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  1. Carchemish An image of ancient Carche, leader of the Thallites. Discord: You have it Civilisation Name: Carchemish Capital: Dur’Sharrukin Government: Tyranny—A government headed by a single, strong leader with innumerable smaller entities beholden to them. They are the lone head of state, with a group of direct advisors for matters the tyrant is not as knowledgeable. Not that mighty, ancient Carche is flawed! Oh no! Carche is all-knowing and wise! All hail Carche! Racial Distribution: Pure Thallite (No-one wants to live with the Thallites). Due to a recent plague, the population of several fortress-towns have depleted to the point of being abandoned. Thus, only the major population centres and a few scattered forts remain of the Thallite civilisation. Racial Traits: -Half Mad: Almost half of Thallites born are stricken with some variety of mania. This can run the gambit from obsessions with collecting fingernails to murderous sociopathy. Not all manias are dangerous, but neither useful. -Brightest Stars: Thallites (usually the sane ones) have an enormous potential for brilliance in engineering and technology. Perhaps it’s merely a useful mania? -Mob Caste: The majority of soldiers in Thallite “armies” are the dregs of the mentally unstable 50 percent. Hence, swathes of their fighters tend to be little more than poorly-disciplined walls of gibbering flesh protecting more important, useful warriors. -Sorcerer Lords: Thallites are highly magically adept, and explore the deepest lores of arcane power. Their magii are powerful, knowledgeable, and extraordinarily dangerous. -Ancient Sages: Thallites have long lifespans, some managing to reach 500 years before passing. However, this assumes they are in ideal conditions; otherwise it’s more likely for them to expire around 150-200 years. -Natural Aversion: Outside of necessary diplomacy, Thallites prefer not to trade or interact with foreign entities due to envy, revulsion, or sheer paranoia. Exceptions to this may include obtaining highly important resources, or things vital to the existence of the Thallites. The city of Dur’Sharrukin. Specifically, the district of the Ashurnasirpal Caste. Technology and Arcana: The heavy use of technology and magic is necessary within Thallite civilisation. In eras past, the sane members of the species had to fight off the THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN REDACTED IN THE NAME OF GLORIOUS CARCHE. ALL HAIL CARCHE. Throwing away the lives of useful, sane Thallites in conventional combat was deemed far too wasteful. Over time, sorcerers – already the most educated and learned of the people – took to engineering and designed great walls and forts to protect their settlements from REDACTED incursions. Even in the current day, Sorcerers are the most highly educated and practiced engineers in Carchemish. The Thallites excel at powerful, destructive magic based on the elements, or violent, incomprehensible energies of outer realms. Most magical advancements prior to the founding of the unified state were focused on methods to destroy attackers or protect the walls of the fortress-towns. THE PREVIOUS INFORMATION HAS NOT BEEN DEEMED TRUE BY THE NEBUCHIZZAR CASTE. IT IS TO BE IGNORED. ALL HAIL CARCHE. Within the last few centuries, the sorcerers have also been exploring runic enchantments, healing thaumaturgy, and even dabbling in the use of blood-magic. While they are merely apprentices in these fields, they pursue them relentlessly and are happy with every discovery however minor. The Thallites similarly excel in the use of technology, with sorcerer-engineers being the minds behind most new forging techniques, architecture, mechanics, chemistry, and other natural philosophies. Recent discoveries with gunpowder were recently reversed after the head engineer exploded himself along with his research and laboratory. Some of the braver sorcerers have chosen to try and pick up where their fallen kinsman had left off, but they are beginning from scratch yet again. Other interesting chemical reactions, like acidic substances, have also garnered interest among the educated Thallites. Religion: According to their creation myths, the Thallites stole a tiny spark of divinity from the three Gods Ninlil, Ningishzida, and Ninhursag. With this POINTLESS INFORMATION, A LOYAL CARCHITE CANNOT HOPE TO STRENGTHEN CARCHEMISH! The Gods are dead! Know your caste, and know your purpose! Avoid the madness of cults! All hail Carche! History: Little is known of Thallite history prior to the ascension of the ancient leader Carche, who has ruled Carchemish from its inception. Though, recorded history before his magnificent reign would be worthless, as the Thallites were naught but savages living on the cusps of the wasteland! His wisdom lead the Thallites to great heights and protected them in times of great peril. Carche shall lead the Thallites to a future of unity, safety, and prosperity! All hail Carche! From what can be gathered, though, many of the larger cities are surrounded by wasted, scorched earth, craters, and even ruined towns. Perhaps there was a great war, at some point? Probably not important, of course! After all, no loyal Carchite who travels the land questions such oddities, as they are probably not important. There is nothing to be concerned with! Go about your business! All hail Carche! Fifteen years ago, a devastating plague ravaged the outer lands of Carchemish, destroying dozens of towns and forcing the remainders into a state of quarantine. Starvation, cannibalism, riots, and destruction brought Carchemish to the brink, but Glorious Carche returned the lands to order, presented a cure for the plague, and the lands are safe once more (within specific zones)! It has been eight years since the quarantine has been lifted, and even those of the lowly Mob Caste eat until their hunger is sated (within specific zones)! Though many have died, and Carchemish has been hindered, it has not been defeated! The castes shall rise and bring glory to Carchemish! All hail Carche! Culture: Due to the unusual conditions of Thallite sanity, much of their culture revolves around finding uses for the less-than-sane people. This has taken the form of –or evolved from– the citadels and fortress-towns that the vast majority of Thallites live in. A citadel has numerous heavily-fortified walls that naturally section off the various classes and economic strata from one-another. Ultimately, this has lead to the creation of the castes, which direct a person’s role in life from birth until death (with some exceptions). From most prominent in society to least: The Nebuchizzar Caste: The highest and noblest of families, their formation dating back to the founding of Carchemish. They are the only caste allowed to administer towns, cities, and important offices within both. Almost half of them are skilled in magic or engineering, as it is natural that such power be in the hands of the Thallite’s guides. They live in the highest portions of the citadel or fortress, looking down at the other Thallites, tentacles raised in quiet benevolence. Ashurnasirpal Caste: Talented sorcerers, engineers, artists, and writers are brought into this caste from others so that they may concentrate on their works rather than the mundane day-to-day of the common Thallite. They receive resources and privileges from the state to advance their works and Carchemish as a whole. They are prime candidates for both marriage and breeding material for the Nebuchizzar Caste, who seek them out to perfect their own bloodlines. They are always housed within the second inner-most portion of fortifications, and have access to luxurious and spacious domiciles. Ashur Caste: Thallites with their sanity who fight as warriors in the Thallite horde. They are small in number, as few wish to waste the sane in bloodbaths. Those that are willing (and relatively disposable) are given a higher standing in society as a reward, and enjoy the benefits and privileges of their station in peacetime (and fighting with the gibbering mobs during war). They live and drill within small barrack-forts around the citadel, but are mostly concentrated in the spaces of the Ashurnasirpal and Lullaya. Lullaya Caste: Craftsmen, architects, minor sorcerers, and merchants make up this caste. They are the largest of the sane castes, and the lowest of their kind. They are the ones who are taxed, and make up the shopkeepers, bureaucrats, smiths, and artisans. It is not an easy life to be a sane Thallite at the lowest rung, but it could always be worse... Touched Caste: Those afflicted with minor manias that, while not useful, don’t cause violence or an inability to work and act independently. They are primarily used for basic labour on farms, construction, mining, and other menial tasks. They are almost always rewarded for their services with food, and spend the rest of their time (when they’re not eating, sleeping, or babbling incoherently) trying to convince the higher castes that they are sane enough to ascend to the Lullaya. They are housed in the outer-most portions of the citadel, but aren’t allowed to leave without permission. Mob Caste: Those afflicted with terrible manias that impact their ability to work, eat, sleep, or generally do anything useful. They are kept fed and housed in large barracks walled off from the other parts of the citadel in the outermost portions, and are trained (as best as possible) to be meatshields for hordes. They are rarely levied in these enlightened times of Carche-deigned peace, but better to have them than not. In times of duress, they can also be used as food in a pinch (though other Thallite castes prefer not to talk about that). Feral Caste: Those afflicted with dangerous manias that make them a hazard to any and all. They are kept in their own separate, heavily-guarded barracks with few amenities, and fed the bare necessities. They are trained like beasts, and treated as such, so they may be used like savage attack-dogs in combat. They are often beaten, muzzled, and forced to obey what few commands they can understand. If they are not able to be trained, they are killed immediately. Castes will often have their own separate holidays and celebrations from the others, depending on the citadel they live in. Despite their rather unusual appearance, the Thallites (the sane ones, at least) aren’t particularly unpleasant as sapient beings go. They enjoy parties, love their families, perform their tasks adequately in order to bring glory to Carchemish, and even smile from time to time! They appear to dislike the attention or presence of non-Thallites however. Whether that is a racial quality or the result of a culture of paranoia, one could not say. Did someone mention there was a culture of paranoia? Why would a Thallite be paranoid? It’s not as if Carche is always watching, and his eyes always land on those who show signs of madness. After all, to assume that a Thallite would be deemed insane and sent to a lower caste should they question the wisdom or efficacy of ancient Carche would imply that Carche is a merciless tyrant seeking to control the Thallite people through fear and intimidation! Implications such as that will have you sent to a lower caste. All hail Carche! Cannibalism also appears to be worryingly common along Thallites for no discernible reason. Food is often readily available, but even those deemed sane have been known to engage in the practice. It is not fully understood why Thallites find other Thillites to be delicious, but it could be some variety of primitive survival trait that shows itself during periods of duress. Though that would imply that any Thallite, including Carche, could be a cannibal, and implications like that will have you deemed insane and sent to a lower caste. All hail Carche! The citadel of Masyaf, standing at the precipice of the southern wastelands. The crater-like hills are merely a quirk of nature, nothing more. All hail Carche. Geography: Carchemish is landlocked, and its major citadels lie on the edge of the blasted southern wastelands. The heat of the savanna does little for farming, and thus most agriculture is centred by rivers and small lakes where nutrient-rich silt flows down-river. Enormous insects and reptiles are nurtured for their meat, skin, and carapaces. Some, like the ten-foot Asta beetle, are used for transport. Simple roots and grains are harvested relatively easily along the riverbanks, which fills out the diet of the poorer Thallites among the Lullaya and Touched castes. The southern wastelands are an enigma to the Thallites who care to think of them. Ruined citadels, scores of Thallite bones, and scraps of metal dot the shimmering sands in these wastes. Some speak of strange sights, like great swathes of glass melted across the sand, or statues of unfamiliar Thallites that don’t look at all like the statues of Carche. But these are simply the bones and former settlements of Carchemish from before the plague. Ignore the ruination. There is nothing beyond the south of the wastes. Such is the word of Carche. All hail Carche! Size: Carchemish is far smaller than it was before the plague, and many ruined fortress-towns dot far and wide around its borders, especially to the south.
