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For as long as can be remembered, the mountains of Valbeach had looked out over the vast expanse of the Great North Sea. Throughout history the dwarven peaks had served as unwavering sentinels and bastions during the reign, rise and fall of Anicea’s Empire. The forts and strongholds within had many times held back foes of the island nation, both in recent years and times immemorial; with the coming of the Shadow, once more the hills and valleys of Valbeach found themselves drenched in blood and littered by the remains of battle. 1246 was when the first denizens of the dark crawled from the waves, making landfall on the Anicean coasts. These early attacks were easily rebuffed by the Anicean army, and the victories ensured celebrations across the kingdom, which had believed itself to have bested the greatest efforts of its foe. The next attacks put an end to such ignorance as yet more of the Shadow’s forces breached the Iron Navy’s blockade, the waters of the North Sea for so long having been Anicea’s saviour, became its greatest foe. Thousands lay dead by season’s end and the attacks seemed to only grow in intensity as the war for Kolnur finally reached out to claim the children of Anicea.

* * * * * * * *​

King Elfire looked out across the deep valleys and towering peaks of Valbeach. The Spring melt had already begun in earnest, and recently melted ice carved its way from the mountain tops through stone and dirt in its eternal struggle towards the sea. The land itself appeared peaceful, nature indifferent to the apocalypse bearing down on the civilizations of Kolnur, or the blood being spilled mere kilometres away on the coasts. Even this perhaps would not last. From deep within the continent, tales emerged speaking of rivers flowing with blood and of hideous mutations to the natural way of the world; it appeared as if the Shadow sought to consume all to appease its voracious appetite. “My Lord, the testing is about to commence! With your blessing, of course.” The General’s voice easily pierced the winds as Elfire turned away from the vista which laid itself out before the dirigible. “Of course, of course. We didn’t come all the way out here for nothing Hokum.” The dwarf nodded grimly as he bellowed orders to the signal officer on deck who proceeded to pass on the King’s blessing to his subjects on the ground. For a few minutes nothing appeared to happen, and then a great industrial siren sounded from the peaks, its howl travelling all the way to the King above the mountains and beyond. The sound went on for a full minute - timed precisely to the second – and when it finally ceased it was replaced a faint grinding sound emanating from below, steadily gaining in tempo and volume. Elfire felt the sound in the pit of his stomach before he heard it, a thick and heavy sound which pierced the earth down below. To those on the ground, it would have appeared that the very rock was growling, awaking form some slumber; soon those who had not rushed for handholds at the sirens beckon found themselves standing on shaking ground. The grumbling, which at first could have been easily mistaken for the rush of the river torrents, by this point was pierced by higher pitched, metallic squeals and crashes, revealing itself to be very artificial indeed. The great gears and engines were opening a mighty cavity in the mountain below, revealing a hollowed out cavern that was bathed in shadow. From the depths of the space, the weapon slowly began to emerge. It was more than an hour before the barrel emerged into the light, a great dark cylinder that cut like a scar across the land. It appeared almost puny to those on the dirigible, but the barrel dwarfed both man and machine below, looking more akin to a tunnel than the cannon it was. By the time the great length had fully revealed itself, the air was thick with energy as the titanic generators below began the painstaking process of charging and aligning the mithril lined along the barrel. King Elfire looked down on the mighty construct, thinking of the effort and lives that had gone into its construction, remembering how many had died in gas explosions during the hollowing out of the peak, or how many had perished by poisoning from the toxic levels of mithril that had to be set, or the countless more who now lay disabled or mangled by horrific accidents wrought by fatigue. Yet it was done. “By god what have we created Hokum?” Elfire breathed, taking in the sight. “What we had to.” The dwarf replied matter-of-factly, “With this Anicea can strike at any spot on Kolnur without warning, we can strike at the Shadow wherever it may lurk.” The king nodded slowly, “I’m aware of the need old friend, but I fear that our fathers did not begin this project for the Shadow.” The pair stood in silence at the silver spear beneath them, its barrel fixed on the Kolnur coast.

Overview:

Research: They Shall Fall (Turn 1)

Produce: 1,000 Huscarls in all Provinces

-Anicea finishes construction of their Superweapon, a cannon capable of striking any spot on Kolnur and inflicting devestating damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #122 (Edited)
Summer of 1247

The warm rays of the summer sun shine out across a shattered and broken land.

In the North, the Darkness bursts from the seas to claim Province 17 from Skibul, slowly tightening its grip upon the North of Kolnur.

And in the South, the Empire, still reeling from the loss of 65, are shattered in Province 39, it's armies driven away as the Shadow floods into Central Kolnur.

Esterwynne's position is looking more and more precarious as the Darkness continues to cut it off from any aid and strike from all sides.
 

