the ground, you demanded that her followers kneel before the Overlord's banner. Unable to rise above the fear of the moment, the remaining leaders capitulated, surrendering the valley to Kyros' forces.

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Swords of the Fallen
VendriensWell SwordsoftheFallen.png
Scarlet Chorus soldiers were seen wearing Disfavored gear – supposedly taken from those who fell in battle. The Disfavored were outraged, citing tradition that their armor passed only to next of kin within the army. In a debate of tradition versus practicality, you had to rule in favor of one army over another.

Symbol disfavored.png Punish the Scarlet Chorus soldiers

You upheld the Disfavored traditions and punished those wearing the legions’ iron. The army had come to deliver Kyros' Peace, which came with a higher standard.

The Scarlet Chorus recruits bearing legion gear were identified, rounded up, and flogged in the Disfavored camp. Graven Ashe and his soldiers called it a fair, if not wholly equivalent response to the injustice done. By way of reply, tricksters in the Scarlet Chorus filed hundreds of requisition forms requesting arms and armor, a clerical burden that somehow fell to you to reject each in turn.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Refute all charges

You denied the Disfavored’s complaint, as the demands of war rendered such vain customs irrelevant. Lacking in suitable armor, the Scarlet Chorus would retain what they had collected.

You explained to Graven Ashe and his Disfavored that the army needed capable arms more than they needed a rigid adherence to tradition. The Scarlet Chorus expressed gratitude for understanding their challenging position, but the Disfavored took the ruling with less grace. Graven Ashe returned to camp and conducted a prolonged series of funeral rites for every soldier who fell in the Conquest, bellowing their names repeatedly and expressing loud gratitude for the dead.

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Denial of Strength

VendriensWell EchocallCrossing.png
A school of water mages loyal to the Tiersmen posed a substantial threat. The Disfavored wished to annihilate the school, while the Scarlet Chorus insisted on capturing the mages, wishing to learn of their craft.

Symbol disfavored.png Slaughter the mages

You sided with the Disfavored. All mages had a chance to surrender before the war, and trying to capture the enemy would lead to needless losses.

You granted the Disfavored the honor of killing the Tidecasters, as they called themselves, and Cairn, Archon of Stone, was dispatched to lay waste to the mages. The nearly indestructible Archon slew the school's champions in one glorious and bloody battle of magic. The Scarlet Chorus dispensed with any celebrations, observing that perhaps Cairn should have left something alive for his Chorus allies to interrogate.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Capture the mages

You sided with the Scarlet Chorus, ordering the mage elders taken alive for interrogation.

Though countless lives were lost taking the mages into custody, the Scarlet Chorus praised your name as they dragged the beaten elders of the school to the Voices of Nerat's tent. As a wave of screams and incoherent pleas reached their crescendo, the Scarlet Chorus soldiers outside cheered for their Archon. The Disfavored adjourned to their camp in grim silence, claiming the Chorus lacked the will and desire to fully wipe out all traces of the enemy school.

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A Captive Captain
VendriensWell CapturedCaptain.png
When Kyros’ forces captured a celebrated enemy hero, the armies bickered over his fate. The Disfavored wanted him set free to convince his peers of Kyros' mercy. The Scarlet Chorus wanted him flayed and staked as an example.


Symbol disfavored.png Use the captain to send a message

You agreed with the Disfavored plan and sent the enemy captain back with a message. All those who surrendered or cooperated would be treated with deserving respect as subjects of Kyros' Peace.

Shocked by your clemency, the enemy captain vowed to deliver his message in full, and paid his respects before departing for his encampment. Though typically more uncompromising, the Disfavored praised your innovative thinking. The Scarlet Chorus despised what they viewed as resources wasted only to release a known enemy back into the wild.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Use the captain's body as a grim warning

You executed the captain and had his remains fashioned into a terrifying display. Fear was the Scarlet Chorus' most compelling weapon, and you knew that its impact would resonate across the Apex army.

Against the better wishes of tradition, mercy or even good taste, you had the enemy captain drawn and quartered by a team of enthusiastic Scarlet Chorus butchers. Once the prisoner was disassembled, the butchers took great pleasure in reassembling his parts with stitching, cloth, and wooden poles - fashioning a crude totem of disorder. They mounted him on a hillside, where the warning of the grim spectacle haunted all who passed.

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Poisoning the Well
VendriensWell PoisoningtheWell.png
Hoping to break the siege, Scarlet Chorus agents poisoned the Apex water supply in secret. Days later, uninformed Disfavored scouts died of illness. Outraged by the failure of communication, the Disfavored demanded that the Chorus agents be turned over to them for punishment.

Symbol disfavored.png Punish the saboteurs

You upheld the charges, ordering the Scarlet Chorus agents delivered to the Disfavored. Justice would be served, but at the risk of seeding discontent between the two armies.

The Scarlet Chorus protested the sanctioning of a beloved military tradition. Within weeks of hauling wagons, filling graves and digging latrines, the saboteurs fell sick themselves - dying of unattended wasting diseases likely picked up from moving putrid bodies. The Disfavored called it a fitting justice, and congratulated themselves for squeezing some honest labor out of the miserable wretches.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Deny the charges

You denied the complaint. Tragedies happen in war, and the act was not targeted with intent at the Disfavored. The reality was more honest than the satisfaction the Disfavored so wanted.

Your ruling swept the deceased soldiers' unit into a rage, which nothing short of Graven Ashe's intervention kept from escalating to violence. After tempers cooled over a period of weeks, the Disfavored struggled to forge an open communication with their allies in the Chorus. Their attempts were met with silence and distrust.

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Lethian's Crossing[edit | edit source]

Conquest Location LethiansCrossing.png
Deposits of iron made the settlement of Lethian's Crossing a strategic war asset. Kyros sent the Forge-Bound, smith-mages of exceptional skill, to establish a flow of weaponry. Tunon the Adjudicator sent one of his Fatebinders to ensure the enforcement of Kyros' law.
Stage I Stage II Stage III
The Iron Must Flow
LethiansCrossing VendrienRefugees.png
Kyros' smith-mages worked day and night to create weapons. No one faulted their dedication, yet production was low. The plans that came to light proved divisive to the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus. On one hand, any additional manpower was needed for fighters, not forges. On the other hand, the celebrated weaponry of Kyros' armies needed to be fiercely guarded. You found a clever solution to improve production of iron weapons and armor.

Symbol disfavored.png Draw from the Scarlet Chorus recruits

The Scarlet Chorus took refugees from the recent influx and forced them to serve in Kyros' military. You repurposed these individuals to haul wagons of iron for the smith-mages. This proved an inconvenience to the Scarlet Chorus, who relied on their force of numbers to be effective in the field.

