Part 8: 1406-The Great HuntThe Great Hunt
The taming and settlement of Dvergursheim continued apace over the first nine months of 1406. By Firstmonth of the year, Ironbridge was home to skilled smiths who could forge weapons and tools for the folk of the town and the surrounding districts, and new homesteads were founded in various places across the length and breadth of the land.
By Fifthmonth, Stony Peak had grown from a tiny village amidst a spread of isolated homesteads to a true market town serving farms and mines in the region. Traders and artisans invested into the little town, and farmers improved the cultivation of their fields, slowly improving the prosperity of the town.
While this peaceful development was underway, Queen Dagmaer was building up the Royal Army. In Ninthmonth, the first steam cannon of the Royal Army had been completed and its crew trained, and it, the three companies of heavy infantry of the Royal Army, a new puppet-spirit Dagmaer had summoned, and Vigny Rolfsdottir's band of elite scouts set out onto the road to seek out the ruins of the old age and hunt down the creatures that threatened the land.
On the unit display where we see the six units in this mobile army, we can see experience icons for different levels of experience. Regular units range from Recruit to Regular to Veteran to Elite, while heroes have a wider range of experience and summoned units have no experience levels. The single silver ring under the regular units indicates that they are Regular troops, the two silver rings under Vigny indicate that she has reached the Captain level of experience, and the Guardian Spirit lacks any experience at all.
The first battle of this new Royal Army marked the tactics that would be used in future battles. The puppet-spirit floated to the back, providing a small measure of protection against evil magic to the army, while cannon and scouts shot at enemy forces from a distance and the heavy infantry held their position. When the mob of walking dead inhabiting the ruined temple hit the infantry lines, hammer and sword swiftly slaughtered them, with the royal forces suffering only light losses. With the enemy destroyed, the treasures of the ruins were looted, bringing wealth to the royal coffers.
The Guardian Spirit's Resistance to All ability improves the Resistance score of every unit in the army. With their Resistance of over 10, our Hammerhands are functionally immune to the ghouls' poison. I missed my chance to screenshot the loot from this battle- 130 gold.
Battle after battle followed for the royal forces, all but the last following essentially the same pattern as the first. Walking dead, sinister and stealthy demons which were only seen by the cannon crew Queen Dagmaer had blessed with the Sagacious Counsellor's gift of true sight, and ferocious bears in great packs all suffered losses from cannonballs and crossbow bolts before being decisively crushed by hammer and sword. The last battle of the year, against magical beings that appeared like tiny elves no larger than a crow, lofted on insect wings, was finished almost immediately when crossbow and cannon massacred them almost before the battle began. With the ruins pacified, lore allowing Queen Dagmaer to recover various ways to call upon the power of the Stalwart Warrior was recovered, along with a great trove of gleaming magical crystals of glass that must once have been a treasure of an ancient wizard of the Confederation.
Sprites actually get four shots, but they had already shot once before I could look at their stats. The Death Gaze ability of the Night Stalker forces each individual figure in a unit it engages in melee to roll Resistance at -2 or perish. This means each of our six figures in a Hammerhand unit, with an effective Resistance score of 11, would have a 90% to survive the Death Gaze.
While the Royal Army pacified the wilds of Dvergursheim, Dagmaer's first puppet-spirit continued roaming the far places of the world, fiding more evidence of the lost wonders of ancient days as it crossed across many lands. It remained clear of danger, seeking more knowledge for her use.
The Kingdom of Dvergursheim in Twelfthmonth 1406
The mustering of dwarves-at-arms for the Royal Army in Goldwash has, for now, been laid aside after the second cannon for the Army was completed. The town continues to grow and prosper, and the people are well-pleased with the Queen's wise and just rule.
Size 10 is where our first rebel would appear without Just Cause or a garrison of two. I assume that Just Cause acts first, keeping order so that the strength of a garrison is not needed to suppress lawlessness.
Stonegate has slowly grown as little fishing villages spread along the coast around it. Learned savants have been arising in the town, and perhaps soon it will be a center of learning much like Goldwash itself.
The shops, artisans, tradesmen, and merchants of Ironbridge have thrived, and the town flows freely with gold. It grows swiftly, as settlement stretches out across the river valley. The farmers of the Blackwater Valley have been further improving their lands, and the erection of new markets and slaughterhouses to serve their business is underway in the town.
Stony Peak is still a tiny town at the center of a thinly-peopled stretch of land, but it nonetheless has become host to masons, builders, and smiths who help supply the region. Granaries, windmills, and bakers help store and process the surplus of the region, and several outlying farming villages have well-cultivated fields on the plains along the great road to the west.
Almost all the ruins which dot Dvergursheim have been cleared of monsters and looted of their valuables, and the land is safer than it has been in the dark years of the past. Furthermore, roads have been completed to the farthest reaches of the land, in readiness for homesteaders seeking new opportunities. The growth of the Royal Army has been a weight on the treasury, and the crown's finances do not run quite the surplus they did before.
We now have well more gold we need to pay to our troops than is offset by our Fame. We have two more potentially promising town sites on Dvergursheim, at the tip of Snowy Point and on the western cape.
Queen Dagmaer's puppet-spirit has sent report of two more lands it has crossed, a gloomy land of dark bogs and forests and a desolate cold wasteland in the far north crossed by a great river which brings some life to its surroundings. There are some riches to be found even in those lands, but in many ways the landscape is dark and forbidding.
The new type of terrain at the northern edge of the last land we have explored is 'tundra', marking the worst frozen wastelands of the world. Tundra terrain is completely without any economic value whatsoever.
The puppet-spirit on its mission of exploration slowly draws closer to the shores of Dvergursheim. There are many blank portions of the map to fill, and many lands whose true extent is unknown. What is clear is that almost all civilisation has perished from Myrror, with only a few remaining pockets that have been found in all the years of exploration the dwarves of Dvergursheim have performed.
The folk of Dvergursheim discuss the news of the year, and mark the great strides that have been taken for the safety of their land. Perhaps more infantry would serve well to subdue the Nature node of the south, or perhaps the Royal Army has the strength to take on the horrors there. New settlement on Dvergursheim itself or turning to the sea could both be accomplished, or perhaps honor to the Bright Gods should come before any new settlement at all. The smaller towns of Dvergursheim, for their part have many things that may be built in them to bring greater prosperity to them. What seems clear, however, is that the approaching year of 1407 shall be a year of prosperity for the kingdom.