A voice booms out from all around the assembled students.
If you wish to fight for the position of class favourite, feel free to, but remember APPRENTICES that this class is intended to teach you in the ways of being a keeper, not in the ways of personality, you are here to learn effective Dungeon Design, Historical Follies and your Route to a Greater Success (Grade III) and Demonic Dunces: Why a Demon Spawn wont morph into a Knight (Grade IV).
Every keeper is different, and their every method of doing things will differ.
I shall answer and address some points of concern raised by you all, then move onto the 7th Campaign, this will be our final class for today, and shall be for at least one day, to allow Apprentice Jostiband time to catch up.
Oh, great, here come the whiners. Maybe you should think about dropping out of the class if it is going to fast for you. Some of us have no issues with our Advanced Demonology, and if you were a smart keeper you would already have a minion writing that essay for you.
Yeah, and several other minions tasked solely with beating the essay minion to improve the quality of his work. Or reduce the quality of his life. Whichever happens first.
As for comrade Colander, certainly having your minions write term papers for you is efficient, but I would not rely on them to produce...acceptable results. Such higher knowledge is not their position to understand. A million monkies with typewriters will produce Shakespeare, and a million evil monkey demon minions being tortured may produce it faster, but neither is as effective as one superior entity.
You all raise valid points, when it comes to exams, one sufficiently enlightened being will always beat out a million evil monkey demon minions being tortured because they do not understand higher logic. Understand that as a keeper, you posess an oversight so grand and encompassing, it will surpass walls and give you a tactical advantage over your opponents. This is partly why the land of Skybird Trill is now in our posession.
I suggest you re-evaluate your position on the matter, comrade Feinne. While maniacal laughter and pride are certainly the trappings of a true Keeper, Hubris is a folly of the enemy. See how all of those lords (and Keepers) so easily crushed by the Great One have been so ill prepared as to let Him build a dungeon under their very noses, and destroy them with it?
Again, Apprentice GruntyThrst raises an excellent point, Hubris, and Pride are excellent marks of a Keeper, but one should not be too overproud, as there are times when gold will run low, and you shall have to sell, and juggle, and trick your minions to stay with you, and continue to fight.
Another reason the land of Trill fell to us, was the Hubris of good, they did rely too firmly on their existing strongholds, believing them unasailable, and it was only towards the end that they actively began to seek us out as soon as we entered a land, but by that point, it was all, already, far far too late.
Some of us consider it imprudent to attract attention to ourselves from the Great Keeper when clearly the true lesson here is to crush opposition while it's still too weak to fight back.
There are of course smaller lessons to consider.
Artemis' failure to defend the central gold mine despite his momentary superiority is one our prestigious instructor has made perfectly clear, but consider also his dungeon set up.
His hatchery is small, you will not attract great fighters without chickens for them to bite the heads from. His treasury and library are discretely removed, but he has placed his training room well to the back as well. The Great Keeper keeps his well forward, often at the entry to his dungeon knowing his minions will always be willing to take a break from training to kill any fool who tries to enter.
Instead his entry is laughably guarded by chickens, and from there leads directly to his portal and dungeon heart!
One of my classmates asked why Artemis and Belial didn't move on from their victories, I would postulate that they knew they were too weak to face the stronger forces of good and simply tried to hold on to their pitiful fortresses. They were lucky they were destroyed by the great keeper so at least their magic blasted souls being shredded in the netherhells know they were beaten by the very best.
Indeed. Effective Dungeon Design is important, Keeper Artemis was posessed of a great speed, that allowed him to make strong headway in gaining the stronger hand early on, but poor dungeon design saw him resigned to an early grave, Apprentice Faraday makes an excellent observation in that respect, would you rather your opponents simply be able to walk in through the front door, and stab your exposed heart with glee, or would you rather they paid for every inch given in blood from the moment their foot hits the door?
I feel that your perspective does justice to the Master's conquest of this land, and I also feel that complacency is the greatest weakness of those keepers who fell. By refusing to expand and truly dominate the land they allowed the Master to gain a foothold and then crush them.
An excellent point I am unable to sufficiently expand upon. It's all that needs to be said, right there.
One final statement to be answered before we move onto the lesson.
Teacher, may I answer?
It is that he ended up wasting his energies to quell his minions' in-fighting, wasting his energy, and losing valuable creatures that he could have used against us. And more importantly, it kept him from putting his full attention upon us.
You know, the question has already been answered, twice now, and your answer lacks an understanding of the true nature. There would have been no infighting if he was strong.
Do not be so quick to dismiss his answer, part of the reason Artemis got removed from this plain was because he could not keep his minions in check, but that was not a fault of his own making, if you remember the lesson clearly, we also had the same problem, but unlike Artemis, we simply allowed them to kill each other and be done with it. What Artemis did, and to his eventual fall, was to gather his minions in one place by calling them to battle, and then striking them down with lightning.
This caused him to kill, and weaken his own units, and it also removed much of his gold gathered before harrived, and given that we had captured the gold mine, this meant that he could not train his troops further, and gave us another edge in the fight.
This region of dreaming underlings is ruled by the Lady Catherine. She is kind, and fair, and doesn't imprison or torture her subjects, for some reason.
We arrived in SteepScythe in the midst of a raging battle between the Noble Lady Catherine, and the fast growing Raksasha, given what we had learned in other realms, we where quick to secure the gold supply around us.
Raksasha was quick to spy our, less than quiet, arrival.
