Part 21: Dancing with the Tsars
Okay, you voted to go straight to the Czar and get Ignatia her promotion. Except we're going to do a little exploration first because I can never remember where Castle Hyppus is.
Dancing with the Tsars
"Let's see here: do I want a handful of mildly useful units, or do I want the rest of my army to not be useless? Go away."
Fuck you, sign. We've still got over 300 days left, and I already know where the Sceptre is.
Another of my favourite signs. This won't stop me from taking the treasure next to it.
As you've probably worked out, this continent is called Archipelia because it's actually a group of islands. We now know where every castle on Archipelia is... except that I still don't remember which one is Hyppus.
If you saw this and thought "who the hell is Corak?", then I guess you'll just have to wait until I do the Might & Magic series to find out.
Hell yes, we do want the game's strongest units to join us, thank you very much.
Look at those stats. 200 HP, 25-50 damage, skill level 6, and they can fly. In terms of offence, defence and mobility, they blow everything else out of the water. They're expensive, sure, but they cost less per HP than Giants or Druids.
Well, that's the good news. The bad news is that none of my current troops get along with Dragons at all, so we'd better put them away for now.
"You wouldn't want them in our army either if you had to clean up after them."
"Please tell me you're not leaving those here."
Don't you worry: we'll be back for them soon enough.
Finally. This was the third castle I checked, and fortunately it's the right one. Time to earn Ignatia that promotion.
"It's you, isn't it? You thief, coming for me like a thief in the night."
"It's daytime. Also, you are on fire. Explain yourself, please."
"You servant of a shadow of a dead man walking, sitting on his throne all alone, waiting for his time, the time of the demon king, lord of misrule dancing around the maypole from sky to sea, ruler of all he sees, king of kings. The king is dead. Long live the king!"
"You know what? Even if you weren't a traitor and a murderer, you are just too Goddamned creepy to run free any more."
Whoa. For a loony, he's got one hell of an army on his side.
(Also, note presence of garrison bitch.)
"More soldiers just mean more targets!"
"... I need that promotion badly."
One? We left one cavalry officer alive out of 80? What the hell are the odds of that?
Fine, let's waste our barbarians' turn killing it now so we don't waste a retaliation on it later.
This is the kind of damage Barbarians can dish out on a good day. Not spectacular, but nothing to be sneezed at.
Unless you're a dragon, in which case you can sneeze at whatever the hell you like, because when you sneeze, you sneeze fire.
"Remember when 25 pikemen seemed like a lot?"
"These elves are making me look bad."
"And the less said about our druids, the better. Dealing out fiery death just isn't as much fun when my army can do it better than I can."
"Okay, so at least I'm doing better than the giants... at least until they get into melee."
"Ah, now there's a unit I'm keeping in my army. These guys will always make me look good by comparison."
Remember what I said about what Barbarians can do on a good day? Well, this is them on a bad day. Their damage is highly variable, which is a good reason not to rely on them too heavily.
High morale turns Elves into rabid arrow-flinging monsters.
At this rate those Knights will all be dead by the time Ignatia has to teleport them away.
Damn it, Giants, what is it with you and leaving one enemy alive today?
Good old Elves, always reliable. They score a well-deserved first kill on the Dragons.
Our Druids, having run out of magic, beat that last knight to death with sticks.
I don't mind that the giants left one alive this time, because, well, they're fighting dragons. What do you expect?
You did not deserve that final kill, barbarians.
"Wow. I'm rich."
"The rich one, Hades, calls from the rich earth. From earth I come and to earth I return. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust."
"Aw, hell, I set him off again."
More Barbarians to replace the ones we lost in battle! Even if they bring Ignatia over her leadership limit, she'll get more leadership once she's promoted.
Nope, still under the limit.
The Czar gave us a piece of the map to the east of the Sceptre.
"Let's not get sidetracked here. It's promotion time!"
"Hey there, Max. I've caught 12 villains. Make with the promoting."
"That's the spirit! When do I get my next one?"
"Awww, that was my last promotion? But I can still only inflict fiery death on 10 knights at a time!"
Ignatia just got a whole raft of stat boosts: leadership up by 600, weekly commission up by 1000, spell power up by 5, spell capacity up by 24. But even though she's now had her final promotion, there are still some major bonuses to be gained from the two artifacts on Saharia.
And on that note, I leave you with today's vote: should Ignatia go to Saharia in search of even more power, or finish cleaning out Archipelia first?
"Even more power? Sounds like a plan to me!"