Part 19: In Which We Make Progress Of The Gate KindI first played Endless Legend when it only had zombugs, elves and... whatever else was in back then. Vampire Ghost Knights? I liked it, but the nearer turn 200 it got, the more it devolved into mindless 4X clicking for units to march across half the map and stuff. There really should be a setting in game which forcibly saves and shuts down game one hour in. Space Empire V had the option to replace the date with your clock time, why not have something like that? I sometimes get nauseous when I remember 4 hours streaks of Endless Space... Ahem.
Chapter 18: In Which We Make Progress Of The Gate Kind
Ah, more flying sacrifices to Krolm!
Old trolls are like old sores you'll never be rid of them
Have you ever seen a Dremer gate?
I have, my liege. Terrible things. Had to convert digging machinery to destroy them
Well, we didn't have machinery of any kind, but there were trolls and they could crush a Dremer gate or a castle as easy as, well, an elven settlement. I even had a company of them die in my service
A shame, I guess
Well, I think I already had resurrection at that point... terrible what spells one can forget on reincarnation
Silver Silks was the most profitable city in realm, but it wasn't exactly blossoming as all Svarts were engaged in making money. The spell of Prosperity had to increase fertility rates and number of successful births... and the pretty colors had to get at least some of the Svarts out of their offices and workshop and maybe meet folks of the opposite gender.
Red dragon nests were ugly beyond compare (except for maybe Dremer Castles), but finding one meant dragon omelets and dragon cakes for the entire realm.
Of course, if you weren't a Svart riding in a magitech metal giant that pulsed with the power a god and was empowered by magical artifacts, it probably meant something a lot worse.
Among other things that the ghost ship fished out of the sea (old habits die hard... even after death) was the corpse of a warlock. He might have had an amulet protecting him from the elements and the undead, but he didn't have a spell that warded off choking on bit of fish.
The ghost sailors, not really concerned with eating, decided to keep it.
The living are so strange... they always find the most unpleasant places to found a city. Then again, only Svarts could survive in a shard like this
Die, die, DIE!
The Exemplar Svart was really annoyed by the fact that flying monsters could evade his fists by, well, flying. He hoped that some day someone would attach a repeating ballista, or some sort of revolving cannon to his frame. He even had time to dream up a rocket that would be guided by the head of a dead peasant, discarding this idea as unbearably stupid.
Sir Hugue, in the mean time, felt that being ambushed by demons WHILE invisible was a stupid way to die, but couldn't really do anything about it.
The Wolves were in a good mood. They had finally managed to destroy one of the horrible, profane altars that were guiding Tormentors to this realm, shattering it into pieces and drowning those in lava. They had also managed to spook another pack of demons away from their own altar, which was now ripe for the taking.
There, among the scattered ribcages of orphans, they found an intact and uncorrupted artifact a flying broom. Of course, a company of divine werewolves had little use for one flying broom. But someone else would find it very handy.
The company assembled in formation, using the solar instruments embedded in their staves to calculate trajectory and strength... and then launched the flying broom into the sky. It quockly disappeared into the crimson horizon.
Cecinia was standing near a lake, wondering if the blood-colored water was actual blood when a great bolt fell from the sky, nearly striking the healer.
What the... wait... is that a flying broom?
And while certain healers where performing some areal acrobatics on a broom, Amberon was committing ever greater forces to fight Mallacir.
Ser knight, I'd say it is a pleasure to see you, but it's never a pleasure to one's subjects die. Except when they're goblins
It is not exactly pleasurable to die, but I think my liege knows everything about that
There were rumors, at least in mage circles, that vampiric weapon enchantments had been misused at least once, by a barber. He had found a scroll detailing the spell and cast it on his razor. He went on to become a traveling barber, offering other travelers a shave... and cutting their throats to gain their life energy, all in a bid to live forever.
He met his end when he tried to do that to a lich.
The spells didn't end there: the rainbow dragon found a statue of a hare inscribed with a Haste spell.
Having thrashed the last of the sea serpent lairs, the dragon directed its attention to killing the last of water borne blighters.
A different dragon got his head blown off by a broadside of ghost-rocks. The Examplas swarmed over the now unprotected nest...
However, the greatest and the strongest of their number were already being retasked and metaported to Ashwind Dale. Soon they were crushing what were thought to be the last of Tormentors.
I don't think anyone else made it this far...
That was the sad truth. With Amberon's forces tied elsewhere, he didn't have any to spare for the protection of settler convoys. Luckily for the hapless elves, King Lich was set on exterminating the last threats in the region.
