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About Zanderaw

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    Protector of Salvus
  • Birthday 12/21/1995

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  1. CORRUPTOR DOMINION Creepy Corruptors crawl close to cattle-creatures creating chaos Statistics 12 M - 2 Colony Ships - It is time to spread, and since there are no obvious targets within range, the Corruptors will find less dramatic ways to expand. 10R [25 Total] - Itoron Extraction - The Corruptors’ methods may not be conducive to the free exchange of ideas, but it’s all they know. They screech and scream at each other until one thinks of something.
  2. Surya 1522 The largest piece of red marble any Suryan has ever seen towers above a host of Chosen warriors, who kneel before it in reverence. It is carved by craftsmen long lost to time, carved in the shape of a sun, and the warmth it emanates reminds all of Mihir’s grace. Here, in the bleached bones of an ancient civilization, there is still beauty. In Surya too there is beauty. It has remained beautifully pure for generations, untouched by the darkness which enveloped the outside world. For centuries it has bided its time, waiting for the moment when the Rajas may finally take up arms, the moment when they may reclaim the world from evil. In the mind of every true soldier of Mihir, the question is asked: has that time come? The night god’s forces march on Surya’s lands, yet the Mirrored City grows ever stronger. The world trembles at the sight of its army, and wise nations seek its favor. Perhaps the Eternal Day is near. No. As the Rajas walk between shattered temples and blasted cities, they force themselves to suppress such thoughts. This land has fallen far since the days of the ancients. The forces of darkness mass in the north, near unstoppable in power. Foreigners infest the world with heretical religions, each more perverse than the last. Outside the holy city, the world is ugly, dark, and brutish. But yet, so long as Surya still stands...perhaps it can be beautiful again. --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (258,000 Gold) Routine farm expansion. [4 Farms; 20,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [8 Factories; 60,000 gold] Further Suryan expansion occurs on the far southern end of their empire. [4 Settlements; 20,000 gold] Gohatti, Delhar, Karnawad and Sehore all expand into cities worth defending. [4 city upgrades with guilds; 96,000 gold] Powerfvl Sunclad regiments join the army of Aros, empowering it to enforce Suryan will. [1,250 Veteran T3 Heavy Inf; 35,000 gold] The city of Chittor contributes a higher quality of soldier than their already famous lancers, as two companies of their tulwar-armed champions arrive to prove their worth. [500 Veteran T3 Medium Cav; 18,000 gold] From the forges of the Hilmedhi, new weapons arrive on Suryan shores. They spew fire which comes not from Mihir, but which burns just as hot. A fine tool against His enemies… [Unit of flamethrowers; 4,500 gold.] [Special construction; 2,000 gold] [Work on T4 Magic; 1,500 gold; 10,200 total.] Riders set out from Mangaluru, investigating the Stormlands to the north to evaluate the possibility of settlement. [Expedition; 1,000 gold.] [0 gold remaining] ---------- Population 17,459,476
  3. Surya 1521 “Bloody hell, there’s nothing left.” The village - what remained of it - lay well below the party, in a small jungle clearing. Even here, on the very edges of the Surukai, the trees and underbrush pushed thick along the sides of every path, and it had taken time for the first soldier to spot the place. Not that there was much to spot. A few blackened ruins and some rice fields were all that was left as evidence of a settlement here. The shapes of burned bodies lay on the ground, and on one house the fire still blazed. This was recent work. “Who could have done this?” The young captain Chakravarmi stepped beside Kunwar. The Maharajas had a strong preference between the two main suspects, but his nemesis was not who the boy had been sent to fight. He kept his mouth shut. “Poor fools,” he said instead, and turned to his daughter who still rode beside him, the disgust on his face fading to stoicism. “They built in hostile territory, not a single armed man nearby to protect them, and too close to the forest to see anyone coming. Who is at fault for their deaths?” Padma frowned, for her father was obviously trying to lecture her on something. “The villagers?” The answer seemed wrong. “Never. Not even a little. Innocent people shouldn’t have to live in fear.” Kunwar shook his head, and stared coldly down at the ex-village. “The fault is with us. We have neglected our duty, and duty is what makes us Rajas.” His eyes narrowed, and he leaned forward as if seeing something. “There’s someone down there!” The captain exclaimed. “Wait...not just one!” And there was. In the village, armed men were moving between burnt houses, throwing bodies aside in search of riches. It was still impossible to tell who they were. “They’re still looting the place, the pigs.” Kunwar sneered. “We’re going down. One column straight down the path, then pincer order. We’ll come down hard and catch them alive. Tell the men. Now!” His eyes never left the target. “You’ll wait here, Padma.” “What? But there’s only a few, I want to see-” “You’re not going to get yourself killed here. I’ve let you come too far with us as it is.” Kunwar’s tone left no room for objection, and he made her dismount and hide in the bushes, off the path. Ten minutes later, he and all the soldiers were gone. Padma was alone with the sounds of birds, insects, and in time, a faint clash of steel. It was hardly what one could call peaceful: the jungle was alive in every sense of the word. But as she waited, she watched the way the sun played on leaves, listened to birds far away. For a dense, disease-ridden forest, it was relaxing. A rustle sounded in the underbrush, just downhill, and the hairs on her arms stood on end. She pulled away from the road, and by instinct pulled the ancient bow from her back. Again she heard the sound. Her father had told her once about the Red Tigers of the Surukai, great man-eating monsters that sprang from the trees and killed their victims instantly. Her hand gripped the bow tighter. She pulled herself up onto a convenient stone, looking downhill warily. Again the bushes rustled along the path, close this time, and she nocked an arrow, ready to defend herself. But it was no tiger which came up the hill. It was a single man, large and muscular, seemingly too big for the horse he rode. His eyes were