The Let's Play Archive

Warlock 2: The Exiled

by JcDent

Part 11: Tools of War and Peace

Chapter 10: Tools of War and Peace

War! War still rages in our realm! Or, thanks to the ingenuity of our lord, war stops at our borders!”

“The great defensive curtain at Baytown sees enemy advances daily! What pushes them back? Arrows! Magical towers! And good old Svart resolve! Wave after wave of human warriors have perished against the indomitable bulwark of our defenses!

“In fact, the enemy is so beaten, they have to push corpses of their fellows over the edge to advance!”

“Rurik and Veremoud ensures us that King Lich does everything to stop the enemy.

“The loyalty and sacrifice of Rurik’s Men…”

“...they say...”

“...will not be forgotten!”

“And while the enemy toils day and night to undo us, brave Svarts grit their teeth and work for the war effort!”

“Uglin, the breadbasket of the empire, sees that our troops are well fed and never lack for drink. Svart farmers use the most advanced farming techniques. Smart planning as well as sprocket donkeys and ploughtomatons make the sweat of on a Svarts brow count for more!”

“And the land gives back for all the toil! Fertile ground come from the dead sands, all through the magic of our king! The same magic, combined with Svart effort and mastery, makes pumkins grow large and wheat fields rise tall!”

“Wines again! Heeelp!”

“So much food! More than Svarts can eat, actually! What do we do with this overflowing bounty?”

“We take it to the granary!”

“We take it to the granary! Tall and strong Svart granary! Here, foodstuff are distributed via a smart system of carts and pulleys! Look at that wheat go!”

“To help with the preservation, local Svarts use ice and snow from those mysterious, frequently appearing patches of land! There’s even talk of asking the king to make the air colder!”

“But the air is not the only issue! The fragrant smells of quality Svart foods attracts rats and mice! And who will fight rats and mice?”


“That is right: Gib-cats! Gleipnir is the leader of the pack! These hardy felines prowl the granaries, always on the lookout for mice and rats! And they are no mere mousers! Before getting this position, each had to be tested in the Cat-gauntlet!”


“You heard it right, folks! Gleipnir is the unsurpassed champion of the Cat-gauntlet! They even had to replace the sprocket mice! Why, he had torn them to pieces!”

“And here, on the edge of the shard, a new mill rises! Bigger, more efficient, more productive! Using the most advanced sprocket technology and magic – both rune and regular – it allows four Svarts to the job of twenty men and five mills!”

“The grain from the granary come via a new smart invention – sprocket road! Here, a metal track is laid under a mountain. On it – a cart full of wheat! The overseer just pulls a lever – and off it goes, pulled by new high capacity sprocket mules!”

“And near the mill, a new industry rises. A new industry that will deliver pumpkins products wherever you are!”

“I call this thing a ‘can’, because it CAN preserve food”

“But work doesn’t end with food!”

“The citizens of Serne Vary work tirelessly to exploit the burrows! Tent after tent rises on the hills north of the city! Svart after Svart goes there to brave the dangers and uncover long lost secrets! What magical artefacts will they find?”

“But magic for our King is not the only thing taken from the depths of the graves! Shiny baubles of ancient craftsmanship found by many! Shining magical stones are uncovered! Old pottery still stands intact! All of these things are off little interest for our benevolent king!”

“You can still bring magic to your home, say the Svarts in the market! And so stalls upon stall is laden with precious artefacts taken from the burrows! Svarts and other countrymen from all over came to buy something special for their home”

“Flowers don’t rightly grow in this place… might as well hang an ancient broadsword over the fireplace”

“But the market is not limited to ancient goods! Craftsmen work and toil in their district to produce new jewelry and swords and goblets and many other things – all inspired by these gifts from the past!”

“In fact, the goods produced in Serne Vary are so popular, the local Svarts had to build a harbor! Small steamers float in Deadlin lake before making their way up the East Undead River!”

“Where do they go? To Silver Silks, of course, the financial heart of the empire! A city established to exploit silver mines and spider silk, it could have hardly gone any other way!”

“Not surprising that the first Svart bank has established itself in the city, just on the banks of North Undead river. Financing businesses and holding money for traveling Svarts, it is the most trusted Svart institution in all of the shards”

“Loyalty to our liege and our people ensures that Gulleifr and Svagne is the most honest of banks”

“I am also extremely afraid of shadowbolts launched by undead mages who have risen from the grave multiple times”

“And near the bank – a new mint! Automaton presses are churning out our majesty’s coin”

“Nearby North Undead River makes it easy to transport money both to Burnouts and Serne Vary, all important trade centers of the realm”

“Even the disgraced Planestriders of Regret are pulling their weight. Mana is put into barrels and even a new magic smithy opened up.”

