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Features → Walkthroughs  → Hammers of Fate → Ylaya's Quest → Dragons

by maltz

Mission 4 - Dragons

Map Size: Normal
Carry Over: Ylaya, Isabel
Level Cap: 26
Difficulty Index: 3/5

Primary Objectives:
  • Ylaya, Raelag and Isabel must survive
  • Keep the town from being seized by the enemy
  • Defeat the army of Thralsai
Secondary Objectives:
  • Ylaya must find the Dragons' hideout and enlist their support
Last Updated: March 3, 2007, Patch v2.1

This is a busy mission. There are waves after waves of enemy heroes, and the mission boss, which spawns at a given date, carries the largest army ever seen in HoMM5. You will be working against time to visit all the stat bonuses.

In order to prevail in the mission, you will also gather a huge army. If you follow the plot and find the Dragons (a secondary objective), you will be granted a LARGE stack of Black Dragons, which pretty much guarantees your victory.

Also, Ylaya is joined by two familiar heroes - clanlord Raelag and Queen Isabel. It seems that they have developed some... advanced relationship since the end of the original game. Raelag and Isabel joins as lv 25 heroes, with set stat points and skill choices. In order words, they are no longer the Raelag and Isabel you used to know.

If you built a powerful Isabel and Raelag in the original game, you may be extremely disappointed at the first sight. My Raelag lost 39 stat points, and Isabel lost 32 points. They also picked up a few completely redundant / useless skills, and missed one of the most useful skills for their class (happens to be Luck in both cases). Also, Raelag does not know Meteor Shower and Implosion, the two mostly used spells of a Warlock!

To compensate for your miserable loss, there are some little benefits of the new Raelag and Isabel. First, the new Raelag can actually cast a couple of spells that is outside his skill set (Frenzy, Resurrection and Summon Phoenix - he only has advanced Summoning Magic). Resurrection is especially useful, but since he does not have any skill point in Light Magic, the effect is rather limited.

Er... why did they wear full armor in their love nest?

Isabel's special ability also changed to a "Dragon's Blessing", replacing her 250G/day bonus. Her troops now receives an automatic Expert-level bless (always max damage) on the battlefield. But you probably won't use Isabel at all, since the Warlocks are just way better.

Although the mission objective does not specify, you are actually under a time limit. In my game, the mission boss Thralsai spawns on Day 3, Week 3, Month 2 (Day 44), and reaches the town on Day 1, Week 4, Month 2 (Day 50). This means that you have exactly 50 turns to prepare for the final battle, plus to send the two girls (Ylaya and Isabel) to visit as many stat boosts as possible. It is not very easy to visit all stat bonuses before Day 50, since they are scattered all over the place, and traveling on snow slows your heroes down.

Note: Raelag will not show up in the campaign finale, so you don't have to worry about him.

To spice up the 50 turns you have, enemy heroes from the Soulscar clan (Green Player) will attack you, six at a time, every 8-9 days, starting on Day 1 Week 2. Depending on your game, you will have to defeat 2 to 4 waves of them (it seems that the faster you push out, the sooner they stop coming). Their spawn spot is marked by the light green Gs.

These heroes are not powerful individually. Their spell book is very limited - most of the time they just cast Ice Bolt. Their army only consists of about one-week growth of creatures of Tier 1-6 (on lower difficulties the number and tier-level is even lower). These heroes spawns with stronger army later, though.

If these green heroes spot a nearby weak hero, they will attack. Otherwise they will rush straight to your town (A). If you lose the town, you lose the mission.

Don't hire from caraven when your hero is in town, or is about to Town Portal. They will get stuck at the gate and waste the turn.

Also, these green heroes will try to join army. The ones without army will retreat and disappear, and you will have to deal with a more powerful hero with double, even triple army size. If you fight them with Isabel, you will lose a lot of troops to their spells. On the other hand, Ylaya and Raelag can dispatch them easily with area-attack spells and some resurrection at the end. These hereoes are very juicy in experience as well.