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“My lord, we have sent a messenger to Esterwynne explaining that we are unable to send any aid ...”

“Good. How on earth can they expect us to send them aid when we are fully occupied attempting to contain the Shadow on the Western Isle - and after all of these recent attacks by the dragon scourges!”

The Council of Thanes, who had convened in Kazel City once the dragons began their raids on the islands, grunted their agreement. “Aye, Your Grace, and our dirigibles corp have been decimated! As far as we are to be concerned, our needs come first!”

Somewhere in the distance, a horn was blown, and then another, and soon a whole chorus of warning horns were blowing in a seemingly never-ending crescendo throughout the city. The Thanes scrambled to their feet and began to walk to the tunnel that would take them deep beneath the castle’s council room, safe from the wyrm’s boiling breath. Farin escorted his father as far as the entrance, and then delegated the task to the King’s Guard and sprinted, determined to join with his soldiers before the fighting begun, if any of the dragons deigned to land.

-----

In the Engineers Guild School, Snorri Snorrisson heard the horns sound and paused in his work momentarily, before he shook his head and barked harshly at his assistants. “Get back to work! They’ll have to survive without us - if any of you stop again I’ll hand you over to the damned wyrms myself!”

Without another word, the dwarfs all began to work again. Snorri sighed. “We are their best chance against the beasts - once we have managed to produce ballistae capable of killing wyrms, we’ll all be safer!” What he didn’t say out loud, instead adding silently, was ‘until they find another weakness to exploit’ but he knew that they all had similar thoughts.

-----
Action:

Province 7 - Train 1000 Heavy Infantry
Province 9 - Train 100 Bomber Dirigibles (Turn 2)
Province 11 - Train 100 Fighter Dirigibles (Turn 2)
Province 12 - Research Anti-Flyer Artillery (Turn 2)

Military Positioning:

Province 12
-45,183 Conscripts
-10,824 Heavy Infantry
-11,913 Crossbowmen
-34,319 Heavy Cavalry
-252 Magi
-241 Artillery

Province 11
-91,521 Conscripts
-31,036 Heavy Infantry
-30,971 Crossbowmen
-58,762 Heavy Cavalry
-520 Magi
-629 Artillery
-924 Mechanical Walkers
-851 Mechanised Warriors
-84 Fighter Dirigibles
-72 Bomber Dirigibles


Province 9
-521 Heavy Infantry
-649 Mechanised Warriors

Province 8
-82 Interceptor Dirigibles
-69 Fighter Dirigibles
-57 Bomber Dirigibles

Province 7
1 Magi
7,238 Heavy Infantry

Naval Positioning:

Sea Province 86
-72 Interceptor Dirigibles

Sea Province 91
-61 Ironclads

Sea Province 92
-225 Ironclads

Sea Province 93
-172 Ships

Sea Province 100
-132 Ironclads

Sea Province 102
-359 Ironclads

Naval Positioning:

91 - 83 Ironclads
92 - 289 Ironclads
93 - 200 Ships
100 - 190 Ironclads
102 - 381 Ironclads
 

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The Khan was not pleased. Even though the Shadow had for two seasons now assaulted the lands of Kogan-Sul from seemingly all sides, they had been beaten back each time. The death toll was high, but the Horde remained resolute behind it's brooding Khan. A new weapon was in development, and the Khan knew it could be the answer to his current quandary. He needed more men, more horses and more blades, though, if it were to prevail. "Make it so, order the reinforcements..." The Khan sat in his tent, mulling over battle plans and whispering a silent prayer that his plan would work.

...
Recruit Cataphracts in all provinces
Repair castles
 

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Salthiusar (18): Turn 18, Summer 17th Era 67 (Common: 1247)

17th of Wither, 17th Era 67 (Common: 1247)

The huge apparition of fire swept across the skyline, a mass of burning and death against a clear summer sky. The conjuration turned to face the city, its black eyes seething hatred. “PREPARE!” A voice ordered. “AIM!” The mages looked to the sky, concentrating. “FIRE!” Fifty bolts of blue magic streaked upwards, some missing the creature. Most of them, however, almost missed but turned at the last second to face the beast, hitting it hard. The creature exploded in a ball of fire, embers falling to the plains as the elves stood watching.

“You’re still missing. How? I trust you to be the best spellcasters we have and we’re still missing?” Slaér’s rage was rising. “How?”

“The spell’s evidently not perfect.” Calleis’ response was much more level. “Perhaps the structuring is incorrect, or we’re not channelling the right amounts to form the perfect magic for it. Whatever it is, we can perfect it.”

“Will that be before or after dragons come and kill another twelve of my elves?”

“Slaér, we all grieve as you do. Any of us could be among the dead come the next attack. No matter what, we will have losses. Must I remind you that we have foes to our west now, on the ground?”

