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Clamping down on Smugglers

AuthorClamping down on Smugglers
Outside of great campaigns, simple soldiers lead rather routine lives. Drills, keeping sentry, and an occasional leave – that’s all there is to it. But once in a great while, even as you stand guard in the midst of some murky woods on the outskirts of the Empire, an exciting adventure just might drop from the skies right in your lap.

"I’m dying of boredom here," said a crossbowman, yawning. "If it weren’t for mosquitoes..." He swatted a pesky insect sitting on his cheek.
"Hey, look… someone’s coming," a swordsman said suddenly, rubbing his eyes after a sweet nap. "Is that a cart or...?"
Now awake, the patrolman took a few steps forward and stretched out his arm. "Hold it right there! Security check!" he shouted, and cautiously watched the cart and its convoy stop a dozen feet away. "Where are you headed? What’s in the cart?" he questioned the driver, taking a good look at the guards who were cloaked in dark.
"Just a load of old munitions," answered the man amicably, his golden teeth sparkling. He handed his papers over and added, "Taking it to the Order of Peacekeepers’ depository."
"So… headed to Peaceful Camp, are you?"
"Err," mumbled the driver, furtively exchanging glances with the armed man sitting beside him. "Yeah, to Peaceful Camp, that’s it."
"Uh-huh," the patrolman replied. "There’s no stamp here though."
"You swindling bastard!" the driver swore all of a sudden, his expression quickly turning from friendly to menacing. "Well, you asked for it!" He unsheathed his sword and signalled his accomplices to deal with the second guard.

Tempers were flaring rapidly, but even before the swordsman drew his sword, a whistle was heard from the trees. A few moments and dozens of arrows later, all enemies were down.

"Well done, soldier," said a sombre elf that emerged from the bushes. "These vermin are scrambling – must be smelling the coming changes. But they’re our headache now." He approached the startled guard and picked the papers up from the ground.
"Wait." He suddenly stopped in his tracks. "The stamp on this is all right!"
"Exactly. The only thing is, Peacekeepers don’t have a depository in Peaceful Camp!" answered the patrolman, his confusion giving way to self-satisfaction.
The elf turned his head and stared at the soldier intensely. "Listen, pal, how good are you against spiders?"

Dear Lords and Ladies! More and more illegal caravans have been turning up all across our lands. The Imperial security inspectorate needs your help in fighting the dodgy smugglers. Warlord Grammith encourages everyone to take part in this crackdown operation, while court wizard Abu-Bakir promises to bolster the armies of active vigilantes with his sorcery.

Combat briefing:
1. All players of combat level 5 or above are invited. Only shop artifacts are allowed, and artifact enchantments have no effect.
2. Battles will involve two human players against one AI-controlled smuggler caravan. A battle starts as soon as a player pair is formed.
3. Based on the available intelligence, caravans are guarded by armies combined of local and nomadic robbers.
4. You will need to form a battle pair with another player to ambush a smuggler caravan.
5. You will earn activity points for intercepting caravans. Spend them to request reinforcements for your army, courtesy of Abu-Bakir (effective within this event only).
6. The number of points earned depends on battle difficulty. Initially, difficulty levels 1 through 5 are available. After you pass level 5, five additional levels become available, from 1 to 10. After you pass level 10, you will move on to levels 5 through 15, and so on.
7. You can win no more than 3 battles on each difficulty level.
8. The combat operation will last 7 days, through July 10, and two extra days will be granted to use up any remaining attempts, until July 12 inclusive.
9. You can perform up to 10 interceptions per day; any unused attempts carry over to the next day(s).
10. For intercepting and defeating a smuggler caravan, you may earn creature armaments and/or elements. In addition, each victory will award points towards the Rangers' or Thieves’ guilds.
11. When starting an ambush challenge, you can invite a friend to join (click "Lead attack with friend").
12. The Empire will generously reward those lords and ladies who collect the most activity points.

To emphasize the special importance of this campaign, your progress will be further remunerated with parts of a special artifact:

For the first victory on difficulty level 5: +1 part;
For the first victory on difficulty level 10: +2 parts;
For the first victory on difficulty level 15: +3 parts;
For the first victory on difficulty level 20: +4 parts;
For the first victory on difficulty level 25: +5 parts;
For the first victory on difficulty level 30: +6 parts.

In addition, up to 30 parts of this special artifact will be granted based on your personal contribution to the operation.

Once you collect 100 parts of the special artifact, you may assemble its fragments into a one full-fledged artifact. This artifact cannot be transferred for use or rent, but can be transferred for repairs or enchantment.

Let’s hunt down those smugglers!
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