Part 23: 1421-The Watchful Eye of DagmaerThe Watchful Eye of Dagmaer
As the Royal Army left Bantanu at the start of 1421, leaving it in the hands of its new king Torbax, it observed a host of the dead led by a flight of nine demonic creatures approaching the town, having just passed over the Great Wall mountains and entered Bantanu's district. So that this threat might be addressed, the Royal Army ventured forth to meet this host in battle.
The demons that led the assault were fearsome beings covered in a scaly red hide, with fearsome strength and claws like steel blades. They were borne aloft on great leathery wings, and a foul wind flowed about them to blow away arrow and bolt. Common steel had little chance to pierce their hide, though enchanted or mithril steel would be equal to the task.
Weapon Immunity grants a 10 Defense against any non-magical attacks- not impenetrable, but certainly enough to make demons extremely difficult to kill with normal units without magical weapons. The demon alone would likely be able to take down a garrison of normal halberdiers such as we fought in Bantanu, due to this protection. Missile Immunity, however, grants a full 50 Defense against regular archery or slings, although not ranged spells or artillery stones. For all practical purposes, Missile Immunity is indeed full immunity to the attacks it protects against.
Hrodvaldur called upon the power of the Stalwart Warrior to strengthen and protect his forces, before ordering Eigil forward while the infantry and scouts held back, the scouts loosing crossbow bolts upon the enemy. Although several volleys from the scouts were wasted against the flying demons before it became clear that they were essentially impervious to such assaults, the demons fell swiftly enough before Eigil's fists, and once the scouts retargeted on the dead, they struck down their foes swiftly. Eigil's bronze frame suffered some minor cracking from the blows of the demons, but otherwise the Royal Army suffered no losses.
In Secondmonth, a great school for training in practical magic was completed in Bloodrock. With the facilities the school offers, training entire companies of combat magicians becomes practical, while the large pool of skilled magicians who proceed to engage in active experimentation and research on magical principles helps push the boundries of knowledge. The local alchemists of Bloodrock find great business in supplying the magicians of the school with materials to fuel their work. The combat magicians recruited here are skilled Chaos magicians, capable of commanding flame and unleashing pure Chaos to annihilate any substance, while making use of various magical techniques to protect themselves.
The Wizards' Guild consumes the power output of the Alchemists' Guild directly, before your allocation of power is assessed. Warlocks are a dark elven unique unit, replacing Magicians, which other races with Wizards' Guilds get. Warlocks are more powerful attackers than Magicians, and may cast Doom Bolt, a Chaos spell which inflicts 10 damage that does not miss and cannot be defended against, once per combat.
The adamantium crossbow that Dagmaer spent so long on having created and enchanted was also finally completed in this month, and transported by magic to Vigny for her use. The strength of its draw and the enchantments laid upon it permit it to hurl adamantium-tipped bolts at such a speed that they have a thunderous report like a cannon, and plunge through solid stone to their full length. The enchantments upon it help the weapon to be recocked after every shot, for the force needed to recock it would normally be beyond the strength of any dwarf. It is also nearly indestructible, able to be used to block blows with no fear of breakage. With this weapon created, Dagmaer set to work on gathering knowledge through magic, to become aware of all the folk and towns of Arcanus.
With the threat of the demons and dead eliminated and with Vigny's new crossbow in hand, the Royal Army proceeded over the mountains to seek out a nest of monsters in the hills, with two great figures of earth and stone and swarming clouds of sprites. Despite the magic flung at the scouts, the sprites failed to cause any casualties, and crossbow shot from Vigny blasted through the material of the earthen giants, then picked off all the sprites.
With the victory, treasures and documents from a lost era were recovered, allowing Dagmaer to reconstruct more means to exert the power and authority of the Righteous Queen in the world. Ever more of the lost history and magical knowledge of old has been reconstructed in modern days, and joined with modern crafts and skill to achieve wonders previously unknown in the history of Myrror.
The Royal Army pushed on, and, in Thirdmonth, investigated some ruins guarded by a small contingent of the dead. These foes were swiftly defeated, being utterly destroyed by the power of the Righteous Queen called upon by Hrodvaldur. Such enchanted glass as remained within these ruins was swiftly plundered and set to Queen Dagmaer's usage.
