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Plague Lords

After the Sundering in 1032 when the four Daemon Lords entered the world, Antharg, the Lord of Plague and weakest of the Four, fled to the fetid jungles and swamps of southeastern Etheria. Once there, he infected many creatures with cruel and terrible diseases until they warped and twisted into the inhabitants of what came to be known as the Realm of Plague.

From the local serpents and reptiles, Antharg created multi-headed beasts called Hydras. When his experiments were finished, and he had bred them with Dragons, he even had hydras that could breathe fire and ice. Not content with this though, he introduced a plague into the local human populace of Colis Tarn and they slowly turned into the cannibalistic creatures known today as Ghouls. Occasionally one of the Ghouls is taken by Antharg and taught the ways of magic - such a creature becomes a Plague Priest, and they are feared throughout all of Etheria.

In Warlords Battlecry III, the Plaguelords are an unusual race. They are of average strength, but rely mainly upon diseases to weaken their foes. Every pile of skulls that a Plaguelord builds increases the virulence of the diseases they inflict, so when playing against Antharg’s minions a wary player must not to let too many of these Plague Piles appear on the map.

One of the central buildings of any Plaguelord base is the Temple of Eyes. Here, the Plague Priests summon Antharg’s favorite pets - floating eyes. These creatures come in a number of different flavors. Gazers can strike opponents with lightning, Flamers shoot fire much like Dragon Breath, and Spores explode upon contact with an enemy spreading Antharg’s terrible diseases.

More powerful bases will be home to a number of Hydra Caves. It is in these hellish places that Antharg breeds Hydras by mutating serpents. Hydra Caves can be upgraded into Fire Caves and Ice Caves that produce different (and more powerful) types of Hydra.

Lord Antharg himself is a terrifying sight. Part daemon, part slug, he oozes around the map at surprising speed, striking down foes with his twin scimitars.

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Knights

Etheria is home to many orders of Knighthood, but the 5 most powerful orders rule the lands of Agaria. The Sirian, Bartonian, Elenian, Gildine and Theiran Knights may constantly be at war with each other, but the armies they lead into battle and the methods with which they wage war are all very similar, consisting of huge masses of armored knights who love nothing more than to crash into enemy lines.

Time and again, the Knights (particularly the Sirians) have turned back the tide of Lord Bane's Undead as they have swept down from the frozen north.

In Warlords Battlecry III, the Knights are a race of humans particularly reliant on their cavalry. They do not possess a lot of inherent magic, apart from their general, the Inquisitor, who is able to summon Dancing Swords and heal his troops.

The Knights have three different types of Cavalry: Knights, Knight Champions and Knight Lords. Each of these is progressively more expensive and progressively tougher than the last. Knight Lords, the ones in the gold armor, add +2 to the Knight's morale for each one that is on the field of battle. Fortunately for the evil sides, it is difficult to get more than a few of these awesome warriors onto the field at the same time.

Almost all of the Knights' upgrades affect their cavalry in one way or another - but many of the upgrades are very expensive. Once a player has purchased them all (a goal that usually takes a long time), his host of Knights will be almost unstoppable.

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Ssrathi

The Ssrathi are group of reptilian humanoid creatures from the southern jungles of Keshan. Keshan is a tropical land - warm and wet - where gold is almost as plentiful as water. They live in small tribes, each ruled by a Shaman and guarded by a protective snake-spirit called a Naga. Ssrathi are cold-blooded and so they worship Couatl the Sun God, who provides the warmth that they need to move around. The largest Ssrathi tribe lives in a huge citadel called Kalpaxotl, which translates to "Jewel of the Sun". At the center of this citadel rises a magnificent temple to Couatl. Lord Iriki, an ancient and powerful Ssrathi Shaman whom even the gods rightly fear, rules this temple.

For a non-human side, the Ssrathi are incredibly well-rounded.

They gain access to the Snakepriest very early (at Keep Level 2). No other sides, even the highly magical Elves, have access to their spellcasters so early. Snakepriests shoot fire from magical staves, and are able to cast Poison Cloud and Cauterize (a minor healing spell). This means that a large group of Snakepriests can be a real handful for other sides in the early game, because they are efficient at destroying buildings and also able to heal themselves.

As they progress, the Ssrathi gain access to Dinosaurs. Their Lizard Riders (snakemen on raptors) are the fastest troops in Etheria, while the huge cumbersome Triceratops and T.Rex might be slow and awkward, but they pack a major punch.

With such slow hard-hitting late game units, it might seem at first that the Ssrathi are very vulnerable to missile fire, however their builder, the Chameleon, is able to learn to dodge arrows and (in numbers) can act as a great screen for the more powerful troops.

If Ssrathi lack anything, it is access to siege weapons; they have none. However their general, the Naga, is quite powerful with a ranged magic attack and the ability to cast a shield spell on her nearby troops.

The Ssrathi Titan is Lord Iriki - a monstrous four-legged lizardman from a now ancient and extinct tribe - who has survived for hundreds of years as ruler of Kalpaxotl.

One final warning for any player attacking a Ssrathi base - beware Couatl's Wrath! If you attack a high-level Sun Temple, and the Ssrathi player sacrifices 750 Gold to his God, then rings of fire will shoot from the temple, laying waste to your armies. It is always best to take out the Sun Temples from a distance!

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