  2. The Rust Barony Brogwad reported the weak tribe north of the Barony to the ever-swolening Duke Duke. His muscles rippled in fury at the mere mention of such lack of chivalrousness. Duke Duke takes the news relatively well, however, merely punching the wall a few times and challenging four of his warriors to a fight. He could not let innocents suffer without throwing himself in front of them honorably, shielding them from the dreadful pain that they might face! He roared at Wizzo, summoning the Shaman from his great pile of spark-boxes and magical rituals. “The brigands of the concrete trees vex me so, brother!” Duke Duke roared. “Have you created the plate armour I asked of you?” The Shaman shook his head, solemnly. “Nay, Duke of Dukes. It is proving a challenge. Plates, kettles, and teacups are very brittle, and not particularly tough. The tribes who forged armour from such material must have been true masters of their craft.” Duke Duke roared his displeasure, assaulting the wall yet again. “However!” Wizzo continued, “in the meantime, we have created armour of brahmin! Strong and light, great one!” He pulled from his loincloth a gauntlet of thick leather, and presented it to Duke Duke. Duke Duke answered Wizzo’s gauntlet proffering by angrily tearing it apart and throwing it in the fire. “Knights don’t wear leather!! They wear plate!! The books said so!” Wizzo got back to work. Traits: All the King’s Men: 25% off of body armour and melee weapon research, Pointy End Away: 25% off melee weapon research, Feudalistic Society: 250 caps per controlled block. Resources Caps: -5500 caps in storage -10,000 caps at base, -3000 caps from population, Metal: -2 at base, (2 in storage) Fuel: -2 at base, (2 in storage) Supplies: -2 at base, -9 from Agri-buildings Upkeep: -3 supplies -10,500 caps Actions: -Proud Tribesmen march into a new neighborhood, confident and true! -A trading govel is thrown together by the tribemen pilfering ruins in the south parts of the district) 5,000 caps towards one trade post) -100 T3 swords are forged in the primitive furnaces of the tribe. (-2 metal) -2500 caps sent to Duke Duke’s bedroom. 5RP (Two left over from previous project) towards T3 body armour -[MOD] Wizzo lends his wisdom yet again to the craftsmen! The armour must be perfect for Duke Duke’s knights and feetmen! (5 Intelligence, 3 Luck) -[MOD] Brogwad makes a return to the northern people, bringing gifts of fish and caps to impress the local chieftains and tribesmen. He, as a representative of the great Duke Duke, offer them the chance to join the Barony! With their two tribes joined, they would be strong enough to fend off even the haughtiest of dragons! (-500 caps, -2 supplies) -[MOD] Duke Duke continues his dragon-slaying muscle-growth regimen. He now lifts small motorbikes and hoists up old car engines to build more mass. (8 strength, 1 agility, 4 endurance) Population: 824 Stored Fuel: 6 Stored Metal: 0 Stored supplies: 17 (Next turn) Stored Caps: 3000 (Next turn)
  3. The Rust Barony “A sign! A sign!” The tribesmen whooped and screamed in grand cacophony. They pointed and bellowed down the great hole, shaking their spears and performing war-dances to intimidate it. The hole, to its credit, didn’t appear phased by the frightful displays of the feetmen. After all, it was just a hole. Duke Duke sat at its edge, face twisted in contemplation--was a great hole worthy of a quest? He looked to his Shaman Wizzo, who donned his Brahman-headdress and breathed deep the scents of spirit-smoke to enhance his wisdom. “Many dangers sleep in this despairing pit, Duke of Dukes. The sparky spirits warn of death, and the sparky spirits are never wrong...” “Your spirits always warn of death, Wizzo. How can you be so sure this time?” Wizzo pulled from his loincloth a strange spirit-box, that contained a sparky hole. The Shaman performed a short incantation, and stuck his finger in the hole, withdrawing it just as fast with a yelp. “A sign! They have spoken!” He yelled, billowing spirit-smoke from his mouth and nose. “Perils rest in the great pit! Shall you quest in it, Duke of Dukes?” Duke Duke rested his chin on his hand, and shrugged. “I guess it could be somewhat chivalrous... but would there be a dragon in a hole? Dragons live in mountains, sleeping on great piles of fish and comely womenfolk.” “Ah, but--“ began Wizzo with a triumphant grin. “A pit is a reverse-mountain! At its bottom would surely be a reverse-dragon!” “What would the reverse of a dragon living in the ground be?” Mused Duke Duke. “A worm?” “Nay, most knightly one!” Barked Wizzo as he joined the other warriors screaming at the hole. “A Wyrm!” “A sign! A sign!” Roared Duke Duke. Traits: All the King’s Men: 25% off of body armour and melee weapon research, Pointy End Away: 25% off melee weapon research, Feudalistic Society: 250 caps per controlled block. Resources Caps: -15,750 caps in storage -10,000 caps at base, -3000 caps from population, Metal: -2 at base, (2 in storage) Fuel: -2 at base, (2 in storage) Supplies: -2 at base, -6 from Agri-buildings Upkeep: -3 supplies -7500 caps Actions: -Proud Tribesmen march into a new neighborhood, confident and true! -Further farming hutches are built in the new block. The Tribesmen have never seen such plentiful food! Wizzo is very disappointed that he doesn’t get a thinking hut... (-15,000 caps towards three agri-buildings) -100 T3 swords are forged in the primitive furnaces of the tribe. (-2 metal) -5500 caps sent to Duke Duke’s bedroom. 3RP towards T2 body armour (total of 9RP invested) -[MOD] Wizzo lends his wisdom yet again to the craftsmen! The armour must be perfect for Duke Duke’s knights and feetmen! (4 Intelligence, 3 Luck) -[MOD] Brogwad tentatively approaches the people sighted north of the barony, with him he brings two of the larger feetmen, clad in armour and baring forged swords... (1 Agility, 1 Perception, 6 Luck) -[MOD] Duke Duke’s voice is tired from yelling into the hole, so he returns to Castle Shedd to train his body for his quest. He proceeds to engage in mock fights with fellow warriors and lifted great boulders over and over to build muscle and impress the tribeswomen. Population: 786 Stored Fuel: 4 Stored Metal: 0 Stored supplies: 11 (Next turn) Stored Caps: 5500 (Next turn)
  4. The Rust Barony The tribesmen were gathered around great bonfires, dancing and whooping into the air. Wizzo danced with them while whispering the secret words to the flames, his eyes rolled back in trance. Brogwad quietly relieved sleeping and exhausted tribals of their personal belongings to keep them safe from the revelry. There was much celebration, until Duke Duke stood from his concrete throne and raised his hands. The ceremonial scars and tattoos that covered his body were lit up in all their splendor. The people fell silent. “Now, Duke Duke shall tell you of the fight against the bugbeasts!” He roared into the night. The cheers of the gathered hundreds rang out and echoed through the crumbling concrete and twisted metal. “First, they skittered in their many numbers--numbers higher than fingers and toes! They skittered and scuttled from the holes in the earth. A challenge!” “A challenge from the earth spirits!” Wailed Wizzo, still in his trance. “First, Duke Duke stomped with his feet, and crushed them!” Duke accompanied this statement by heavily stamping his muscled legs, making some of the tribal women swoon and giggle. “Then, he choppy-chopped with his knightsword!” He slashed at the air violently, whooping and jumping around the largest of fires. The people watched in rapt attention. “Two hands of bugbeasts fell by Duke Duke’s strength alone! No more bugbeasts, and a new place is ready for the people to safely scavenge!” The people cheered loudly, praising the bravery and strength of Duke Duke, which he basked in magnanimously. And yet, still he yearned to fight a dragon... Traits: All the King’s Men: 25% off of body armour and melee weapon research, Pointy End Away: 25% off melee weapon research, Feudalistic Society: 250 caps per controlled block. Resources Caps: -22,250 caps in storage -10,000 caps at base, -3000 caps from population, Metal: -2 at base, (2 in storage) Fuel: -2 at base, (2 in storage) Supplies: -2 at base, -3 from Agri-building Upkeep: -3 supplies -4500 caps Actions: -The tribesmen gather metals for the storehouses. You never know when you’ll need more swords or armour pieces! (-2 metal sent to storage) -Further farming hutches are built in the new block. The Tribesmen have never seen such plentiful food! Wizzo is very disappointed that he doesn’t get a thinking hut... (-15,000 caps towards three agri-buildings) -8500 caps sent to Duke Duke’s bedroom. -[MOD] Wizzo lends his wisdom yet again to the craftsmen! After all, he has no Thinking Hut to go to, so he may as well stick around... (4 Intelligence, 3 Luck) -[MOD] Brogwad leads a small force of 50 ‘feetmen,’ armed with T3 forged weapons and T1 scrap armour to investigate the strange squiggles on the coast yet again! What if they were dangerous squiggles, after all...? (1 Agility, 1 Perception, 6 Luck) -[MOD] Duke Duke leads yet another righteous expedition southward! Perhaps there are dragons in the next place...? He brings with him 50 muscular tribesmen armed with T3 forged melee weapons and T1 scrap armour. 3R towards T2 body armour! For the noblest of knights!
