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  1. Commonwealth of Ruhn Another gust of wind bellowed through the grimy alleyway, sending a deluge of rain down through the unassuming gap between the crumbling houses. The muddy cobblestones were drenched by the freezing water, much to the consternation of the hunchbacked old man who glared angrily out to a busy street barely illuminated by the moonlight. His sharp eyes jumped between those passing by his alley, and for each one he would judge the weight of their purse. Paupers, labourers, cartwrights, and merchants—it took an experienced eye to tell the difference between them. Ruhnnites were not fond of salacious colours or fabrics, so almost everyone wore brown, white, and black cotton and wool. One had to look at other things to determine their craft. Gnarled hands and mud-covered boots pointed to a man who laboured for living. Gnarled hands and clean boots implied stationary labour—smiths, carpenters, and other tradesmen. A baker passed by, with flour still adorning his trousers. A mason lingered but a moment, checking if he remembered to bring home all his tools. Finally, he saw the sort of mark he waited for. A merchant, with buttons that seemed a little too shiny and a bulging left pocket, walked briskly down the sodden road. He was clearly late for something and distracted. He was perfect. Gespart was a thief, or more accurately a spotter. A thief who was too old to work, but had expertise, often gathered around younger thieves as apprentices. He taught his students, picked the marks, and took a generous portion of what they stole as their ‘commission.’ It was effectively retirement for a man his age, and his students often brought in enough to keep his belly full of beef and beer. Wolden, one of these apprentices, was less than thrilled to be in the dingy, cold alley. “Alright, lad.” Gespart hissed to Wolden, “there’s your man. The classy toff with the pocket what jumps an’ jiggles like an excitable bint.” He took a moment to wheeze at his own joke. “Remember what I said. Distract him, your fingers go for a dip, then high-tail it to an alley and make your way back here. If he spots your plunderin’, don’t fight him for it, just scarper. No purse ain’t worth a finger, no matter how fat it be.” The old man withdrew a hand from his weather-beaten cloak, accompanied by a charming, toothless smile. All that remained of it was four grizzled nubs and a thumb. “Take my word for it?” After another wheeze of laughter, he grasped Wolden’s collar with his good hand and pushed him towards the street. “No risks, lad. If you muck it up, I’ll let you have from scraps from my table. What’s it been now, two days without a score?” He pet Wolden’s back with mock concern. “’spose you have to manage it today!” And his peel of cackling laughter echoing in his head, Wolden whisked off into the street. It wasn’t easy surviving on the streets of Ruhn. The Speakers of His Temple were charitable to paupers, but they preferred to take orphans into their ranks when they came to them. Wolden was plenty pious (mostly), but he didn’t really want to clean shrines for the rest of his life. When he started pick-pocketing he had told himself he’d continue until he could afford the equipment for rat-catching--honest work for a man his age. And yet another year had passed, and he still had little to show for it. Theft was a risky occupation in Ruhn, and he needed all his fingers for the future. Learning how to find less risky targets was why he apprenticed himself to Gespart, but that just robbed him of more money. Now he could barely make enough to eat, and the old man loved holding that above his head. The merchant ducked down a small road. It was secluded and full of shadows, but there were too few people in it--good for muggers, bad for pick-pockets. Wolden needed a crowd. Surprisingly, no-one touched the wealthy man as he quickly flew down side-street after side-street, seemingly unafraid of thieves. He was clearly taking a shortcut, but to where? Finally, the man reached a new bridge that stretched between two of Mount Ruhn’s craggy peaks. As he darted across it, Wolden remained in the shadows contemplating the route. He had forgotten there was a bridge here now. That meant the merchant was heading to the Shrine Road. The Shrine Road was once the city’s main thoroughfare during its days as a city-state. A curious tradition began where common folk would build their own shrines for public worship. They added small fragments of their ancestor’s bones here, where the Shrine Tenders could clean and give sermons without having to constantly return to the temples. Inevitably, the road became clogged with bones and preachers, leading to businesses relocating to other streets. The Temple refused to remove the shrines, but recognised the growing problem. They implemented a small reformation which designated certain portions of the city as ‘Grave Gardens’ for the commoners to bury their dead. To this day, the shrines remain and Ruhn’s business districts were heavily congested, confusing spiderwebs of shops and small market squares. The closer Wolden got to the Shrine Road, the larger the crowds became. Even at night the road was populated for prayer and reverence. Bow-backed shrine tenders wearily cleaned their last few bones before trudging back to the hospices to sleep. A small crowd was forming around one of the larger shrines, and the merchant was marching breathlessly towards it. Wolden stood to the opposite of the crowd pretending to pray. The rain had now soaked him through. How he wished he brought that leather coat... “And where were you, Skaval?” A shrill voice spoke behind him. “We were meant to start an hour ago! Poor Speaker Prevald wore his best vestments tonight!” “I was delayed, mother. Business, you understa-“ The shrill voice cut off what was presumably the merchant Skaval. “It’s not about us! Great, great, great Uncle Dolbert was known to be a stickler for punctuality! You insult his soul!” A few quiet voices murmured calmly, just out of earshot for Wolden to make sense of. The shrill voice didn’t seem fazed, however. “Oh by His name, you make excuses for the boy just as his father did! No, I will not be quiet. He ought to have been on time!” As the conversation dragged on, Wolden took a moment to steal a glance at his mark. Rivulets of water drizzled off the hems of the merchant’s wide hat, while an old woman half his size prodded his chest and complained about his tardiness. The young thief could feel the pangs of hunger rumble through his guts like a beast trying to tunnel its way out of his abdomen. He was growing impatient, and it was getting darker. Finally, the woman was satisfied with her brow-beating and pushed her way back to the front of the small - very embarrassed - crowd. But then the merchant walked into the crowd as well, calling after his mother. He was gone. The mark was gone! He couldn’t just push his way into a large family! They all knew one-another! He would call attention to himself if he tried to get in. He could feel his stomach turning over itself, and the vile laughter of Gespart rang in his ears. He needed a new mark, and as if by divine providence, one appeared before him. Lingering on the edge of the crowd was a tall figure, standing at least a head over everyone else. Swathed in a long, black cloak, the freezing rain didn’t seem to affect him whatsoever. What Wolden noticed most of all, however, was the alluring outline of coins pressing hard against the wet material. The rain was loud. The Speaker performing the service almost had to yell. The street was slowly emptying, and the crowd was focused toward the shrine. All their backs were turned. It was almost too perfect. The coins called to him like jingling, golden sirens, promising food, a warm bed, a future beyond thieving. He just needed a little bit! Just enough to get by! He edged over to the man, the rain masking the sound of his steps. The cloth of the cloak was cheap and thin, and his hand moved around it easily to the pocket it hid. One had to be careful when lifting wet material. It would stick to skin or underclothes and give away the intruder before they had a chance to delve into pockets or bags. Wolden continued slowly, inching his way to the wealth within. The rain pounded. His heart raced. His stomach begged. Until finally, his finger brushed against his prize... ... but it did not feel like a coin. It felt like the bones of the shrines. His breath froze in his throat, like a vice had been fastened around his neck. His vision grew dark, and his sensations felt distant, as if in a dream; falling, falling, and falling into an abyss. It was not frightening really, though. It was as if he could hear a seductive voice at its deepest point calling to him. It sounded as if it had been waiting a long, long time for his arrival... The sensation ended as quickly as it began. The cold vice around his throat had been replaced by the very literal vice of the cloaked figure’s hand. His face was obscured by a veil and he spoke in a deep, hollow voice. “And so it was that all men pilfered from their brothers, as the lands were beset by the deceit of the Eye, and the false warmth of the Fire. Thus, He sent the ancestors to the people to warn of their sin.” Wolden struggled against the grip of the Veiled Diviner, but he couldn’t free himself from the iron strength of the man. The faceless Diviner merely looked on continuing his own sermon. “Men who labour not with honest purpose, but with sinful covetousness, are as rats in grain. Their hunger will never be satisfied, their thirst will never be quenched, and their lust will never be sated.” Wolden could not hear the rest of the scripture, as Diviner Melchior Hoffman slowly squeezed the young man’s throat until he fell into unconsciousness. Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 39,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 36,000 gold, Population: 25,500 gold, Trade: 32,000 gold from eight trade partners (incl. 24,000 gold from six ports), Manufacturers: 10000 gold, The Levers of the Divines: 6000 gold, Major Trade Route ownership: 3000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -13,500 gold Total: 151,000 (152,100 gold incl. vault) 1100 in vault -The usual farmering goes forth, with farmerers farmering the farms farmerily. The pigglywiggs squee, the cowsies moop, and the sheepoids blyat. (-9500 gold towards two farm stacks) -Rather than expanding territory this year, pioneers make their way to vast expanses of claimed land untouched by others in the verdant hinterlands of the north. (-9500 gold towards two settlements) -The military investments continue, with the first battalions of heavy infantry are trained under hired instructors from outside the Commonwealth. They display the professionalism and discipline all Ruhnnites display, but they are fairly green. (-24,000 gold towards training/arming four units of T3 regular heavy infantry) -Ruhnnites like round numbers. (-4000 gold for one unit of T3 regular medium infantry) -Ruhnnites like the number of soldiers they have to display only zeroes aside from the first number. (-4500 gold towards one unit of T3 regular medium archers) -Militarization continues in the many cities of the Commonwealth. Barracks’ are for both garrisons and training brave irregulars. (-14,250 gold towards three barracks) -Supplies, weapons, and armour are needed to be smithed in bulk, thus Parliament approves of a vast sum of funds to be invested in industrial works around the city. Businesses also take heed, constructing their own factories to take advantage of the new markets surely to come about. (-71,250 gold towards ten manufactories) -More sleepy lizoids are sliced open for science. (-5,000 gold towards sandcrawler armour, total of 10,000 gold spent) -100 gold left in vault
