The Let's Play Archive

Master of Magic

by nweismuller

Part 21: 1419-The Black Brotherhood

The Black Brotherhood

In Firstmonth of 1419, Dagmaer's brought down the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor upon Pyre only a short time after its growth to a true town. Although still very small, its people brought skill and good judgement to their work, and the mines of the district flowed with gold and the town bustled with opportunity. A month later, in Secondmonth, the third company of heavy infantry being raised in Easthold was completed, and the new Easthold infantry were sailed to Dvergursheim while the old core units of the Royal Army took over the garrison work for the capital of Goldwash. The volunteer militia in Goldwash was permitted to stand down, returning full-time to their trades.

Shortly after this, in Thirdmonth, Darkhold joined the many towns blessed by the Sagacious Counselor's power. Trade in the agricultural bounty of the Crimson River valley and the skillful management of businesses and households brought prosperity unprecedented to the snowbound northern town. Two months after that, in Fifthmonth, Fangrock was likewise blessed, the spirit of innovation inspiring the leading dragonkin and the Council of Five to overlook certain violations of the traditional caste system, helping permit a flowering of trade and culture in the town.

With this work completed, and only three small towns remaining to recieve such a blessing, Queen Dagmaer chose to take the time to pursue another great work. Skilled smiths, alchemists, and bowyers were commissioned to build a heavy-framed crossbow of adamantium, strung with cable of mithril steel, while the Queen prepared powerful magics to lend force and accuracy to the bolts launched from the bow, and to assist with cocking and drawing the heavy-draw weapon after each shot. The estimated time for the project to build this weapon is nearly one and one half years.

The cost to create magic items is dependent on what powers you give them. Powerful items can be extremely expensive in time and magic to create.

Even as Queen Dagmaer started this project, her studies continued, and in Sixthmonth she learned how even the greatest magics of other wizards might be broken down and disassembled, even as war erupted between the Storm Tribes and Fairlands, shattering the previous agreement of alliance between Horus and Tauron. The progress of this war remained mysterious to the kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim, however, with the lack of travel between Greater Dvergursheim and the lands of men ensuring little news made its way to dwarves and elves and dragonkin.

Over Eighthmonth and Ninthmonth, troubles of their own struck Greater Dvergursheim. Several renegade dark elven nobles gathered together a band of ruthless followers, using them to crew a ship they had constructed in Blademarsh. This pirate band named itself the Black Brotherhood. Running down merchant shipping along the coasts of Osterland and between Osterland and Dvergursheim, they captured many roundships, causing loss of life and property before fleeing to Bantanu with their loot to avoid the retribution of the Royal Navy. In recognition of the failure of her duty of protection of her subjects, Queen Dagmaer paid to shipowners, owners of cargoes, families of the lost, and maritime insurers who suffered losses compensation from the Royal treasury.

Like any random event, there is nothing you can do to prevent it striking you. All you can do is live with the consequences.

As the Navy gathered to pursue the Black Brotherhood in Ninthmonth, Horus completed a great work of magic, stilling many winds in the worlds, while raising great and steady winds for his own ships. The delay this caused allowed the Black Brotherhood to escape, using their ill-gotten gains to convince the beastkin to shelter them, though there is little love between the beastkin and dark elves.

Although this great work of Sorcery must have taken Horus great efforts, it remained in place for only two short months. Although it is difficult to be sure, it seems likely that Tauron used his own power to cast down the work of Horus so that the winds of the worlds returned to their natural state.

Meanwhile, Eighthmonth marked the point when the priesthood in Bloodrock began the use of Sorcery to watch over the district round about, and to gaze into the minds of persons under questioning. With these tools of Sorcery, the ability to seek out and apprehend criminals in the town and district was greatly increased, helping ensure peace and order for the foreseeable future.

I found myself having to ask the question: why would 'divination' be so very effective at suppressing unrest? The obvious answer is that it makes enforcement of order easier.

By the end of the year, even as Queen Dagmaer's work on the enchanted crossbow continued, she learned methods that might be used to observe every town in the worlds, seeking out the great concentration of thinking persons they represent and bringing news of them to her. Although she was yet unable to begin work on this, the ability to learn the full extent of the surviving peoples of Arcanus was a matter that greatly engaged her curiousity, and she resolved that she would do this as soon as her other work was complete.

Although news of the war between Horus and the Storm Tribes was sparse, the lookouts at the tower leading to Fairlands reported news of an army of high men, priests, soldiers, and two heroes and their guard, headed south toward Kraag Pool. It seems likely that soon the independent despotate will fall to Horus' rule.

The continuing explorations of Dagmaer's puppet-spirit over the course of the year showed that the land south of the land that Ixtu stood upon was the easternmost stretches of the land first discovered when the Army broke into Arcanus, harsher and less pleasant than the lush and rich land to the west, and likewise without inhabitants save the tiny tribe of gnolls that had contacted the kingdom. Although the charts of Arcanus have grown, it is still largely mysterious and unknown to the people of Greater Dvergursheim.

The Kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim as of Twelfthmonth 1419

The capital of Goldwash is now guarded by the elite heavy infantry who fought so hard across much of Myrror, letting the newer units armed with mithril steel take up future field duty. The capital continues to grow, with trade now recovered from the harsh blow it previously suffered from the Black Brotherhood. Lerethe and Hrodvaldur labor here, assisting Dagmaer with her magic.

The expansions to the temple of the Great Lady in Darkshore have been essentially completed, although further decoration and rich furnishing is being provided to it even as smaller temples to the other Bright Gods begin construction in the growing town. Although relatively prosperous, Darkshore still lacks the blessings and investment that have brought true wealth to other portions of the kingdom.

Although the activities of the Black Brotherhood caused great losses to the growing merchant class of Blademarsh, royal compensation for losses to piracy and the workings of the dwarven insurance markets have prevented catastrophe to the local economy. With the pirates driven off, trade once again flourishes, and the fortunes of local merchants and artisans grow.

The traditionally closed and conservative society of Fangrock has been shaken from its complacency as a wave of innovation has swept the dragonkin of the town. Caste lines have blurred as dragonkin seek their fortunes according to their judgement and the strict bonds of tradition have relaxed. Major forestry has harvested timber to feed new construction and provide material to planned shipyards being constructed with investment by the dwarven merchant Ragnar Ragnarsson.

With the aid provided by the Sorcery practised by the priests under her, the high priestess Saraia, governess of the old kingdom of Bloodrock, has been able to shift half of the militia once stationed in the town of Bloodrock to patrol Leer and its district, while not fearing any disturbance or disorder. Alchemical workshops and foundries have begun to grow in the town, processing metal and providing supply for the magicians of the town.

Growing investment and moneylending has allowed for the growth of businesses in Leer, helping provide profits to tradesfolk, artisans, merchants, and landowners developing their properties. The continued growth of trade has encouraged the development of a local shipbuilding industry, which, although small compared to that of Blademarsh, has begun work on roundships for the service of the trade of the kingdom.

The great expansion to the temple of the Great Lady in Darkhold still proceeds slowly, hindered by the need to continuously import construction materials. Even so, the people of the town enjoy greater prosperity than ever before, their management of their resources and the skill of their work blessed by the Sagacious Counselor.

The recruitment of soldiers for the Royal Army in Easthold is at an end, the Black Brotherhood no longer threatens its shores and ships, and the energies of the town are turned entirely to peace and prosperity. The forges of Easthold consume much of the coal dug from its district's mines, turning out tools and weapons of mithril steel for markets across the kingdom, along with art, tableware, and similar things made of pure mithril or adorned with mithril inlay. More than any other products of Easthold, these are famed and desired in markets across the kingdom.

At the western and eastern ends of Westerland, Ironbay and Stonehome anchor the trade of that land and serve as the twin hearts of its civilisation. Although somewhat smaller, Ironbay is the richer town, with better-developed industries and access to a rich abundance of natural wealth. Even so, both produce many fine goods for their own people and for export to other towns, trading for those towns' own products. Both have somewhat expanded their local militias, and Ironbay stands ready to muster true heavy infantry in the event of a threat to Westerland.

Forestry about Njallshold has grown and prospered, along with the work of hunters and trappers, while the learning and culture of the town and its savants matches that of much of the kingdom. The skills of its savants have led some to delve into alchemy and open their own workshops or foundries, joining other towns having those resources at its disposal. The wealth of this growing town is great.

The little town of Firesands trades consistently in coin now, with small but busy markets trading the products of its artisans to the district and with those travelling merchants that stop here. The cultivation of its district is greatly improved, and its markets are well supplied with meat, fruits, vegetables, liquor, spices, and grain. Sawmills to process the timber harvested from the south are slowly being constructed, helping better supply the town with the wood needed for construction and the work of artisans.

Pyre, though a very little town, is a busy place at the center of a well-ordered district. The inhabitants of its district have improved their farms and cultivated the land to provide a great bounty of food, and the town hosts slaughterhouses, breweries, and food markets to handle this bounty. Merchants and investors back the gold mining operations here, and skilled smiths and artisans have successful shops in its little marketplace, while the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor guides every person of the town. With the abundance provided by their material prosperity, the dwarves of the town have begun sponsoring the construction of a local library, and the copying of books from across the kingdom to stock it.

The little village of Shadowwood has grown somewhat, and more homesteads and farms slowly dot the district round about, but the district is still a largely wild frontier. The elves of the district live a wild and rugged life.

The growing prosperity of Greater Dvergursheim has greatly increased the crown's annual revenues over the past year. Despite the burden of supporting additional works of magic, slightly more power is available to Dagmaer to work with at a time before she must engage in large-scale alchemy to generate power for her work.

The year of peace has smoothed some of the tensions between Dagmaer and two of the other wizards of the worlds, although Tauron still has little trust for her. An inconclusive war continues between Horus and the Storm Tribes, backed by Tauron. Still, Dagmaer is concerned that further expansion of Greater Dvergursheim might upset the delicate balance of trust.

The twentieth year of Dagmaer's reign comes to an end, and, although marred by the specter of piracy, it has nonetheless been a good year for the kingdom. The Queen, as ever, seeks the counsel of her subjects, that she may better ensure that she serves justice and liberty for her people and is mindful of their concerns.