SPOILERS ! -- the Story of Dark Messiah

The role-playing games (I-X) that started it all and the various spin-offs (including Dark Messiah).

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SPOILERS ! -- the Story of Dark Messiah

Postby Marzhin » Oct 30 2006, 18:01

theLuckyDragon wrote:
Marzhin wrote:
ThunderTitan wrote:So, is or isn't Xana Biara?! :D
I chose the path of "good" in the last part of the game, so I don't know. Maybe you have an answer if you choose the path of evil...


Could you please fill us in on the story? (By "us" I mean all those people whose gaming experience doesn't include DM anywhere in the forseeable future.) Maybe a thread with SPOILER written all over it would do the trick. Or a PM?


So, for those who don't intend, or can't, play Dark Messiah, and want to know what happens in the game, here is a brief summary of the story. Please note I chose the path of good, so the ending I got isn't necessarily the one that will be considered "canon" in future M&M games.

-----------------------------------------




THERE ARE MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW !








YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !









LAST WARNING, REALLY.






Ok, let's go...

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As you know from Ashan's timeline, the Seventh Dragon, Sar-Elam, gave his life to create a prison-plane to lock the demons in. There was a single flaw : when there is a moon eclipse, the prison weakens allowing the demons to enter the world. But a prophecy says a Dark Messiah, of both human and demon blood, will raise and break the seal in a thousand years...

Dark Messiah takes place 20 years after the end of Heroes 5. Our hero, Sareth, has been raised by a powerful wizard named Phenrig. He is send (with a female spirit called Xana "linked" to him) to the free city of Stonehelm with an artifact called the Shantiri Crystal to give it to the ruler of the city, an old wizard named Menelag. It turns out Stonehelm is under siege by a necromancer army led by Arantir (who apparently took the control of the Necromancers after the death of Markal in Heroes V. At one place you can spy on two necromancers chatting. One says "They thought we've all been destroyed twenty years ago ! Fortunately Arantir was there..." or something like that).

Sareth befriends Menelag's niece, Leanna, and learns more about Menelag's (and Phenrig's) goals. With the help of the Shantiri Crystal, Menelag hopes to be able to retrieve a powerful object : the Skull of Shadows. It is, in fact, the skull of the Seventh Dragon who sealed the demons in their fiery dimension ten centuries ago.

During the night, the Necromancers sneak inside the city, murder Menelag while he tries to protect his niece, and flee with the Crystal. Sareth gives pursuit and discovers Arantir has an hideout in the city sewers (makes you wonder what was the whole point of siege...) He manages to steal back the Crystal and flee with leanna on a boat, to the island where lies the Spider Temple where the skull supposedly is.

Problem is, the Spider Temple is guarded by tribes of Orcs who sweared to prevent any demons (or any human, actually) to enter it. After some adventures, Sareth (wondering why all the Orcs are saying he is "tainted by the demons") brings the Crystal to the chamber while Leanna performs the ritual which will open the crypt where the skull is hidden.

But when Sareth touches the Skull of Sar-Elam, he has a vision of his father and Xana under her true, succubus form. His father is none other than the Semon Sovereign, Kha-Beleth himself, and Queen Isabel, making Sareth... the Dark Messiah ! But Sareth has little time to think about his destiny as Arantir arrives, takes the Skull and kills our hero... almost.

Sareth returns to consciousness to discover Xana actually used her powers to save his life, making his demon heritage apparent. While Leanna was apparently killed by Arantir, Sareth returns to Stonehelm and sneaks into the Necromancers' hideout in the sewers. Arantir has opened a portal to Heresh. Sareth goes through the portal to the necromancers' headquarters...

There he discovers that Leanna is actually alive (but about to be sacrificied to an avatar of the Spider Goddess). You are free to leave her, or save her, as you wish. Sareth also discovers what Arantir's plans actually are. The Necromancer is about to use the power of the Skull to cast a massive spell in Stonehelm to kill all of its inhabitants, using their souls to craft a new, flawless prison for the demons. He is actually fighting for Good... but in an evil manner.

Sareth travels back to Stonehelm and discovers there is an ancient necropolis under the foundations of the city. This is where Arantir plans to cast his spell. Sareth gives pursuit in a city in flames, where undead troops are everywhere. On the road, he finds the Sanctuary of Ylath (wasn't it "Sylath", the dragon of air... ?) where he can purge his soul from the demonic influence by bathing in the sacred waters, banishing (or destroying ?) Xana in the process (if it was so easy, why Zehir and friends didn't just take Isabel there at the end of Heroes V ?). After being purged, an ethereal voice calling itself "an old enemy of your father" tells Sareth "You have renounced to the Dark Side... You are worthy blah blah blah".

