Part 166: Hinnom - Turn 63
The friendship between Hinnom and Sauromatia continues; a perfect example of the mutual benefits of lightly monitored, King Hippomnomnomnom-directed free trade. Some day King Hippomnomnomnom will bring enlightenment to all the world, but even the greatest binge starts with a single Dorito. Today that chip is T'ien Ch'i. And Lanka. It's a complicated metaphor.
King Hippomnomnomnom's mages bind a number of Barathrus's children and dispatch them to pay a little diplomatic visit to Peak Theorycrafting and his squalid demon minions. The earth gems required to bind these elementals mean that King Hippomnomnomnom can summon only a single cyclops this turn, but he manages a few hours to put together another Iron Dragon and paint another squad of Space Marines. Evangeline Lilly continues to arouse even the very flora of Hinnom by her mere presence. PIMP ROBES is dispatched on a secret mission that we will NEVER SPEAK OF AGAIN, and blood hunting is at 72.
MOAR KRAKEN perched by himself, alone in the dark bathroom. King Hippomnomnomnom was downstairs, unwinding by trolling the sad remnants of the bitcoin forums. In the darkness, MOAR KRAKEN shuddered. Some of the other had told him that if he looked into a mirror in darkness at midnight and twirled around three times and held his breath and said "Antrax" backward once and forward once and then backward four more times and all of this while shaking these bright orange maracas and jumping on only three tentacles, then he would summon the King of Banefires. He'd asked King Hippomnomnomnom about it and all his liege had said was "tried it but I can't really hop so..." and then King Hippomnomnomnom had muttered something about blowing 50 death gems on a God damned farce and gone back to playing the medic that abandons people right as they über in TF2.
With a tremendous crash, MOAR KRAKEN slipped on the rug and toppled to the ground as he screamed out the last "!Xartna" For a brief moment the night was quiet and then from the living room MOAR KRAKEN heard a loud hum. As he shambled downstairs, the hum grew louder until, by the time he got to the living room, it had reached a crescendo and his beak was rattling in his head. Above the couch a horrible, sickly green tear in the fabric of reality had opened. With a squish, the King of Banefire squeezed through. The couch sizzled a bit as Antrax plopped down. Turning his giant flame-wreathed head to MOAR KRAKEN, the King of Banefire spoke. "Dude, can you grab me a beer? Thanks."
Two things make Antrax really good. This is the first. 15 non-elemental AP damage to anyone who attacks him.
This is the second. Ten reinvigoration a turn makes him a natural battle caster. He's going to be spamming decay long after everyone else goes unconscious. It also helps a ton with keeping him alive via Phoenix Pyre.
The penultimate level of blood and now we're getting to the really juicy stuff!
Incy summoned Father Illearth already so, sadly, I won't get a chance. But, Father Illearth is badass. He has lots of blood and earth magic and scads of regeneration. His real purpose though is to summon Demon Knights.
Rush of Strength is a sneaky good spell. It adds strength to everyone and is one of the few ways to buff your line troops offensively.
The Heliophagi(uses?) are pretty good in vanilla and provide a nice little diversity bump, allowing you to go from just blood to death and fire. They are good undead leaders and are all stealthy but they're too fragile for me to kit out as SCs and far too expensive to be considered thugs. They have a few niche uses, like leading demon troops and casting darkness and rush of strength, but generally in AE they, like the arch-devils and ice devils are not even remotely worth it. I will be ignoring them entirely in favor of other stuff.
The Looming Hell is really useful for two things. First, to reduce the number of global spots. Second, if you're trying to dom kill and sacrificing like mad it can be useful just as a pain in the ass to the other player by forcing them to put troops on guard commander and, on the turn it goes up, potentially screwing with his movement by killing a commander or two. Just generally the description sounds a lot more badass than the spell actually is.
Hello chaff! Improved cross breeding can occasionally produce an ettin worth casting gift of reason on, but generally this spell is for making chaff. 40+ effects/cast is a lot but this is still mostly just a bad spell.
This, on the other hand, is one of the very best spells. It is a remote attack spell that will destroy any province defense you send it at. It is relatively inexpensive at 15 slaves a cast and if you cast it multiple times at a province the horrors all appear together. The same trick works with ghost riders (stackable both with itself and with send horror), so if you really want to kill any solo SC that's subject to routing you just send four horrors at them. The horrors happily bounce on over to the SC, flying even in a storm, and interrupt its buff cycle. They surround it and either immediately kill it or cause it to route in short order. This is because fear effects stack and horrors all come with fear 15 which is a lot of fear. SCs generally have high morale but four horrors stacking their morale reduction and morale checks every turn will make anything route. Again, that's if they don't kill the poor SC with their 2x life drain and 2x horror marking attacks per turn. Then, if you're being clever and have the resources you can also send a horror at the provinces that surround the SC and cut off its retreat and never really have to fight it. It's wonderful to see someone's 120 gem investment in an ember lord run on turn two of a battle with nowhere to flee to and die as a result. Poor ember lord, forever reduced to hiding in dark spaces, praying that the horrors don't come for it.
