Part 4: Fiery Death
"That chapter title sounds intensely promising."
Ignatia and her army follow the river a little further along, hoping to pick up some more treasure.
"More spell capacity means more fiery death. I approve of this development."
Hey, another monster lair! Maybe this one has elves in it!
You are not elves.
"We're sprites! We're related to elves!"
... can you fire a bow?
Can you ever take a hit from any enemy, however weak, without dying?
"Well, no, but--"
Can you, in fact, do anything besides fly around uselessly?
"We can garrison castles!"
... I rest my case.
"Are they gone? Good. We don't have to worry about her trying to recruit us any more. Moonsparkle, bring the death ray out of hiding."
"I've got a good feeling about this town!"
Did your good feeling involve fiery death?
"All my good feelings involve fiery death."
Fireball inflicts a large amount of damage to one enemy unit. There are no elemental resistances in this game, so it's equally effective against (almost) everything. Unfortunately, it costs 1500 gold, so we're only going to buy one for now.
Another town, and a castle!
We have siege weapons and a contract for Murray, so we could attack now if we wanted. But first, let's go into town and see what his army's like.
"That's right, you cowards! Run! Run for your lives!"
On our way, Iggy's--
-- Ignatia's army cleans up some more wandering monsters. I'm honestly kind of hoping to run into something more interesting like giants or dragons just so I can show you what they do. Admittedly, what they do is kill us horribly, but it should at least be exciting!
"Speak for yourself."
Oh boy, Time Stop! And in such a convenient place, too. For a mere 200 gold, we can now buy the best spell in the game.
"You mean the second-best spell."
We also find out what Murray the Miser's army looks like. Villains aren't bound by the same rules about army composition as Ignatia, so they can have multiple units of the same kind of troop. In this case, old Murray has three groups of peasants.
"Three groups? But that means they'll be three times as hard to kill!"
Three times zero is still zero, Iggy.
So what's so great about the Time Stop spell, you ask? Well, as you may have noticed, we're on a time limit, and we've already used up almost 5% of that limit just exploring about a quarter of the first continent.
See how our "Days Left" counter just changed to a "Time Stop" counter? For the next 20 moves, time stops counting down. There are two benefits to having time not pass: apart from not getting closer to losing the game, you don't have to pay weekly upkeep for your army.
"20 moves won't get us far, though. This spell doesn't seem very impressive to me."
Well, it isn't now. But once your magical power improves a bit, it will be. Anyway, it's time to lay siege to Castle Rythacon and capture Murray the Miser.
"Oh shit it's you again. Uh, I mean: You think you can defeat me with that pitiful excuse for an army? Don't make me laugh!"
So he has, in total, 105 peasants, 30 wolves and 25 militia. Each of our archers or pikemen is worth at least 10 peasants, so this should be a piece of cake.
"And you know what we do to cake..."
"We bake it!"
That was probably overkill. We should have targeted the wolves instead.
"But that would only have led to 30 fiery deaths, at most. And you know how I feel about fiery deaths."
Weren't you the one telling me off about my cavalier attitude to the deaths of our militia?
"Yeah, but those were our soldiers."
This is our situation at the end of round 1. Our wolves took a beating, but we managed to take out another group of peasants. From here, it's just a matter of wearing the enemy units down one at a time.
Our wolves didn't survive the battle, and we lost a couple of pikemen, but overall it went well.
"I wish I'd spent more money on recruiting an army."
Well, I hope this answers your question. Apart from the usual spoils of war, we get a 5000-gold bounty and, most importantly, Murray's piece of the map to the Sceptre of Order. Ignatia's also one-third of the way to earning her first promotion.
Do you get any other reward for defeating one of the enemies you're supposed to capture? Like turn them into the king for some cool reward?
"Hey, neat! Give me a look at that map!"
Not until I get it fireproofed.
Hey, you, whatever your name is. Guard this castle.
"Me, sir? On my own?"
Well, if you'd like I could recruit a few dozen more wolves to keep you company.
"That's okay sir I can guard this castle on my own sir please don't feed me to the wolves sir"
I'm glad we got that sorted out. Now, let's take a look at that map!
"Can I look at it now? The cloth's all damp from the sea spray so I'm sure it won't catch fire."
Look with your eyes, not with your hands. Actually, you can probably set things on fire just by looking at them, so don't look at all. It doesn't tell us much yet, anyway: we know there are some mountains to the southeast of where the Sceptre is buried, but that could describe a lot of places.
Here's what's left of our army. I'll restock on pikemen and maybe wolves before doing any more fighting.
And here are Ignatia's current stats. Capturing Murray gave her a significant boost to her score.
At this point, we have three options. We know that Hack the Rogue is in Castle Azram, which is in the desert. Now that we have Time Stop, it's feasible to cross it, so we could load up on Time Stop spells, cross the desert and capture him. We know where Princess Aimola is, so we could buy a couple of Fireball spells and inflict fiery death on her army. Or we could continue exploring the continent to locate the remaining villains, and see if we can find more treasure and recruit more new types of monster. Vote now, because this page is already starting to bog down my browser!
"Vote for more fiery death! You know you want to!"