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Earthward Road

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This review contains minor spoilers.


Earthward Road starts off with an untouched theme in the history of all Exile: how Micah, king of Exile, came to be Exiled in the first place. Like River and Leaf, another scenario by Akhronath, this one starts off with a touch of poetry. Much of the dialogue after that seemed to be on the verge of poetry, but merely came out very well-written (I say merely. Silly me).


This scenario starts off with a large amount of promise and stays good but gets no better, which is no crime whatsoever. It keeps up a steady pace of good dialogue, plot and general decency. One of the strong points/failings (dependent on point of view) in those of Akhronath’s scenarios I’ve played was combat difficulty — especially in Justice. I think, in Justice, combat difficulty was slightly overdone, and at one point involved tactics which only one or two people other than the designer could have come up with; but I digress. There are about three decently challenging fights in Earthward Road; the first one, the battle with the cave goblins; the second one, the battle with Onyx, and the third, the battle with Egnor. However, one combat challenge in Earthward Road was just too difficult — the main battle in the second level of the mines. I had to try this about four or five times before I achieved the desired result (my victory, obviously).


The main mental challenge, on reflection, was very good, although at the time I got generally annoyed and frustrated, because of a small but critical misunderstanding of the nature of the puzzle, causing me to e-mail the designer, get the answer, and then (about three days afterwards) realize what I had been doing wrong. Hopefully, others won’t make the mistake.


This scenario’s plot is possibly its strongest point. It suffered a failing in Onyx and Egnor, though. I never understood what their place was in the plot; at first I thought that Egnor WAS Count Wealdon, but then I discovered otherwise when I killed him and found Count Wealdon back in Suthol. That besides, however, it tells you an interesting tale culminating in Micah and Chevyn being Exiled. Put bluntly, much of the stuff in the end of the scenario could have been made much clearer while still keeping the player slightly confused.


Finally, the name didn’t exactly grab me; still, a good scenario, and well worth playing. I give it Best

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