Part 234: Sauro - Turn 68
In which Mictlan counterattacks.
A whole hell of a lot of site searching turns up nothing. Mostly I keep doing it because I managed to get Mirrorlake and the alchemist academy so recently. Maybe there are other secrets waiting to be found! Everything else that happened was the result of some war or global action or whatever, and most of it is not fantastic for me, but at least not terrible either. There was a bright spot, though. I got this message:
Sauromatia has 3 heroes, all of them good. Delgnat has already appeared and was then murdered by Dawkish. I liked her a lot, and she represents Sauromatia's ties to the Celtic-themed nations of Fomoria and Tir na n'Og (and Man in later eras) via the common theme of the Patholonians. Another one is her former lover, a ruthless Witch King named Skogu. He represents the best of what Sauromatia has to offer in a native mage and is the least exciting of the three. Finally there is Kirke. She has wonderful paths (and, like Delgnat, offers another chance at breaking Sauromatia into Air magic) and she represents Sauromatia's ties to the Greek-themed nation of Arcoscephale.
Because of her theme and my decision to name almost all of my units after those of other nations, picking this hero's name was actually pretty easy.
That healer icon over there is Healer (100). Whenever she spends a turn to Heal the units in her province she will always get one (unless it was caused by old age). Really handy to have around, especially if I want to have other units cast Mind Hunt indiscriminately.
Here you can see (in advance) the results of Mictlan's counterattack. I lost 2 of the 3 provinces I attacked, and 2 more in my interior to raiding. I also have a green "province spell" marker up on Lanka's capital province now, which we'll talk about later. Since I mentioned Mind Hunting a moment ago I am really eager to get into Mictlan's part of this post...
Much better! First thing's first, I got 4 of these messages:
The Queen of the Deeps had a magic resistance (with some gear) of only 22. Granted, 22 is not low but it's also not where it needs to be to make me feel comfortable about eating Mind Hunt spam. I consider myself fortunate for having her survive that turn intact.
We had a couple of battles where Incy re-took his provinces:
Gnome Peaks, where a lucky shot from my PD killed a Mictlan Priest, and an overeager Eagle Warrior ran ahead of Mictlan's other troops and got himself killed. Still, swarms of jaguars with a fire bless aren't going to be a challenge for even one Water Queen with the correct gear. The other battle where Incy re-took his province was...
Florien, where a Tlaloque with a Bottle of Living Water is leading a bunch of Storm Demons. This squad appears at first glance to be a little bit trickier than the other because the Storm Demons are made stronger by the Perpetual Storm's effects and they can still fly, which limits my preparation time. On the other hand, a simple ring of Lightning Resist should make any of my Water Queens effectively immune to them, and a few casts of Cleansing Water would clear the field.
The other two attacks I suffered were raids in Northia and Nern, two adjacent provinces. Northia is in my capital circle and Nern is east of that, toward Pangaea. In both cases a pair of Shishis wearing Girdles of Might (which grant some reinvigoration) has teleported in, spent two turns buffing themselves, and then ran across the battlefield to maul my PD.
Shishis are thugs, and they have been sent as raiders. They cannot fly, and neither of the provinces they raided have laboratories so they cannot teleport. I know exactly where they can go, and raiders very rarely ever stay in the same province from one turn to the next because it is a waste of time. Given that knowledge I am pretty confident about predicting their movements.
I have Witch Kings nearly everywhere so I script them appropriately, and I move a small squad of expendable mages and troops onto Northia. If the Shishis stick around then the loss of the crap I'm sending won't be a big deal. If they leave then I'm pretty sure I can beat the Mictlan PD that remains.
I sent an Earth Attack at Lanka, and it was successful. I queued up a second one this turn, although really my heart just isn't in it. TheDemon has been around forever, growing more crotchety with every turn that he is forced to log in and waste his time with bullshit turns. He's committed to playing this game out but really the whole exercise is probably more tedious than anything.
I figure if he's going to do anything at all then it's probably going to involve clever scripting beyond my ability to predict, and I am playing this game very cautiously. So I plan to whittle him down from afar. Last turn I cast Astral Projection on Lanka. Astral Projection is the easier/cheaper of two province-specific scrying spells (both of which use Astral Pearls). I'm actually capable of casting its big brother, Astral Window, but there are two reasons I don't.
1. Astral Projection is cheaper by one pearl. Waste not, want not!
2. Astral Projection comes with the risk of being "caught." An enemy Astral mage in the target province can detect my Astral Projection caster and render him Feebleminded. While this seems like a reason not to cast it, I have highly disposable S1 Soothsayers and TheDemon cannot tell his own Astral mages to leave my casters alone. That means that if I'm willing to take the time I can flush out any of his Astral Mages by casting this spell first. If it's successful then there's a really good chance that he does not have any Astral Mages around who might pose a threat to future Mind Hunts, and I get a pretty detailed report of what he has in the target province to boot.
So Lanka is down to 28 units: his god, some Black Hawks, and some Raksharajas. My plan is to whittle those down as far as I can with remote assassinations while I attempt to snuff out his dominion with blood sacrifice in neighboring Remecia.
The main problem with this approach is of course that I'm only sending my dominion at Lanka from one province. If I wanted to do this thing properly then I would conquer and/or build temples in all 4 neighboring provinces (Hinnom holds 2 of them and I hold the other 2) and I'd park my goddess on his capital province to boot.
This is not what I am doing because I need my gooddess in the lab and I don't have the cash to set up an elaborate underwater blood sacrifice operation and I don't have the clout to spare asking builds character to let me have even MORE territory. So I'm going to try this approach for a little while and if it doesn't work then I will take all the commanders and troops I have sieging Lanka and storm the fortress.
I'm just going to leave this here.
I should have cast a global when I had a chance. All the slots are full again and the only way I'm going to get one is to try to overpower one cast by an ally. Dammit.
5. Summon 9 Elemental Royalty or cast each of the 6 Royalty summons at least once (current progress: 6/9 or 3/6)
6. Make my final contribution to the LP (no slacking off!) on or before December 12, 2012.
A note about objective 5. All of the Royalty has been summoned by now. I have half of them (6 out of the 12). I won't be getting any more unless one dies (or a nation that summoned one or more is defeated) and I find out about it. For that matter, in the cases of the tainted kings of Fire and Earth I would have to put together a caster capable of summoning them in the first place. The outlook for this objective is not looking good.