  2. Commonwealth of Ruhn The Grey Manor was originally the personal palace of the Tyrant Reinhart Bruger who ruled over the city-state of Ruhn some one-hundred and twenty years ago. After his death, and with the “agreement” of the Bruger family, authority was slowly and carefully devolved into a series of highly-regulated lordships and noble families. These families would gather and determine the city’s future in ‘court’ of sorts, presided over by a Lord Chancellor who was selected among their number to hold a limited form of executive power. After the ‘Landowner’s Revolt’ of 1458, the nobility ceded some of their authority, in that those whom “performed service in the armed forces or owned land of more than five acres in size” were allowed to “vote” for the Lord representing them in parliament. This system shifted and mutated over a century until it reached its current state. A painting of the Grey Manor upon its completion in 1401. Nowadays the mountainside is surrounded by varying government institutions. The Grey Manor wasn’t really a building, but a space carved into the side of Mount Ruhn with an elaborate entrance building constructed conventionally. The chambers within were a testament to classical Ruhnnite religious art, coupled with extensive stone reliefs of scenes from city life during its monachal heyday. The lack of a historical record prior to Reinhart Bruger made the reliefs some of only clues as to life prior to the Commonwealth. The ‘Parliament’ room itself was simply a refurbished ballroom and still had old carvings of revelry and celebration adorning the walls and ceilings. And it was here where Parliament sat, listening to the end of Ambassador Jurgen von Trapp’s recount of his trip to Surya. To his benefit, he wisely began his report with descriptions of the exotic land, along with the strange foods, religion, attitudes, and infrastructure. There was even curiosity among the more scholarly of the lords of the strange ‘excrement-evacuators’ that were present even in the simplest inns. Such wasteful, needless luxuries! What did they even fertilize their fields with? A painting of parliament’s ‘1488 Incident,’ depicting Lord Trouvin Ribbenbach receiving heated criticism for the ridiculous amulet he foolishly wore in public. Once the final part of the report was being read, the whole of parliament became deadly silent. Faces reddened, heads shook, and some even left the hall. The Lord Protector, Charles Ortmeir, uncharacteristically laughed. Lord Chancellor Charles Bruger stared at the ambassador silently for what seemed like minutes. His hands gripped the pedestal in front of himself so tightly that his knuckles had turned white. Finally he stood in his place, staring directly at the floor. His cheeks were white and jaw clenched so firmly he spoke through his teeth. “I would like to call to order a vote on this year’s budget. I believe it is in the Commonwealth’s best interest to put the Bridge Reconstruction Project on hold in favour of a significant investment in our armed forces. I think it to be appropriate to commission heavier armour and procure designs for siege weaponry from surrounding nations.” The Lord Chancellor inhaled deeply and glared towards the gathered members of parliament, speaking in calm tones. “It is important that the Commonwealth rewards treachery proportionally to how it rewards respect. Show its citizens said respect, honour our good will, and we will do the same regardless of who you are. Deceive us, betray us, and you will learn what it means to oppose honest men.” The voting was fairly one-sided. Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 39,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 27,000 gold, Population: 22,500 gold, Trade: 24,000 gold from eight trade partners (incl. 16,000 gold from four ports), Manufacturers: 10000 gold, The Levers of the Divines: 6000 gold, Major Trade Route ownership: 3000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -12,500 gold Total: 132,000 (132,600 gold incl. vault) 600 in vault -Eric, please write me a three sentence story about a poor Ruhnnite pioneer, trying to sell his man-manure to unkind local farmers. It would make me ever so happy. (-9500 gold towards two farm stacks) -With new cities comes humourless, penny-pinching Ruhnnite merchants. At least they’re honest with their prices. (-25,500 gold towards three Merchant’s Guilds) -Two new ports are listed for construction in the coming year. Carroburg and Brakkenbridge were expanding fast. (-25,500 gold towards two ports) -The first major military investment of the year, the armoursmiths of Ruhn and Bruger are given materials, foreign examples, and several new tools to forge thicker, heavier armour for the armed forces. There would be no arrows striking through the New Model Ruhnnite Vanguard, that was for sure. (-13,500 gold towards unlocking heavy armour) -The second major military investment of the year, payments are sent far and wide to knowledgeable foreigners and the School of Natural Philosophy to design and test larger siege weapons for the purposes of destroying pathetic little whelps who might cower behind walls.(-22,500 gold towards unlocking trebuchets) -Five more battalions of soldiers (2500) are put through their training, preparing for the coming conflict with great abandon. (-20,000 gold towards recruiting five units of T3 medium infantry) -Due to a lack of lodgings and space at Fortress Bergen, city-bound barracks are hastily constructed for future training and garrison duties.(-15,000 gold towards three barracks in Ruhn, Bruger, and Riveruhn) -500 gold is sent to the vault, with a total of 1100 gold within it.
  3. “I must agree with the strange man Daleka, of whose name I assumed was so. This is a not a deal but an excuse to destroy another utterly and without righteous logic. The great rift within the Elven people is not caused by philosophy (at least for the most part) but by a cycle of vengeance and re-vengeance occurring since the very conception of separate Elven states. One state grows strong, does harm to another, and when its power inevitably fades, another grows strong, and seeks justice against the one that did it harm. We find one-another in different alliances, we kill one-another in pointless wars, and fumble about aimlessly over the petty intrigues of our city-states. Considering what the Mali people could accomplish with just the barest hint of unity is truly frustrating to the thinking elf. Every century there is a grave sin to be avenged, a dishonour to be righted, a city to be burned, and a way of life extinguished. It will always be this way unless a responsible Elven leader ends the cycle. I have no doubt in my heart or mind that Haelun’or will come out the victor in this scuffle between the Mali. If they are fools, they will act as tyrants and attempt this absurd decree, which will result in scattering the many Elven factions to the hills if not from fear then spite. The Mali’aheral’s numbers and influence will inevitably wane, another faction will grow, and then the next cycle of vengeance will begin. If they are wise, when they win this war they will have the courage and righteousness to find a new way to unite our cousins without a tyrant choking them with chains. If there is one thing I have learned from Elven politics, it is that no faction, culture, or creed remains dominant forever. And the ones below them merely wait for a chance to put them back in their place.” Said a very concerned elf.
  4. Commonwealth of Ruhn “You knows the story of that there bridge, sirrah?” the toothless ferryman wheezed to the old soldier. “Can’t say that I do.” Jurgen replied wearily. He glanced back to his wife, who smiled apologetically to him as she cradled their child. He had walked away to distract the old man, as his constant yammering was keeping his young son awake. “They says the Lobans built it!” He cackled. He pushed the ferry’s rudder to the right, and a shadow passed over the boat. The enormous, isthmus-spanning bridge loomed over them like cliff, and the boat passed through a decrepit hole in a rusted, hundred-meter portcullis. The old man cackled again, as he watched the family stare upwards at the majestic structure. “Them Lobans were a miserly lot, not fond’er getting thar feet wet ‘n such. So’z they made this ‘ere bridge to save their fancy feet from the damp!” Another bout of wheezing cackles seemed to echo beneath the bridge as they passed back into the open air. “Folks weren’t as tough as they is now! Mountain folk were still praying to them Loban fires too, I reckon!” “Loban fires?” Jurgen asked, half-interested. “Aye, sirrah! Lobans prayed to fires, they did! S’all sorts ‘a fire whittlings on the bridge! They called the fire ‘Moterr’ and painted rocks pink and scribbled Moterr’s face on ‘em!” The kook shook his head with a sad chuckle. “Ign’rant savages, they was. They didn’t know ‘bout the bones. Gotta pray to the bones, sirrah!” He capped off this statement by rattling a set of fingerbones he had on a necklace. Jurgen nodded his head slowly, now deeply regretting taking such a cheap ferry. The trip to Brakkenbridge seemed to drag on longer than it should. It might be faster had the old man refrained from ducking and weaving beneath the bridge as they sailed. “‘Course, maybe it were a heathen wardin’ ritual ‘er somethin’. Put Moterr’s face on everything, an’ keep away the Mountain Ghosts!” He placed a kiss on his fingerbones, and murmured a prayer to them. Once more the old man’s statement piqued Jurgen’s curiosity, if only for a second. “Mountain ghosts?” He queried half-heartedly. “Aye, aye, aye! Evil spirits that lay to the east in the cursed mountains! They’z bereft o’ peace and no folks want to calm their tortured and dishonored spirits! ‘Cept for me, sirrah!” Now Jurgen was paying attention. He turned to the old man and spoke sternly. “You have been to the eastern mountains? Did you see anything?” “Eh?” The madman stared back at Jurgen, as if surprised someone was listening to him. “O’ course I have! The grey peaks of dismay! The dread, sirrah! The dread! The fear that gnaws at your ears an’ worms into your skull! They are watchin’, sirrah! They is always watchin’!” The old man shivered, and hugged his sides while his wild eyes darted around the calm waters beneath the bridge. “Sometimes I can feel the eyes on me again. Like I was back. Deep in the crumbling peaks and lost to the world. The hills lookin’ all the same. The maps, worthless. And the feeling on the back o’ your neck that something’s there. Something’s waitin’ for you to get tired and to look the wrong way only for a second. Like something don’t want you there. And the dreams...” The old man paused as he stared blankly out into the water. His grip tightened on the rudder and his jaw clenched. “A single, unblinkin’ eye. Peerin’ at you from the dark places of your soul. Never approaching. Never leaving the shadows. Jus’ watchin’ you. Always.” “Why did you go to the mountains?” Jurgen asked quietly. “The old man cackled loudly, kissed his fingerbones, and muttered a prayer beneath his breath. The trip was fairly quiet after that. The Levers of the Divines – the world’s greatest engineering marvel – now returned to clunking, clattering, churning life. The enormous construct lifted ships from the Hungry Sea up the steep cliff sides and waterfalls into the Loba River, which would then sail off to the free city at the end of the waterway. Every city and town that had positioned itself along the winding river happily rubbed their hands with glee, knowing that they finally had a reason to be living in the perpetual hellscape that was the Loba Desert. The scholars at the School of Natural Philosophy are ecstatic, and allow themselves a singular, triumphant ‘hurrah’ within their lecture halls before getting back to their studies. There were other Loba treasures to rebuild and investigate, after all... Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 33,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 27,000 gold, Population: 21,000 gold, Trade: 18,000 gold from six trade partners (incl. 12,000 from four ports), Manufacturers: 10000 gold, The Levers of the Divines: 6000 gold, Major Trade Route ownership: 3000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -12,500 gold Total: 118,500 (121,350 gold incl. vault) 2850 in vault -Standard pioneers, standard farms. What can I even write about this any more? Maybe I should give up. (-9500 gold towards two farm stacks) -With a larger budget than previous years, Lord Protector Charles Ortmeir petitions parliament to forge thousands of sets of armour for the frontline soldiers. The idea of his men facing a force like the Hakkan with mere iron mail both worries and irritates him. (-42,000 gold towards T3 armour for 9,250 soldiers) -The unceasing efficiency of Ruhnnite pioneering has become a near artform. Not only can cities be erected quickly, city expansion itself is now been standardised and optimised. Of course, with standardisation comes rules, and with rules comes hundreds of pages of new paperwork. The Office of Pioneering and Resettlement must sure be pleased. (-42,750 gold towards upgrading three cities) -Two new settlements are plonked down, officially ending phase one of the Commonwealth’s official expansion plan. (-9500 gold towards two settlements) -A group of plucky leathersmiths have made their way down the southern fork of the Loba river. Hoping to turn the implacable sandcrawlers into a profitable armour business, they spear and study the skin with great attention. (-5000 gold towards sandcrawler armour) -Seeking trade with the strangers to the far west, an expedition is sent out to find and offer trade. Now that a major artery of trade was open, nothing was beyond the reach of the Commonwealth’s envoys. (-2000 gold towards Surya expedition) -Another missive is sent to the Free Cities requesting trade. Now that the river had opened again, surely they would be interested in mutually beneficial commerce? If not, well... 600 gold remaining in vault.