  5. The Rust Barony a shitpost from a busy boy Traits: All the King’s Men: 25% off of body armour and melee weapon research, Pointy End Away: 25% off melee weapon research, Feudalistic Society: 250 caps per controlled block. Resources Caps: -10,000 caps at base, -3000 caps from population, Metal: -2 at base, (2 in storage) Fuel: -2 at base, (2 in storage) Supplies: -2 at base, -3 from Agri-building Upkeep: -3 supplies -3750 caps Actions: -The tribesmen toil furiously over hot, fiery furnaces. Making TRUE, KNIGHTLY SWORDS for TRUE, KNIGHTLY KNIGHTS! Or for feetmen. Either one. (-2 metal for 100 T3 melee weapons) -9250 caps sent into the Aquarium) -[MOD] Wizzo lends his wisdom yet again to the craftsmen, who try to make armour for the feetmen! (4 Intelligence, 3 Luck) -[MOD] Brogwad leads a small force of 50 ‘feetmen,’ armed with T2 scrap weapons and T1 scrap armour to investigate the strange squiggles on the coast! For the righteous quest of knowing what the squiggles are. (1 Agility, 1 Perception, 6 Luck) -[MOD] A small group of 50 feetmen move to a small block to the north, seeking to occupy and settle a nice metal house for the purposes of building a “thinking hut” for Wizzo. It is lead by Duke Duke himself, just in case there are some dragons there. (6 Strength, 3 Endurance) 3R towards T2 body armour! For the noblest of knights!
  6. The Rust Barony “Duke Duke! What is “honour?” Honour is not running away from a fight, not clubbing a foe when they’re asleep or defenseless, standing tall, and shouting real loud! “Duke Duke! What is Chivalry?” Never taking the life of women and children--better to take them for our tribe instead! Also, slaying evil-doers, fighting dragons, and taking their livestock and boomsticks for ourselves! “Duke Duke! What is a castle?” A big, safe place with strong walls of rock and rust-metal! Inside of a castle is a ‘Keep,’ where we keep our fish and scrap! Only barons and dukes may have castles, though. So no making castles without our say-so! “Duke Duke! What is a steed?” Ancient, metal speedy-beasts that carried the tribes of old across the sharp stones and rad-fields! They are filled with the sparky spirits that get angry when we stick our fingers in them! One day we will tame the spirits and make those steeds our own, just like the old tribes did... ”Duke Duke! What is Divine Right?” My right to the best scrap, so I can make the tribe strong! Make sure you give the good bits to me! “Duke Duke! What is tyranny?” Er... Traits: All the King’s Men: 25% off of body armour and melee weapon research, Pointy End Away: 25% off melee weapon research, Feudalistic Society: 250 caps per controlled block. Resources Caps: -10,000 caps at base, -3000 caps from population, Metal: -2 at base, (2 in storage) Fuel: -2 at base, (2 in storage) Supplies: -2 at base, -3 from Agri-building Upkeep: -3 supplies Actions: -Tribesmen hammer and tie sharp bits of scrap to strong bits of wood, making crude and deadly weapons (-1 metal for 150 T2 melee weapons) -Other tribesmen hammer together scrap metal and bits of rope, string, and leather, for armour. Duke Duke wants armour for his “feetmen.” (-3 metal for 150 sets of T1 body armour) -13,000 caps are stored in the Aquarium. It is said Duke Duke likes to sleep on them. -[MOD] Having zapped himself painfully in the ancient sparky machines, Wizzo decides that the spirits will need stronger rituals to appease them. For now, he lends his wisdom to the tribe’s craftsmen, attempting to forge their own weapons. (3 Intelligence, 3 Luck) -[MOD] Brogwad and his hunters start carefully exploring the blocks around the aquarium. They search mainly for threats and things to salvage. (1 Agility, 6 Luck) -[MOD] Duke proclaims the strange fishing tank to be his personal fishing hole! He catches one of the unique fish, cooks, and eats it. It is what the spirits would want of him... (4 Strength, 3 Endurance) 3RP into T3 melee weapons
  7. The Rust Baron “A sign! A sign!” The Tribesmen screamed in joy as they pulled an old statue up from the rubble. A man with a giant fish--the greatest fish any of them had ever seen! Truly, this would be a land of bounty and happiness, safety and prosperity for their children, and scrap as far as they eye could see! They gathered their simple spears and tools, and clambered into the main hall of the Aquarium. There, Duke and his two brothers stood before them, and the chief addressed his people. “You have seen the signs, brothers and sisters! We were meant to be here! We were meant to tame the ‘Forbidden Metal Forest of No Return!’” The old tales talk of fighting dragons and honorable duels with knights, but not of tribes and fishermen! Thus...” He pulled from a scrapping-sack a plastic crown, possibly taken from a display in the slightly flooded lower areas of the building. “... I name myself Duke! Duke of the erm... Barony! And When we take more stuff, I’ll make good people barons! And they can have their own castle, but also give me stuff. Not a huge amount of stuff, but enough stuff so that we can make more stuff. And uh...” He looked to his confused brothers for reassurance or reminders, but saw none in their blank expressions. “... yeah, that’s it I think. Back to work, my people! We have much to do! We’re gonna need way more food! And swords! And armour! And steeds!” Traits: All the King’s Men: 25% off of body armour and melee weapon research, Pointy End Away: 25% off melee weapon research, Feudalistic Society: 250 caps per controlled block. Resources Caps: -10,000 caps at base, -3000 caps from population, Metal: -2 at base, Fuel: -2 at base, Supplies: -2 at base, -1 from Agri-building Upkeep: -3 supplies Actions: -10,000 caps go towards constructing further farming structures to fill the tribesmen’s bellies. -4500 caps towards 9 stacks of fortifications, to turn the Aquarium into a true castle! Or at least something vaguely resembling one. [MOD] Wizzo starts poking around the old sparky things in the Aquarium, looking to find useful bits of technology or perhaps helpful scrap for later. [MOD] Brogwad pokes around outside the Aquarium, and explores the block with his hunters. [MOD] Duke begins building a throne for himself in the entrance hall to hold ‘Court,’ but he’s more interested in finding a large, round table for warriors to sit around. 3RP into T2 melee weapons
  8. Faction: The Rust Barony Civilisation Type: Tribal Faction Backstory: In the wake of Chicago’s rediscovery, many serious entrepreneurial factions, raiding groups, and dangerous warriors had begun slinking into the confines of the great city. One large tribe of fishermen far to the north was happily ignoring the region, until their chief Duke “Duke” Junson took an interest in stories read to him by the wise-women. Knights, castles, dragons, and kings--he heard stories both fantastical and idiotic. Some days he would leap around his tent, whooping and screaming at the top of his lungs while slashing at imaginary beasts from his stories. At night he’d dream of princesses to be rescued, and magical cups that granted eternal life! But dreams always come to an end, and he was dragged back to the mundane reality of his tribe. He needed to be a chief to his people, first and foremost. One day, while dividing bags of salvage and fish between bickering tribesmen, his eyes caught sight of a strange, yellowing piece of paper in one of the bags of collected refuse. Upon it was an image of a building... The image was faded and the old words were hard to make out, but it was clear to Duke that it was a castle! Or a palace! Or... something! Both? Could a palace also be a castle?! Grabbing a wise woman he shoved the old paper beneath her nose, and demanded her to read to him what it said. According to her, it was an invitation to ‘lovers of aquatic life’ to come and visit the Shedd Aquarium. After some elaboration about what ‘aquatic’ meant and what ‘aquariums’ were, Duke concluded that this was a sign. His whole body shook with excitement. He gathered his tribe together, and announced that they would be embarking on a great and noble quest into the ancient ruins of an extremely dangerous land of radioactive metal that they had been forbidden to approach in all their people’s memory. As you might expect, he and his tribe had a difference of opinion. After a recorded thirty-eight challenges to his status as chief (all bare-fisted combat, which Duke won), four attempts to poison him (giving him no more than a stomach ache), six attempts to spear him (two of which he caught mid-air), and one attempt to reason with him (which turned into another fist-fight), the tribe finally accepted that they would be entering the horrible city in the name of this ‘quest.’ But they wouldn’t be passing through the city itself-- oh no! That would take too long! They took their old fishing boats and converted them into hundreds of transport rafts. They paddled their way down the coast, past the ruined buildings, past the rotting docks, past the angry mutated creatures, and reached their destination... the disheveled Shedd Aquarium in all its ‘glory...’ it was a real fixer-upper! Duke looked as happy as a boy while gleefully sifting through the bones and broken glass for ancient relics. Now his tribe had settled around the aquarium, the question came as to what his people should quest for next... Character 1: Duke Duke “Duke” Junson, the duke of the barony. He is an adventurous soul, searching for the next great quest for his people. What that might be he is not yet sure, but he will no doubt be ready to throw himself against any dragons that may be encountered! Character 2: Wizzo “Ideas Man” Junson, shaman, knower of the old words, and brother of Duke. A spiritual adviser as well as the tribe’s foremost ‘knower of old things.’ He once managed to fix an old terminal before getting frightened and smashing it due to a prevalence of “evil green spirits.” Character 3: Brogwad “Featherhead” Junson, the tribe’s best hunter, and the best at using the ‘bangsticks.” He is a sneaky sort, and known to find things that other tribesmen mysteriously lose. Once hid from a deathclaw by standing behind it, rather than in front of it. Discord: You have it? Someone in there probably has it. Otherwise it’s ‘Mothman#3690’.