flat and tired, his brow furrowed in thought. As the man approached, Padma tried to draw further back into the trees, but a twig snapped under her foot and the horse stopped. The man turned, and as he looked into her eyes recognition dawned on his face. “Padma Viswan, the marked one. I haven’t seen you since you were a baby.” Padma pulled back her bowstring, the arrow pointing at the man’s neck. “There’s no need for that, Padma.” The man seemed unconcerned. “I assure you, I will be perfectly civil.” As if to demonstrate, he bowed as deeply as one can on a horse. “Ravi Singh, at your service.” The girl’s heart pumped faster, and her fingers twitched on the bowstring. She should kill him. She knew she should kill him. Her father had told her over and over of this man’s crimes, and just years prior his men had kidnapped her. He was the enemy. But somehow with him standing mere feet away, speaking kindly, she couldn’t do it. “Why did you have me taken?” She replied instead, angrily. “It wasn’t done on my orders. Do I look the sort of man who would kidnap the Mahasattva? The men just get…zealous. You’ll understand that, in time.” He smiled. “I’m not at all the monster they say I am. They say I want to destroy Surya. Really, I just want to break its chains.” “Does that mean doing what you did to that village?” Padma would not loosen her grip on the bow. Ravi ignored the question, a brief scowl coming over his face, then passing. His eyes drifted down the hill, where the sounds of fighting were dying down. “You’re here with Kunwar, I notice. Tiresome man. Tell me, does he still refuse to believe that you are Mahasattva?” Padma nodded before she fully thought about it, taken off guard by the question. This man knew more about her and her father than she realized. “Well, he’s right. You aren’t the Mahasattva. Not yet.” Ravi stretched back lazily in his saddle. “Nor will you ever be, if you keep going on like this. There’s a ritual, you see.” Padma pulled the bowstring tighter. “No one’s said anything about a ritual.” “No, they wouldn’t, would they?” Ravi laughed. “The Sattva are lazy old fools. They have no idea how Arjun reached apotheosis, and even if they did they’d probably muck it up.” He leaned towards her. “I’ve heard what you did to my men. Mihir has given you power. But really, was that anything like what the legends say of the Mahasattva? Anything like what Arjun could do? What about the armbands you stole from me? I don’t suppose they fit, do they.” The girl narrowed her eyes, irritated. “And you know the ritual, I suppose?” “If only I were so lucky. But I’m looking, which is more than others can say.” He sighed. “At some point, Padma, you’ll have to look to the future, and decide what you want it to look like. The Mahasattva can do nothing less. Tell me, do you think Kunwar wants you to succeed? Perhaps as a Rajas, but not as what you truly are. But I do.” Padma was silent. “There is a town in this jungle. It lies where the great Surukai river meets the sea. Men call it Ravibad, but you may call it home, if you wish. Surya is old and decrepit. We are young, and strong. We can help each other.” “You want me to choose to come, now that you can’t force me. What are you planning?” “To set us free, of course.” Padma growled in response, and Ravi edged his horse closer. “I understand, it’s a lot to think about. You do have to make the right decision, after all.” He grinned. “But in the meantime, I have something for you.” Ravi reached a burly arm to his side and drew an old, plain sword. He held it casually, smirked, and then tossed it at Padma’s feet. “This thing’s been more trouble than it’s worth, but maybe it’s because it doesn’t belong to me.” He gestured to the blade, still ignoring the arrow pointed at his face. “Give it a try before we meet again. I think it’ll feel a bit more comfortable in your hands. And remember…” The big man winked cheerfully. “Ravibad!” By the time Padma realized she hadn’t loosed her arrow, Ravi had spurred his horse away, disappearing into the underbrush. Once again, she was left alone with the sounds of the jungle. ...And an old, plain sword. --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (247,000 Gold) Routine farm expansion. [5 Farms; 25,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [7 Factories; 52,500 gold] A rush of settlements falls over Aros! It seems they are filling with settlers slower than before, and the Sattva wish to make sure they can fully exploit the land ahead of time. Surya officially claims all the remaining land on the plains of Aros up the borders of their neighbors. [5 Settlements; 25,000 gold] Gawhilghur, Adawad, and Amritsar all get walls and economic growth. [3 city upgrades with guilds; 72,000 gold] Powerfvl Sunclad regiments join the army of Aros, empowering it to enforce Suryan will. [1,750 Veteran T3 Heavy Inf; 49,000 gold] The Chosen of Mihir are also called, ready to prove their skill. [100 Elite T3 Enchanted Heavy Inf; 8,000 gold] More meatshields join the growing army of Aros, which may soon be needed…. [2,000 T1 Light Inf; 4,000 gold.] [Special construction; 2,000 gold] [Bribe; 500 gold] [Gift to Hilmedhi; 8,000 gold plus profit from 8x T3 Equipment] [Work on T4 Magic; 1,000 gold; 8,700 total.] [0 gold remaining] ---------- Population 16,279,231
  4. CORRUPTOR DOMINION Too tired for RP in two threads, busy week. Imagine something here about a festering wound on the galaxy, because that’s what I am. And soon I’m coming for all of you... Statistics [FREE] - 11 Destroyers - Combining salvaged materials with their own technology, the Corruptors are able to convert the remains of the newly-conquered civilization into functioning warships. [20,000 C] - 2 BI Stacks - The twisted residents of the new world set about repairing their fallen civilization, in which the weak will be slaves to the strong, and the strong will be slaves to their corrupted instinct. The world will soon be more than it ever was. 7R [15 Total] - Itoron Extraction - GIVE ME ITORON
