Part 142: Hinnom - Turn 46
As King Hippomnomnomonm's war with his people's traditional enemy grinds on, a new power rises in the North or West, or, uh, South. Damn it wraparound map! This new civilization worships the false pretender :Smaug:, a fearsome red dragon whose lust for blood has lead to the construction of immense Ziggurats upon which the still beating hearts of slaves are torn from their chests. For years, :Smaug: had been locked in battle with a foreign people, but, eventually, the adaptation of new methods of warfare like the turkey death squad and :Smaug:'s decision to found the Zmeywaffe tipped the balance. Driven by the fearsome Zmeywaffe, :Smaug:'s empire has expanded at a tremendous pace. Nothing can stand before this new breed of flying death machine. King Hippomnomnomom must mass his forces for a final push and destroy Peak Theorycrafting once and for all, lest his ancient and noble nation be torn asunder like feeble Arcoscephale.
I continue to aid Sauromatia, this time with a large infusion of lightless lanterns in exchange for some fire gems. Feinne responds to Lilli's attack with a global message and my blood hunters find 56 slaves. Ayperos somehow manages to survive for another turn without a real name. He must be union.
There are a number of battles but most of them are just Lilli rolling over Feinne. The two we really care about are in Lanka and Nardago.
Feinne's message is... uh, well, at least he didn't cast a hugely expensive global that did nothing but waste his gems.
A minimal force from Lanka retakes their capital, and in Nardago KING HIPPO JR and TOMMY LIKE WINGY are defeated at great cost to TheDemon.
Two noble Melqarts come face to face with all that remains of the once world renowned Lankan military.
Storm, storm power, darkness, thunder strike, where have I seen this before?
TheDemon's two melee Raksharaja rush out to attack TOMMY LIKE WINGY. Fortunately he's wrapped in protective magics and only one is able to attack him, while the other's tiny pea-sized demon brain is blasted into unconsciousness by TOMMY LIKE WINGY's Astral Shield. In dom3, grey means you're paralyzed.
The effectiveness of Peak Theorycrafting's frozen heart castings is greatly reduced by the protection the frost brands provide and KING HIPPO JR moves forward to aid his brother.
Amburuha resisted TOMMY LIKE WINGY's astral shield and is rewarded for his fortitude by the screaming vengeful spirit of TOMMY LIKE WINGY's eye shield.
The spirit strikes Amburuha blind and the Raksharaja is cursed to stumble around the battlefield wildly swinging its fire brand in vain. You can see here (and earlier), that TheDemon's Raksharaja thugs are really suffering from lack of an E9 bless. W9N4 is much more a troop bless and he's leveraged it wonderfully so far, but now that he's out of troops his Raksharaja would, I think, much rather have an E9 bless to reduce their fatigue. Unfortunately, W9E9N4 is absurdly expensive in terms of pretender points.
TOMMY LIKE WINGY strikes down the still paralyzed Raksharaja as Gana, Rakshasa and newly summoned skeletons begin to surround him.
With another swing of his sword TOMMY LIKE WINGY puts the blind Amburuha out of his misery.
As the two Melqarts fight against the seemingly endless horde of summons Peak Theorycrafting has called to his aid, KING HIPPO JR begins to tire.
Heroic quickness and encumbrance 4 outpace 6 reinvigoration a turn.
KING HIPPO tires, and the hits begin to accumulate. Deciding that they have done enough damage for the day, he sounds the retreat.
If only he had realized that a smite
TOMMY LIKE WINGY desperately tries to crawl off the battlefield, but the hands of the mindless skeletons claw at him and the jaws of ghost wolves close around his throat. And right there you can see the mistake I was talking about. TOMMY LIKE WINGY is an astral mage. He can cast Astral Shield which, as you can see, worked great on Raksharaja and Rakshasa. It does not work at all on mindless units (like skeletons) and once a lucky spell got through and crippled him he was surrounded and ripped to shreds as he fled. He should have cast Astral Shield and body ethereal, which would have negated 3/4 of these hits and allowed him to retreat to fight again. It would have meant additional fatigue, but his reinvigoration outpaces his encumbrance and so he would have been fine. Not that I didn't also make the other mistakes folks mentioned, just that this is the mistake I was talking about in my prior post.
In Histyra, King Hippomnomnomnom's loyal followers outdo each other in attempts to impress their God with their skill at the forges.
Ornias forges the magnificent Flesh Ward, which I will try to put on a Grigori for maximum blood vengeance stacking shenanigans (to be discussed whenever I actually use blood vengeance in battle).
While cool step dad the sea father forges a wand that will one day, eons from now, be used to power the world's first desert ski resort.
I somehow missed that I was forging this last turn. It's the first artifact I've forged and one of my favorites. It allows the user to send a lesser horror each turn and provides some significant stat buffs to boot.
I was really torn about what to give the Gift of Kugri to and I ended up giving it to a scout. This restricts me to using it as a free casting of send lesser horror every turn which is too bad because it provides (in order) cursed, fear (+25 which is absurd), ethereal, flying, lucky and insane 10 (10% of the time this guy is going to flip out and do nothing during my turn). That's a fantastic number of buffs from a single item slot.
I use the Gift of Kugri to cast send lesser horror at Lanka, and duck duck duck fuck you geese the Black Hawk is ordered out to clean up. This is called scout capping or horror capping. A remote attack like send horror or ghost rider clears out province defense during the magic phase and a scout (or black hawk) takes the now defenseless province. I also move a weapons of sharpness caster and a thunder ward caster north into Laerian Swamps where they will rendezvous with KING HIPPO JR, UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER and a mass of Dust Warriors.
King Hippomnomnomnom's web of scouts reports nothing but sorrow for T'ien Ch'i as Lilli is just absolutely rolling Feinne. I wonder what his message meant? Perhaps he's marshaling his forces for a valiant counter strike (auto-shotgun for life), but things look fairly bleak.
Far more disturbing than Lilli's meteoric rise in province count is this. I've marked everywhere I think Lilli is blood hunting. That's seven provinces I can see and at around 15 slaves per province per turn that would be 75, but she's patrolling and hunting (black hawks plus, in the province I've selected you can see there are nine circle masters which is a ridiculous number in one province) so who knows how many slaves she's generating from only the provinces I can see. Lilli is going to flood the world with flying demon jaguars called Ozelotl and there's very little any of us can do about it at the moment. Nobody wants to fight Mictlan pulling in hundreds of slaves a turn, but what alternative will we have?
A quick note on lightless lanterns. You can see that once I started forging lightless lanterns my research absolutely took off. I'm still behind, but I'm coming on strong. The only question is whether it will be too little too late.
Blood stones: 41
Cost: 229E, 328 slaves
Gems Generated: 246