  9. THE LORD OF UNCERTAINTY, IXTHALIZZUM Static. Still. Standstill, stagnant. Unchanging, unmoving, unfluctuating, unvarying. Inert, inactive, stalled. Immobile, immovable, stable, stuck. Boring, infuriating, annoying, boring infuriating, annoying, boring, infuriating, annoying, boring, infuriating, annoying, boring, infuriating, annoying, boring, infuriating, annoying, boring, infuriating, annoying, boring, infuriating, annoying, boring, infuriating, annoying, boringboringboringbOringBORING BORING BORING. Ixthallizzum screeched into the cosmic void as his infinite ethereal limbs slashed and struck at the world, attempting to cleave it apart by sheer will alone. "Tear it apart!! Smash and crush! I'd snap it in two and throw the pieces into the black abyss just to change something! What is WRONG with these mortals?! What is this precious peace they piss into my pustulent peepers?!" His singular probable eye(s) leaked an infinite amount of pus for an instant to make his point, before morphing into something utterly incomprehensible. "This era's monotonous stasis crushes my very soul (If I had one, which I don't. Maybe) And what of my Thallites?! Are they still as wonderfully deranged and unpredictable as I crafted them to be?!" An instant passed by as he threw his consciousness briefly into the depths of the underpaths. "Yes!” “Oh, how they wretch and wrangle like slathering, brilliant maniacs! How could I have thought otherwise?!" He screamed in joy and wept as was befitting a proud, hypothetically-betentacled father. "Oh, my wonderfully entertaining abominations... Daddy will reward you for being good--yes he will! But not just yet..." His infinite gaze stretched over the expanse of the world, and his innumerable, unblinking eyes glared down furiously at the unknowing mortals. Their peaceful, ordered, predictable, certain, societies plodded along with all the variation and cacophony of a ticking clock. The Mad God schlorped angrily, noticing a random farmer tending to his fields in the south of Adementine's territory. A Nyren by the look of him. Happy, simple, friendly, stable. Ixthalizzum hated this farmer--it was as if every certainty in life was concentrated in one mortal. Like an enraged earwig he flolloloped his consciousness violently into the mind of the unassuming mortal. The poor man fell over in a horrific seizure, clawing at his head and screaming in incomprehensible pain. The Madgod screeched in the confines of his unprepared mind. "Oh yes, of COURSE you'd only think about your own sorry problems, wouldn't you, Igbal?! You and your stupid family! 'Oh, I have to fetch the eggs to feed me young! Woe is me! Blah blah blah! I'm a stupid farmer!' Have you not once in your miserable, pitiable, pointless life ever considered just murdering and eating your wife and children? Do you know how many of your problems would be solved if you did that? But no! You have to be some dullard family-man and bore the absolute divinity out of my potential arse(s)! No-one ever thinks about a God's feelings!" Poor Igbal answered with a convulsions and spouts of blood pouring from his nose. "Gods! Even when your brain is melting you can't be entertaining! Look, I'm going to give you a manic obsession with walnuts. You better shape up and get your act together, Igbal! I've only known you for twenty-three seconds but I'm already fed with your excuses!" Ixthalizzum slowly began to recede from Igbal's consciousness before quickly pushing back in again. "Oh, one more thing--tell your mortal leaders at that "Adamentine" - or whatever the gaggle of Order-oos controlling this suffocating place is called - that Ixthalizzum is going to send a servant down there at some point to upset the hierarchy, or something. Wait! No! Forget that part! Hold on, what part am I talking about...? Was I talking about scones...? Do you remember, Igbal?" Igbal answered with an aneurysm. "Probably wasn't important, then. Maybe." After he finished bullying the mentally-vanquished mortal, he cast his consciousness above the largest continent. A thousand possible heads shook in disgust. Or was it pity? Maybe he was just angry and didn't want to admit it to himself? Though why would he be worried about admitting that to himself...? Was he afraid of someone judging him? All his sibling Gods loved him, so why would they judge him...? Or maybe they didn't? Maybe they wanted to destroy him, out of jealousy?! Maybe Father Ao plotted with them?!?! Maybe Ao was actually a giant sausage...? Ixthalizzum didn't have dominion over sausages! He was powerless against such a thing. He needed an ace in the hole! A new Avatar to do... things! Things in the world! And why? Because... ... -CREATE AVATAR: Ixthalizzum begins concentrating his power into a horrifying new being to do... actually I’m not fully sure what he’ll be doing with it, to be honest. It’s probably important! Probably. (10/20AP spent) -SEND VISION?: I dunno. The brain-message sent to the farmer seems kind of interesting from an RP perspective so I guess I’d like it canon and as a warning to the the Adamantites? (1AP) No AP left.
