Part 13: 1411-Nature's FuryNature's Fury
The early months of 1411 passed quietly in Greater Dvergursheim. The Royal Army was pulled from the tower linked to Arcanus, while a company of volunteers was formed who were set the duty of serving as lookouts at the tower lest anything approach from the surroundings in Arcanus. By Thirdmonth, the settlers on their way to Westerland had crossed the Great Sea and began to establish homesteads by the shores of the Ironbay on its northern coast. Meanwhile, in Goldwash and in Ironbridge, work proceeded to build new steam cannon and recruit artillerists to crew them, in preparation for an advance on the node of Nature in southern Dvergursheim. In Ironbridge, this required that proper training and drilling grounds be established, for up until this point there had been little need to levy troops in Ironbridge.
By Seventhmonth, finally, the Royal Army set forth to march upon the node of Nature. The arrayed dwarven forces comprised three companies of heavy infantry, three steam cannon, Eigil Einarsson, and Vigny Rolfsdottir and her band of hardened scouts. As they marched toward the node, they saw arrayed before them a flock, some two hundred strong, of swarming bird-sized sprites, and three gargantuan six-legged lizards, as large as a little house and covered in flexible green scales.
Creatures of the same magic type as the node get a +2 bonus to attack, defense, and resistance strengths in battle at the node, making them notably more dangerous. The stoning gaze of the basilisks would be dangerous if the resistance ratings on our dwarves were not so high as to entirely negate the ability as a threat.
The cannon and scouts exchanged shots with the swarming sprites. Although some sprites were indeed slain by cannon shot or crossbow bolt, the power of the node did reinforce the sprites with power and vigor, and the sting of their magic did wreck any cannon before the great lizards met the forward lines of the dwarves. As Vigny's scouts suffered losses, Dagmaer did attempt to stretch forth her power to bear Vigny and her remaining dwarves to safety, but the power of the node did also prevent the Queen from accomplishing this act of magic.
The Nature node counters our spell through sheer interference.
When the lizards did meet dwarven lines, their great size and weight and the sharpness of their teeth and claws did cause many injuries and deaths amongst the infantry, and even Eigil's great metal frame did suffer damage to the softer bronze beneath his armor. The power of the sprites did strike down Vigny and the last of her scouts, and then, wearied and drained of magic, the sprites did advance upon the infantry to engage them with small blades of steel they did attempt to stab through the joints of armor of their opponents. Though some infantry fell beneath these elusive foes, in the end the inevitable victory of dwarven steel against foes a mere fraction of their size was achieved.
This victory, however, was not without cost. The entirety of the artillery sent to battle were now wrecked and useless, many of their crew injured or slain, as were a third of the infantry who came to battle. Perhaps most dismaying of all, the elite scouts of the Royal Army had been wiped out, and their leader lay slain. Even so, with the monsters about the node slain, it seemed probable that Dvergursheim might enjoy greater safety in the future, and the victory against so fell a foe was a deed worthy of story and song, and the Queen sent a puppet-spirit that she might tame and make use of the power of the node.
From the battle, the Army recovered Vigny's mail and did also find a sturdy baton of wood, gold, and quork, a suitable tool for a magician to channel their powers, resting where it lay forgotten from ages far past.
If we had a spellcaster hero, the wand would be useful. As it is, I am hanging on to it just in case.
A few days following the battle, the Queen did complete further research, better comprehending how travel between Myrror and Arcanus might be achieved, while the remainder of the Army did return to Goldwash to rest, recover, and seek new recruits, and wait for new cannon to be commissioned.
In Ninthmonth, elven settlers from Osterland came and began to make homes along the western shores of Dvergursheim, helping to tame some of the last unsettled corners of that land. The chief village they founded they did name Darkshore, and from Darkshore some months later the first ship full of Royal Army troops left to begin assembling their forces on Westerland to tame that ruined land.
While the events of the year wore on, the spirit with which the Queen explored Myrror continued its work, helping to chart the secrets of the two northernmost lands of the Great Archipelago. The dwarves of Dvergursheim did also better chart the Great Sea between their shores and Westerland, as ships plied that sea and explored its limits.
The Kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim as of Twelfthmonth 1411
The great and bustling town of Goldwash yet prospers from its crafts and its trade, the great central engine of the wealth of the kingdom. Many of the Royal Army still tarry here awaiting their chance to cross the sea to Westerland, and for the months of his stay here Eigil Einarsson has consented to discourse upon the time of his life to some of the savants of the town, helping to greatly illuminate the truth of matters in the middle of the Dark Years after the fall of the Confederation.