  5. CORRUPTOR DOMINION Pathetic little creatures. So ignorant. So helpless. Even so far above their insignificant lives, she could hear the whispers of their dull thoughts, their small-minded desires, their shortsighted dreams. Sometimes she whispered back. The grotesque monsters which followed her called her a witch, but as always they feared her more than they loathed her. The Corruptors would follow, when the time came. On the night the assault ship finally arrived, the starry-eyed creature awoke, stretched her many legs, and at last boarded a ship to the surface - along with thousands of her new twisted kin. The primitives slumbered, for the night was dark and the ancient witch-corruptor was here, her once soothing mind now reaching out with malevolent intent. A whole city felt the icy harmony of her soul, and the deeper they slept the more unsettling the dream became. A calm whirlpool swirled in their thoughts, but the whirlpool was blood-red, and echoed with baleful cries. They tossed, they turned, but they did not wake. Meanwhile, the true nightmare was almost upon them. Statistics [Mod] – 1 Assault ship, 1 unit regulars - The Corruptors fall upon the primitive world, landing bloodthirsty troops directly in one of their pathetic cities. Unlucky creatures….. 2R [8 Total] - Itoron Extraction - SCREEEECH
  6. Surya 1520 Four years had gone by since she’d gone to Chittor, and still Padma did not fully understand her father. He took an intense interest in her, but was cold and rarely gave compliments. He sometimes seemed annoyed by her presence, but when the Sattva had requested that he send her back to Surya, he had flatly refused. She had asked why at the time: why would he not send the Mahasattva back to the city she was born to serve? Kunwar had just chuckled: “What makes you so certain you’re the Mahasattva?” The question shocked Padma. She had always been Mahasattva. She had no answer. “The Mahasattva is a gift from Mihir. Why would Mihir demand the life of a mother as the price for his gift?” Kunwar explained, and that was the end of the conversation. But after years in Chittor, she had grown used to her father’s distance. She was taught as well as she had ever been of the Rajas virtues, the arts of sword and bow, and now that she was old enough, the handling of Chittor’s famous horses. Countryside southeast of Chittor, circa 1520 “Stop slouching, Padma,” Kunwar called out, effortlessly directing his mare towards her with knees alone. “Horses are like men: you have to be certain what you want, or they’ll never follow you.” The comment cut deeper into her insecurities than Kunwar could know, but Padma straightened all the same. Her horse plodded on just as before, and if there was a difference in obedience she couldn’t notice it. “How much farther?” She asked, running her fingers through the creature’s mane. “I don’t see anything.” “By the ridge.” Padma’s father pointed ahead. “Let’s hope they’ve sent us something decent this time.” He grunted to himself. The traitor Ravi was still out there, still burning villages, still spreading his poison, but Surya would not help him catch the traitor. But a few unknown savage attacks, and suddenly the best of Varchas were on their way. It was grossly unfair, but the two enemies were in the same area. Kunwar would make use of what he could. Padma, for her part, was just happy to be out of the city. As the countryside passed by, her thoughts were on the same place as her father’s: the eastern jungle which she had only ever seen on maps. The men who’d tried to steal her four years ago were there - not the same men of course, but close enough. Such power she’d felt fighting them! It was like nothing she’d felt since. There was much she didn’t know for sure, but she knew she wanted to feel that again. “How are we going to find him?” She asked meaning Ravi, watching Kunwar closely. “We?” He raised an eyebrow, looking straight ahead. “Ravi Singh. What if he just hides in the jungle again?” “We?” Kunwar was undeterred. Padma sighed. “I want to go! I beat them when I was just a kid, I’ll do it again.” “So you can end up feeding a red tiger? There’s more in the Surukai than Ravi’s men. You know how stupid I’d have to be bringing you in there?” His daughter groaned in frustration. “At least let me come with you to the edge? It’s our land, isn’t it?” “My land. And I’ll think about it.” A faint smile passed over Kunwar’s lips, then was gone. As the two riders came closer to the ridge’s base, a neat camp came into view, brimming with black-clad soldiers. The tents were in perfect order, and pickets challenged them well before the lines, just as doctrine ordered. “The 10th Varchaasi Spears,” Kunwar explained, then asked for the captain. “I’m the captain, sir,” a cheerful young soldier who’d been with the pickets saluted quickly. “Captain Salah Chakravarmi, sir, reporting for duty.” Padma looked down on the handsome officer with approval, but Kunwar took no notice of her apparent interest, for he was already frowning at him. “Just how old are you, captain?” “Nineteen, sir.” Kunwar let out a strange coughing-choking sound, and it was a moment before he recovered his wits. “You ever been to the Surukai, bo...Captain Chakravarmi?” “I did my training south of Varchas, sir. I’m used to jungles.” Kunwar grunted in a distinctly unimpressed manner. “Never known the Varchaasis not to do their jobs, I suppose. We’re grateful for your men.” As an afterthought, he nodded towards his companion. “This is my daughter, Padma.” “I know the Mahasattva. Sir.” He bowed in deference to the girl, and Padma smiled back. “We’ll march tomorrow. The damned traitor showed his face again last week! He’s getting arrogant.” Kunwar dug his heels into his horse and trotted forward into the camp, muttering something about useless boys and Sattva incompetence. The officer coughed awkwardly, and looked up to see the Maharajas’ daughter still on her horse. “Will you be traveling with us?” He asked, but just as Padma opened her mouth to answer her father barked her name. So she looked apologetically down at the boy, and rode ahead. --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (235,500 Gold) Routine farm expansion. [4 Farms; 20,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [7 Factories; 52,500 gold] Two settlements fall down to bless the earth somewhere uncontested, where I shall mark at my leisure when I’m not so damn tired. [2 Settlements; 10,000 gold] Kollam, Chandmahal, and Jawar all become full cities, making the surrounding area better with their mere existence. [3 city upgrades with guilds; 72,000 gold] Powerfvl Sunclad regiments join the army of Aros, empowering it to enforce Suryan will. [1,750 Veteran T3 Heavy Inf; 49,000 gold] More beds for soldiers to sleep on in a stone building on which mirrors have been mounted. [1 barracks in Surya; 5,000 gold] Thugs and reprobates are forced into service or otherwise enter the baggage train for profit. At least Aros will have meatshields. [2,000 T1 light infantry; 4,000 gold] [Special construction; 2,000 gold] [Gift to Hilmedhi; 7,000 gold plus profit from 7x T3 Equipment] [Trading company for Ruhn trade; 6,300 gold.] Delicious wheat is sold to Suryans by their faithful Hilmedhi allies. [Payment through sneaky to Czar; 5,000 gold annually] The Chosen of Mihir, who guard Surya’s walls, have decided that they are simply not impressive enough. Each guard tower should be a temple in its own right, complete with extra mirrors and statues in Mihir’s honor, brimming with incense. The tops of the walls should glitter with Surya’s riches, works of art which display the superior artisanship of the city as much as its vast wealth. They begin funding the effort themselves. [Start on magic T4 upgrade; 7,700 gold] [0 gold remaining] ---------- Population 15,178,772
