This article contains the storyline for the Path of War campaign in Stronghold 2.
'''It contains spoilers and is definitely not recommended to read unless you have already completed the campaign or you are just curious about the story.'''
In medieval Britain, the King of England has mysteriously vanished, leaving the country leaderless. The influential warlords start their fights for the throne, turning everything into chaos. A noble knight of the King, Sir William and his loyal page, Matthew Steele start their own quest to find the King and restore the balance of England.
Search for the King Steele and William infiltrates a territory belonging to [Lord Barclay]], one of the strongest lords in the country. William does not find the King, but Barclay's soldiers surprise him and start chasing him. He gets to a bridge and arrives safely to a peninsula, as one of Barclay's tower mangonels manage to hit the bridge he was crossing just between him and the pursuers. Barclay gets so angry that he kills his engineer and he tries to cut the intruders' way off with a small guard. William and Steele fights through the guards and leave the island by boat.
Barclay cannot stop the two riders but he is barely able to identify one of them. He summons his ally Pascal Deveraux to his side, who advises to hire Olaf Grimtooth, the last Viking Warlord to dispose of the two. Pascal is also able to reveal that his brother was the one who was Barclay referring to.
In the meantime, William settles down and hands command over a wooden fort to Steele near a river, while he rides to Flanders to hire mercenaries for their cause. Steele is contacted by the leader of a nearby monastery, Friar Jacob, who requests the help of him to do small works for him. Jacob then leads an expedition to recover a Holy Relic.
While William is abroad, he sends a message of seeing Olaf Grimtooth approaching the wooden fort. He requests a load of cloth to fund Flandrian archers but despite the delivery, he has no sign of his army. Olaf arrives and scouts the nearby area. He sees little resistance on Steele's humble fort and therefore he recklessly sends a small group of berserkers, but they are easily defeated. Eventually, William sends another letter to rendezvous Steele at a new location.
Steele meets William near a hostile castle. William reveals that he needs to rescue a likely ally, Edwin Blackfly, who is held captive in the castle. Edwin managed to get out a message, rewarding money, units and land for his rescue. William also reveals that the castle belongs to his former wife Lady Seren, who has switched sides and allied with Barclay.
The two siege the castle and get Edwin out alive. Edwin knights Steele for his efforts and accuses Seren of being a witch, hurrying everybody to leave the territory. Seren arrives late to witness Edwin's escape.
The Bull in the BorderlandsEdit
An old fighter, Sir Grey requests the help of Steele to deal with his long-time adversary, Angus McLoud in his lands. Grey is also surrounded by the Hawk's men, unable to break out of his castle. Sir William's scouts also discover Friar Jacob's group trapped in a small peninsula by wolves. Steele is able to rescue both Grey and Jacob's men, while he also clears out a nearby outlaw camp harassing Grey's estates.
In the meantime, Steele gets a letter from the King. He tells William and Edwin about his new promotion, but hides his warning about William likely to be an usurper. Edwin is happy about the news, but suddenly decides to travel abroad with William to show 'something important'.
It is revealed however that it was not William who stole the crown. The King held a great feast to celebrate his reign and he welcomed his guests at the table. Suddenly he collapsed as he was taking his welcome drink, almost escaping death. The King was forced to bed and he charged William to lead the country. However, his brother, Pascal convinced him to go after Olaf, who was causing a turmoil. Pascal become the leader of the Royal Army and immediately sold off all weaponry from the Royal Armory, leaving the country defenseless. One of the King's men realized that Pascal is attempting a coup and warned the King about his danger. The King was stunned to hear this, nevertheless he agreed and escaped with his loyal soldier.
Seeing Steele's activities, the Bull launches a big attack. Soon enough, Olaf also arrives with a small force to attack from another direction. The attack is deflected and Steele counter-attacks. Seeing his inevitable defeat, the Bull leaves the territory. Steele is victorious but a desperate Friar Jacob arrives with the news that Olaf has raided and ransacked his monastery, building a war camp in the plains. Steele and Grey immediately travels there.
