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I had found the one fire that could destroy all. And now these wolves have attacked my home... trying to steal MY discovery! I will not let these animals take it! They leave me no choice.
There is no war without sacrifice... and unexpected consequences. When the enemies grow stronger from the ashes of death, a true warrior must rise to the occasion. Our greatest test lies ahead.
May we save those who are destined to rule?

After an explosion, Sun Da and the Wu Lin Emperor had to battle unexpected foes while escaping the fortress. During the last mid-season event of the Year of the Harbinger, relive the journey these two took as they escaped the walls of the decimated Qiang Pass from the cursed Blackstone Legion. Can you defend the Emperor, or will the Blackstone Knights lay you to waste?

This reliving of Sun Da's memories is a time-limited event, as the flames will dissipate on the 2nd of January, 2019. Fight on while the flame still burns strong.

Overview

“There is no war without sacrifice.”

The Wu Lin Emperor Gao Lei and Sun Da were trying to rebuild the Wu Lin arsenal in Qiang Pass, only to be ambushed by former Blackstone Knights. Overwhelmed by the assault, Sun Da triggered one of his experimental weapons to survive and protect the Emperor at all costs.

The Emperor was saved, but the fortress was not, as the explosion had burnt all of Qiang Pass and those standing within its walls, both Wu Lin and Blackstone. Sun Da and the Emperor chose to escape, but they were met with an unexpected threat. The Blackstone warriors were still alive, scorched by Sun Da's weapon with a curse...

The Emperor's Escape

"Relive the journey of Sun Da who had to evacuate Qiang Pass while defending the Wu Lin Emperor. Help the Emperor escape Qiang Pass by conquering zones and protecting him from altered Blackstones!"

The Emperor’s Escape is a PvE mode in which players capture zones to move across the map and clear a path for the Emperor. Each zone is protected by hordes of increasingly stronger enemies – including foes “cursed” with special modifiers – pushing players to work together and ensure the Emperor’s survival until they can reach and defeat the Blackstone Grand Lord. Your team's defeat occurs if all players are dead or if the Emperor is slain.

The players start at Zone 0, and need to conquer five Zones before reaching the final Zone where the Blackstone Grand Lord is at. The Emperor will wait one Zone behind as the players are tasked with capturing (or conquering) the next zone; the only exception of this is the final zone, where the Emperor will join the players in fighting the Blackstone Grand Lord. Just like in Breach, capturing a Zone requires taking out all enemies in the Zone. However, due to the lack of allied Soldiers or Pikemen, your team cannot perform "Enhanced Capturing" as one can in Breach. Once a Zone is conquered, the Emperor will summon a Qilin, which will ride forward to wipe all current enemies dead, heal the Emperor and living allies, revive any dead allies and make the next Zone available.

Take note though that the Blackstone army will send two separate forces, one to defend the Zones and another who will try to take out the Emperor; the group attacking the Emperor will always have an additional Officer fighting. Each Zone spawn different units, with each progressive one becoming harder to deal with. Normal Heroes and Officers will fight with an AI level of 1, while cursed Heroes will perform with a lvl 2 AI.

While the enemy forces can spawn infinitely (even if executed), you and your allies do not have the ability to respawn and need to be revived by an ally. The only time one will be automatically revived is when the Qilin is summoned by the Emperor as noted above.

Take note that going past the capturable Zone will cause bleeding (caused by "special fire spouts made by Sun Da) akin to when a player enters or remains in an area of Breach where they should not be in. The fire spouts do not do damage and a player can even stand in one, as their purpose is to simply mark the boundary of where a player would take damage for going "too far ahead."

Zone 1

Zone 1 is the most simplistic as it simply spawns Officers and Soldiers. At the start there are two Officers and three Soldiers. The Officers behave as regular Officers of other gamemodes do, but deal significantly more damage (roughly 40 points of damage). Otherwise, they have the same amount of health and fight passively.

