Join the mercenarys band in the defense of Raneko Village.
Unlock #8: Bitter endings, new beginnings.
The battle is met! Join the fight for Raneko Village by playing and collecting Band of the Wolf cards in this limited time event.
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An army has been raiding settlements along the Evadoran coastline, and The Band of the Wolf has been hired to defend a small village. Led by the Old Wolf, the mercenaries guide the fortification of Raneko Village in anticipation of the attack, with some villagers eagerly joining the effort. Together they build defenses and learn new skills – some even step up to learn the ins and outs of basic combat. Despite the dark siege to come, there is joy to be found in the combined community effort and morale is high.
Hortuk, a brutal mercenary with a violent past, leads the Cult of Order as they sack the coastline of Evadora. Moving from village to village, the cult’s twisted sense of order has made them merciless and unforgiving. What’s more, the army is terrifying to behold: beasts and unknown atrocities are rumored to be seen amongst their ranks. Hortuk and his army charge forward with a single decree: submit or die. Yet word has spread that there is more to their motives in this region; that they are searching for something. But what?
The elder of the village is a strange old strix. He speaks in riddles, but amongst his grand tales lie hidden gems of wisdom. As Reios and Eiko sit looking out over the Great Eye, the elder regales them with stories of lands beyond the seas, far to the west. Of a being that fell to a darkness, and the power that surged through the land. “Their sacrifice was given for Eucos. And so we must protect this power, this gift, all of us”, he surmises, his mouth clicking between thoughts. A lesson aimed more at the ocean than Reios or Eiko.
To protect. It’s why the band exists; what binds the band together. But Eiko has another reason to fight. It’s what drives her. What fuels her ferocity when she loses herself in a fight… and she could feel her moment finally approaching.
When Eiko was young, a viking raiding party razed the town of Tidomon to the ground. The residents were gathered together and boarded up inside the town hall – all except Eiko. She remembers being hidden within the walls of their small home when raiders came door to door. She remembers her mother fighting violently, striking the assailant in hopes to draw the focus away from her daughter’s hiding place. She remembers watching as the town hall was set aflame. The sounds that followed still greet her on sleepless nights. But no image remains as strong in her mind as the man in the lion’s armor; his recently scarred face glowing in the flames, and in his eyes: pride.
As the sun sinks low on the horizon, the endless stretch of ocean reflects a hazy red. “The shadow approaches, yes, yes. And you will know it when it comes,” clicks the Elder. But Eiko is elsewhere. Somewhere long ago.
The battle is met. The cultists swarm outside the small village of Raneko, but its position on the cliffs overlooking the Great Eye gives it a strategic advantage. Despite the overwhelming numbers, the village is able to hold. Giramonte’s devices are at full power, quelling large-scale fires that threaten to overtake the village’s otherwise rustic defenses. And then, a miscalculation: a betrayal from within leaves an opening, and the cultists break through.
The band and the villagers rise to meet the challenge. They fight fiercely, and once more Raneko holds, until Hortuk enters the fray. Flanked by a guard of loyal mercenaries, he is unstoppable – a lion among wolves – and many fall to the might of his halberd, which never ceases in its deadly advance.
Reios steps forward, but it is Eiko alone who calls out a challenge. The Old Wolf may be the leader, but the young wolf has waited for this moment, and she will not let the past be repeated. The two lock eyes, and for a brief moment something passes between them. And then the Old Wolf breaks off, charging forth to prevent Hortuk’s faithful guard from intervening. The young wolf and the scarred lion stand in opposition. The rising flames reflect in their eyes, but a greater fire burns in each. Truly, the battle is met.
The young wolf and the scarred lion meet. Hortuk fights with an unrestrained ferocity, Eiko matching his strikes. This is the moment she’s been waiting for, she can’t falter now. A misjudged parry forces her into a corner and Hortuk seizes the opportunity with a grim finality. Nowhere to go, Eiko focuses all her strength on a single movement. She draws on her mother’s rage, who gave everything to defend her daughter; the Old Wolf’s respect, who brought a wild pup into her mottled band; a mercenary’s pride – her pride – to stand beside those who would give everything to protect. Her blade connects with Hortuk’s, a pinpoint accuracy, and a guttural scream erupts from her core. The folded metal ignites in a fierce red glow – a red energy pulled from the fabric of Eucos itself – and Hortuk’s halberd shatters. The surprise momentum throws the Fallen Commander off his stance and, for a second, he falters. She moves to end this, but quickly pivots back as an arrow narrowly scrapes her cheek. The duel is over, and cultists pour in.
Cursing, Reios fights to get to Eiko but the battle is an endless tide. And then, she spots a shadowy figure moving through the fray. He is different – inhuman in his movements. “The shadow approaches…” the elder’s words click in her mind. She calls to Eiko, who gives her a brief glance, but Reios can see her pack instincts overtaken by the thrill of the hunt. “... and you will know it when it comes.” The figure continues on. Reios knows if she hesitates, she will lose the trail. But Eiko… no. Eiko is brash, but she has grown beyond the rage that shut her off from the world. Strong. Capable. Someone Reios trusts. Someone she cares for. Faith. She must have faith. “Auros, guide her blade.”