While the two fighting the Bull, Edwin shows his true identity and hands William over to Olaf. Olaf pays him good money, however Edwin returns half of it back if he manages to finish Steele off.
Return to the MonasteryEdit
Steele gets to Olaf's fort and tries to make him release Sir William. After Olaf declines, Steele takes his forces and sieges his fortress. Olaf is forced to retreat, but he tries to hang William as a last effort. Steele witnesses this and throws his battle axe at William's rope, saving him. Olaf escapes but Steele stays with William and his friends to help him recover.
Friar Jacob and Grey start rebuilding the monastery while Steele is busy building up a fortification to beat back the armies of an advancing Edwin. After his main army is annihilated, Edwin is nervous about his defeat and taunts Steele, revealing his new rank of Royal Champion, which was owned by Sir William. Edwin then returns to his lands.
Olaf Grimtooth, Your Time Has ComeEdit
Sir William has recovered and he immediately goes after Edwin to his lands. News arrive that Olaf has stranded in a nearby coast, preparing to build up a wooden castle. Steele is given a new castle under his command and he builds an army to reclaim estates from Edwin, then to kill Olaf. Lord Barclay hears the news about losing his estates, but Edwin is able to convince him that everything is all right.
Eventually, Steele lays siege on Edwin's castle, who loses and is threatened to be executed, but he supplies Steele with information about the coup and he is put in prison instead. Sir Grey informs Steele about the coming of Barclay, Pascal and Seren to catch Steele off-guard.
Steele fortifies his position and the three adversaries arrive there. Barclay is about to start the siege but Seren arrives just in time to stop him and tell her idea to negotiate with the trapped lords about their surrender. Barclay agrees and Seren gets in the fortifications. She tells William that she was working for them and joins them. She lifts a white flag to indicate William's surrender, but this is the sign for Seren's men to attack. Barclay's forces kill them and the two attack. Their attempt is weak however and the defenders are victorious. Seren advises William and Steele to leave, as she tells them that the King rests at her abbey and he needs their help.
However, Matthew has enough of William efforts and he decides to either stay with the King's friends and help them stabilize the country, or turn against them and join Barclay to achieve power and success.
The Blue PathEdit
Defense of the Abbey Steele follows William and Seren to her abbey, where the King is said to rest. William is relentless and rides forth to the Hawk to deal with him. Seren however, senses that William may put himself in danger and therefore charges Sir Grey to watch William's back, while Steele is given command over the abbey's defenses. He turns the defense lines into a fortress and successfully holds back Barclay's and eventually the Hawk's multiple attacks. In the meantime, the local bishop announces that they have recovered a holy scepter, meaning that Barclay will not be able to usher in a new king.
Barclay retreats with anger from the abbey's walls. The King reveals himself and meets Steele, who is very anxious about the King's long hiding. When he accuses him being a coward, the King tells him that he had to remain hidden in order to return later and restore his position. Convincing his loyal friends, the King's faith is finally regained. Sir Grey soon arrives back with terrible news: Sir William is trapped in the Hawk's mainlands, despite his efforts.
The Hawk's NestEdit
Steele immediately rides forth to the Hawk's lands and takes control over one of Grey's castles there. It is quickly revealed that not only the Hawk himself but three underlings are also present in the county. Sir William has made his last stand of a wooden fort in a peninsula, yet he remains determined to remove the Hawk. Pascal tries to convince him to join, but William refuses. Instead, he opens fire and destroys a bridge connecting the Hawk's castle and the mainland. Pascal orders to repair the bridge, while William immediately becomes under siege by Sir Hugo Blanc, one of the Hawk's vassals. Steele rides forth with an army and fights his way through Blanc's barricades and gets to William. He can return him and his forces to his new castle, saving him for the second time. After this quest, Steele strengthens his position and moves out to kill the Hawk's underlings one by one. Sir Hugo Blanc, Duke de Montparnasse and Lord Beaufort try desperately to hold the line, but they all fall before the might of Steele's forces.
