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About Zanderaw

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    Protector of Salvus
  • Birthday 12/21/1995

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  1. Surya 1527 War or no war, the twin isles have never been so prosperous. From the busy waters of Seringapatna to the steamy Surukai jungle, from Varchas to Surada, the countryside is awash with new wealth. Traders sail to the Sea of Surya from across its realm, from foreign lands, from the colony on Aros. And all of it passes through the greatest city in the world. Perhaps it is time to spread Mihir’s light to the world. Too long have the Suryans lived as a mythical people on the edge of the world, and now that their rebirth has come, they have a responsibility to guide the Tamas. Ships shall be built. New countries will be found, new luxuries to experience, and the state of the world shall at last come into focus. For the Mirrored City is a city of duty, and only when the world is known can they free it from darkness... --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (437,450 Gold) The Xian Kingdom continues to behave erratically, and the Maharajas are annoyed to say the least at the amount of troops that are being kept in the south in case of an attack. They petition the Sattva to take aggressive action, but the priests will hear nothing of it. Surya’s neighbor has done nothing wrong! Rather, they insist that the army be sent north. Scindia must not fight unsupported. [Action] New helmets are issued to Suryan officers! I wonder why.... [Action] Routine farm expansion. [7 Farms; 35,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [11 Factories; 82,500 gold] More land, for the superior Suryan race. [3 Settlements; 15,000 gold] Kaptai, Sundarban, Chara, and Barguna become towns. [0 gold] Serawa, Mokal, Hamira, and Harda all grow into full cities. [4 City upgrades; 60,000 gold.] Amua, Ramu and Ravibad experience prosperity! [3 guilds; 27,000 gold] Manasur, Bomkata and Mangaluru all receive full ports. [3 ports; 40,500 gold] More Sunclad are on the march, ready to serve as the frontline in Surya’s wars. [2,000 Veteran T3 Heavy Infantry; 56,000 gold] Chittor continues its contribution, sending more lancers to the front. [1000 T3 light cavalry; 10,000 gold.] The greatest fighters among the lawless Tamas are recruited from port cities. Perhaps their talents will be useful….on the high seas! [250 Veteran T3 Light Infantry; 4,000 gold.] A caravel made totally of Ulan wood is delivered to Surya, to carry its envoys far from home. [Caravel; 4000 gold.] Untrained screamers flock to Aros ready to swarm the foolish foes of Surya. [3,000 T1 Light Infantry; 6,000 gold.] A set of low stone walls are built around the city of Chittor. [T2 Walls; 10,000 gold.] Barracks are built in Ratnagiri, Manasur, and Waroor. [3 Barracks; 15,000 gold.] The House of the Sun at the center of Surya rises into the air like a mountain. Its terraced courtyards and cavernous halls hold every function of law, government and religion. Priests bustle through its well-lit gardens and chapels. At last, the complex’s refurbishment is nearly complete. Like a miniature sun, a massive bonfire glows at its highest level, reflected in every direction. [Cathedral; 45,000 gold.] Gold is sent to the Hilmedhi kingdom to fund their efforts for the alliance. [Gift; 21,000 gold.] A trade company is started to handle trade with the strange, frog-eating foreigners who have started showing up on Suryan land. [Trade Company; 6300 gold] [150 gold remaining] ---------- Population 24,775,231
  2. CORRUPTOR DOMINION In some ways, the swarm is dormant. There has been no new contact, after all, and nothing to galvanize the many spider-creatures which now exist to action. But to an observer, “dormant” could hardly seem an accurate description. On the worlds where Corruptors live, violence and chaos reign, constantly searching for a target to lash out at. Woe to he that stumbles into that role... Statistics NO EXPENDITURE - The Corruptor frigate once more leaves their space, drifting on a slow, slow course to the south. It listens, and watches for prey. 10R [10 Total] - Tier 2 CI - Through brutal, cruel policing, the Corruptors forge a more functional society, and reap the benefits. 50,000 C - 5 CI districts - Vile Corruptoids settle on the new colonies! 8M - Colony Ship - A colony ship.
