Kingdom Aflame is the eighteenth quest zone, the second part of Civil War (Story Volume), and is unlocked by defeating General Berund in Civil War. It is the second zone to be released after the reboot. Defeat Mayor Hortensia Tarringan on Normal difficulty to unlock Against the King.
Blue Fire Edit
- 1. Blue Fire 1
- 2. Blue Fire 2
- 3. Blue Fire 3
- 4. Blue Fire 4
- 5. Blue Fire 5
- 6. Blue Fire 6
- 7. Blue Fire 7
- 8. Blue Fire 8
Gold Fire Edit
- 9. Gold Fire 1
Optional Boss Encounters
Boss Card Reward
- Theadric ==> Gabriel the Privateer
- Mayor Hortensia Tarringan ==> This May Sting...
- Franz the Executioner ==> Shot of Humour
Random Drops Edit
Additionally, it has been noted that this zone also drops the following cards from assorted nodes:
- Break the Links
- Infernal Intern
- Lucky Shot
- Madame Brigitte
- Secret's in the Sauce
- Shot of Humour
- Spymaster Niccolo
- Sword Priestess Andrea
Angry warmth stroked her hair. Silver-gold locks ignited one by one beneath its loving and savage caress. Flame twisted through the tresses, intertwining, consuming. Transforming them into blazing serpents that coiled and slithered. Their hissing maws disgorged scents of smoke and sulfur. Writhing bodies set the bed sheets ablaze. Orange fury brightened the chamber's walls like an apocalyptic sunrise. Long-dead Seluthas stood illuminated in faded finery and gleaming frames, faces solemn. Witnesses to inexorable destruction.
Isabella rose from the bed. Covers fell away, disintegrating into a million ebon motes of ash. Swarming clouds swirled around her legs. Fire and shadow painted the queen, a tiger's stripes daubed on pale flesh. She glided to the window, amidst lashing tongues and dancing cinders, to see what she already knew. An orange-red ocean raged across the city, a voracious and amorphous beast, roaring wrath and crackling triumph as the bones of a myriad victims disappeared inside an endless maw. Its waves broke against the trunks of lofty towers, encircling their stone, eating into ancient grandeur till it was scoured from existence. The spires yielded beneath the onslaught. They toppled into the burning sea, embraced and enveloped, and disappeared within the inferno. Terraces of smaller dwellings died more ignominious deaths, incinerated by the deluge in the blink of an eye.
Dracoshire was doomed. The ancient capital which once stood firm against the dragons' fiery breath was dying to flames spread by human hands.
She pressed her palm against her abdomen. The flesh was cool and soothing, untouched by the conflagration. Faint glimmers of epiphany twinkled at the back of her brain. They flitted away when she tried to grasp hold of them, but a murky sense of wrongness lingered in their wake. Isabella crossed the room. Fire lapped at her feet and ankles but found no purchase there. The coolness or epiphany -- perhaps they were one and the same -- warded them off. She reached for a painting. The brave warrior's eyes met hers. Firelight gleamed in their mournful depths and on his axe's broad blades. His frame was warm in her hands, but she held firm and pulled the painting down from the wall. The baron gave one last sigh before it exploded in a puff of fire and ash. Antiquity settled on Isabella's skin in a scattering of grey-black flakes, bathing and baptizing.
The little leather-bound tome lay there in the square recess cut into the masonry. Its cover was creased, scarred, and stained like an aged plague victim's skin. Marked and marred first by the boy who'd once filled its pages, then by the youth and man who'd later gazed upon them with older, wiser, wearier eyes that were no less troubled. Epiphany rose through her mind again. This time it was invincible and unmistakable, a golden globe that pulsed with a cold glow and demanded her attention. Crenus had taken the journal with him, kept it close as he always did -- talisman and torment. It couldn't be here.
The flames weren't real.
Dracoshire wasn't burning.
And yet she found herself taking the unreal thing from its hiding place and opening it. Lines of scrawled text passed before her eyes. The words changed and passages drifted, thwarting her reading. But the images were clear. Drawings made by the boy's hand, some scribbled in the margins, others splashed across an entire page or a full leaf. Familiar ones flicked by as she turned the pages. Others she knew to be figments of her imagination -- orange eyes staring into the void; a pair of warriors clashing, pitting sword against pitchfork; %two men% exchanging words before a statue, while death shone in their eyes. Isabella had pored over the volume's twin often enough to know these didn't adorn its parchment. She ignored them and continued towards the illustration that had held her gaze more than any other of late.
The image of a %man%. Their foe, and the kingdom's enemy. %name% Kasan.
The %man% laughed. %His% mouth was a gaping gash on the parchment, an abyss that would swallow Isabella and all of West Kruna. She slammed the book shut and opened her eyes.
It was dark and quiet in the bedchamber. Still night. No blazing, burning light painted the world orange. She stared up at a ceiling that was lost to shadow, transformed into a black vault like the heavens beyond. Yet the oppressive heat still lingered. Warm sweat moistened her skin and matted her hair.
Queen Isabella's hand went to her abdomen, seeking the remembered coolness. But her flesh burned like fire.
The woman who stared at Ranlatta from the polished silver depths was a stranger. An upstart. An imposter. Possibly a spy or criminal. Why else was she dressed like that -- clad in martial finery to which she had no claim and no right? At any moment soldiers would likely pour through the canvas flap, batter her with truncheons, seize her, and march her off for execution. That would teach her to don a general's garb like a child dressing in her mother's gown.
Ranlatta kept a wary gaze locked on the miscreant for several minutes. No warriors burst into the tent to apprehend the reflected woman, however, so she was forced to admit that the bizarre, dreamlike conversation with King Crenus had really taken place. One more impossible yet indisputable happening to add to all the others. She shook her head. The general who swam in silver did the same.
