The way of the hero
Deep in the forest of Albion laid the small town of Oakvale, unchanged by time and untouched by the sword. Here lived a boy and his family, a boy dreaming of greatness of one day being a hero. Sometimes he imagined himself as a noble knight… or a powerful wizard. And other times he dreamt he'd be an evil warrior. But in all his dreams of greatness, he could not possibly imagine the power of the destiny that lay before him.
And so, this is where our story begins.
Its Theresa's birthday and the boy hadn't got her a present. The father said he'll give the boy money to buy one if he performed good deeds around town. The deeds he performed were kind-hearted; finding a girls' lost bear and letting a lady in the town know her husband was cheating on her even though the husband tried to bribe him not to. When the boy had done enough good deeds he went to his father and received a few gold coins enough to buy a box of chocolates from a wandering trader who had come to town. Theresa said she knew her brother was going to buy her chocolates; she had a dream about it. When the boy and Theresa went to go back home awaiting their mother's return Theresa remembered another part of her dream the night before and warned her brother to hide.
Evil had come to Oakvale bandits wielding torches and steel. Slaying and burning all in their path. Blood red flames lit the night as the villagers screamed and begged for mercy and soon their bodies filled the streets. Then the raiders reached the last house were the boy and his family lived. It was them they have slaughtered some many to find. The father fought to protect his kin but he was no warrior he fell mortally wounded. The bandits ripped the house apart but could not find the boy. Through torture and threats, his mother and sister remained silent, and their furious attackers took them both. From the nearby woods, the boy watched as all he knew was taken away; his whole life was crushed to ashes, he was alone.
Everything's happened so quickly. The boy's home was gone and his family was dead and now a man called Maze had brought him away from the burning village of Oakvale to the guild of Heroes. With his head spinning the boy spent his first night in his new life wondering why everything couldn't just be like it was before?
The guild was now the boy's life. The memory of the Oakvale flames still scorched his mind, but soon he had no thought other than training, and he became stronger and more agile with every passing year. His days were filled with gruelling exercises. The nights with study in the library. Finally, he was ready to become a guild apprentice, just as Maze had foreseen. The real training was about to begin.
Being a guild apprentice was his whole life now, and Whisper his roommate and the Guildmaster were his new family. The training was getting harder all the time, yet somehow it felt right to him, it was like it's always been in his blood.
Even though the boy mastered the skills quickly, there was always more to learn. For years the guild was his home, his school and his life. But as time passed, his thoughts returned always to the world outside. The life he had lost. The family that had been torn from him. At last, only the final day of tests remained. Success would mark the end of his training.
He would receive the guild seal and be free to forge his own destiny. He would become a hero!
After so many years of preparation, the boy had finally completed his training. Maze congratulated him and he received everything he would need to head out into the world during his graduation ceremony. Including his Guild seal, before leaving the guild, the Guildmaster gave his last bit of advice and gave his best wishes, for now, there was a whole world out there waiting to be explored. And the guild master knew that the boy hoped that maybe now he could find out what happened to his family and be the Hero he was destined to be, for better or worse...
The road back to Oakvale
The Hero had completed his first quest and now had his first trophy too. Like an echo through his guild seal, The Guildmaster told the Hero that Maze wanted to meet him at a tavern in Bowerstone. The Hero thought that it was probably to congratulate him.
Once they met at the tavern Maze told the Hero that he believes Theresa may have survived the raid all those years ago and that he will let the Hero know if he finds out more. To stay busy in the meantime the Hero then took a quest to defend orchard farm from a bandit assault. Whisper fought on their side but the hero managed to beat her. The Bandits were after some strange objects recently unearthed by the farmers and were working for someone called Lady Grey.
The Hero returned to the Guild to pick up another quest card after being told by the Guildmaster through his guild seal that he'd received a new guest card. Upon arriving at the map table in the guild the Hero met another Hero by the name of Briar Rose, the meeting was not an overly friendly introduction by Briar Rose.