The population of Lethian's Crossing had swelled from the emptying of lands destroyed by Kyros' armies. Although the Scarlet Chorus fought to keep the refugees under their control, the need for production could not wait. The new recruits were reassigned to haul iron ore from treacherous mine shafts - labor more befitting slaves than Kyros' artisans. Though the Disfavored grew stronger with the advantage of more weapons, the Scarlet Chorus diminished as their ranks found themselves with one less opportunity for growth.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Conscript a tribe of Beastmen

You conscripted help from a local tribe of Beastmen. Their strength would more than offset their disobedience. The Disfavored protested that savages have access to the secrets of iron, but their voices were few compared to the support of the Scarlet Chorus.

The Scarlet Chorus were overjoyed to learn of a Beastmen conscription, and graciously lent their support to your cause. The local Beastmen were subdued and yoked to iron-bearing wagons, where their boundless strength and tirelessness proved critical to the smith-mages. The Disfavored grew agitated about exposing the secret of iron to savages. You attempted to allay their concerns, but your words fell flat before a stubborn, uncompromising audience.

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Pick of the Armory
LethiansCrossing PickOfTheArmory.png
Since you aided the production of weapons, commanders of both armies lobbied for additional arms. They offered all manner of bribes to be next in line for a fitting session with the masters of the forge. How did you sate the lust for iron?

Symbol disfavored.png Choose the Disfavored

You let the Disfavored have the iron, keeping the best tools in the hands of the elite. The Scarlet Chorus saw the slight as an obvious display of preferential treatment.

Passing out iron to even the hardiest Scarlet Chorus gang boss would have been a waste of resources - most of them couldn't wield arms more complicated than a pitchfork, and their chances of surviving a fortnight were suspect. The Disfavored, by contrast, knew how to use and respect a capable weapon to its greatest potential. Perhaps more importantly, the Disfavored remember their friends when a time of need arises, and their loyalty runs as deep as any vein of iron ore.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Choose the Scarlet Chorus

You gave iron arms to the Scarlet Chorus commanders, knowing they pay very well for any killing tool. Weaponry of such acclaim was typically reserved for the highest Disfavored officers, but you were open to changing tradition under the circumstances.

If nothing else, the Scarlet Chorus were wont to pay for services rendered. As a reward for arming a notorious gang boss with the finest weapons, Horde soldiers around camp found excuses to palm you rings or other valuables throughout the Apex campaign. You could hardly cross from one end of camp to the other without your belt string jingling a personal anthem of wealth. The Disfavored watched the Chorus lieutenants parade about with bravado, themselves disgusted by the display.

[show]

Symbol kyros.png Remain neutral

You allowed no changes to the orderly dispensation of iron, and punished those who tried to bribe you twice.

Using language that left nothing open to interpretation, you let both of the commanders know that bribery would not be tolerated in Kyros' military. That didn't stop either of them from seeking you out again, making promises of wealth and advancement if you showed special favor. Deciding that enough was enough, you ordered both of the commanders flogged in view of their armies - letting pain and humiliation teach them where reason had failed.

[show]

Who Controlled the Crossing?

LethiansCrossing GarrisontheCrossing.png
Tragedy struck when a mercenary hired by the Voices of Nerat injured a Forge-Bound artisan, leaving him unable to practice his craft. Tunon ordered the mercenaries to leave the city in the hands of Kyros' more responsible servants. Only a token garrison could be left behind while the armies returned to the front. As the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus showed increasing tension and hostility toward each other, Tunon decreed it best that only one force control the Crossing.

Symbol disfavored.png Choose the Disfavored

The Disfavored placed a modest garrison in the settlement of Lethian's Crossing. Though the force was larger than might be needed to police the small settlement, protecting the Forge-Bound ironsmiths became the true agenda of the defense force - as these magical craftsmen kept the Disfavored invasion force suited in iron.

Relieved at the departure of the Scarlet Chorus, the citizens of Lethian's Crossing felt they got the least of two burdens. You received word from Graven Ashe thanking you for your decision. The Forge-Bound, and their weaponry, could not be entrusted to the Voices of Nerat.

  • Lethian's Crossing is garrisoned by the Disfavored.
[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Choose the Scarlet Chorus

The Scarlet Chorus flooded Lethian's Crossing with overeager and undisciplined recruits. In the first few days of occupation, settlers suffered under rampant theft, murder, rape, and arson. By the following week, the hordesman who sowed chaos for personal gain were dead - strung up by the more disciplined half that took up the reins as the self-appointed bosses of Lethian's Crossing.

The Forge-Bound continued to mint iron weapons and armor, which Kyros' merchants carted to the Disfavored garrisons elsewhere in the Tiers. Shipments were light, or sometimes absent. The Scarlet Chorus quartermaster claimed ignorance of the matter.

[show]
LethiansCrossing Merceneries.png
Kyros' armies used Lethian's Crossing as a reprieve from the war. The city grew more crowded as a mercenary army hired by the Archon of Secrets occupied the barracks, where they drained resources and escalated tensions. The Disfavored wanted nothing to do with the sellswords, but the Scarlet Chorus sought to invite them into the fold.

Symbol disfavored.png Segregate the mercenaries

The Disfavored demanded that the mercenaries be kept far from Kyros' armies. The righteous occupiers would not deign to share provisions or supplies with degenerate sellswords. You built a separate barracks and mess hall in order to keep the sellswords out of the army's way, and enacted strict laws against disorderly conduct.

The elite soldiers from the North had little patience for sellswords under the best of circumstances, and showed open contempt for mercenaries born in the Tiers. They demanded that all armies - including their own soldiers - follow strict military discipline and be restricted to quarters when not on duty. After some discussion, you agreed that separate accommodations were the best possible solution. Though the sellswords balked at the oppressive foreign custom, you convinced them it was the safest recourse.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Challenge their worth

You let the Scarlet Chorus and the mercenaries engage in combat games and challenges, and allowed laws against revelry and merriment to go unenforced. Those who won the contests took a greater share of provisions, and sellswords of merit were invited to join Kyros' army.

The games proved an excellent opportunity to relieve tensions, settle disputes, and guarantee future cooperation between the two forces. Any grievances were resolved by ritual combat - messier than your adjudication, but arguably more entertaining for those outside of the arena. The mercenaries who proved themselves worthy opponents found reward in joining the ranks of the Scarlet Chorus, where many of them carved out positions among the elite fighters.

[show]
The Cult of Sirin
LethiansCrossing Sirin.png
Sirin, Archon of Song, used her arcane charm to lure locals into joining Kyros' army. As a patroness of the Scarlet Chorus, her efforts were critical to the conscription of new recruits. When an enthralled Disfavored soldier joined her cult, his company feared that the Archon was growing out of control and needed to be stopped.

