Part 7: 1405-The Royal ArmyThe Royal Army
Over the first seven months of 1405, time passed in Dvergursheim marked only by the continuation of dwarven labor and learning. Ironbridge came to host builders, masons, and architects, and the Blackwater Valley saw agricultural improvements that helped to more efficiently grow, store, and process more of the bounty of the rich land about the river. Windmills and granaries began to dot such land about Ironbridge as had been put under cultivation. Meanwhile, in Goldwash, great alchemical workshops smelted ingots of alchemical steel, a faintly magical material with greater hardness and keenness of edge than earlier steel, and a cadre of training-masters were assembled for the Royal Army in preparation for the levying on true professional troops.
In Eighthmonth, however, the routine of building was broken by the arrival of settlers in the land about the Gray Mountains. The tiny village of Stony Peak, nestled in the northern foothills of the Gray Mountains, served as a point from which homesteaders set off to tame the surrounding land.
By Tenthmonth, Queen Dagmaer wrote of her having discovered how to call upon the power of the Sagacious Counsellor to permit people to see the true nature of things, penetrating illusion, invisibility, and deceit. The month following that, Ironbridge saw the opening of a major sawmill processing timber felled in the surrounding forests while Goldwash finished the muster and training for the first company of the professional Royal Army. These professional dwarves-at-arms have been equipped for open battle, with gleaming breastplate, backplate, helmet, skirts, pauldrons, and gauntlets of steel plate over a coat of mail links. Their primary weapon is a steel-hafted hammer designed for use in two hands, one face of its head a flat hammerhead meant to crush armor and bone, the opposite face a tapered spike designed to punch through mail and tough hides like a mining pick. They also bear short, heavy-bladed hewing-swords, made to inflict terrible wounds on unarmored flesh. With such formidable dwarves-at-arms, the Royal Army might be capable of facing some fearsome foes with confidence.
The Queen's puppet-spirit spent the year roaming over further lands, first southwest over a channel from the lands of Stonehome and then north over the sea to the lands about a great river. Like the other lands of Myrror, these lands bear the scars of the collapse of the Confederation of Wizards, and terrible creatures lurk in the ruins of the old world.
The Kingdom of Dvergursheim in Twelfthmonth 1405
Goldwash bustles with activity, supporting every trade known to dwarvenkind. Recruitment is underway for the Royal Army, strong young dwarves of firm courage being sought to take up armor, hammer, and sword to bear arms against the terrors of the land. The Queen has published a proclamation that two more companies of dwarves-at-arms are currently being recruited, along with a number of dwarves cunning and swift with mathematics and the operation of steam boilers.
At population 9, Goldwash is now a 'Town', with a correspondingly more impressive icon on the map.
Stonegate has shrunk, as a number of its folk have left the harsh environs of the Red Desert to seek their fortunes in the shadow of the Gray Mountains. Still, the town is pleasant enough. It has just finished mustering a new company of volunteers to protect the town to replace those who have moved to take up homesteads in Stony Peak.
The rich lands of the Blackwater Valley have supported a swiftly growing populace, and Ironbridge is booming. With growing cultivation, better access to lumber, and swift road access to the markets of Goldwash, the folk of the town have access to much that they need. Skilled smiths are starting to move in and take up apprentices, so that the town might soon be able to forge tools and metal goods locally it previously would have needed to import. Vigny and her scouts are currently stationed in Ironbridge, but may swiftly be recalled as they are needed.
Stony Peak is still little more than a tiny village and cluster of homesteads in the foothills of the Gray Mountains. A company of volunteer swordsdwarves from Stonegate was granted first option on homesteads in the region, serving as the protection for the tiny settlement.
The great road spanning Dvergursheim stretches from the Red Desert to the North to the southern edge of the Blackwater Valley in the south, and new settlement has started to tame the wilds between Goldwash and Stonegate. The expense of building up the Royal Army and the reduced tax revenue from Stonegate have made their mark on the royal revenues, although royal finances are still quite healthy. With the supply of materials from the alchemists of Goldwash, the Queen has been able to accelerate her work somewhat.
Southwest of Stonehome there lies a large island with rugged and mountainous terrain. Immense and terrible creatures haunt its eastern shores, while deposits of silver and of adamantine, a dark purple metal, nearly black, can be found in its highlands. Old lore holds that adamantine is stronger than any other substance, but that its great strength makes it incredibly difficult to work or shape.
Somewhat north of this island, there lies another land, watered by a great and rushing river that flows on a fertile plain between high hills on either side. Queen Dagmaer's puppet-spirit even now explores this land.
The work of the puppet-spirit continues to push at the edges of the knowledge of the dwarves, but much of the map of Myrror still lies blank.
With the strength being mustered in Goldwash, Dvergursheim may soon be able to defeat the creatures left to threaten its peace, while the other towns of the kingdom work to build themselves up. 1405 wanes and 1406 approaches. May the people continue to prosper in happiness and peace!