  7. Surya 1519 By order of Alu Kovind, duly-appointed commander of Fort Dawn and Maharajas of Chandmahal, All soldiers stationed in Fort Dawn are to remain at their post for no longer than one week at a time, before returning to duty in civilian districts. All new arrivals are required to submit to an evaluation of suitability before being permitted to serve in Fort Dawn duty. Garrison of the week is to arrive and depart from their post by the marked path ONLY. Deviation from marked path will result in disciplinary action. Any attempt to approach foreign structures sighted near Fort Dawn is a CAPITAL OFFENSE and will be swiftly punished. Unless as punishment for a crime, civilians are strictly prohibited from laboring longer than two weeks at a time on any project on or near the fort. Overseers who notice unusual behavior must report their observations to the current Fort Dawn commandant. Absolutely NO foreign representatives are to be allowed into Fort Dawn or the surrounding area. Officers arriving from Surya will meet personally with the Maharajas before starting duty. Be vigilant. Even the gaze of Mihir has limits. --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (220,000 Gold) Routine farm expansion. [3 Farms; 15,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [6 Factories; 45,000 gold] Suryan settlements continue to spread across Aros, civilian feelers accompanied by wary guards, searching out for the threats which must be there. [2 Settlements; 10,000 gold] Mundarjee, Mudhol, and Mangaluru have all grown quite a bit! Trvly the realm of Mihir prospers. [3 city upgrades with guilds; 72,000 gold] The glowering Sarjee Scindia, Maharajas of Ratnagiri and supreme commander of the Army of Aros, begins a plan he has spent years dreaming of: the recruitment of a national army loyal only to Surya itself. The Sunclad are not Rajas, but they come from everywhere in the realm and so come from nowhere. Their loyalty is not in doubt. [1,750 Veteran T3 Heavy Inf; 49,000 gold] [Special construction; 2,000 gold] Heaping chests of gold to friends of Surya! Take note foreign Tamas, for this is how the mirrored city treats its allies… [7,000 gold to Hilmedhi, plus profit from 7x T3] Tamas mine the silver. Boats move the silver. Dwarves work the silver. Who will find it useful? [Mine in Moonwrought Mountains, unit sent to Hilmedhi; 7,500 gold] For an old city, Surya has done quite a bit of expansion recently. For the best, no doubt. [Two barracks in Surya; 10,000 gold] [2,500 gold remaining] ---------- Population 14,185,769
  8. CORRUPTOR DOMINION The planet has changed. The once-pristine cities seem to be the same hellscapes they were when they first fell, but now there is a brutal order among the grotesque creatures that roam its streets. Something is coming, and all can feel it. They wait with bated breath, each hoping to be chosen to go offworld. Each wishes only to prove its own might, to become the ultimate Corruptor. Armies are being raised. Ships are being built. A swarm of evil is soon to be released. None of these disgusting creatures know who they’ll be fighting, but each can sense it in the air. War is coming. Statistics [Mod] - At last, signs of inferior life. But what exactly? The frigate which first detected the signal follows it, seeking its origin…. 30k C - 3 CI - Repairs are finally complete on the human world conquered by the resurgent corruptors. 6 M - Assault Ship - An assault ship, ready to bring a tidal wave of giant spider-people on the enemy. 4 M - Frigate - Resources are lacking for full scale warships, but at least another light attack ship can be built. The monsters of Yuguo don’t doubt that it’ll be enough. 1 M 1 S - Regular Infantry - The thought of tainting another planet with their foul seed sends every Corruptor into a raging fit. But only the strongest can be sent to corrupt the stars. Those currently in power squabble in the most petty of ways, but eventually an army is organized. 2R [6 Total] - Itoron Extraction - Corruptor bosses force more research into extraction of the black metal. Soon its power will be theirs.
  9. Surya 1518 It was well past midnight when Padma slipped her bonds. She was tied to a tree, left under the night sky and treated brusquely by her captors. She suspected she’d have been beaten too, but the one who led them, Naig, had kept them away. She understood their anger, even if she didn’t sympathize. Kidnapping an eleven year old girl was meant to be easy, and it would have been, but something had come over her when they had boarded the ship. The bow she carried was suddenly weightless, and the arrows could not miss. She hadn’t counted how many of the pirates had gone down before the inner fire had subsided. Now the same fire rose within her, the same voice told her to be free. But she was being watched. The party was camped outside a seaside village where they waited for transport, and none wanted to lose their prize. So a large man sat with an intimidating club, grunting at her every time she struggled within the ropes. The rest were in the town, taking whatever loot they liked from the inhabitants. Padma heard the voice encouraging her, and she knew the time had come. Soon enough, when they had had their pleasure, more thugs would come to watch her. This one could be dealt with. “You,” Padma said, slowly working her fingers outside the ropes so that they pointed at the man. “Why do you do this?” The thug ignored her, a single grunt the only evidence that she’d been heard. The voice was stronger inside her, and she began to struggle, slowly wriggling her way free. She kept her eyes on the guard, who could not ignore this at least. He said nothing, just hefted his club and began to stalk towards her. Without thinking, her fingers snapped towards him, stiffened into a claw, and suddenly the man was screaming, his skin going red, blistering, melting before his very eyes. By the time he fell sizzling to the ground, Padma was already squirming her way out again. Had someone heard the scream? She thought not: the air was still full of other cries, from