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The Return of the Dragon is the second scenario of the Dracula campaign in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten, where the player is playing as Magyars. In this scenario, Vlad Dracula obtains support by Bogdan II, Voivode of Moldavia, for his claim over Wallachia. The player will need to send Dracula, Istvan, Jakub, and Danislav to the Bran Castle (a wonder) and take over the Wallachian town there. Then the player needs to prepare troops and probably conquer some local Wallachian and Transylvanian villages, before destroying the two castles of Vladislav II and kill Vladislav himself. At the same time, the player may be occasionally harassed by the Ottoman Empire and Hungary, who are frequently fighting each other. The Ottoman Empire is now supporting Vladislav II, while Hungary will offer alliance with Dracula (the player) if the player advances to the Imperial Age and pays them 1000 food.

In the beginning, the player must ensure all the four heroes survive until they reach the Bran Castle. After that, the player must ensure the Bran Castle remains standing. The Bran Castle produces a Paladin for the player every 300 seconds.

The player cannot build any building that produces military units, therefore the player will have to conquer local villages to acquire such buildings, which are indestructible. These villages can be conquered by any player at any time. To conquer a local village, simply place a unit on the torch of the village, and all the buildings, except houses, will belong to the player. If not guarded properly, any other player, whether friendly or hostile, may simply grab the village by placing their own unit on the torch.

Intro[edit | edit source]

"Dracula knew that he needed to enlist the aid of the Hungarians against Vladislav II, whose policies favored the Ottomans. He also remembered his education under the crusading Order of the Dragon, and wanted to honor his vows."

"The Order was a powerful ally, and their crusader knights would serve Dracula well against his enemies. As he paced the streets of the Moldavian capital, Dracula mused over his plans to reclaim his kingdom..." As the mysterious old man paused, I rose up to take another slab of venison.

The old man stared into the fire, watching the flames dance as if they were soldiers involved in a raging battle. His eyes flashed again as a thought entered his mind, and he grasped the majestic old sword.

Meanwhile, Sultan Mehmed II had ascended to the Ottoman throne. Dracula loathed Mehmed from their time in Edirne, and he knew that the Turks would be a thorn in his side for years to come. In 1453, they had conquered Constantinople, but they were presently occupied with campaigns in Greece and Serbia.

Bogdan II, Dracula's cousin and the new Voivod of Moldavia, had heard of his kinsman's plight and offered his help. If Dracula could cross the Carpathian Mountains into Transylvania and ally with Hungary, then they could launch a three-pronged assault on Vladislav II and the Turks.

Scenario instructions[edit | edit source]

Starting conditions[edit | edit source]

Objectives[edit | edit source]

Main[edit | edit source]

  • Vlad Dracula must survive.
  • Vlad Dracula must reach the Bran Castle to the north.
  • Storm Vladislav II's capital of Targoviste in the west and kill him.

Secondary[edit | edit source]

  • Ambush and kill the general (Cavalier) in command of the Danesti camp.
  • Protect the Bran Castle.
  • Tribute the Hungarians 1,000 food to acquire their support.

Hints[edit | edit source]

  1. Vlad Dracula is sundered from his Ottoman patrons and seeks new allies. His technology tree is now Magyar and he may reach the Imperial Age and support a population of 200.
  2. The safest way to the Bran Castle is through the cliffs directly northwest of Moldavia.
  3. The Danesti general enjoys a leisurely walk to the northeast of his camp.
  4. Hungary will offer an alliance if you can show your strength by reaching the Imperial Age.
  5. Once you reach the Bran Castle, the scenario will begin to play like a game of 'Risk'. You cannot construct military buildings, but most local (6, Grey) towns, cities, and villages on the map contain them and can be captured by each major player. Some buildings automatically produce units: the Bran Castle (Wonder) will periodically train Paladins for Dracula, and the port inn (Trade Workshop) in the center of the map recruits mercenaries. Control of a town is determined by ownership of the converting torch in the center of it.