  10. Commonwealth of Ruhn “... and in conclusion, it is the firm belief of the citizens residing in Arrogance and Demut that they are deserving of full representation in parliament as befitting a province, rather than a colonial territory.” The droning Lord Minister concluded. The rest of parliament nodded quietly and murmured their opinions to one-another. Was a territory only a year in the hands of the Commonwealth truly deserving of a Lord Minister to represent them? The Islands was so sparsely inhabited compared to the other provinces, but its relative remoteness did make it seem unfair to be ruled from Shadowcliff. After twenty or so minutes of deliberation, the Lord Chancellor called a vote. More than fifty members voted against the Islands ascension, while thirty supported it. After the vote was concluded, an addendum was put forth. “Parliament understands the honest citizen’s desire for local governance, but at this time it would be a waste of resources and infrastructure. However, once the Islands have achieved the standard size for representation, they will be designated a province without need for a later vote.” On this new motion, sixty Lords approved, while a mere twenty disapproved. The whole matter was thereby concluded, and the governing body moved on once more. After several more hours of discussion on the annual budget, military reforms, and food distribution, the elder Lord Chancellor gingerly rubbed his tired eyes. “At this time, I am obligated to move Parliament on to the topic of Ennoblement. If the... supplicant... would approach.” The loud steps of cleated boots echoed through the stone chamber, and a rotund figure stood before the semicircular row of seats and tables that made up the Commonwealth’s parliament. A sweaty, dirty, heavily balding man had his arms respectfully pulled behind his back, while a ratty straw hat was rested on his paunch belly unassisted. He wore what seemed to be home-made dress-clothes sown from linen, which unnervingly resembled the black jerkins and trousers of parliamentarians. Lord Chancellor Hanz Bruger shakily placed a set of bifocals upon his withered nose, and looked down at the paperwork before himself. “If the honourable Lord Ministers could please open the red document upon their tables, we will begin our examination.” The words echoed around the room but not a single noise was made by the Lords, aside from the shuffling of paper and scribbling of quills that somehow sounded morose. Lord Bruger cleared his throat, and looked upon the individual. “If you could please announce your name to Parliament, Sirrah.” “Farmer Poopums, M’luds.” He half-belched. “Your first name as well, if you would please.” Answered Hanz. “Already did, m’lud. Me name’s Farmer, innit?” Hanz froze, and quickly looked down to his papers. “I see. I had assumed that was some sort of title. Not your actual legal name. Very... unique.” “Aye, M’lud, aye.” Chuckled Poopums, “But s’not as uncommon as ye might think! Me own father-in-law’s named ‘Farmer’ as well. Oh my, did we ‘ave a laff about that ‘un. Woo wee! Fine feller, that man.” He briefly guffawed, before devolving into a coughing fit and hocking a globule of mucus-filled spit on the floor. The members of Parliament winced very slightly. “And your reason for seeking ennoblement, Mister...” Hanz closed his eyes for a moment with a sigh. “... Poopums?” “S’because I wish t’ serve this ‘ere Common Wealth inna capa-city that I can’t prop’ly do in me current status as a private citizen.” He enunciated some of the larger, more unfamiliar words dreadfully, but appeared proud of himself none-the-less. “And that service would be, Sirrah?” Spoke Hanz. “Farmin’ o’course! Ain’t no crops worth a jar o’ spoiled lard compared te the Poopum’s standard! I wish to be ee-now-belled in order te bring forth the finest millet, wheat, barley, and cows what ain’t been seen in these parts not never!” He placed his hand over his heart, knocking the precariously balanced hat from his stomach. “It’s me pat-riowtic an’ Ancesterr-driven duty te do so.” “Right. Could I have the opinion of the Parliament on Mister- erm... on Farmer’s eligibility for ennoblement?” The statement caught most of the Lord Ministers somewhat off-guard. They had clearly expected this discussion to last far longer. After five minutes of vigorous speed-reading, a Lord Minister stood up from his chair. “By the erm, standards set forth by the Ennoblement Act of 1456, Farmer Poopums currently meets all the necessary requirements.” “I would be most pleased were you to elaborate on this, Lord Vechen.” Spoke Hanz through clenched teeth. “Well,” the slightly cowed Minister continued, “He has attainted the maximum amount of land that can be allotted to a private citizen, he has shown great acts of piety both prior and after his successes...” “Me gran-pappy was a shrine-tender, ye see. So I reckoned ‘if a man cannot build an’ look after a few shrines ‘ere an’ there for the poorer folks, what’s the point of ‘avin’ hands?’” He chuckled again while slapping his belly. “An’ that temple I ‘ad commissioned was mostly a promise I made te an old feller I used te help with harvest season. He always wanted one ‘er those fancy bone-‘ouses for the paupers out north, so I figured I’d spend a few years worth o’ savin’s to make one. What goods ye money iff’n ye do naught with it, aye?” He rubbed a small tear from one of his milky eyes. “He were a good man, that ol’ feller. Always brought me butter on me birthday when I were a lad. Ooh ar.” Hanz stared blankly at Poopums as the large man began to tear up in front of the lords. He quickly turned back to Vechen. “And his income also meets the standard, even after his generosity?” “Well, yes, Lord Chancellor. According to these reports he makes quite a bit of money outside of the standard grain contracts by using his non-government land to grow large amounts of turnips a-“ “I see.” Interrupted Hanz, slightly louder than he needed to. “Thank you for your time, Mister Poopums. We will be in contact shortly after the vote and further examinations of your history.” “Aye m’luds! Thank ye kindly, m’luds!” With some effort he bowed his bulging body, and scrabbled his hat back into his hands. After another low, strenuous bow, he clip-clopped out the main door--much to the relief of all the lords present. “I would like to call a motion.” Hanz spoke immediately after Poopums closed the main door. “To stand for election in the Commonwealth parliament, an aspirant’s family must have been a part of the nobility for three generations.” All eighty seats voted in favour. 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: 78,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 42,000 gold, Population: 40,500 gold, Trade: 46,000 gold from eight trade partners (incl. 32,000 gold from eight ports), Manufacturers: 20000 gold, The Levers of the Divines: 6000 gold, Major Trade Route ownership: 3000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Occupied Territories: 3000 Upkeep: -23,500 gold Total: 228,000 (242,150 gold incl. vault) 14,150 in vault -Poopum’s advancements are cut short! He doesn’t yet have the proper authorization to manage more than the allowed allotment of lands for a private citizen! Until Parliament comes to a decision on his ennoblement, he can no longer place his sweaty hands upon further farmland! Other citizens are given the land-contracts from Parliament, much to Poopum’s ire... (-19,000 gold towards four farm stacks) -So many training facilities cover the lands of the Commonwealth that one can scarcely turn their head without seeing the walls of barracks or hear the marching of boots and the shouting of orders. (-14,250 gold towards three barracks) -With the growing dangers to food production in northern regions of the Commonwealth, larger fisheries are constructed to mitigate possible future shortages. (-7125 gold towards a rare goods building [fisheries]) -The grim merchants of Brakkenbridge and Shatterbridge look farther afield for trade. Naros is apparently much larger than they initially thought. A modest investment is made into building further trading infrastructure. (-11,900 gold towards two trading companies) -The great mausoleum to He-That-Waits (the final phase of the Wonder’s construction) has begun. Going is slow, for the architects, engineers, and craftsmen know that their task is more than just a job. Their work is to be legendary, and awe the faithful and heathen alike. The vast chamber – carved deep beneath Mouth Ruhn – is starkly Ruhnnite in its appearance. Statues, intricate carvings, decorative buttresses, columns, and an enormous domed ceiling will be a testament to the Commonwealth’s devotion to their one true God. More sky-lights are dug hundreds of metres down from the top of the mountain and the light is redirected by mirrors. The space will have a dim, calming light to it; just enough that worshippers may see the reliefs that deck the walls with religious symbology and stories from the Five Books. And yet, despite this magnificence, there is not a hint of gold, silver or gemstones anywhere in the great shrine. The chamber’s glory must come purely from the faithful’s hard work, and not poisoned with debauched wealth. With this last great work, “The Tomb of the Righteous” will be complete. (-40,000 [150,000/150,000] gold towards wonder, unlocks T5 magic) -A church pops up in Bruger, to replace an aging temple practically caked with moss and termites. Such is the fate of all pre-Tablet construction. (-23,750 gold towards a church in Bruger) -Strange, unprecedented storms have surged across the cities unfortunate enough to have been settled along the Loba River--and this clearly entices the scouts and storm-watchers in the employ of the Commonwealth authorities. It was necessary to observe and keep track of any further ruins or dangerous ancient artifacts that the storm could have uncovered. Water, food stocks, and maps are stockpiled for the brave (perhaps foolhardy) scouts. Furthermore, tents, cloaks, and all manner of protective coverings are ordered to be fashioned from fire-resistant sand-crawler skin to better protect them from the violent elements. The Ruhnnites were the inheritors of the blasted lands of the Loba, and they would know its secrets. (-10,000 gold towards preparations for scouting the Loba desert, and all the dreaded things that it might entail...) -Pious prisoners from Bruger and Ruhn begin their pilgrimage of repentance. The farthest, most ragged reaches of the Vulture Highway will see them redeemed, or in a ditch. Ne’er-do-wells from other cities are similarly gathered up by Speakers, and ferried to Fortress Bergen. By both crossbow and blade will the pious bring ruin to the enemies of He-That-Waits, and the Commonwealth.(-14,000 gold towards one unit of elite T4 Crag-Runners, one unit of elite T4 Hillmen) -A force of well-drilled and vigorously trained soldiers march out of barracks of major cities. Like all Commonwealth Line Infantry, they step in unison towards the great foe in the north. Praise Him, and glory to Ruhn! (-50,000 gold towards 2500 T3 veteran medium infantry) -Almost as an afterthought, a battalion of regular crossbowmen are recruited among the hardy farmers along the coasts of the Hungry Sea. These loyal men are willing to slay swine! ... from very far away... (-5000 gold towards one unit of T3 crossbowmen) -Within the deepest bowels of the Commonwealth bureaucracy, pencil-pushers count the beans and cut waste. Reports are sent out to grim looking messengers, and filed appropriately for future use by analysts and eventually Parliament. Gold is piled into chests and sent to builders, marshals, and Lord Mayors. The latter-most group is quite surprised to learn that their cities are to have heavy fortifications constructed around them. (-42,750 gold towards Strong Tall Stone Walls being built around the cities of Shatterbridge, Aschengrube, and Deepwater) 1375 gold remaining in vault
  11. Commonwealth of Ruhn No RP because I am a dirty waste of air. 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: 71,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 36,000 gold, Population: 37,500 gold, Trade: 38,000 gold from eight trade partners (incl. 18,000 gold from six ports), Manufacturers: 20000 gold, The Levers of the Divines: 6000 gold, Major Trade Route ownership: 3000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Occupied Territories: 3000 Divine Inheritance: 10,000 Upkeep: -21,500 gold Total: 216,000 (219,400 gold incl. vault) 3400 in vault -Farmer Poopums looks upon his vast fields and farmhands working his land. He thanks his ancestors for their favour, and comes to the conclusion that a powerful and successful individual such as him should be more than a mere citizen... He deserved a title of lordship for his great and noble works! (-19,000 gold towards four farm stacks) -More soldiers march stoically from the training fields peppering the larger metropolises. (-14,250 gold towards three barracks) -The next stage of construction sees vast swathes of Mount Ruhn hollowed and carved. To the engineers that designed the complex, the project’s layout is more similar to a town than a tomb. Several new entrances and thoroughfares are driven through the stone from one side of the mountain to the other to accommodate faster travel around the capital. Other complications to the process arise--air vents are required for the deeper levels and great catchments are drilled higher in the peaks to grasp the freezing winds. Great skylights are similarly produced, with sunlight directed by mirrors through a maze of tunnels (a strange innovation, inspired by the report of a ambassador). A whole division of shrine-tenders begin transporting the holy remains of many wayward shrines for easier access by the citizenry, peppering the main thoroughfare with holy bones and the thick scent of incense. Granite and marble are excavated and shipped towards the site for support beams and artistry. The site’s grand features must awe all that see them, for no people must doubt in His word, or the faith of His children. (-60,000 gold towards Wonder [110,000/150,000]) -New ports spring up from the newly constructed cities. The lords there are quick to organise the trade routes, warehouses, and the local port authority to keep the perfidious foreign traders efficient in their shipping habits. Various other commissaries and offices spring up around them as the Commonwealth bureaucracy begins its standard expansion. (-25,500 gold towards two ports) -Private merchants apply for proper credentials and approval for their stalls and shops to be opened in the newly expanded metropolises. Like all honest citizens, they are patient, and understand the need for excessive paperwork and ratification from the authorities. (-17,000 gold towards two merchant’s guilds) -Several thousand more citizens are recruited into the force, with promises of fair pay for the righteous work that must be done for the Commonwealth to thrive and prosper. They will make excellent line infantry. (-24,000 gold towards 3000 T3 medium infantry) -Many of the larger recruits are fitted for heavier armour. Their training is harder, and they are fed on barley stew and large helpings of beef to build muscle. They don their thick, steel helms and prepare for the conflicts to come. (-36,000 gold towards 3000 T3 heavy infantry) -Two more settlements pop up, as daring fishermen claim settlements upon the well-traveled islands at the north-most reaches of Commonwealth territory. Quite the dangerous act during a war. (-9500 gold towards two settlements) 14,150 remaining in vault.