“Yes, and that is why we cannot afford for dragons to come and slaughter us.”

“We are mages, not gods. It is obvious we need to find a way to unbind the hordes and vanquish the dragons. Honestly, I believe we can have the dragons dealt with soon. When winter comes, and winter is coming, the hordes will come again and again. It’s like arguing that the night isn’t dark. We can cast against them, but we won’t necessarily succeed.”

“The difference is that the night should only be full of the terrors we allow to live there.”

“On that, my friend, I must mostly agree.”

---

Summary:
-Skyfire continues to be trained
-1000 Mages trained in 18

Military Positioning:
Salthiusar, 18:
-481 Guardians
-41,547 Mages (+1000)

Likome:
-3 Guardians
-361 Mages

Kerin-Curan:
-1 Guardian
-96 Mages
 

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Valark rode forwards, watching the beasts draw nearer. The Wolves were waiting on the flank, whilst the Lions marched up to face the on rushing hoard. Horrific beasts snarled as the went forward, half-dead men shambled in their shadows and great, wolflike creatures with matted, scabbed black fur bounded towards their lines. At an order, Valark kicked his horse into action. He and his company sped off to the right of the army. The hooves of their steeds pounded the earth and Valark began to draw his pistol, as did the rest of his troops.

As he was doing this, the line upon line of Lions were preparing to fire, levelling their weapons neatly into perfect volley lines. The first volley came like the sound of thunder and Valark knew what he was expected to do.

"Open up, lads!" He shouted and the sounds of dozens of pistols snapped around him. From the front and the side, the monsters were jerking and twisting, collapsing in sprays of blood.

"Swords!" Valark called, more to the Lions and other infantry than to his own troops, who were already drawing their short, heavy pointed blades. The cavalry crashed into the monsters, blades swinging and hacking, cracking spines and shattering skulls. The waves of filthy darkness crashed upon the pristine Lions and were clearly outmatched. Uniformly, the Lions' blades spun and swished, slicing apart the enemy.

It wasn't long before the foe realised they were outmatched, they quickly began retreating, scampering away from the Rebublic's lines.

"Reload and send them a good farewell boys!" An officer shouted amongst the Lions. A resounding volley felled the fleeing foe and Valark sheathed his bloodied sword.

"Ah, excellent work, Captain." Came Hibracht's voice.

Valark turned to see the king, unbloodied, uniform perfectly kept, trotting towards him on a beautiful horse.

"Milord." Greeted Valark.

Hibracht rolled out a parchment. "I have just set up a new decree, I am hereby solely in command of all military affairs for as long as necessary, I am now, as well as king, Master General of the Army of the Republic." He smiled. "I'm having a new uniform fitted tonight."

Valark stared at him warily. Hibracht was inspiring in his vigour, a fine warrior, but not much of a commander. Valark feared the implications of this new decree, but he knew hat he was not being asked of his opinion on the appointment, merely told of the things that had taken place. He nodded and smiled politely. "Very good, Milord."


"Yes, it is, isn't it?" Hibracht said absently. The he spun his horse around. "Come, Captain, you must accompany me to my quarters, I want a report written up on the battle, don't forget to mention my own heroic actions in the battle amongst those of the Lions and the Wolves."

Valark followed numbly, staring after his king and waving his men off duty.
____________________________________________________________________________________

Lord Baggro burst into the room furiously, a piece of parchment crunched in his hands. Captain Valark spun round, his pistol half out of his belt before he saw who it was and hurried bowed instead.

"Hibracht!" Snapped Baggro, tossing the parchment at the human king, "You cannot do this!"

Hibracht smiled nastily. "I think, my dear Lord Baggro, that I can. For I am a king, therefore, I may do as I please."

"You are not the only one with that lofty rank, you cannot simply form decrees, much less ones giving you unrestricted and singular command of the armies, without my consent!"

Hibracht raised his hands in a large, elaborate shrug. He raised an eyebrow.

"What, then, Baggro, would you suggest we do?"

Baggro frowned, sensing a trap. "We send out a second decree, stating that the first was in error."

Hibracht smiled again. "Cyrus, my good man, what did you say the state of the people is?"

Mirador stepped up, his face was expressionless, but for a second something else flashed across his features, either a scowl or a smirk.

"Milord, the people are on the edge of total panic." He said. "their morale hangs by a thread."

Hibracht spoke up again. "So, what would it do to their morale if they heard that the kings were in disagreement? They would not feel safe, our recent successes are proof enough for them that I am a competent general and we might risk open revolt if we were to be seen arguing.

Baggro's expression was that of horror now. "You would use the fears of the people to feed your own bloodlust? In what way, then, are you different from your foe?"