  3. CORRUPTOR DOMINION The witch-queen is ever watchful, for there are stronger races among the stars than those primitives. How has the galaxy changed since she last traveled the void? What has become of her weak people, who could not even best their own superior creations? For now, none of it matters, for the species on which the new swarm has been built is pathetic indeed. They know nothing, they drift through space on ramshackle things that barely count as warships, they cannot even speak to each other except through primitive means! But all that will change in time, if not this year or even next. Statistics NO EXPENDITURE - The Corruptor frigate once more leaves their space, drifting on a slow, slow course to the west. It listens, and watches for prey. 10R + 5 [35 Total] - Interstellar Communications - Work continues trying to find some way to communicate between worlds. It is difficult to arrive at any insights though, as the former scientists spend much of their effort falsifying data and sabotaging each other’s work. NO EXPENDITURE - 2 Colonies - Corruptors are sent out to the north and northeast, where they establish themselves on any planets they find there.
  4. Surya 1526 Warm rain pattered on canvas sails, and Sarkar watched the Hilmedhi coast draw near. The ship was not alone - after years of alliance and with an ongoing war, the sea route between here and Surya was perhaps the busiest stretch of water this side of Minolek. Ships from the twin isles thronged the sea, bringing spices, gems and gold, and they returned with mastercrafted metal, strange contraptions that few understood, weapons beyond compare. The dwarves knew their work well, and their squat towns lined the shore, the picture of industrious order. Sarkar briefly considered asking Mihir for clear skies, but thought better of it when he saw the docks ahead. No, there’d be no chance to finish his letter, rain or no rain. He rolled up his parchment and let the water wet his hair. It was pleasant. “It’s impressive,” came a voice from behind him. “Clearly the Tamas aren’t entirely incapable.” The Mahasattva had changed even since they’d left Surya. The constant warmth, the faint glow, the veins that glowed like marble - all that he had gotten used to. What still made him uncomfortable was a girl young enough to be his granddaughter talking to him as if he was a child. She listened to few, and obeyed none. Arrogance, some would call it, but Sarkar didn’t dare say such a thing to someone with a god’s power in her very blood. “Imagine what they could accomplish under Mihir’s light,” Padma continued, leaning on the gunwale. “Ever consider becoming a Maharajas?” The old Rajas sputtered an objection, and she laughed. “It’s a joke, Sarkar. Obviously. There are things out here far more offensive to Him than a few stunted gnomes digging holes in the ground.” “Please don’t call them that.” “Of course I won’t. Not to their faces, anyway.” Raindrops sizzled when they hit Padma’s skin. “We’ll spend two weeks here, at most. I want to head north.” Sarkar winced. “There isn’t a rush, Mahasattva. The Swine are still in retreat.” “It’s not the Swine I want to see. Not yet.” She paused, the air around her cooling for a mere moment. “Mihir’s children are spread far and wide, and they sound...disappointing.” “The Sattva seemed to agree.” Sarkar nodded. He knew of whom she spoke. “I will withhold judgement until I see for myself,” said Padma, though her tone was not optimistic. There was silence for a while, and the coast drew closer, the squat figures on the docks now clearly visible. On another ship, a large tubed machine was being loaded, the end carved into the mouth of a serpent. Heavily-armed guards made it obvious that the thing was a weapon. “Why do you think they give up their creations so freely?” Padma nodded to the dwarves. “Money, mostly. I suppose an oath of friendship from Surya is worth something, too.” “They obviously haven’t heard what happened to Chittor. We were ‘friends’ with them too, as I recall.” “You weren’t there, Padma.” At that, the girl stared at him with narrowed eyes, as if daring him to continue. “It was us or Varchas. Since independence was out of the question, we just helped them make the right decision. Sometimes that’s what friends do. All it took was to put on the right show.” The ship was nearly at the docks now. A crowd of dwarves stood there, watching the glowing woman approach with interest. She watched them for a moment, thinking, then snorted in amusement. “Alright then. Let’s give our hosts a show.” With that she looked to the heavens, and suddenly the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and the sun blazed over the ship as it reached the Hilmedhi kingdom. --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (419,200 