  5. Commonwealth of Ruhn The Commonwealth of Ruhn is a land permeated by a fervent belief in duty, discipline, and piety. Each citizen knows their place in the world, and stride through life with righteous purpose. But there are those who transgress against the laws of the Commonwealth, for even the generous liberties afforded to citizens are not enough to abate the natures of men. Commonwealth law focuses deeply on punishment over rehabilitation, and hard labour is long, cruel, and isolating. Every day, Speakers from the temples make small pilgrimages to the dungeons where the refuse of society sits and festers. Murderers, thieves, vagrants, and rapists count the hours in silence, only allowed the chance to speak and socialize when the time comes for prayer. To those whose sentences last for years, the moments of prayer are the only light in their misbegotten lives. In time, many begin to understand the frightful, ultimate truth—they are a sinner. Their ancestors would be disgusted with them, and their bones would be tossed into the mud unmourned and untended. Guilt begins to overtake them as they pray. In the few moments they have in open air, they approach the Speaker leading the service. Is there a way to make peace with their ancestors? How could they redeem themselves in the eyes of He-That-Waits? And the Speaker will tell them that there is a way to utterly cleanse them of sin. The march to Fortress Bergen is grueling, as no rest is allowed with the exception of midday and evening prayer. The prisoners, still wrapped in their heavy chains, are given little food or water, and those that fall are allowed a few minutes to stand, or be tossed down the side of the steep cliffs. This horrible treatment is tolerated by the prisoners, as redemption is offered only to those who make the journey. Those of weak body and will are slowly culled from the ‘pack’ as they trudge along the long, steep, winding path. The last leg of the Vulture Highway is littered with old, rusting weapons and hollow abandoned villages. Both are temptations to the prisoners insincere in their devotion. The weapons are unusable, and should their ward touch an old sword the guards cut them down without mercy or reprieve. Those that slip away from the group are ignored and left behind—starvation will be their reward, and should they reappear, they are killed on sight. There are no second chances for these people, and even the accompanying Speakers show no pity. Roughly a third of the prisoners arrive at the fortress malnourished and exhausted. When they enter, their chains are removed and they are treated to a hearty dinner of barley and beef stew, and allowed generous time to sleep for the night. After midday prayer the next day, they are assessed. The men and women are sorted out from one-another and put into small ‘units’ under the command of a veteran soldier. They are taught to fight with axe and mace—the simple weapons of the honest soldier. Training lasts from dawn until evening, with only a break at midday to pray. They are fed well and treated with respect by the soldiers at the fortress, for they were clean of the sins from their previous life. For a month the training continues, until finally the second assessment begins. The larger, stronger men are sent to the veteran infantry regiments, and the women are pulled away to perform other duties to the state. The rest are divided into two groups, depending on their own preference and heavily influenced by the opinions of their trainers. One group focuses on short blades and shields, while the other focuses on javalins, bows, and crossbows. Individuals are switched and swapped between until all have found their proper place. A year of physical training, long marches, mountaineering, field craft, and the recruits are ready for the final assessment. The regiments are sent out to hunt bandits, tribesmen, and any lawbreaker who might make their homes in the countryside. They hunt their former fellows and bring them to justice - capture or kill - and send the living to the dreaded city dungeons. And that is how the Commonwealth recruits its specialist infantry. Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 30,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 27,000 gold, Population: 19,500 gold, Trade: 18,000 gold from six trade partners (incl. 12,000 from four ports), Manufacturers: 10000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, One time dispensation from lord Karx: 3500 gold, Upkeep: -9,500 gold Total: 111,500 gold (116,100 gold incl. vault) 4600 in vault -Pioneers spread across the ranges of Commonwealth territory in an attempt to build their own ranches and villages. (-9500 gold towards 2 farm stacks) -A worrying build up of military forces are noticed in the neighboring Kingdom of Five. Parliament pushes through a bill to increase spending on the soldiery in the current moment, and further on in the year. (-29,000 gold towards 1000 T3 regular Hillmen, and 500 T3 veteran Hillmen) -Frustrated still, the scholars continue their work. It seems that He does not yet wish the project to finish. Such is the way of His hand and His will. The Scholars struggle onward despite the small setback. They were so close! So close!! (-10,000 gold towards researching the levers, total of 70,000 gold invested. Please let this end, Eric. 😞 ) -There was something... nebulous on the horizon. Something frightening and worrisome. Claims of dreams guiding mad kings, and strange men far to the West make the simple people of Ruhn worried. The Veiled Diviners petition parliament for yet another monument to the Lord of Thereafter. A vast hermitage is planned for construction to surround the great shrine on top of Mount Ruhn. Living spaces, artworks, monuments, and complexes of bone pepper this great structure. The smallest hint of Loba influence might be noted by those who are learned in history. (-50,000 gold towards hermitage for glorious death god, unlocks T3 magic) -The moment the crawlers are found, every hunter exploring the Loba Desert charges south to find them. Ragged settlements begin to dot the southern waters, eventually coalescing into ragged, shabby village. Here the hunters drag back their catch for skinning, while local researchers dissect the remains for study. (-4750 gold towards a settlement near the ameniable sand-crawlers) -2850 gold left in vault.