In the Necropolis, Sareth finally finds Arantir and the two of them (well, and a Bone Dragon) fight. When Arantir is defeated, he says something like "Me dead, nobody can prevent you from destroying the world !". Then Sareth picks the Skull of Shadows and...

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In my ending, Sareth (and Leanna) used the Skull to recreate the prison of the demons, locking Kha-beleth and his ilk away from Ashan. Before disappearing from this world, the Sovereign says "You're as weak as your damned mother. Curse you, and Isabel ! But don't forget... I am old, and patient... One day, I will have my revenge muhuhahahaHAHAHAHA"

That's all folks.

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Postby theLuckyDragon » Oct 30 2006, 18:09

Very interesting. Thank you! :-D
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Postby DaemianLucifer » Oct 30 2006, 18:11

Will read this one once Ive finished the game my way :devious:

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Postby innokenti » Oct 30 2006, 20:01

On the whole cleansing ritual in shrine of Ylath. I suspect that when Leanna suggested that Sareth can cleanse himself of the demonic taint she was ingnorant of the fact that Sareth is the Demon Messiah. When he actually gets to the shrine all that happens is Xana is removed from the plane (presumably returning to the demonic plane). Sareth probably remains the Demon Messiah BUT he's comes under the guardianship and protection of the Seventh Dragon (Sar-Elam) for a reasonably awesome feat of rejecting the dark side.

For Isabel I doubt a simple cleansing swim would have done much (as far as I understand she isn't interested in the removal of the taint or something like that).


More regarding the story. From the credits it appears that Ubi were the scriptwriters for the story here and Arkane only worked on the scripting for actual specific game events rather than 'WHAT HAPPENS'. Which underlines the fact that Ubi are either clever or stupid or both. Clever - keeping one group of people/writers as a creative control over the universe to give the different games within it one style. Stupid - they're really pretty awful at the stories to be honest, if both Nival and Arkane were given more of a free hand in making up the new M&M universe I suspect they would have had something many times better (though with the potential of many small inconsistencies). You only have to look at Nival's and Arkane's previous work.

Granted, the DM story isn't actually that dire but it is pretty simple and it could have been nice to get more out of it (I find myself remembering the Thief games at this point) for a more complete game experience.

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Postby Meandor » Oct 30 2006, 20:16

I hope that your path won`t be a canon because it makes little sense in a big picture.
If they created flawless prison then by all logic demons should be gone forever, no? Then what will happen in next m&m game? Necromancers crushed, demons banished. Who`ll be bad guys?
...

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Postby theLuckyDragon » Oct 30 2006, 20:20

New elves, of course. :devious:
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Postby innokenti » Oct 30 2006, 20:21

I did the completely good ending too and I got the impression that what Sareth did was merely reseal the demonic prison rather than premanently close it off like Arantir was planning to do.

But maybe I'm wrong.

I imagine that cannon will combine all the endings in a subtle and ambiguous sense. That's if Ubi are any good of course.

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Postby theLuckyDragon » Oct 30 2006, 20:23

From an external point of view, it makes more sense to just reseal it. That way in the sequels the demons will just find some ritual/artefact that can weaken the seal.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Oct 30 2006, 20:26

innokenti wrote:I imagine that cannon will combine all the endings in a subtle and ambiguous sense. That's if Ubi are any good of course.


Or they could just blow up Stonehelm... :devil:
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Postby Meandor » Oct 30 2006, 20:52

theLuckyDragon wrote:From an external point of view, it makes more sense to just reseal it. That way in the sequels the demons will just find some ritual/artefact that can weaken the seal.


Then Sareth has serious mental problems. Couldn`t he wait 5 minutes and kill necromancer when he had finished flawless prison?

But now when i think about it, it looks possible, ubisoft has shown in H5 that they prefer brainless good guys.
...

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Postby innokenti » Oct 30 2006, 20:57

If Arantir had completed the ritual it would have destroyed all of Stonehelm completely and utterly using the people's souls for the binding.

Hardly a thing Good Sareth would accept.

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Postby Sikon » Nov 4 2006, 19:55

Isabel, as I see it, was screwed permanently due to Biara interrupting the ritual. Or something...

Anyway, does it specify what happened to Isabel? Or any other H5 characters?

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Postby innokenti » Nov 6 2006, 21:21

Why does the CH icon that goes at the top of the web-page remind me of the Skull of Shadows?