Gold with Modgift) The obvious Xian spies might be able to get a good look at Suryan defenses, but they find no massive military buildup, beyond token garrisons at nearby fortifications. For the Suryans, precautions are one thing, but actually expecting an attack from a neutral country is another. The defensive army is well to the east. [No gold] Routine farm expansion. [6 Farms; 30,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [11 Factories; 82,500 gold] Now that the treacherous Ravi Singh is no more, expansion to the east becomes more viable. Nevertheless, the wild Surukai jungle is in most places an impenetrable wilderness, not suitable for civilized life. Suryan settlements here hug the coast, battling for a life based on trade and adventure. The Surukai themselves are treated as friends, and Suryans generally do not trespass on their areas of the forest. [4 Settlements; 20,000 gold] Harda, Ashta and Pandhurna become towns. [0 gold] Amua and Ramu grow into full cities, as does the infamous Ravibad now that it has fallen back in line. Perhaps peace has finally come to the twin isles. [3 City upgrades; 45,000 gold.] Kurnool, Lingampet, and Aurad experience prosperity! [3 guilds; 27,000 gold] Chittor, Ratnagiri and Varchas all receive full ports. [3 ports; 40,500 gold] Barracks rise across the realm in Chittor, Varchas, and Seringapatna. [3 Barracks; 15,000 gold.] As obvious Xian spies cover the border, a new set of walls rises in Mattara. [Tall stone walls; 12,500 gold] Surya’s walls grow taller and stronger, dissuading all enemies from even thinking of an attack. [Quality High Walls; 17,500 gold] More Suryan regulars march to Aros, ready to act as the main defense for the shining new realm. [2,000 Veteran T3 Heavy Infantry; 56,000 gold.] Chittor continues to make valuable contributions of horses and men, under the leadership of Kunwar Viswan.[1,000 T3 Light Cavalry; 10,000 gold] Now that effective ammunition has been developed, the Suryans can finally start incorporating field artillery into their armies. Ballistae are built to travel with the forces in Aros. [12 ballistae; 9,000 gold] The tenth regiment of Varchaasi spears leaves the Surukai jungle more experienced, but fewer in number. They soon rejoin their Mahasattva. [+100 elite varchassi, -250 veteran; 2,000 gold] Temples rise to Mihir, carrying His light to the cities of Ratnagiri and Jawar. [2 temples; 30,000 gold.] More funds for dwarven smiths. [Gift to Hilmedhi; 15,000 gold] [7,200 gold remaining] ---------- Population 23,100,448
  5. CORRUPTOR DOMINION A particularly massive Corruptor stood at a spaceport, lording over throngs of spiderlings. Some screeched at it in complaint. Others tried to run, and it slapped them down. In the life before, it had never amounted to anything. It lived its life in the shadows, always in poverty, always shunned by “civilized,” “law abiding” citizens. That man took what he could through brute strength, but was always on the run, a menace to society, never recognized for his true superiority. But now…. The spider growled at the crowd passing by. This one had been a banker. That one was a lawyer. And that one, the creature thought, must have been a politician. Look at them now. So weak. So helpless. So useless. These pathetic beings would never corrupt anything, they couldn’t - that task would fall to higher forms of life, whose glory had been revealed in their new forms much like the big Corruptor. The great creature let out a screeching laugh, and pushed one of the weaklings forward toward the shuttle bay, where the destination screen read “ALLOY PRODUCTION FACILITY #1.” If it didn’t die soon, it would at least suffer horrible injuries. A fitting punishment for the crime of being so pathetic. Perhaps these wretched creatures would take comfort in the knowledge that their meager labor supported the ambitions of superior beings. The big Corruptor doubted it. But it didn’t care. Statistics NO EXPENDITURE - The Corruptor frigate once more leaves their space, drifting on a slow, slow course to the east. It listens, and watches for prey. 10R [20 Total] - Interstellar Communications - Work continues trying to find some way to communicate between worlds. The couriers currently forced to take messages grow restless, for they would much rather be fighting than fulfilling this menial task. 100,000 C - Full stack CI - In the colony directly west of the capital, Corruptor society flourishes, such that it is. At any rate, essential roles needed to keep the creatures alive have been filled. 30,000 C - 2x HI - In the colony directly east of the capital, speciality alloys begin to be forged. Perhaps they’ll be needed soon… 18M - 2 Light cruisers - More ships.... 16M - 2 Colony Ships - Expansion awaits!