Hibracht's expression soured. "How dare you compare me to those, those things? I have spent many seasons on this war, I've seen good men die for our homes and you compare me to those beasts from beyond the mountains?"

Hibracht swept out of the room, sweeping his arm to order Valark and Mirador to follow. He turned back to Baggro's silent form. "I have an invasion to plan, we are striking out to save our allies, this is not the place for you, Baggro, the field of war belongs more to men than it ever did to the gnomes.

Baggro watched as his fellow king marched down the corridor, Valark on his left and Mirador, his right. Valark was looking shocked and worried, clearly disturbed by what he had seen. Mirador was sizing Hibracht up with his eyes, schemes clearly spinning through his head.

OOC:

1000 Elites (Lions) trained in all territories.
30,000 cavalry moved from 33 to 32
10,000 Heavy infantry moved from 33 to 32
7,695 Artillery moved from 33 to 32
 

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For weeks, the serene beauty of nature had once again claimed the valley that housed Anicea's Superweapon. The brief and sudden spur of activity as the turbines buried deep within the bowels of the mountain breathed with life and the titanic construct moved into alignment had ceased as quickly as it had begun, with the menacing barrel of the cannon looming over the landscape the only sign that anything had occurred at all. Indeed, the Earth appeared to be reclaiming her realm, as her creatures soon grew accustomed to the great incursion of civilization, confident in its inactivity. All that warned of the shattering of the illusion was a loud clunk from deep within the ground as the shell was sealed into the cannon. In the space of a fraction of moment of a second the ignited charge detonated, propelling the 200 ton shell down the barrel, the force of the action and the acceleration physically rocking the mountain, which would have suffered sever landslides had areas of concern not been identified and reinforced with mithril months before. By the time these shockwaves had spread beyond the base of the mountain, however, the shell had rocketed out of the breach and into the Kolnur sky towards its target, leaving the valley behind consumed by the fires of its launch.

Summary:
All provinces train 1,000 Huscarls.

They shall fall researched (Turn 2).

Anicean superweapon fires at province 37, with Anicea's leadership hoping the act could somehow spur a unified offensive by the powers of Kolnur.
 

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Summary

Recruit 1000 Magi in all provinces
100 Air Warders, 1000 Hoplites, 1000 Sentinels, 1000 Guardians attack province 45
 

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Discussion Starter #129
Autumn of 1247

The screams of dying men, dwarves, elves, the unholy roars of the dragons, the clash of swords. But this season, as the leaves upon the trees of Kolnur turn and fall, a new sound is heard across the land. An almighty thunderclap, following by a deafening roar that echoes across the length and breadth of Kolnur, from the hellish wasteland of Megant to the warring dragons of Esterwynne. All hear it, but very few know what it is, what is means. Anicea has played her ace.

Yet even as Anicea plays her hand,the Empire falls. The mighty bastion that stood for the Great Alliance has been shattered, the shining light against the encroaching Darkness extinguished for good. Nothing remains of the mighty legions of the Empire, nothing but dust and the shattered wasteland of Province 37. Yet men will remember the Empire, stories will be told of their valour. But will there be anyone left to avenge them?

In the East, where Estewynne stands alone against the Darkness, comes perhaps the greatest threat of all. The Arch Lich, Deknar'Thuul himself, has ridden from his lair and goes to war against Esterwynne, riding upon the back of a creature straight fro the blackest of nightmares. But what is most worrying is that the Shadows assaulting Estwerwynne are no longer the mindless hordes, seeking to defeat the eastern nation with sheer numbers alone, the Arch Lich now has direct control, and the creatures below him move with a purpose, with obvious tactics at work. And yet, despite crippling casualties, somehow Esterwynne remains secure, a flickering light amongst the Shadow that has claimed much of Eastern Kolnur. Is there no-one who will come to the aid of the Republic of Esterwynne?

However, Esterwynne is not lost, far from it in fact, as for the first time since the shattering of the Great Alliance, Esterwynne's forces have marched out to war. Barely over 3,000 men marched against the Darkness, and won. They drove back the darkness, and now light has once more claimed Province 45. Is this the beginning of some great crusade? The first sign of a new Great Alliance? What Esterwynne has proven, is that she Shadow can be beaten, that the Darkness is no more immortal than any other army. But how will Kolnur react to this?

In the West, Kogan-Sul has felt the first bite of the Shadow. But not from the West coast, where the Khan's forces have beaten back monstrosities from beneath the waves, but from the East, where the Darkness has cut through the centre of Kolnur, and split the once great continent in two. Province 34 has fallen to the Shadow, and Kogan-Sul finds itself facing attack from all sides.Yet perhaps their salvation may come from their Southern neighbour?