One Dispel Evil completely wipes out a single unit of zombies. No muss, no fuss.
As the conjunction of blue stars finally ended in Fifthmonth, Queen Dagmaer's experiments and studies bore fruit, revealing unto her a way whereby the protection of the Righteous Queen might utterly shield persons from the perils of Dark and Chaos magics. Neither the destruction of flame, lightning, and raw Chaos nor the corruptions, sicknesses, and the icy hand of death itself wielded by Dark magicians might find any purchase against the pure and unyielding protection of the Righteous Queen. Though her work was occupied by another act of magic, nonetheless Dagmaer resolved that such protection be placed upon the field forces of the Royal Army, thereby shielding them from many perils.
Righteousness not only protects against spells themselves, but also against ranged magical attacks and appropriate special attacks from units. The protection against ranged magical attacks and special attacks significantly increases the survivability of units so protected against hostile units with powerful ranged or special attacks.
That same month, the Royal Army advanced into more ruins on Sutherland, where they found spirits of Darkness like living shadows limned with an otherworldly light, gliding above the ruins where walking dead roamed below. Though these spirits struck a chill of fear into whomsoever saw them, and they cast streamers of strange Darkness amongst the scouts as missiles, they did not endure well against the adamantium bolt-tips of the Royal Army's scouts, and victory was achieved swiftly and without loss.
Regeneration can potentially be very annoying. Thankfully our force was strong enough to win handily.
Ancient treasures and old documents and scrolls were recovered from the ruins, providing more material to Dagmaer that permitted her to learn how a special consecration of a chapel to the Stalwart Warrior might be achieved. With daily prayers at this chapel during the training process for warriors, they would slowly be instilled with the skill and knowledge of masters of battle, veterans of many engagements.
It was finally in Sixthmonth that Dagmaer completed the casting of her great spell that all the great gatherings of folk across the worlds would be revealed. Though this had little practical effect on Myrror, save that in her awareness she might more easily survey the towns of her great kingdom, it revealed unto her all the realms and towns of Arcanus, and proved unto her the existence of two realms of which she was previously unaware.
The great realm of Fairlands stretches across a great land, having tamed and settled every corner of it, and is challenged on its land only by the warlike realm of Kraag Pool in the far south. Men have even settled the lands once occupied by the orcs of Charack. Although most of its folk are high men, the town of Hialanth in the east serves as home to halflings, in its farthest north a dark-skinned race of men dwell in the desert town of Aifa, and on the southern coast of Fairlands' northwestern extension of land the orcish town of Rife has been subdued by Horus to his service and to the worship of the Bright Gods. Although most of Fairlands is kept in good order by Horus' strength and by the awe of the gods, it is a realm that groaned under heavy taxes, and in its northeast desperate peasants yet turn to banditry.
Horus and Tauron are both running taxes of two gold per population unit, as opposed to our taxes of half a gold per population unit and the default starting taxes of one gold per population unit. Freya's taxes are not able to be deduced, beyond the fact that they are no higher than two gold and possibly less. The highest possible taxes are three gold per population unit, which is very difficult to run without very major lost productivity.
The Storm Tribes comprise five towns of low men, each under their own tribal king subject to the High King in Steinsherz to the east, a town built on hills rising over the coastal bogs on the east of that land. All their towns are protected by great rings of flame summoned by the power of Tauron, and under the harsh rule of the tribal kings banditry, lawlessness, and unrest breeds in many of their towns. The town of Windschrei on the western coast enjoys significant gold mining, and is the single largest source of the gold that has been minted or crafted in Arcanus.
The Wind Tribes yet occupy only a small realm on the north of their land, which yet enjoys the rule of its customary laws, which Freya and her kin amongst the elven nobles have no desire to change. Of the threat great realms of Arcanus, it is, perhaps, the happiest, for whatever hardships it may endure. The south of their land is filled by a great desert, inhabited by a small realm of halflings who kneel to a hardened warrior king, Murdo Milkweed. Though, as in Hialanth, the halflings of Torwell still have a society of free folk, their king demands and receives regular military service from many of its folk, and the training and discipline its defenders undergo is intense.