Scouts[edit | edit source]

Your scouts report:

  • Dracula (1, Red) begins in exile in the allied Kingdom of Moldavia (3, Orange), which will support him with infantry and ranged units.
  • Several local towns and cities (6, Grey), are scattered across the map. In the far north lies the Bran Castle, the headquarters of the Order of the Dragon, which is loyal to Dracula.
  • A Hungarian military base (5, Green) is located to the northwest. Hungary trains droves of cavalry supported by infantry. Their allegiance is unknown.
  • In the south lies the territory of the Ottoman Empire (6, Purple), which now supports Vladislav II, but is primarily focused on fighting the Hungarians. Their army is comprised of Spearmen, Light Cavalry, and Janissaries.
  • Vladislav II (2, Cyan) is by far the greatest threat, controlling the Wallachian capital of Targoviste to the west. He will train heavy cavalry, swordsmen, Monks, and siege units. Additionally, he may try to control the Danube River with a fleet of warships.

Players[edit | edit source]

Allies[edit | edit source]

Neutral, potential ally[edit | edit source]

Neutral[edit | edit source]

Enemies[edit | edit source]

  • Vladislav II (Slavs)
  • Vladislav II (Immobile) (Slavs)

Strategy[edit | edit source]

In the beginning, the four heroes (Dracula, Istvan, Jakub, and Danislav) meet Voivod Bogdan II of Moldavia at his castle. Dracula rallies for Bogdan's support for him to get the Voivodship of Wallachia. Once succeeded, the four heroes travel northwest to the Bran Castle, in the north. All four of them must survive to get there. Along the way, they encounter Vladislav II's troops belonging to the "immobile" player. There is a small military camp of Vladislav, at the left hand side of the path, where there are two towers with exceptionally strong attack, which therefore should be avoided by going through the Moldavian city.

As the player reaches a pass being guarded by Vladislav's guards, the player has the option to turn back and kill the general of Vladislav at the military camp mentioned above. He is marching with a few soldiers in and out of the camp. It is a far better option to kill this general, as this causes the guards at the pass to retreat southwards.

Once the four heroes reach the Bran Castle, they disappear and the player takes over the whole town from the Wallachians. The player must ensure the Bran Castle remains standing. It produces a Paladin every 300 seconds. The player is unable to build barracks, archery ranges, stables, siege workshops, castles, and monasteries (the first four are already available in the Wallachian town for the player) in this scenario. The only way to obtain these buildings is by conquering local Transylvanian and Wallachian villages by placing any unit over the torch of the village and take over all buildings except houses. Any other player, whether friendly or hostile, can do the same to the villages. The buildings in these villages are all indestructible. If the player is able to control the Wallachian village in the middle of the map, the trade workshop there produces a hand cannoneer every 120 seconds.

The player's main enemy is Vladislav II, who will frequently fight the player and Moldavia. While both Ottoman Empire and Hungary are hostile towards the player, they are busy fighting each other and only occasionally harass the player. However, if the player advances to the Imperial Age, Hungary offers an alliance with the player by asking for 1000 food. The only way for the player to advance to the Imperial Age is by conquering any of the local villages that has the required building(s) for the upgrade. The Transylvanian village in the middle of the map has a castle for this.

The player wins the scenario by defeating Vladislav's forces and killing him. While the player's allies may help the player defeat Vladislav's forces, Vladislav himself is hiding behind walls at the western corner, protected by a bombard tower. The player can simply send a ranged unit to kill him.

Outro[edit | edit source]

The elderly man gave a thin smile. "Tenacity of mind can compensate for other disadvantages. As Dracula slaughtered untold numbers of enemy troops, the large circle of impaled men outside Targoviste grew to awe--and disgust--travelers for weeks to come."

"Dracula owned Wallachia once more, but it was not the land his forebears ruled. Barren from endless wars, it was rife with corruption, crime, and poverty." Aghast, I asked my host how Dracula managed to reform a ruined shell of a country so quickly.

Grinning, the light flashed across the old man's eye again. "Dracula despised dishonesty and crime, and sought to eliminate it. He knew that Wallachia had to become strong enough to face its enemies-and soon. And so his reforms began."

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Even though the Wallachian villages appear to be in the south of the Danube, in reality Wallachia was actually in the north of the Danube, where the river served as the boundary between Wallachia and the Ottoman Empire.
  • There have not been Celts living in Transylvania since the second century AD.
  • This is one of the few scenarios introduced in The Forgotten that is almost completely unchanged in the Definitive Edition.
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