Part 50: Pangaea - Turns 39-41
Has it been long enough since my last update? No? Well, hell, I don't have anywhere else to leave this. Tell you what, just pretend it's not here for now and come back to read it this weekend.
TC has too much money and not enough zoos. I am continuing my efforts to rectify this situation. The event is another thousand gold, which is fantastic because I am very close to being in the red forever at this point.
Mary takes her vampire escort and heads west to take out TC's new northern force. In the south, a new dryad + reveler squad is ordered to walk through TC's lines so I can continue the raiding, hopefully with fewer lightning-related deaths in the future. Not that I've taken any new precautions or anything, but really, it's lightning and I have a billion maenads. What are the odds?
The report at the top there is some fireballs incinerating people I don't care about and one harpy scout who I am momentarily sad about. The battle is more fun, let's look at that.
Here's what TC sent along. Those guys in red are interesting - they're F3 mages who can be recruited from a semi-rare magical site. A very nice find, and a valuable addition to most forces - they do a good job early on incinerating Mary's fortunately immortal bodyguards, and in combination with the D1 he has along casting dust to dust, all the lesser vampires are sent back to my cap in short order. After that, though, all of TC's mages decide they are tired of living.
The D guy starts casting decay at Mary, which would make her age faster if it could ever get through her magic resistance. The F3 guys settle for casting rage, which would make her angry if it could get through her magic resistance. Given that she is a 319 year old immortal vampire who already wants to kill everyone present, I just don't know what these guys were hoping to accomplish.
I hope they feel good about it, though, because I sure do.
Mary returns to the cap, the southern front advances, dryad + reveler squads proceed into Arcos territory. I'll talk about why in a minute, but I want to show you next turn's messages first.
This right here? This is me getting paid twice, and it feels so good. But how did it happen? Well, you've already been clued in by Builds and Schneeble that these were very diplomatically active turns, and now you get to see the most important side of the whole deal. Between turn 40 and turn 41, Dexanth renewed his lobbying efforts to gather allies against Mictlan. Part of these efforts involved an attempt to broker peace between me and TC. On the one hand, I was confident I'd come out of it ahead of TC in the long term - my toads and boars would make sure he couldn't keep replacing his troops, while mine keep rolling in for free. But it was slow, and I was tired of it, and on Dexanth's instructions Feinne was ready to talk. More importantly, Dexanth was right - if nothing changed, Mictlan was going to kill him and then kill the rest of us. The writing was on the wall; I wasn't sure if Builds and Schneeble saw it, but I did. So we talked. Here are some excerpts.
Feb 07 14:53:27 <feinne> i could be convinced to give up the earth gem province but i cannot give up the fort up north
Feb 07 14:53:51 <feinne> to do so would be of such crippling strategic significance to me as to make my position untenable
Feb 07 14:54:35 <iod> please elaborate on this point, as I do not understand it given that you have another fort literally right next to it
Feb 07 14:55:04 <iod> if the argument is "I don't have enough forts" you can imagine my lack of sympathy
Feb 07 14:55:09 <feinne> you want that province because you found a magic site there
Feb 07 14:55:24 <feinne> i want the one for much the same reason, which caused me to build a lab there instead of in my old fort
Feb 07 15:13:12 <feinne> but yeah i am entirely willing to quit 103 and provide you additional consideration in exchange for the fort in the north
Feb 07 20:31:01 <feinne> just to give an initial offer so you know how serious i am that i'd really rather keep that fort province, no second thought 40 death gems
I didn't like the idea of giving up that fort, but I wanted to resolve some other business before I gave him an answer either way - I was thinking about the Mictlan thing too, so I was also talking to other people. I'm just going to give you the full chat log, because reception to those has been positive in the past.
Feb 09 13:47:25 * Now talking on #secretwar
Feb 09 13:48:43 * buildscharacter (~buildscha@synIRC-8B6F4B38.mycingular.net) has joined #secretwar
Feb 09 13:48:47 * Schneeble (~brstubbs@69B5260D.D1CC7DCB.37B7DCC5.IP) has joined #secretwar
Feb 09 13:49:02 <iod> Gentlemen.
