The Imperfect Warlord (Chapter 2)

Part 2 of 11 in The Imperfect Warlord
 
Chapter 2: Bogroll&Toma, Stanley, Rations&Glasses, Stats, Wanda&Truths, Jade&Arrows, DwagonBait, Sizemore, VeilRing
 
"My Lord Toma, dawn is threatening," Bogroll's cheerful voice called out.
 
I was already awake by this time. I had been up for over 24 hours due to the combined day of Erf and earth, so I had needed it. Good thing too, as it let me adjust to going to sleep when it was actually dark out. I'd spent the past decade as a night owl. I was, often-times, just going to sleep when morning came. I was also feeling surprisingly well rested, so I got up with only a minimal amount of grumbling. I had important stuff to do, anyway.
 
"I have gathered some things for you," Bogroll continued as I looked at my watch. Full darkness lasted for 7 hours. From 8:30pm 3:30am. Which was, of course, a half hour before/after turn start/end. I think I had a good working of how the hours worked, but would more fully test it by resetting the watch when dawn officially began as the turn start.
 
"Great," I replied. "Do you have any parchment samples?"
 
"Yes Lord," he stated. "Here you go," after saying that, he handed me some. Not bad, still a little rough, but not bad. Also needed to work on combining them so you can get two ply and up. Still, it was a great step up from what I had to use last night, which wasn't even as good as fig leaves. Blah.
 
"I also have this!" he held up an armour breast plate. I looked at it carefully.
 
"Good job Bogroll," I praised. “You copied my crest quite well.”
 
"Thank you, Lord," he said. beaming, as I held out my arms so he could don the armour upon me. "I made you some pigeon pie as well."
 
"Oh?"
 
"Yes Lord! It's got walnuts in it. Although I don't recall putting any walnuts in it..."
 
"It was because of the Arkenhammer," I explained. "When Stanley hits walnuts, they sometimes become pigeons. Sounds like they turn back after awhile," I'm sure telling him this fact, which I have no way of knowing, will never come back to haunt me later on. I am so confident this that I won't even give him an order telling him to not tell anyone what I just said.
 
"I see, Lord."
 
"I appreciate the thought, but I'll just wait for my rations to pop."
 
"Very well, Lord," he agreed as he finished up his work. I was now in a full breast plate with some armour padding on the bottom half of my legs. "Follow me, please."
 
I did so in silence, as I adjusted the settings on the watch. I'd be ready to set it, after dawn happened. I was lead back to the situation room, where Stanley was seated.
 
"Sitdown, Hamster," he greeted. "Let's get some breakfast. It'll be a long day for both of us." He had that right.
 
"Thanks Tool. Hey, know how much time it'll be until start of turn?"
 
"Should be less then a minute now."
 
"You know exactly when turn starts?"
 
"Of course, you don't?"
 
"Well, it's my first day here. I'll probably figure it out after I'm used to the place," and POP.  I was about to set the timer on my watch, when everything went blurry. What the boop? NO! Ignore it for one sec. I pressed the button to set the watch and then went back to the problem. First thing I did was remove my glasses and...
 
"The boop? The bell?"
 
"Something wrong, Hamster?"
 
"My eyesight is better..."
 
"Huh?"
 
"My eyesight was damaged and I needed to wear glasses to compensate but it seems the turn start healed that problem for me," I put the glasses down.
 
"Oh, well, that's fine then."
 
"Yea," I agreed, weird but fine, I supposed. I checked on my rations. They were bundled in a happy meal, like in canon. I opened up the top and started pulling stuff out.
 
"We call this a happy meal back home. Burger, fries, soft drink, cookie and...." I pulled out a case. "Is this a toy?" reminded me of the case I'd occasionally held my, now useless, glasses in. I looked a bit harder but I didn't see those cheap paper 3d glasses Parson got. Maybe in the case?
 
"Your food has stupid names."
 
I looked at the box. "Apparently, Erfworld agrees, Tool. Says Stupid Meal on the box."
 
"It even has stupid meal facts," I continued.
 
"Oh yea? Like what?"
 
"Just stuff everyone knows. First one here is:"
 
"Did you know? There are three advanced infantry type that go under the general name of 'knight'. They are knight (upgraded stabber), lancer (upgraded piker), and keshik (upgraded archer)."
 