West of the Wind Tribes the busy town of Ixtu stands over its own realm of klackons. Though folk of very strange ways enthralled to the natural Sorcery of their kind, the klackons of Ixtu are a fairly peaceful folk, guarding their own town and trading iron ore and some of their own crafts for the various goods of the lands of men while working tirelessly at their own tasks. For all that can be understood of them, they seem contented with their life.
Finally, rather west of Fairlands, the town of Ulna is inhabited by a people known as the lizardkin. It is a shabby and primitive place, little more than a sprawl of crude huts of mud and straw centered around a temple complex of sun-dried brick housing the priest-king Tuuurg that lords over his superstitious people. The district about the town is poorly-cultivated, indifferently worked by enthralled lizardkin held by the priest-king.
These, then, were all the realms of Arcanus, and all their folk save the very few gnollish nomads on their own land.
Over the rest of the year, Dagmaer finished bringing the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor upon Darkshore and Bantanu, helping to bring prosperity and well-being to their people as their minds were made quick and sure, and their property managed wisely.
In Twelfthmonth, Queen Dagmaer, responding to the dissatisfaction of beastkin whose patron gods had been suppressed, and granting a personal boon to the goatkin Tulat who petitioned her, sponsored a great festival in Bantanu even as a new temple to the Serene Mother was established in the town. Mead from Dvergursheim, the fruit wines of Osterland, and much of the strong beer of Bantanu was bought up in preparation for the feasting, while butchers and bakers in Bantanu were commissioned to prepare food for the feast. Much honey was shipped in from Dvergursheim, and several dwarven confectioners were commissioned to make candies and cakes for the feast. Musicians also were commissioned, and many songs and dances were held in the town, while priests of the Serene Mother solemnised many marriages entered into by the folk of the town in the festivities.
By grace of Queen Dagmaer, Queen Elaissea was permitted to leave Goldwash and visit Bantanu for the festival, where she was a speaker of honor and a hostess of one of the feasts. Despite all the long-lasting resentments between the beastkin and the dark elves, her sincerity and grace so charmed the folk of Bantanu that she recieved marriage proposals from no less than twenty goatkin, and King Torbax gladly hosted her as his personal guest for the duration of the festivities.
The expense of the festivities and the temple was such that the crown's treasury was emptied, the normal reserve that Dagmaer maintained to safeguard against chance drained away. Still, it was Queen Dagmaer's view that honor demanded the expenditure.
With the power of her new awareness and with the explorations of her puppet-spirit, Dagmaer's knowledge of the lands of Arcanus continues to expand. Although much is yet a mystery, the outlines of the great realms of the world are now known.
The Kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim as of Twelfthmonth 1421
The realm as a whole grows ever more populous and prosperous, and the crown's finances continue to grow more secure, despite the fact that the treasury remains empty for the moment. The end of the conjunction and the growing load from supporting new acts of magic have slightly reduced the surplus of power Dagmaer may draw upon for further acts of magic, forcing her to continue to rely on alchemically manufacturing power for her use. The expeditionary force of the Royal Army has returned to Dvergursheim, there to await further protections and reinforcement from the elven lands before seeking to subdue some of the remaining monsters of Myrror. Once again, Hrodvaldur has joined Dagmaer in Goldwash to assist her with her works of magic.
The alchemist Silfa Ivarsdottir, of Ironbay, has invented a new form of paper this year, manufactured from wood pulp. It is much cheaper to make than older cloth-based papers or parchment, even if it is not as fine as either, and paper mills to supply bookmakers and merchants over all the kingdom have started to arise in every dwarven town with a notable forestry industry. This new invention and her position as an owner of paper mills have helped push Silfa to a position high amongst the wealthy of the kingdom.
Darkshore is now home to many temples to the Bright Gods, and, with the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor, has grown more prosperous and energetic. The establishment of a university here for the study of various subjects of learning has begun, with lecturers being drawn from various towns on every different subject suited to the university.
The advance of technology and engineering in Blademarsh has further bolstered its position as a commercial and industrial center between Osterland and Dvergursheim, and as a shipping center to every inhabited land of Myrror. With its growing wealth, the importation of fine riding horses from the lands of Bloodrock has seemed a natural development, and its priests have begun further studies into the mysteries of Nature magic in order to aid the fertility of the district and the health of its folk.