Zone 2

Zone 2 starts out with two Peacekeepers and three Soldiers. They are not cursed, although as all Assassin bots function these Peacekeepers will make good use of their dodges and dodge attacks. Peacekeepers and Officers will come in as reinforcements.

Zone 3

Zone 3 is where things change. Soldiers will cease to spawn as cursed Heroes appear. The Zone starts with two Wardens, cursed with unblockable attacks. Due to this unblockable trait, be wary of when fending against them as external attacks. From there on, a mix of normal and cursed Wardens will spawn with Officers.

Zone 4

Zone 4 starts with two Lawbringers, cursed with higher health pools and constant healing. These Lawbringers are strategically defensive, making them hard to kill when combined with their curse. Only cursed Lawbringers will spawn into the zones.

Zone 5

The zone begins with a Guardian, with two Blackstone Grandmasters (cursed Black Priors) coming in as reinforcements. Thereafter, a mix of normal Black Priors and Blackstone Grandmasters will spawn. Blackstone Grandmasters do not feed revenge, even if they outnumber the player.

Zone 6

In the last zone, there will be two Guardians and the Blackstone Grand Lord, a level 3 Warden that functions much like a Guardian, with a high health pool and the ability to activate Revenge when desired. These three units have lower respawn times, making it hard to conquer the point without their obstruction.

Other Changes

Raging Warfare Aesthetic

As part of the new aesthetic of the main menu and lobby during the event, a landscape is shown of the ruin of Qiang Pass, together with purple flame rising from the ashes. Animated illustrations can be seen atop some of these broken structures, a Zhanhu (likely Sun Da) performing maneuvers, including Signatures and Executions. The silhouette of a banner can be seen in the foreground.

Meanwhile, the Qiang Pass map in some instances will be changed into its ruined form of the Emperor's Escape. Buildings will be broken down as fire bellow. The map is fogged with debris, although visibility is not too hindered.

Soldiers

Unlike previous events, only the Attacking Soldiers (along with Pikemen this time) are the only ones modified as they represent Blackstone soldiers. They all wear mostly black as their shield will only show the Blackstone emblem:

  • Knight soldiers are dressed in full black and grey, while the only sign of team colour is located on their back (with the Blackstone symbol), one bandanna cloth on their left arm and the ropes on their leg wraps.
  • Samurai soldiers are dressed in full black, with their team colour designation being located through their arm guard wraps, their shoulder guards, their undershirt, their belt and shin guard wraps.
  • Viking soldiers are dressed in full black, as the only designation of their team colour is on the edges of their shirt, their sleeves and their ankle bandages.

Event Rewards

Outside the Event Order, players who participate in the event can loot exclusive in-game rewards, including new Zhanhu themed weapons, outfits, ornaments, effects and emotes. While the weapons looted are limited to the Hero played during the match or who they are salvaged from, all other items are not hero specific (i.e. you can attain a Raider's ornament even when playing as the Warden).

Players can also opt to purchase the special items that are exclusive to the event, collectively known as the Zhanhu's Gambit bundle. In this bundle, there are two Illustrious sets, with Effects featuring a terracotta mask and another where you summon a Qilin to your side. There is also a special emote that lets the Hero wield the trademark purple flame of the Zhanhu. This bundle will continue to be available for purchase after the event, until January 2nd. After that, only the Illustrious Outfits will remain available for purchasing.

Possible drops include:

  • Battle Outfit: Gao Lei's Warrior
  • Ornament: Gao Lei's Keepsake
  • Idle Effect: Gao Lei's Ultimate
  • Emote Effect: Gao Lei's Ultimate
  • Execution Effect: Gao Lei's Ultimate

Arcade

Furthermore, players can participate in a special weekly quest via the Arcade mode. You are tasked to investigate Qiang Pass, as there are rumours of a mysterious artifact being kept by the Emperor and Sun Da.

Smoke and Mirrors

Your commander has sent you to investigate Qiang Pass.