"Of course I knew that," Stanley said. "What kind of an idiot doesn't know that?"
 
"Wanda?" I guessed. I most certainly did not say 'I didn't know that'. That would be dumb. Even though I had never heard of the word keshik before in my life...
 
Stanley snorted and then gave a good hard laugh about my comments, "that's so true. Heheheh. Yea, forgot about how them casters don't know nothing about the important stuff. Good one, Hamster!"
 
I smiled wanly at the comment as I opened up the case where I found an exact replica of my currently useless glasses. "The fudge?"
 
Stanley looked up, "hey! Aren't those the same glasses you were just wearing?"
 
"They seem to be, Tool," I replied as I put them on. They weren't. I gasped in shock as I stared at Tool Stanley.
 
“What? What is it?”
 
Stanley (Plaid tribe).
Race: Man
Class: Ruler (warlord); light (small)
Level: 10
Move: 9+3=12
Hits: 5+2=7
Combat: 5+4+10+10+1=30
Defence: 5(+1)+4+10+10+1=31
Special: Attuned.
 
“I can see your stats,” they were so high! He may not have looked like much but this guy could fight! Okay, let me think. For combat, it probably worked like this. 5= base stat; 4= level bonus; 10=leadership; 10=attuned leadership bonus; 1=chief warlord in hex bonus. Seemed that the bonus was different with moves and hits. Not sure how that worked. Also, I had no clue what the (+1) for defence was for.
 
Stanley blinked at that, “ya couldn't before?”
 
“No, just like my stats are invisible to you, everyone else is invisible to me... or were. Hmm, I think this might even work better then your version too. Can you read names when you look at stats?”
 
“Naw, that'd be handy though. You can?”
 
“Yea, along with race, class, level, move, hits, combat, defense and specials. It also adds up the various bonuses and gives total number for the stats.”
 
“My vision also gives me those numbers too but I can't see what the individual bonuses that add it up, and seeing names and race is a real head-scratcher.”
 
“Well, this is great,” it really was. “I'll just wear these all the time instead of my old ones.” I took a sip of the drink. It was grape flavoured. Man, Erfworld really knows my preferences. The hamburger wasn't greasy at all either, the fries were excellent and the cookie was big and soft, just how I liked it. At least I would be eating well as long as I lived here!
 
“So, Tool,” I began as we finished eating. “Got time to tell me about that hush, hush, story you couldn't tell me before?”
 
Stanley looked towards the guards and seemed to give a silent order, since they immediately left and closed the door behind them. He grinned, “alright Hamster, first off, this is a top level secret, so don't go spilling it around. Given the situation, I suppose it might be useful to you to know though. It was great. Okay, I got this weird thinkagram when I was out inna field..."
 
He went on and hit the high points. Namely, that Wanda had betrayed her side to gave him the location of her former side, Faq. A kingdom which he soon razed to the ground. I listened with half an ear, since I knew all this stuff, as I wrote down the Erfworld stupid facts that were written on the box. I was sure they would be useful. For instance, I hadn't known anything about these knight class archers, and I would be needing to talk to the Tool about doing that.
 
As he continued on, he explained his belief that Wanda didn't know strategy. Which was based on the fact that she had undersold the defences of her Side, and Stanley would have been defeated, while attacking, if he hadn't found a bunch of dwagons to tame on route.
 
He was, of course, completely wrong. Wanda knew exactly what she was doing at the time. She had intended to wipe him off the map and gain the Arkenhammer for herself but, when she realized that this plan wasn't going to work out, she turned and helped him out instead. The most important detail of his story though, he wasn't mentioning. I decided to press the matter.
 
“But Tool,” I interrupted. “Are you absolutely certain that no one was left behind? The fact that you have a hidden kingdom to restart is fantastic news but if even one person knows about it, they could track you down before you had recovered.”
 
“Naw, I got everyone,” He dismissed. “Well, I mean, the heir was out in the field somewhere when I attacked but there's no way he'd still be alive. Besides, it's been hundreds of turns and no one re-founded it. What are the chances of anyone still knowing at this point?” Given that Jillian was the heir of that kingdom, I'd say they were pretty darned good. If we killed her... Well, Charlie still knew. Might sell the information. Too risky to try and go there instead. Not optimal either. I had to figure out a way for this to work without blowing the Tool's confidence on me.
 