  6. Commonwealth of Ruhn Life goes on mostly as normal in the Commonwealth. The usual economic investment is partially undermined by a magnificent new church in the capital proudly perched on a jutting cliffside. Reinforced by Loba-derived supports and stonework, it is yet another edifice surely to earn the Ruhnnites more favour with their patron Lord. But despite these creations, strange rumours abound in the city of Ruhn as gossiping merchants and soldiers jabber in the markets and taverns. It is said that an envoy from the Kingdom of Five – a nation with little diplomatic ties to the Commonwealth beyond trade – arrived shortly after the expedition from the West returned. Whispers abound of foreboding visions from their heathen pig-king and requests for alliances and pacts to ward against the Western mountain men. The superstitious commoners are dizzy with fear at such a notion, and some are even angry that parliament did not even humour such requests. Visions, even from heathens, ought to be taken seriously. The temple Speakers work long and pious hours to suppress such ignorant thinking from the simple folk, and it is quietened for the most part. The learned men of the School of Natural Philosophy pray for success in their endeavour to uncover the secrets of the ancient Loba levers. Almost a decade of study had now been invested into this structure and in that time a large city had sprung up around the site. The Lord Mayor of Leberstradt had already invested in a port and merchant quarters in anticipation of the ancient trade network reopening. Interest in the Loba and their ancient works increased drastically in the city forthwith, with recreations of Loba trinkets being sold in the market places. They are reasonable recreations all things considered, with the exception of having the symbols of Metar replaced by the righteous glyphs of He-That-Waits. And speaking of He-That-Waits, the citizens and parliament of the Commonwealth of Ruhn are pleased to learn that such a pious and righteous people could be birthed from the repugnant barnacle that is the city of Lem. Parliament happily accepts an opportunity to engage with honest folk, and offer a representative of the Commonwealth to visit them in their new city. Citizens hailing from the city of Shatterbridge quietly settle a new town on the other side of the isthmus. Mainly made up of retired soldiers and pioneer farmers, they establish themselves at the eastern entrance of the ancient bridge, mirroring the city over the water. Curiosity grasps a small sect of Ruhnnite scholars about the Woeful Mountains to the east of the Seljin Straits. The time had come to finally end the mystery, and seek out the source of the Commonwealth’s frustration. A small party is sent south, skirting between the terrible deserts of the Loba and the distressing mountains. They would seek the answers they needed from the Kassadenian Guard at their very home. What was it they were guarding against, anyway...? Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 27,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 21,000 gold, Population: 18,000 gold, Trade: 15,000 gold from six trade partners (incl. 9000 from three ports), Manufacturers: 10000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -9,500 gold Total: 94,500 gold (95,500 gold incl. vault) 1000 in vault -The Office of Pioneering and Resettlement accidentally files a few papers in the wrong places, and a whole county in the countryside of Eichenholz is ordered to relocate precisely fourty-five kilometres to the east. This makes a number of less successful farmers quite happy for the opportunity of richer pastures but annoys the local magistrate, due to him no longer having anyone to rule over. (-9500 gold towards 2 farm stacks) -Money. The root of all good things in the world. The Lord Mayors of Eichenholz and Shadowcliff tend to agree. (-17,000 gold towards 2 Merchant’s Guilds) -Why send millet and barley south by road when one could simply ship the goods out of the city itself? A bustling port is established somewhat informally by unscrupulous and shady merchants in Shadowcliff. Due to the Lord Mayor being mostly incompetent, he simply throws money at the people who want to build it, and gives himself the rest of the day off. (-12,750 gold towards 1 port) -With great bands of strangers popping up on the horizons of the known world, entrepreneurs open their own businesses to take advantage of future markets, and prepare themselves for opportunities that may present themselves...(-11,900 gold towards 2 trading companies) -The Mausoleum of the Pious officially opens, much to the pleasure of the First Speaker and the Veiled Diviners. Melchior Hoffman himself officially opens it, and performs the first service within its splendid hall. The ancestors would no doubt be greatly pleased by such a wonderful structure built in their honour. (-19,000 gold towards a church in Ruhn) -The eager scholars can smell success in the air! They were just so, so very close to cracking the great mystery! Whole fields of math had been discovered in the process of unraveling the functions of the Loba Levers, and morale is high. Will the plucky scholars finally work it out, or will this merely uncover the next riddle...? Find out on Monday, 20th of May, Belgoid Time! (-10,000 gold towards research into the Levers of the Divines, total of 60,000 gold invested) -Plucky colonists from Shatterbridge make their way across the isthmus for the purposes of building a new town away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. (-4750 gold towards a settlement) -With most of the Loba River secured, and their curiosity of the dreadful western mountains sated, the hunters start a thorough search of the river east and south for the fabled, thick-skinned sandcrawlers. Their skin would fetch a fine price, and ones to find their home would be wealthy men indeed... (-5000 gold towards searching for the origin of the sandcrawlers) -The expedition to the Kassadenians is prepared. First, they send a message ahead, but the group plans to leave before they get a reply (can’t allow them an opportunity to deny them a visit, can they?). Headed by Captain Konrad Ziet of the Second Cavalry Battalion, twenty horsemen would act as protection, with ten crag-runners serving as scouts and survivalists. Along with the civilian scholars, three acolytes from Ruhn come with them. Just in case the desert is more unforgiving than usual. (-1000 gold towards a small scholarly expedition to the Kassadenians) -A message is returned to the good Lord Karx that the Commonwealth would be happy to establish relations with the pious people of Hwait. They offer to send a representative over to speak on the future of their city and possible trade agreements. -3600 gold sent to the vault, total of 4600 gold.
  7. Commonwealth of Ruhn I’m sick no RP this week. Ruhn met Surya and they stunk of poo! Weeheehee! Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 24,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 21,000 gold, Population: 18,000 gold, Trade: 15,000 gold from six trade partners (incl. 9000 from three ports), Manufacturers: 10000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -9,500 gold Total: 91,500 gold (96,000 gold incl. vault) 4500 in vault (-9500 gold towards two farm stacks) (-28,500 gold towards upgrading two towns into cities) (-9000 gold towards unlocking crossbow technology, 10% discount from School) (-38,000 gold towards four temples) (-10,000 gold towards researching the Levers of the Divines, total of 50,000 gold spent) (1000 gold remaining in vault) Population: 6,013,868 citizens. Cities & Investments: Ruhn (Merchant’s Guild, Temple, Military Academy, School) Bruger (Merchant’s Guild, Temple) Riveruhn (Merchant’s Guild, Temple)(Next turn) Shatterbridge (Merchant’s Guild, Port, Temple)(Next turn) Leberstadt (Merchant’s Guild, Port, Temple)(Next turn) Barter Town (Merchant’s Guild) Staublund (Merchant’s Guild, Port, Temple)(Next turn) Eichenholz (City)(Next turn) Shadowcliff (City)(Next turn) Aschengrube (Town) Eland (Settlement) Defensive Structures: Fortress Bergen Other Investments: 24 Farm stacks (26 next turn) 10 Manufactories
  8. Commonwealth of Ruhn “You see that one, Vil?” A grimy sailor pointed his gnarled finger towards a billowing red cloud that seemed to extend across the horizon. Every so often a flash of light would erupt within it, and a rivulet of dust and fire would pour on the sandy earth. The flames would lick the tops of the dunes mere kilometers from the river, and the hellish cloud continued its wafting in silence for a few minutes more. “Aye, I saw it, Jelk. No need to point out every damn time those things **** out a bonfire.” Vil heaved a rope from the sloop’s mainsail and fastened it with notable (and perhaps exaggerated) strain. “Perhaps between staring at the red clouds, red lightning, red fires, and red rock of this forsaken bloody place, could you help me actually sail this ******* skiff?” Jelk leaned back on his stool, and puffed indignantly on his pipe. “Nay, me old mate. My back’s all strained-like. Need to take it easy for an hour. Captain’s orders, bless him.” Vil spat on the deck and rolled his shoulders. Truth be told, the little ship hadn’t needed much input from the deckhands for a few hours now. The going was slow, and the captain himself was manning the rudder. He could probably spare a few minutes to gawk with the other slack-jaws. Sometimes the ship would pass by a dip in the dunes, and one could see off into the hellish, cracked landscape to the south. There was red earth, cooked from fiery rain, and rumbling, crackling thunder-flashes as far as the eye could see. None were brave enough to venture too close, as the crimson lighting was unpredictable. To punctuate this thought, a loud snap echoed across the dunes just after a red arc snaked its way within the smoky mist of the cloud. Plumes of sand flew up from the dunes, sending a puffball of dust cascading towards the river and calmly dissipating a few hundred meters from the water. “Can you believe some mad bastards actually lived off the land ‘round here?” Jelk remarked. “Must be blessed by Him, says I.” “He would not.” A third voice spoke sternly. A shrine-tender, his simple robes covered with bones and charms marched over to them. Vil quietly cursed his associate. “Beware how you speak of Him, and what He sets in motion. It is unwise to read His hand in the actions and miseries of heathens.” The holy man stroked his beard in agitation while his other hand fiddled with an old, grimy map. “Apologies, Brother Matthias. My associate has a penchant for loose talk. We are but humble sailors, after all.” Vil spoke calmly and glanced angrily towards Jelk, who only now took the pipe from his mouth. “Er, aye, Matthias. Didn’t mean to say that them heathens ‘round here were righteous folk. I meant that they was lucky, is all.” The shrine tender nodded slowly, and cast his gaze towards a man stalking the sides of the ship, glaring out into the sands. He had a quiver of arrows hanging from his belt, and a bow was firmly in his hand. Brother Matthias appeared somewhat relieved to see the man as he marched closer. “Mr Copher, how near are we?” The holy man tugged on one of his amulets as he stared out at the land slowly passing by. “I don’t wish to miss my destination.” The archer, or Mr Copher, nodded stoically he continued his patrol. “Small ways yet. I’ll tell you when we’re close.” Jelk opened his gawping mouth as Copher passed by, much to Vil’s deep annoyance. “What’re you looking for, sirrah? If its savages you’re worried for, ain’t none been here since they was driven off near a decade ago.” He tapped the contents of his pipe into the water below, and filled it with