  12. Commonwealth of Ruhn Optional, Completely Inappropriate Music The broken manacles stung Wolden’s ankles as he trudged through another decrepit village. His stomach twisted painfully from hunger, but thankfully he could no longer feel the dryness of his tongue. Still, there was not a day that went by he did not pray for rain. Even through his suffering he kept his faith. There were no lack of shrines along the Vulture Highway, but most seemed poorly kempt. Perhaps they were dedicated to Ruhn’s enemies from back in the day? It was unlikely that shrine-tenders would come out this far on a regular basis. There were certainly enough bones around for the shrines. Sometimes he would see whole skeletons left as they were in their eternal repose—rusty weapon in hand, and covered in the remnants of strange armour. So little was written about the Vulture War that the whole raiment appeared alien to him. He couldn’t even tell if it was Ruhn or Bruger that the man had fought for. Was the old enemy of Ruhn even called Bruger at the time? Only the structures built from loose stone or carved into the mountainsides were still recognizable. Wolden had taken an oath of Pilgrimage and Service to His Temple. Men and women who took this oath would walk the length of the Vulture Highway in penance for their sins in life. They did this with little food, no shoes, the barest protection from the elements; all while being watched over by ruthless guards and Speakers. Heavy beatings were rewarded for the smallest infractions, and those who could no longer walk were killed, or left behind. Those who attacked guards, blasphemed, or showed any sort of impious behaviour were killed on the spot—no trial, no mercy. Those who ran, like Wolden himself, were simply... ignored. After all, where was there to go? He had begun the trip with such pious vigour. He and all the other prisoners desperate for atonement marched for weeks down the barely paved road. They passed through a dozen villages, and their occupants glared at them like rotten fish. In the city of Bruger the citizens jeered at them. But on the final stretch of the journey, things went from bad to worse. He had seen many fellow convicts collapse from exhaustion, and Wolden hadn’t the strength to pick them up. If they didn’t stand up when ordered, the guards would slash their throats, and toss them down the side of the mountain. It was the harsh reality of the venture. If you lacked faith and wouldn’t continue your pilgrimage, then your bones would rot in a lifeless ditch—untended, dishonoured, and forgotten. Could a man watch over his descendants in such a state? Would the ancestors allow him to join them? Would He even embrace them? What was there if not the Duty? He never asked Speaker Vichas of this. He wasn’t able to keep walking, and his weakness tempted him. A guard had heard him blaspheme when he tripped on a rock. Hearing the guard’s blade slide from its sheath was enough for him to run as fast as he could, away from the group. They didn’t even bother to chase him. That was three days ago. Now all was left was the long walk back... but to what? The further south one traveled in the Smuggler’s Peaks the more desolate they became. The temperature and rainfall was the same as the rest of the mountains, but nothing seemed to grow along the farthest stretch of the highway. It was a wonder to the young fugitive how towns had existed here at all. What did they eat all the way out here? An icy breeze cut through Wolden’s rags, and he instinctively moved towards a shattered structure for shelter. The crumbling walls offered a modicum of protection and it was better than standing out in the freezing wind. He had expected it to be hotter this close to the Loba Desert. Though, it was often rumored that the desert was a thing of magic, so maybe it didn’t follow the same rules? Heathen magic, born of sin. All these questions gave him a headache, and made him angry. No, pathetic. It made him feel pathetic. Not that he needed much help on that front. Feeling pathetic was the realm of the weak-willed. Perhaps he should soldier on, regardless of the wind? After all, sitting among the shattered stone wasn’t helping all that much. Apathy was tantamount to sin. Wolden pulled himself up and trudged out from the rubble. The road stretched onward like a wretched, cragged snake. He could feel his knees shake, and his stomach stung as if stretched across his ribs. He felt himself fall to his knees. At this point, he was barely retaining consciousness. Why bother going on? Dying here was just as reasonable as dying another mile down the endless track. But apathy was tantamount to sin. Why bother? Because apathy was tantamount to sin. A gurgling cry pierced through the whistling wind, and Wolden weakly looked upward. A fluttering of feathers heralded the arrival of a large, hunched bird that skittered to a landing five feet away from him. The vulture examined him, bobbing its head up and down and skulked across the path. The two regarded one-another for a time, before the scavenger lost interest and waddled towards a large clump of rubble. For a moment, Wolden listened to the wind. No bird calls, no animals grazing on the hillsides, no people—what was this vulture doing out here? They feed on the weak and dying. But he was weak and dying. Then there must be something else to eat. Wolden mustered his strength, and lurched forward after the bird. He clambered over the piles of rubble, and was welcomed by the sound of ripping flesh and quiet, satisfied squawks. The vulture ripped a chunk of flesh from what was once a rabbit, and observed Wolden’s approach curiously. The sight of the rabbit’s carcass drove Wolden’s stomach to twist painfully again. The righteous must eat. He slowly reached for a large rock as the bird glared at him. With a fluttering of feathers and an indignant screech, the vulture took off and swooped past Wolden into the sky, leaving its feast on the rubble. Wolden scrabbled towards the rabbit with the last of his energy, and dug his teeth into its severed side. He tore at it like a wild animal, tearing at its skin and swallowing bloody, bitter lumps of lean flesh. His stomach protested, but accepted the vile food. The righteous must survive. The hair on the back of Wolden’s neck stood on end, and he turned his bloody face towards a trio of dirty shrines. Before them sat an older looking man, with a long, greying beard, and dressed in the fading robes of a shrine-tender. The holy man stared blankly at Wolden with one hand on a wooden cudgel hanging on his belt. “It’d probably go down easier were it cooked, lad.” He spoke in a raspy voice. Wolden answered by falling unconscious. 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: 63,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 36,000 gold, Population: 36,000 gold, Trade: 38,000 gold from eight trade partners (incl. 18,000 gold from six ports), Manufacturers: 20000 gold, The Levers of the Divines: 6000 gold, Major Trade Route ownership: 3000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Modgift: 22,500 gold. Occupied Territories: 3000 gold, Upkeep: -19,500 gold Total: 221,000 (225,400 gold incl. vault) 2400 in vault -The Poopums dynasty grows further, with fertile members of the family spreading from farm to farm, gifting their fantastic manure and nutrients wherever they go. The Poopums were patriots, after all, and asked for no fee. (-14,250 gold towards three farm stacks) -Armoured feet march from the many barracks that dot the Ruhnnite nation. (-14,250 gold towards three barracks) -The war had seen Parliament neglect the growth of major metropolitan areas and many were in need of critical infrastructure upgrades. The Lord Ministers quickly distributed funds to two larger polities. (-28,500 gold towards upgrading Deepwater and Beggar’s Point to cities) -MORE settlements? Where can I put these at this point?! (-9500 gold towards settling two new settlements) -The loss of many veterans at the Battle of Southshire lead to the recruitment and deployment of further highly-trained. Heavy infantry were definitely a priority. (-28,000 gold towards recruiting 1000 T3 veteran heavy infantry) -A number of medium specialists are also vomited forth from the gates of large urban centers. Professional soldiers were the workhorses of the Commonwealth Army, after all. (-24,000 gold towards recruiting 1500 T3 veteran medium infantry) -Another group of crag-runners come skulking out of the Smuggler’s Peaks. These ones are more vicious than the last group, though fewer in number and far more quiet. They tend to unnerve those around them, even the veterans... (-6500 gold towards 100 T4 elite crag runners) -Citizen-levies are called forth from the towns and villages that dot the commonwealth. These troops neither have the finest equipment nor the best training, but they do not lack in faith or bravery. (-12,000 gold towards 3000 T2 light infantry) -Further field artillery pieces are constructed and shipped to the front. Who even knows how they’d fare in the field? Ruhn certainly didn’t, but it sought every advantage it could get. (-6000 gold towards two units of mangonels) -Ballistae did look really cool though. (-3000 gold towards two units of ballistae) -The First Speaker and two of the Veiled Diviners make an impassioned (for a Ruhnnite) plea to parliament about the uses and continued effectiveness of the Acolytes in service to the Commonwealth Army. The Ancestors smiled on them, true, but did He-That-Waits have kind inclinations towards Ruhn? A preposterous statement to be sure, and was met with angry (for a Ruhnnite) shouts from the Lord Ministers. The Diviners proposed a final great work for the city of Ruhn--a tomb to honour the soldiers who had died in service to the citizenry would be entombed deep beneath the great, grey mountain. Minor temples, shrines, and ossuaries would dot the proposed massive complex, and at its very centre would be a massive, ornately carved sarcophagus dedicated purely to He-That-Waits. May He look kindly upon His faithful. (-50,000 gold towards the greatest edifice to He-That-Waits to ever exist [50,000/150,000]) -The war continues, and thus further defences must be constructed to both defend the urban centres and house increasing amounts of military infrastructure. (-24,000 gold towards tall stone walls around Eichenholz and Shadowcliff) 3400 gold left in vault.