The next quest card the Hero took on was to guide a couple of traders through Darkwood safely to get to barrow fields. Almost straight away once they were in Darkwood a Balverine attacked the Traders. The hero defeated the Balverine but not before the Balverine bit another trader that had gotten lost on the trail in Darkwood. The trader turned into another Balverine which gave the hero no choice but to kill him.
After fighting the two Balverines and getting trapped by an Earth Troll, the Hero had brought the two remaining traders safely to barrow fields. Theresa and the boy used to play there, and it was the last time he last saw her. As he strolled through barrow fields the Guildmaster sent word that Maze wanted to see him in Oakvale. The Hero wondered if he had any news.
The Hero couldn't believe he was back home. So much had changed. The people, the houses… the Hero also wondered if his family house was still there. While walking through Oakvale on the way to meet Maze the Hero bumped into a young woman who he was known as the girl he helped to find her teddy bear and upon looking at her as she brought the memories back in a flash Oakvale was on fire again. Like a nightmare, the hero will never escape. Emily the woman brought the hero out and made sure he was alright before he met with Maze.
Maze hadn't been able to find out any more about Theresa, but he suggested the Hero spoke to the blind Seeress who lives among Twinblade's bandits. But he'll have to find the camp first.
Find the Bandit Seeress
A small hidden path from the seashore of Oakvale led along a cliff face and the path overrun with Bandits the hero knew this was the way toward Twinblade's camp. The hero snuck through the cliff trail and borrowed some clothes along the way to make himself look like a bandit so that when he reached the camp entrance he could get through unnoticed.
Once inside the camp the hero realised that he had gotten past the first gate easily enough but there was a second gate and he would only get through that gate with a bandit seal which he received by beating a memory game at the bar.
The Hero reached Twinblade's tent and was greeted by a crowd of bandits forming a combat circle with looking like Twinblade had been expecting him. unintimidated by his big size the hero fought the gigantic Twinblade, ducking and attacking the back of Twinblade when he got the chance.
The Seeress emerged from the tent to revealing herself to be the Hero's sister, Theresa; she is alive. With Her past once again before her, Theresa's memories returned in a blaze of fire. Oakvale was burning. She watched in silence as the bandits tortured her mother, then turned to her was questions of the missing boy. She answered them only with a stare, and so their leader sliced out her eyes. The raiders took the boy's mother and left Theresa alone in the forest. There she crawled for three days, blind and desolate until she was found by bandits. Twinblade and his men. She began a new life of servitude among their clan. But the bandit king sensed her exceptional strength and power of will and listened as she whispered dark prophetic truths in her sleep. Those who could never accept this small, blind girl standing by their master's side did not last long. When they attacked, she killed them. Without mercy, and without emotion. For this was her place in the world now.
Theresa's blindness granted her the ability to see into the future, but her mind had suffered terribly and it was hard for the Hero to make sense of what she had to say. She spoke of their mother and a grave choice the Hero would have to make someday.
Now reunited with her brother, Theresa left her old mentor, to whatever fate her brother had in store for him and went in search of their mother A burst of energy unlocked an untapped power within me. After the battle and Theresa said her goodbye to Twinblade the hero returned to the guild to meet Maze in his Guild quarters and inform him that he had found his sister.
Maze wanted the Hero to find an old friend of his, known only as the Archaeologist. He should be somewhere in Witchwood, which the Hero could now reach through a Cullis Gate. Maze also mentioned that the Hero should consider fighting in the arena soon. All the best Heroes compete there.
The Hero found the Archaeologist hiding in a cave. He knows more than anyone about the old kingdom, and it seemed there are people desperate for this knowledge. He suggested that the Hero himself was connected to whatever was happening in Albion right now, and to those strange objects that were unearthed in Orchard Farm. The archaeologist told the Hero that he was a friend of his mother's long ago, and said he may be able to find out about her in the Arena. But the Hero will need a nomination card from the Knothole glade Chief first.