Besides the Green player there is also a Brown AI, as a Fortress faction. Their hideout, the only other town (B) of this mission, must be accessed through the surface. The Brown AI is completely dormant, and even if you assault their town, you will be facing an army without hero. It is for your benefit to attack them. You not only gain 2000G per day from the Town Hall, but also harvest a complete set of Dwarven King artifact! In this mission you will have more troops to hire than you can afford, so gold is very much needed in this mission. You may as well take Town B as soon as possible.

There are a lot of creature buildings in this mission. Since they all increase the creature growth rate of your Dungeon town, your town will have some monstrous creature growth at the end. There is really no need to rush flagging all the creature buildings, since you won't have enough cash to hire them all anyways. Actually, as a hindsight I think it is better NOT to bother with the dragon building at all, because (1) You will pick up a large stack of them; (2) You will still use up your cash from buying and upgrading Teir 1-6 creatures. I have marked with light blue Ds the high-tier creature buildings (tier 4-7).

At the start of the mission, pick the Gold Bag artifact. After 50 days it nets you 12500 G, which is way better than the cash bonus (but it is still not a lot). Your starting location is just outside your headquarter, Town A. There are a lot of different ways to play this mission. In the following walkthrough I will just make an example, which focus on efficient stat-bonus visiting within the time limit.

=1= Make Raelag attack the gargoyle building, flag the Orepit, and pick up the artifact at (2). It boosts fire spell damage by 50%, which is very handy later. Give that artifact to Ylaya.

=2= Give Isabel's Haven units to Ylaya, and all Dungeon units from Raelag and Ylaya to Isabel. Ylaya can survive with that tiny Haven army, while Isabel cannot do well without good troops. Raelag will be left with almost nothing, but soon he will pick up a lot.

=3= Immediately send Raelag out to the surface through stairway I'. Your top priority is to capture the Gold Mine (yellow G) to the north, and the Dwarven town (Town B). The extra 3000G per day is a great help. Hire a low-level hero to clean up resources after Raelag (ideally a Dwarven hero, since the surface is covered with snow), and another to clean up after Ylaya and Isabel. There are a lot of resources on the ground, and it is not worth your main hero's time to collect them.

Neutral, smaller Dungeon stacks, usually offers to join Raelag. Don't miss the useful artifact Boots of the Open Road (no movement penalty) at (4). Just north of (4) you can loot some great Dwarven Treasure and pick up lots of resources on the ground. Also, make sure you touch the Red Keymaster Tent (red K) - it will save you quite a few days later. Flag the Sawmill and Ore Pit on Raelag's way down.

Note: You can make Raelag visit the map maker at (5). However, since the map is now revealed to you and I will go over everything you need to know, you may as well save that 4000G to hire more units.

=4= At the same time, send Ylaya directly north, to capture a good cluster of mines. Send Isabel east, to flag some creature buildings. Let Isabel collect the Garrison units (yes, you can swap them down to become yours). Don't challenge the black dragon. They will weaken the first wave of Green heroes quite a bit. Send Ylaya and Isabel to the left next, pass the garrison (swap units again) and flag creature buildings and visit both stat boosts.

=5= When the first wave of Green heroes arrive, massacre the left, and town portal Ylaya back to defend the town from the Green heroes who made it through the black dragons. (Hopefully you have visited all stat bonuses on the left.)

=6= Make Isabel visit the Arena directly north. March both Ylaya and Isabel to the east, and turn right (east) at the first branch to visit the Knoweldge + 1 bonus.

=7= At this time Raelag should have captured the Dwarven town (B). Pull Raelag back via the one-way portal (6) beside the Dwarven town, and run him back to defend from (6'). At the same time, send Ylaya and Isabel out to the surface.

Raelag will be your defender from now on. His power is more than enough to handle all of the subsequent Green heroes. Just give him Deep Hydras and Minotaurs. It is much easier than what Raelag has seen in The Conquest (C4M3), but you have a crappy build here so the challenge still exists. From now on I will omit Raelag and just talk about what to do with the girls.

Note: Pass the Boots of Open Road to Ylaya. You can sacrifice Isabel's chance of stat bonuses since she won't be used (Freyda is better) in the campaign finale anyways.

