ISOLATION The people of Atlantis covet isolation above all things. In the beginning, our solitude was out of necessity. It was an unavoidable element of our desire to experiment, create and grow without distraction. Or so we foolishly believed. We cut ourselves off from the mainlands, from their greed and their wars, to build a city like no other. Atlantis was a refuge of enlightenment in an age of ignorance and strife. Its very existence a secret, it served as a silent steward of art and knowledge. But in our seclusion, we have grown arrogant, indifferent to the world around us. A world now crying out for our aid, even though they do not know we exist. In the summer, the earth seared and lakes boiled on the continent to the east. Great chasms formed, revealing the unfathomable abyss below. The armies of Chaos spilled forth from these massive rifts, laying waste to everything in their path. The first kingdom fell within days and many more soon after. The monsters turned entire cities into ashen rubble, erecting mighty citadels in their place. Each fortress became a staging area for further bloody conquests. No prisoners were taken and no village or farm was small enough to be spared. At the queen's behest, the Grand Council convened to discuss this new threat. Was it finally time for Atlantis to reveal itself to the world? The decision came to a simple vote, with many parties voicing their opinions in predictable fashion. The Guild of the Hand, craftsmen and merchants, were emphatically for the move, a position they had championed for centuries. The Royal Guard, stout defenders of queen and country, warned of the dangers of ending the wards that shrouded our island from view. Some believed we could win the war in a day, others feared we would be dead within a week. In the end, the naysayers were victorious. They argued the mainlands were not our responsibility. Chaos could not find us here. I believe neither to be true. So here I stand, atop the highest tower on the island, ready to push my people to action. With colossal hubris I will either save this world or be responsible for the death of every man, woman and child in my kingdom. Perhaps both. If I do nothing, however, the mainlands will burn until nothing is left but sulfur and bone. What's more, even if we are not discovered, Atlantis will no longer be the shining beacon I know it to be. The beacon it must be. So I whisper under my breath and flick my wrists to light a torch. Not a simple stick crowned with flame, but a magical column of pure radiant energy, piercing the sky like a giant spear. Its glow shines on the waves of the Atlantic, bathing every shore of every continent in bluish-white light. To the people of Earth, I pray this spark in the darkness provides whatever small hope it can. To the forces of Chaos, I hope it is a blinding eyesore impossible to ignore. The guards finally break through the doors. I can see the queen's disappointment in me as she walks behind them. That look pains me more than the thought of whatever form of execution surely awaits. "What have you done, Illak," she asks, but I ignore her and answer a different question. For it no longer matters what I have done or what the council recommends or even what the queen desires. Only one thing matters now. "They will be coming."
League of Ancient Defenders (LOAD) is a skirmish game depicting the invasion of the island kingdom of Atlantis by the relentless armies of Chaos. Each player will field a host of frontline soldiers affectionately referred to as "creeps" as well as an assortment of Heroes whose allegiances to the cause may range from unwavering to recently purchased. Players will need to utili.z:e every resource at their disposal to achieve victory as the forces of Chaos push ever closer to the capital and the champions of Atlantis do all they can to drive them back into the ocean.