Part 224: Sauro - Turns 54-55
In which three battles occur.
Site searching gains me nothing. Random events net me a few Earth gems and 10 free PD in a province that borders Pangaea and is well out of the way for anybody else. The map hasn't changed much:
290 units suffer from Burden of Time. I hope we can really take the fight to Mictlan soon, this thing is starting to become a pain in my ass. My prophet died at some point in the last couple of turns thanks to BoT, did I mention that? It was no surprise, he was basically just a Soothsayer with more hit points. His passing has cut back on my blood sacrifices, and the dimished slave income hasn't helped either. While my dominion is on the decline again it is not yet dangerously low.
I got a Wave Breaker in trade with Hinnom this turn. It grants water breathing and automatically casts Friendly Currents at the start of each battle (my side gets +4 action points and -2 encumbrance, enemy side gets -4 action points and +2 encumbrance).
Mictlan made the two attacks I expected: the jaguar warriors attacked Terrym, and the Sea King and his fellow sea trolls continued south to the Bay of Ethereal Sharks. Let's watch Terrym first.
On my side, a handful of PD, 6 Witch Kings, and an Enarie. On Mictlan's side, an independent commander and 55 jaguar warriors. Wait, where's the priest? I really don't know what happened to it. Was it a remote attack? Wrath of God? Burden of Time? Well, whatever the cause I am in luck, because given how badly I am about to fail this battle I need all the help I can get.
I opened with some Raise Skeletons and a couple of Shadow Blasts. The latter spells were stupid because I just saw the fight with the jaguar warriors last turn and I already knew that they were scripted to start in the back of Mictlan's side of the battlefield. The distance combined with our ongoing storm's precision-reducing effects combine to mean that my Shadow Blasts miss badly. A few arrows and a couple of lucky bolts from one Shadow Blast take out maybe 5 jaguar warriors before they start mowing down skeletons. My Witch Kings lay down a Leeching Darkness cloud which damages the jaguars and ignores my skeletons, but that was because they went off script because I apparently had fewer Death gems on hand than I thought and there's nothing left for more Shadow Blasts. And that's how we end up here:
32 jaguar warriors in various states of health with virtually nobody between them and my tired, defenseless Witch Kings. Thankfully, between a couple of Terror casts and crossing an important hit point threshold, the jaguars routed after "only" killing half of the mages I brought.
That's two Witch Kings and an Enarie for me (750 gold; two cap-only mages), 34 jaguars for Mictlan (850 gold, but recruit everywhere troops that may not be that important any more). I would have lost this one if the priest had come along, and in fact I pull my surviving Witch Kings back north to meet up with a scout carrying a dozen Death gems. I figure if Lilli brings a priest next time, half as many jaguars versus half as many Witch Kings would still not go well for me.
The other battle was way up north, where I moved my goddess and a couple of Witch Kings to join the Witch King and handful of merfolk and fishmen already there. I wanted to protect the laboratory I built here, especially since my goddess could use it to summon Water Queens. I started that battle with three casts of Wrath of the Ancestors, a national spell available to Sauromatia and to all eras of T'ien Ch'i. I believe we've discussed Ancestral Spirits before; they are size 1 ethereal sacred units with a paralyze attack and 1 hp apiece, and a D3 mage can summon 24 of them at once for the cost of a single Death gem with Wrath of the Ancestors. My goddess casts Living Water, and so when the trolls meet my battle line it looks something like this:
Many, many, many "life drain" sound effects later, the battle is over. I lost three chaff units in exchange for 15 out of the 19 troll bodyguards that Mictlan brought to the fight. The Sea King himself managed to escape. I don't press the advantage here, mainly because I'm busy summoning a Water Queen. When she arrives then she can kill anybody who's still in my ocean. Speaking of which...
Arcoscephale sent a female Shishi into the ocean and took an undefended province from me. I'll sort that out later. Regarding the cost of Wrath of God, I totally forgot that I'm still summoning like a bajillion ghouls in The Peninsula of Awesomeness. The odds of a wounded or killed unit being one of my mages are a bit lower than I originally speculated, and really the mages most likely to be killed at all are probably Spirit Guides (60 gold), so I'm nudging the cost down to 15 for a wound and 30 for a kill.
Wrath of Rainbow: 1062 (previous turns) + 75 (5 wounded) + 0 (0 killed) = 1137 gold
Site searching turns up a Moving Sand Beach (1 Earth gem per turn) underwater and a Vale of the Silver Cattle (200 Supply which are worthless, 40 gold which is nice, and a Growth scale which is kind of cool) down south near T'ien Ch'i and Mictlan. Speaking of which, I didn't get attacked so my Witch King squad down there is back on the offensive. We won't see any action for two turns though.
Random events gave me a few Astral and Water gems. My map is unchanged except that female Shishi moved south and took another undefended ocean province. Now all I have left in my ocean is the southernmost province with the laboratory. Oh and of course Thalassa, Queen of the Sea.
I have also moved Barathrus into this province, and so each of the Elemental royalty are moving forward to deal with interlopers. The King of Deeper Earth is moving northeast with a Witch King (equipped with the Wave Breaker I traded for) to drive off Mictlan's Sea King, and the Queen of the Sea is headed north to face Arcoscephale's Shishi. My map is unchanged from last turn except for the ocean province I've already told you about (Arco, Shishi, undefended, etc.). In fact, aside from 333 units suffering from Burden of Time nothing else happened at all so I'm going to just jump right to the end.
Wrath of Rainbow: 1137 (previous turns) + 30 (2 wounded) + 150 (5 killed) = 1317 gold
3. Summon/GoR the Daughter of Typhon.
4. Extract blood price from Arcoscephale (1317 gold).
5. Summon 9 Elemental Royalty or cast each of the 6 Royalty summons at least once (current progress: 2/9 or 2/6)
Oh, wait! It's turn 55. That seems like a good place to throw graphs at you, especially since I declined to provide another map.
My research will always be bad, but at least it won't always be the worst. I hope... Still, I've managed to hang on while others have fallen, and I'm not in the second-worst position any more. In fact, only Pangaea has trended upward as reliably as I have in the last twenty turns. Now that I have Elemental Royalty coming online I predict great things for Sauromatia. Those who believed in me will be rewarded in legend. "Ghost-Slug" will become a name like "Benedict Arnold" is in our United States. In time, people will forget the man and remember only the association with fickle traitors. For anybody else who has considered supporting me, let me just say that past results are an indicator of future performance.
Hitch your wagon to the right star: support Sauromatia today!