raucous bandits and terrified peasants. Still, she hurried, and crept toward the town as soon as she was free. Clouds covered the moon, and she had no trouble reaching the village’s narrow streets. An old woman was being dragged into an alleyway by three of the men, and for a moment Padma steeled herself to help, but the voice stopped her. There was a house near the docks. It was important. Nobody stopped her. Nobody saw her. She crept through the shadows, her golden eyes darting from doorway to doorway until at last she could hear snippets of conversation in a large two-story house. She listened through the shouts and the sound of waves close by. “...we don’t have many left, Naig. We keep her with us and we’ll be fighting so…” “...aren’t any use without her. Ravi would se……..back sooner or later, and…….so easy to find the Mahasattva when she’s nice and comfortable in a city.” “Ravi gave us one mission. Would it…….so hard to stick to the plan just once?” Padma crawled to a window, and peered into the room. Two men stood arguing, both tall, thin, and irritated, But her gaze was drawn to the table between them, where two golden loops lay strewn next to each other. Armbands. She didn’t know how she knew, but they were the reason she was here. But how to get them? “....reason why I’m in charge and you aren’t, Alu. When we bring Ravi both pieces of the puzzle, he’ll take far more notice than if we’d just done the bare minimum. It’s called initiative, Alu, and you’d be wise to develop some.” “You know how far it is to Ravibad? This is an awful ri-” A trumpet cut through the night, and the whinny of a horse. Both men looked up, startled. There was another trumpet, and shouts of alarm from inland. Naig cursed. “We’ll have to take what we can get. Go and fetch the prisoner, I’ll get a dinghy ready. Hopefully these drunken idiots can buy us some time.” Alu hurried out, and the other man scooped up the two golden armbands, pushing his way out the other door. Padma saw him clearly, for the moon showed itself at last, illuminating his escape down a long dock, where a small boat waited. He never made it even halfway. Stabbing down like the shaft of a cosmic spear, a beam of pure white light slammed into the dock ahead of him, instantly shattering it into a thousand pieces. The shock throw Naig onto his back, splinters dug into his skin, and when he managed to get to his feet the same girl was standing behind him, with the same fire in her eyes that he had seen before. Others came that way soon enough, fleeing from vengeful cavalry. They paid Padma no attention, and Padma watched them in silence, for their fate was sealed. The Black Suns had no respect for civilians, indeed disdained them, so the lancers had no respect for them. They were hunted down and killed like vermin, and only after the last of them was gone did a man approach her. “You’re Padma Viswan?” She nodded, looking up from the armbands she had gone to such trouble to find. They were too big for her to wear. The man sighed. “I am Maharajas Viswan of Chittor. We’re here to take you home.” A long moment passed before she nodded, and got to her feet. The man stayed near her protectively, and led her to the company’s camp. In the morning, they would take her away. But to where, she couldn’t know. --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (203,818 Gold) Some dirty tribals steal rightful Suryan property! A detachment of veteran infantry is deployed from Varchas to get to the bottom of this. [4,000 gold; 250 medium infantry sent to investigate.] Routine farm expansion. [4 Farms; 20,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [6 Factories; 45,000 gold] Suryan interests dictate that further colonists be sent to Aros, even if the continent seems many times more hostile than their homeland. [2 Settlements; 10,000 gold] The population of the twin islands continues to skyrocket! Many of the more recent settlements have now become fully established. [3 city upgrades with guilds:Bunda, Waroor, Bomkata ; 72,000 gold] [Special Construction; 2,000 gold] The city of Varchas continues to train their famous infantry, most of which will find themselves in Aros soon enough. [1,000 Veteran T3 Med. Inf; 20,000 gold.] The Chosen of Mihir, the absolute elite of Surya and made completely up of Rajas, have for the first time in years decided to send some of their warriors beyond the city walls. Word has it they are boarding a ship to Ratnagiri.[100 Elite T3 Enchanted Heavy Cav; 13,000 gold.] Sarjee Scindia, though happy with the quality of troops he is receiving, is still unsatisfied. These men are loyal to their cities first and to Surya second. If he is to truly rely on them, a new kind of army will have to be formed...one which can serve as an example to the other soldiers.[Heavy infantry research; 13,637 gold.] [Gift to Hilmedhi; 1,181 gold plus profit from 5 units of armor.] [3,000 gold remaining] ---------- Population 13,257,728
  10. Surya 1517 Noble Maharajas Scindia, This letter should reach you with the corpse of one Captain Samo Apu, who took his own life on the day of writing. He is the first casualty of this wretched place, but though I have ordered the temple off limits I daresay he will not be the last. Discipline among the men remains strong for now, but morale has suffered since Apu's death and I do not think it would be wise to keep this garrison here longer than necessary. They have seen too much. There is only so much that I can commit to writing, but since our last meeting I trust you will not have forgotten the urgency of the situation. If Surya will not act to defend its interests, then we must secure the resources to take matters into our own hands. I hope you will not think me overly dramatic if I say that the Enemy could arrive here tomorrow. Your faithful servant, Alu Kovind ---------- “Cut this rat’s throat and leave him to rot.” “No!” The man scrabbled at Kunwar’s boots, pleading in fear. “It was a mistake! I’m not one of them, that’s why they left me here!” “So you’re a Black Sun and a liar,” the Maharajas smiled cruelly. “You’re not doing yourself any favors.” He nodded to a sergeant, who roughly kicked the prisoner to the sand they stood on. “You want to live, you should start talking. Why am I finding Ravi’s vermin this far west?” The man got to his knees, hurrying to speak. “There was a man, a Rajas like you, noble sir. Naig was his name, sir. He said he’d been sent to get something important from the capital. Wouldn’t say what. Was recruiting too, needed me as a guide. That’s all I was sir, a guide!” “Of course you were. Why else are you here.” Kunwar scowled, glancing