Part 28: 1426-The Past and Present Queen of BloodrockThe Past and Present Queen of Bloodrock
Over Firstmonth and Secondmonth, the Royal Army continued on its voyage to Sutherland, finally making landfall early in Thirdmonth, joining with Hesed in preparation for the assault on the node of Chaos which had disgorged the threat to Bantanu.
As the Army marched to the node in Fourthmonth, they there encountered no fewer than three great dragons backed by the hounds of Chaos. Though the Army held steady, nonetheless many questioned whether this battle would go so smoothly as those they had fought earlier, and brave hearts struggled in the grasp of fear.
The elven magicians, Hrodvaldur, and Hesed all opened the battle by working acts of magic to rain Chaos upon the dragons or to call upon the Bright Gods, but the interference of the node of Chaos thwarted the work of Hrodvaldur and Hesed. Seeing the plight of the Royal Army, Dagmaer worked an act of magic in the heat of battle for the first time in many years, calling the blessing of the Stalwart Warrior upon the whole of the Royal Army, and in this act she was successful.
Two of the three great dragons fell to bolt and spell as they winged their way in towards the lines of the Royal Army, and the third greatly injured. As the third reached the lines of the Royal Army, Hesed swept forth through the air above the battle, suffering injury from the mighty beast's teeth before plunging his golden sword through the neck of the wounded beast and severing a great artery, leaving it to crash to the ground.
With the final dragon slain, Hrodvaldur moved forth to confront the hounds of Chaos, preventing them from flanking and falling upon the magicians in the rear. The hounds remaining fell swiftly, struck down from range or fallen in battle with Hrodvaldur and the infantry.
With the node secured, a great hoard of magical glass and arms was found there. Vigny claimed a suit of gleaming mithril steel plate wreathed in the winds of Sorcery to deflect arrow and bolt, while Hrodvaldur claimed as his gear a shield of mighty power, near impenetrable. A staff holding the fires of Chaos was claimed and sealed away in the vaults of the Queen's palace.
Shields count as 'armor' for magical gear, so his old armor gets shuffled off to another hero.
With this great hoard of magical arms, it proved time to clear out some of the lesser items that had been accumulated in Dagmaer's keeping. The forge where she labored on the creation of a mighty suit of armor rested for a time, as a suit of chain and a wand were broken down and the power within them used to store within glass for later use.
You only have four storage slots for artifacts that aren't carried by your heroes. Any items beyond that must be broken down for their power. Pity, really, we could have had a museum of historical items. This said, magical items can be a good infusion of power when you need it.
With the battle at the node of Chaos complete, and with a puppet-spirit moving to harness its power for Dagmaer, the Royal Army set sail and soon arrived on Heimsveldisland, there to confront the monsters that yet threatened Myrror on that land and claim its lost riches for the crown. The first of the ruins the Royal Army came to was haunted by restless corpses, swiftly dispatched at range. The wand that was found there was rendered down for its power, thus helping fuel Queen Dagmaer's work.
In Seventhmonth, Kingsmoot in Bloodrock, Leer, and Darkhold was helped, selecting Elaissea as Queen of Bloodrock and Leer, and binding Darkhold under the crown of Bloodrock. The nobles of Bloodrock mustered a special force of magicians mounted on horses changed and warped by the power of Chaos, and granted the power to fly, assigned as Elaissea's own army in Bloodrock. With this selection by Kingsmoot, Queen Dagmaer ended Elaissea's exile, letting her after many years return to the town of her birth.
That same month, the Royal Army stormed another ruined place on Heimsveldisland, finding there the hungry dead and a host of tormented spirits sent forth from the Hells of the Dark Gods. These spirits of the dead were fearsome and terrible, capable of enduring great perils and drawing the very life from their victims.
Confronted with these horrors, Hrodvaldur swiftly called the blessing of the Stalwart Warrior upon the Royal Army, while Hesed flooded the battlefield with a brilliant light filled with the power of the Righteous Queen, taking strength from it even as it weakened the Dark horrors opposing the Royal Army. The magicians called upon the power of raw Chaos to dissolve away some of the tormented spirits, but each strike of Chaos destroyed scarcely ten of the eighty spirits that choked the sky, and over half remained after their first strikes were completed.
Still, the spirits that remained were swiftly destroyed by enchanted bolts and torrents of flame, and the dead advancing slowly behind them were then easy pickings for Vigny, the scouts, and the magicians. The last corpses to remain shambling towards the Royal Army were seared to ash by the power of Righteous Queen channeled by Hesed.
In the ruins, many books and papers were recovered, through which Dagmaer deepened her understanding of the history of the Dark Elves and of their ancient traditions of worship of the gods, including evidence of reverence to the Bright Gods that was more widespread before the ancient Empress Elaissea, after whom the Queen of Bloodrock was named, encouraged greater reverence to the Dark Gods. With this expansion of her study, Dagmaer found her understanding of Bright magic deepening, letting ideas previously closed to her come to mind that she may yet pursue.
