Part 20: 1418-One Who is Called and ChosenOne Who is Called and Chosen
As 1418 began, Dagmaer's explorations of Arcanus through the proxy of her puppet-spirit continued, and in Secondmonth she found Beilhalle, another town of the Wind Tribes, set amidst the harsh and barren terrain of the northwestern stretches of Freya's lands. As Dagmaer's spirit lingered near, Freya issued a warning unto Dagmaer, reminding our Queen of her obligations under treaty.
By Thirdmonth, the dragonkin town of Firesands was grown such that the countryside about it was secure and settled, and the town began to build itself up along with the other work of the kingdom.
As Dagmaer's pressed on, away from the shores of Freya's land, it found, in Fourthmonth a new land further west. Clinging to the eastern shore of this land was the strange town of Ixtu, a complex of mud huts and busy workshops inhabited by the bizarre, ant-like klackons. South of Ixtu the klackons had established a major iron mine and foundry, and the town supported a busy dockside trade quarter where the klackons exchanged ingots of iron for high-quality tools, salt, and other goods carried by traders from the lands of men.
While Dagmaer's spirit explored the land on which Ixtu stood, her studies had reached a new breakthrough, and in Sixthmonth she became confident she would be able to summon unicorns like those the Royal Army had faced before to serve her. In the same month, settlers from Stonehome established the village of Pyre very near to the site of the failed colony of Ailearth, once again seeking to exploit the gold deposits nearby.
I missed a screenshot for founding Pyre here.
Then, in Eighthmonth, a remarkable new act of magic was accomplished by Queen Dagmaer. Working together with the savant Hrodvaldur Bjarnthorsson, who accepted a pact with the Bright Gods that he might cooperate with this act of magic, the mind of the Stalwart Warrior reached down to touch Hrodvaldur, infusing him with a fraction of the knowledge and power of the god. The years fell off Hrodvaldur like a winter cloak discarded in the spring, and strength suffused his limbs, while skill at arms and tactics was granted to his hands and mind. His already formidable knowledge of the theory of Bright Magic was reinforced by the special pact he entered into, and he immediately became a Bright magician of skill only surpassed by the two great Bright wizards of the worlds. A little group of ten elite infantry was gathered about him as his personal guard, and he was armed with the enchanted sword and bronze plate previously recovered by the Royal Army.
The Chosen is the most powerful hero in the game, only available by summoning with the white spell Incarnation. At a high enough level and with some good gear, the Chosen can be nearly unstoppable. He has very high base stats and some new skills we haven't seen before- and some 'super' skills, marked with an asterisk, with a 50% greater effect per level of the hero. Might and Constitution boost melee attack and hits based on level. Leadership increases the attack strength of every unit in the army with the Leader, although it progresses more slowly than normal skills like Might. Prayermaster boosts the Resistance score of every unit in the army, and Sage provides extra research points every turn. The Chosen's immunity to hostile magic and missiles means that he can only really be engaged and destroyed in melee combat, a field he excels at. The Chosen gets two random skills (or boosts to some of his default skills), which in our case was Sage and an increase in his Caster skill. Given those random skills, I ended up choosing Hrodvaldur as our person to be infused with the power of a god.
By the end of the year, Queen Dagmaer's knowledge of magic continued to expand, while the new town of Pyre began exporting gold in earnest to the rest of the kingdom, the town now secure and established.
By this time, also, a force to watch and hold the tower linking to Horus' landmass has been set in place, in time to see soldiers of Fairlands wipe out a raiding force from Krag Pool.
The exploration of Dagmaer's spirit continue, helping better reveal the shape of the world of Arcanus, while the last fragments of ignorance in the map of Myrror continue to be pushed back. Storm Tribes warriors have captured the orcish town of Charack near Horus' territory, which is now suffering from heavy banditry from orcs opposed to the occupation.
It seems like Tauron has four times our taxes, based on the number of rebels in Charack.
The Kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim as of Twelfthmonth 1418
The dwarven towns of Dvergursheim proper continue to prosper and, with the exception of Stonegate, grow in population. The abundance of Dvergursheim dwarfs that of any land thus far found in Arcanus. With the completion of the temple complex in Snowy Point, the town has become more free to focus its energies on day to day business and trade, where it is one of the most important centers of the fur trade in the kingdom.