In the North, Likome loses it's grip on yet more of it's lands, despite the aid from it's ally Salthiusar. The Darkness is tightening it's grip upon the nations of Kolnur, and unless there is some kind of breakthrough, an alliance of nations, anything, Kolnur cannot hold for much longer.

New Traits

Necromancy Traits

Black Magic: In the corners of Kolnur that even Darkness shys away from, where the blackest souls can be found, has come forth a new way to fight the Shadow, nay, defeat the Shadow. A way to sever the bond that the Arch Lich shares with his forces, to wipe out armies with nothing more than a flick of the wrist. But the magic's of the darkest kind,and only those truly twisted, with no essence of good, of pure within their soul, can perform it. (Requires 4 Necromancy Traits)

Divine Traits

Banishment: The gods have heard the screams of their followers, and they have responded to their peoples cries with power, unthinkable power. The Daemons and dark things that march to war for the Shadow are like any other unholy thing,and that means they can be banished back to the hell from whence they came. The gods have bestowed upon their worshippers the power to call down the might of the heavens, to smite the Darkness within Kolnur and light the continent once more. (Requires 4 Dive Traits)
 

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A terrible roar shattered the skies above Kazel City, and Farin grinned from his position atop the keep. Ballistae thrummed all over the city as drakes and wyrms buffeted each other in the skies overhead, sending bolts the height of a man soaring into the sky. Many tore through translucent, membranous wings, others rebounded harmlessly from scales as they flew too long and lost power.

Some, though, some caused true damage, sending dragons fleeing to their debauched lairs, and occasionally one killed. Farin had loosed this particular bolt himself, and followed its progress eagerly through the sky. A dragon flew too low at the wrong moment, belching fire which dropped like lava onto stone roofs from three mouths. Four other bolts hit the dragon at the same time, and pierced scales, forcing their way into its mouths, piercing brains. The roar came from all the mouths at once, and then died like the cry from a man as he is strangled and the last of the air left his body. Wings stopped pounding the air. Flames died as they left the creatures mouth. The dragon dropped like a stone, crushing houses and those who hid within them.

---

The King looked wearily upon the faces of his advisors and sighed. It had been a difficult decision to come to, but he knew that is was essential to protect the kingdom, even at the loss of some of it’s holdings. He signed the order. “Let it be done,” he intoned. “Order the retreat from the Southern Isle. Give Guild-Lord Snorrisson the word to proceed.

“Yes, your grace,” one of the messengers, a line of whom stood at the ready for duties to be given them, intoned. With a bowed head, he took the proffered scroll and dashed from the room.

---

The Guild-Lord was surprised when the messenger entered his apartments in such a harried fashion, but forgave him the second he read the scroll. Eyes widening, he gestured for the man to leave, and then began his preparations.

Later that night, the dwarven engineer sat and thought about what was to be done, and closed his eyes, thinking of the people he was condemning.

---

Move troops from province 9 to province 12 (use ships from sea province 102 which move to 91)
Move ships from blockade to protect Kerin-Curan.
Send dirigibles (bomber and interceptors) to province 8.
Use super weapon on province 9 - destroy the island completely, rendering it uninhabitable.

Province 7 - Train 100 Fighter Dirigibles
Province 11 - Train 1000 Heavy Infantry
Province 12 - Train 1000 Heavy Infantry

Province 12
-44,872 Conscripts
-11,046 Heavy Infantry
-11,724 Crossbowmen
-34,120 Heavy Cavalry
-231 Magi
-239 Artillery
-584 Mechanised Warriors


Province 11
-89,209 Conscripts
-30,746 Heavy Infantry
-30,760 Crossbowmen
-58,551 Heavy Cavalry
-492 Magi
-518 Artillery
-835 Mechanical Walkers
-712 Mechanised Warriors
-175 Fighter Dirigibles
-63 Bomber Dirigibles


Province 8
-95 Interceptor Dirigibles
-29 Fighter Dirigibles
-107 Bomber Dirigibles

