Part 27: 1425-FreeportFreeport
As 1425 opened, the Royal Army's expeditionary force made its landing on Westerland, joining with Hesed to advance on the node of Chaos east of Ironbay. As they approached the node, they were confronted by a massive red-scaled dragon, larger even than the swift dragon the Army had met in the node of Sorcery off the western shores of Dvergursheim, along with five companies of strange flying beasts whose flesh seemed to be composed of basalt and obsidian.
Great Drakes have the highest attack rating in the game, and a powerful fire breath attack which softens up enemies they attack in melee before melee proper. Gargoyles, for their part, are extremely durable flying troops, but are not particularly more dangerous on offense than most good mortal soldiers.
The combat magicians, untroubled in their powers by the node of Chaos, summoned the pure power of chaos, utterly annihilating the dragon through their combined efforts. Although Hesed and Hrodvaldur were less certain of the success of their acts of magic, nonetheless they succeeded in calling upon the blessings of the Stalwart Warrior, ensuring great protection for Hesed and skill and support for the army as a whole.
Invulnerability lets Hesed ignore the first two hits of damage from any attack, helping to make him much more durable.
With the dragon slain and the blessing of the Stalwart Warrior upon the army, the scouts and the combat magicians shot down stone creatures with bolt and spell, while Hesed moved forward to strike them down with his terrible sword.
Victory came swiftly, and the riches of gold and enchanted glass gathered at the node were gathered by the army for the benefit of the crown. There also was a staff of powerful magic, which was claimed for the use of Lerethe as he aided Queen Dagmaer. A puppet-spirit of the Queen's moved in, binding the node to her will and harnessing its power.
In Secondmonth, Dagmaer set forth a proclamation, naming the kingdom now the Kingdom of the Nine Crowns, in acknowledgement of the many peoples who now formed the realm, and further invited the folk under each historic crown she had conquered to hold Kingsmoot to choose a new ruler under her, the High Queen. This raised much discussion, with the folk choosing to wait and consider before holding their Kingsmoots. The merchants of the realm, who held interests under many crowns, organised a Merchant League amongst themselves, which the High Queen invited to offer her counsel and advice that their interests might remain protected even as lesser kings would come to power.
Waiting for suggestions from people on what places might end up holding Kingsmoots, and who might be chosen.
Three months after the battle at the node of Chaos, the Royal Army came upon the tower between the worlds off the southern coast of Westerland, and there confronted a host of unreal soldiers and beasts. Hrodvaldur called upon the power of the Righteous Queen to dissolve the Sorcery sustaining these, destroying many of the unreal soldiers.
This done, Hesed flew forth to strike the enemy forces in the rear, while bolt and spell shattered the binding forces of the great unreal beasts and some of the remaining 'soldiers'. Victory was seized swiftly, with no losses.
Within the tower, various treasures were uncovered, including a mace that glowed with a baleful light and dissolved at the substance of any object its head rested upon, bringing rust, decay, and corruption. There also were notes and papers once belonging to Jerome the Magnificent, through which Queen Dagmaer was able to uncover secrets of Sorcery whereby subtle Sorcery infused every word spoken by him, making them seem sweet and reasonable. It was through this power combined with his own practised charm that Jerome convinced the wizards of his day to join together into the Confederation, soothing and flattering those who would otherwise mistrust his ambitions. Hesed parted from the army, setting forth to explore further in Arcanus for a time.
Through this tower, there proved to be an island that hosted a town of high men huddled in the very shadow of the tower, supporting itself through sheep, and through tilled fields, and through fishing and clam-digging. This town, Freeport, was led by Harold Armstrong, a former baron of Fairlands who led a band of refugees on a desperate flight from their homeland when Horus the Holy seized power. Harold was a man of stern and noble bearing, expert in the weapons and tactics of war and well-loved by his people, who by acclaim crowned him king when they found this island of the sea where they might find refuge. Two months later, in Sixthmonth, Dagmaer used her magic to summon King Harold forth to conference, which ended with a pledge of alliance and friendship between the realm of Freeport, and opening trade between the two realms, with ships making harbor under the tower in Myrror and hauling cargo through the tower itself. In gratitude for his friendship, High Queen Dagmaer offered King Harold the mace just recovered, as well as the enchanted bronze armor earlier recovered that Hrodvaldur had used for some time.
Legendary directly adds to your Fame rating. In order to justify the resources provided by Noble, I posit a minor realm on this island just discovered.
With the alliance with Freeport concluded, Dagmaer performed acts of magic that she might better observe the work of magic of the other wizards. This passed swiftly, and soon her awareness was brought to the signs and evidences of the magic they perform.
Just as she completed this work in Seventhmonth, report came from near Bantanu of pillars of flame and the flaming wolves of Chaos approaching from the south, doubtless released from the node of Chaos yet untamed in Sutherland. With this news, the High Queen set forth to use her magic to bolster Bantanu's militia, that they might be better prepared for the coming onslaught.