The month following, in Seventhmonth, the Royal Army came to the node of Sorcery on Heimsveldisland and there was confronted by a fully eight of the towering colossi of wind and seeming that Sorcery could create, backed by a single company of unreal soldiers. With so many of the beasts of seeming, they could not all be destroyed before they met the front lines, and Hesed and Hrodvaldur had to meet the last in battle. Still, they could not stand before the Royal Army, and all the constructs of Sorcery at that node were returned to the wind from which they came.
There in the node was discovered books and papers once belonging to the Empress Elaissea, detailing her own observations on the node of Sorcery and many of her experiments in Nature and Dark magic. Though much was of no direct value to Queen Dagmaer, nonetheless she was able to deepen her understanding of Sorcery, and her comparison of method with what the long-dead Empress had learned allowed her to deepen her knowledge of the theory of magic, growing quicker to apprehend new insights as her studies continued.
Sage Master lets you increase research from all sources- both from research buildings like libraries and from your own allocation of power- by 25%. This will help us complete the research remaining before our victory in fewer years, which, given how long it takes to research the Spell of Mastery, is a good thing.
With this battle, the Royal Army pressed on to the north, taking the longer journey to clear what ruins remained on Heimsveldisland.
In Tenthmonth, Dagmaer took note of the fall of Ulna to the High Protector Horus. Though the High Queen might have chosen to shelter some of the priests of the lizardkin who fled the fall of their town, she chose rather to leave them to their own devices. They would be of little use to her, and she felt no need to shelter those who had so ill-used their own people in their time of power.
In Eleventhmonth, the High Queen completed her studies of how to block the actions of Dark magic through the power of the Righteous Queen, followed swiftly by learning to summon through Sorcery venomous snake-kin, the nagas, of some subtlety and cunning. Though both feats of magic might prove of little practical use to her, considering how no Dark wizards remained in the modern era, and the superiority of well-equipped dwarven troops, nonetheless they helped advance her knowledge.
Over the course of the year, Dagmaer's puppet-spirit in Arcanus has continued its travels, learning much about the northern shores of the land of the Storm Tribes. The kingdom of Fairlands has tightened its grip on Ulna, leaving the klackon town of Ixtu and the high men of Freeport with the last towns of Arcanus outside the realms of the three Arcanian wizards.
King Harold of Freeport returned to his town with his knights over the past year, protecting it and holding the tower against passage by the Arcanian wizards. Aerie, too, set forth from Firesands, and has now arrived in Goldwash where she assists the High Queen in her work of magic, and has gained great popularity amongst the worthies of that city. It is said that even the High Queen has been charmed by Aerie's winning ways.
The Kingdom of Nine Crowns as of Twelfthmonth 1426
The crown's finances continue to strengthen as the towns of the kingdom grow and prosper, and the power available for use has grown after the node in Sutherland was harnessed to the High Queen's use. Much of the south of Heimsveldisland has been cleared of monsters, with the Royal Army pressing north to clear that which remains. Whether it is safe to open the tower between worlds on Heimsveldisland is a matter of some question, as no real force to hold the tower has been prepared, unless some of the expeditionary force itself were split off.
The High Queen herself has grown in repute and in learning, and is now rumored to perhaps match the skill of the wizards of the Confederation of old. Her knowledge of Bright magic is deep and mighty, and her learning in Sorcery, though limited, still expands her horizons of knowledge.
Three of the towns of Osterland continue to labor at establishing their own great academies of magic, to further contribute to the learning of the kingdom and the understanding of the forces that shape the worlds. Such a labor is a lengthy one, and their accumulation of teachers and materials is a slow process.
The shipbuilding industry in Firesands have thrived, and its merchants have helped change the town into an important shipping port, helping further bind the kingdom together with trade. The dragonkin here enjoy the riches brought from every corner of the realm.
Shadowwood processes the output of its mines with every secret of engineering and machinery known to the elves, and the town has become an important industrial center. With its growing output of processed mithril, Shadowwood's merchants have been investing further and further into shipping, helping bolster the wealth of the town.
The academy of magic in Bantanu has opened to full activity, and the experiments of beastkin magicians help push the boundries of knowledge further. The fervor of the beastkin here has encouraged work to begin on a mighty temple to the Bright Gods which dominates the town. The labors of the folk of the town raise a structure which will be the largest temple to the gods in all of Myrror, adorned with precious things made in Bantanu or shipped in from other corners of the realm. Despite the prosperity of the town, the beastkin here still dislike the sea, and lack quite the natural grasp of commerce of the dwarves. Though commerce prospers here, it remains somewhat isolated compared to towns of the other races of the realm.
Dagmaer's work on the creation of a work of artifice continues, perhaps to be completed within the year, while the Arcanian wizards work upon their own tasks. Freya and Tauron have both summoned many creatures over the years Dagmaer has been able to observe their work, and Tauron now summons Chaos to warp the form of some of the low men who serve under him to better serve his will. Horus, for his part, has been summoning the light of the gods to many towns, and laying enchantments of flight and protection upon his soldiers. Dagmaer's great strength encourages mistrust from the Arcanian wizards, but still the peace endures for now.
The mighty victories of 1426 shall live in song and story forever, and the learning of the High Queen continues to grow. May her power and wisdom continue to serve the realm well through 1427!