=8= On the surface, march Ylaya and Isabel all the way north. Just north of (4) is a stat boost. Enter the stairway (II), which is connected to (II'). Go north along the underground passage you emerge at (III). There is a stack of Fire Dragon right in the east. Defeat it, and you can access a two-way portal (7) that brings you to a small area (7') with two stat boosts.

=9= Return Ylaya and Isabel to the main road, and go east. You can unlock the Red Gate (red G), revealing a good shortcut. Keep going SE, and you will see a stairway (IV) guarded by Fire Dragons. There is a hidden trail in the forest to the south leading to a small grassland area (8), with a Sylana Ancient (level up tree) and a Library of Enlightenment (Spellpower and Knowledge +2). Great!

=10= If you go down the stairway (IV), you can pick up the LARGE stack of dragons (marked with red X). After the cutscene, the mission boss Thralsai instantly spawns at the NW corner of the map, if he has not already. You can take the one-way portal (9) just beside the Dragons back to your headquarter, or cast Town Portal.

=11= Before Thraslai reaches your town (he is usually distracted by various buildings), you have a few days to visit one more stat boost (that's why I left the mercenary camp unvisited in the first place). Buy out whatever you can afford, equip the best artifact you own, and you should be able to knock out Thralsai easily!

This Thralsai battle is a huge army clash. Thraslai's army varies with difficulty. From the mission script Thraslai will have the following number of troops ranging from easy to heroic:

  • 515-840 Assassins
  • 235-410 Blood Fury
  • 155-280 Minotaur Guards
  • 75-125 Grim Raider
  • 44-86 Deep Hydra
  • 58-88 Shadow Matriarch
This army will be bigger than yours - but note that Thraslai does not have any Black Dragon. Therefore, if you have completed the secondary objective, you can defeat him very easily. With some nasty Attack stat from Ylaya (thanks mission 1), there will be some huge damage flying across the battle field. Thralsai usually casts Empowered Armageddon, which only makes his end come sooner. In my game, it was over before Ylaya could cast her 3rd spell!


Sunlover at 2015-07-02 01:08 wrote:
Quote from Kardszy, 3+ years ago: "I advise visiting it because it gives 4 spell power and 4 knowledge to the 1st hero (the one you pay with) [the Mapmaker hut, NW sector]".

Sadly I did not measure Raelag's stats before I fought the enemies in front of the Mapmaker, but I *did* measure both before and after I paid the 4000 gold: the stats stayed exactly the same.

So either this got fixed in a patch, or the stats are granted defeating the guards in front of the Mapmaker hut, or Kardszy is mistaken. I will try and verify when I try and run through again in order to get everyone to max stats (Thralsai was no fool with the army Ylaya had guarding the castle, he ran after Raelag and his token army and caught him nearby -- good thing I saved at the end of the turn before ^_^ ]
TheMeInTeam at 2015-04-06 04:11 wrote:
I lost track of the time on this one, and did not get the last 2 stat buildings or stack of black dragons on heroic. I built the town up to max though and had a ton of units (in retrospect it's as Maltz says, black drags not worth to build the dwelling here).

So I had to defend that attack on heroic without the black dragons. I was worried when I lost the auto combat, but when the battle started and I realized the opponent had 90 mana only and no ammo cart I laughed and splattered his Catapult. None of those gobs of hydras, blood furies, or lizards could do anything at all, and their shooters ran out of shots soon as well. I had around 10 hydras, 130 minotaurs, and tons of scouts/shadow matriarchs left when their last unit died to the hail of tower, ballista, and hero arrows (after I ran out of mana). If you trash the catapult in the final battle it becomes pretty trivial as long as you have bodies.
hprwhg12 at 2014-04-02 14:30 wrote:
2.1 Heroic

I can not believe how easy this was. I only fought battles that contained a mine, troop building, decent artifact or stat bonus and still made level cap. I easily got every stat bonus for Ylaya and Isabel.

The big bonus you get in first mission for secondary quest helped me the most I believe. I ended mission 1 with 29 attack. I started this mission with 42 attack. Nothing was a challenge, not even big boss guy.