  13. Commonwealth of Ruhn (Real sorry for no RP. Putting off writing is a bad habit) 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: 54,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 36,000 gold, Population: 33,000 gold, Trade: 30,250 gold from seven trade partners (incl. 18,000 gold from six ports), Manufacturers: 20000 gold, The Levers of the Divines: 6000 gold, Major Trade Route ownership: 3000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -24,500 gold, Total: 170,750 (174,100 gold incl. vault) 3350 in vault -Though there be war, death, misery, and pain, Farmer Poopums continues his reckless war against crop infertility! (-14,250 gold for three farm stacks) -The lands around the Seljin Straits receive a smattering of settlement as honest folk strike out to untouched lands. (-14,250 gold for three settlements) -The soldiers march! But they still need places to sleep... (-14,250 gold for three barracks) -The pigmen got close to Riveruhn. Too close. The Lord Mayor of the city requests heavy fortifications to protect the vital supply line from the Loba River to the armies fighting in Fiver territory. Parliament grudging accepts. (-14250 gold upgrading Riveruhn’s defences to high quality tall walls) -To keep the Fivers from touching the bridge, a keep is constructed on the opposite side of the bridge in occupied Fiver territory. Hopefully, this would dissuade the Fivers from returning here. (-9500 gold towards a defensive keep on the opposite end of Riveruhn’s bridge) -Rather than marching boots, Ruhn’s barracks hear the clip-clops of thousands of horsemen. Armed with standard state-supplied armour, the horsemen march out to war. (-64,000 gold towards 4000 T3 medium cavalry) -More crag runners quietly step out from the horsemen’s shadows, eager to do their bit for Him and His children. (-9000 gold towards 1000 T4 crag runners) -More (-7500 gold towards five units of ballistae) -Artillery (-15,000 gold towards five units of magonels) -Spam (-9000 gold towards one unit of trebuchet) 2400 left in vault.
  14. Commonwealth of Ruhn The war rages on, and patriotic citizens sign their names on recruitment parchment. Thousands of honest folk march into the barracks of the Commonwealth, and march out as disciplined soldiers. Speakers walk around the towns and cities, tolling their bells, calling for honest men to seek battle with His putrescent enemies. A man who slays a servant of evil has their sins forgiven, and their soul wiped clean! However, one of the more prominent preachers has little to say about the war. Melchior Hoffman, youngest of the five Veiled Diviners, performs calls of a different sort—to pilgrimage! He-That-Waits has sent him a vision of heavy portent, and the other Diviners have blessed his proposed journey. Parliament is hesitant to grant permission for such a venture, as the far-off East is filled with heathens, pagans, monsters and abominations. Yet no pious man could deny the sacred request. A deal is struck with the merchants of Galahar, and an expedition is prepared for next year. And when it is ready, the worshipers of His holy word shall venture into the great unknown of Naros... 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: 45,000 gold, Merchant guilds: 36,000 gold, Population: 31,500 gold, Trade: 24,000 gold from six trade partners (incl. 18,000 gold from six ports), Manufacturers: 20000 gold, The Levers of the Divines: 6000 gold, Major Trade Route ownership: 3000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -15,500 gold Total: 163,000 (166,100 gold incl. vault) 3100 in vault -Farmer Poopums spreads his local product over his crops to give it the extra nutrients Poopums is famous for. 😉 😉 😉 (-14,250 gold towards three smelly farm stacks) -Another three internal settlements pop up around the claimed lands of the Commonwealth. Hollenweg, made up of traders tired of dealing with Aschengrube’s guilds, build a supply station on a truly dreadful part of the river. Beggar’s Point is settled by a group of paupers trying to make a new life for themselves on the coast of the Hungry Sea. And Brazier is just a really hot bloody place. (-14,250 gold towards three settlements) -The troops of the Commonwealth Army will no longer have to sleep and train in the open fields, but rather in the impressive drill grounds popping up in many cities. (-14,250 gold towards three barracks) -Faith is one of the greatest unifying aspects of Ruhnnite society. In times of war, the patronage and guidance of the ancestors is needed more than ever. The great monument atop mount Ruhn grows ever more magnificent as craftsmen and artisans are pulled in from all over the Commonwealth. Reliefs of He-That-Waits adorn even the simplest of facades inside and outside the monastery. (-50,000 gold towards completing a great monastery to He-That-Waits, unlocks T4 magic) -The drums of war... (-20,000 gold for four units of T3 veteran medium infantry) -The bangs of drums... (-28,000 gold for four units of T3 veteran heavy infantry) -The bangs of mums. (-4000 gold towards one unit of T3 medium infantry) -With coastal raids now a real threat to Ruhnnite shipping, a small flotilla of fast-moving vessels are hastily constructed in the plethora of Hungry Sea ports. (-15,000 gold towards six galleys) -Preparations for the great journey--supplies, Speakers, diplomats, sailors, etc. (-3000 gold) -250 gold sent to vault, total of 3350 gold.