Symbol disfavored.png Destroy Sirin's cult

The Disfavored demanded that the Archon of Song cease her recruitment practices, and that they be allowed to violently subdue her cult of followers. The loss of soldiers was a significant setback to the Scarlet Chorus' conscription efforts.

In response to your ruling, the Archon of Song departed your company in bitter silence - but not before releasing her arcane hold over the latest batch of recruits. The Disfavored remained obstinate that the dispersal of her cult continue as planned. Hunting down the confused or memory-stricken innocents, they put to death those who they couldn't beat into obedience. The Scarlet Chorus barely restrained themselves from the indignity, which proved a major setback to their army's strength in numbers.

  • Fear with Sirin (average)
[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Send Sirin's cult to the vanguard

In Scarlet Chorus tradition, you sent the latest batch of cultists to the front lines of the Apex campaign. Those who survived were welcome to remain in Kyros' military, and their performance would stand as testimony to Sirin's effectiveness.

The Scarlet Chorus agreed to transfer Sirin's latest recruits to the front lines of the Apex campaign. Your resolution fit their traditional model of conscription, so they considered it a fair alternative. In the weeks to come, more of them returned to active duty than even Sirin herself expected - likely owing to their obsessive devotion to the Archon and her enchanting music.

  • Loyalty with Sirin (major)
[show]
Ancient Threats
LethiansCrossing OldwallBane.png
Drawn to the arcane energy around the forges, mystical predators from the nearby Oldwalls began to raid Lethian's Crossing at all hours. Both of Kyros' armies reserved their strength for the front lines of the war, and yet the city required protection. You had to delegate the responsibility somewhere.

Symbol disfavored.png Choose the Scarlet Chorus

As the largest army, you tasked the Scarlet Chorus with the burden of security. The Disfavored took the opportunity to gather their strength.

At your command, the Scarlet Chorus flooded the streets of Lethian's Crossing. Infighting and competition among the unruly gangs made for disorganized patrols and distracted lookouts. However, when an ominous tide of Oldwalls predators assaulted the city in previously unseen numbers, it took the full force of the Scarlet Chorus to repel the attack.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Choose the Disfavored

Since the Disfavored used most of the iron that came out of Lethian's Crossing, it fell to them to stand as the city's vigilant protectors. The Scarlet Chorus enjoyed a necessary reprieve.

Though the Disfavored were averse to your ruling, they couldn't argue with the reasoning behind it. They rallied in the streets of Lethian's Crossing, patrolling on alert in shifts that lasted day and night in an impressive show of force. They managed to repel several attacks from the predators in districts that would have otherwise suffered great harm. Able to do some good, the Disfavored still detested you for keeping them from the battle with their real enemy in the Tiers.

[show]

A Red Anvil

LethiansCrossing HaplessMage.png
One of Kyros' smith-mages swore allegiance to the Scarlet Chorus. Jealously hoarding the secret of iron forging, the Disfavored demanded the smith's immediate return. The Scarlet Chorus insisted that they were within their rights to take allegiance from any source. Tempers flared and the forges cooled as arguments stalled productivity.

Symbol disfavored.png Enslave the renegade mage

Since the smith-mage would not willingly return to work, you enlisted the Disfavored to return him there in chains.

The Disfavored correctly argued that iron production was too vital to the Conquest, and no interruption could be tolerated. Drawing from Kyros' law, you ruled that one bound to the forge had no right to disobey the Overlord's will. You sentenced the mage to return to his former duties - this time as a slave - and sternly instructed everyone to get back to work.

  • Svansen appears as a Forge-Bound slave.
[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Erase his mind

Since Kyros' law dictated that the secrets of iron be granted only to the smith-mages, you ruled that the new recruit's mind be erased of all memory.

The Scarlet Chorus presented a strong interpretation of Kyros' law. With no memory of smelting or forging, the recruit would be a smith-mage no more. You enlisted from among the more deviant arcane practitioners to destroy their new colleague's mind. They assaulted the recruit with a combination of spells typically reserved for torture and interrogation, stripping away his sense of self until nothing remained but an obedient servant ready to serve Kyros on the field of battle.

  • Svansen appears as a Forge-Bound servant.
[show]

430 TR[edit | edit source]

Conquest Location Azure.png
The army front advanced further into the Tiers. Your skills were needed in the Realm of Azure, Stalwart, or the Vellum Citadel.

Azure[edit | edit source]

The nation of Azure, once the richest settlement of the Tiers, sat on a verdant, fertile plain. As the Disfavored clashed with Azure's defenders, the Scarlet Chorus contended against the region's tribal Beastmen, who protected their ancestral lands with incredible fury. Kyros dispatched the Archon Cairn to break the stalemate and force Azure into submission. The colossal man of stone and flesh arrived as instructed, but earning his cooperation was a tall order, even for you.
Stage I Stage II Stage III
The Destruction of Azure
StoneSea MadnessofCairn.png
Cairn, the Archon of Stone, carved a deadly path through Azure, using his powers to blight the land. The Scarlet Chorus complained that his tactics left no farmland to feed the growing army. Since Cairn marched with the Disfavored, the Scarlet Chorus held the legion responsible for the destruction and lost harvests.

Symbol disfavored.png Dismiss the Scarlet Chorus complaints

You ruled that the Archon of Stone may do as he wishes with the soil, being its natural master, and instructed the Scarlet Chorus to better control their numbers and plan better for the lean seasons. The Disfavored argued that Cairn's tactics were a small price for the rapid conquest of such a large area, and you wholeheartedly agreed. Though you attempted to reason with the Scarlet Chorus, they refused to limit their numbers, insisting strength in numbers was their core tactic, and your proposal insulted their values. The Disfavored, however, were emboldened by your ruling, and Cairn's mighty onslaught continued apace.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Order the Disfavored to replace the destroyed farmland

You ordered Cairn's disciples, the Disfavored Earthshakers to use their magic to repair the arable land destroyed by the Archon of Stone. At Cairn's rate of destruction, the lands of Azure would soon be unable to sustain crops, but Kyros wanted a conquered land, not a barren wasteland. The Scarlet Chorus voiced these concerns, and you backed them - going so far as to enlist Disfavored mages for aid. Though loath to pause their studies and focus on agriculture, the mages grudgingly assented and traveled with the rearguard, working to heal the land as they went.

[show]
Cairn's Madness
StoneSea CairntheDeserter.png
The Archon of Stone refused to rejoin the war camp, loudly denying Kyros’ claim over Azure. Nothing less than a full unit of soldiers could subdue the treasonous Archon, yet neither army was willing to risk lives tracking him down. You delivered the order that sent Kyros' forces marching after Cairn.