Expanding East towards the heroic fortress, we discovered that we where in the precise centre of the realm, surrounded by a moat of lava. We cautiously expanded further. As we expanded, we met with a local orc warlord, disgusted with the ongoing struggle between Raksasha and Catherine, which had been playing out for more than two months, by the time we arrived.
Orcs are tough creatures, they are almost as strong as Giants, wielding enchanted battlehammers crafted from the same design as the Barbarians, with age they can toughen their skin, and haste themselves. In terms of strength they are stronger than the Barbarian, but less strong than the Giants.
His arrival was noted again by Raksasha.
His rage was great, using his Keeper spells, he destroyed many of our imps, but his rage quickly petered out.
It is a curious thing, this, 'love'. Raksasha was once a great lord of this land, and Lady Catherine his wife. Together they held this land in a unity that could not be broken, until Lady Catherine caught Raksasha having... fun, aside. Their rage at each other was furious, and they fought in a bloody battle for days, before Raksasha was defeated.
But Catherine could not kill the man she still loved, and cast him out into the wilds, disheartened, alone, and without hope, he wandered. He wandered, and he came across a temple, a place he had never seen in his life, and with bitterness, he vowed revenge in that temple. That dark temple. The dark gods heard his vow, and seeing the chance to spread the seed of Darkness further, they transformed him into a keeper, and gave him a chance. Kill his love, and spread the word of darkness.
With our arrival into the fray, both sides, though bearing no love of each other, but instead, a heady mutual respect through months of fighting, joined forces to destroy us, thankfully, with the geography of the land in our favour, we held only one entrance to our Dungeon, and that was too well defended for entry.
But that did not stop the forces of good from trying.
With the first wave of attackers unconcious on our dungeon floor, we where left with a decision. Capture and convert? Or capture and allow them to become Skeletons?
We chose to go with a combination of both. Whilst heroes are powerful, several of them are not worth the cost of training, or the cost of converting. For those paying close attention, and who wish to save some gold in the healing process, dropping chickens on a captive will heal a small amount of health, not much admittedly, but with a lot of food, it can save several thousand on healing to full. This shall not do much for the stronger Heroes, whom have simply too much health to heal by eating alone.
As our imps set out to capture land, the second wave of Heroes came out from their Eastern Fortress.
Our prisons where at near maximum capacity, and yet it did not seem to break the spirits of the captured Dwarves, who where making some sort of air motion with their axes.
We discovered the Heroic gate in the eastern fortress, which appeared unguarded, we set a watchful eye on it, sure that at some point, Lady Catherine would step through, in all her glorious anger. We pilfered her gold also, due to the fact we had no more to mine.
Here, is the mighty Giant, he is a massive creature, with incredible strength, comparable to the strength of the Bile Demon, he is able to turn invisible as his years progress, and to make himself even stronger, for a temporary time.
All of the heroes eventually succumbed to death, and to their new skeletonal unlife, they set forth with abandon, discarding their previous lifes works, memories, and loves as though they where nothing at all..
Eventually, our spying discovered Raksashas general Dungeon area, and we started expanding northwest, both towards the final gold supply, and to his dungeon. We where rapidly falling out of gold, after the last Payday topped 5.7k, and we only had 18k in the treasury. As a safe guard, we locked up our training room, and started selling off our traps for safe keeping, when we got the call that our creatures where fighting amongst themselves.
It was then that we recalled that skeletons and bile demons loathe each other. Bile demons have a very low sense of humour, and all of it comes from the reactions of others to their foul odours, and because skeletons have no sense of smell, and thus no reaction, this enrages the Bile Demon, causing fights to break out between the two.
To take care of this, we simply grabbed our Skeletons, and tunneled in towards Raksasha, and due to our capturing and conversion as we went, we outnumbered him at least two minions to one. And thus began a small war of attrition. First went the skeletons.
And then came the barbarians.
And then, sufficiently weakened.. came the rest of our minions.
And with nothing else to save him, Raksasha died, amidst a seeming endless flux of torrent and chaos, one which he had tried to conjure, and failed, due to his inability to release that one final strand on his humanity. His love for Lady Catherine.
Within Raksashas Libraries, we discovered a Tenet that allowed us to take a creature with us to another Realm. Knowing he would no longer be needing it, we set it aside, for the creature we desired to bring with us, had not yet arrived, but would in time.
With our desired minion in training, and with the news that her beloved had been slain by us, a wailing moan of despair echoed through the land. Lady Catherine had arrived. But with our new found ability to make others... see things our way, we would not kill Lady Catherine.
In what I feel, was a sense of poetic justice, we re-introduced Lady Catherine to her ex-comrades.
Catherine did not go down without a fight however, using the knowledge of many battles, she toughened her skin, and got down to fighting, cutting down at least one Barbarian, and wounding one other before they knocked her unconcious.
Whilst we had won the day, we where not ready to depart just yet, we needed time to prepare for our journey, and we needed to introduce the lovely lady catherine, to the racks.
And thus, Lady Catherine came to see our way of thinking. Shortly before we slit her throat, and set her corpse next to Raksashas, in a very disgusting pose, that we're sure they shared on more than one ocassion.
Certainly the ex-heroes got a chuckle or two from it..
Everyone has been put to the sword, and we've made an enormous magic carpet out of the thousand bunnies that swarmed here. Your minions will feast on their tiny remains for weeks. Truely a majestic victory.
As an aside, remember that this class is every man for him or herself.. as a result, well.. Sleep well...