to the shipwrecks which littered the beach. Once Ravi would have protected the innocent, would have stopped crimes like this, not caused them. Now he was a monster. His friend had turned his back on everything that was good in the world, had turned his back on him, and every day the pain of that betrayal tore at him. The Sattva no longer trusted him, for he had defended Ravi so many times before his treason. The people led sullen lives under his reign, terrified that they could be attacked at any moment. The worst was that he could do nothing about it - no one knew where Ravi Singh hid himself, and he always disappeared long before he could be followed. The prisoner seemed hesitant, so Kunwar drew his own saber and laid it at his throat. “Why were you attacking ships?” “T-there was something else, sir. When we was leaving Surya, w-we heard the Mahasattva was gone. Naig, he had friends in the city. He found out what ship she was on.” “And you caught her?” The Maharajas’ words were quiet, restrained. “Weren’t easy! Girl may be small, but there was something about her...still, we- Naig and his fellows, they caught her all the same. Set off down the coast just this morning.” The soldiers turned their eyes to Kunwar, for it was no secret that the Mahasattva, Padma Aswan, was his daughter. Since her disappearance unrest had wracked the countryside, and he had worked to quell it without a word to anyone about his personal feelings. He showed them now: no sooner had the man finished speaking than he was upon him, pressing him roughly into the sand, the sword digging into his skin. “Is that all you know, you manure-eating gutter trash? A child-stealing rat like you would try and hold his tongue on something. It won’t work. Not with me. Where are they going?” He roared, and blood trickled onto the ground. The man choked and sputtered, feebly pushing back against the blade. “Down the coast, to near Chittor, to pick up a boat to Ravibad! I don’t know where that is, I swear!” Kunwar nodded. “Thank you,” he said, and then with a feral snarl he brought the saber back and slashed through the prisoner’s throat. His horse was brought across the sand, and he mounted, scowling at all his men. “For too damn long have we let this demon menace us and our families. Now he reaches past our city, to the capital itself. He kills our brothers, and now he snatches our children? I have seen enough. Ravi Singh will go no further.” He turned his mount to the south, down the beach. “We ride until we catch these brutes...then we kill them all!” --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (187,818 Gold) Raiders from the jungle are nothing new, but some are worried about these in particular. The peasants living in the region take them for more of Ravi’s goons, while certain individuals in Aros suspect something darker drives their attacks. Either way, all that can be do for now is to fortify the area, and increase patrols. [5,000 Civil Watch to the east, city upgrades below.] Routine farm expansion. [3 Farms; 15,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [5 Factories; 37,500 gold] Unbeknownst to the governments of the tamer regions, a ramshackle settlement has taken shape at the mouth of the Surukai river. Its inhabitants call it Ravibad, for they are there to serve the mad Tamas who would overthrow the righteous Sattva. And in Aros, another settlement forms south of the very edge of Suryan control, in the shadow of the evil mountain. There, citizens mine the silver in the rocks and aid the soldiers who wish to stave off the endless night. [2 Settlements; 10,000 gold] More disciplined infantry arrive from Varchas, joining their brethren to form a significant fighting unit. [1,000 T3 Veteran Med. Inf; 20,000 gold.] The great war mounts of the Mirrored City each need their own ship to transport across the sea. They tower above man and horse, they lumber forward with the confidence that very few things can hope to kill them. The great elephants of Surya have been trained since birth - trained to shrug off the puny blows of soldiers and to smash their ranks for the glory of Mihir. Their armor glitters in the sun, masterwork plates from the Hilmedhi peninsula which cover them head to toe... [2 Elite T3 War Elephants; Enchanted armor; 18,000 gold.] The city of Surat makes a welcome contribution to the military: a company of skilled archers, ready to strike down foes in the Mirrored City’s name.[250 Veteran T3 Med. Archers; 5,500 gold.] Thugs and lowlifes gather around the growing army of Aros, swelling the camp when it moves. They make illicit profit from the vast flows of gold that follow every army, but most seem to be ardent fanatics of Mihir, so Maharajas Scindia tolerates them in the hope that they’ll fight when called. [1,000 T1 Light Infantry; 2,000 gold.] Surat and Varanasi grow quickly, and are given fortifications in order to resist increased violence in the east. Meanwhile, the town of Surada grows rich as a major settlement on the Suryan sea. [Three cities and guilds; 72,000 gold.] More chests of gold are shipped to the Hilmedhis, sweetening the pot to continue providing service to Surya. [1,000 gold (4,000 with equipment profit)] Special construction. [2,000 gold.] [4,818 gold remaining] ---------- Population 12,390,400
  11. CORRUPTOR DOMINION In an endless black void, a black ship silently slips among the stars. No messages leave its transmitters. Its crew avoids each other when possible. To an observer, it might almost appear dead. But the ship glides along, its course straight and its hearing sharp. It listens, because the disease it carries cannot survive without prey. Its hosts crave the innocent, they desire only to create more of themselves even as they cannot stand the sight of their new kin. The disease is a contradiction, but it is a fool who thinks that a weakness. With every year the hosts stay contained, their rage builds. It is a great reservoir of anger and hunger now, and this ship is but a single trickle before the torrent. Perhaps, when the flood is released, it can be stopped. But the thought has never occurred to the corrupted, and if it had they would hardly care. So the ship must sail on. Statistics [Mod] - The frigate built last year sets sail to the south as long as supplies will allow, its sensors tuned for any stray communications. 21k C [48k/50k] - Shipyard L2 - Construction continues, as the corruptors prepare to send bigger, stronger ships into the unknown. 2R [4 Total] - Itoron Extraction - Corruptor bosses screech in frustration as their underlings fail to harvest the black metal. But they do not give up, not yet...