Symbol disfavored.png Send the Disfavored

When Cairn brought them victory, the Disfavored hailed him as one of their number. With Cairn defied the will of the Overlord, it fell to the Disfavored to track him down and get answers. Subduing a wayward Archon was a larger task than rank and file soldiers could manage on their own. The Disfavored scouts returned to camp after a long journey, bearing news of irregular rock formations and Beastmen chanting Cairn's name. They found neither hide nor hair of the Archon of Stone, but his presence and impact on the Azure wilderness were evident. Unease spread through the army as Kyros' forces wondered what Cairn's actions could mean.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Send the Scarlet Chorus

The Scarlet Chorus had the advantage of numbers and speed. You ordered them to deploy their numerous scouts to scour the countryside and find the alleged traitor Cairn. Seldom praised for their subtlety, the howling mob of the Scarlet Chorus took to the wilderness in great numbers. Though they scoured the region from top to bottom, and found a wealth of evidence to suggest Cairn's passing, they could not locate the Archon. The evidence they found suggested that Cairn had amassed a following of local Beastmen, the implications of which troubled Kyros' army.

[show]

The Edict of Stone

StoneSea EdictofStone.png

The Archon of Stone made brazen declarations that Kyros had no claim to rule the Tiers. Soon after, word arrived that Kyros would dispatch this rebellious minion with an Edict. Having shown a stern hand against the Disfavored in the past, Tunon deemed it proper that you deliver punishment. Tunon selected you for the honor of proclaiming Kyros’ Edict of Stone - a magical spell with the power to destroy the Archon.

As he sensed his approaching doom, Cairn began an assault on Plainsgate, the largest human settlement of the area. It fell to you to send Kyros' forces into a suicide mission to halt Cairn's destruction while you completed the proclamation of the Edict.

Symbol disfavored.png Send the Disfavored to delay Cairn

Knowing there was little chance of survival, you ordered the Disfavored to march against the Archon of Stone as he neared the city of Plainsgate. You hoped that the elite of Kyros' armies would delay Cairn long enough for you to read the Overlord's Edict.

The Disfavored approached the battle with hard hearts and grim expressions, pondering the futility of their goal. They fought and died defending Plainsgate - which, in spite of their efforts, suffered extensive damage.

Cairn dismantled their phalanx like a row of toy soldiers as you read the final line of Kyros' destructive spell. A chasm opened under the battlefield - swallowing the Disfavored and redrawing the proportions of the once verdant landscape. When the earth heaved open to take Cairn, the Archon allowed it with serene acceptance.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Send the Scarlet Chorus to delay Cairn

Believing that there was a slight chance that their superior numbers could hold off the Archon of Stone, you sent the Scarlet Chorus to delay Cairn's march on Plainsgate. You hoped you would have enough time to read Kyros' Edictbefore Cairn reached the city.

The Scarlet Chorus went to battle wearing fierce grins - how often did they get to attack an Archon? Soon enough, their war songs twisted into shrieks of terror. Plainsgate still remained, but not after facing significant damage.

You blocked it all out as you read the Edict of Stone. The earth under the battlefield groaned open, spitting up outcroppings of rock that obliterated the surrounding landscape for miles. From your vantage in the rearguard, the screams of the Chorus continued without end.

When the land heaved open to take Cairn, the Archon allowed it with serene acceptance.

[show]

Symbol kyros.png Send both armies to delay Cairn

You believed that the only chance of slowing Cairn's assault was to commit the full force of Kyros' armies against him. It was a desperate gamble. If you were wrong, there would be no one left alive to warn the other Archons of your failure. Still, you ordered both Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus forces to march against the Archon of Stone while you read the Overlord's Edict.

The Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus alike questioned the wisdom of this command. You were uncompromising - this approach was the only guarantee to halt the Archon's destruction.

The Disfavored phalanx shattered under Cairn's fury, and the Scarlet Chorus mob was reduced to a smear under his foot. The city of Plainsgate suffered little damage at all as the armies kept Cairn occupied - a small beacon of hope among the devastation.

As you read the Edict of Stone, the earth under the battlefield groaned open, spitting up outcroppings of rock that obliterated the surrounding landscape for miles. When the land heaved open to take Cairn, the Archon allowed it with serene acceptance.

[show]

Forced Into the Fray

StoneSea ChantofAzure.png
The Archon of Stone went missing during the campaign. As Disfavored mages busied themselves with the search for Cairn, the Scarlet Chorus forced the mages into combat against their will, during which two were slain. Furious at the waste of trained specialists, the Disfavored demanded that the Scarlet Chorus be punished.

Symbol disfavored.png Free the mages

The Disfavored demanded that you liberate the captive mages, and had those who forced them into battle made their slaves.

The mages thanked you for their freedom, and as recompense you gave them the Scarlet Chorus soldiers who enslaved them in the first place. New haulers and research assistants were appreciated among the ranks, and the boost in productivity more than compensated for the losses suffered in battle. The Voices of Nerat let his displeasure be known - if the mages were so easily taken, they deserved better leadership.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Side with the Scarlet Chorus

You ruled that the demands of war allowed the Scarlet Chorus to appropriate military resources when they were available.

Ruling that the Chorus merely motivated the mages to attend a battle that duty demands they should have attended in the first place, you ordered the mages returned but levied no punishment against the Chorus, and you instead chastised the Earthshaker mages for their aversion to glory. Celebration rose in the Chorus camp, as your ruling set a precedent that many intended to exploit during the remainder of the war.

[show]

Stalked by Shadows

StoneSea ShowOfForce.png
After a roaming pack of Beastmen slaughtered a Disfavored patrol, the Scarlet Chorus responded by laying claim to the Beasts for their army while the Disfavored readied a company to enact vengeance. The Disfavored legion considered the Beasts beyond taming, and the butchers of their Northern brethren needed to be brought to justice.

Symbol disfavored.png Sanction the Disfavored's vengeance

You denied the Scarlet Chorus' spurious claim and authorized the Disfavored to enact proper vengeance for their fallen.

The Scarlet Chorus were wrong to claim enemies of Kyros for themselves before the Disfavored had their opportunity for vengeance. You tainted the Beasts' watering hole, then led a Disfavored sweep through their den, slaughtering the wild but weakened pack in a savage mass execution. The Scarlet Chorus raised protests that the Disfavored were sabotaging their ability to conduct war, but you argued that it was for the betterment of the Conquest.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Allow the Chorus' conscription

You denied the Disfavored their vengeance and joined the Chorus in capturing the Beasts.

The Disfavored needed to temper their rage and consider the wider concerns - Kyros' forces were far from home, and needed all the help they could get. You joined the Chorus in rounding up the Beasts, and though the pack's leader escaped, the rest were quickly subdued thanks to your aid. The Voices of Nerat mocked the Disfavored's displeasure from afar, suggesting that any of them were free to join his army if they felt they lacked training.