“Thank you for trusting me with this information. Now that I know you will be safe even if the capital falls, I can make arrangements for you to leave, if things get worse.”
 
“Yer welcome. Okay, lets open up the doors again and,” another silent order was sent. “Hey Wanda! So how did the session go?”
 
Wanda (Croatan tribe)
Race: Man
Class: Caster; light (medium)
Level: 8
Move: 7+2=9
Hits: 5+2=7
Combat: 0+3+1=4
Defence: 0+3+1=4
Special: Croakamancer
 
Her stats were much lower. No leadership and her base was terrible. She also wasn't wearing any armour or weapons. Would that improve things? Needed to look into that. I made some notes in my eyebook. Her base movement was also a bit lower then Stanley's too.
 
“It was a long and fruitful session, my Tool,” she replied. “I have uncovered Ansom's entire battle plan.”
 
“Yes!” Stanley cheered. “Wanda, you're my favourite!”
 
I acted less enthused, ”you mean his battle plan for when he arrives at the city? That's of marginal use but, at that point, it doesn't really matter WHAT the plan is, because he outnumbers us by so much that we won't be able to stop it. What we really need to do is hurt his army beforehand.”
 
“I looked over the numbers last night,” I continued. “The formation is pretty strong but, while all the fliers are out ahead of the column, they can still reinforce, and be reinforced, by it. Well, all of them with the exception of the bats, which are not even a concern. We need some way to draw them further apart to even have a chance a this point.
 
“Perhaps you can use psychology?” Wanda asked.
 
I forced a laugh, “you mean play against Ansom directly and have him make a mistake? Well, that'd be great, except I don't know anything about him. I'd have to understand his weaknesses, not just his plans.”
 
“If it's weaknesses you want, he is in love with our prisoner, and I control her mind. Do you think you can work with that?”
 
I gave her a level stare, “yea. Yea, I can.”
 
OoOoOoOoOoOoOoO
 
“Alright, so, to summarize. The plan is this,” I looked over the battle board, which showed the terrain where the action would take place.
 
“We release the prisoner near the incursion group, right here.” I point to the hex in question. “She joins them and reports her 'escape' to Ansom via the hat. Ansom, with his long history of personally riding to her rescue, flies his air units out to escort her back to the column. With the air units out of place, we can launch a massive attack on the area. With the dwagons and warlords, we should have enough to win the fight and get the Arkenpliers.”
 
They nodded at the summery.
 
“On top of that, we also have a backup plan, Plan B, what to do if fliers head off without Ansom. While trying to croak Ansom in the column is pretty much impossible, we're strong enough for some hit and runs on the siege. I estimate we could take out a third of it next turn, then stack over this water hex, with no losses to the dwagons. They'd find it, of course, but, since most of the fliers can't reach, and none of the ground can, we are fine, even if we have half of them damaged. Afterwards, we attack again, next turn, and destroy the remainder of the siege.”
 
“You are absolutely sure that Ansom will take the bait, Wanda?”
 
She smiled, “trust me.”
 
And that was that. We had hashed out all the possible problems this could have. Tried to come up with alternatives. Jillian couldn't be forced to outright betray the coalition, for instance, and they used codes, so you can't fake messages. Everything was covered. We even decided what to do if Ansom didn't send anyone to rescue her, which was, wipe Jillian off the map. Wanda wasn't pleased with that but she couldn't bring up any realistic objections to it. We also discussed caster advantages. I suggested breaking the link up to use the foolamancer as a way to avoid casualties. The Tool decided against it, but I was able to convince him to let me look into hiring some thinkamancers to do the break, if I needed to. Which was good, because that would have to be done at some point, no matter what. Probably sooner than later.
 
“I have an additional request, Tool,” I asked.
 
“Yea, what's that?” he questioned.
 
“I want to promote a stack of keshiks to go with the dwagons.” I had originally wanted to have a bunch of archers just ride along but I was leery of the stacking malus.
 
“Keshiks? Oh, right. Them archer knights. That's a bit expensive, Hamster,” Stanley stated. “You think we need it?”
 