  12. Surya 1516 Padma stood in darkness, gazing at moon-flecked waves as they washed against the hull of the ship. The ocean wasn’t so bad - she’d stopped vomiting after a few days once they passed Varchas, and she had her balance now. But she could not longer call herself Sattva. The first night had scared her, for in Surya there was never any true dark. She felt blind when she went belowdecks, had screamed for the sun as if it was never to return. Some of the crew worried about her, others grumbled. Most covered their ears and ignored her. There was no going back though, and as children often do, she soon got used to the world without light. A creak sounded behind her - the captain, a black Golishman with a gaunt face and a scar across his lip. The two were alone on the deck, and luckily so: the man was carrying the gilded bow Padma had brought from the capital. Arjun’s bow, famous throughout the land. “You left it out belowdecks,” the man explained. “You are the one, aren’t you?” Padma stood in shock. She’d been careless, too careless to realize she could so easily be recognized. “It’s alright. You paid for transport, transport is what you’ll get.” The older man crossed to stand next to her, watching the waves. “I just wanted to know why you left.” “Bad things,” was all Padma could think to say, but then went on. “I had a dream. There was nothing I could do to stop it from coming true there. So I’m going somewhere else.” He looked at her for a few moments while she thought. The Mahasattva, on his ship. There were more than a few people who would pay good money to have her turned over to them, and there was nothing she could do to stop him. But something in her bright eyes spoke to him. He could never betray this girl. She was important. ”Where will you go now? After we make port.” The captain handed the bow to her, but it was some time before she answered. “I’m still thinking about it.” “Still thinking?” He leaned on the gunwale, amused. “I have time! And I have to be sure. The Mahasattva can’t be wrong.” The Golishman was silent, observing her sympathetically. He had a daughter himself about this age, but she was never so serious. In fact she was probably still playing with dolls, all the way in Ratnagiri. ”Sattva Sarkar always said to think things through. But I never can, not fast enough. I’m wrong sometimes.” “No one’s perfect.” “I have to be!” The captain chuckled quietly, and there was a long pause. “I think, memsahib, that if anything you need to think less. You’ll be no good to anyone if you cannot make your own choices.” “I was not thinking when I came aboard this ship,” the young girl replied sullenly. “Perhaps it will be for the best. One rarely knows for su-” The captain suddenly paused, squinting across the water. “Boats,” he said, but he was stating the obvious. They had anchored close to shore, and now a dozen longboats were clearly visible in the wan light of the moon. Men shouted from the boats, and above the leading one hung the clearly visible banner of the black sun. Crewmen rushed to the deck, armed with whatever they could find, for all of them knew what the banner meant. The followers of Ravi Singh had left it behind at a hundred scorched villages, and now they were here, closer to the sacred city than anyone thought possible. They were coming fast, and though the anchor was already being raised it was clear they’d catch up. The captain looked down at the little girl he’d foolishly agreed to transport. Her amber eyes were staring across the water blankly, and the bow she held seemed far too big for her. “Can you use that, memsahib?” He asked, jerking her shoulder back to face him. She was frozen, and just looked back at the approaching longboats, mouth hanging slightly open. The captain scoffed, and pointed at the hatch to belowdecks. “Run!” he commanded, but he turned away then for the boats had almost arrived, hemming his ship in, pushing it towards shore. They were trapped, and now was the time to fight. So captain and crew fought, and Padma went to hide. --------- As turbulent events wash across the twin islands, a worrying discovery is made in Aros. The Nameless Dark has taken root here, and it yet resists the light of Mihir. For now, Surya has conquered, but they must be ready to defend their conquest. --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (172,500 Gold) Advisors are sent for from the newly-befriended kingdom of Hilmedhi, to appraise the unknown metal found in the mountains. [0 gold.] Routine farm expansion. [3 Farms; 15,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [5 Factories; 37,500 gold] Dark times are afoot. In order to better supply her troops, Surya commands that a new settlement be built in the very shadow of the ancient mausoleum found on Aros. To actually attempt to enter the building is forbidden. [Settlement; 5,000 gold] Further cavalry arrives in Aros, cementing Suryan power in the countryside. [1,500 T3 light cavalry; 15,000 gold.] Maharajas Sarjee Scindia, commander of the Suryan forces in Aros, laments the tools he’s been given. The troops in Aros are a “bunch of bloody useless peasants” according to him, and the most he can expect from them is to bleed on the enemy until they slip and fall. Never a man to accept a bad situation, he begins to implement reforms. Proper soldiers are needed, soldiers who can hold the line against any foe… [1,000 T3 Veteran Med. Infantry; 20,000 gold.] In preparation for a real army, Surya puts effort into perfecting her powerfvl cavalry. [Heavy Cavalry Research; 18,182 gold with school.] In Aros, Ratnagiri has grown enough that Surya finally recognizes it as a full city-state, appointing Scindia to govern it and the surrounding area. Seringapatna is soon the seat of a new Maharajas. Meanwhile, rapid growth in Manasur leads it to full cityhood as well. [2 city upgrades; 30,000 gold] Merchants swarm over the sea and to the east, searching out new opportunities in growing communities. [Guilds in Ratnagiri & Manasur; 18,000 gold.] Heaping chests of gold make their way to the Hilmedhi Kingdom, a gift from the Mirrored City. [8,000 gold (11,500 with 25% profit on equipment)] Special construction. [2,000 gold] [3,818 gold remaining] ---------- Population 11,579,813
  13. CORRUPTOR DOMINION Memories flickered through what was left of the lithe creature’s mind as it crept through a ruined husk of a city. It had corrupted this place, but there was more out there. It knew this, for it could remember it from a time long ago. A people of starry eyes and powerful minds....a people who had abandoned her. In her previous, inferior form, she had forgiven them. Now the nameless corruptor felt only resentment. There would be no mercy for her former people when they were discovered. The Corruptors were reborn, and they would root out the Saryn from the galaxy wherever they were found. None of the arachnid terrors stopped her along her path, though she knew they all wanted to. Dirty, ugly, worthless brutes, all of them. When the galaxy was finally corrupted, she would finally be able to rid herself of them, but not yet. For now they feared her, and she needed their help. A ruined plaza had been cleared of debris, and now served as a launch pad. In its center was a newly-constructed frigate, and if the creature was not in a permanently bad mood she might have smiled. At last, she could leave this world. This ship, the first of many, would take her to distant stars, where she would find new prey. She doubted there would be much resistance. These puny creatures had fallen to her alone, what could the universe do against an army? So the once-beautiful monster boarded her ship and prepared to set sail. She was no longer bound to a single planet, and neither was the disease she brought with her. An infestation would soon become an empire... Statistics [Mod] - The Corruptors turn their ears to the stars, listening for foolish transmissions from unsuspecting prey. 27k/50k C - Shipyard L2 - Reawakened monsters which can only see their mangled selves in their comrades, the Corruptors have little stomach for cooperation. Their work is ramshackle, and each laborer credits itself with the entire product. Still, through sheer necessity and brute terror inflicted on the weak, progress is made. In the skies above their new planet, the galaxy’s master race expands their shipyard, creating a forge from which they can arm themselves. 4M - Frigate - The ship has no name, for each Corruptor wishes to name it after itself and will not acknowledge it as anything else. Yet all are pleased to see it take flight, for it is the first weapon of many. 2R - Itoron Extraction - Great veins of black ore are spread throughout this world. Nothing seems to cut through it, and nobody seems to have ideas. The Corruptors who are momentarily in charge threaten to break the limbs of those who used to be scientists unless they figure it out.