  6. Surya 1525 Ravibad burns. Justice is done. The sun shines on Surya, warmer and brighter than ever, and the Sattva are jubilant for their Mahasattva has risen. It is in the summer of 1525 that she returns, her eyes blazing with light. She drags the beaten and burnt Ravi Singh behind her, and though he is twice her size she throws him to the temple steps and slays him herself. Gone is the girl who left Surya, drowned in the righteous light of Mihir, and the being who returns speaks Mihir’s judgement. For a month, the sun does not set. The bonfires are not lit, for no night comes, and the Mahasattva calls it a vision of things to come. Surya will know eternal light, but only when it has fulfilled its purpose, and the world can share in its joy. Every Suryan has a duty, for the earth was once bright and beautiful, and it can be again - but only through the efforts of man. So says Padma Viswan, her blade still stained with the blood of the traitor. Long has the Mirrored City weathered the night, but it has done this so that the whole world might one day be cleansed of evil. Until that day, Surya will endure as it always has: watching the same night as the Tamas, protected only by its own dedication and work, a living monument to the one true god. And as she promises, the long day ends, and the bonfires are lit once more, and the mirrors shine with dancing flames. The Sattva kneel before her, asking her guidance, but she has said all she will. She cannot stay in the city while her Rajas are on the march, so the Sattva must rule as they always have. There is much work to be done on the outside…. --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (388,950 Gold) Tax loss. [48,000 gold] Routine farm expansion. [6 Farms; 30,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [10 Factories; 75,000 gold] Nothing particularly new. Suryans like to expand. [3 Settlements; 15,000 gold] Kurnool, Lingampet, and Aurad all grow larger.[3 city upgrades; 45,000 gold] Sivakasi, Sinna, and Urirchar all experience economic booms! [3 guilds; 27,000 gold] In the Mirrored City itself, a new harbor has been dug out, just outside the main walls. Truly this should make Surya the greatest city in the world. [1 port; 13,500 gold] Chittori Lancers, famed and feared! [500 T3 Light Cavalry; 5,000 gold] Sunclad, steady and strong! [2,000 Veteran T3 Heavy Infantry; 49,000 gold] If I end up still holding this mountain, enough money is allocated for a mighty fortress on the north side, supplied through Eslem. The Swine have caused enough trouble for one lifetime.[Citadel to be completed at a reasonable pace; 40,000 gold] (If I end up still in control after this encounter) Surya gets some more barracks before the laws of nature change! [3 Barracks; 15,000 gold] Heaping chests of gold are shipped east, to aid military development. [Gift to Hilmedhi; 25,000 gold] [1,450 gold remaining] ---------- Population 21,538,879
  7. Surya 1524 “Welcome home.” Ravi Singh, huge and smiling, offered a hand and nearly lifted Padma out of the boat himself. “I was starting to worry.” Padma stepped onto a creaking dock, but was silent. Amber eyes stared up at the man, a man who was kind to her but brutal to everyone else. A man who slaughtered faithful peasants by the hundreds, but seemed to know more than the entire city of Surya. Having come all this way, she was at a loss for words. “There’s something different about you,” he said, laying a mighty hand on her shoulder. “I can see it. Like a glow.” “The sword.” She finally managed to speak. “The sword you gave me, it worked. It...feels right.” The girl touched the hilt for emphasis, and little flames licked at the blade’s edges. “I knew it.” Ravi smiled. “You came just in time.” He beckoned for her to follow, and walked back up the dock. Ravibad sat at the very mouth of the Surukai river, and so here the murky water stretched farther across than anywhere else in the jungle. The town itself was modest at best: a gathering of shacks and repurposed ships, hauled onto the shore as a settlement. It had a wooden palisade for defense, but in such dense forest Padma doubted if it’d be much use. As she walked through its muddy streets, though, it became obvious that the wall wasn’t needed: everyone here was armed. “My men have made some major breakthroughs lately!” Ravi declared as they strolled along the waterfront. “While Kunwar’s been wasting his time getting jungle rot, I think I may have found you a way forward.” “You have?” The girl’s voice was breathless, credulous. “In a bit, Padma.” The big man greeted nearly everyone they passed by, as if they were family, and he introduced her. “What did you tell your father, anyway?” “Nothing,” she shrugged. “I just left.” “Without a word?” “There wasn’t a moment for it. Besides, I didn’t want him