"Stand on the edge of a precipice with your toes poking into thin air. Feel the chill wind whip against your face, tug at your clothing, push at your shoulders. This is how close we came to losing. This is how close Magnus came to enslaving the minds of the entire world...forever!"

The Price of Peace is the eighth and final scenario of the The Price of Peace campaign in Heroes of Might and Magic IV.

The desperate final battle has come. If Emilia and Solmyr can't find the Mind Shield before Gavin Magnus catches up to them, the world will likely become slave to the Crystal Pendulum. So, General Tharj valiantly volunteers to fight a battle he can't possibly win in the hope of distracting Magnus long enough for Emilia to mount a proper defense.OffBck

Having obtained the Sword of the Gods, Emilia Nighthaven and Solmyr ibn Wali Barad strive to obtain the Mind Shield, reclaim Great Arcan, destroy the Crystal Pendulum and slay Gavin Magnus, the Immortal King, before his scheme to extinguish free will can spread to all Axeoth.


The Price of Peace is a large-sized map, with the player (Purple) positioned in the southeast with a single Academy town under their control. Of the eight playable heroes from To Slay an Immortal, only Emilia, Solmyr and Kodge carry over to this final scenario. Reed, from An Unusual Betrayal, also returns under the control of the allied Teal player, in the distant west. The primary enemy, the Blue player, controls Arcania - an Academy - and Gavin Magnus, who begins as a level 24 Mage with developed Order Magic skills. Defeating Magnus in combat is the primary objective of the map. If Solmyr or Emilia are defeated, the game is lost; however, Kodge and Reed are expendable.

The Mind Shield is in the possession of a stack of 50 titans in the far northeast of the map, near (but inaccessible to) the Red (Stronghold) player, who begins with a level 10 General and a single Stronghold town. Obtaining it is mandatory, but contrary to the storyline, it is not necessary to wield the Shield or the Sword of the Gods when battling Magnus. The Green player starts with an Asylum and a level 10 Fireguard, plus a heavily-defended garrison. There are three neutral Academies on the map: one isolated, one in Emilia's territory and one in Magnus's, and a neutral Stronghold situated in the north. The adventure map is populated with various creatures of no specific alignment. There is no level cap in the scenario, and no subterranean level.

Magnus will almost certainly eliminate the Teal player early in the game, but his army is unable to attack the player until the Mind Shield is obtained (due to a scripted event which clears the road east of Arcania after the Titans holding the Shield are destroyed). As such, the player's only active opposition for most of the scenario are the Green and Red players. The Green player is defended by a heavily-guarded garrison, but has access to only one town. With both Academies in the starting area under Emilia's command, the enemy Asylum can easily be out-populated and defeated.

All external dwellings in the starting zone are of the Haven alignment, which renders Kodge - also Life-aligned - a useful "collector" hero. To confront Magnus, the player must first use a ferry revealed in the Window of the Magi (guarded by nightmares and cerberi) to reach the Red player's region, then obtain the Mind Shield from the Titans in the far northeast. A portal leading back to the starting zone can be taken from there, and the western half of the map will then become accessible.


Although he begins with early access to two Dragon Factories, and will have hoarded many dragon golems before he can be battled, Magnus is capable of leaving Arcania and thus vulnerable to AI exploitations; it is possible to lure him away from the city and avoid a direct siege. Additionally, although Arcania possesses a level 3 Institute of Magic, Magnus does not begin the game with any high-level spells: Emilia and Solmyr should begin with several from previous maps, and defeating his armies should be a straightforward task.

A Pandora's Box on a small desert island in the far southwest of the map, guarded by black dragons, contains 40 gems, 40 crystal and 20,000 gold. It can be accessed via a shipyard in Magnus' territory, near the southwestern Academy town, but should already be a redundant diversion by the point the player is able to reach it. A portal on the northwestern isle (west of the ferry and Strongholds) also leads to an isle containing several useful power-ups, along with the Tome of Order and the Shield of Chaos.


Before Reed is defeated, it is possible to use Town Gate to teleport to his town and fight Magnus from there without engaging in the Mind Shield quest. Taking advantage of this exploit allows the player to win the scenario in around three turns, technically without cheating.


In some versions of the game, it is possible for Gavin Magnus to kill himself while fighting wandering stacks before the player can reach him. Though less likely in fully patched versions, the bug can prevent the player from winning the map. In patched versions, Magnus' army will also become stronger than usual (he is more likely to capture and make use of Reed's town).