And so the Old Wolf turns to the hunt, the hunt for a being she does not yet understand.
The Cultists crash against Raneko like unrelenting waves upon hard stone. Argus stands firm, his mighty shield blocking the narrow path to the villagers and Chira, who lies lifeless upon the floor. The cultists are many, but Argus must hold. The White Wall thrusts his shoulder into his wooden shield and rays of golden light burst forth, blinding the enemy as they try to break through. Suddenly, the Spiritspeaker opens her eyes. She bolts upright… and the surrounding dead follow suit. Their lifeless heads turn in unison, awaiting instruction. Chira mouths a single soundless word and the dead advance.
Gabrielle’s thornblade strikes true. She grins as a cultist doubles over. Divya vaults across the screaming figure, spinning through the air as he fires off multiple darts that, annoyingly, all find their mark. “Show off,” Gabrielle mutters. A howl rings out and a green hound dives into the fray, followed by a very enthusiastic child. It takes Gabrielle a second to put the pieces together. The Raneko boy actually reached the spirits of the forest? Well, now the Fae Thornblade really has seen everything.
Woof. Woof. Do it. Meow. Now! Automabunn prattles from Gama’s shoulder as the Lord of Berries strikes one of Giramonte’s devices with his staff. The machine’s circular chains roar to life as it launches into the encroaching horde with a blue ferocity, its pincers making quick work of any cultist unlucky enough to be in its path. Gama whoops in delight. “Teach you to stea-”
A blinding flash. When Gama opens his eyes, the sky has changed. Drastically changed. Through the rising smoke, a swirling purple consumes the once starry blanket of the cosmos. He knows this color. It’s the color of gonchberries.
The Lord of Berries shudders. This is not good. Not good at all.
The sky whips into a frenzy as Reios makes her way towards the shrine behind Raneko Village. The Great Eye coastline looks otherworldly, reflecting the purple, swirling madness above. Her breath doesn’t come easy, her wounds are many, but she pushes on towards the lone figure ahead. A wave of power almost knocks her off her feet. A red/black energy, like the blood of the land itself, explodes from the central stone as the figure plunges his sword into the shrine.
“Your cultists send their undying love!” she shouts against the swirling storm, “...or maybe undying is the wrong word”. The figure turns, his long hair billowing as the red energy whirls into his blade, slowly charging with power. “Another insect refusing to be squashed,” he leers. “I’ve underestimated your kind before. I won’t do it again.” He rushes her. She knows she has one shot. Spinning, the Old Wolf throws the shuriken dangling from her cloak at the figure, he nimbly dodges aside but it gives her enough time to execute her real gambit. She uses the momentum to continue her spin and launches her battlehammer just as the figure makes contact with her. She cries out as her ribs shatter. The hammer strikes true, not the figure, but the sword, and the dark energy sputters and swirls into a red and black portal. A hideous screech, as if something has been wounded, and then the portal expands revealing an island: brilliant crystals glistening in the sun; buildings of strange and foreign design.
The figure leaves her broken, and moves back to his sword. Lifting it from its stony mantle, he begins to laugh. Her gambit failed. His relief is palpable. “You are but a trifle. It is done. I finally have it. The key to bringing order to Eucos!”
Blood seeps from the Old Wolf’s mouth. Her vision – from her one good eye – begins to blur. This must be it. She reaches inward. Faith. “Auros, give me strength.”
Her blood begins to boil. The heat of a thousand forges pulls her to her feet. Reios – mercenary, leader, devotee – launches herself forwards with a primal fury. “THAERIEL!” she yells. Her voice no longer her own, but deep, resounding, divine. She moves impossibly fast, throwing her whole weight into the figure, and the momentum sends them both over the edge, straight into the portal.
A third and final explosion ripples through the air, and the portal disappears. The ocean calms, and the clouds break. Bird song returns, and the Great Eye has never looked more at peace.
The band sits by the ruined shrine overlooking the Great Eye coastline. They fought hard against impossible odds and, somehow, they held. Raneko is in ruins but its people live on. From here, the villagers can begin to rebuild.
The Old Wolf’s battlehammer sits alone, defiantly lodged in the cracked shrine. Where are you? Eiko wonders. According to the elder, a terrible power was unleashed by Thaeriel himself – or a twisted version of the former god – but Reios is the reason everything is back to normal. The elder’s voice clicks in the back of Eiko’s mind. "Across these seas lie lands unknown..."
“What do we do next, boss?” Divya. Always chasing the action. Eiko looks up at the blue sky. Not smoke-gray nor the maddening swirling purple. Blue. “We do what we always do. We look for the next contract. Something that pays, and somewhere we can make a difference.”
“And the one-eyed wolf?” asks Gama. The band had a new member in the strange creature. Something about the events had turned him off his precious berries. Lost their juice, he’d said. Let’s find some more!
Eiko picks up her blade – the blade that broke the lion – and takes one last look at the Great Eye.
“We won’t stop looking. I have a feeling the Old Wolf isn’t done yet".