[show]
Cairn's Tribe
StoneSea CairnsTribe.png
A wounded Scarlet Chorus soldier claimed her gang was mauled by Beastmen loyal to the Archon of Stone, but Cairn could not be found. The Scarlet Chorus sought to capture the tribe. The Disfavored insisted the account was slander - the Archon was loyal to Kyros, and would never lend his strength to savages.

Symbol disfavored.png Send the Disfavored

You allowed the Disfavored to deal with their own. The Beastmen were destroyed, and the search for Cairn redoubled.

Since Cairn had left the army's camp, there was no telling if the Beastmen were loyal to him or not. Either way, the enemies of Kyros needed to be dispatched. The Disfavored swept across the plains and slaughtered members of the offending tribe. The Voices of Nerat disputed the ruling, claiming that the Disfavored were silencing the truth, and only Cairn could testify his guilt.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Send the Scarlet Chorus

You allowed the Scarlet Chorus to attempt to capture and interrogate the Beasts from the tribe. Their intelligence could prove critical to the search for Cairn.

Despite the vocal claims of defamation, you allowed the Scarlet Chorus to flood the plains of Azure and seek out the offending Beastman tribe. They returned with a score of captive Beastmen who were brought before Chorus interrogators. Those who talked knew nothing of Cairn, but those who held back showed particular disdain for Kyros' army - as if there existed a preconceived hatred. The unconfirmed possibility of Cairn's treason sent a ripple of unease throughout the Scarlet Chorus camp.

[show]

Taming the Beasts

StoneSea TamingTheBeasts.png
Disfavored scouts reported sightings of Beastman packs using arcane spells. After their mages captured and dissected a few Beasts for study, the aghast Scarlet Chorus demanded that all live Beasts be sent to them for conscription. They accused Cairn of introducing the Beasts to magic, and the Disfavored of complicity as they obscured this treasonous crime.

Symbol disfavored.png Continue the experiments

You allowed the Disfavored to continue their experiments. Rational thought being outside their reach, the savages must have learned spellcasting from a source other than Cairn. The bloody work continued day and night, but the Disfavored were intent on uncovering the source of Beastman power. Mages gleaned much from the process, though any conclusions about Cairn's treachery were inconclusive. The Scarlet Chorus listened to the agonized howling of Beasts and sharpened their rusty blades, thinking only of their army's dwindling numbers and how long they would stomach the detriments suffered at the hands of the Disfavored.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Enslave any captive Beastmen

You sent any captive Beastmen to the Scarlet Chorus. Cairn's treachery - if present - would be uncovered in time, and the army's ranks replenished. The Scarlet Chorus were overjoyed at the prospect of inviting new muscle into their ranks, and welcomed the Beastmen with several days of initiation rituals. The Disfavored took offense to savages being permitted to join Kyros' military. Withdrawing to their camps, they huddled in counsel and whispered of the indignities the Scarlet Chorus heaped onto the beloved Northern Empire, and what should be done about it.

[show]
With the lands blighted and unrecognizable, the realm of Azure was left utterly ruined by the events of the war. In times to come, the Tiers would call this blasted region the 'Stone Sea' - for the treacherous rock formations and persistent quakes became the defining features of this once this once-verdant land.

The Scarlet Chorus established a sprawling camp in the shattered, rocky terrain - and quickly absorbed those displaced by the upheaval of the land. These hapless refugees were put to work as slaves and soldiers, and the Chorus slowly built themselves a makeshift fortress in the blighted, quake-ridden realm.

Your tour of duty in the broken lands of Azure was complete. You didn't have long to rest before Tunon called you into service once more...

~ Conclusion of the Azure campaign

Vellum Citadel[edit | edit source]

Conquest Location VellumCitadel.png

The Vellum Citadel was an archive and library of massive scale. Its inhabitants were known as the School of Ink and Quill, a circle of mages that, centuries ago, carved out their own mountainous refuge on lands unsettled by the other major realms.

Legends said that the Citadel housed a treasure trove of arcane knowledge. The Overlord's spies infiltrated the school and confirmed as much. The time was ripe to send a detachment to the great library fortress, and force the scholars to yield to Kyros.

Stage I Stage II Stage III

Chain of Command

BurningLibrary ChainofCommand.png
A detachment of Kyros' army marched on the Vellum Citadel expecting an orderly surrender. As they neared the main gates, a blast of arcane energy struck the commanders dead. Suddenly the highest ranking officer alive, Kyros' forces looked to you for the next steps. The call weighed on your mind, as it had an immediate influence on soldier losses.

Symbol disfavored.png Order the Scarlet Chorus to attack

You ordered the expendable Scarlet Chorus to attack, commanding the disorderly mob forward to give the elite Disfavored a chance to withdraw. Though a costly maneuver in terms of lives lost, this assured the survival of the most capable and effective soldiers.

Ever itching for a fight, the howling mob still recognized your maneuver the sacrificial move that it was. Those from the Scarlet Chorus who ran headlong into battle made promises of a reckoning upon their return. Thankfully for you, hardly any of them limped back in one piece. Those few who survived made fevered whisperings their grievances, naming you as a villain to the Scarlet Chorus.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Order the Disfavored to advance

You ordered the Disfavored to advance their shieldwall, knowing that a handful of Kyros' elite soldiers could hold off the attack until the Scarlet Chorus retreated. You knew the Disfavored would despise you for any losses at the Scarlet Chorus' expense, but that was a small price to pay for saving lives.

The Disfavored were quick to follow your command, and formed an unbreakable phalanx that gave the unarmored Scarlet Chorus horde a chance to escape. Only once they returned to camp did the singed and maimed Disfavored take issue with their orders. As far as they were concerned, the Scarlet Chorus should have taken care of themselves. If they weren't equal to the challenge of defending their brethren, then they had no place in this Conquest.

[show]
Plunder of Parchment
BurningLibrary CaptiveBinder.png
The army captured a supply caravan overflowing with arcane books. When the Disfavored started a bonfire of forbidden texts, the Scarlet Chorus rescued the tomes from the flames and attacked.

Symbol disfavored.png Destroy the texts

In accordance with the Disfavored's wishes, you upheld Kyros' law regarding forbidden lore, and had all of the texts burned.

The Disfavored cheered as they tossed books into the fire - savoring the pop of binding and the crinkle of pages beyond count turning black. Perhaps the contents might have proven useful, but that was nothing to observing Kyros' law. Even an advantage needed to be destroyed if it contradicted the Overlord's will.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Grant half of the scrolls to the Scarlet Chorus

You decreed that the Disfavored are welcome to burn their half of the plunder, but the Scarlet Chorus has rightful claim to the other half - provided you first review the texts first to eliminate any that touched on forbidden knowledge.