to…” She trailed off. “Stop you? You?” Ravi raised an eyebrow, grinning at her disarmingly. “No, no,” Padma giggled. “I suppose I just didn’t want him to be angry.” Ravi nodded. “When we’re done, I can promise you he will not only not be angry, he will be thanking you.” “Small chance of that. You should hear the things he says about you.” “I can imagine. This is where you’ll stay.” The pair had come to one of the larger houses, a well-kept shack of jungle hardwood, resting on the very edge of the river. Ravi chuckled. “As long as you’re here, anyway. I don’t expect we’ll need to stay here much longer.” “We won’t?” “Young Mahasattva, with you at our side we will be in Surya this time next year! Just think: the masses liberated, the city’s chains broken, and the Sattva cast down.” He smiled, looking out over the river. “The Sattva cast down?” Padma seemed uncomfortable. “Of course.” Again Ravi’s strong hand rested on her shoulder. “With the Mahasattva reborn, what need have we for them?” He laughed. “Don’t worry, I’ll be there to help.” For a moment Padma was worried, but the man’s total confidence gave her strength. She smiled with him, and watched the setting sun. ---------- That evening, she could no longer contain her eagerness, and asked Ravi what exactly he’d found to help her. After insisting that she wait until after dinner, he eventually relented. The black suns finally knew how to awaken whatever it was she had inside her, and they were ready to do it. “The Mahasattva is like a huge pile of tinder, you see. Potential beyond what most of us can ever imagine. But it needs a spark.” “A spark?” “A spark of power. From, say, a magi of the Chosen? Not an easy thing to get, but I did it.” As they walked to the outskirts of town, Padma saw the he was leading her to a tiny shack with a lock on the door. “Don’t have the chance to see him much. He tries to kill every one of my men he sees.” He unlocked the house. The door swung open and there, on a small bed, was an old man. He’d aged since Padma had seen him last, but still the man was unmistakable: it was Rajas Sarkar, veteran of the Varchaasi wars, Magi of the Chosen, and the man who had been her tutor in Surya. Now they were meeting again, and the older man was staring at her in utter shock. “I believe you already know each other?” But before she could respond, a stream of words was flooding angrily out of Sarkar’s mouth. “Of all the people I had hoped to see in this forsaken place, you are the last. And not even in chains! What’s become of you, that you’d walk freely with murderers like this?” Ravi flashed his intoxicating smile. “Well, I think you two should get along wonderfully. He won’t say no, Padma. Come see me when he’s done.” The huge man stepped out, and closed the door. Sarkar glared at his old student as if she’d shoved a sword in his belly. “I hope this is some kind of trick.” “I’m here because here is where I’ll be useful. The ‘murderer’ said he’d find a way to help me. Now it seems like you’ve had that way the whole time.” Her voice was nearly as suspicious as his. “A recent development.” The man’s voice mocked her stupidity. “I would have told you myself, if you hadn’t disappeared before these savages caught me. I suppose now I know why. Do you realize this man is a criminal?” “I know who Ravi Singh is. Everyone does.” “Then you know what he’s done to our people. You can’t honestly be planning to follow this scum.” She shrugged. “I might.” Sarkar had no words. He stared at her with his mouth gaping, disbelief and horror evident on his face. “Everything he’s tried has worked! His ideas work, Sarkar, and the Sattva exiled him. He wasn’t a criminal before then! Maybe if Surya listened a bit, things would be better.” “Maybe if they listened to you! You are the Mahasattva, not him! Don’t you see, he does this with everyone he meets. You of all people can’t be fooled. Everything depends on you.” “You always say that. You told me over and over when I was little. Do you know how unhelpful that is?” “It’s the truth.” The aging Rajas was glaring at her, incredulous at what he was hearing. “I’m not a leader, Sarkar. I never have been. You always used to tell me to think about my decisions, about the lives that would be lost if I chose wrong. But there’s nothing special about my decisions. I don’t want people to die because they think I’m something I’m not.” “Is that what this is about?” Sarkar’s disgust was obvious. “Do you think Arjun was perfect, all those years ago? Did he not abandon his people in their hour of need? Who sent him back? Who gave him the power to fight?” Padma stared petulantly at her old teacher, hesitant. “...Mihir,” she finally said. “None of us are flawless. No man or woman can be. You think we put our hopes and dreams on an infant because we expected a baby