Hunting, trapping, and timbering in the forests near Darkshore have greatly expanded, and forestry to replant trees for future harvest is under way. The local temple to the Great Lady has been gathering much of the best hardwood to expand its halls over neighboring trees of the town, while collecting art and decoration to more richly honor the goddess.
The university at Blademarsh has been completed, and, with the numeracy and commercial practises that have been able to be spread amongst the town's inhabitants thereby, trade has enjoyed a great boom. Investing and moneylending have allowed businesses to expand operations, and Blademarsh's position as an important port and shipbuilding center has let it begin to develop a merchant class rivaling some of the dwarven merchants of the kingdom, taking advantage of suitability of elven ships for long-distance trade.
The great monastery complex under construction in Fangrock is now finally nearing completion. Although the town is growing and has prospered greatly since its annexation by the kingdom, its development has perhaps lagged compared to other areas of Osterland, as the Council of Five has maintained to some extent its traditional insularity even with all the changes that have come to pass.
The great town of Bloodrock has copied many of the technical innovations of the dwarves, although the machines in use here still rely more on wind or water for power rather than steam. Although elven industry here cannot be mistaken for dwarven industry, the techniques are similar and the productivity of the town nearly matches that of the great dwarven centers of crafting. A number of the priesthood here are delving into advanced studies of Sorcery, seeking to find better ways to perceive the truth in the minds of others and to watch the surrounding countryside from the winds.
The university in Leer has been completed, and added to the ranks of those qualified to study and contribute in the discussion of magic in the kingdom. As in Blademarsh, the growth of higher learning has been reflected in a growth in commerce, although Leer's commerce has not boomed quite as quickly.
The long, slow process of expansion of the temple of the Great Lady in Darkhold is perhaps half-finished, while a few of the newer temples to other gods have been entirely completed. The town still grows, thriving on the rich harvests and fine fishing of the great Crimson River valley. Unlike much of the rest of Osterland, Darkhold has yet to receive the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor. Between this and its poor access to local timber and ore, the town is perhaps less developed than most.
Armories and training grounds for heavy infantry have been established in Easthold, and the process of mustering three companies of infantry armed and armored in mithril steel here is under way. Although not yet as hardened and expert in the ways of war as the existing infantry of the Royal Army, the better material of the gear will serve them well. The old infantry units are planned to stand down and form a garrisoned reserve force, with the new companies taking their place in front-line duty.
The temple to the Bright Gods in Ironbay has been greatly expanded and redecorated over the previous year, while new armories and training grounds have been established here in the event of a threat to Westerland. The town, although relatively small, is well-developed, and its access to the rich array of mineral wealth surrounding it has encouraged it to be a successful and prosperous place.
Stonehome's population still recovers from the settlers sent out, while in the town, alchemists' workshops and foundries process metal and other substances for forging and for use in magic. The open land surrounding Stonehome is fertile, and the town grows swiftly.
Expansion of the mines around Njallshold and development of improved machinery to assist the work of the town has resulted in greatly increased gold production, as well as a generally more efficient workforce of craftsdwarves. Njallshold remains a vital link in the chain of trade in the kingdom.
Builders and smiths have established their shops in Firesands, and the improved cultivation of the arable land about the town and the storage of the food thus produced has helped ensure the town's security. Coin has slowly started to flow into the town, and small businesses serving the needs of the local dragonkin are growing.
Pyre is a small but busy town, almost entirely focused as a support and supply center for the gold mines to its east now. Still, with time, the basics of civilisation should find their way here.
Shadowwood remains a small village tucked away in the forests of southern Osterland, the center of a thinly-peopled frontier settled by elves. Little has changed here over the past year.
The royal finances are still healthy, with revenues growing, although the surplus of magical power available to the Queen each year has shrunk significantly as she has had to support more works of magic, not least those laid upon Hrodvaldur the Chosen. Pyre's site is very close to the old site of Ailearth.
The great expanse and wealth of Greater Dvergursheim has engendered some level of envy and mistrust amongst the great realms of Arcanus. Any further expansion is likely to only increase the diplomatic strain, for despite Queen Dagmaer's justice, the other wizards of the worlds and the king that Tauron serves do not trust Dagmaer's might.
1418 is ending, and 1419 approaches. What counsel can her people offer her in this time?