Part 11: 1409-The Return of Eigil EinarssonThe Return of Eigil Einarsson
As 1409 opened, Queen Dagmaer set her mind on ensuring order in the uncertain territories of Bloodrock, so that lawlessness and turmoil might not trouble her new elven subjects in the fallen kingdom. While she attended to these matters, dwarven colonists began to settle the western shores of Southern Osterland, setting up farmsteads and mining villages on the fields and hills of that yet-untamed land.
In Fifthmonth, Jorgen Gloisson, a priest and Bright magician of Goldwash, completed the construction of a great workshop in the town of Goldwash. There he gathered metalworkers, sculptors, engineers, armorsmiths, and engravers, and began a strange and ambitious work in the service of the crown. Three months later, the work he had started in this workshop was complete.
A great statue of finely-crafted bronze, built twice as tall as a dwarf or more, had been cunningly jointed with joints of steel and brass, so that its limbs, hands, and head had the same range of motion as a dwarf would have. Places on the statue were prepared so that articulated armor plate of enchanted steel could be riveted directly to the statue, after every surface was carefully engraved with powerful spells and prayers to the Stalwart Warrior, calling upon him that he might find the spirit of a departed hero who would be willing to return and aid his people once more. The armor was all affixed to the statue, leaving only the helmet off, as the final runes of the spell were engraved across the forehead of the statue. Several minutes passed, and then the statue stirred and draw itself to its feet of its own power, and spoke in a voice like thunder.
"I AM EIGIL EINARSSON, ONCE SON OF A KING. I HAVE HEARD YOUR CALL AND ANSWERED IT. FOR A TIME, AT LEAST, I SHALL ONCE MORE WALK THE WORLD OF THE LIVING, AND LEND MY STRENGTH TO MY PEOPLE AGAINST THEIR ENEMIES. LET ME PRESENT MYSELF TO THE QUEEN THAT SHE MAY RECEIVE MY SERVICE!"
Queen Dagmaer was delighted by this work, and Eigil and a little team of metalworkers to see to maintaining his joints and repairing any damage he might take were accepted into the Royal Army.
Golems are incredibly durable combatants, who can prove to be nearly immune to the attacks of lesser opponents and crush entire armies of weak troops single-handedly due to their formidable defenses. I take the need for food and gold to upkeep them to indicate that they require a living support crew that draws rations and wages. By the interpretation I have presented, the golem itself would also draw wages, but they are an expensive unit to upkeep and I assume their support crew is fairly small.
While Jorgen labored at his great masterwork of magic, Queen Dagmaer too was not idle in the magical arts. By Eighthmonth, she had learned how one might detect acts of magic even before they were completed, and she meanwhile began calling upon the power of the Stalwart Warrior to bolster and protect the various companies of the Royal Army, one by one. To aid her work, Dagmaer spent great quantities of money from the royal treasury on the materials to use alchemy to infuse power into crystals of glass, ensuring that she had the power to perform these acts of magic.
The new colony on Osterland thrived, and, by Tenthmonth, the little town of Easthold served as a focal point for the farms and mines of the district, a central market hub which began to supply coal and mithril to the trade networks of the kingdom.
Dagmaer's puppet-spirit continued its explorations, learning more of far lands and finding stores of ancient coins and precious objects in a gloomy cave on one of the deserted islands of the world. It has started to become clear that at least five great lands are clustered into a Great Archipelago that holds the majority of the land of Myrror, separated by only the narrowest of channels, while Dvergursheim, Osterland, and the land holding Bantanu lie more isolated from the Great Archipelago. The great sea to the east of Dvergursheim and Osterland, west of the beastkin's land and the Great Archipelago, is beginning to become more apparent in its boundries, and has been dubbed the Sea of Rains for the frequent steady showers that pour themselves out onto the surface of the water.
The Kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim as of Twelfthmonth 1409
Jorgen Gloisson's factory for the construction of the statue-vessels of warriors of old lies idle for the moment, while the small temple Queen Dagmaer had erected the year before has been expanded into a larger and grander temple suitable for all those dwarves who would seek to worship to pay their respects to the Bright Gods. In these days of peace, Goldwash prospers greatly, its artisans and tradesdwarves manufacturing many fine and wonderful things that are traded across the breadth of Dvergursheim, while overseeing the export of iron ingots, furs, glass, gold, and fine metalwork from Dvergursheim to Osterland. From Osterland, coal, mithril, adamantium, quork crystals, wine, fine supple leather, and elven silks make their way across the Osterland Channel to Dvergursheim. This wealth of trade ensures that the townsfolk of Dvergursheim have the coin in their purses to buy many useful or delightful things from across the kingdom, while the coffers of the crown and of the town's wealthy merchants are well-filled. Amongst the most wealthy individuals in the kingdom are Engla Jonsdottir and Ragnar Ragnarsson, both successful traders and investors.
Now that I can build trade goods here in Goldwash, it helps stabilise the financial situation considerably.