“I do. While we have knights, I feel that the attack can benefit most from some ranged attacking options. Currently, we have fifty-four dwagons. Your personal mount will, of course, be staying behind, leaving fifty-three. If you divide them up by three, you don't get a stacking bonus anyway, so giving them non-optimized riders doesn't lose out on anything. Ideally, I'd like to make one strong stack of nine, with the best warlord, to engage with Ansom, personally. Since it's hard to attack someone on dwagon back, kreshiks are the ideal choice for that. We'll have two stacks of twenty-two dwagons and the remaining 23 archers joining them to screen.”
 
“Hmm,” he considered. “Well, I sure wouldn't want anything to go wrong with the attack. I guess I'll go for that. I'll have them form up at the bottom of the tower.”
 
“Thank you, Tool. Oh, and I also had the twolls working on making extra arrows to carry along so that the archers don't run out early, if the attack goes long! I'll go down and set things up for the move.” I turned to Wanda. “Get the prisoner ready, we'll move out soon.”
 
“Yes Lord,” Wanda replied.
 
“Okay, I guess that's everything we can do,” I concluded. “Lets hope for the best. With your permission Tool.”
 
“Huh? Oh, right, right. Yer dismissed, Hamster.”
 
I nodded and headed on down. While walking, I contacted Bogroll through the eyebook, telling him to gather up the spare arrows and carrying cases. When I got to the bottom, sure enough, all the archers were lined up.
 
Jade (Plaid tribe)
Race: Man
Class: Archer; light (medium)
Level: 3
Move: 6+1=7
Hits: 4
Combat: 1+1+1=3
Defence: 1+1+1=3
Special: None
 
Now that was as basic as it can possibly get. Looking them over, I started to understand which levels gave the various bonuses.
 
Level 2 seemed to give an extra move, level 3 gave a +1 to combat and defence, as did level 5. Probably got a +1 every odd level then. Level 4 gave a +1 to hit points. Okay, that worked. Currently, there was a mix of levels. Three archers were level 5. That was the highest of the lot. I considered this. I already knew plan A would fail, and I would have to move on to the siege attack. In that case, the archers would be fairly safe while attacking a target rich environment. If I promoted the level 1s they could get to level 3 easily. I wanted to have every archer at level 3 by the time this raid was done.
 
No, not want, NEED. Archers are my best defence against Charlie. Also, they were the most likely thing to make him send more Archons when he inevitably attacked the city. Every single Archon killed and decrypted was worth their weight in gold, and I intended to have as many as possible. Okay, THINK, I had...
 
8 level 1 archers
12 at level 2
2 level 3s
7 level 4s and
3 level 5s
 
I was a bit surprised that the level 3s were the smallest group. The eight level 1s were clearly recently popped and hadn't left the city before, they were garrison even. I promoted them, first thing, to field units, so they could leave the hex. I already knew that when you pop archers, you get eight in a batch. That is probably what happened. I could upgrade them all, and then have them level up to three. On the other hand. I could put my work into the level 4s instead. That would leave one spot open though...
 
I tuned back to the first archer I had looked at. Actually, her eyes were an unusual colour. The colour of her name, now that I thought about it. Given that all the others had white eyes, it seemed as good a reason as any. Maybe she could make level 5?
 
“All level 4 archers and Jade, step forward,” they did. “You are all promoted to keshik,” I said, as I took another look at Jade.
 
Jade (Plaid tribe)
Race: Man
Class: Keshik; light (medium)
Level: 3
Move: 8+1=9
Hits: 6
Combat: 6+1+1=8
Defence: 2+1+1=4
Special: None
 
Wow. Nice! Her base attack went up by five. Movement went up by two, giving her a total of nine. From what I was gathering, base move for normal infantry was six (might even be the lowest number for land movement), seven for casters and high end infantry, like knights, get eight and I guess that warlords get a base of nine? Her armour also had a few subtle flourishes that the others lacked. Interesting.
 
“The eight of you are going to take part in a special mission to croak Chief Warlord Ansom. The rest of you will also assist in screening, and you will be taking the dwagons to get there. I have had the twolls work hard the past turn to make extra ammunition so that you don't run out, you can see them fitting the dwagons up now. I expect you all to do well, level, and make it back alive. Good luck to all of you. Dismissed.”
 
