Part 15: 1413-The Conquest of StonehomeThe Conquest of Stonehome
In Firstmonth of 1413, just as the year began, Queen Dagmaer's research once again bore fruit, and she learned how the power of the Righteous Queen might be called upon to rebuke creatures of evil and cast them from the world, exacting a just punishment for their wickedness. While she labored on her study and on preparing to bring the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor upon the kingdom, periodically engaging in alchemical labor over the year to fuel her spells, the Royal Army regrouped, the final company of heavy infantry and Eigil Einarsson rejoining the primary force.
In Fourthmonth, the little town of Darkshore on the western coast of Dvergursheim grew to a point that it became a true trade stop for the trade networks of the land. A month later, the Queen's first work in calling upon the Sagacious Counselor bore its first fruit. The minds of those in Goldwash were kindled with wisdom, letting them be swift to recognise opportunity, prudent in their action to take advantage, and wise in their use of their endowments. The folk of Goldwash, their minds sharpened by divine blessing, prospered as never before. With the great riches produced by the folk of Goldwash, the royal treasury's incomes were likewise improved, taking a small fraction of the added wealth collected by the town.
Although the description of Prosperity claims it is a 50% bonus to gold income, it is actually a 100% bonus, applied independent of any bonuses from markets, roads, rivers, and coasts. With the current income of 14 from taxes and 15 from gold and silver mines in Goldwash, this means that 29 gold is gained from Prosperity, on top of, unaffected by, and not affecting the 14 gold gained from the marketplace in Goldwash.
Later that same month the Royal Army marched upon the great tower in the center of Westerland, finding there a hulking scaled beast lairing by the tower. In size it exceeded any beast the Royal Army had yet confronted, and its thick scales, razor teeth, and mighty bulk made it a fearsome foe.
Only two rows of 15 hits can be displayed when checking the stats of of a unit. The Behemoth actually has a total of 45 hits, however, not 30.
It charged forth quickly, taking but little injury from cannon shot and crossbow bolts before reaching the front lines. There, Einar and the infantry engaged, Eigil's bronze form suffering great cracks under its blows and the infantry taking some losses. Although it appeared as if Eigil might fall, despite Queen Dagmaer calling upon her power to mend the damage he had taken, the beast chose rather to attempt to flank about the lines, giving the infantry and cannon the chance to finally destroy it.
With the beast destroyed, the Army was free to explore the tower, which was in layout greatly similar to the first tower linking to Arcanus found on Dvergursheim. In its chambers there were found various documents allowing the Queen to further refine her understanding of the link between the worlds of Arcanus and Myrror, as well as a suit of enchanted steel chain of some modest power to bolster the health of its wearer, sent back to the palace in Goldwash.
The tower, like its twin on Dvergursheim, linked to the world of Arcanus- where it stood upon a small island amidst the sea. With little to explore, the Royal Army pressed onward to subdue Stonehome, that it might not launch further sorties against the kingdom's settlement on Westerland.
By Tenthmonth, Ironbridge, like Goldwash, enjoyed the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor, and was blessed by the efforts of its people with great riches both for themselves and for the crown.
At about this same time, the Royal Army approached Stonehome, and the dwarves-at-arms of Stonehome in service to King Reinar Reinarsson drew up to meet the Royal Army. This host was all arrayed in steel mail and helms and bore great pole-axes, even as had the little raiding force sent across the land to Ironbay, and many of them were hardened by long years of training and discipline.
Even so, these forces were inferior to the Royal Army in gear and battle experience, and by the time they first came into contact with Eigil, they had already lost a company's worth of dwarves to cannon and crossbow. They attempted to sweep about the right flank of the Royal Army to destroy the cannon, but the Royal Army's infantry repositioned to block their way, and the mail of Stonehome's defenders was little match for the spikes of the Royal Infantry's hammers or the great fists of Eigil Einarsson, while all the while they suffered more losses from shot from behind the lines.
As the last defenders of Stonehome broke or fell, the Royal Army marched forth, finding King Reinar Reinarsson sheltering in a small but lovely granite temple to the Bright Gods he had erected in recent years. When he was promised lenient treatment for his surrender, he gave up the crown of Stonehome, and was charged that he should remain in the care of the temple under guard until a roundship could arrive to take him to Goldwash, there to join the former Queen Elaissea of Bloodrock as a guest and hostage of Queen Dagmaer, there to dwell in the Royal Palace and take the hospitality of its table. With Stonehome secured, the Royal Army marched forth to meet one of the small galleys of the Royal Navy, there to cross the channel to the mountainous island southwest of Westerland and subdue some of the less threatening creatures there.