The Scarlet Chorus agreed to your generous terms, and you set to poring over every manuscript before it was handed over. The work took several evenings, and you came away with a glimpse of truths better left unknown. Taking the burden upon yourself was a less-risky alternative than disseminating it among Kyros' ranks, though it didn't help you sleep at night.

[show]
Edict of Fire
BurningLibrary EdictofFire.png
"The parchment arrived in a slender case of engraved iron. Written on it, the words of Kyros’ Edict of Fire - a spell powerful enough to devastate the Vellum Citadel. You were instructed to proclaim the words of Kyros' Edict from on high - your voice the final component to the destructive spell. The only condition was that it had to be done while the sun burned in the sky.

You had the choice of when to read the Edict. Reading it at sunrise would offer your enemies no warning of the devastation to come. You could also wait until sunset, giving them ample time to flee or make amends.

Symbol disfavored.png Give no warning

Opting to give the enemy no quarter, you proclaimed the Edict of Fire at the first moments of dawn - granting the enemy no warning of the destruction to come. Though the Chorus insisted your actions doomed their spies, the Disfavoredapplauded your decision.

You read the Edict as the new sun rose behind the Citadel, casting a long shadow in its wake. You were the last person to see that hall of knowledge the moment before the devastation.

The earth shook and red-orange light glowed in the foundation of the sprawling Citadel. Bubbling up from under the library, a torrent of lava heaved with explosive force, gushing from the windows and between loose bricks, melting hostile trenches in the surrounding land. The mages awoke to smoke and fire - for most it is already too late. Only a handful of bewildered mages escaped the smoldering collapse of the massive library fortress. Kyros' will be done.

[show]

Symbol scarletchorus.png Give one day's warning

Claiming they still had spies within the Citadel, the Scarlet Chorus urged you to warn the mages of the Overlord's Edict. Granting their request, you met with the enemy under a blue flag of peace and warned them of their doom - giving the Chorus spies, and the enemy, a chance to run.

You confronted the mages with a warning, and hoped the message was received. The hour before sunset, numerous figures were spotted fleeing the citadel.

As the sun dipped under the horizon, you read the words of the Edict. The earth shook and red-orange light glowed in the foundation of the sprawling Citadel. Bubbling up from under the library, a torrent of lava heaved with explosive force, gushing from windows and between loose bricks, melting winding trenches in the surrounding land. Days later, the flames still raged on - the conflagration continually fed and renewed by the power of the Edict.

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Lost to the Mountains
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The Disfavored learned of a hidden enemy enclave, and sent scouts to locate it. They never returned from their mission. The remaining Disfavored soldiers demanded that you send the Scarlet Chorus to retrieve their scouts, but the Scarlet Chorus flatly refused to fall into the same trap. They recommended that the scouts be treated as wartime casualties.

Symbol disfavored.png Send the Scarlet Chorus to rescue the lost scouts

You ordered the Scarlet Chorus to send scouts to locate and rescue the lost Disfavored patrol.

Though the Scarlet Chorus were bitter at having their time 'wasted' in search of lost soldiers, grandstanding before their rivals in the Disfavored was an opportunity too delicious to ignore. Tracking the legion yielded them the site of an ambush, where spell-slinging mages had the last of the Disfavored scouts pinned down. After launching a successful counterattack, the Chorus escorted the shaken and humiliated Disfavored scouts back to camp.

Unlocks deserted battleground.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Abandon the lost Disfavored

You consigned the Disfavored scouts to their fate. If the elite of Kyros' army could not return on their own, then there was no sense in wasting the lives of the Scarlet Chorus to find them.

The siege went on without the bulk of the Disfavored detachment - a troubling absence that left you wondering in spite of your order. Days after you made your ruling, a resounding clang echoed across the expanse between the Vellum Citadel and your camp. A team of scouts sent to investigate recovered a crude, iron sculpture shaped in a mockery of Graven Ashe. The materials: the blood-stained armor of your lost soldiers, torn and re-shaped with enemy magic.

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Song of Ensnarement

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Sirin, Archon of Song, used her power to enthrall enemy mages who crept beyond the Citadel walls. After Kyros' forces rounded up the arcane practitioners, the Disfavored began executing the new captives before they could share dangerous knowledge - a crime under Kyros' law - with the Scarlet Chorus.

Symbol disfavored.png Muzzle the mages

You calmed the Disfavored with a compromise. The sages' mouths would be bound with iron bridles, preventing them from speaking their forbidden knowledge.

As the Disfavored fitted the sages with their restraining masks, the Scarlet Chorus openly criticized the suppression of enemy intelligence. You gave the soldiers a stern lesson on Kyros' laws and the sensitive treatment of forbidden knowledge, but that didn't stop the whispering and rumors that the Conquest was being mismanaged.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Punish the Disfavored

You punished the Disfavored for executing mages bound to the Scarlet Chorus, ordering that several Disfavored soldiers be given to the Archon of Song as her personal bodyguards.

The wisdom of the sages, and knowledge of the Vellum Citadel, were too important to silence. The Disfavored balked at entering the Archon's service, but your ruling left them with no recourse. Archon Sirin delighted in having 'new toys to play with,' and promptly enthralled her personal guard. You spotted them in camp days later, following their new mistress with wide-eyed devotion.

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Right of Command
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The Archon of Song incited Scarlet Chorus recruits to fight their leaders. Bosses were killed and supplanted left and right. The Disfavored demanded an end to the practice for the good of the Conquest.


Symbol disfavored.png Put an end to the contests

You agreed with the Disfavored arguments. The Right of Command had its place, but not when Kyros' forces were outnumbered and reinforcements were weeks behind - if not longer.

The Scarlet Chorus - even the gang bosses - argued in favor of their ritual contest-killing. In the end, they agreed to suspend the practice for the remainder of the Vellum Citadel campaign. Lacking an outlet to settle scores or deal with pent-up hostility, tensions flared between commanders and recruits who were forced to act against their better nature and communicate.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Honor the Right of Challenge

You ruled that each Archon had the right to govern their armies according to their nature. The Right of Command bred chaos, but it also ensured that the strongest rise to lead.

Your keen understanding of their ways pleased and surprised the Scarlet Chorus detachment, who thanked you for the ruling. The following evening, two gang bosses were murdered in their pallets and replaced by stronger variants, who fought hard to defend their status. Though the camp grew quieter over time, the Chorus fought with twice the ferocity under new leadership.

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The Spymaster's Agents?
BurningLibrary KyrosAgent.png
A group of enemy mages surrendered to the Disfavored, claiming to be spies loyal to the Voices of Nerat. No one in the army could verify the claim. The Disfavored readied to interrogate the mages, but the Scarlet Chorus protested, demanding that the prisoners be given to their custody. They couldn't risk the Voices of Nerat's secrets falling into the wrong hands.