Feb 09 13:49:06 <buildscharacter> Fancy meeting you here.
Feb 09 13:49:27 <buildscharacter> (last time I started withthat in a room like this feinne f-Ed me in the a)
Feb 09 13:49:34 <buildscharacter> Doctor.
Feb 09 13:49:35 * buildscharacter nods.
Feb 09 13:49:42 <iod> We've all got out own nebulous webs of diplomacy and varying priorities and whatnot, but I wanted to discuss one point of common interest
Feb 09 13:49:54 <buildscharacter> Tacos?
Feb 09 13:49:55 <iod> i.e. Lilli is huge and terrifying. You will note that Dexanth is not invited.
Feb 09 13:49:57 <Schneeble> :9
Feb 09 13:50:00 <buildscharacter> I really like tacos.
Feb 09 13:50:03 <Schneeble> I do notice that.
Feb 09 13:50:04 <buildscharacter> Interesting.
Feb 09 13:50:06 <buildscharacter> Go on.
Feb 09 13:50:06 <iod> Tacos are excellent.
Feb 09 13:50:20 <iod> If you're ever in Tucson, swing by the Taqueria Pico de Gallo
Feb 09 13:50:29 <iod> Best salsa I have ever tasted
Feb 09 13:50:33 <iod> And exemplary tacos.
Feb 09 13:50:59 <Schneeble> Now I really want both of those things.
Feb 09 13:50:59 <buildscharacter> High praise!
Feb 09 13:51:05 <buildscharacter> Me too.
Feb 09 13:51:24 <iod> They deserve it, and they are one of the precious few things I will regret about leaving this place.
Feb 09 13:51:59 <iod> Anyway, the whole Lilli thing. Are we all agreed that she's going to kill Dexanth? And then probably the rest of us?
Feb 09 13:52:41 <Schneeble> Yes, that is probably the case. Dexanth isn't going to make it.
Feb 09 13:52:59 <buildscharacter> I'm hoping to win using trickeration, sobbing and delaying until he finals. But yes.
Feb 09 13:53:00 <buildscharacter> "her finals"
Feb 09 13:53:51 <iod> So, here is my meta-thinking: none of us are in a great position right now. Builds, you're the best off, but your research handicap is sort of showing.
Feb 09 13:54:10 <Schneeble> Haha, even your nerds are dumb.
Feb 09 13:54:19 <Schneeble> I mean. Yes. Tragic.
Feb 09 13:54:57 <buildscharacter> My melqart losses are also, honestly, pretty bad. But yeah.
Feb 09 13:55:21 <iod> I also don't think any of us are ready to move on Lilli now, or particularly interested in helping Dexanth out. But we're all going to fight here eventually unless we kill each other before she finishes with him.
Feb 09 13:55:45 <iod> her*
Feb 09 13:56:03 <buildscharacter> That sounds about right.
Feb 09 13:56:27 <Schneeble> I agree.
Feb 09 13:56:31 <buildscharacter> I think a viable strategy is killing her or killing each other fast enough that we can expand like crazy to kill her.
Feb 09 13:56:45 <buildscharacter> The two viable strategies. Derp
Feb 09 13:56:53 <iod> I would concur. However, I don't think there's any chance in hell of the latter happening.
Feb 09 13:57:13 <buildscharacter> I'd agree with that too
Feb 09 13:57:22 <buildscharacter> Unless either of you plan on just folding?
Feb 09 13:57:30 <Schneeble> No, sorry.
Feb 09 13:57:39 <iod> Is folding code for stuffing forts with cheap summons and spamming remote attacks?
Feb 09 13:57:44 <Schneeble> Haha!
Feb 09 13:57:58 <Schneeble> That's funny, that what I was going to do, too.
Feb 09 13:57:59 <buildscharacter> It's like that, but the opposite.
Feb 09 13:58:04 <buildscharacter>
Feb 09 13:58:43 <iod> So, what I'm going to propose is a WW1 style network of secret treaties that will hopefully drag the entire world into a flaming hell.