another helping of tobacco. Mr Copher stared at him quizzically. “I’m aware of that. I was at the battle. It’s bad to get complacent, though. Bandits always wait until your guard is down.” Vil spoke before he could stop himself. “You were at the battle, Sirrah? Which one?” Mr Copher seemed to regret his decision to mention this piece of trivia about himself. This was clearly a man who had told too many stories far too many times, and the gawping look of the sailors seemed to make him more weary. “The battle hereabouts.” Almost as if by habit, he slowly slung his bow around his shoulder and leaned against the railing of the ship. “You lend me your pipe for a time, and I’ll speak of it. But only once, and I won’t repeat it to any of your bloody friends.” After a few nods (including from the shrine-tender) Mr Copher scratched his chin with a furrowed brow. “Let me think, I believe it was eleven years ago when we marched out from Bergen. I suppose you know those Kassadenians, or Kassedians, or whatever they were called, asked us to purge some old city full of vagabonds. Promises of rewards were made-- treasure, knowledge, and all that. I don’t know much about the politics of it.” Copher took a deep drag on the pipe as he looked out to fiery desert. Another lightning bolt snapped into a far away dune, and a small gust of wind carried a little of its sand onto the boat. “I don’t know what the Lords were expecting from this place when they agreed. Maybe that old bridge had them greedy. I was with the archery division before I was assigned to a secondary training regimen. I was good enough for a specialist role in the force. After a few years of that, the army marched out.” “We don’t need to know that part!” Said Jelk, clenching and unclenching his fists as the old soldier smoked his pipe and his tobacco. “Cut the prattling and get to the millet of the story, sirrah!” Copher paused and, clearly ignoring the protests of Jelk, took a moment to have another long drag on the pipe, puffing billowing smoke like a Staublund chimney. “We saw all sorts of strange things on the initial march. No ships were around back then, so we had to walk down past the Seljin Sea. That city, Leberstradt, is where we first camped, you know. Fascinating things, those levers. Hope folks can get them working again some day.” Vil kicked Jelk before he could mutter something else indignant. “We marched for a good week before we started seeing the clouds. Still, our heathen guides pushed us onwards like good soldiers, smiling and offering us platitudes and deep thanks for our aid. Very polite, those Kassad-whosits. The attacks began in the evening. Those ‘Defilers’ as they were called by the heathens picked off sentries and stormed into our camp every single night, stealing supplies and trying to cause all sorts of strife. We sorted them out easily enough, but they were relentless. They would appear as if from nowhere out of the sands, and slink back into hiding just as quick. Lost dozens of men to their raids, but we pushed on regardless. Finally, we came across their horde. It was near ten thousand men they gathered to fend off our force of six thousand. They were certainly proud warriors, but not soldiers. They reminded me of the hill tribesmen you hear about before the Vulture Wars.” The listeners were now staring captivated at the veteran as he spun his tale. He, however, didn’t seem to show much excitement as he stared off in the distance. “We arranged our lads like normal, with the greenhorns in front and the veterans behind, all with axes and maces. I was behind the front line, obviously. About 1250 of us, aiming across a flat field while the savage’s leaders whipped their men into a frenzy. Poor bastards were all light armoured, though. Some had damn good light armour to be fair, but it was light all the same. After some hollering and hooting they all charged.” “Were you frightened, Mr Copher?” Brother Matthias interjected—now fully absorbed in the story. “Ah, somewhat. You feel a lot more brave when you’re behind two lines of soldiers, though.” Copher mused. “I think we let fly some thirty volleys before the battle ended. I watched the veterans charge into the gaps our boys had left open around the midway point. It took another hour before the defilers started to get nervous, and when the light cavalry joined the fray, the rout began. The horsemen chased them for miles downriver. I think only a handful scarpered home. Whole thing lasted but two hours. The whole battlefield was littered in their dead. There were so many to count, and drag, and assign to spots on the field before the local animals got them. The acolytes had other plans for the bodies and wanted them nice and neat for when they got back. So we began our march to the old Sun City w-“ Cutting himself off, Copher’s eyes flicked to the shoreline. “We’re here, Brother.” From the slightly elevated position of the boat, the whole crew stared at the flattened, sandy earth. The ground was covered in thousands of skeletons—no, tens of thousands. The site was almost five-hundred meters in length and width, with the ivory cadavers arranged in a gently spiraling pattern curling towards a central platform. Made entirely out of bones, the central cylindrical shrine was almost ten by ten meters, rising a good way from the ground. On top of it, a ragged looking altar bearing the sigil of His Temple could just be made out from the ship. Brother Matthias sighed in relief upon seeing it, and the sailors helped the holy man with his bag, tent, and other supplies as he prepared for his departure. As he clambered into the boat, the sailors looked on, curiously. “You’re going alone, Brother?” Vil remarked. “Yes,” said Matthias hurriedly. “Few are willing to make this journey. Please, no more questions. I have little time and must attend to these ancestors.” “The boat comes back in four days, Brother.” Remarked Copher. “You have time enough to take it steady on your departure.” Matthias looked up to Copher with a sad smile and a shake of his head. “No, it’s not enough.” He looked back to the shoreline miserably. “It will never be enough.” The three men watched as the shrine-tender rowed away from the boat as fast as his thin arms could manage, and the ship continued on its course without much change. “So sirrah,” Jelk interjected in a moment of silence. “What happened when you got to the old Sun City?” Copher glanced back at the sailors, and held out the pipe with a smirk. “Refill this, and I’ll tell you.” It took much deliberation and a few violent threats to finally part Jelk with another helping of his tobacco. Despite all his spurious claims of being cheated, he quickly settled down. He did little more than clench his teeth as Copher enjoyed the taste of the pipe once more. ”When we arrived,” Copher began again, the twinkle in his eyes slowly dwindling. “The place was a mess of tents. The whole lot of them were living in those ruins, dressed in naught but skins and rags. We pacified anyone left who wanted to make a fight of it, and captured the rest.” Another puff of smoke poured from his nose and mouth. ”Those heathen Kassadmen--never have I seen men so gleefully slay the unarmed. I saw their leader cut down a woman and her son with a rapturous joy I had not seen and will likely never see again. They begged us, pleaded with us, to slaughter them all. Men, women, children.” Copher carefully slid down the railing until he was sitting on the sloop’s deck. He took another pull on the pipe as he spoke in a low, melancholic tone. “And we did. Not only the men, but the women, and the children.” He shook his head slightly. ”We killed them all. Just because some heathen hated them.” Another drag. “We chained them up first, counted their number for the official records. Sent the men off to the battlefield. We didn’t want to have to carry the bodies, you see. When they were far enough away, we took the women to the field. And after they were done, the children were lead there. Each group we butchered like animals in a pen. Then we arranged them all aesthetic-like as the acolytes went about their work building that shrine with their new materials.” Copher sighed and leaned his head back against the railing. “It doesn’t feel all that righteous when you’re killing the little ones.” After a moment of silence and a shrug, he handed the pipe back to a slightly shaken Jelk. Vil, too, was much less enthused with the story than he was before.“Ah, but duty is duty, I suppose. I was with the last expedition when we cleared out some remnants up north a few years back. We just sent them south away from us. I prefer that method. Much less screaming.” And so the boat sailed on, the storms kept raging, and everything was as it was before. For the Loba Desert kept its secrets. Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 21,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 21,000 gold, Population: 16,500 gold, Trade: 11,000 gold from five trade partners (incl. 6000 from three ports), Manufacturers: 4000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Received from Kingdom of Five (One Turn): 11,000 gold, Received from Galahar (One Turn): 20,000 gold, Upkeep: -7,500 gold Total: 110,000 Gold (110,450 incl. vault) 450 in vault -Standard pioneer resettlement continues upon newly claimed territories. (-4750 gold towards one farm stack) -Two more settlements spring up on Ruhn borderlands. One claims hold of an Island, cementing the Commonwealth’s claim over the Hungry Sea even further than before. The other mad, enterprising individuals head further west into the hellscape of the Loba Desert, primarily as a gathering place for hunters searching for the fabled sand-crawlers among the violent storms. (-9500 gold towards two settlements) -Due to a large uptick in profits (and perhaps an accidental misapplication of funds) a huge sum of coin is granted to the School of Natural Philosophy. They given one last chance to show some real progress with the Levers, or have their school shut down. Parliament is beginning to tire of their slow progress, and see only the end goal. (-27,000 gold towards researching the Levers of the Divine, total of 40,000 gold invested) -Noblement begin looking away from farmlands as their primary source of wealth, and instead see the burgeoning prosperity of the growing number of Ruhnnite cities. Surely there is much more money to be made here, rather than in agriculture! Industry suddenly becomes a new fad among the well-to-do, and many invest in small factories and mills in Bruger and Ruhn. (-42,750 gold towards six manufactories) -As the Ruhnnite colonists scour the Loba river for good sites for a settlement, a group of hunters spots another fork in the river, heading south into a frightful horizon of looming mountains. Gathering together a party of hunters, a few light cavalry who were patrolling the region, and some brave settlers looking for some quick coin, they take their mish-mash party down the tiny river to see what mysteries lay yonder. (-3000 gold towards exploring the thing over yonder) -The unusual scholar from Karel is offered a small fortune, and is shown it in some neat bags for his perusal, so as to understand what he could gain from uncovering the mysteries the Ruhnnites required solving. However, there were many parts to this mystery, and it should probably take place in discord... (-2500 gold towards mystery solving!) -After selling a map to the Fivers, the scholars of the School of Natural Philosophy are perplexed to discover that the northern heathens wish them to look into the ruins themselves! Such laziness was not unexpected from the northern swine, but surely they’d want to keep their own secrets? Nevertheless, they paid the scholars to help them with their Loba ruins, and being that they were the foremost scholars on Loba history and architecture, they agreed. (Kingdom of Five excavation in discord, mayhaps?) 4500 gold remaining in vault. Population: 5,607,336 citizens. Cities & Investments: Ruhn (Merchant’s Guild, Temple, Military Academy, School) Bruger (Merchant’s Guild, Temple) Riveruhn (Merchant’s Guild) Shatterbridge (Merchant’s Guild, Port) Leberstadt (Merchant’s Guild, Port) Barter Town (Merchant’s Guild) Staublund (Merchant’s Guild, Port) Oakwood (Town) Shadowcliff (Town) Defensive Structures: Fortress Bergen Other Investments: 23 Farm stacks (24 next turn) 4 Manufactories (10 next turn)