Just as the last warlord is being disposed of, the bridge works are finished and the Hawk moves out with an army. Even worse, the Hammer's and the Bull's forces also join the siege. The Hawk and the Bull lead the bulk of their forces against the walls, but the Hammer remains out of combat with his army. The siege is deflected and Barclay decides to leave the two alone. Steele finally moves out and takes his forces to have his revenge on Pascal. Pascal is soon killed in his own castle, but William and Steele gets surrounded by Barclay's forces.
Suddenly, a happy Sir Grey arrives with reinforcements, who was able to fight through Barclay's barricade. Barclay stands near and kills him with his crossbow. Grey collapses and Barclay withdraws his forces to his castle, being triumphant over one of his competitor's death for the crown.
Lord Barclay's CastleEdit
William meets the King and tries to explain what he tried to do while he was absent. The King him that he never thought he would be a traitor and their bond of trust is restored. With Barclay pulling back to his fortifications, the King decides to defeat Barclay in his castle and plans a three pronged attack.
William leads the first assault, while Steele is inching his way through the castle defences. The King is forced to stay outside however, as he lacks siege equipment. The Bull makes use of this fact and leads a charge against the kingly forces by himself. The King's army desperately fight, but they manage to decimate the Bull's army, killing McLoud in the process.
Steele is able to get in the castle and open the way for the King. Barclay's resistance is very tough, however they are broken through and Barclay chooses to surrender after he is left alone with almost no defenders left.
In the end, the King orders Barclay and the traitor Edwin to be put in prison and they are taken away, while being humiliated in front of the people.
The Green PathEdit
Siege of the AbbeyEdit
Steele joins Barclay's cause and condemns William for his pitiful efforts. Barclay decides to siege the abbey to claim control over the church and legitimate his reign. Even better, Steele informs him that the King is residing there, thus killing two birds with one stone is possible.
Barclay leaves the siege to Matthew, but he assists him with some trebuchets during the attack. Lady Seren has fortified her position and littered the outer fields with traps, but her small defense force is soon overwhelmed by Steele's forces. Seren is forced to fight in her own keep to death and dies, but she tells Steele that she loved William.
Barclay does not find the King, but he is ready to usher in himself as a new king. However, he is interfered by a vicious Steele, who insists on being treated equally by Barclay. He offers an agreement: whosoever presents the crown, shall be King.
Barclay with the Hawk on his side, advises Steele to deal with Sir William while they are busy finding the King's shelter. Matthew immediately agrees and travels to William's mainlands. William is angry about his presence and when Steele tries to convince him to join, he refuses and decides to fight him.
Steele first aims to strengthen his foothold. He captures estates and fight his way through the numerous troops that William sends, eventually capturing an island estate, which lies in a strategic position and very close to William's castle.
The Bull soon turns up with an army and helps out Steele to fortify the islands. However, Sir Grey is also summoned with his mighty army and leads a counterattack himself on the renegades. The Bull and his small force is quickly decimated, but Grey also dies in battle, leaving William vulnerable to Steele. Steele immediately takes the chance and lays siege on his former master's castle, capturing him in his own keep. Steele orders to execute William, who reminds him that he was the one who helped him achieve his status.
To Capture a KingEdit
In the meantime, Barclay and the Hawk finds the King enclosed in a fortified position. The three lords start a three-way attack, which soon becomes a competition for the crown as the attackers overwhelm the castle garrison. The King desperately tries to repel the attack with his elite bodyguards, but he and his guards soon fall. Steele manages to deal the killing blow, thus gaining the crown.
Triumphant, Steele is the new king in the terms of his agreement with Barclay and Deveraux. He is sworn fealty by his competitors.