Province 7
1 Magi
6,127 Heavy Infantry

~~~~~~~~~~

Sea Province 91
-58 Ironclads
-276 Ironclads

Sea Province 92
-103 Ironclads
-82 Ships
-64 Ironclads
 

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All provinces train 1,000 Huscarls.

Research Against the Dark (Turn 1)

10,000 Heavy Infantry + 10,000 Arquebussers + 3,000 Artillery + 600 Mechanical Walkers + 300 Huscarls move from province 36 to invade province 37.

Superweapon fired at province 44.

Anicea had lashed out against the Shadow, butchering its forces and gutting its ranks, but the undying horde did not take kindly to such acts. As penance for its strike, the kingdom of Anicea burned beneath the largest offensive the darkness had yet launched against its shores. Thousands of warriors fell on the fields of battle, and countless more innocents were slaughtered where the armies failed to hold the line. However, in spite of this, the island nation had shown that it would not merely hold off the inevitable as it was assailed from the waves. As the homeland braced itself for a siege, the Anicean garrison in the occupied Pure territory ventured out from their castle walls and into the ruins of province 37. The first move of a Kolnuran counter-offensive, the Kogan-Sul, Anicea and the Great Trade Republic's armies venture Eastwards with their sites on the lifting of the siege of Esterwynne. However, the question still remained, would success come before the homeland can hold out no more?
 

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"EVERYTHING!" the Khan bellowed, raging from his tent.

"I want that province back. Send everything we have! Air ships, horses, we must take back that province or all is for naught!"

The Khan's was furious. Pressed from the north, the Shadow had advanced. Despite the fire from Anicea's cannon, the hordes of monstrosities continued to bellow forth. The Khan would take back the lands lost, or die trying.

...

Message to Anicea,

We have fought together in the past, and we shall fight together once more. The Horde is coming. We hope it is not too late.

...
Send all available forces to invade 34
All provinces recruit Arquebussers
 

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Salthiusar (18): Turn 19, Autumn 17th Era 67 (Common: 1247)

1st of Redeath, 17th Era 67 (Common: 1247)

“Ironic, isn’t it?” Thunder struck in the distance, a streak of lightning predicting its arrival. The rain was pouring hard, harder than it had any right to be. “The month’s called ‘Redeath’.”

The atmosphere in Salthiusar could not have been more sombre. Calleis and his team had done it: they had found a way to beat the Shadow. However, it would take a whole year to complete, which few believed they had left, and would leave the nation truly and undeniably evil. They were going to delve into the deepest, darkest reaches of magic just to counter the forces whose very existence was based on it. Necromancy was its own solution.

“It is.” Irèsp replied. “It is, my friend. But I cannot laugh at it, nor even take any kind of perverse joy. We shall be a nation of death if we are to survive this.”

Slaér threw back his head and roared with laughter. “It’s too ironic. Don’t you see?”

“I do see. I see as far as you do out on the plains at this very moment.”

Silence reigned.

“The Lich has been sighted,” Irèsp whispered. “Esterwynne is fighting it. The Shadow, Deknar’Thuul. If they could just simply kill him, our woes would vanish in an instant.”

“If that they would.”

---

Summary:
-Animate Dead begins being researched, in order to research Black Magic as soon as possible
-1000 Mages are trained (Salthiusar; 18)

Military Positioning:
Salthiusar, 18:
-462 Guardians
-36,229 (+1000) Mages

Kerin-Curan:
-1 Guardian
-42 Mages
 

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Pietor grimaced, wrapping a piece of cloth around the bloody gash on his arm. He surveyed the damage. Hundreds lay dead on the battlefield, not all of them were monsters.

He saw Hibracht approaching and his spirits dropped. He was rallying the captains for a council of war, more were being sent to the front.


OOC:
From 33 to 37
20,000 Heavy Infantry
20,000 Cavalry
8,000 Arquebussars
8,000 artillery

Train 1000 elites in every territory


(even more) OOC: Sorry for the lack of description, I wrote a much fuller one on Heresy, thought I posted it but obviously I was mistaken. I'll fill the rest in at a later date.
 

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Lan Halfelven

"So many have fallen, have joined the ranks of the dead. But now the battle is on the turn. We have received messengers from Anicea, Kogan-Sul and the Great Trade Republic. They are on their way. The armies of the Shadow in what had once been the lands of the Turokhi have fallen to Esterwynnian blades and now salvation from the south is within reach."

"But from the north, doom comes."

"The Arch-Lich, Deknar'Thuul rides on a beast of shadow, besieging Kel Delvolwen. Where once we faced mindless hordes, now the forces of the Shadow move with a frightening purpose and clarity of thought, displaying a greater grasp of military tactics than many generals of the world. Only through desperate measures and sheer military genius had we held the cities and where once a sea of foes had assailed us, now it seems every grave in Kolnur has given up its prize to add to the host that blackens the land."

"On the one side, there is hope."

"On the other, only death awaits us."