Heroism (boosting the spearmen to Elite) and Bless (improving their defense against these Chaos creatures) was cast on both groups of spears in Bantanu.
As Bantanu awaited attack, High Queen Dagmaer continued her studies, learning in Tenthmonth how a one-way portal from a town to the other world might be constructed. This foundation is the first step to, eventually, replicating the towers of the Confederation.
You cannot actually build new wizard towers in Master of Magic, but presumably they were built in the past, and Astral Gate seems like the logical foundation for a new one.
That same month, the Royal Army, continuing its expedition, landed on the southeastern shores of Trollsheim, having passed over the node of Nature on the island at the center of the Inner Sea, for the great burrowing serpent spotted there seemed a very perilous foe. The spirits that still lurked in the ruined temple the investigated were swiftly and easily dispatched at range.
The Great Wyrm, a Nature creature, combines very high combat stats with the ability to burrow, effectively teleporting. The casualties it could wreak on my army would be horrible.
There in that tower, a staff of great power was uncovered, which was provided to the use of Aerie, that her magic would be strengthened.
In Eleventhmonth, the monsters approaching Bantanu finally arrived, and the militia defending their town gathered their courage and advanced. Through the work of Dagmaer, the pillars of flame were destroyed with the might of the Righteous Queen, leaving only the hounds of Chaos to face the militia. The blessings Dagmaer had bestowed upon the militia served them well, and only about ten of the hundred sixty militia fell in battle before slaying the hounds. With the danger past, Dagmaer allowed the magic upon the militia in Bantanu to dissipate. This done, she started work on a mighty suit of armor of adamantium, a crowning work for the protection of Hrodvaldur in battle.
Over the course of the year, the puppet-spirit and Hesed uncovered more of the unknown on Arcanus, not least Hesed's scouting of the eastern shores of the lands of the Storm Tribes. Through his work, it has become clear that south of the marshes surrounding the town of Steinsherz, a mountain with lodes of mithril is mined by the men of the Storm Tribes, providing that metal for the use of Tauron and for forging into mithril steel.
The Kingdom of Nine Crowns as of Twelfthmonth 1425
The growth and prosperity of the realm continues to strengthen the finances of the crown's treasury, while the new node has helped contribute extra power for the use of the High Queen. The Royal Army and Hesed have been called to make all haste to Sutherland, to ensure that the threat to Bantanu shall not be repeated. A puppet-spirit first intended to join with the node of Nature the Army bypassed trails behind the ships bearing the Army along the cost of Heimveldisland, to eventually join with the node of Chaos in Sutherland.
Nature magic wielded by the priests of Darkshore boost the yields of its district's fields, and alchemical workshops smelt metal and provide materials for the work of magic in the kingdom. An academy of magic using the materials provided by local alchemists is slowly growing, although yet it is small and has little impact.
The priests and savants of Fangrock have delved deeply into Nature magic over the past year, and alchemists have risen to supply their work. The fields of the town prosper, while the great temple complex of Fangrock draws travellers to marvel at the mighty structure.
With Sorcery to witness all happenings in the district and uncover the truth in the minds of folk, Darkhold and its district are now considered secure by local authorities. As with many other places, an academy of magic is growing here, but still far from matching the prestige of the other well-established academies.
Firesands has adopted modern practises of trade, investment and moneylending providing resources for local businesses, and proper accounting tracking their assets. Little shrines and temples to the gods line the streets, though still dwarfed by the temple complex here dedicated to no gods.
The past year has seen the merchants and businesses of Shadowwood accept investment to grow their operations, making the town a wealthier place. With the new resources available to it, work has begun on using machinery to increase the output of mines and speed the construction of structures in the town, helping strengthen Shadowwood's position as a center of industry.
Despite the threat posed to it over the past year, Bantanu has survived essentially unscathed. What's more, the town has prospered, with greater agricultural yields from the efforts of its Nature magicians, expanded temples to the Mighty-Thewed One and the Serene Mother, joined by smaller shrines to the Sagacious Counselor and Righteous Queen, and a new industry of alchemy providing resources for local magicians and for Dagmaer. A small academy of magic has been founded here, slowly growing and training up new magicians to experiment and study further into the nature of magic.
The wizards of Arcanus trust Dagmaer no further, finding her strength a threat despite her peaceful intentions. Her power now lays clear the acts of magic they labor on, allowing her to stay wary for what danger they might present.
The opportunity for Kingsmoots may let folk of the kingdom choose more of their own leadership, a new alliance strengthens the realm, and the threat of monsters to Bantanu was ended with little loss. The High Queen ponders whether the secrets of Sorcery she has uncovered would be acceptable to use to ensure the peace is preserved against the suspicions of the Arcanian wizards, and craves the counsel of her people. 1425 draws now to a close and 1426 approaches- may the Bright Gods continue to bless us in the future!