When the Hero made it to Knothole Glade he found out by the Chief that the village is being tormented by the White Balverine and that Theresa had also passed through the village not long ago and left a letter for the Hero, along with a book that explained their connection to an ancient weapon of great power, the Sword of Aeons.
The village horn sounded and the White Balverine appeared; terrorising the villagers, the Hero couldn't hurt the Balverine but he did manage to drive it off. After the battle, an old lady came to the hero to reveal that the White Balverine was actually once her husband and gave the hero a Silver Augmentation for his sword so that he could defeat it and end her husband's suffering.
The Hero had slain the White Balverine that had been stalking Knothole Glade. In return, he received a nomination to enter the arena from the Knothole Glade Chief. This will be the greatest test of his powers yet. And he also knew he may be able to find information about his mother there.
The arena Champion
The Hero entered the arena and fought successfully in the first two rounds; fighting many brutal opponents like the Hobbes, when the third round began the hero was joined by Whisper. Together they fight proficiently through the next four rounds of vicious opponents. When it came to the eighth round the two Heroes had to face the mighty Arachanox, a gigantic scorpion. After a valiant effort by the two Heroes; they began celebrating their victory when a mysterious figure, the infamous Jack of Blades, appeared and commanded that the Hero and Whisper fight each other to the death in a new and final ninth round.
The Hero emerged Victorious from the Arena. After being pitted against his old friend and rival, Whisper. The crowd wanted blood, but the Hero could never kill her.
As the hero left the arena he walked through the hall of Heroes where he found his mother's statue, the plaque as the base of the statue read Scarlet Robe. This was the true face of his mother. Scarlet Robe, slayer of Balverines. Once one of the fiercest Heroes in all of Albion. Yet her most splendid battle was also to be her last. Ambushed by a dozen Balverines, Scarlet killed them all, only to fall injured and drained beside their corpses. There she would have died but for Brom, a kind and simple woodsman who tended her back to health. In time they married and had two children. A girl and then a boy.
Scarlet's days of death were forever behind her.
Jack of Blades came to the Hero and spoke to him as he stood there. He said that his mother is alive and living in solitude and that If the Hero were to bring Theresa to him, he would take them both to see her. Something about Jack of Blades didn't seem right to the Hero, he felt that it was a trick, but Jack of Blades did know something. He awarded the Hero the Champions seal as a further gesture of goodwill.
Rescue Scarlet Robe
Theresa sent word to the guild for the hero to meet her at the old grey house near barrow fields. She had found where their mother is. She was being kept in Bargate prison by Jack. It was he who blinded my Theresa so long ago, he who raided their home. It was impossible to gain entrance to the prison through the main gate but Theresa told the hero that the archaeologist knows of a secret way in. Theresa left a quest card at the guild with the details.
When the hero went in search of the archaeologist, he found that he had been captured by strange creatures. The Hero fought the strange creatures who had captured the archaeologist and once freed the Archaeologist told the Hero of the secret way into Bargate prison in the Lynchfield graveyard. It hasn't been opened in centuries.
The Hero found the way into Bargate prison. It felt more like a descent into a netherworld after passing through that realm of the dead. The path led to the sewer system of the prison where Jack of blades was waiting for the Hero all along, it was a trap and now he both the Hero and Scarlet Robe. The Hero's mother had been through decades of torture, and now Jack had a new means to persuade her to tell him what he wants: Her son. The Hero knew he had to find a way for them to get out of there.
Imprisoned; The darkness of the cell consumed the hero's mind. And it consumed his life too. Another year would pass by in this prison.
Another year of torture.
The ancient, noble blood in his veins, the power of the Guild, none of it meant a thing inside these walls. And all this time Jack of Blades was free to roam Albion. The Hero would not be beaten. He would be free.