I think CH know something... ¬_¬

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Postby Mytical » Nov 7 2006, 6:23

Sikon wrote:Isabel, as I see it, was screwed permanently due to Biara interrupting the ritual. Or something...

Anyway, does it specify what happened to Isabel? Or any other H5 characters?


To be honest, more then likely the 'ritual' was not the original but a replacement made by the the demon and the succubus. So what they did was summon those two instead of actually cleansing Isabel at all. Before you say "But the wizard probably could have seen the difference." Not neccessarily. After all demons are good at deception. To quote one of my favorite sayings. "The greatest trick the devil has ever played is convincing people he does not exist." As for DM I won't be playing it, but I can see a sequal to this. After all you have the skull remains of a 'dragon god' and necromantic magic (even if the necromancer was destroyed whatever magic he did manage could have tainted the skull)..imagine an undead dragon god...now there is a scary thought.
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Postby Marzhin » Nov 7 2006, 10:01

Mytical wrote:
Sikon wrote:Isabel, as I see it, was screwed permanently due to Biara interrupting the ritual. Or something...

Anyway, does it specify what happened to Isabel? Or any other H5 characters?


To be honest, more then likely the 'ritual' was not the original but a replacement made by the the demon and the succubus. So what they did was summon those two instead of actually cleansing Isabel at all. Before you say "But the wizard probably could have seen the difference." Not neccessarily. After all demons are good at deception. To quote one of my favorite sayings. "The greatest trick the devil has ever played is convincing people he does not exist." As for DM I won't be playing it, but I can see a sequal to this. After all you have the skull remains of a 'dragon god' and necromantic magic (even if the necromancer was destroyed whatever magic he did manage could have tainted the skull)..imagine an undead dragon god...now there is a scary thought.


First of all... Wasn't the Seventh Dragon supposed to NOT be a Dragon ?

Sar-Elam the first wizard reaches the conscience of the Dragon of Order who teaches him on the nature of matter and spirit and shows him the higher path of power. Enlightened by his new understanding, Sar-Elam becomes the Seventh Dragon.


You know, that's funny, I was thinking maybe Kha-beleth could actually be Sar-Elam himself. When he used his powers to seal the demons, his soul could have been trapped in Sheog and become corrupted or something. Actually, in the "timeline" on the official portal, he is called Mal-Beleth... (did they change it because it was a bit too spoling considering the Agrael/Raelag trick ? I mean... Mal = Elam... :D )

But that's probably just a crazy theory. :devil:

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Postby Mytical » Nov 7 2006, 10:08

Yeah the 7th dragon was a mortal man who became so powerful to be considered one of the dragons...my bad. Still if he was that powerful and corrupted by necromantic energy..could be very bad especially if he had also been corrupted by infernal energy earlier..making for a very nasty enemy.
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Postby Marzhin » Nov 7 2006, 10:30

Mytical wrote:Yeah the 7th dragon was a mortal man who became so powerful to be considered one of the dragons...my bad. Still if he was that powerful and corrupted by necromantic energy..could be very bad especially if he had also been corrupted by infernal energy earlier..making for a very nasty enemy.


Actually I wasn't saying for you, more for Dark Messiah in which Sar-Elam's skull is a dragon skull. Weird.

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Postby theLuckyDragon » Nov 7 2006, 11:52

Jeesh, I know the new story is supposed to be darker and stuff, but isn't there anyone in Ashan who doesn't have a terrible secret hidden in their past? :disagree: ;|
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Postby innokenti » Nov 7 2006, 12:27

I think the Kha-Beleth/Sar-Elam theory is extremely unlikely because of what goes on in DM.

Xana clearly says that the Seventh Dragon is an enemy of your father (i.e. the Kha-Beleth) and further it appears that Sar-Elam talks to you after you cleanse yourself.

So unlikely.

As regards the skull. I don't think it would have taken Sar-Elam that much trouble to make his own skull dragon-shaped if he's damn well going to be a god. It's like a party-trick or something.

Makes for a more dramatic heritage I suppose.


As for the Necromantic energy, it's unlikely it could corrupt him since as I understand it several things prevent that happening. First, necromantic energy isn't evil per-se, in fact, it's more or less the same stuff as the wizards used but turned to different purposes. After all, the Necromancers more or less serve Sar-Elam and Asha. In their own, lovely way. Secondly, it seems that the skull, though containing some of Sar-Elam's power, is not actually linked to him any longer.

To be able to corrupt a god you'd have to have some equal or greater power influencing him.


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