Poor Marignon was behind on his diplomacy game. I’m not sure whether he accidentally sent the message to me and intended to send it to Ashdod, or if he just made a typo and meant “if you’re not busy Agartha”. Either way the play was drawn up several months ago and put into action just last turn. This helps put me at ease, as it means Marignon has no clear allies who will come to his rescue. My greed intensifies a little and instead of stinging his flanks I want to capture his capital.
Another throne will soon be claimed, and Arcoscephale looks like he will be going down soon.
I have 22 Ancient Ones, 3 Pale One soldiers and 1 Oracle deep in enemy territory. A critical income province has been seized and Marignon will have to prioritize getting it back as it isn’t just 125 gold, but also giving his capital valuable resources. Marignon is desperate for resources to continue his troop production. I can’t outright fight him right now, but I can certainly disrupt his economy to a large degree. I move to take the forest province bordering his cap. He only has 1 other non-farmland connection, another forest, so losing this territory will be critical to him and cost me very little.
I cannot outright fight his ~40 unit force right now, as I would take unacceptable Ancient One losses to his knight’s lances. I wouldn’t put it past him to move a few mages in as well to secure a sneak victory. I would rather raid and retreat to the underwater provinces easily, frustrating his forces, diminishing his economy, and giving Vanheim time to conduct his siege and Southern assault. Meanwhile Albert is coming with my initial starting infantry. These reinforcements can be used to tank the F9 blessed Knight’s lances, which means my Ancient Ones can properly respond rebuke those heathens with some weapons of their own.
I put all my gold this turn into increasing my mage infrastructure, and max out my Ancient One production again. I have 2 Golems being produced a turn now (or 28 total research/turn) and will have a 3rd production center ready next turn. The remainder of my gold went into building a temple in Lithia. I elect for my Crafter to continue searching North, and am tempted to see if I can sneak in and scout Marignon’s lands out now while my move economy would be efficient. Still no luck with nature income, despite searching 3 separate provinces now. My Shaman continue their quest as one heads to the North, while the other two head into the caves and split up.
I hit 75 total research/turn now and will start growing with 42 extra research next turn (3 Golem Crafters + 1 Magic scale). I am 2 turns away from my main buff, Earth Power. This gives my E2 mages 4 additional reving. on top of the 4 bless reinvig. and increases their Earth magic power by 1, halving the fatigue of any Earth spells and expanding their repertoire. While not a great spell on its own, it does represent a key buff for my mages that keeps them launching Magma Bolts the entire battle. From there extreme temperature conditions will no longer faze my mages, becoming a concern only for my cold-blooded troops.
Too long since TURN DOWN FOR BALZAC and I had time alone. We had almost seen an entire year through before reuniting, our first departure since the Separation of Youth. He seemed the same, yet weary. ‘The surface is not as we’d like it. She yearns to feel, but there’s a barrier of sorts. We have to get her out, we need to spread the faith.’ Desperation weighed in his tone and before the night was through he excused himself to proselytize to the yet unconverted. I slept deep that night, but with sorrow yet in my heart.
Albert, Boulder of the Caves, First Steward of the Oracle, Summer of 21 A.C.
Another glorious victory in the name of Pocahontas’s Phylactery, the ancient Mind Lord and his lobotomized subjects were easily shaken from their throne. Losing not 1 Ancient, I felt a little poorly for the opposing forces when their only saving grace, the Mind Lord, proceeded to spam quickness instead of leveraging those water gems into something worthwhile. AI, am I right?
Unfortunately, dear readers, my hard-fought throne was less then ideal. Granting a single dominion check and +1 magic resistance, I elect to hold off on claiming it until the extra resistance might come in handy. In the interim I’d rather not tip off anyone publicly to the number of thrones I have. If they don’t actively scout, they might lose track of the actual count, securing me an easy surprise win if I sit on a few. My victors head up the passageway to The Leaking Sea. I put my triton garrison to the front of the lines, with some back-up from my ancients. We are against ~30 Amber Guard Tritions, tough critters, so I expect to take a few casualties with my aquatic units. Hopefully this will alleviate upkeep from those useless units.
My research is picking up, though I dispatch two Crafters from The Sombre Pass to start site searching my freshly carved empire in the West. I am now recruiting 3 Golems total a turn, and begin coaxing an Oracle from my capital. I continue recruiting 3.8 Defender of the Halls/turn in Lithia as well. These Defenders have Castle Defense and Siege bonuses, making them effective to either repel Ulm’s invaders or break down Marignon’s walls. Albert begins to patrol Lithia and bring down some of that event unrest from 18.
I had a couple events this turn.
I get a free Adventurer and lose some unrest in a province. At 5 gold/month he is pretty cheap and can be used for patrolling, building forts, and reinforcing main armies. His leadership caps at 40, but he’s got crazy high defense, decent protection and solid HP along with Inspirational +1. While I wish he was the Adventurer that had the sailing ability (one of my Sacreds is size 2, so could be sailed with a Prophet to wreak havoc) he is still a pretty flexible unit.
I am still site searching my lands intensively and am looking to jump start my gem income. Conjuration 4 is a ways off still, but I have 8 more turns until I hit 20 water gems (at current gem income). If they’re not looking for sites of power, then my mages are hitting the books hard, racing to leverage a research advantage against Marignon. If Marignon does bounce back from Vanheim and my dual offensives (unlikely) I don’t want them becoming a thorn in my side.
My Oracle is 1 turn out from recruitment and I select 2 Crafters to begin summoning Earth Elementals (2 Earth gems : 1 Elemental per turn) and Magma Children (2 Fire gems : 5 Magma Children per turn). He will be reinforced with some magical beings as well as 20 Ancient Ones. I set the last Earth Reader in my capital to begin scrying. I’d like to know exactly what Marignon is bringing to bear, plus there’s a lot of interesting activity going on in the world I would like to be following. Ashdod’s newest fort is up and recruiting next to our border, which I am displeased with. I also see Ulm pushing the offensive against Abysia.
I pressure Marignon further to see how far I can leverage my advantage. He decided to turtle rather then reclaim his scattered lands, but now he can be starved out and kept penniless. Vanheim has taken center stage on sieging both forts. I’d be displeased with losing Marignon and a throne to Vanheim if I wasn’t certain the siege would break and I could mop up the survivors in a couple turns.
Karl discovered a fire income site (+1 gem) in The City Without a Paradox and is moving into my recently conquered territory to search it as well. My latest acquisition, Rame, loses its tax of 61 gold this turn but gains a luck and growth scale (along with 3 sloth slides). Ulm again discovers my scout but fails to kill it. I decided that the pittance of upkeep he costs me is worth occupying Ulm’s forces and sent him back to continue annoying my neighbor.
Lastly I decided to try for Enchantment 3 and my sacred summon before I hit 20 water gems/Conjuration 4. Its a bit greedy of me, but I feel safe now that Marignon is contained and feel like my borders will be more or less stable.