"I tell you this, despite what many have told me, because I believe in you. I have walked the lands we once called ours, seen the armies that are still gathering to assault us. But all of that does not matter. We are soldiers, each and every one of us. People of Esterwynne, I believe that together we can triumph, though the Shadow beats on our gates. Even now, they assail us. I have been told to rest, that others can carry on the fight in my absence. But I know that while we are still at war, I will never rest."

"Even should we fall in the battles to come, we have written our legends in the stars. This world will never forget us or our sacrifices."

"I go to war. Will you join me?"


Summary

Research Imaginary Swords Cut Too
Recruit Sentinels in 49, 55 and 56
Build Training Hall in 45
The people of Esterwynne join the warriors in the fight to defend their country. 1,500 Sentinels, 500 Guardians and 500 Hoplites are recruited in each province bar 45
 

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Discussion Starter #136
Winter of 1247

Kolnur is covered in the white of snow once more. But in too many places across the continent, the crisp white is stained red with the blood of man and beast alike. The Darkness does not stop, the cold does not stop it like it once did. The Shadow will not not stop and once more, thousands fall to the foul creatures that serve the Darkness.

Once more, the colossal cannon of Anicea fired, the sound echoing across the land and the shell flying high, only a season after the same cannon obliterated Province 37, leaving nothing but smoking ruins and the forgotten dead.

Yet it is amongst these smoking ruins, that the first allied offensive in more than 2 years, strikes. The two armies, one flying the flag of Anicea, and the other of the Great Trade Republic, march into Province 37 from their respective home nations and any remaining resistance and creatures of darkness are quickly crushed between the two armies. All that remains is to decide who claims the Province, and to batten own for the winter.

In the East, in the face of one of the most powerful beings in existence, the people of Esterwynne have risen up. The nation has given all it can, but will it hold? And if Esterwynne falls, then how long can Kolnur endure?

For the first time in any living man's memory, Kogan-Sul's true horde has ridden forward from it's lands, and struck against the shattered remains of Province 34, a land Kogan-Sul's people once called home. And the sight is glorious, the horse-lords of Kolnur riding against Kolnur's greatest foe. The Shadow falls away as quickly as it had appeared, but none doubt the Darkness is waiting, watching.

The Great Trade Republic faces the brunt of the Shadow once more. Again, 39 faces an army of creatures that could turn a normal man insane. Yet after so many years of constant war, the soldiers that march beneath the Great Trade Republic's banners are not normal men, and they do not retreat. But they do fall, they fall in their tens of thousands, but they continue to hold. The unspoken question is, for how long?

Kerin-Curan is forced back, it's ships returning to defend it's own shores even as the nation's master engineers use their skills to detonate Province 9. When the smoke clears, and the noise dies, the island is gone. Nothing could tell you if it was ever there. But this gamble works, and Kerin-Curan feels only a fraction of the damage it would have otherwise.

Salthiusar can almost taste power, true power, unrestricted power that could shatter the darkness and save Kolnur. But to achieve it, they must delve into the most evil magic, even as the nations around them flock to the city, asking for refuge and offering their soldiers. If these new-comers were to discover the blackness of Salthiusar's true soul, chaos would ensue.

Kolnur still endures, but the Shadow presses on, and Salthiusar is still almost a year away. Can the nations endure for long enough?
 

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"This is it, son," King Gandogar murmured as he stood on the hill overlooking the plains outside the second largest city in his country, looking over the soldiers encamped there; one hundred thousand men and dwarves - just one of three such camps, and that didn't include the two thousand mechanical creations the Engineer's Guild had created over the years.

"This is the last fall of my hammer. I don't wish to destroy your inheritance, but if I don't do this ... You may not have anything." The king turned to look at the crown prince, and grasped him roughly by the shoulders and hugged him fiercely.

"I know, father. This is either the last season of Kerin-Curan's existence, or the beginning of a new age for our lands. The men will follow you whatever. As will I."

A curt nod followed, and then both dwarves descended to the camp in silence before splitting up and organising the shipping of the troops across the sea to the heart of the Darkness.

---​

Move all Ironclads in Sea Province 91 to Sea Province 92
Move 19 Ironclads from Sea Province 92 to Sea Province 78
Transport troops to Province 8
Dirigibles move move Province 11 to Province 8
Dirigibles attack Province 8

Province 8
-134,081 Conscripts
-43,287 Heavy Infantry
-40,484 Crossbowmen
-92,671 Heavy Cavalry
-723 Magi
-757 Artillery
-1,296 Mechanised Warriors
-835 Mechanical Walkers

-204 Fighter Dirigibles
-170 Bomber Dirigibles
-95 Interceptor Dirigibles

Province 7
1 Magi
6,127 Heavy Infantry