It appears the Emperor and the Zhanhu hid a secret artifact from the Blackstones in the fortress...

But what lies there is a fortress in ruins and the survivors of its destruction. By the time you reach the artifact, you are hit with fumes that make you hallucinate an infinite battle. And at the end, you face a lone Warden who has laid their hand on the artifact...

Unique Orders

During the Zhanhu's Gambit event, the daily orders and the Event Order will be tailored with unique names that references the unusual events of Gao Lei.

Daily Orders

  • Warrior (Daily Guaranteed Order)
    • Some Respite:
      • "Flowers are blooming again in Ashfeld apparently."
      • "Some say the ghosts of Kaidan have disappeared."
    • Year of the Harbinger:
      • "Some say beasts from the ice age reappeared because of Mount Ignis's eruption."
      • "The eruption of Mount Ignis forced the Black Priors out of their secret lair."
      • "It all began with the eruption of Mount Ignis. It was a time of storm and fury."
      • "Many strange catastrophes followed the eruption of Mount Ignis."
      • "Rumors say people have begun to forge new weapons with an unknown ore."
    • From a (Faction Spy/Scout/Lookout):
      • "The Wu Lin provinces were devastated by various natural catastrophes."
      • "Many Wu Lin had to flee after a massive sandstorm wrecked their lands."
      • "Many Wu Lin sought refuge in Heathmoor. Others stayed in their homeland."
        • Complete 2 matches of any game mode.
  • Attacker: From a (Faction Spy/Scout/Lookout)
    • "Emperor Gao Lei asked the Zhanhu to devise new weaponry for him."
    • "Some rumored Gao Lei was obsessed with finding the Elixir of Immortality."
      • Capture 10 zones on any game mode.
  • Event Attacker: From a (Faction Spy/Scout/Lookout)
    • "The Zhanhu helped Emperor Gai Lei secure his throne."
      • Conquer 5 zones in The Emperor's Escape.
  • Event Warrior:
    • From a (Faction Spy/Scout/Lookout): "Gao Lei is of the Celestial Dynasty, but not all Wu Lin support him."
      • Complete 1 match of The Emperor's Escape.
  • Event Executioner:
    • From a (Faction Spy/Scout/Lookout): "The Wu Lin Empire has been weakened by a longtime civil war."
      • Perform 10 Executions in The Emperor's Escape.
  • Slayer: The Wu Lin Collapse
    • "The aftereffects of the explosion caught everyone by surprise."
    • "Did Sun Da save the Emperor to use him as a political asset in the future?"
    • "Not many survived the explosion. Most of the Wu Lin army was annihilated."
      • Perform 10 takedowns in any gamemode.
  • Executioner:
    • The Wu Lin Collapse: "The violet fumes of the explosion poisoned most of the survivors."
    • From a (Faction Spy/Scout/Lookout): "Only the Emperor and Sun Da were able to deactivate the traps in Qiang Pass."
      • Execute 3 Heroes in any game mode.

Event Orders

Zhanhu's Gambit Order - December 19 - January 2

"Sun Da's experimental weapon altered the Blackstones in unexpected ways."

Be the faction with the most executions performed.

Trivia

  • In anticipation of this event, from December 15th, Attacker Side Minions in all modes had the Blackstone Legion emblem on their shields, together with the dark colour hues.
    • Qiang Pass also had purple light coming from the tower above one of the Capture Points in the second phase just before the start of the event. This tower still shines prominently during the Event on the map when not modified to look like the ruins of The Emperor's Escape.
  • The Emperor's Escape is the second Event Game Mode that is strictly PvE. The first was Test your Metal from the Apollyon's Legacy event.
  • The Qilin featured in the Emperor's Escape game mode and as the special effect of Sun Da's Qilin is a mythical hooved chimerical creature known in Chinese and other East Asian cultures. In appearance, the Qilin is a mix of a horse, dragon and other creatures.
    • It is said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or illustrious ruler, which parallels Gao Lei's presence as an emperor.

Gallery

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