Hands of War 3 Storyline
Hands of War 3 takes place after the events in Hands of War Tower Defense.
The invaders have been vanquished. The shores of Tempor lie smoking and ruined, but for the first time in generations, they are safe. Following the death of Gardius and the destruction of the Black Council at the end of the second civil war, the power of the Heartstone mysteriously faded and a new champion had to rise up to save it from the invaders and solve the mystery of restoring its might. Triton Steel answered the call, proving his valor on many occasions as he traveled from the shattered capital all the way to the old coast, pushing the invaders back at every turn. In the process, he did what many had thought impossible - united the various factions of Tempor into a single whole. Together, united, Tempor savored its victory.
But The Temporian peace is fragile. Much of the nation is broken. Farms burned, houses destroyed. People starving. Triton may have won the battle with the invaders, but who would win the battle against the poverty now gripping the land? The remnants of the The Guardians and The Phoenix, inspired by Triton’s heroics during the invasion, set aside their differences and united together to reform an old faction that once stood for peace and protection: The Alliance. Though all factions agreed that their hard won peace must last, none saw eye to eye on what the new Tempor should look like, and almost immediately, new champions stepped forward to represent the causes of their people. While the members of The Alliance were the first to set their hands of war to rebuilding, the other factions quickly returned to their petty squabbling. Tempor was being rebuilt, but would the new Tempor be any better than the old?
Almost immediately the strongest members of each faction proved their mettle by rallying their followers and beginning the rebuilding process. Triton, however, remained brooding on the coast. Even though much of the everyday had returned, the efforts of the people lacked direction. With Merchant gold flowing, communities slowly got back into their daily routines. Again, it was the Mercenaries who found themselves doing much of the grunt work, clearing wreckage and driving off the emboldened wild animals. Yet they worked alongside a new, growing class of Temporians - Common people whose once pleasant and stable lives had been devastated, and who now subscribed to a more communal mindset. Tension grew between these Commoners, the Mercenaries, and the Merchant’s Guild who own the land.
Triton, shaking off his malaise, retraced his route, surveying the state of Tempor and of the people who were bringing it slowly back to life. He wondered anew at the marvelous talents of the various factions. He saw the yearning that had developed among the masses for a better definition of their new identity - what did it mean to be Temporian? Inspired by these thoughts, he picked the strongest, shrewdest champion from each faction and brought them with him, back to the capital. They would help him rebuild the very heart of Tempor - and help him find the key to restoring the Heartstone, as well. This was his hope - and the hope of all Temporians.
Once back in the capital, Triton laid out his plans to the gathered champions. Unimpressed by what he had seen of councils - what they had all seen - he proposed a new way of combining to lead their people. Their new group would be called the Circle. In a Circle, Triton explained, all of them were equal. Warder would sit next to Magician and Blademaster. Mercenary, side by side with Commoner and Merchant. No single voice or powerful minority would rule the day. Only a true majority of all the factions' views would guide the new Tempor.
Each of the Champions readily agreed to Steel's suggestion. The champion of the Merchants first pointed out their very simple, real problem. There were only eight of them, and a true majority could be difficult to establish. As if brought to them by destiny, it was then that a new champion appeared. He looked foreign - instantly raising the suspicions of everyone in the room, following the invasions which were still so fresh in their memories.
"My name is Beldon Ax," he told them, "I think you know of my ancestors. I have journeyed from a far-off land, but I assure you, it is not the land of your invaders. In my land, our own stone, the Mindstone, has also lost its power."
Triton spoke for them all. "Why should we believe you, stranger?"
"Because I brought it with me." He dropped a lifeless stone on the table. It was clearly kin to the Heartstone.
The vote was almost unanimous. All but Triton agreed that Ax should be the ninth member of the Circle, the deciding number. His presence was fierce and his words cutting. He had brought with him a small army - the Shadow Runners. They had made camp on the Gold Coast and if the rumors were true they were a militant society.
“Listen to me, Temporians,” Beldon spoke imperiously, “your salvation lies in war. You must strike swiftly at those who invaded. In their land is another stone - the Soulstone - and with it is the secret to restoring the power of both of ours.”
“No!” Triton interjected, “Our road is here, in Tempor, rebuilding, rediscovering - remembering what it was that made us great and gave the Heartstone its power in the first place.”
The circle was undecided. They refused even to vote on the matter, challenging each champion to put his theory to the test.
“Gladly.” Their response was the same as they turned from each other and exited the chamber in opposite directions.