I didn't even think neutral towns could build shrines. The taking on of some defeated monarchs as 'guests' is a form of imprisonment, to be sure, but was a relatively merciful option as far as medieval politics go.
As the year 1413 drew to an end, Queen Dagmaer learned how she might begin to replicate the magical artifacts that had been found in the ruins of ancient civilisations, calling upon skilled artisans to craft items that might serve as vessels for powerful magic. Even magical artifacts of relatively modest power will take a great investment of power and time to create, so the decision to enchant such an item is not one to be made lightly.
Enchant Item is the first of two spells to create magical items; it will eventually be rendered obsolete by Create Artifact, which costs no more but does not have the same limits on the power of the object to be created.
Over the course of the year, the charts of the Great Sea and the Inner Sea sheltered by the islands of the Great Archipelago have been extended by the explorations of the Royal Navy and Dagmaer's puppet spirit. Year by year, the boundaries of knowledge of Myrror are pushed back.
The Kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim as of Twelfthmonth 1413
Goldwash and Ironbridge together form the heart of the wealth and power of the kingdom. Both are major centers of commerce, crafting, and learning, and both have the resources to levy companies of fully-equipped heavy infantry or forge and crew steam cannon at need. In Goldwash, Elaissea, former Queen of Bloodrock, resides in her own rooms in the Royal Palace, where she is treated with courtesy and respect, although she is forbidden from leaving the town and is kept under permanent armed escort to ensure she does not escape.
Stonegate has slowly continued to grow and prosper, although it shall never match Goldwash or Ironbridge as a commercial or industrial center. It continues to enjoy a reputation as a source of fine glassware.
Stony Peak has, over the past year, built up a fine temple to the Bright Gods, as well as a network of foundries and alchemical workshops that help process its plentiful iron into fine enchanted steel. The process of establishing armorers and training grounds so that Stony Peak may also serve as a mustering point for heavy infantry if needed is under way.
Snowy Point has continued to grow over the past year, with its farmlands surrounding slowly enjoying greater improvements. New slaughterhouses, markets, and breweries are still being established in the town, that it might enjoy the bounty of the land round about it.
About a thousand artisans and townsfolk congregate in the little town of Darkshore, served by skilled builders making their treetop houses and with the storehouses and bakeries to process the food produced by the well-cultivated farmlands of the district about it. Skilled smiths have been setting up their workshops on the ground amidst the trees planted for the town.
A growing shipbuilding industry has begun to take root in Blademarsh, for now still producing small and clumsy roundships and capable of making small galleys for the Royal Navy, although there are plans to expand the shipyards and construct larger and more seaworthy vessels in time. The hunger for more lumber to feed the shipbuilding industry has encouraged a larger forestry industry, with more lumberjacks and hunters working the woods of the district and with new trees planted to replace the trees cut down for shipbuilding. The expansion of the temple here has been on hold, as the building of shipyards has caused a huge spike in the cost of lumber.
The district about Fangrock is well-cultivated and provides a fine harvest for the town, its distilleries and food markets are busy, and on the streets it is now common to see little snack stands that sell bottles of spiced liquor, little flatbread loaves with onions, pepper, and garlic, and raw onions soaked in a pepper sauce to give them a sharp fiery flavor that the dragonkin love. It has also seen a new library assembled, with the savants and priests of the town coaxed to let their lore be copied and shared across the kingdom, while they now have copies of other books from elsewhere in the realm. Many of the inhabitants of the town and region are preparing to migrate on a great pilgrimage to Westerland, to settle the lands in and around the desert in its north.
The temple of the Great Lady in Bloodrock has now grown to a great pavilion of polished wood and silks, decorated with furnishings of silk, polished and varnished wood, glass, and gold. The lore of the town has been gathered into a new library, so that it may be spread through the kingdom and take advantage of the books and documents recorded elsewhere in the kingdom. Meanwhile, stud ranches have begun to provide a greater supply of fine horses to the town, providing beasts suited for riding or war. Some of the priests of the Great Lady have been studying the lore of Nature magic, that they might better promote fertility and abundance for the farms, ranches, and plantations in the surrounding district.