The warden of the prison held an annual race, the winner would spend the night listening to the warden as he read them his poetry. The hero won the race and stole the warden's key before being sent back to his cell. Once back in his cell the Hero led a breakout and rescued his Mother from the torture chamber and fought their way back through the tunnels of the sewer system.
Almost clear of the prison the Hero and his mother were in the last chamber of the waterworks, the unpleasant fumes give the large chamber a rancid smell. the centre of the chamber was dominated by a deep well of water and as the Hero made his way along the stone walkway. Large tentacles raised from the deep well, the tentacles of a Kraken. After a ferocious battle, they had escaped at last and the Hero made it back to Lynchfield Graveyard. After a brief reunion with his mother, the Hero knew he had to get to hook coast before he discovers how to retrieve it, and the Darkwood portal is the only way to get there. they reluctantly parted ways to try and stop Jack from finding the Sword of Aeons, which will give him even more power. Scarlet Robe went off to find Theresa while the Hero headed for Hook Coast.
Revenge burned like a sun within the Hero, and his destiny was clear. Jack had cast a shadow over the whole of his life. He had been the architect of his sister's blind suffering. And of his mother's imprisonment. And soon his power would absolute.
Jack of Blades
After feeding it the souls of the undead warriors, the ancient Cullis gate has been reactivated. Hook coast awaits on the other side.
The Snowy port town of Hook Coast was pretty barren of Flora and felt deserted to the Hero as he made his way through looking for signs of Jack of Blades. A magical barrier was blocking the entrance to the abbey, and the locals were speaking of a mysterious figure haunting the place. It can only be jack, the Hero thought. Scarlet Robe contacted the Hero through his Guild seal, telling him to meet her in mazes quarters. She has found something there.
The Hero returned to the Guild; Scarlet was reading parts of the book she found over the Guild Seal. When the Hero arrived at Maze's quarters, he witnessed Scarlet being abducted by two minions. However, before they teleported away, the Hero's Mother implored him - "don't forget the book!". It was a book of ancient hook coast magics that may help dispel the barrier. he didn't know what it was doing in mazes quarters and he couldn't read the language it's written in anyway and went to the Guildmaster in hopes he could translate it?
Once back in Hook Coast, the Hero approached the barrier and the Guildmaster disabled the barrier by reading through the Hero's guild seal. Once in the Abbey the Hero was surprised to discover Maze, who had his sister imprisoned with magic.
Maze attempted to persuade the Hero that Theresa was being controlled by Jack, only for Theresa to counter his claims, accusing Maze of joining Jack and betraying the Guild. Jack struck the Hero from behind and trapped him in a magical cage. With both the siblings now trapped, Maze completed the ritual and revealed his true allegiance and while Jack of Blades took the Septimal Key, he ordered Maze to take the Siblings to the Chamber of Fate and then teleported himself away so that he could activate the Focus Sites. Theresa used her last ounce of Will to free the Hero before Maze warped her away.
Free from Jack of Blades magic by his sister the Hero and Maze fought fiercely, their battle took them all over Hook coast, culminating at the foot of the lighthouse. Maze's full power proved to be no match for the Hero and he cut Maze down. Before drawing his last breath, Maze revealed to the Hero his motives for joining Jack.
He admitted he was part of the raid on the Hero's home before having second thoughts and saving him. He knew even then who the boy was, and believed he would one day be able to stop jack. Then his belief wavered and he joined jack once more. A decision that Maze know regretted and confessed that the Hero may be powerful enough to defeat Jack. He explains Jack's plan to activate all the Focus Sites around Albion and wishes the Hero success in his quest before dying.
Jack has activated all the sites. Not even the guild and all its heroes could stop him. And now Albion is in chaos. Old kingdom beasts are appearing everywhere, the air itself seems charged with dark energies. Jack of Blades has taken the Hero's mother into the chamber of fate; the sword of aeons will be waiting for him. The Hero knew he had to get there now.
