Part 3: 1401-The Battle of StonegateThe Battle of Stonegate
As the year 1401 began, Queen Dagmaer spent much of the royal treasury on strange plants and minerals, converting a portion of the Royal Palace to a workshop to refine fluids which she used to bathe small crystals of glass, infusing them with an inner light so that they might serve as a store of magic to speed her work.
This is the Magic screen of Master of Magic. Here, you can see what is being research and cast at a glance, see your 'casting skill' (which is the amount of mana you can spend on spellcasting per turn), control your allocation of power between generating mana, increasing skill, and conducting research, conduct diplomacy with other wizards, and use alchemy to create gold with magic or spend gold to store more mana. Either creating gold or storing mana has a 50% conversion efficiency; 2 gold or mana becomes 1 of the other resource.
With this preparation completed, she used her powers to watch over the advance of her northern company of swordsdwarves on the town of Stonegate. King Flosi Jonsson of Stonegate had hastily raised a company of swordsdwarves of his own, and the two companies clashed in bloody battle on the red, iron-rich sands outside of Stonegate.
Battles in Master of Magic take place on a tactical map where each unit maneuvers individually. When units clash in melee, both attacker and defender launch attacks on each other. As figures making up a unit lose all their Hits, the unit shrinks, and weakens in battle with fewer figures to launch attacks.
As the clash continued, the forces of Goldwash at the battle experienced a wonder. Fourteen of the dwarves of the force, lying crippled or dying on the field, felt their strength return, their wounds knit, and their pain flee, permitting them to rejoin the battle and decisively tipping the balance. Queen Dagmaer, calling upon the power of the Serene Mother, had returned their bodies to balance and health. With the fighting force of Goldwash reinvigorated, the defenders of Stonegate were swiftly defeated, King Flosi lying amidst the slain of the battle.
I failed to get a shot of my actually casting the spell in battle- an error of mine.
With King Flosi slain and the forces of Goldwash in possession of the town, the invaders seized the royal treasury of Stonegate before gathering the folk of Stonegate to tell of the wonders promised by Queen Dagmaer. Assured that Queen Dagmaer had no wish to oppress Stonegate, and promised the aid of their wealthier cousins to the south, the folk of Stonegate agreed in moot to accept Dagmaer Flodmarsdottir as their Queen. Queen Dagmaer promptly began sponsoring some of the folk of Stonegate to learn from the masons and builders of Goldwash, preparing to better secure the food supplies of Stonegate, which up until then had been barely clinging to survival on what little farmland it had amidst the searing desert.
When you capture a new town, you have the option to raze it, but we do not do such a crime. As we capture Stonegate, it becomes clear that it currently has zero population growth, and a current theoretical maximum population of 5. Improving its food security will help both of these issues.
The scouts of Goldwash continued their work, finding that the vibrant forest to the far south is crawling with perilous monsters. A month later, in Secondmonth, Vigny Rolfsdottir and her hunters discovered a strange shimmering lake along the coast to the northeast of Goldwash, with a giant's house built upon the shores. Queen Dagmaer, consulting her lore, came to the conclusion that these two locations were places where magic naturally entered Myrror and pooled in it. She concluded that it should be possible to bind these points to her will with the proper preparation, drawing upon their power, but it would require sending a construct of magical power to the point and permitting the construct undisturbed time to transform itself into a binding-spell for the power entering the world there. Without dealing with the creatures defending those points, turning them to useful purpose would remain impossible.
Nodes are a major, naturally-occurring power source for wizards. Think of them as something like the oil fields of the magical world. They can be exploited by melding a Magic Spirit or Guardian Spirit with them, once their defenders are cleared.
By Fifthmonth, the growth of Goldwash as families bore children and people filtered in from the outlying farms and timber camps of the settled region round about the town had become obvious, passing 5,000 people in or immediately around the town. Goldwash prospered, and its folk continued strong in their support of their Queen.
Your Chancellor reports on the growth of towns when they gain a population unit. At default tax rates, a town reaching size 5 would gain a rebel due to unrest, which would need to be pacified by either two garrison units to suppress lawlessness and banditry by force, by religious structures to offer spiritual comfort and alms that calm the troubles of the people, or by some other, more unusual, means. Our tax rate, however, has not been at the default level ever since the game began. Our low taxes mean we only will begin to gain unrest when towns reach size 10.
The dwarven kingdom of Goldwash has traditions of freedom for its people and a light hand by the crown, and the tax rate will continue to remain low throughout the game.
By Seventhmonth, the builders and masons taken from Stonegate were able to return to their town, and begin a program of irrigation and building of mills and granaries to help enrich what farmland Stonegate had.
Builders' Halls also permit the construction of Miners' Guilds, but Miners' Guilds require that a city have at least one hill or mountain in its exploitable radius.
A month later, Goldwash had seen a further growth in the prosperity of its own agriculture, with manuring for the fields provided by waste carted out from the town and a growing network of slaughterhouse, smokehouses, breweries, and marketplaces where farmers coming in from the outlying district could hawk their produce. More farmers began to trickle into the town seeking opportunity, as some of the most prosperous farms began to consolidate their position around the town.
The benefits of a Farmers' Market are cumulative with those already provided by a Granary.
As Vigny charted the last stretches of the land north and south, Queen Dagmaer raised another company of swordsdwarves to defend the town of Goldwash, joining the company that had returned from its scouting to the south, while Stonegate, defended by the company of swordsdwarves that had scouted to the north, now reinforced to full strength by fresh recruits from Stonegate, completed its program of agricultural improvements in Eleventhmonth. The year 1401 was beginning to draw to a close.
The Kingdom in Twelfthmonth 1401
Goldwash is growing swiftly, well-fed by its well-ordered farmland and the rich hunting of its forests. The folk of Goldwash are optimistic and prosperous, and the town provides the gold and food to support the royal coffers and the volunteers defending the kingdom.
Now that Goldwash is size 5, it is called a 'Village' rather than a 'Hamlet'. The Farmers' Market replaces the Granary in the town display, although both still offer their benefits. Many structures will change to display the most advanced version of their line of development in a town.
Stonegate suffers a harsh existence clinging to the coast of the Red Desert, but it has begun to slowly grow as its farmlands have grown more well-ordered and well-developed. It takes a relatively few farmers to feed the 2000 burghers and artisans of Stonegate. The town is a net expense for the kingdom, but the Queen is pleased to make the investment to help improve the lives of the folk of Stonegate that they may eventually become solid contributors to the prosperity of the realm.
Each town must supply the food to feed its own citizens, although the surplus to feed military units may be drawn from any town. With the 2 food from the granary, Stonegate can feed itself with no population units set to farm at all. The blank outline of a coin shows that we spend 1 gold more than we collect in revenues from the town.
The land has been well-charted, from the Red Desert in the north to Snowy Point in the far southeast. Vigny Rolfsdottir and her hunters have been dispatched to chart the last stretches of coastline in the north. The royal treasury stands at 4,600 silver marks.
As 1401 draws to a close, Queen Dagmaer has called for a feast day and moot in the palace and the market squares outside, wishing to hear the will of her people now that the agriculture of Goldwash has been improved so and the defenses of the town put in place. Much could be still be done in Goldwash, whether to bolster the military might of the realm, to improve the mines about the town and provide more tools for building in the town, to further develop the timbering industry of the town, to set a project to hire scribes and copyists to borrow and copy the books about town and create a library and copyhouse open to the public, or even projects to build holy shrines in honor of the gods or settle new territories. Whatsoever arguments are raised at the moot, the Queen promises she shall take into account as she weighs the future in her mind.