~~~~~~~~~~

Sea Province 92
-450 Ironclads

Sea Province 78
-19 Ironclads
 

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Salthiusar (18): Turn 20, Winter 17th Era 68 (Common: 1247-8)

1st of Sunken Sun, 17th Era 68 (Common: 1247)

The snows came to Kolnur as they always did: blustering, freezing, deathly. However, this year they came stronger and harder, causing pain across the lands as the nations began to fall back on their last resorts. Salthiusar had none of this.

Power. Pure power was coming to their disposal faster and faster. They had always known how to practise necromancy, the various rituals and cantrips involved in binding the undead into service, but it had been a suppressed dark art. They knew, thanks to earlier research, that Dark Magic corrupts by its very nature. They were staving the evil back, but for how long until they became no better than the Lich?

The snows, of course, did not reach the insides of Salthiusar, which was chilly at best. Inside, the corpses of the Lich’s undead were being practised on, the forces of life and death intertwining to create abominations. As of yet, the graves of the Salth had not been used for their macabre experiments, but a few less morally-inclined had their eyes turned that way.

Slaér strode up to Irèsp, who was watching over a large number of troops practising how to raise the dead. He forcefully grabbed the older elf’s shoulder, and turned him to face him. He did not look happy.
“How long do you think we can keep this up? Calleis says we’re not going to get through to wrecking the Shadow’s forces for at least three seasons yet! How can you be fine with this?”

Irèsp sighed. “We do not know enough about the divine to work the Lich’s destruction from there. We possess better knowledge of the forces of life and death, so we have to either follow in the footsteps of the Lich or let all of our accumulated knowledge fall to a world of the dead. We don’t know what he’s after, so we must take the fight to him in the field.”

“Do you know what some have taken to calling our troops? Black Hearts. Necromancy is destroying us. How can you let this be?”

“Then Black Hearts we are. Black Hearts we shall stay. Black Hearts we shall have, until the Lich is destroyed.”

“I shall pray for you.”

“And I shall not return the favour. We serve no deity but knowledge. I will not allow you to go back on the teachings that we have held forever. We hold no gods.”

“I do now.”

“So be it.”

---

Summary:
-Animate Dead finishes being researched.
-1000 Mages are trained in Salthiusar, 18.
-The Archiving is completed. If Salthiusar should fall but the Shadow is defeated, their knowledge will not be lost.

Military Positioning:
Salthiusar, 18:
-462 Guardians
-37,229 Mages (+1000)

Kerin-Curan:
-1 Guardian
-42 Mages

Refugee Forces:
Likome Forces, Salthiusar:
-5,602 Heavy Infantry
-7,391 Light Infantry
-1,443 Magi

Darkorin Forces, Salthiusar:
-19,319 Heavy Infantry
-42,571 Heavy Cavalry
-9,359 Artillery

Skibul Forces, Salthiusar:
-17,412 Heavy Infantry
-12,490 Crossbowmen
-9,484 Arquebussers
 

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Sorry for the lack of proper post, I'll fill in later in the week

OOC:
1000 elites trained in each territory
I'd like to fortify or assume defensive positions, if there is any such thing...
 

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Train 1,000 Huscarls in provinces 67,68,69 and 36.
Construct a Castle in province 37.
Cannon fired at province 39.

Forces move from province 37 to invade province 39, with orders to retreat if loses are deemed likely to be too heavy with no chance of victory.
-287 Huscarls
-9,941 Heavy Infantry
-9,967 Arquebussers
-2,894 Artillery
-580 Mechanical Walkers

The land designated as province 37 on the campaign maps of Kolnur, still is drawn a lush green with its fertile valleys and resource rich soil. Once, what seems an eternity ago, it was the breadbasket of the Pure and fed the countless souls of their burgeoning empire. Alass the armies of its neighbours would not stand its transgressions, and so as the bludgeon of force crashed down upon the Pure, even this peaceful territory was not spared. The forces of the Empire marched against their foe in a titanic clash that left the fields running red with butchered remains. Now, as a stronghold of the Empire, the land was rebuilt, its people reconciled and peace restored. Then the Shadow came. Like a swarm of locusts they descended upon the Empire, crushing some of the mightiest armies Kolnur had to offer, and once again strangling the life from province 37. When the guns had fallen silent, and the last Imperial Centurion lay slain beside his brothers, the lions of Anicea woke. The weapon unleashed by the kingdom was the final deathblow for the province, which will unlikely ever again be as it once was, now yet another scar upon the face of the World. The armies of Anicea and the Great Trade Republic marched in to evict what remained of the Shadow from the territrory. By season's end Anicea's flag was flying over the brutalized province, and the mighty cannon had fired again.

Winter 1247, Sunken Sun
By the order of King Steelfarmer, regent of all Anicea, the invasion of province 39 shall continue with due haste, lest the momentum of the offensive be lost. The forces of the Great Trade Republic will remain in province 37 to act as a garrison, and ensure that the forces of Anicea have land to fall back to shall the tactical need arise. Notice to all Anicean soldiers taking part in the attack, Kolnur province 39 - formerly known as Gayur - is under ongoing bombardement by the Cannon of Valbeach, all protecive precautions issued in the previous notice must be undertaken for the course of the attack.

For Anicea!
 
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