Acheron the Red Dragon
Acheron the red dragon
Race: Dragon
Unit Class: Beast Unit
Requires: Barbarian
Starts With: 1 First Strike
Creates The Dragon's Hoard in city when built
Starts with nearby vegetation on fire
Magic Immune
Sentry I
Sentry II
Info: 19 Strength
0 Move
Cost: 25 Production

It flittered about impatiently as the ages passed, in this place without time. In this almost nothingness where myths go when dead but not forgotten. And Erebus would not soon forget Acheron, the flame lord, the beast of destruction, the Red Dragon. The earth had trembled when he walked. Centuries old Fir trees had been uprooted when he took flight. When he and his adversaries clashed, it was a sight like no other before or since.

But at the Compact, the power that sustained him was withdrawn. He was as fearsome as ever but his wounds did not heal so fast. When he brought forth his fire, now he got a taste of the pain he inflicted. And one fateful battle, he was not quite fast enough, and he fell, never to rise again.

He could not rest here as most of the others did, content in the majesty of myth. It was not his nature. His nature was that of fire. Fire, the ravenous devourer. Fire, the nimble dancer brought aloft on the winds. And fire, patient when defeated, but ever eager to spring to life again with the faintest fuel. And at last he detected it. The essence of his mistress Bhall. Not the goddess herself, but some people close to her--and Acheron's--fiery nature. They reproduced quickly, grew fast, fought with a roar, and died with rage. Chaotic, but strictly following the laws that governed them. Violent, but leaving a void that encouraged new growth. Nimble, but leaving a lasting mark.

They didn't know they called to him, that they gave him strength, but they did. Their rage opened a portal that he alone could take and returned substance to his long decayed flesh and bones.

Three-Tooth dumped his bag on the ground in Ahepetr. Three human skulls, an iron knife, and a handful of shiny trinkets tumbled out. Half-Nose reached for a diamond ring, and Three-Tooth jumped him. The two orcs tumbled around the ground as the nearby goblins cheered them on, sneaking Three-Tooth's spoils when they could.

They were interrupted by an earth shaking roar. All turned to face him. Resplendent in primal glory, Acheron stood. His leathery skin had the luster of rubies, all the more so when his breath illuminated the dusk with a billowing cloud of fire. Every tooth, fang, and claw shone, sharp and perfect, as if he had not fought countless battles. His leathery wings embraced the humble village. His face wore a fearsome snarl ... or possibly, though it seemed so out of place on this beast, a smile.

As one the orcs and goblins gathered their war spoils and carried them before the mighty dragon, laying them at his feet. In time, the pile would grow to a mountain as the legend was reborn.


Additionally to the usual strategy, which simply means attacking Acheron's city with loads of melee units and siege weapons, I'd suggest a more sophisticated way including a maximum of four units, nevertheless taking more time. The central unit you should go for is a Shadow with at least the following promotions:

This unit will take down Acheron's city one by one, starting with the Melee Units and Sons of the Inferno and, in the end, beat Acheron. The best thing about this strategy is that Acheron is not simply slain but tamed and caught so from now on you can use him as your first dragon.

But, what about the masses of Fire Elementals summoned every turn by the Sons of the Inferno in Acheron's city? Well, that's the point! In nearly all cases I tested this strategy, Acheron chose a coastal city to reside in. And only in those cases the strategy works: You put your Shadow onto a ship, maybe together with an Archmage who can summon a Water Elemental or a Speaker or Cultist. Ship next to Acheron's city and, if available, alternate your Shadow's attack on the city and a Tsunami cast of the Disciple. The Fire Elementals won't be able to attack you on the ship!!!

When only Acheron is left to be attacked, your Shadow will most probably not be strong enough to win. There you need either the Archmage's Water Elemental or a Knight with a well developed Withdrawal Chance to weaken Acheron without being killed. Now attack Acheron with your shadow, lean back and enjoy your first tamed dragon! By the way, this Shadow will be able to catch the other dragons in the game, too. I found it even fun to give Divine Essence to the Illians, Sheaim and Kuriotates just to let them summon their dragons for me to tame...

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