"You can't hide in here forever," she said.
Her reflection looked dubious, and she half expected the doppelganger to plead for a few more minutes. Ranlatta took a deep breath, turned around, inhaled again, and stepped through the flap. She deflated with a sigh. The tent's main chamber was empty. Her destiny, such as it was, lay behind yet another layer of canvas. She approached it. Then her wandering gaze fell on the platter of grapes which rested neglected on the table. A surge of childish glee rushed into her brain, brightening her eyes and making her lips twitch in the shadow of a mischievous smile. Tharcandun's fine provisions were fit for a general. Little luxuries to satisfy his tastes and sense of self-importance. A mere captain who pilfered them could expect punishment to descend upon her head like a flock of savage harpies. But she wasn't a captain anymore...
Ranlatta plucked a fat purple fruit from the bunch. She held it up for several seconds, raised between thumb and forefingers, reveling in an absurd but wonderful sense of triumph, almost wishing Tharcandun was there so she could defy him to his face. Then she popped it into her mouth and bit down on its flesh. Sweet juices tickled her tongue. She squelched the grape with fierce chomps, like a young girl enjoying a treat with no semblance of manners or decorum. It was glorious. The sweetness lingered on her lips when she left the tent, and a laugh tumbled out before she could restrain it.
She swallowed her merriment, coughed, and willed herself not to cringe. King Crenus stood before her, a smile on his face. The monarch was still dressed in an assassin's uniform, save for its mask. Ranlatta came to the uncomfortable realization that she was decked out in more elaborate fashion than the ruler of West Kruna. The thought was both intoxicating and alarming.
"General." He raised his hand.
Ranlatta lifted her arm to match a salute. But Crenus' finger tapped the side of his mouth instead. She stared at him for a long moment, bewildered. Then she gave an inward groan. She mirrored the gesture and wiped a sticky trail of juice from the corner of her lips.
The king's eyes twinkled, making him almost boyish despite the weary lines sunk into his strong features. This time he did salute and she did the same. Behind him, the Purple Tigers stood to attention and repeated the gesture as one. Ranlatta's mind swam. It was even more surreal than staring into the mirror. She looked past them, beyond the smiling king and the assassins' unwavering eyes. Campfires burned further out in the night. Soldiers sat in their light and warmth, denizens of a distant world, bantering and gossiping. Had she really been among them hours... no, minutes... ago, rolling her eyes at terrible jokes and ridiculous rumors?
"Do they know?" she asked.
"No," Crenus said. "You should introduce them to their new general."
He moved aside and gestured, ushering Ranlatta into the strange new existence that was coalescing around her. She steeled herself and strode past him. Heads turned when she drew near, and babbling voices stalled or quickened. She kept her eyes straight ahead. Even a captain couldn't afford to halt, cast furtive gazes in each direction, and look as though the troops' attention perturbed her -- let alone a general. Ranlatta didn't break her stride till she came to the fire where the closest of her comrades waited.
Kimon saw her first. His finger was excavating a nostril, and he froze with it still stuck in his nose like a worm dangling from a bird's beak. Symric was beside the gawping human. The goblin squatted on his haunches, a whetstone clutched in a green, four-fingered hand, scraping his blade into perfect sharpness. He stopped and glanced at Kimon before following the pointing nose and widening gaze to Ranlatta. His hairless brow twitched upwards, then he nodded at her. She returned the gesture.
Carmath looked up from her side of the fire. The sergeant was drawing a comb through lengths of ginger hair, and winced when it bit into a knot.
"So they made you a general," she said.
Carmath worked the comb's teeth through the knot with the fingers of both hands, and continued with her grooming. Ranlatta sighed. After watching a Purple Tiger transform into the king, she supposed seeing a captain turn into a general wasn't quite so impressive.
"You're in charge now?" Kimon said.
"I..." Ranlatta didn't even know how to answer that. Was Tharcandun still...
"She is." Crenus appeared at her shoulder.
"Then what are your orders, general?" Symric asked.
Ranlatta turned to the king. But he merely looked at her, like the others. They were all staring. Waiting. A moment slid by in silence, a vast gulf of time in which countless fears spun through Ranlatta's brain. She met the goblin's gaze and answered.
"We have to destroy %name% Kasan."
The old woman watched from the darkness. Shadows shifted around her body like a lover's embrace, concealing her from any who might look. Her fingers clenched into fists when the boy fell. The scent of blood diffused through the night, a blooming crimson flower. Young, sweet, innocent. It mingled with the stink of cheap wine and drunken breath.
More punches. They hammered the boy's face, knocked his head against the soft earth. Red roses blossomed with each strike. The savage was going to beat him to death... She moved. Less than the blink of an eye was between her hands and the attacker's throat when she halted. %name% Kasan had risen, angry knuckles satisfied. The old woman watched %him% walk away, torn between old oaths and fresh rage.
The boy was moaning, weeping. Blood and tears glistened on his cheeks and chin. He was hurt, but he'd live.
She stared at %name%'s back. So this brute, this wretch, was heir to the Dragon-Rider's blood and name? The %man% she'd come to speak with, perhaps serve and follow? The thought sickened her.
"You should have let me kiss you," she whispered.
The universe made no reply except for the boy's sobs. She drifted back into the darkness, new resolve hardening in her mind. The letter in her pouch seemed to burn and blaze. Words she'd scorned, which had almost driven her into %name%'s ranks, throbbed in triumph. They'd been right. The scion of the Kasan family had no right to her allegiance. Warring oaths and loyalties had been decided by red fists and a boy's blood.
"You should've let me kiss you..."