120 of the finest virgin neckbeards in exchange for one dark citadel? Where do I sign up? This spell is good because unlike its only competitor, wizard's tower, the resulting fort has a lot of defense (600 vs 150 for the wizard's tower).
This is leech's big brother. I actually like it less than leech, but it's the AWP of the dom3 world. Sniping fools from across the map with nothing left but a "fuuuuuck youuuu" ringing out in the clear morning air. It hits a single target (leech hits a whole square) for 25 + 5xblood level irresistible damage. Because it only requires one slave to cast, everyone with b2 can cast it with an extra slave. If you can scrape together a b10 caster, you'll leave nothing but a smoking crater where all but the toughest of pretenders used to be ( King Hippomnomnomnom ).
Six earth attacks all aimed at Lanka. Let's see if I get my money's worth!
The very first earth attack hooks the biggest fish.
And Peak Theorycrafting starts off strong, hitting himself in the face with falling frosts.
But then the AI takes over and it starts casting shatter.
The second casting yields one of TheDemon's Raksharaja. These guys are pretty beefy and should be able to take on an earth elemental if they're scripted. If not, it will be a toss-up.
Mistform is a pain in the ass.
But lightning bolt is worse. Currently 0/2.
For eons, the other Raksharaja have mocked Dhupala for being the runt of the litter. Once they even went so far as to replace all of his Bandar servants with markata. But, over time Peak Theorycrafting had seen his worth. He was not as strong, but he was clever.
As the earth elemental crushed the life from his body his final thought was "They were all right all along. All of them."
Why hello! This is a Spectral Mage. TheDemon spent 20 death gems on him because they can get astral and Dexanth was mind hunting TheDemon.
Earth Attack 2 - 2 TheDemon
Oh no! Skeletons! The one weakness of huge trampling earth elementals!
Maybe weakness was the wrong word here. Earth attack 3 - 2 TheDemon
I apparently got tired of taking screen shots of "The armies of Lanka are routed." which is odd because you'd think I would enjoy that more after the first thirty five turns. Final tally: earth attack 4 - 2 TheDemon. I will happily trade thirty of my near-infinite supply of earth gems for three Raksharaja and a twenty gem summon.
I SAID WE WOULD NEVER TALK ABOUT IT AGAIN!
Mango juice runs down :Zero Emissions:'s chin as he munches thoughtfully on one of the jungle fruit. "You ask a good question little markata. The answer is that King Hippomnomnomnom is not omnipotent and that even if he were he is kind of busy sometimes with sitting on the couch eating pizza and owning at video games so he chooses to give us all free will. Those that use their free will to do evil will get fucked up by the penis euphemism brigade or by two and a half tons of pissed off Melqart teleporting onto your ass or" and here :Zero Emissions: pauses to emphasize the point with a claw dangling the remains of the province's bandar commander "me."
Feinne has essentially gone back to playing FarmVille at this point so there shouldn't be anything to worry about from T'ien Ch'i. At least, nothing The A Team Van can't handle! :Zero Emissions: heads back to make sure there aren't any problems.
Here's a quick look at my newest kraken. Still no A/W combo.
In Histyra, the buildup continues. It's important to note that at this point Lanka and T'ien Ch'i are really taking minimal resources and I'm preparing to fight some combination of one or all of Mictlan, Pangaea and Sauromatia.
Ornias proves his worth yet again, putting his expertise in air magic to pass a note to one of the Queens of Air (truth be told he has kind of a hard time telling them apart) seeing if she'd maybe sometime like be interested in getting a burger with King Hippomnomnomnom or if that's too much maybe just a coffee or shooting some pool or maybe you know they could just hang out no pressure what does she think? Meanwhile, King Hippomnomnomnom buys a few more blister packs and A PENIS EUPHEMISM forges Barrier.
Barrier is probably the second best shield because it provides 100% immunity to fire and lightning. Toss it on an undead chassis like the Wendigo and you have easy immunity to all three elements. It also gives +4 strength which ups damage output a little and super high protection and party value which is, I think, less significant than the elemental immunities.
Here's a quick look at what I have hanging around in the lab.
Listed out in case you're curious, from left to right, top to bottom with artifacts capitalized:
Tempest, ring of regen, Krupp's Bracers, ring of regen, amulet of antimagic (AMA), amulet of luck, flesheater, Mage Bane ()
blood thorn, brazen vessel, Flesh Ward, ring of sorcery, robe of the sea, rune smasher, thistle mace, Boots of Calius the Druid, crystal matrix
water bracelet, ring of fire, AMA, AMA, Alchemist's Stone (25 gold/earth or fire gem instead of 15), ring of fire, spell focus
spell focus, Unquenched Sword, Tartarian Chains, Boots of the Planes
Blood stones: 109
Cost: 513E, 816 slaves
Gems Generated: 1,363
'sup dudes. So, uh, we still in it to win it? You know, until we all turn on each other like Vader did anyway?
Art Vandelay industries, at your service!
Oh, of course we are.