I find it funny that Isabel (being the queen of the Griffin Empire) is used for nothing more than a mule really for this and next mission. She is queen of the Mule Empire.
Wheeler Dealer at 2013-12-06 14:39 wrote:
2.1 Hard
Most disappointing! Thraslai gave most of his troops to Kythra and then he wouldn't attack my heroes. Kythra spent the rest of the game pacing back and forth in the NW corner.

The upside was that I was able to take another week to pick up the rest of the stat bonuses. I sent Ylaya to chase down Kythra. That got 60,000 exp. so I never used the Sylvana Ancient.

ShadowLiberal at 2011-11-24 04:15 wrote:
I didn't get any stat boost for visiting/paying the map maker. Are you using some mod that may have added a stat boost?

Also, like others said, if you don't kill all the green heroes then the next attack waves don't spawn, which makes this mission easier. After around a game week the remaining heroes just stopped moving, even when my heroes ended their turns 2 spaces away from them!

Edit: When Thralsai appeared he took one of my buildings, picked up a few stat boosts, than stopped moving a few days from my town. That gave me enough time to pick up the last stat boosts (even the ones right next to Thralsai) on Isabel.
Edited on Thu, Nov 24 2011, 09:28 by ShadowLiberal

maltz at 2011-11-14 21:08 wrote:
I have the urge to think of an excuse such as "it must come from a new patch", since being as anal as I am on stats boosts, I normally don't miss out on any opportunity. But maybe I simply forgot about that one. Thanks for the input!
Kardszy at 2011-11-14 17:36 wrote:
Quote:"You can make Raelag visit the map maker at (5). However, since the map is now revealed to you and I will go over everything you need to know, you may as well save that 4000G to hire more units"

I advise visiting it because it gives 4 spell power and 4 knowledge to the 1st hero (the one you pay with)
Edited on Mon, Nov 14 2011, 12:38 by Kardszy

cjlee at 2010-06-20 16:38 wrote:
This map is actually quite easy on hard. If you spend all your money on hires, you can beat Thralsai on quickcombat without using the dragons or losing more than 1/3 your army.

I had picked up lots of resources (which I converted to gold) and hired as much as I could. I got the Fortress town after the first month, so I didn't get much gold from them. Nonetheless my army got so big that Thralsai refused to fight me and ran past to the surface instead!

I had to chase him down. (Am guessing he is programmed to go after any town you own.) Lost maybe 1/4 of my army fighting him. Most casualties came from his armageddon spells, not his troops (which I demolished easily thanks to Unicorn's Bow).

None of the battles here were even remotely challenging. The challenge for this map lies in getting both Isabel and Ylaya to all the level ups. I had expert logistics on both of them and got town portal around week 4. I was playing without Maltz's walkthrough and missed 2 stats for Ylaya and maybe 8 for Isabel.
Edited on Sun, Jun 20 2010, 12:39 by cjlee

Shimdra at 2010-06-03 18:12 wrote:
Aaaaand... refreshing the page reposts.
Edited on Thu, Jun 03 2010, 14:13 by Shimdra

Shimdra at 2010-06-03 18:12 wrote:
Normal - 2.1

After taking the dragon stack Thralsai spawned right away. He decided to head north to visit the northwest gold mine and then proceeded to... wait at the intersection. Even after moving all heroes away from the town and trying to coax him out, Thralsai simply stayed in the Northwest corner, maybe once in a while visiting the nearby tomb.

It wasn't any effort to go get him, really. Though now that I read the walkthrough I wish I had taken the opportunity to explore the map and find that Sylanna's Ancient.
Dstr at 2010-03-20 20:21 wrote:
have just completed the mission but i didn't have time to join the black dragons.... i arrived with Ylaya at the red gate... i didn't know Thralsai would come at the end of month 2...
I lost two stat bonuses and I had a very tough fight... I had to TP Ylaya and give all troops to Raelag who won the battle using Frenzy on assassins, hidra, minotaurs.
i tried then also with Ylaya (and I got 2 exp. levels, which was better!), and I won the battle using the Unicorn bow... I had about 250 assassins and 25 shadow matriarch ... who where killing about 100 assassins per turn.
also of a great help was ballista and empowered spells or phantoms on assassins and minotaurs (I had about 200 minotaurs :D:D)
danny420 at 2010-01-25 03:16 wrote:
when i played this mission the boss was really rediclusley weak i mean he had maybe 20 or 30 creatures with him420 and those were assasins and blood furies and 1 hydr***
Edited on Sun, Jan 24 2010, 22:19 by danny420

