|Description:||Follow Decius as he flees into the desert.|
|Player civilization:||Decius - Calabim|
|Victory:||Must win a Religious victory.|
|Defeat:||The Malakim civilization is destroyed or another religion/civilization wins a religious victory.|
|Side quest reward:||
Decius has fled the Bannor, seeking refuge across the sea, In the desert of Myrh dwell the Malakim, a morally upright people. He has had his fill of morale presumption, however, and seeks shelter amongst the more ethically flexible culture.
The Calabim are an ancient order whose arstocracy prey on the weak of their society. Weakness had long since been drilled out of Decius.
It is a blighted neigborhood on the outskirts of Prespur over which Decius has exerted influence. Between the battered humans who have had their wills broken and those petty thugs just stong enough to prey on them, he has no competition for the petty fiefdom he sets up, so long as the aristocrats do not deign to enter.
Decius knows he is playing a dangerous game. When the bloodpets of the Vampiric lord come, his army is alert and dispatches them promptly. Flauros himself, however, is harder to handle. He personally slays Decius's army of exiles and criminals, leaving the bodies for the Moroi. Decius himself is far too interesting to do in, however.
"We have few immigrants here, and fewer still with your skills. Why do you come to our land, only to wallow in the filth of the livestock?"
Decius folds his arms. "I kept every code and rule of my home, only to have them turn me out. I am through with rules and submission to authority. I will rise to the top, or die on my feet."
Flauros smiled. "Whether you know it or not, you have come to the right place then. Our nation is a meritocracy in ways the Bannor would never hope to emulate. Those undeserving are consumed, while those who prove themselves are rewarded beyond their keen. I offer you a chance to start down this path. I will give you command of a small foce. Eliminate the Hill Giants that have been preying on our countryside."
Decius nodded. "Very well. But with the rabble you call soldier, I don't give good odds of my survival."
"Either way it will be entertaining."
Note: If you do not want to spoil the scenario content please skip the [Scenario conversation] section
Status: Peace with others until you find the Mirror of Heaven.
In this scenario you play as Decius who has fleed and betrayed from The Order. He comes across the Malakim capital and the Malakim accept him in. Later on a women named Talia (whom is Varn Gosams wife) sees your potential as a leader but to prove it she sends you to find Varn Gosam. After that you declare war on the Calabim because they threatened the Empyrean religion and to win the game you have to win a religous victory.
An obese, plae man, carried on a litter by a slaves watches Decius training his units for the assault on Dirage. Decius walks over after organizing a scout partol. "I don's suppose you've come to enlist," he says. The man has the clear signs of Calabim aristocracy, but Decius takes the measure of satisfaction from refusing to acknowledge it.
"I am the govenor of this city. Flauros decrees that I must cooperate with you, find out what you need to research for you task. I pleases him to give this authorit to such as yourself, for reasons I couldn't grasp."
Decius thought for a moment. "If I am successful, I will have the cusp of an empire. Feudalism would be useful for this, tough..." He glanced up at the govenor, realizing he wanted more than to build an empire for lazy fools like these. Deception. Poison. Tools like these could help him in a conflict with his benefactor Flauros or other foes to come. Religion was a useful tool for controlling a nation, but he decided it would be a poor ideo to invite such foreign influence and invite the eye of meddling goods.
The primitive encampment of the Hill Giants is razed, and the Giants themselves feeding the vultures. In one hut dwell a score of human slaves, their eyes lighting up at the sight of the destruction fo their captors. One young man in tattered yellow clothes approaches Decius. "In the name of Lugus the Light, I thank you sir."
"Who is this Lugus? Your feudal lord?"
"Nay, good sir, he is the god of light, whose wisdowm enlightens all the people of this desert."
Decius yanks the mans chains, pulling him to his knees. "Not wise enought to keep you safe, nor alert you when you speak to a foe."
Flauros is pleased to see that Decius has the mettle he suspected. Less so to hear the Ecclesiastic. "I have not seen a priest of Lugus for over six hundred years, and now one appears on my borders? This is an ill sign."
Decius raises an eyebrown. "Six hundred years? The Prelates spoke of devil-men living in the desert og Myrh. I hadn't expected they were being quite so literal."
"I have no allegiance to Hell, simply similar to tactics-extracting power from mortals. I trust this dosn't strain our working arrangement?"
Decius shrugged. "I've little illusions about how you treat your subjects. What you do with their souls is even less my concern. I've passed your test. What is next?"
"The Bannor were fools to discard such a useful tool as you. Efficient and heartless. But I need guile as well. Lugus is an old foe, and not one to release a grudge. His cult gaining ground here means trouble for us. I need you to strike down these Ecclesiastics, without drwaing us into direct confrontation with the desert tribes."
"I've seen your power. Give me command of a larger force of vampires and we can be ruling this entire desert."
"I have shared our secret with you, Decius, but wish it to remain that. If we take ourselves into the battlefield, we will be hunted down by all the nations. Better to stay on the edges of the civilized world. Lugus has other enemies that may aid us, however, without asking questions. Let us encourage the Council of Esus among our lands, and train men who can strike without revealing their masters. Use them to eliminate the disciples of Lugus, and the power I wield may be yours."
"Very well, we will do this your way, Flauros."
Flauros looks up as Decius and his troops enter the palace. "Ah, commander, how go our plans?"
Decius crosses his arms. "I've tired things your way. This Empyrean religions is only gaining followers. It is time to be more aggressive."
"We have dicussed why that is not among your options."
"This Varn Gosam had called a meeting of tribal leaders. My spies tell me they are leaning toward uniting with him. Your foes will hold much more power in this region unless we acto to stop them. I will take your army to the Malakim capital and burn it to the ground. That should keep the sand rats in their place."
"You will act within the limits I have set for you. Or I will tear you to shreds."
Decius rised blade. "Can you do so before I get in a single hit?" Flauros laughed, drawing his own blade, but Decius continued, "Becuase the Council's assassins have shown me a few things. Such as a rare desert plant, the extracts of which can cause a man pain like he's never known for as long as he lives. Perhaps you are willing to chance that over the course of you very long life you can find an antidote. Or that the effects will wear off after only a few hundred years. But why not chance that your power can be used beyond playing shepherd to a broken people, can rather shape the world stage to our benefit?"
Flauros stood a moment, gazing at Decius. Then he sheathed blade. "My sister would have killed you, and lived with the pain. Very well, take what you need. Raze every city with the Empyrean. If you bring calamity upon us, I will survive, and you will not, no matter the trump you hold. If you gamble succeeds, you will have a place among us forever."
A new beginningEdit
Decius earned a place among the Calabim through grit and guile, and has forced them to take a more competitive place among the nations of Erebus. Just as competition is heating up on the other side of the desert of Myrh. Word comes through the Undercouncil of dark plans reaching fulfullment, as the Sheaim complete their masterstroke and unleash the Infernals into the world. This is not the Calabim would have preferred, but does present opportunities. Flauros offers Decius the opportunity to see how best he can exploit this brutal war. The remnants of the Malakim have taken arms in defense of their friends, so Decius sets out in a fleet of ships to flank them on the foothills of Tempus Mor.