Feb 09 13:58:48 <iod> I mean. A mutual defense pact.
Feb 09 13:59:03 <Schneeble> This is a good plan and would maximize the entertainment for our audience.
Feb 09 13:59:08 <buildscharacter> Interesting.
Feb 09 13:59:47 <Schneeble> So the idea is that if any of the three of us get attacked by Lilli, the other two join in on the defense?
Feb 09 14:00:10 <iod> Yes. With the possibility of a more active role if our individual occupations resolve before hers.
Feb 09 14:00:15 <iod> But for now, defense.
Feb 09 14:01:30 <Schneeble> So, question.
Feb 09 14:01:35 <iod> Shoot.
Feb 09 14:02:00 <Schneeble> Lanka is just about gone. I am expanding into the water but that won't take too terribly long. I'll still need to go somewhere afterwards.
Feb 09 14:02:31 <iod> That is a thing I need to talk to you about more. If friend Builds is interested we can do it now, but I don't want to keep him if he's not.
Feb 09 14:02:41 <Schneeble> Alright.
Feb 09 14:03:03 <buildscharacter> iod: Is this a plan that allows me to meet one of my primary goals?
Feb 09 14:03:28 <iod> Refresh my memory, was your goal "kill" or "see dead"?
Feb 09 14:03:49 <buildscharacter> Guess. :3
Feb 09 14:03:53 <Schneeble> haha
Feb 09 14:04:19 <Schneeble> builds is a man of simple tastes; my guess is "kill"
Feb 09 14:05:18 <buildscharacter> That said, I am still somewhat busy with Lanka. If you want to discuss other things while I focus on that, that's ok too.
Feb 09 14:05:40 <buildscharacter> So long as nobody complains when I shout "yo ho" and port in some friendly giants.
Feb 09 14:05:55 <iod> Just give us a heads up so we can clear the landing zones.
Feb 09 14:06:07 <buildscharacter> Of course.
Feb 09 14:06:09 <iod> We don't want you landing on your welcome buffet.
Feb 09 14:06:09 <buildscharacter> Gentlemen.
Feb 09 14:06:15 * buildscharacter puts on his hat.
Feb 09 14:06:17 * buildscharacter (~buildscha@synIRC-8B6F4B38.mycingular.net) has left #secretwar
Feb 09 14:07:19 <iod> Alright, I propose to sell you 111 and 113 for the princely sum of any blood slaves you have lying around unused and unloved.
Feb 09 14:07:31 <iod> If that number is zero, well, so be it.
Feb 09 14:07:52 <Schneeble> Alright. I think it's actually 11. Off the top of my head.
Feb 09 14:08:29 <Schneeble> There was no blood hunting infrastructure at all when I took over.
Feb 09 14:08:37 <Schneeble> So I've had to start from scratch.
Feb 09 14:08:53 <iod> I am a little bit sore about yielding that fort TC stole from me so long ago (especially now that I know there's a sweet site in it), but you need somewhere to go and your resources + my resources will kill him faster than mine alone.
Feb 09 14:09:31 <iod> I believe but cannot swear that it's adept of pyriwhatsit recruits. So you'd get respectable fire mages out of this.
Feb 09 14:09:55 <iod> After sieging the bloody thing down, of course.
Feb 09 14:09:55 <Schneeble> That much is true. I have a big ol' army that I used to hem Lanka in, they are ready to join the fight pretty quickly.
Feb 09 14:09:57 <Schneeble> Ooh.
Feb 09 14:12:30 <iod> If this works for you, all I'd need is an ETA on your army so I can clear my stuff out of the border region without leaving anyone trapped.
Feb 09 14:13:06 <Schneeble> It works. I can send the slaves immediately, on the grounds that they help you more, the sooner you have them.
Feb 09 14:13:39 <Schneeble> My army is moving to a province that borders you and Mictlan next turn, and then after that I have two forst provs to slog through
Feb 09 14:13:41 <Schneeble> so
Feb 09 14:13:49 <Schneeble> forst = forest
Feb 09 14:14:02 <Schneeble> Off the top of my head I will say 2-3 turns.
