|Skaarj Tower - Shadow and Fire (Version 2): Released on October 9th, 2004 by "Drew"
For those of you that still enjoy playing the original Unreal from time to time, here is a two-map series called Skaarj Tower - Shadow and Fire, which contains the maps Skaarj Tower and Skaarj Castle v2. These maps are for Single Player or Cooperative play (all difficulty level settings are functional) and can be played on Unreal (using the 226f platform or newer) or Unreal Tournamet (with Old Skool Amp’d installed). These are big maps, with lots of work to do before the end will be presented and filled with secrets. If you are playing the maps on Unreal Tournament (UT), then you will need to copy three of the files from the Unreal Music directory (DigSh.umx, eversmoke.umx, and Warlord.umx) and paste them into your Unreal Tournament Music directory (Click 'Favorite Links' on this page to direct you to a download link).
--- StoryLine ---
A Tale of Greed
Many years ago, on a planet infested with skaarj, a warlord with a thirst for power
decided to take four full companies of warriors to invade the tarydium rich area of the
nearest planet neighboring Na Pali. His plan was simple. He would travel to the planet
with his army of skaarj and other slaves, and crush any that stood to oppose him. Then
he would establish a base and enslave the remaining natives, which consisted mostly of
peaceful nail, and use them as a resource to mine for the precious mineral tarydium. He
would then mine the tarydium until he was satisfied with his share of the riches, and then
he would leave with his army back to the planet from which he came to gloat about his
newly found wealth.
Everything went according to the warlord's plan. He devastated the many neighboring
nali communities and put them to work digging for tarydium. To encourage more
tarydium production and hamper any resistance, the warlord allowed a few of the nali to
build temples to their god in the caves they created as they mined for tarydium.
Years of hard labor and construction followed. The mining caves became to be an
enormous network of tunnels interconnected by huge voids of earth, which represented
areas especially rich in tarydium. The immensity of the building projects in the caves
soon came to dwarf any of the structures on the surface of the planet. The warlord came
to realize that he could no longer manage everything both above and below the surface of
the planet. He then decided to appoint two skaarj generals to go down into the caves and
oversee the entire subterranean project and rule it from Skaarj Tower.
Time passed, and the two generals both developed a strong feeling of betrayal by the
warlord that they alone must spend the rest of their time overseeing slaves in the dark,
deep corners of the planet. Then one day, in a remote area of Skaarj Tower, the two
generals happened to share their ideas about their resentment towards the warlord and
plotted, then and there, to kill the warlord for making them spend all their time in the
dreary caves and then split the bounty of his wealth from all the tarydium harvested by
the slaves as reparation for his wrong doing. They schemed that one general would
return to the surface with news of an enormous new find of tarydium. They planned that
the warlord, upon hearing the joyful news, would call for a celebration, and the general at
the surface would then poison the warlord's food during the celebration to kill him.
Then, upon hearing of the warlord's demise, the general on the surface would send word
to the depths of the caves to inform the other general so he could come up to the surface.
Then after they are both at the surface, they could both seize the bounty without any
opposition and take control over the tarydium mining operations and do as they wish.
The next day the two generals put their plan into action. Upon hearing the news, a
celebration was ordered by the warlord to commemorate the new find. The crafty general
at the surface put a potent mix into the Warlord's favorite dish and slithered away with
anticipation of the warlord's demise. Moments later, after eating his food, the warlord
began to shiver and shake and grasp at his throat for air. Helpless and dying, the general
suddenly stood up and thrust his dagger deep into the warlord's chest while screaming
aloud, "All power is mine ALONE"! The surface general, wasting no time, moved to the
impenetrable Skaarj Castle to rule and ordered all entrances to the caves to be sealed until
all life in them ceased.
As the other general slept in Skaarj Tower, I appeared to him in a dream, warning him of
his betrayal and entombment by the surface general. Unsure of what to make of this
dream, he sent an envoy up to the main cave entrance to investigate and to see if there
was word of the warlord's demise. The envoy quickly returned screaming of a massive
riot at the main entrance and of warriors at the surface trying to seal all pathways into the
caves. Realizing the dream was true; the general ordered all of his troopers to attack the
main entrance to stop it from being sealed. He soon found that his forces were hopelessly
out numbered by the surface troopers. The general was filled with rage and decided to
seek any means necessary to stop his betrayer, even if it meant violating his skaarj
principles. So, he promised freedom to any nali that would fight with them to survive.
The battle raged for hours and the death toll became innumerable on both sides.
Eventually, the main entrance was taken by the surface troopers and sealed. However,
because of the immensity of the caves, the surface troopers soon came to realize that it
would be impossible to seal all entrances to the caves in a short time period. What
followed was a bloody five-year war between Skaarj Tower and Skaarj Castle.
Eventually all the caves that connected the two territories were sealed and the war
stopped. The two generals that initiated all the bloodshed ruled their respective domains.
Both empires started to rebuild, and fighting between the two was limited to when the
opposing forces happened to stumble upon one another in a neutral area. The surface
skaarj always despised their cave brothers for turning to the nali for help that day,
because of their general belief that it is always better to die a warrior than it is to cower to
the help of a lesser being, such as the nail.
Many years passed, until one day along came a human mining ship that landed near these
two skaarj territories. The fifty-man crew of the ship had but one goal. That goal was to
retrieve as much tarydium as the ship could hold in as short of a time period as possible,
then return home. The crew wasted no time with their mission as they broke up into
small groups and began to bore deep into the planet in search of tarydium. Several
months passed and everything was going as planned until one group of miners exposed a
cave full of skaarj. The miners were immediately assaulted, but were able to inform the
rest of the crew what had happened through their intercoms and to abort the mining
mission. As the other groups listened in horror, they began to scramble back towards the
ship, but it was too late for most. Skaarj began attacking the mining vessel, which had no
choice but to leave or else be destroyed. The ship relayed to the remaining ground crew
that they would soon loose their intercom system, but to head north by any means
possible to the peaceful shores of the planet's vast oceans, where the ship would be back
in two weeks to pick up any remaining survivors fortunate enough to escape the hostile
skaarj territories. Most of the crew was quickly killed by skaarj as they chose to navigate
on the surface to the rescue point. However, those few groups that chose to tunnel deep
into the caves of Skaarj Tower were initially overlooked by the skaarj and were given a
better chance of survival towards reaching their rendezvous point.
Two days have passed, and the search for the remaining humans has begun. The nali
have all, but a few, been killed off. However, their communal spirit lives and has come
together into the form of one. That one is I. And I shall help the humans, as I once
helped a skaarj general to save the lives of thousands of nali, as long as they come my