  14. CORRUPTOR DOMINION Many ages ago, a beautiful woman was sealed in stasis, wounded in a great war. Her hair was golden, her eyes like the night sky, her voice lilting and beautiful. Her people feared the loss of their culture should the war be lost, and so she slept in an archive awaiting news of victory or death. Yet when victory came, she was forgotten. Her people faced their challenges without her, and she was alone with her thoughts. Time passed, and the woman’s people faded away, as did the memory of the enemy they had faced, an ancient terror of their own creation. Trapped inside her library-prison, she was the only one left to remember the arachnid menace, who turned the slain against their own kin. Over the centuries, loneliness turned to acceptance, and finally to a dreamless sleep as she awaited one who could rescue her, perhaps with a cure to her affliction. At last, though none could tell how long it had been, she felt the presence of others. Slowly, she remembered where she was. She was sleeping on a moon, high above a forested world. And on that world, new settlers had come in search of a new life. They called it ‘Yuguo’ for the rain which covered its land, and they called themselves the Han. The woman’s heart beat for the first time with hope. With all her mind and spirit she reached out to the people below, and they answered gratefully. Soon a man came, a lieutenant dressed in the handsome uniform of the Han secret service. Entranced by her beauty, he set her free, and she breathed fresh air once again. But the wound from ages past still festered, and try as they could, the Han could not stop its spread. So as the lieutenant watched his beloved writhe in pain, he saw too her transformation…. An ear-piercing screech came from a once-musical mouth, and grotesque limbs sprouted from milky flesh. The creature turned on its one-time friends with hateful eyes, and as they fell before gnashing teeth and poisoned claws, they too began to change. One monster became ten, ten became a thousand, and the city was overrun in a storm of blood. The Han tried to contain it. They pulled together all the determination they had. They made sacrifices beyond anything they’d ever dreamed in their worst nightmares. None of it made the war any less brief. A superior race now spread over the planet, consuming the remaining humans like so many animals. But the creatures’ instinct could not be satisfied. Before the entrails of the last Han were yet cold, they turned their spiteful gaze to the stars. Somewhere up there, they knew, there were more like these pathetic creatures. A universe to conquer. A universe to consume. A universe to corrupt. After eons of extinction, the doom of the galaxy was back. Statistics (Will clean up sheet this weekend) 70,000 C - Seven CI’s remain from the devastating war on the planet formerly known as Yuguo. It has no name now. It is just another conquest, another stepping stone to new prey. This planet, and its people, will soon be forgotten. 5,000 C saved (I’ll figure out how best to format this when I have time, but I have to wagecuck a lot this week.)
  15. Surya 1515 The sun hung in the sky, and did not set. The jungle below dried to dust, the earth withered and cracked in its heat. A great city made lifeless. A people choking on sand and ash, fleeing the cataclysm. And a single word....duty. Padma could not escape the horror of the vision. When she closed her eyes she would see the desolation again. When she opened them, the people around her seemed only too familiar. It was a warning she had seen. Something awful had happened in the past, and could happen again. She moved briskly through the streets of her city, and caught sight of herself in one of the multitude of mirrors. Her eyes had changed - they were bright gold, through and through. The word echoed through her mind again, bringing fresh horror….duty. With a clarity of mind she had never felt before she knew that it must be her to prevent her vision from coming anew, but she did not know what caused the disaster before, or what could stop it from coming again. The priests would want to know, though. The priests always wanted to know everything. They’d ask her about what she’d seen and expect her to know everything, and half wouldn’t believe her at all. She would have nothing to tell them, no answers to their interrogation. And they would want her to guide them, but she didn’t know how, because she still understood so little. They always told her that she would have to make decisions, that she had to become strong and wise when other children her age were playing in the dirt. Now Mihir Himself was telling her the same? It was too much. Too much to stand. The horror of her vision flashed before her again, and she felt urgent, anxious. She could not stay here. The terrible wasting sun was coming, and she would be blamed. They would turn on her, because she couldn’t stop it. She couldn’t stay. The docks were ahead...she had gold, she had her possessions...if she hid her eyes, perhaps no one would stop her. She picked the first Tamas ship she saw, shyly offering gold to a swarthy man from the east. She hid below deck while the boat was loaded. She second-guessed herself, third-guessed herself, and just when she decided she was making a mistake and got up to go home, the ship pulled away from shore. Padma Viswan, daughter of Kunwar and Arwana, Mahasattva, had left home. And it wasn’t until the glittering towers of Surya had disappeared beyond the horizon that she thought to ask where the ship was stopping next. “Chittor,” replied the captain, frowning at her alien features. Then he shrugged, and the boat sailed on. --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (163,000 Gold) Envoys are sent by boat to investigate the people of Sekh. The Kassadenians spoke of them with suspicion, but perhaps they can be reasoned with. [Trade offer, maybe diplomacy] In an effort to better understand their strategic situation, a unit of cavalry is sent along the edges of Suryan influence, seeking a path through the mountains. Perhaps they may even glimpse the nations they’ve been told of...[Expedition; 500 gold] Routine farm expansion. [3 Farms; 15,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [5 Factories; 37,500 gold] Perhaps fear of the terrorist Ravi Singh has stalled settlement to the east. Perhaps the homeland is just more comfortable than tiger-infested jungle. For whatever reason, growth this year occurs well within the heartlands. [2 Settlements; 10,000 gold] Further cavalry reinforcements arrive in Aros, flooding the plains with their scouts. What is Scindia planning? [3000 T3 light cavalry; 30,000 gold] Some of the existing cavalry in Aros is issued decent equipment. [500 soldiers to T3; 2,000 gold] Further development in the highly-militarized northern district of the mirrored city. A visitor to the city is greeted by a display of steel. [3 barracks in Surya; 15,000 gold] The House of the Earth, in the east city, has fallen into disrepair. Once devoted to the health of its people in this world, the temple-tower was a haven of charity and sophisticated medicine. Today, it is nothing more than a public dump. But all that is to change, for the Sacred Sisterhood has managed to take it over. These chaste and devout women, both Rajas and Sattva, devote their lives to the care of others and finally they will have a permanent home. The temple is restored in brilliant fashion, and beyond its mirrors and bonfires are wards enough for all the ill in Surya, and even beyond. [Hermitage in Surya; 50,000 gold] [3,500 gold saved.] ---------- Population 10,822,255
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