With a population of 13 units, Goldwash is now called a 'City' and its icon grows correspondingly more impressive.
The temple to the Bright Gods in Stonegate is undergoing construction, an expansion in size and opulence to better serve the folk of the town. Although Stonegate has been left behind as an industrial center by some newer towns, its position as a center of culture and learning is still fine and admirable.
The wealthy town of Ironbridge has, over the past year, raised up foundries, alchemical workshops, training grounds, and a small temple dedicated to the Bright Gods. The riches of the Blackwater valley concentrate in the town, which is well-regarded for its fine artisanship and trades.
The timbering and forestry of Stony Peak now thrives, and its supplies of wood and charcoal are well-secured, while hunters and trappers ensure that wild meat is brought in to help feed the town. Steam pumps and more extensive tunnel networks in the mines of the district are beginning to be put into use, and the town should shortly produce a vast wealth of iron ore for the use of the kingdom.
The town of Snowy Point now hosts masons who have upgraded many of its dwellings to permanent stone, and cultivation in the cold fields of the district round about has now provided an abundant harvest of rye which is milled and baked into bread for the town. Some smiths plan to move here and take apprentices to serve the need of the town and district for tools and metal goods.
The small village of Darkshore lies near the center of a small collection of elven farming and timbering villages in the west of Dvergursheim, and orchards of fruit trees line the approach to the village along the paved dwarven road.
Wineries and slaughterhouses process the bounty of Blademarsh's district into meat and drink for the table, and the peach wine of the town is growing better-known beyond its district as trade carries it to the corners of the kingdom. Books from Dvergursheim have been copied over to help seed a library in Blademarsh, and the nobles and savants of the town have been induced to allow copyists to make copies of many of their texts that their learning may be spread across the kingdom.
The central town of Fangrock has begun to grow, with the farms of the outlying district and the fishers of the coasts supporting more tradesfolk and artisans. Much dwarven coin has begun to collect in the town, and the merchant caste of the dragonkin has begun to build up larger marketplaces to support the growing trade in the town and district.
New orchards are being planted across the rich riverlands near Bloodrock, along with many other agricultural improvements. Slaughterhouses and wineries are growing, beginning to serve a greater business as the farmlands supporting Bloodrock flourish further.
The agricultural improvements underway in the district round about Bloodrock have gone even further near Leer, and great marketplaces to sell the bounty of the riverlands are very near to opening in the town. In the future, meat and drink should be more plentiful for all the elves of the western reaches of the old kingdom of Bloodrock.
Darkhold and its district are the last corner of the old kingdom of Bloodrock still primarily conducting its business in barter and kind, although its integration with the trade networks of all Osterland have helped bring in more coin. Its sleepy ways are changing, to some extent.
The town of Easthold is starting to see a growing volume of trade, and merchants dealing in all the riches of Osterland and the fine goods of Dvergursheim have started to see growing success here. Mithril fetches a high price on the markets, and the greed of dwarven furnaces for coal in place of charcoal provides consistent and profitable exports. Many shopkeepers and artisans are making good coin here, and accepting investment to better supply their work.
The village of Ironbay stands at the focal point of a scattering of hunting, timbering, and mining villages, but can hardly be said to be a true market town. For now the dwarves of the district set their energies to taming the wilderness, perhaps in the future to earn the wealth that can be achieved by trade with the rest of the kingdom.
The western shores and forests of Dvergursheim to the south of Goldwash are now home to elves, who have begun settling this wilderness in search of the opportunities here. Royal finances are as healthy as ever, and the flow of power to the Queen's magical work has only increased as she has begun exploiting a node of magic.
Dagmaer's drawing of power from the node of Nature in the south of Dvergursheim leaves a clear current of magic that can be sensed by any trained magician. This energy is now tamed and can be turned to many productive uses.
Roads and bridges built by the dwarves now link every town of Osterland, and a person may be borne from Leer to Blademarsh in but a day or two of swift travel, propelled by the mighty winds commanded by the enchantment of the roads.
A new infant colony nestles on the eastern edges of Westerland. The dwarves of Dvergursheim have truly returned once more to the Great Archipelago.
The tale of 1411 is spun. Tragedy and victory are woven together like thread on a loom in the record of the year. Let us hope that 1412 offers only unalloyed happiness as it approaches!