As the Hero entered the Chamber of Fate, Jack mocked him and cut Scarlet's throat in order to take the Sword of Aeons in hand, the Sword requires the blood of a descendant of the Archon. The Hero and his family. However, even with the Sword, Jack is overwhelmed by the Hero and, like his ancestor William Black had done ages before, the Hero destroyed Jack's body utterly, casting his soul into the vortex that the Sword of Aeons had been removed from. And now the Hero was faced with the choice that Theresa had told him about so long ago: Take the Sword of Aeons and strike his sister down to have a power greater than even Jack dreamed of, or destroy it and its darkness forever…
The Hero had triumphed over Jack of Blades, and forsaken the dark power of the Sword. When he stepped outside into daylight, the crowds cheered his name. He walked among them as a legend.
As the months passed, the Guild and its people would recover. Walls would be rebuilt, and order restored. For Theresa, it would not be so easy. She retreated to distant lands, where a lifetime of wounds might be allowed to heal.
A whole year passed. With Jack gone, Albion returned to something approaching peace. And for once, the greatest of all Heroes was able to rest.
The Lost Chapters
The Hero of Oakvale had walked Albion for a year, seeking some new purpose to life. With jack gone, there seems little need for heroes. There were fewer Quest Cards at the Guild, the Hero didn't know what to do with himself, as for Theresa, she left and may never return. She told the Hero that Albion holds too many painful memories for her. What was there left for the Hero to fight now?
The Hero visited Bowerstone North where he met the Mayor, Lady Grey, who was looking to find someone to marry and tasked the Hero to bring her a Black Rose, own a house and find her necklace. To find the necklace, the Hero talked to the people in Bowerstone North. One of them told him that he had seen it in Oakvale.
In Oakvale the Hero bought his old Family home and then went to the Memorial Garden through Oakvale to find two men acting suspiciously. Upon ears dropping the Hero heard one of them say to the other that the necklace is buried between the two boats on the beach in Oakvale and went and dug it up. When the Hero got back to see Lady Grey and give her the Necklace and black rose, he was met not only by the Mayor but also by the Hero Thunder: Whispers big Brother. Lady Grey was impressed by the Hero but Thunder wasn't, Thunder was deeply in love with Lady Grey, and courted her obsessively and Challenged the Hero to a duel to gain the mayors' favour over the Hero. The duel was colossal and took the two Hero's over a cliff at Headsman's Hill; landing in the Headsman's Cave. The Hero defeated Thunder and made his way back up to Bowerstone North where he walked past the town jail. A prisoner there called out to the Hero and accused the Mayor of killing her sister Amanda, and suggest that the Hero talks to Amanda's ghost to gain the details. The prisoner suggested that her sweetheart Rhodri might know how to do it.
The Hero went to Barrow fields to talk to Rhodri who told him how he and Amanda used to meet in secret at Grey House, and how he'd signal his arrival by flashing his lantern three times at the stable. The Hero then went to the Grey House and did as Rhodri would and Amanda's ghost appeared and opened the door to the cellar. Inside the cellar, Amanda's ghost hinted about what killed her and showed the letter she wrote so that everybody will know what happened. However, when the Hero picked up the scrawled parchment, Lady Grey appeared, and give him a choice. Forget about the evidence and marry her or expose her by talking to the captain of the guards in Bowerstone North. The Hero knew he had to do the right thing and he exposed Mayor Lady Grey as the killer of her sister Amanda and Lady Grey disappeared.
Going back to Oakvale the Hero once again bumped into the lady Emily who he had helped as a child and bumped into once before. The two grew close. And so, the Hero Married. And, for one day at least the troubles of a hard world were put aside.
the Hero's life had become a peaceful one. This fragile peace, however, is shattered when the ancient Hero Scythe reports that a terrible evil has arisen once again in the forgotten Northern Wastes. A great power is raising there, creatures known as the summoners may herald the greatest threat the Hero had faced yet. To travel to the north, the Hero must place the fire heart, an ancient artefact once used by Archon himself, in the hook coast lighthouse. It will call forth the Ship of the Downed.