Of course, Amberon might have had more troops if they had not been spent in a senseless grind, where the best of Arethi bowmen fired volleys of arrows at skeletons that, at best, were mildly inconvenienced by such strikes.
Mallacir's tower was also located nearby, providing magical support to the defense of the realm.
Blood unt iron!
MidEast Crisis 2 had the best voice work of any CnC Mod, ever, and if you disagree, you're a tiny commie mutant traitor
Finally, another undead shard was put to rest and the rainbow dragon found itself momentarily without a task. He decided to use the time to settle his own matters.
Unfortunately, another dragon was also settling his own matters... OF VENGEANCE! The ghost ship had little defense against the searing blasts of dragon breath, and went down with all souls... again.
There would be no need for this if you didn't send archers into the fray... and forced them to stand around near lava pools. Still, I'll help you, but only to set an example
Sorry, Mallacir, nothing personal
Such is the price to play the game of nobles...
There was a Svart craftmen district in the middle of lava fields. The Wolves of Helia didn't find that the least surprising.
Examplars, not so keep to stride in molten rock, went on to recover artifacts that Sir Hugue lost on his last death (bringing that count to two)
Captain Duckwinson, I presume
Nay, 'tis be Bile Gruffson, former first mate o' th' Golddale Duck, now th' capt'n of th' Golddale Duck
So the good captain didn't go down with his ship?
Go down he did, cursin' all th' while. But he dinnae stick around. 'fraid of ghost flying serpent, the lilly livered spectr'l bastard. I stayed wit' th' lads, sailed th' undead seas, till we got trapp't in a mirror!
I always wondered how those things worked. Anyway, Captain Bile Gruffson, I formalize your appointment as captain and entrust the Duck to your more than capable ghastly hands. I'm sorry I can't restore you to life, but that's how it is, once you're undead
Yarr, that no be a probl'm. A ghost ship sail more th'n sea, it does, and ghost whences are many... cleaner th'n th' living ones, fer sure!
Would you kindly send more support than just kind words?
Would you kindly engage in this mutually beneficial trade?
I don't really think it prudent, my lord
Then my lord will understand my reluctance to send troops. After all, meta-teleportation is costly
But I will indulge you. Here's all I can spare... and likely more than is needed to break Mallcir
See how they fall when you crush their bones under fists of steel? I doubt arrows could ever acomplish that
Tal Karamat. You were truly greatest of us all. Shame you met your at this bleak, desolate place. Maybe it was a little more lively when you were here, maybe it was worth fighting for
Maybe it died with you. Whatever happened, I'm happy to see your resting place undisturbed
Imps. Demons. In comparison to Tormentors, they were nothing. The fireballs they hurled might scare peasants, but they bounced harmlessly of the transformed hides of Wolves of Helia.
This fight would be brief, so, so brief.
Ever wondered how they got there?
Gate mishap, perhaps? Not like they have anywhere to go. My wife, she's a Seer at Fort Gobbo. She writes that the place smells
Little surprise there
Yeah, but she also writes that human wizards just keep pacing back and forth on the other side of straights. Seems like Fading doesn't have much in the way of seas, so they don't know how to make ships, the poor sods
Could build a city in those jungles, they already have half the realm there
Naw. Heard a drunk census automaton operator talk about how horribly bankrupt Krel is. Can't even cobble together some settlers
Turns out an undead monstrocity isn't the worst leader one can have
More demons... more dragons... and, ooh, gold dragon eggs! The lich will be interested in that, for sure. I have to get a closer look
The Duke is so old he remembers the times when his sons, Barons of Hell, wore short trousers. However, you shouldn't think that the old Duke is good for nothing. There is life in the old demon yet, and, if necessary, he can show anyone a very 'warm welcome'
What... what in the hell... is that?
Let's bloody the servos!
All Exemplars, follow me into glory!
I'm really starting to doubt that your fit to lead entires peoples... or anything at all
No curse this time? The gate curses are getting lazy. Wolves, step forward, I trust you can kill anyone that opposes you
All too easy...
With the Duke of Hell distracted by something, Cecinia managed to sneak up an capture the artifact he was guarding.
One of the Exemplars fell to the Tormentors... only to rise in Lichgrad and be meta-teleported back into the fray where it tore into the surprised demons.
Gatecrashing complete! Now, what is this place?
I might even make a weapon of great power to comemorate it... now, what is this place?
Amberon the Dark? I have defeated him once... I will crush him again. That elf won't stand between me and Ardania!