Symbol disfavored.png Leave the mages in Disfavored custody

Though it meant angering the Scarlet Chorus, the mages were Disfavored property. They remained in custody while you reviewed their claims.

You took time poring over the mages' confiscated documents. Finding no blatant messages to the Voices of Nerat or anyone else, you resolved to question the mages yourself. When you reached their cells, you discovered the bodies - each of them slaughtered in a grisly display. Tense discussion and accusations followed, but with no evidence to suggest a responsible party, you were forced to let the matter drop.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Release the mages to the Scarlet Chorus

You ignored the Disfavored threats, sharply reminding them that they marched at Kyros' orders and not their own whims. The mages were released into the custody of the Scarlet Chorus.

The Scarlet Chorus accepted the mages into their company with gratitude. After secreting them within tents and out of earshot, you presume that a discussion or interrogation followed. When asked about it the following day, the Scarlet Chorus admitted that they sent the mages to the Voices of Nerat with an escort, dispatching them under cover of night without due authorization. You reprimanded the soldiers for keeping you out of the loop, but there was naught else to be done in the matter.

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The armies of Kyros left the devastation of the Vellum Citadel in silence. From that day forward, the Tiers came to know the once-noble citadel as the 'Burning Library.'

This was an undisputed loss - of resources, knowledge, culture and life. But a message had been sent: the Overlord will not tolerate defiance.

You didn't have long to rest before Tunon called you into service once more. You were one of the last to depart from mountains, and as you journeyed off, you spotted a few campfires in the mountains. They were mere specks, dwarfed by the inferno, the last gasps of survivors, or perhaps looters from Kyros' armies bored and daring enough to pick through the ashes.

~ Conclusion of the Contested Lands campaign

Stalwart[edit | edit source]

The Realm of Stalwart was best known for its proud army - disciplined, courageous, and undefeated on their home soil. Skill and resolve made Stalwart a military power that Kyros' forces approached with due caution.

With its southern position, Stalwart had been largely safe from war - watching for two years as its neighbors fell to Kyros' forces. On the dawn of the third year of war, Kyros' forces were finally poised to invade the Stalwart peninsula, and subdue the Tier's most vaunted army.

Stage I Stage II Stage III
Marching on Empty
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The Stalwart defenders burned their crops as they retreated, leaving the invaders little to forage. Starving, the Scarlet Chorus mob raided from the Disfavored's well-maintained supply lines, incurring casualties on both sides.

Symbol disfavored.png Punish the Scarlet Chorus

You ordered that the thieving Scarlet Chorus soldiers be spiked for their affront. Even in a time of war, there was no excuse for allied armies to battle each other in violation of Kyros' Peace. The Disfavored rightly argued that they only had enough supplies to feed their troops. The Scarlet Chorus needed to better look after their own people. Agreeing with their assessment, you had the offenders staked outside of the Scarlet Chorus camp - left to send the message that hunger was no shield from justice.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Order the Disfavored to share supplies

By your command, the Disfavored shared their provisions. The thieves each lost a hand for their treachery. Scarlet Chorus commanders argued that the Horde was starving - being the largest of Kyros' armies, they were also the least provisioned. The men were wrong to steal, but the Disfavored were equally wrong to withhold supplies from their allies. You agreed with the Chorus version of events and ordered that the Disfavored supplies be shared. The thieves themselves would be punished with loss of a hand and returned to the front lines. The Disfavored found this a sickening aberration of justice, and surrendered their supplies with grudging acceptance.

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The Beasts of Stalwart
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Scarlet Chorus mages discovered a spell to turn Beastmen slaves against their handlers. The army prepared to deploy this tactic elsewhere, but the Disfavored protested. The use of unsanctioned magical practices ran contrary to Kyros' law, and Beastmen were considered too erratic to be relied upon, even as shock troops.

Symbol disfavored.png Agree with the Disfavored

You agreed with the Disfavored argument and ordered the Beastmen slain. The Scarlet Chorus mages who discovered the trick were ordered to never use it again, on pain of execution.

The Scarlet Chorus argued that their tactics were suppressed by the Disfavored's rigid sense of ethics, which didn't apply to their side of the military campaign. You listened to these complaints with interest, wondering if they suggested some greater flaw in the Conquest, but stood by your decision. The Disfavored took the more orderly approach. Kyros' Peace meant nothing without order.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Agree with the Scarlet Chorus

You approved of the Scarlet Chorus' new innovation, and ruled the technique an acceptable use of wartime magic.

The Disfavored lambasted you for authorizing such a risky tactic - Kyros' armies also relied on Beastman haulers, and the Disfavored argued such magic would inevitably unravel supply lines and logistics. The Chorus, on the other hand, were emboldened by the decree, and considered you an honorable patron of arcane inquiry. Though the Scarlet Chorus struggled to maintain a presence in Stalwart, this magic for enraging Beastman slaves was used to bloody effect throughout the countryside.

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The Edict of Storms

BladeGrave EdictofStorms.png

The Disfavored carved a slow, steady path into the heart of Stalwart and surrounded the enemy’s massive fortress. With the main bulk of their forces defeated, the enemy leadership retreated to their mighty fortress, content to wait out the war.

The Overlord answered this impudence with an Edict of Storms on the peninsula - a devastating spell that would endure for as long as the cowardly hearts of Stalwart's leaders persisted in beating. Pleased by your efforts, Tunon deemed you the proper representative to deliver Kyros' Edict. Aside from being given a three day window to read the Edict, you received no other instructions.

Symbol disfavored.png Give no warning

Agreeing with the wishes of the Disfavored, you proclaimed the Edict at once, leaving the enemy no time to react. Stalwart had ample opportunity to surrender for several years - the time for mercy was long gone. You agreed with the Disfavored rationale. The leaders of Stalwart had refused honorable battle, and too many Disfavored lives were lost in the campaign. Since the last Regent refused to leave the keep, you would let him watch as his people suffered. Without hesitation or regret, you broke the seal of Kyros' Edict of Storms and read the Overlord's incantation.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Warn the people

In an attempt to ingratiate themselves with the people of Stalwart, the Scarlet Chorus insisted that warning be sent to the towns and villages, so that the people may prepare for the horror about to descend on them. Kyros' wrath was intended for the cowardly Regents of Stalwart - not those unfortunates swept up in the calamity of their leadership. A warning in advance of the spell would give locals time to prepare for the devastation to come. You were content to let punishment fall on the innocent as lightly as Kyros' Will allows. Comforted that you might yet spare lives, you broke the seal of Kyros' Edict of Storms and read the Overlord's incantation.

