Part 19: 1417-The Men of the NorthThe Men of the North
As 1417 began, Queen Dagmaer was contacted by the magic of a wizard, Tauron the Husband of the Flame, advisor and court wizard of the High King of the Storm Tribes, who were a nation of hearty and primitive men in the north of Arcanus. His message was simple: "I act to protect my king. If you prove a threat to him, I will not hestitate to bring my full power against you, O wizard. If you are reasonable we shall avoid such little unpleasantnesses." Dagmaer drew her puppet-spirit back from before the walls of Kriegsturm, finding in the process another town of the Storm Tribes, Feuerlanze, during Firstmonth of 1417.
She then withdrew her spirit, sending it out over the sea, pushing northwest between the land of the Storm Tribes and the land subdued by the realm of Fairlands. Twice it ventured by mischance near towns of Fairlands, in one case coming before the very walls of Newcastle, a port town of the high men. In both cases Horus warned Dagmaer away from his territory.
There must be a town belonging to Horus near the point of land at the northwestern tip of this map, although I did not get close enough to actually uncover this town.
While these explorations were ongoing, the work on the kingdom proceeded. In Bloodrock, a university was organised by Fourthmonth, encouraging savants of the town to take payment in exchange for teaching entire groups of students their lore, while one of the older ships of the Royal Navy was decommissioned in favor of the newer great galleys built in Blademarsh.
By Seventhmonth, many of the nobles of the dark elven territories had invested significantly into improvements in their silk plantations, producing ever more silk for the lucrative trade in the kingdom. One of these elven nobles, Lerethe of Bloodrock, had meanwhile developed a great understanding of Chaos magic, and he took himself to Goldwash to offer his services to the Queen while he oversaw the trading interests of his properties on Dvergursheim, and left the management of his plantations with his younger sister. Even as the kingdom gained the benefits of the growing silk production and trade, the Queen gained an able assistant.
A caster hero in the town your fortress is in contributes half of their skill to your own wizard's skill, allowing you to cast spells more quickly.
Within three months of that, merchants in Bloodrock, taking advantage of the lessons in commercial practise and mathematics they had learned from the university there, established the first non-dwarven money-lending operations in the kingdom, helping to expand investment into trade and developing more extensive warehousing facilities across the town, helping serve Bloodrock as the hub of overland and river transport in the Crimson River basin.
In that same month of Tenthmonth, Dagmaer's puppet-spirit found a thriving town of low men of a different nation from the Storm Tribes across the sea from the Storm Tribes. This town, Blutstein, was the seat of the Elvenqueen Freya, a Nature wizard of great skill, who with her kin was one of the very last high elves of Arcanus, and a ruler over the low men of the Wind Tribes. Freya's greeting when she spoke to Dagmaer through her magic was courteous: "My sister-queen, I trust there is no need for rancor to endure between my people and yours. My wish is only that the Wind Kingdom shall remain untroubled and free."
Dagmaer was pleased to meet a wizard of such reasonable nature, and she taught unto Freya means to study the magic used by other wizards and to recall her servants to safety in battle, before concluding a series of oaths swearing to respect the sovereignty and independence of each of their kingdoms.
Over the course of the year, Queen Dagmaer's magical work also met with success. She studied how enchanted devices might better be constructed, and studied how a person might be consecrated to the Stalwart Warrior and come to bear within them a fraction of the knowledge and power of the god.
Her work was not limited merely to study- her acts of magic over the year restored Vigny and her scouts to life, brought the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor upon Njallshold, Blademarsh, and Leer, and imbued the crews of both the great galleys of the Navy with endurance and strength from the Stalwart Warrior that they might cross the seas more swiftly, untiring in the labors.
I accidentally missed getting a screenshot of casting Prosperity on Leer.
As 1418 began, dark elven settlers came to lands in the south of Westerland, and established homesteads and little villages in the woods at the feet of the hills there.
Over the course of the year, exploration of the seas of Myrror and the world of Arcanus has continued. The halfling town of Hialanth has fallen to the armies of Fairlands, and High Protector Horus is now the ruler of that people.
The Kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim as of Firstmonth 1418
The four towns of Goldwash, Ironbridge, Stony Peak, and Stonegate remain the heart of the kingdom, and an endless engine of industry and trade. Goldwash is without doubt a true city now, while Stonegate's growth has essentially stopped as the district around it has been fully cultivated. The town of Stonegate has about ten thousand folk, and is unlikely to grow further any time in the foreseeable future. The Royal Army has a mustering camp outside of Goldwash, preparing for duty in the future while being able to head in for leave as they will.
The food production available from the terrain around a town provides a cap on the town's population, and Stonegate has reached that cap, even with the added food from Granaries and Farmers' Markets.
Alchemists from Snowy Point help provide more of the steady stream of materials needed by Queen Dagmaer in her work, while a fine new temple of imported stone serves the spiritual needs of the folk of the town. An expansion of the temple is nearly completed, to provide a suitable location for many folk to give honor to the gods.
Darkshore now hosts many savants who are involved in the intellectual life of the kingdom, studying and debating the lore available to them. The more practical efforts of local lumberjacks have led to enterprising folk starting to set up sawmills to process timber into lumber, which should prove of great value to local builders and artisans.