  9. Commonwealth of Ruhn After the initial shock and interrogation by the Veiled Diviners, the holy men allow Unusual Geoff more freedom within temple grounds. Though his condition is one they cannot seem to ascertain, his overall friendliness and unwillingness to cause trouble are noted. He is allowed outside of the shrine’s basement, provided he is escorted by two soldiers and two acolytes at all times outside of his new quarters. He is given books to read, meals, and is occasionally questioned about his dreams, people he speaks to, current events, and other casual happenings. All these things are performed to ensure he is content in his current state, and he is heavily encouraged to pray for guidance and aid from his ancestors and He-That-Waits. The Commonwealth parliament is irked and worried about the sudden appearance of people from the east, where is was recently assumed there was nothing of note! The Lord Ministers begin drafting some sort of control measure on the ability of foreigners to traipse around the Ruhn heartlands, at the very least... Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 18,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 15,000 gold, Population: 15,000 gold, Trade: 6000 gold (2000 from port), Manufacturers: 4000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -7,500 Total: 63,500 Gold (66,350 incl. vault) 2850 in vault -As every year, pioneers head out to untouched lands in the north and south, eager to stake a claim on virgin border soil! (-9500 gold for two farm stacks) -With the growth of the two southern coastal cities of Leberstadt and Staublund, ports are constructed in said cities to take advantage of new Eastern trade routes. (-25,500 gold for two ports in Lebertradt and Staublund) -With an increase in trade venues comes increased need for markets! (-17,000 gold for two merchant guilds) -An even greater need for markets! How about that! (-11,900 gold for two trading companies) -With such a sudden boost in outcomes, the Ruhnnite Scholars in the School of Natural Philosophy continue to pray harder, beseeching every ancestor they can remember the name of, as well as applying their usual research grants. (-2000 gold towards research into Levers of the Divine, total of 13,000 gold invested) -Hunters from the Smuggler’s Peaks expand their search of the Loba river for the fabled sand-crawlers, but due to an accidental misfiling of documentation they claim a portion of the western desert for Ruhn! Though it was not planned, it was accepted by parliament. Due to the confusion, the hunters could not continue their search as their hunting licenses were now filled with incorrect information! It would take them some time to find all the correct paperwork and change their hunting route from “outside Commonwealth territory” to “within Commonwealth territory.” (Ruhn claims territory westward) Annoyed with the looks of the official map of the Commonwealth, the Cartographer’s Guild approach parliament and demand that the government officially claims the vast track of land between Oakwood and Shadowcliff. The two spindles of land upsets them as they draw their maps, and they request it to be amended at once! (Ruhn claims territory between Oakwood and Shadowcliff) -A missive is sent to the eastern citadel on the Galaharian Isthmus (presumably where multiple merchants pass through), posting a job opportunity. His Temple and the Parliament of Ruhn seek foreign experts of high learning, knowledge in history, and magical acuity to help solve a mystery! Prices for their work depend on the individual’s talent, and their capacity for secrecy. (Job posting! Open to any and all!) -A similar missive is sent eastward, searching for interest in juicy, nutritious, purple Seljin fish for trade! (Trade opportunity! Open to any and all!) -450 gold remaining in the vault. Population: 5,228,285 citizens. Cities & Investments: Ruhn (Merchant’s Guild, Temple, Military Academy, school) Bruger (Merchant’s Guild, Temple) Riveruhn (Merchant’s Guild) Shatterbridge (Merchant’s Guild, Port) Leberstadt (Merchant’s Guild, Port) (Next turn) Barter Town (Merchant’s Guild) Staublund (Merchant’s Guild, Port) (Next turn) Oakwood (Settlement) Shadowcliff (Town) Defensive Structures: Fortress Bergen Other Investments: 21 Farm stacks (23 next turn) 4 Manufactories
  10. Commonwealth of Ruhn “...Third of three,” the Veiled Diviner rumbled, “as I watch over those beyond life, so must you watch over those who breathe mortal air.” Melchior Hoffman stood before a grand bed surrounded by a dozen stony-faced nobles. Their attention was not on the Diviner, but that of a thin, wrinkled woman lying beneath linen sheets. Her labored breathing and pale features were a clear sign that her duty in life was coming to a close. His hooded head and veiled face made the scripture somewhat muffled despite his clear voice. ‘“All men need guidance, for no man is born wise.’ And so He reached into the Child’s chest, and took from him a rib bone. He went to the earth and placed it atop a great mountain, and there he spoke to the People below. “This is my seal, and pact, with you. Know your duty, and I will not abandon you. Know reverence, and They will guide you. Know that I do not seek your end, but await your arrival. For even when duty ends, your Duty will begin.” And lo, they abandoned their fires and placed their own bones with the first.” The woman’s family bowed their heads as he spoke. A wealthy lot, but most had done their duty and dressed in relatively simple attire (despite the expensive material of course, but the nobility couldn’t discard of all luxuries, could they?). “Will you, Olga, hold to the pact? Will you enter his embrace willing to perform your Duty? Will you watch and protect your children and your children’s children until they see Him with their own eyes?” The woman weakly nodded her assent, and the imposing priest raised his arms and gestured to the family surrounding her. “Then let your descendants petition your favor, and your forgiveness. Blessed is the humble child who seeks closure to all ills, for the weight of hatred is heavy. Let her journey be swift.” Placing his hands on his heart, Melchior quietly exited the room as the family slowly closed in around the small woman, holding her hand and kissing her head as they whispered their final farewells. Those performing the Final Rite were not expected to remain, as petitions were private things. The servants in the manor bowed reverently as he swept down the steps. Some even averted their eyes when he glanced in their direction--Melchior was yet to decide whether he liked this or not. Finally trudging out of the front doors, he afforded himself a moment to breathe and relax. It had been a while since he had performed this duty, but the other Veiled Diviners had thought it appropriate to have one of their own number there. The woman, Olga, had donated an obscene portion of her personal wealth during the latter years of her life towards the construction of the new shrine on top of Mount Ruhn. Almost all the structure’s foundations were paid for with her money which pleased the higher echelons of His temple. It was only right to show their appreciation in whatever humble way they could. The full rite only took fifteen minutes to complete, but it was taxing regardless. It would be a travesty if her final moments had been imperfect. Finally he exhaled, and began the long walk back to the mountain’s precipice. Most of the older nobility lived in manors on higher peaks and this made walking the winding roads and perilous bridges taxing on one’s stamina. Due to recent breakthroughs in engineering unusual mechanical lifts and sturdy, tunneled pathways were replacing the old cobbled roads that twisted around the crags like languid snakes. He could see a new bridge in the midst of construction spanning between two crumbling hills. Such improvements would cut travel time in half, but would such frivolous luxuries deprive the citizens of their blessed humility? He pondered this as he walked through a smoothly-cut divot on the mountain side, complete with a stone pathway and wooden railings. The next generation would have things much too easy. After an hour of walking, he finally arrived at the top of the mountain. Shrine-tenders quietly scooted about the grounds, cleaning the newly interred remains and whispering prayers. Few paid him any heed as he marched up the central walkway. At the doorway, the First Speaker stood waiting for him. He had been the one to present him to the other Diviners for appraisal. Understandably, they had agreed to him joining their ranks very quickly, especially after seeing his blessing from He-That-Waits. They were an honest and straight-forward sort, which was what he appreciated most about them. “Most Blessed, I am gladdened by your return. The others are already waiting.” The First Speaker practically tiptoed around him after his ascent. Perhaps he knew of his new gift? “How are the acolytes?” Melchior boomed as he stepped through the gateway into the shrine. “Their faith is unshaken, Divine Hoffman. But they are confused. They say it feels different. Wrong, even.” Melchior walked with the First Speaker silently as they passed by the great pillars of bone that stretched into the murky dark of the ceiling. Thousands of skulls donated by local families adorned the center-most monument—a 20-foot obelisk crafted almost entirely of thigh bones. An architectural marvel of bonesmithing, but certainly not the greatest monument Melchior could imagine. They arrived at the very back of the shrine where stone stairways lead to a deep storage cellar. The passage down was inky black, and only a hint of light could be seen at the bottom of the steps. “Return to your duties, First Speaker. Comfort the acolytes, and assure them that we pray for answers and guidance. We know not yet His plan, but hopefully our ancestors will beseech him.” The First Speaker said something more, but Melchior ignored him as he descended into the dark. The First Speaker was an important pillar of His temple, but whatever he had to say could wait an hour or two. After minutes of climbing down the steps he finally reached a heavy, wooden door that groaned ruefully as he pushed it open. The wide stone cell was the sort of thing used to store vegetables and supplies, but large enough to fit a small house. Its emptiness was offset only by dozens of burning candles and five figures at its center. All of them were draped in the same heavy, black robes that Melchior wore, and they surrounded a man sitting on the ground. “Brother Hoffman!” One exclaimed with a rasp as the large man marched forward. “You have arrived just in time. This man may not require your attentions after all. He seems very willing to tell us all he knows about those gems he and his comrades came into contact with.” Melchior took his place in the circle, and he looked down upon an average looking man. Beads of sweat were running down his weathered cheek, and his lip quivered upon seeing Melchior approach. “And the fate of the others?” Melchior probed. “Nothing could be done for the deranged one, and his family requested he be sent to Him before his time.” A second, feminine voice hissed from beneath her hood. “Parliament will decide on it.” “The captain,” interjected another with a lighter, wispy voice, “was also cooperative. We theorise he may have been the catalyst for what happened, but his faith does not appear shaken. The rest of the witnesses consider the rumours about the acolytes and him,” the Diviner pointed a bony finger at the weathered-looking man. “To be just that; rumours.” Hoffman nodded but did not take his eyes off the trembling figure. “What is your name, my child?” “Geoff, milord. Leftenant Geoff.” He stammered. Melchior loomed over him, and spoke calmly, and slowly, like someone trying to ease a panicked beast. “It is good that you desire to speak to us, Geoff. It shows a commitment to Him and your ancestors. These things are pleasing to us, and by extension, Them.” Melchior leaned closer still, until his veiled eyes were lever with Geoff’s. “Please, tell us of the gemstones you found.” Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 15,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 12,000 gold, Population: 13,500 gold, Trade: 6000 gold (2000 from port), Manufacturers: 4000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -7,500 gold, Total: 56,000 Gold (58,400 incl. vault) 2400 in vault -The standard yearly farming expansions go as they always do, some opting to be sent north to the untouched wildlands, while other venture south to the picturesque coastlines beyond the Seljin Straits. (-9500 gold toward two farm stacks) -Barter Town and Staublund grow rapidly from masses of colonists trying to strike it rich in the south. (-28,500 gold towards upgrading two towns to cities) -A merchant guild establishes itself in Leberstadt. (-8550 gold towards merchant guild) -Hunters from Ruhn are commissioned by the Barter Town hunting authority to search the rivers and safe areas of the deserts for the supposed “sand crawlers” that local savages had used in their primitive armour-working. (-3000 gold) -Research on the properties and functions of the Levers of the Divines continue. Now that the scholars are out of pills and fish, they turn to prayer for insight into the strange mechanisms. (-3000 gold towards research, total of 11,000 invested) -The Veiled Diviners begin to question and learn everything the sailor knows about the gemstones, and his current condition. They are very thorough in their work, and even request money for supplies, food, and (if necessary) tools. (-3000 gold) -450 sent to vault. Population: 4,874,857 citizens. Cities & Investments: Ruhn (Merchant’s Guild, Temple, Military Academy, school) Bruger (Merchant’s Guild, Temple) Riveruhn (Merchant’s Guild) Shatterbridge (Merchant’s Guild) Leberstadt (Merchant’s Guild)(Next turn) Barter Town (City)(Next Turn) Staublund (City)(Next turn) Oakwood (Settlement) Shadowcliff (Settlement) Defensive Structures: Fortress Bergen Other Investments: 19 Farm stacks (21 next turn) 4 Manufactories
  11. I don’t remember when Malinor burned, as I was indeed not present. I do remember how it was before it met its well-deserved end. I remember the murderers who stalked the streets bereft of order, decency, and creed. I remember the deviants who sat and smiled with their friends as they read through their tomes of dark arts. I remember the anarchists who used its corrupted and lawless capitals as a base for their crimes beyond it. I remember when ‘elf’ was synonymous with ‘assassin,’ ‘depraved,’ and ‘thief.’ So prevalent was the influence of that disgusting land that these stereotypes survive centuries on--almost as if instinct in the non-mali. Let me ask you this, dear Thexan; why is it so that “Malinor” has never been reformed? There have been Dominions, Princedoms, Kingdoms, States, but never another Malinor. Worry not, for this question is rhetorical llir! Allow me the honour of answering it. Shame. The name is as shameful as its later history, and obliterates its ancient glories of Aegis. The name is as grand a joke as Maheral Visaj’s decree. Frankly, you should be thanking us for taking the mantle away from the Mali’ame and the Mali’ker (and ice elves, if they count). Spreading its meaningless and debased titles around in order to mock the union of Haelun’ors former allies with the ice-elves is the kindest possible thing to be done with them. So it is true dear Thexan that we were not present during that conflict. From what I’ve seen, we tend to align ourselves with those whom share our interests and mean us no harm. As to why we weren’t standing by you on those walls, why in the names of Malin and Larihei would we have been? -Aetahir
  12. Commonwealth of Ruhn The Lord Ministers were surprised to be assaulted on their return to parliament—assaulted by pleas! Shrine-tenders, Speakers, Acolytes, and even a Veiled Diviner from nearby cities were on their knees outside of Lordly domiciles humbly begging for succor. He-That-Waits, you see, had sent a sign of his favor! His eyes were on the Commonwealth, and it was only right that He and the ancestors were honored appropriately. They followed noblemen like hungry dogs, their bone-chimes and holy vestments rattling down the roads and drawing the attention of the common folk. Embarrassed, and feeling guilty for their clear lapses in faith and duty, many entered the Parliament with the afterlife on their minds. Much to the irritation of Lord Chancellor Bruger, expansion projects were put on hold in favor of building a monumental shrine to His glory and grace. An older shrine atop Mount Ruhn was to be dismantled and its holy occupants incorporated into the greater edifice. Its planned grandeur was matched only by the galling price tag. Still, the parliament eventually agreed to a budget and the funds were allocated to the jubilant holy men. One newly ordained Veiled Diviner, Melchior Hoffman, was especially pleased, though none could tell due to said ‘veil.’ He had risen through the ranks from both the favor of Lord Protector Charles Ortmeir, and his sheer, unyielding faith. He chose to take a vow of silence until the new monument was built out of respect for He-That-Waits. In his silence, he wondered if his ancestors were proud of him. The town of Leberstradt is seeing a slew of immigration due to the unusual levers that are its namesake. It is slated for an infrastructure upgrade so that the people can walk across cobble roads rather than a sea of mud and filth. After the surrender of the wretched river-savages, the Ruhnnite authorities are divided on how to act. They could simply exterminate them, but the commander of the expeditionary force balked at the thought of slaughtering women and children. Slavery was banned and abhorred in the Commonwealth, and they would stand for neither the sale nor use of slaves. There were only two options, and they are presented to the Defilers forthwith. 1. They could abandon their false, heathenish God/s, join in exalting the ancestors, and attain citizenship under Commonwealth protection and law, or; 2. They could gather what meager possessions they had left and march south under the supervision of the Commonwealth soldiers. They would be escorted past the ancient library and then left to their own devices. The Commonwealth had no designs on the deeper desert. At least, not yet... Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 15,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 12,000 gold, Population: 13,500 gold, Trade: 4000 gold (1000 from port), Manufacturers: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -7,500 Total: 50,000 Gold (52,400 incl. vault) 2400 in vault -More pioneers strike out into the woodlands and open fields of the northern hinterlands, grasping every ounce of land they can find. (-4750 gold towards a farm stack) -The city of Leberstadt is given its much-needed upgrade. (-14,250 gold towards upgrading Leberstadt to a city) -At the very top of Mount Ruhn construction begins for a great grave garden and shrine. Ancestral bones from dozens of smaller shrines are gladly donated to its construction by pious citizens. The monument is relatively humble despite this, but only because many of the architects have a feeling there may be more construction to come... (-19,000 gold towards a shrine, unlocks T2 magic) -Ruhn is not the only city that receives such attention, however. Bruger, the second original Ruhnnite city is given their own temple of worship. Such things are important to the faithful. (-9,500 towards a temple in Bruger) -Having finally constructed a small fleet of ships, the Commonwealth sends out an expedition to explore the Hungry Sea. Small islands spotted from the mainland on clear days are chartered for exploration. (-2000 gold towards an expedition of three ships. One would break off from the other two to explore the large Island to the East, while the other two will head north. Population: 4,545,321 citizens. Cities & Investments: Ruhn (Merchant’s Guild, Temple, Military Academy, school) Bruger (Merchant’s Guild, Temple) (Next turn) Riveruhn (Merchant’s Guild) Shatterbridge (Merchant’s Guild) Leberstadt (Town) (City) (Next turn) Barter Town (Town) Staublund (Town) Oakwood (Settlement) Shadowcliff (Settlement) Defensive Structures: Fortress Bergen Other Investments: 18 Farm stacks (19 next turn) 4 Manufactories
  13. Commonwealth of Ruhn Fortress Bergen was silent as the graves and shrines that surrounded its outer reaches. The guards on its imposing walls stared down at the desert sands in the distance on their decade-long vigil to protect against heathen bands that never came. The fortress was constructed on the foundations of a previous, larger structure that records spoke of extremely sparsely. Such was the nature of young nations—no-one ever thought to preserve the past when the present was so much more pressing. It was here that Lord Protector Charles Ortmeir had come, escorted by a small contingent of light cavalry. Passing through its gates brought back old memories that the wrinkled general could only smile about. How many years ago was it when he first passed through the portcullis? Thirty? Forty? The Vulture War was a brutal, bloody slog in which the Commonwealth was tempered in fire and blood. Elders like himself could remember when Ruhn was a petty city-state no more worthy of existence than the repugnant, fat tics that leeched off the coasts of Trader’s Bay. What was now the city of Bruger was once a godless, wretched nest of degenerates that dared to challenge Ruhn. It took ten years to finally put down the heathens and purge it of the impious. When he traveled along the Vulture Highway, he could still recognize the rocks and crags where skirmishes were fought and the faithful stood and fell. Sometimes he could still smell the blood, and remember the laughter, screams, and roars of men. When the heathens were defeated, the city’s name was changed, and its history scuffed from all records. No-one would remember an independent Bruger—not even its original name. This fortress was the final holdout of those men who, in their folly, thought to die standing. They certainly died, though perhaps not in the way they expected... The Lord Protector dismounted his horse and strode towards the Fortress commander. The man was almost as old as himself, but deep gashes and scars had mulched his face beyond the ability to accurately discern it. His ragged features juxtaposed against his smart, black jerkin and silver buttons that were the hallmark of Ruhnnite officers. With what was almost recognizable as a smile, the soldier saluted, and stood straight. “At your command, Lord Ortmeir.” Charles answered the proclamation with a laugh. “Jargun, please. I would have hoped you’d refrain from the pomp. Besides, last