The Hero had little sense of how many weeks have passed, but he knew he left the shores of hook coast long ago, not knowing what he would find in the northern wastes, or if scythe was even alive still. his time on the ship of the drowned was like a strange dream, the taste of sea salt on his lips at times felt like blood, the constant crashing of the waves like the cries of the damned. The strange, silent ship, carved its path among the waves, an ocean phantom moving ever forward. Then the moment came when icy peaks speared out of the horizon mist. These were the shores of the Lost Bay. The Northern wastes lay beyond them.
The Hero arrived at the lost bay to be greeted by an ethereal projection from Scythe. The Hero was to meet him in a town called Snowspire, where an oracle may be able to tell them the nature of this new threat.
the Hero joined Scythe in that frozen land. At a loss as to the nature of the evil, Scythe recommended that the Hero journey into the abandoned town of Necropolis to retrieve a series of runes that will activate the all-knowing Oracle of Snowspire. Returning victorious, the two learn upon activation of the Oracle that the resurgent evil is none other than Jack of Blades.
The words of the oracle still rang in the Hero's ears. Jack of blades is alive. Only his body was destroyed in the chamber of fate battle, and he will soon rise in a new and stronger form unless the Guild of Hero's can find some way of stopping him. The oracle said his essence lies behind the bronze gate, close to where the Hero met briar rose earlier. Somehow jack's mask is the key to unlocking the gate there. The hero will not rest until Jack is annihilated, whatever his form.
Having spoken to briar, she told the Hero that her research into the shrine has uncovered the curious mechanism that will unlock the bronze gate. Briar informed the Hero that he must take the souls of three heroes using jack's mask and feed them to the shrine. The first soul has to belong to an arena champion such as the Hero himself. Briar had suggested that he speak to thunder, who he would find in knothole glade.
The Hero had his first soul. Jack's voice rang in his head, there was no doubt now he's alive and suggested to the Hero that he should take thunder's soul. always he seeks to manipulate the Hero of Oakvale. Although Thunder didn't take kindly to the Hero's presence and initially started another fight between the two Titans, the Hero ignored Jack of Blades malevolent whispers and talked Thunder down who eventually suggested that the Hero fight in the arena instead.
With the soul from the arena Briar Rose read the second inscription which asked for the soul of a heroine. After Jack of Blades again tried to manipulate the hero into killing Briar Rose, the Hero travelled back to Oakvale, the place where he was born, the place where his parents are buried, and fought to claim the soul of his mother. She was willing to make the sacrifice to hurt jack and the Hero promised to make him pay for all he has done.
The final inscription asked for the oldest soul, and jack again tried to convince the Hero to kill the Guildmaster in order to get it. Still trying to influence the Hero as if he was no more than a pawn in his hands. Instead, the Hero went to Lynchfield cemetery and fought the valiant Nostro, who gave up his soul in exchange for eternal peace. Now the bronze gate stands open, and jack of blades awaited within. It was time to end this.
It was a battle that would be talked about for centuries to come. The day the Hero of Oakvale slew the dragon Jack of Blades. The day the strange creature behind the mask was finally banished from this world.
His reincarnation into a dragon provided the Hero of Oakvale with a hero's ultimate test, but a harder battle was fought afterwards: Jack's will against the Hero's. His soul inhabited the mast once more and its persuasive whisper almost overcame the Hero's spirit. He was finally able to cast the mask into the lava. Whatever Jack's true nature was, it was extinguished in flames
And this is where our tale must end, though even the most hopeful of hearts knew the struggle between good and evil would never truly be over. As for what became of the Guild and its Heroes… that is a story for another time…