Grail Quest at 2009-08-03 18:02 wrote:
It's worthwhile flagging mines and parking a hero near any of the trading posts. On week 5, day 7, Isabel ferried from the town my final hires: 150 Assassins, 155 Blood Furies, 60 Hydras, 48 Shadow Witches, 27 Black Dragons.
I couldn't find the Dragon Wing Tabard, so I swapped out for the Dwarf Artifacts plus others I invested in -- Cloak of Death's Shadow, being one of them. Even after pricey artifact buys, there's a lot of money on this map to buy damage-soaks.

Grail Quest at 2009-08-03 17:07 wrote:
On normal, both Raelag and Isabel start at level 25 and can only gain one level, so use Isabel as a mule and have Ylaya do all the fighting. Isabel can level-cap at the Sylanna's ancient.
I took the Arena area to flag the dragon dwelling then headed up, and met the dragons on week 5, day 4. Thralsai spawned immediately, so I had no chance to grab the other underground stat bonuses. There's a possibility of grabbing all bonuses if you rush Ylaya and if Isabel had Town Portal, but she didn't and I didn't have a scholar who could transfer it.
One possibility is to take the Arena and in the first few days get Town Portal in the town, visit it, then go for the stat bonuses then go topside.

Grail Quest at 2009-08-03 16:55 wrote:
Of incredible use at the start of this mission is Scholar, even if you get it on a hired hero. You can update everyone with spells, especially Town Portal.

On Normal, the enemy heroes ignore everyone and everything and go straight first for their rendezvous and army-joining point, then for the town. If they don't think they can pass a garrison or the dragon stack on the right, they will just sit there, presumably until the next spawn time when they can get reinforcements.
You can therefore camp near the rendezvous and hit all three before turning your attention to the other side.
stachnie at 2008-04-30 11:06 wrote:
I wasted too much time with Ylaya flagging mines etc. so I missed a few stat boosts (7' and 8) and I managed to get the dragons and TP to the town just before Thraslai attacked it but I think the battle was winnable (playing on Hard) even without the dragons - Ylaya's attack plus Mass Haste, Mass Righteous Might, Mass Endurance etc. were awesome (in my case he could cast only TWO Armageddons). I am not sure but Thraslai's army seemed to grow with time.
Naki at 2008-01-07 16:05 wrote:
Hmm, when I touched the 163 Black Dragons (who joined me), the mission ended. No boss (Thralasai) fight, nothing. Is that normal?

NOTE: I used Isabel to get to the Black dragons, not Ylaya.
yeppados at 2007-11-15 20:00 wrote:
Usually the green heroes give the troops to a stronger one that attack you.
If you manage to kill this one from the town AND let alive the 2 green with few troops....the green wont respawn and you will save troops and have more time to explore/flag. Even on hard and with some lucky neutral join, Thraslai come didn't attack my full build and enforded town when he had the chance... He only tried to avoid the hero outside to pass the dragon portal with the joined dragons. On normal Thraslai run away and with some trick i got all heroes visiting each stat bonus and the second town.

Orfinn at 2007-07-10 14:16 wrote:
Great. Well now its just to get it done :p
lolz at 2007-04-10 17:49 wrote:
At 7 i found a Unicorn bow....only me that found one??
shep61 at 2007-03-05 23:39 wrote:
Ah, got it. Thanks.

maltz at 2007-03-05 21:12 wrote:
Yep. Just north of the stairway (I, surface) you can pick up a stack of minotaurs.
shep61 at 2007-03-05 19:29 wrote:
Maltz, awesome job again. Very impressive work doing all of these in a very short time. I have one nit-picky question on this one. You tell us to give all of Raelag's troops to Isabel and then tell us to send him above ground immediately........with no troops?

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