The temple of the Great Lady of Beauty is like a jewel in the town of Blademarsh, while various lesser temples serve in the honor of other Bright Gods. With the new blessing on Blademarsh, the town thrives in a spirit of wisdom and ingenuity, and the efforts to establishing a new university here like the one in Bloodrock go well.
Sawmills in Fangrock process oak from the forests into lumber, while mineshafts in the Battle Hills and in the desert help bring up stone and ore, as well as bringing forth more of the precious quork crystal in the desert. The monastery complex of Fangrock is slowly expanding, and roadside corner shrines are being erected by various pious citizens.
With the adoption of many dwarven commercial practises and the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor, Bloodrock now prospers like no other non-dwarven town. Improvements in the methods on silk plantations have increased silk output, and investment is available for many tradesfolk and businesses to expand their operations. Although steam engines are still in no real use here, elven engineers are training here under dwarven savants in the university, learning to make use of various pieces of ingenious machinery, such as the triphammer for ore processing, as well as advanced methods of architecture.
With a Mechanicians' Guild, along with all the other industry improvements (Sawmill, Foresters' Guild, Miners' Guild), dark elves will produce 5 production per worker, as compared to 6 per worker for fully-developed dwarves (with Sawmill, Foresters' Guild, and Miners' Guild). Not quite to the same level, but close. I've taken a look at actual advanced engineering from the medieval era as a guideline.
The priests of the Great Lady in Leer have studied much Nature magic from their fellows further east, and now their efforts serve to ensure abundant and stable crop yields from the district about the town. As in Blademarsh, a university in Leer is being established in imitation of the university in Bloodrock, which should spread education further amongst the folk of the town.
Darkhold now hosts many priests skilled in Nature magic, ensuring the bounty of the Crimson River valley continues to flow abundantly into the town, with rich and safe harvests. The worship of all the Bright Gods has begun to spread into the town, and little temples in honor of them have started construction, while the wealth of the main temple to the Great Lady continues to increase.
Alchemists in Easthold have unlocked the secrets of mithril steel once more, and swords, armor, and tools of this excellent alloy have started to spread into the markets of the kingdom. A militia armed with mithril swords has been organised, while the weaponsmiths of the town prepare to deal with much greater production to meet demand. A great temple has been erected in the town, which is noted for the fine lines of mithril inlay used as decoration on several of its key architectural elements.
Ironbay now hosts a community of savants who study the lore recovered from the ruins of Westerland. With the increased study of the recovered history of Westerland, it has become clear that, before the fall of the Confederation, the ancestors of the dwarves of Stonehome lived on the eastern shores of Westerland, but fled west to escape the various monsters and horrors that roamed the land. New alchemists' workshops alloy mithril into mithril steel, and provide materials to fuel the magical work of the Queen, while a little but well-built temple in honor of the Bright Gods now occupies a prominent place in the town.
Forestry, hunting, and trapping around Stonehome prospers more than it ever has before, and workers replant trees for future harvest of timber. A new wave of colonists to follow the failed settlement of Ailearth is beginning to gather here once again, hoping to exploit the riches of gold available still on Westerland.
Njallshold, over the past year, has seen the cultivation of its countryside increase, with the food markets to process this greater productivity, as well as having established busy sawmills processing timber into lumber for construction and crafts. A new library with the texts of the realm has been established here, spreading access to learning to this new town. The blessing of the Sagacious Counsellor ensures that the town's business thrives, and it is a busy and contented place.
The village of Firesands has been slowly growing, although it remains a lonely and hardscrabble village on the desert coast. The dragonkin here labor for a brighter future.
The tiny village of Shadowwood is only newly founded, the largest of the small elven settlements of southern Westerland. With fortune, the dark elves here shall thrive and prosper in the future.
The kingdom continues to prosper, and the crown's treasury is well-stocked for any occasion in the future. Shadowwood lies south of the hills of southern Westerland, and a garrison force has been established in the tower in Westerland. Most of the three settled lands of Greater Dvergursheim have been tamed, with only a few nodes of magic with formidable defenders remaining unsubdued on those lands.
The kingdom remains at peace for the moment, although trust between the kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim and the Storm Tribes could, perhaps, be better. Oaths of peace and respect bind the Queen from acting against Queen Freya or High Protector Horus. Queen Dagmaer's skills continue to increase, and she makes good use of Lerethe's expertise in her work.
You can see how Lerethe contributes 12 points to our casting skill. The colored icons by each wizard's portrait indicates their active diplomatic treaties with other wizards. The scroll indicates a Wizards' Pact; we can see Horus and Tauron also have a Pact with each other.
It is the beginning of 1418, and the path of the kingdom in the future is open to decision. Perhaps a new land might be settled, or the kingdom may have reached the limits of what its people can support. Dagmaer's magical work, also, offers several possible ways for her to proceed over the following year. She might seek to continue to bless the towns of the kingdom, ensuring prosperity for all her people, or she might seek to apply the new magic she has learned, either creating a mighty champion imbued with the power of the Stalwart Warrior or developing magical equipment of the utmost power for Vigny's use. Whatever path is taken, it shall be a major undertaking that will occupy much of the Queen's efforts over the coming year.