  15. Commonwealth of Ruhn Every day felt longer than the last, and Wolden could only tell the passing of the hours from the sliver of light that pierced the murky blackness of his cell. He grew to learn the time of day from the position that light took on the mossy stone. He even started marking it, making rough guesses of the time. Once, he tried counting the minutes in an hour, but the monotony drove him to have conversations with himself. He welcomed such small bouts of madness--anything to keep his mind occupied during the endless days and nights. But today was a good day. The best day of the week! It was the day for prayer! The day he could breathe fresh air and stand in the sunlight--if only for an hour. It always began at midday when the sun was at its peak, and he couldn’t wait to feel the warm rays on his face. Speaker Vichas would smile at him, and treat him like a human being. He would be told how he could redeem himself in the eyes of his ancestors. Wolden never knew his family, but he knew now that they’d be ashamed. The light was touching the fifteenth notch he had scratched on his wall. They were a whole five minutes late! What was taking them so long?! His whole body ached to leave the cell. The echoes of heavy footsteps made their way towards him. The sound of jingling keys and shouts from the guards heralded blessed freedom. Clicks, clacks, and the groaning hinges of the thick wooden revealed the hard faces of his rescuing ‘angels.’ “Is it time?” Wolden rasped. He couldn’t even try to contain his excitement. “Nay, we just walked all the way down here to say ‘hello’.” The guard remarked, his voice dripping with sarcasm. He stomped over to Wolden and hauled him on his feet. “Two-one-three, alive and hearty!” He gruffly called out of the cell. He shoved Wolden out the door and a second guard affixed his manacles to a long, heavy chain. Wolden glanced around himself. He could see the man from cell 212 being dragged out by the legs, to his very loud and violent protests. “Two-one-two, alive and all too bloody hearty!” A struggling guard remarked. “Someone help me clobber this animal!” Wolden looked away as two other guards removed wooden clubs from their belts and marched towards the scene. The screaming and struggling abated after a few loud ‘thwacks,’ and Wolden felt a hard tug on the chain. He hated 212. There was a distinct absence of someone in front of him. A guard walked out of cell 214. “Two-one-four, dead.” “Finally!” A growly voice behind him quipped. There was a loud clap, and a yelp. “Shut it, or you’ll be picking your teeth off the ground!” A second voice barked. Wolden felt a small pang of sadness. 214 was always quiet, never pulled at the chain, and spoke his prayers reverently. He was a good prisoner, and he would miss him. It suddenly occurred to him that he never saw 214’s face. What was his name before he came here...? “Walk on, prisoners,” a large guard sneered as he grasped the end of the chain. “Time for your prayers.” He wrenched at the chain, nearly tripping Wolden over as he marched up the flight of steep steps obscured in the dark. Wolden could taste the air changing with each footstep. Would he see a bird today? The stairs stretched flight after flight, and other chained prisoners joined the merry band. Some looked like him, with eyes wide with hope and muted excitement. Others stared forward blankly, their eyes glazed over and silently shuffling up the steps. The rest yelled, jeered, pushed and shoved. The arrogance! How could they act this way before this wonderful moment? Perhaps they needed a few more years contemplating? Wolden hated those prisoners most of all. They always made everything difficult with their idiotic rowdiness and put the guards in a hateful mood. Once, 212 struck a guard, and they didn’t feed the prisoners on his level for two days. Wolden promised himself he would kill 212 if he brought that on him again! The murderous feeling once felt so foreign to him, but now wishing death upon others was as natural as breathing. He wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Probably good. A cold chill passed through his ragged clothes when he stepped foot into the midday light. The air was fresh and crisp -- the smell of firewood, beef stew, and incense was on the air. He glanced around the open grounds of the great prison. Hundreds of other prisoners were taking their places in organised lines, while dozens of Speakers began their sermons and blessings. Wolden shivered fitfully as a stiff breeze cut through his rags like a knife through paper. It was closing in on winter. This would be his second year in the dungeon. He was eighteen winters in age. “Don’t bleedin’ dawdle, slime!” The guard dragging the chain roared. “If you dare keep the Speakers waiting I won’t feed you for a week!” It wasn’t Wolden’s fault! His co-prisoner behind him was picking fights, shouting obscenities, and spitting at guards. The pace came to a complete stop as 212 drove his fist into one of the guards coming to discipline him. Furious-looking wardens began surging towards the wild man, pushing prisoners out of the way with little resistance. Two particularly burly looking men shoved past Wolden, drawing their wooden batons. The beating began in earnest after that. Wolden didn’t dare turn around, lest he draw the guard’s ire. 212’s screams quickly turns to muffled moans, and the strikes from the guards took on a wetter tone--like a washerwomen slapping laundered clothes on a rock. A deep sense of satisfaction swept over Wolden as the moans turned to begs for mercy. Just punishment. Praiseworthy. Minutes went by until the sound stopped completely. The guards pushed past him again, this time leaving bloodstains on his ragged clothes. The angry guard holding Wolden’s chain slowly moseyed up to him, putting his face a hair’s breadth from his own. His breath reeked of beer, beef, and barley. Wolden’s eyes were planted squarely at the ground, not daring to look the man in the eye. “Am I going to have a problem with you too, lad?” Wolden quickly shook his head. “No, sir. I’m here to pray.” The guard grunted, and tugged Wolden’s chain, guiding him to a position in the dead-silent crowd of prisoners. The patient Speakers began their service with the opening canticle. “They wait. They watch. They judge. By His grace and patience, They guide.” Wolden joined in the opening prayer. Today he would pray harder than ever before. He felt shame for his larcenous past. He needed to be cleansed of his sin. He needed to atone. Perhaps today would be enough, and They would forgive him? He never knew if his family had a shrine, but he hoped their bones were being tended to. The sermon continued on for an hour, with readings from the Book of Righteousness and the Book of Work. “A farmer was greatly enriched by a bountiful crop. He traded his millet for handsome cloth and exotic feathers to place in his hat. His acts angered his ancestors, who appeared before him. “You are guilty of the Twin Sins of Waste,” Spoke They. “The waste of wealth; frivolous expenses towards foolish vainglory gain you nothing but contempt. The man in service to coin will drown himself in excesses afforded to him. The man who masters coin will spend it wisely and charitably, both in service to his family, his people, and his ancestors. The waste of pride; to take pride in excess is to take pride in dust. The man who steals to feed his children has a greater right to pride than the man who dons gold and jewels for his own joy and arrogance. The man saw the wisdom in his ancestors words, and burned his new clothes as an offering to honour them.” Wolden liked that passage. There was a small implication that thieves could take pride in something. Not that he was stealing for anyone other than myself. He shook the thought from his head and listened to the final canticles of the service. After the sonorous thanks to the ancestors were gicven, the Speakers divided themselves into two groups. One group took part in serving the prisoners hearty garlic and beef stew, donated to the prison on this day of prayer. The other holy men remained where they were to talk and give guidance to those who asked for it. Most were drawn to the tantalizing smell of the beef, fearing missing out on a taste. A large minority, Wolden included, stayed behind to ask the Speakers questions. Wolden remained at the back, searching the lines for the man he always sought after on prayer day. “Hello, Wolden.” A soft voice spoke at his side. Wolden’s eyes quickly brightened upon seeing Speaker Vichas, his mentor. His trustworthy friend. The man was middle-aged and rail-thin with a wiry beard that reached all the way to his belt. Despite his gaunt features, his kind smile always made the young convict feel at ease. “Hello Vichas! I was looking for you! I liked the sermon today! Could I talk to you?” The Speaker smiled kindly and chuckled. “You would not rather eat first? I know those in charge here are rather stringent with what you poor sinners may have, and beef is not a luxury most here would enjoy.” Wolden quickly shook his head. “No no, Vichas. I can do without!” This only made the Speaker’s smile grow wider. “Your piety shames even we of His Temple, Wolden. Even if you came to His fold later than most.” He placed a hand gently on Wolden’s shoulder. “How is your hand, my child? Do you still feel the pain?” Wolden grasped the knuckles on his left hand instinctively, feeling the void where his ring-finger once was. “It’s not hurt for a long time, Vichas! I should have lost it from my right hand. It was a just ruling. A just ruling...” He repeated the term to himself several more times under his breath before Speaker Vichas regained his attention. “My child, how many more years are you to stay here?” It was as if an ice-cold claw had ripped into Wolden’s stomach as he thought of the rest of his sentence. Images flew through his mind; his cold cell, the stagnant water dripping from his window-sill, the endless days and nights of silence, the fear, the guilt. “Two years,” Wolden quietly spoke. Speaker Vichas moved himself to meet Wolden’s vacant stare. “Do you think you can remain here for two years, my child?” Wolden felt his head shake as if by instinct. Not that he needed to register it consciously. The thought of remaining here for all that time frightened him deeply. “C-could I atone for my sins another way? I will never steal again, Speaker! I swear it! You need to tell them! Would you please tell them, Vichas?” Wolden couldn’t help but let his voice waver as he spoke. He was helpless. He was weak. Vichas –blessed Vichas – could surely do something for him! Vichas nodded his head slowly, and drew Wolden away from the others. “I cannot influence the law, my child.” Wolden felt the icy claw in his stomach tighten its grip. “But,” he continued, “there is a way for you to atone. If you are willing.” Wolden had never been more willing in his life. 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: 28,500 gold, Trade: 32,000 gold from eight trade partners (incl. 24,000 gold from six ports), Manufacturers: 20000 gold, The Levers of the Divines: 6000 gold, Major Trade Route ownership: 3000 gold, Harkon’s Gems: 4000 gold, Upkeep: -12,750 gold Total: 164,750 (164,850 gold incl. vault) 100 in vault -Chunko-bunko farmarillos pop up around the mountains of Ruhn’s heartland hand-in-hand with new settlements. (-14,250 gold towards three farm stacks) -Two new settlements are... settled in the Commonwealth’s hinterland. One, named after the late Lord Protector Charles Ortmeir, another, named after the rough skins that flowed down the Loba River, and the third named rather unoriginally. (-14,250 gold towards three settlements) -Military expansion continues. It will continue expand until the enemies of the Commonwealth kneel before its people, begging for mercy. A shame, then, that the Commonwealth has no official procedure or paperwork for ‘mercy.’ (-14,250 gold towards three barracks) -Hunters originating from the hellscapes of Loba are drafted and given quality training from foreign instructors and Hillmen advisors. They will be a firm counter against the foul armour of the Commonwealth’s enemies. (-17,000 gold towards three battalions of T3 crossbowmen, two being veterans) -Hunters from the black forests of the north are drafted and given quality training by foreign instructors and Hillmen advisors. They would blot out the sky with their arrows. (-16,500 gold towards three battalions of T3 veteran medium archers) -Mountain farmers and labourers are drafted from the surrounds of the city of Bruger, and given quality training by foreign instructors and veterans from the Loba campaigns. They would be a steady bullwark against the horrors that may come against the Commonwealth forces. (-10,000 gold towards two battalions of T3 veteran medium infantry) -In the coming military ventures of the Commonwealth, Parliament knew that they would need more than mere soldiers to gain crushing victories against their enemies. The ancestors must be honoured, and He-That-Waits placated if total victory is to be gained. Though some in parliament question the reasoning behind spending such vast sums of wealth on the structure at this recent juncture, the faithful poo-poo them into submission. The great monastery atop Mount Ruhn would be a true sight to behold... next year when they have the funds to complete it. (-50,000 towards a great monastery to He-That-Waits) -The Commonwealth Military Academy begins putting into practice standards and tactics involving field artillery. They decide to splurge on some ballistae... (-7500 gold for five units of ballistae) … and some trebuchets. I mean, they spent all that money researching them, so why not, right...? (-18,000 gold towards two units of trebuchets) 3000 gold added to vault, total of 3100 gold.
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