to be wiser than us?” He scoffed. “You are no different than the rest of us, Padma. But you will be more. When Mihir lives inside you, you will be more.” There was silence in the house, and the sounds of the jungle bled in from outside. Somewhere a bird was startled from its nest, and its cries carried through the air. “If I will be more…” Padma said slowly, “...then why will you not help me?” Sarkar seemed taken aback, and there was a long pause. Then he shook his head with a resigned smile. “You misunderstand me. I was never going to say no to you. But maybe I should just stop talking.” The old soldier laid his hands on the two armbands Padma carried with her, and slipped them loosely over her wrists. “Are you ready?” She nodded. “Bright Mihir, cast your gaze to us, and lay your blessing upon your child….” Immediately, as if they were alive, the gold bands tightened over Padma’s forearms, and glowed red hot, then white, digging into her skin like fire. Her mouth dropped open, but no scream emerged. The bands were a blinding supernova before her, a searing pain which obliterated her senses until she was forced to close her eyes, and she was alone with the pain. But not alone. There was another with her, sharing her feelings as no other truly could. And as the presence washed over her and through her she understood that darkness would no longer trouble her soul, and she felt a new pain, the pain of millions who would never know this joy, and she mourned for them as a mother mourns for children she has failed to protect. She saw her own mother, with a heart blazing with righteous fury. She saw her body burned in the House of the Moon, her face turned to the heavens. She saw her father in grief, saw him alone in an empty field, saw him turn his eyes to the sun and curse its name for choosing his beloved to bear the Chosen. She saw the world as few could hope to, for she was its light and its warmth. Those who praised her and those who feared her were the same, for they all depended on her alike. Nations rose, cities fell, mountains were ground to dust, but she burned on, casting bright glory into the night. She saw the passing of ages, the collapse of civilizations she neither knew nor would remember, and she saw the Mirrored City sequestered on its isle for years. She saw its people set out into the world with fearful steps, scattering their villages across the jungles. And she saw those villagers slaughtered, their eyes looking pleadingly up to her as they lay before a huge man with darkness growing incurable in his heart. His face stepped into her light, and she could see the unmistakable smile of Ravi Singh. And at last, a voice spoke, as clear and bright as a cloudless sky: “Duty, Padma.” --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (337,500 Gold) Routine farm expansion. [6 Farms; 30,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [9 Factories; 67,500 gold] Three new settlements spring up, one on the edge of the Boiling Sea itself, where at least they will be able to cook their rice! [3 Settlements; 15,000 gold] Sivakasi, Sinna and Urarchir all get walls. [3 city upgrades; 45,000 gold] More of the Chittori Champions make their way to Aros, to prove themselves on the fields of battle. [2,000 Veteran T3 Medium Cav; 72,000 gold] Thousands of screamers join the army, ready to catch arrows for the real soldiers. [6,000 T1 Light Infantry, 12,000 gold] Barracks. [3 barracks; 15,000 gold] At last the glorious new walls are complete, full of carvings, hazed with incense. The first sight of the Mirrored City is something no one ever forgets. [T4 Magic; 44,800 gold; 100,000 total.] [Gift to Hilmedhi; 6,000 gold.] [30,200 gold remaining] ---------- Population 20,082,871
  8. CORRUPTOR DOMINION One planet has become two. Two will soon become four. Four will become more, and more, until the entire galaxy falls. Somewhere out there, the life forms of the Milky Way go about their lives unaware. Here, the Corruptors grow impatient. They must expand. Statistics NO RESOURCES - 2 Colonies, east & west - The colony ships built last year head out, carrying the Corruptor plague to two new sectors. Chaos follows with them, for without prey the spider-creatures turn on each other. Life among the Corruptors is nasty, brutal and short. 10R [10 Total] - Interstellar Communications - With the stain of their existence on two worlds already, keeping the superlatively unruly spider-creatures in line becomes a challenge. Some system of instant communication needs to be devised, so the most devious of the Corruptors go to work. Perhaps signals could be sent through an alternate route… 18M - 2 Light Cruisers - More prey will be found nearby soon, and it may not be as easy as the last. Only with a proper fleet can the spider tide be truly unstoppable.