Over the past year, Fangrock has itself become host to a great university, sharing the learning of many peoples and opening it to new horizons of knowledge. Moneylenders and investments in businesses here have resulted in a slowly growing prosperity for the town, its traders and artisans keeping records and having access to assets suitable for a greater scale of business. Although there is still an awareness of the castes here as a matter of tradition, the town now hosts a society flexible enough and open enough to outside ideas that much of the force of this tradition has fled.
The great school of magic in Bloodrock is now the foremost center of magical learning in all of Myrror, aside from the great library and workshops of Queen Dagmaer herself. The town now also supports great arsenals and training fields, and is training a second company of fourty combat magicians to be dispatched to join the Royal Army.
Leer now rivals Blademarsh as a great commercial shipping center, trading cargoes across the seas to all the lands of the kingdom. It is, perhaps, less of a center of crafts, and its lack of any great resources of metal have left it less touched by modern methods of engineering. Alchemical workshops to supply the works of magic with the power needed have begun to arise here, raising their strange steams over their quarter of the town.
The university of Darkhold has been completed, and, with lectures on numeracy and the business methods of the dwarves, the town's prosperity has begun to swell, double-entry bookkeeping, moneylending, and investment finding greater purchase here. Though the town is growing wealthier, it seems unlikely it will ever be a shipping center on the level of Blademarsh or Leer, with the absence of local timber to feed shipyards.
In order to have a Merchants' Guild, you need a Shipyard, which itself requires a Sawmill. With no forests available to Darkhold, it may never build a Sawmill, and is forever denied access to a Merchants' Guild.
Njallshold's great wealth and the work of its artisans now makes it famed for its crafts and for its trade with all the rest of the kingdom. Much fine metalwork is done here, particularly with gold. It is also home to the second great Royal Mint of the kingdom, the first being in Goldwash itself. Where Goldwash mints gold and silver mined in Dvergursheim into formal coin of the kingdom, Njallshold hosts a mint for gold and silver mined in Westerland.
The forests in the south of Firesands' district have become vital to its prosperity, and replanting of forests for future harvest and hunting and trapping for meat and fur have become major industries here. Although still fairly small and less developed compared to many towns of the kingdom, Firesands has been prospering and seems to have a bright future ahead of it.
Modern engineering, steam pumps, and all the other products of dwarven ingenuity have greatly aided with the mining yields and crafting of the town of Pyre, helping ensure a steady flow of gold from it to the east and the mints of Njallshold. The processing of timber into lumber is also now a major industry here, ensuring wood for all the needs of the town.
Over the past year, Shadowwood has seen its library open, has founded a shrine to the Great Lady of Beauty, and has developed a lumber industry to process wood from its forests more easily. It is still small, but grows ever more secure and prosperous in its place on Westerland.
The centaurs about Bantanu bring in greater bounty of meat and fur from the forests, now, and forestry and sawmills are now well in place in Bantanu. Wood and charcoal have become far more accessible, making fuel and building supplies cheaper for the folk of the town. Although the town has just recieved the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor, a visitor could be excused for not realising this fact, for the entire town is filled with a festival atmosphere, revelling in the great festival being held in honor of the Bright Gods, most especially the Serene Mother. Many converts have been made amongst Bantanu's folk, and the new temple to the Serene Mother here has nearly been completed.
Tensions with the Arcanian wizards have been growing, unease about the great might of Dagmaer preying upon their minds. The war between Fairlands and the Storm Tribes has ended, and their previous alliance has been resumed. It seems odd that hostilities could be so swiftly forgiven.
Diplomacy between AIs in MoM can be... bizarre. They can rapidly ping from friendship to hostility and back again in a way I've never seen in any other 4X. It is a pity the diplomatic options and diplomatic AI in the game is as limited as it is, and it is one of the few things I would want to see changed in my 'ideal version' of the game.
1421 ends, with new wonders emerging on the world of Myrror. Peace still reigns between Dagmaer and the wizards of Arcanus, but how long this can remain the case is unknown. We can only pray that the Bright Gods yet favor Myrror with peace!