Alchemical foundries smelt the steel worked in Stonegate into enchanted steel, while providing valuable magical supplies to the Queen. A small stone temple has been erected in the town, finally allowing it a formal center for worship and rites beyond simple personal observances. Settlers have begun to gather their possessions here, hoping to find opportunity across the sea to the west in the Great Archipelago.
Steam pumps, improved mine engineering, and a series of steam barges helps Ironbridge extract increasing quantities of gold, as well as other, baser metals, and ensure heavy loads of metal, timber, stone, and other cargoes are efficiently handled and processed by the town, permitting its tradesdwarves to work without interruption. With the town's increasing prosperity, skilled savants have begun settling in the town and taking on interested students, and perhaps soon it shall be a center of learning like Goldwash or Stonegate.
Sawmills to efficiently process the timber of the districts round about Stony Peak into boards and planks for construction, crates, barrels, carts, and so on supply the various industries of the town, helping it thrive. With its new access to the body of literature and lore of Dvergursheim, the town has started to join in the great development of learning of the dwarves.
Snowy Point is still a thinly-peopled frontier, home to scattered villages of hardy farmers, hunters, trappers, and woodcutters who endure the cold winters of the southernmost regions of Dvergursheim. It has little role in the larger affairs of the kingdom.
Trade within its district, to other points in Osterland, and to Dvergursheim has begun to result in greater prosperity in Blademarsh. A busy market district allows the townsfolk to buy and sell the goods of the district and of longer-distance trade, and the local economy has adapted to the widespread usage of coinage in place of barter. A growing number of petty traders and shopkeepers have begun to make profits in the town, although its commercial practises are still crude by dwarven standards. A holy temple to the Great Lady of Beauty has begun construction here, providing a focal point for the priests of the town.
Still not up to the per capita income of a starting dwarven town, but better than it used to be.
Fangrock remains a relatively rustic town, ruled in the Queen's name by the Council of Five. Once they assembled a basic militia, they started construction on a small monastery at the edge of town, brushing aside any suggestions that they may wish to ensure that the town enjoys the benefits of greater commerce. Still, traders arrive here with fair regularity to barter for some of the precious quork crystal harvested from the desert, as quork crystal is highly prized as a storage medium for magical power and fetches a high price from magicians. Indeed, Eigil Einarsson's enchanted body uses quork crystal as its power source.
With the expanded militia mustered in Bloodrock, the Royal Army has been able to redeploy and leave the town in the hands of local nobles and priests monitored by dwarven magistrates, confident that order will be maintained. Barter has faded in favor of coin, and shops and a market square help ensure business for the tradesfolk of the town and the production of fine goods.
The farming villages along the Crimson River near Leer have begun to improve their cultivation, and the granaries, mills, and bakeries to store and process their harvests have been erected through the district and the town. A small marketplace is slowly growing around Leer's harbor, although as of yet it is often nearly deserted when no ships are in the harbor.
The leaders of Darkhold were nearly fully occupied over the last year raising a militia from former thralls to keep order in the district, and little has changed in the town as of yet. Some of the farming villages in the river valley to the south have been making improvements to their fields, but the town itself has seen little benefit from this yet.
Easthold is a very small trading town that serves as a supply center for the dwarven farming and mining villages of western Osterland. There is little by the way of local crafts; the town is essentially a trading post around the harbor connected to a new paved road allowing for coal and mithril to be shipped out and various goods for use by the people of the district to be shipped in. It has been slowly growing, and the first builders who will replace temporary wooden structures with proper stone houses have begun to arrive and prepare for their work.
With the rising prosperity of the kingdom, the crown's finances have grown much more secure. As the Queen has recently spent much of the treasury to fund a major project of alchemy in her palace to fuel her magical work, however, the treasury is relatively modest at the moment. Eigil Einarsson and the Royal Army artillery have been assigned to a position near the ancient high tower in northern Dvergursheim, awaiting the arrival of Vigny and the infantry before moving to secure the tower and further safeguard the kingdom. A ship stands ready to bear settlers from Stonegate across the sea.
Vigny and the infantry of the Royal Army have just set out from Bloodrock to take ship back to Dvergursheim and meet with the artillery and Eigil Einarsson. The Royal Engineers have constructed a road branching from the ancient road between Fangrock and Blademarsh, stretching to Easthold and the western coast, and north across the Desert of Fangs, approaching the Frostwreath Mountains and the town of Bloodrock, soon to connect Bloodrock with the road network of the south.
Vigny's scouts and one of the three companies of infantry in the army have been blessed by the Stalwart Warrior, granted a measure of protection that their armor might better turn aside the blows of their enemies. The other infantry still await the Queen completing her work in granting them the same protection. Between their extensive combat experience, their fine equipment, and their magical protection, the infantry of the Royal Army should be well-prepared to face many foes.
1409 has been a peaceful year of consolidation and development, a year of new prosperity for the kingdom, and a year that has seen a marvel and a wonder in the Bright magic achieved by certain dwarven savants. Peace and justice reign across the kingdom. The Royal Army prepares for battle, however, and what secrets and adventures await in the year to come are known to no dwarf.