“With such wonders of production under our command, who know what fantastic deeds the realm will accomplish!”

For now, the realm was trying to accomplish making a beachhead into the lands of Long Shores. Three full companies of Svart elites lead by Sir Hugue were lining up to breach the gate and kill some turtles.

Espritster’s magical teraformation shenanigans continued. Since they effected a “free city”, King Lich was not extremely concerned with fixing the damage.

Of more concern were the lands between Baytown and Silver Silks. The mountain ranges had been deformed by Krel’s magic and the resulting passes were really uncomfortable since all of them meant fording the river. A plan was drawn up to shift the mountains and make a road from Baytown to Dauheimur, to easy possible future deployments of troops.

Current deployment of troops was enjoying the biggest turtle soup fest they could have ever imagined.

“Try to curse my troops with weakness again, Krel… Just try…”

“Cecinia the Saint... Our lord would welcome you to the court, but he is currently ill in spirit and lost in work. Please excuse him. You are ordered to go to Baytown. I am sure the troops will appreciate your healing powers”.

“What the Dremer is happening?”

“Deserts now?”

“At least the Krolm worshipers are happy. I heard one shouting something about going to beat up leaving dog headed warriors with scythes for hands and crocodiles that shoot beams of light from their heads”

“I think they should put less basilisk into their swampshine”

“I think whoever is doing this to our realm should just lay off drink. The map makes my head hurt”

At least there were small mercies and King Lich took time to refreeze craft and merchant districts. The leading theory as to why they wanted it was that they wanted their surroundings to match the temperature of their hearts.

“If I just can get a system… a system for spells… Maybe I could remember them faster… Faster.”

“Wise? Bankrupt seems more likely. Very well, we’ll have peace… until I have to slaughter your mean again”

“Death itself?”

“’Death itself’ would not be afraid of United One. She’s just a necromantic witch that jumps far above her station”

“And her Lich Mirrors?”

“They have nothing to do with lichdom and only share the shape with mirrors. They’re portals that are supposed to be scary. In truth… well, no mirror can withstand a Svart axe, can it?”

“We’ll see about that, m’lord”

Cecinia the Saint was rerouted: with no war to be waged, her healing powers were of little use to hardy Svarts (and skeletons were of little danger). However, her magical skill was required to destroy some of the wayward undead near Dauheimur… an order that she was more than ready to fulfill with... fiery results.

“Unfortunately, we can’t afford any more lords, especially if we want our lands to look at least somewhat uniform”

“And your name is unpronounceable”

With the first mirror down (turns out it was very susceptible to axes), some over eager criers started announcing that the mirror threat was over. It was quite far from the truth, since two remained, near Dauheimur and Serne Vary, vexing garrison archers to no end.

Yet even then, an elite company of Honor Guard was chasing skeletons down and causing disruption in flow of merchandise.

“Death..., well, more death to imperialist lich pig!”

“What’s this?”

“Crush the rebels, lads! Traitors die in infamy!”

“And pools of their own blood! Chaaarge!

A hooded figure watched the fratricide from a distant hill, and smiled.

Svart might have been killing Svart far away, but Rune Warriors had more pressing matters.

Like hauling a new glyph out of the shards of a “Lich” “Mirror”.

On Long Shores, Honor Guard stood watch on at the sea side, ready to defend the new settlement from any attacks of sea borne monsters. While the original idea was to build a harbor and wrest control of the seas through the more usual means of ships, these were reconsidered in light of King Liche’s previous experiences in Ardania.

There was a theory proposed, one that explained how Snow Maidens got to places that didn’t really have snow. It assumed that the snowy archers were lured by patches of snow left by elemental havoc caused by a certain mage.

A more popular theory held that snow maidens were just really, really dense.

Port construction at Solarstrond came under attack by a smaller, less impressive turtle. The attack was beaten off, but even the sturdiest of Svart and engineer felt uneasy about the prospect of going out to the seas held in control by monsters.

Luckily, two new options presented themselves.

“Is that a bleedin’ flyin’ ship?”

“A bleedin’ HAUNTED flyin’ ship”

“I’m really sorry and I promise not to break any more ship-in-bottle bottles with death glyphs carved over them or any sort of arcane and sinister looking containers”

"Heretic spells and modern occult technology have enabled undead mages to raise entire naval fleets into the air. It is of great concern that their Flying Galleuses do not fall apart in strong wind, as we had hoped. On the contrary, these ships harness the power of the wind to reach their destination at great speed and they leave trails of death and destruction wherever they go." - From "The Overall Description of Everything" by Master Alfus Bumblegate

“Mighty interesting use of spell weave there… This… This might actually work! TO THE FORGE, LADS”


“Where there’s a smith...”

The second option was, of course, teleportation.

“Oh, yes!”