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Better Dead Than Red
BladeGrave StalwartVillage.png
Rather than submit to Scarlet Chorus conscription, conquered locals began committing suicide. Desperate to add more bodies to the Horde, the Scarlet Chorus demanded a portion of Disfavored prisoners. The Disfavored denied the right of recruitment, as the realm's population had taken a steep decline.

Symbol disfavored.png Deny the Scarlet Chorus their right to conscription

You banned the Scarlet Chorus from recruiting in the Realm of Stalwart, going so far as notifying the locals to assuage their fears.

You agreed with the Disfavored arguments. This Conquest was never about ruling a graveyard, but the Scarlet Chorus acted contrary to that goal. The Voices of Nerat and his mobs blamed you for suppressing their ability to conduct war as they saw fit. In spite of their protests, you read this proclamation in every conquered village, knowing that enemy spies would hear your verdict.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Grant Disfavored slaves to the Scarlet Chorus

You refused the Disfavored request and allowed the Scarlet Chorus to continue recruitment. Additionally, you ordered that Disfavored camp slaves be given to the Chorus to make up for the losses suffered.

There was no need to coddle the Tiersmen. If Stalwart lacked in peasants to work their fields, then families would be relocated from other parts of Kyros' empire. The details weren't important - all that mattered was bringing the war to a close in a decisive victory, at any cost. To recompense the Scarlet Chorus their losses, and to punish the Disfavored for their short-sightedness, you ordered a score of slaves conscripted into the ranks of Kyros' military. The Disfavoreddidn't appreciate losing good haulers to the Scarlet Chorus, but you argued that no one was telling them how to conduct their war.

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A Contentious Setback
BladeGrave KestrelStandard.png
After a defeat at the hands of enemy defenders, the Scarlet Chorus accused the Disfavored of recklessness. The Disfavored claimed the Scarlet Chorus brought too few soldiers to cover their flanks. Both armies refused to march until you gave a ruling.

Symbol disfavored.png Honor the Disfavored's reputation

Knowing the Disfavored reputation for discipline, as well as the Scarlet Chorus' powers to instill fear and frenzy, you decided that the Scarlet Chorus was in the wrong.

The Scarlet Chorus were nonplussed to receive some censure, but aghast that the Disfavored would not share in the blame. Soldiers hurled venomous accusations your way - challenging your impartiality and wondering where justice could be found, if not in Tunon's Fatebinder. They argued that reputation should have no bearing on law.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Punish the Disfavored commander

Lacking proof that the Scarlet Chorus recruits were negligent, you punished the Disfavored commander for his failure - and for bringing charges without evidence.

Graven Ashe was the first to step forward to dispute your ruling. He argued that the Scarlet Chorus were a directionless menace, sowing chaos and disorder wherever they went. What further evidence did you need? After you politely reminded him that his opinions were inadmissible, he stormed out of camp with a unit of soldiers, and didn't return for several hours.

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Negative Conscription
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Scarlet Chorus soldiers were spotted fighting alongside the Stalwart defenders. The Voices of Nerat insisted they were spies enlisted to gauge the army's weaknesses and sow discontent. The Disfavored accused the soldiers of treason, and demanded bloody reprisal. The contentious armies sought your ruling on the matter.

Symbol disfavored.png Execute the 'spies'

You ordered the Disfavored to execute these spies when they were found, and demanded a full accounting of the so-called 'agents' from the Scarlet Chorus.

In a move that toed the edges of Kyros' law, Disfavored soldiers tracked down and executed the Scarlet Chorus operatives in Stalwart under your orders. The Voices of Nerat insisted that your 'bumbling effrontery' had cost him critical intelligence, and the very Conquest would suffer for it. Assuming that he wasn't lying, you questioned if the precedent of bolstering the enemy ranks with Kyros' troops was worth the fringe benefits of espionage.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Protect the spies

Trusting that Kyros' spymaster knew his business, you ordered the Disfavored to ignore these Scarlet Chorus agents.

Against their better instincts, the Disfavored showed restraint in avoiding the Scarlet Chorus operatives on the battlefield. When days passed and the Chorus agents didn't report back to camp, you questioned the Voices of Nerat on his claims - to which he cautioned patience. Several evenings later, one of the so-called spies shambled into the Scarlet Chorus camp and requested an audience with the Voices. No one knew what they discussed in the privacy of his tent, and no one ever saw the soldier again. The Voices of Nerat emerged with a quiet sense of accomplishment, saying only: "Trust us, it will all work out in our favor."

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Fall of the Regents
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The armies of Kyros collaborated on the capture of an enemy leader. The Scarlet Chorus requested that she be interrogated by the Archon of Secrets. The Disfavored wished to display her corpse in battle. Since the Stalwart defenders refused to surrender, a gesture was needed to instill fear.

Symbol disfavored.png Execute her

You ordered the enemy commander executed, her body displayed as a warning for those who would defy the Overlord.

The Stalwart Regent made for a grim display - lashed to ribbons and suspended on a Disfavored standard - yet the effect on the battlefield was immediate. The sight caused an uproar among Stalwart soldiers, who broke formation in their frenzy to answer blood for blood. The Disfavored hewed through their disorganized ranks with minimal difficulty, and cherished the corpse as the most useful recruit to Kyros' army yet.

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Symbol scarletchorus.png Interrogate her

You ordered that the enemy commander be sent to the Voices of Nerat for interrogation.

Like so many enemy prisoners, the Stalwart Regent vanished inside the Voices of Nerat's tent, never to be seen again. Her screams were the only evidence that she had ever passed though camp, and those went on beyond what most considered possible. When at last she fell silent, the Voices invited you inside. There was no Regent to be found - only a map which the Voices had marked with hasty scrawls, marking supposed weaknesses in the enemy defense.

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The clear skies darkened as you read the final words of the Edict. A flurry of wind and rain whipped through the rolling plains and craggy canyons, turning rocks, uprooted trees, and hapless soldiers into hazardous shrapnel. Armed with a measure of foresight, you were able to remove yourself from the area before the storms grew more violent. Over time, nearby communities told of cyclones consisting of thousands of soldiers' worth of limbs, spears, armor, and skulls. What's more, the weather showed no sign of dissipating.

Several units of Disfavored, who fought the enemy in spite of the advancing storm, were caught up in the Overlord's magic. The few survivors regrouped and nursed their wounds. Their failure to topple the Stalwart legion shamed them into believing the dead more fortunate.

The name 'Stalwart' fell from use. People took to calling it the 'Blade Grave,' for the remade landscape festooned with the iron and bronze armaments of two once-great legions.

As Kyros' forces departed, you spared a glance back at the ruins of Stalwart, marveling at your work. You didn't have long to rest before Tunon called you into service once more...

~ Conclusion of the Stalwart campaign

Gallery of Conquest mode art[edit | edit source]