I heard you were also a lord, my lord.” At this, Jargun shrugged. “Can’t say it suits me. My wife seems to like it, though.” He wiped his malformed nose with an exquisite sleeve. “That’s womenfolk for you, I s’pose.” Charles smirked and followed Jargun deeper into the fortress. Soldiers and workers stood to attention or bowed respectfully as they passed through the second layer of defenses into a large courtyard. Dozens of soldiers stood on the ramparts watching over the scene beneath them, quietly assessing the people below. A thousand ragged men were kneeling around a small shrine of bone. All of them were shackled, bruised, and silently praying towards the idol while an imposing, heavily bearded man in traditional temple attire calmly administered to them. Raising his hands towards the shrine, his deep, gravelly voice reverberated around the tall walls as he roared scripture. “And in the dark the child wept for the fire, now lost, was all that warmed him. The deep silence frightened him, and he shivered in that cold, empty place. And in this silence, He spoke: “Take heed, for I see you. Breathe, so I may know you. Let your heart beat in my service, and your eyes see only Me.” And the child did as he was told, and He-That-Waits took him into his arms and pulled his soul from his frail and frigid body. He would stand beside Him, awaiting the coming days, for he was the first among the dead, and our first ancestor. And with eternal patience He told the child his duties.” Watching from the entrance to the courtyard, the two lords observed curiously. “They came here all quiet-like, my Lord. You barely need any guards to watch them--they mostly just eat, sleep and pray.” Charles nodded along to Jurgan’s words, half-listening. “You’d think they’d be more rowdy, bring cutthroats and all.” “They were cutthroats once. Now they’re ‘reformed.’ The priest, there, is responsible for their new views on purpose and piety.” As if spoken to, the tall priest stared towards the lords blankly before returning to his sermon. He was a good head above most men, and certainly sterner than even the most pious of acolytes. “The bone-carver?” Jargun scrunched what little of his face remained in surprise. “He does seem a bit gruff for the average preacher. Where did you dig him up?” “A dungeon. Never inquired as to his crime, but he could quote the holy words from memory. Clearly very pious, though with an unfortunate penchant for violence.” Charles stroked his chin, smiling. “We left him with a few prisoners for a month, and they came out pious, obedient, and willing to do His work.” He glanced at Jargun, and took off his black, broad-brimmed hat. “Show respect now, Lord Jargun. We are in the presence of the ancestors, and I believe that shrine is made from less pious prisoners that failed the good Speaker‘s high standards. Jargun proceeded to take off his own hat and kneel down, but shivered when he noticed that Speaker Melchior Hoffman was glaring at him from across the courtyard. Misc. Effects: Colonial Bureaucracy: 400,000 pop required for towns. Tablet of Zakhet: 5% off of all construction prices. Seljin Fish & Chips: 0.25% growth per turn. Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 12,000 gold, Merchants guilds: 12,000 gold, Population: 12,000 gold, Trade: 4000 gold (1000 from port), Manufacturers: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -5,500 Total: 47,500 Gold (48,150 incl. vault) -650 in vault. - New farmlands spring up on the fertile coastlines of Ruhnnite territory. (-4750 gold towards 1 farm stack) -Pioneers choose to head north, braving the sparsely scouted woods and coastlines to find virgin lands to settle. (-9500 gold towards two settlements) -The deserts must be cleared! The first expedition since the original five years back is sent to scout/purge tribal remnants downriver from the new settlements. Using equipment, carts, tabards, and other useful bits and pieces from the previous expedition, the smaller force marches west along the riverbank, searching for tribal savages. The party consists of 500 veteran T4 light cavalry, 1000 T2 medium infantry, 1000 T2 medium archers, and 250 T2 veteran medium archers. (-3000 gold for supplies) -Back in the hinterlands of Ruhn, more aspiring peasants are gathered for vigorous training into light cavalry. Learning from the harsh training from previous years, this next group will be just as well-drilled as the last. (-8,000 gold towards 500 veteran light cavalry, which will be clad in T4 light armour) -The first groups of pious Crag-Runners are amassed. One thousand begin their brutal training in Fortress Bergen. (-6000 gold towards 1000 T2-armoured crag-runners) -A small flotilla of ships are constructed in the Shatterbridge dry-docks. Two small, quick galleys, and one bulbous cog are commissioned for future seaborne endeavors. (-7500 gold towards two galleys and one cog) -The Ruhnnite scholars are perplexed, but not unsurprised by the puzzling tablet. They order significant amounts of wine, a full catch of freshly-caught Seljin fish, and 20 jars of Alex Jones’ Brain Pills (TM) to vastly increase their IQ as they research. Math might be difficult, but with these great powers, they can at least make a decent start. (-5000 gold towards researching the operation of the ‘Levers of the Divine,’ total of 8000 gold invested.) -1750 gold sent to vault increasing it to a total of 2400 gold. Population: 4,238,061 citizens. Cities & Investments: Ruhn (Merchant’s Guild, Temple, Military Academy, school) Bruger (Merchant’s Guild) Riveruhn (Merchant’s Guild) Shatterbridge (Merchant’s Guild, Port) Leberstadt (Town) Barter Town (Town) Staublund (Settlement) Defensive Structures: Fortress Bergen Other Investments: 17 Farm stacks (18 next turn) 4 Manufactories
  14. Commonwealth of Ruhn Another year, another round of advancements to be made. Not much to report on Ruhn, with the exception of a high profile murder of a civil servant. Also, I’m fully employed, unlike certain mods I could mention... And there was a problem with the sun. Crops died. I dunno, man. I’ve been busy! The next post will be good guys! I swear!! Accounts: Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 9000 gold, Merchants guilds: 9,000 gold, Population: 10,500 gold, Trade: 3000 gold, Manufacturers: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -5,500 Total: 36,000 Gold (40,200 incl. vault) 4200 in vault -12,750 towards port at Shatterbridge, -9500 towards settlements, -5750 towards farm stack, -8550 towards merchant guild in Shatterbridge, -3000 to further research is put into the translated Tablet of Zakhet, in order to understand the ‘Levers of the Divines.’ -650 left in vault Population: 3,951,572 Cities & Investments: Ruhn (Merchant’s Guild, Temple, Military Academy, school) Bruger (Merchant’s Guild) Riveruhn (Merchant’s Guild) Shatterbridge (Merchant’s Guild, Port) (Next turn) Leberstadt (Town) Defensive Structures: Fortress Bergen Other Investments: 16 Farm stacks (17 next turn) 4 Manufacturies
  15. Commonwealth of Ruhn Two scholars from the School of Natural Philosophy return gleefully, laden with translations and three large chests of gold. They speak the praises of the generous Queen of Xian, and the wonders of that strange, heathen land--of a tiered city, oppressed castes of subjects, and buildings older than anything standing in Ruhn. Their words encourage both curiosity and scorn, and both are suspended from the School until they can empty themselves of borderline heathenous gushing. Examining the translations are far more pressing to the scholars, but despite their learned natures they are perplexed by both the translated tablets. The two slabs are known by the names ‘The Tablet of Emekhun,’ and ‘The Tablet of Zakhet.’ The writings of ‘Emekhun’ list strange and unusual mathematics that the scholars could barely comprehend. It was a treatise on physics and engineering practically revolutionary to any Ruhnnite architect, and the scholars begin furiously analyzing its contents for publishing. The writings of ‘Zakhet’ were somewhat disappointing, however. They seemed to vaguely denote the operation of a vast series of levers and lifts used to transport ships up a steep waterfall, known in the text as the ‘Levers of the Divine.’ The pious scholars did not see the levers themselves as ‘divine’ in any meaningful way, but they were certainly an engineering marvel. They would have to research further, once the site of the Levers were themselves secured. Within both translations are meandering verses of how the Loba Empire came to be. Arriving on the shores of Aros approximately 3000 years before the current day after having left a location barely referenced as ‘the south.’ Though they claimed to have settled in a ‘lush jungle,’ all the Ruhnnites saw of the Loba’s former land were endless, searing sands and decayed stonework. Some scholars stomp away muttering angrily after reading about the heathenish sun-god ‘Life-Giver,’ and the other scholars choose to skip such sections in the future. A good thing the Loba were dead, for sure, as Ruhn could never have been independent had that empire survived. Other unusual theories bustle their way between scholars in the School, and hypotheses ricochet off others--could it be that the Ruhnnites themselves were decedents of the Loba Empire? The Commonwealth was in their ancient borders (albeit as a borderland) and there was no written history of Ruhn a few decades prior to the Vulture Wars... A grand mystery, for sure! One that the scholars were excited to pursue! Accounts: National Idea: Colonial Bureaucracy: New towns require only 400,000 population. The Tablet of Emekhun: All construction is 5% cheaper. The Tablet of Zakhet: Gives a few insights into a certain advanced set of levers. Base Gold: 9,000 gold, Towns/Cities: 9000 gold, Merchants guilds: 6,000 gold, Population: 10,500 gold, Trade: 3000 gold, Manufacturers: 4000 gold, Gift from Xian: 3000 gold, Upkeep: -5,500 gold, Total: 39,000 Gold (41,500 gold incl. vault), 2500 gold in vault. -More pioneers, more farms, more growth, you know the drill, Eric. I have no idea what kind of fluff to write here anymore. Why don’t you write me a three-sentence story about a farmer, or something? That’d make my modpost section a little more interesting. (-9500 gold towards two farm stacks) -Along with Riverruhn’s rapid expansion its walls are completed and its security assured. Merchants slowly trickle in and are afforded space within the central squares to construct their shops, stalls, and all manner of business sundries. (-8,550 gold towards a Merchant Guild in Riverruhn) -The Commonwealth seeks to control all routes and land bordering the Hungry Sea. A group of enterprising settlers are sent out to both claim the fertile strips of land to the south, and the fascinating ‘Levers of the Divine’ themselves. The new hamlet positioned at the mouth of the Levers themselves and is named ‘Hebelstadt’ in a foreign, barbarous tongue. (-4750 gold towards a settlement) -Due to clever reforms in colonial operations, the town of Shatterbridge receives a slew of specialists and is immediately slated for expansion! It’s almost as if a fundamental change to the values of the universe were performed by mysterious beings beyond their realm... (-14,250 gold to upgrade Shatterbridge from a town to a city) -4200 gold left in the vault. Population: 3,710,396 Cities & Investments: Ruhn (Merchant’s Guild, Temple, Military Academy, school) Bruger (Merchant’s Guild) Riveruhn (Merchants Guild next turn) Shatterbridge (town) (city next turn) Hebelstadt (Settlement) (Next turn) Defensive Structures: Fortress Bergen Other Investments: 14 Farm stacks (16 next turn). 4 Manufacturies
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