Mission 3 sounds like an undead map, but the undeads are gone! In mission 3 and beyond, we will always face living creatures (easy heal!), mainly Orcs and Naga here. Xana, the better-looking Heroes5 Biara, joins Kiril and will be carried over to mission 4.
Resources is no longer abundant due to the endless construction projects going on - lots of towns to conquer, all structures unlocked except the Pit Lord (tier-7) upgrade. It may be worthwhile to assign a town-building specialist hero to get the 20% upgrade discount. Crystals will be in dire shortage as usual, but you can always trade for more. Chances are you will win this mission before you accumulate enough resources to fully upgrade all towns, so you only need to upgrade buildings in your primary hiring town.
Again it is Tear of Asha time! Four moon fragments can be found scattered on the map. As usual, by the time you get the tear, you would be powerful enough to win the mission already. But 3 free phoenixes could help a bit at the beginning of the next mission.
Dynasty Traits: As usual, free first generic hero is great (pick a Might hero for level-3 Realm abilities). There is usually a Hellhound Master who breeds +3 hellhound per week, or a Master Trainer who trains +1 elite creatures per week. I ended up hiring both of them and use Kiril's Mentor to give them enough experience to reach level 15. Hero movement +3 helps, too.
Level cap: 25
Difficulty Index: 3/6
Last updated: December 18, 2011
Kiril starts the mission with a very unique volcanic Town A with a very un-unique town name. Grab the free small stack of Pit Fiends by the town (there is an achievement for getting free tier-7 creatures to join you). Take a few days to collect the resources nearby, and go south.
You can quickly flag a weakly defended Orc Fort B. There is Orc's Town C just west of Fort B that you can conquer in a hurry. The highlight of this area is a Warpath Lodge, which gives you additional movement points after defeating an enemy. There are two Warpath Lodges in this mission (the second one is just east of the stairs at (4)), giving you a total of 5 bonus movement points for each victory.
There are various observation towers on the map that will give you a good look of the surrounding territories and possibly some early warnings of invasions. Let's spend a moment to look at the layout of the map.
Town A, Fort B, and Town C are your headquarters. I recommend that you build an Advanced Town Portal in Town C and make it your capital. There are enemies in three directions - west, east, and underground (south). The AI only attacks you from east and south. Getting the Advanced Portal in Town C enables you to defend home efficiently.
Let's look at west first. There is an Orc's Fort D not far from Town C, controlling two creature buildings (core and elite). The creatures blocking the border are actually more powerful than the garrison in Fort D. Further northwest is a powerful Orc hero designed for much later. Fortunately, this hero, and any other hero that stands behind are completely dormant - so we can ignore them all together. Fort D will be the farthest from enemy attacks (although they are actually the closest to enemies).
Let's look at east next. From the observation tower at home you already saw the exit of a one-way portal at (1'). The AI will send an endless stream of very weak heroes (like having "4 creatures" in total) to you. Looks like just another "spawn something right beside your home" trick from Blackhole, but this one is much more easily tackled.
The entrance of this one-way portal (1) is surprisingly close. You can easily push northeast and conquer Fort E and Town F, both are very weak, to put an end on the nuisance. Fort E and Town F are also isolated from the outside world. Take them as early as possible and make them your backyard. (There is something obviously wrong with the foundation of Town F.) The second piece of Moon Fragment can be found just south of Town F.
Finally, let's look at underground. Between Town C and Fort D you can see stairs (2-2'). You can get down here and take the Orc's Town G in the underworld. Now look at the name of Town G! Two is a bit too many. Just south of Town G lies the first piece of Moon Fragment (MF).
In my game, the defending hero of Town G has a bracelet artifact that allows him to cast Implosion. Since the damage of Implosion cannot be healed, I had to resort to Tear II's special ability "Seal of Power" to let the gated dogs replenish the loss. This could be the only spot in this mission that you would lose any unit at all.
East of Town G, you can collect a large number of resources and flag a crystal mine. There are two set of stairs leaving this underground area. The stairs on the northeast (3-3') will bring you back to the road leading to Fort E and Town F. The stairs on the south (4-4') will bring you to the south, where you can reach deep in the Orc's territories to proceed with your mission. The enemies will be progressively more difficult.
Once you own Fort D, Fort E, Town F, and Town G, it is time to go south. Emerge on (4) and continue east. You will be able to conquer Fort H, Town I, and Town J on the way. Between Fort I and Town J is another set of stairs (5-5') that will take you to a small area with two crystal mines (nice!) governed by Fort K.
By the time you are done with Town H to Fort K, you should be powerful enough to tackle the Orc hero in front of Town L. There are two 2-way portals beside Town L. The green portal on the right (6-6') leads you to a Sanctuary island governed by Fort M with a couple of buildings to flag, and more importantly the third moon fragment (MF) on the beach southwest of the portal.
The blue portal on the left of Town L (7-7') leads you to an isolated beach area, where you can collect the fourth and final Moon Fragment (MF) south of the portal. Having all four fragments on the same hero allows you to collect the Tear of Asha (Tear) on the very east of the map close to Town H.
In the same beach area there is a very well-built Sanctuary town, defended by the most powerful hero in this mission so far - but this should be still far from challenging. After grabbing the Sanctuary town but before converting it, you might be able to pick up a few useful artifacts from the Advanced Market.
Now with the Tear of Asha installed in your capital and so many towns and creature dwellings under your command, you can demolish the rest of the mission like a bulldozer. Go back to Town J and descend down the stairs at (8-8'). There is a linear passage that leads you to the exit stairs at (9-9'). Take the nearby Fort K and advance your quest. You can also finish another quest by opening one of the three chests (the top one) at (10). Don't open it with a weak secondary hero or that hero can be kissed goodbye! Take Fort P.
When you are done with everything such as stats boosts (s), gather all you have and march to Town Q to face the boss battle of this mission. It is not a difficult fight since you must have accumulated a huge army by now. After the battle, you can enter the cave at (11) to end the mission.