Construction on the temple of the Great Lady in Leer is still ongoing, with the planned expansion nearly complete. The needs of the Royal Army and local militia have encouraged some of the townsfolk of Leer to move back to farms or fishing villages nearby, providing beans, plum wine, and salted fish across the kingdom.
The hall of the temple of the Great Lady in Darkhold has been completed and furnished with graceful statues, and the priests of the town now congregate there for their rituals. A library has also been built here, buried beneath the sod of the frozen ground, and stores archives of all the learning of the kingdom that has been able to be sent there.
The bustling little trade town of Easthold now supports a fine array of breweries, food markets, and slaughterhouses, processing and selling the bounty of the well-ordered farmland of its district. A library has been erected here, which is starting to be filled by books copied out from every storehouse of lore and learning in the kingdom.
The growing, prosperous little town of Ironbay has seen its district come under better and better cultivation, and the businesses processing this agricultural bounty have begun to grow in turn. Roundships from Dvergursheim call here regularly, while a road across the desert stretches off to the west, preparing for the settlement of districts further west in Westerland.
Stonehome has gladly accepted Dagmaer as their new Queen, as the rule of the crown of Greater Dvergursheim has freed the dwarves of the town from the heavy taxes and stern rule of Reinar Reinarsson. It has become clear that the traditions of Kingsmoot in Stonehome had become corrupted over the years, with only the warriors in royal service assembled to choose a new king when their old king perished, which allowed stern kings who answered only to their own dwarves-at-arms to arise. The temple of the Bright Gods here is a small but stately granite structure, erected by the old King Reinar at great expense and standing out from the limestone houses surrounding it. The former King Reinar now is housed under guard in the temple, prevented from making contact with others that might support him in an attempt to reclaim his crown while he awaits a ship to carry him to Goldwash. A new force of volunteer militia has been raised in the town, replacing the large old professional force that once protected the town.
The kingdom's prosperity is unprecedented, and the finances of the crown reflect this growing prosperity. Much of this wealth for the crown has been spent in manufacturing enchanted crystals to fuel Dagmaer's spellcasting, which continues to call upon the Sagacious Counselor to bless the folk of the kingdom. The Royal Engineers are building a road past the tower to Arcanus on Westerland, intending to eventually connect the river mouth of the Salmon River and the town of Stonehome by road to Ironbay. A ship of the Navy bearing new settlers from Dvergursheim is crossing the Great Sea, planning to make landfall at the mouth of the Salmon River. Although the Royal Army has eliminated many of the monsters threatening Westerland, the unholy knights haunting the ruins just north of Ironbay and the creatures dwelling about the nodes of magic on the land still remain unchallenged.
Exploration by the ships of the Royal Navy has uncovered a fifth tower of the sort that connects Arcanus and Myrror on a small island in the Great Sea south of Westerland, joining the towers on Dvergursheim and Westerland and the two other towers in the western portion of the Great Archipelago. Perhaps, once better ships are assembled to more easily transport the Royal Army, a landing on the island shall be attempted and the tower's secrets plundered.
One small galley has been slowly ferrying the troops of the Royal Army across the channel southwest of Stonehome, so that the Royal Army may clear out some of the hazards of that land, while still steering clear of the most dangerous sites on Westerland.
Prosperity and glory attend the kingdom, which now rules the whole of Westerland with Stonehome brought into the kingdom. There are, however, some concerns growing amongst some of the dwarves of the kingdom, noting that although the power of Queen Dagmaer helps allow for communications that hold the kingdom together and that the realm is happy under her rule, the kingdom is far larger than any dwarven kingdom has ever been, and far too large to effectively hold a Kingsmoot in the day, hopefully still far in the future, when Queen Dagmaer finally perishes. What shall come of the kingdom then? Must it be split into multiple kingdoms? Shall the succession go smoothly in the lands of the elves and dragonkin, who lack the traditions of Kingsmoot of the dwarves? Must some other solution be found to ensure the land's unity? These matters are matters for debate amongst those who raise the question. Still, there is little need to fear that this shall come to pass yet, and much time remains to discuss and decide the matter. 1414 approaches, with promise of greater happiness and riches for the kingdom still.