Feb 09 14:14:37 <iod> Alright, they're all yours then. I hope this will speed the war along and yield tremendous profits for us both.
Feb 09 14:14:45 <Schneeble> I hope so too!
Feb 09 14:15:01 <Schneeble> I believe from previous scouting reports that acid rain is a problem.
Feb 09 14:15:24 <Schneeble> It was a problem with Lanka's PG too, and my big army (while vulnerable to acid rain as well) is scripted to fight such a tactic
Feb 09 14:15:29 <Schneeble> so I believe I can be of help quickly
Feb 09 14:16:00 <iod> Yes. Acid rain is an issue (though I would be shocked if he can still recruit anything from his cap), and fire rain may also be an issue on your approach path.
Feb 09 14:16:13 <iod> Although I just killed half a dozen of the adepts, so I don't know how much of one.
Feb 09 14:16:17 <Schneeble> Ah! Okay, good to know.
Feb 09 14:17:22 <iod> Anyway, I think we can adjourn the room for now and take any further business to direct communication. Feel free to pester me and Builds if anything else needs joint discussion in the future.
111 and 113 are the two provinces I currently hold between TC and Sauro, naturally. Given that I really needed to throw Schneeble a bone here and the best one I had on hand included that fort, why, there was no longer anything to stop me from concluding talks with Feinne.
Feb 09 14:19:48 <iod> Okay, here's what I'm going to propose. I'll leave you alone to enjoy your (my) fort + sweet site in 107 in exchange for 30 death and both 103 and 94. I'm sure losing the temple will sting but, well, fuck you I had one in that fort.
Feb 09 14:20:25 <iod> The only other condition on this would be that I never see your pretender in that fort. I don't *think* it's an alt site, but you're attached to it and paranoia dictates that I be paranoid.
Feb 09 14:21:20 <iod> As a token of goodwill I'll also ease up on the blood sac for a while, just need to maintain dom within my borders.
Feb 09 14:25:43 <feinne> it's not an alt site
Feb 09 14:26:03 <feinne> and i'm not that attached to 94
Feb 09 14:26:06 <feinne> that'll work for me
103 and 94 are the earth gem site and one past it on his side along our southern front, up to that fort of his. I figure I can resume smashing his face in the south after Schneeble opens up against him in the north, my word honored to the letter as it always is. That brings us back up to the events of turn 41; that battle in Gipha is me taking one of the owed provinces from his pd. It still costs over a hundred lives because his pd has bows and I have maenads, but if they didn't want to die for me they never would have torn off their clothing and run into the woods.
Those reinforcements from the cap head south to join up and help take the second of the provinces Feinne conceded to me. Elsewhere, I take advantage of the peace Dexanth helped negotiate to relieve him of two provinces in the area with those dryad + reveler squads and a third with Mary and her recently reconstituted vampire bodyguard. Also new, you can see a pair of Lilli's zmey sitting on Arcos territory; this is a pretty good sign that he'll do approximately nothing about it. Other than whine, of course, but that hardly counts. Finally, we haven't seen charts in a while - let's take a look at how things stand as of turn 41.
You know, we all called it but that's still mildly alarming.
No surprises here. I'd sure like to have more, but they cost gold.
Yep, still not doing so hot on the gold front.
That's even uglier than the province chart.
I've almost caught up to Lanka! That's...that's kind of depressing.
This is a boring chart.
This chart confirms that maenads still exist. That's about all.
On the whole things don't look great, but I have some things going for me that may not be immediately obvious. I just concluded an unusually productive round of negotiations on two fronts and I finally have a few of these babies on hand.
I'm not going to keep a precise count because, honestly, my lab is a mess. You'd be amazed how easy it is to drop one of these things into the couch for a month or two. Also it would be vaguely depressing next to Builds' construction site-fueled supply.
Finally and most importantly, I am lovable and capable.