  9. Surya 1523 The bands of Arjun slid over Padma’s wrists, falling to the ground without even a hint of resistance. Not that she had expected anything else - the armbands had never fit, and perhaps they never would. For nearly seven years she hadn’t felt the presence of her god, and few around here called her Mahasattva anymore. She accepted it, enjoyed it even. Certainly it made it easier to talk to people. Yet there was still one item which reminded her who she was. An old sword, undecorated, which nonetheless called to her with otherworldly power. A sword which suffused her with glowing warmth and flickered with fire when she held it. A sword given to her by the enemy, Ravi Singh. “What are you doing awake?” Padma turned, and saw captain Chakravarmi pushing his way through the bushes toward her. She smiled back. “Thinking about leaving,” she replied honestly, but hastily elaborated. “Back to Surya.” “Oh.” The young captain seemed taken aback, and looked at her questioningly, leaning against a banana tree. The buzzing sound of the jungle night was all around them. “The Sattva keep asking about it,” she continued, running a finger on the sword’s pommel. “And what are we really accomplishing here? We aren’t catching anyone, Salah.” “We’re getting closer.” The captain was less than certain, but his men hadn’t lost hope yet and orders were orders. “Wherever this Ravibad place is, we’ll find it soon enough.” Eager as always. Padma couldn’t help but like him, and the lies hurt as they fell from her lips. “Maybe. But I’m almost of age, now. A Rajas leads, and I can’t lead without a commission.” She gestured at the darkness. “I don’t see any commissions around here.” “Your father won’t be happy.” “You can tell me all about how he reacted when you see me again.” She chuckled. “I can tell...you can tell him yourself! When exactly were you planning on leaving?” “Well...now. But I had to tell someone.” Padma got to her feet, pulling a bag of equipment with her. “I’m sorry. You know my father, he’d have watched me like a hawk if I’d mentioned anything.” “And he’ll take it personally if you don’t.” Salah stood too, obviously unhappy, but she shrugged. It wasn’t like her relationship with her father had ever been unstrained. “You’re being dramatic. He won’t stop you.” “Are you going to stop me?” “Of course not, but…” “Then tell the Maharajas Viswan that his daughter loves him, but didn’t want valuable soldiers wasted escorting her home. I’ll be back soon.” “Padma, don’t be stupid.” Her golden eyes looked up at the captain impassively. Maybe she was being stupid. Quite likely, actually. But in seven years she hadn’t taken a risk, and where had it brought her? “If all goes well, I will be much different when you see me again.” Then she stepped into the underbrush, into the darkness where Salah could not see. She heard him call her name, but did not listen. The moon was her compass, the sound of running water her guide. She left the camp, but as she walked through dense underbrush she did not turn west to Surya, but east. To Ravibad. --------- Current Statistics Expenditure (309,000 Gold) Routine farm expansion. [5 Farms; 25,000 gold] Routine industrial expansion. [8 Factories; 60,000 gold] Like a blessed brown tide, Suryan settlers wash up on the beaches of Aros, claiming more coastline in their city’s name. [3 Settlements; 15,000 gold] Mattara, Arugam, and Thanjavur all grow and fortify themselves. [3 city upgrades with guilds; 72,000 gold] Arriving on the shores of Aros from Surya itself, two more of Mihir’s great warbeasts prepare to fight. [2 Elite T3 Enchanted Elephants; 18,000 gold.] Sunclad also join the army, recruited from across the land. [1,750 Veteran T3 Sunclad; 49,000 gold.] The Chosen of Mihir work on Surya’s walls like never before. Intricate carvings and mirrored temple-towers turn the city’s defenses into as much a work of art as a fortress. [Work on T4 Magic; 45,000 gold; 55,200 total.] Along the coast in Karnawad, a stout fortification rises. One can never be too careful, particularly when one is at war far away.[Fortress; 25,000 gold.] [0 gold remaining] ---------- Population 18,725,288
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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