Ubisoft have a fifty page PDF dedicated to TALES OF THE TEN YEAR WAR as background reading for Might & Magic Heroes 7. It’s fine and all, featuring words like “succubus” and “exile” and “decided” and “the”, but I’m far more interested in their stained glass window design.
I’ve always liked stained glass windows as storytelling devices so I’m enjoying looking at this one, unpicking the stories as I see them without reference to the PDF at all to see how well it functions as a lore-based press release. It’s also just a lovely thing to look at so you should look at it.
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Once upon a time a bunch of knights had a lot of arguments. Most of it was about Ser Sebastian of Stagworth’s obsession with stags which was weird and annoying because he kept putting antlers on stuff. “It’s a horse, stop it” Ser Lewis of Threelions would complain. “You can tell he doesn’t like it.”
“Nonsense,” said Ser Sebastian and tried to gore Ser Lewis to death with his antler horse. Also his cousin Gerald who happened to be wearing antlers was there too.
Ser Stuart of Unicorns and Ser Martin of Maybe Some Kind Of Panther Or Whatever were also battling but it was an unrelated argument about the fact Ser Martin had subtweeted Ser Stuart, making comments like how having a mythical creature on your coat of arms was really lame.
Then there was a lot of secondary fighting because a bunch of other knights took sides after reading about the events online and they had opinions about mythical heraldry and antlered horses that they felt were very important and would improve the debate, especially if they were said in all caps several days after the event.
Two ladies were busy having their own drama. One of them was a demon sex witch and the other one was a virtuous queen of some kind, neatly encompassing all the types of lady that there are in the world. The demon sex witch messed the queen up using her sex witch flames and probably destroyed the whole of the royal lineage somehow because that’s what the broken sword probably symbolises.
Then all the knights had to attend a really boring ceremony honouring the dead queen and tried to look attentive and alert even though the speeches were long and it wasn’t really going to do the queen any good to hear about how lovely she was now, was it?
Then Ser Sebastian and some griffin guy did a televised duel because that kind of entertainment is good for morale and also the economy.
I have now read the PDF.
The queen is actually the Empress Maeve from the Falcon dynasty who ended up being destroyed by a demon cultist leader-turned-succubus, Jezebeth. With Maeve’s son Brendan suspected dead the Dukes and Duchesses began vying for the crown and had a whole bunch of battles. I like that the mountain orcs are a bit eye-rolly about all of this and insist on calling it the “babyteeth war”. Seamus of Stag ends up on the throne and Ivan of Griffin stages an unsuccessful rebellion. There’s a cool-sounding necromancer spider cultist called Anastasya Griffin who turns up and forms part of Ivan’s new council and that’s where the PDF leaves off.
There’s a wizard emperor with a thing for antlers versus Ivan and his collective council wisdom and new sword.