When I finished, they headed towards the dwagons except Jade. I waved her over. This was my first attempt at a silent order but it seemed to work out. When she got beside me I said, “your signmancy is a bit more interesting then the rest. That might be an indicator of potential. Try especially hard to stay alive, Jade.”
 
“Yes, Chief,” she saluted.
 
“State the special unique of being a keshik,” I ordered while opening my eyebook up to write down what she was saying.
 
“We keshiks have the rapid shot special.”
 
“Explain rapid shot in more detail.”
 
“It allows me to make two attacks per round,” jackpot!
 
“Demonstrate.”
 
With my order, she got into a firing position and drew two arrows from her back quiver at once. She did something with her fingers and somehow managed to hold one of the arrows while knocking and releasing the other, on the outside of her, bow, rather then the inside as I have always seen archers do. As soon as she fired, her knuckles moved around, causing the the second arrow to replace the first instantly, and was fired right behind it.
 
“Impressive. I haven't seen the rapid shot in action before,” I said. I didn't have to fake enthusiasm, keshiks were IMPRESSIVE. Of course, being able to rapid shoot also means you run out of arrows faster. Which made it a good thing I made sure to pack up spares. “Grab your arrows and join with the others. Good hunting.”
 
With that I moved on. I needed to talk to Bogroll again. Fortunately, he was nearby. “Bogroll. Now that the archers are getting ready for their mission, I won't be needing arrows as much anymore. Are there any other projects the twolls are doing?”
 
“Yes, lord,” he replied. “Sizemore has requisitioned all of us to help manufacture items for setting up traps, as soon as you no longer are in need of our services.” Oh right, I remembered that now. There was a ship load of work to be done down in the tunnels. That was probably time well spent. That did leave Bogroll himself though.
 
“I was thinking about the armour you made. How often do you twolls make weaponry?”
 
“Not often, Lord,”
 
“Because the city can pop stuff just as good and there is no real point?”
 
“No Lord.”
 
“No?” I was a bit surprised. “So you can make items that are better then the city?”
 
“Yes, but we can only make one masterwork item a turn and we need higher quality materials to do so,” the kind that a dirtamancer could find, no doubt.
 
“Does it give a +1 bonus?” This must be what that defensive bonus was. Stanley was wearing a masterwork armour! Even though it looked EXACTLY like ordinary armour... The Arkenhammer never gave a masterwork type bonus before though. Maybe because it was already giving that attuned bonus? There might be a limit on how many bonuses an item can give.
 
“Yes, Lord.”
 
"So you make masterwork armours for all the troops then?"
 
"No, we hardly make them at all."
 
“Well, why not? Being able to equip the troops with +1 masterwork items seems a good idea to me.”
 
"Lord Stanley keeps them restricted, the materials needed are quite rare," he said. Hmm, no outfitting the entire army then, and you probably would want to save it for the higher value units.
 
“Do you have materials to make masterwork bows?”
 
“No, sorry. They require wood,” right. Probably need a hippymancer, or something, to get the proper tree types.
 
“Hmm, oh well. On your spare time, try working more on making softer parchment papers,” I didn't pay attention to his reply. I knew what it was anyway. Alright, I need to head back to the situation room. I've done all that I can but, before I go, I had one thing I had to try.
 
OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO
 
“Tool,” I began. “I thought that you said there were no other third parties we could ally with.” I just knew this would happen but I hadn't seen a way around it because SOMEONE refused to tell me about Charlie.
 
“Pfft, I'm not going to hire Charlie, no matter what!” he declared.
 
“Ah, I see, I apologize,” I said, seemingly considering his words. “I had assumed that if there wasn't an ally we could ally with, that this would also be the case for the coalition. Are there, by chance, any OTHER groups that Ansom can join with, in the few turns we have left, before that column reaches the city?” I knew this was coming, so I wasn't overly annoyed, but I needed to show that I was not impressed by this.
 
“Don't think so,” he said. I turned to Wanda.
 
“There are not,” she declared.
 
“Okay. We are in some serious trouble now. These archons are extremely powerful flier units. With them added to the force, we just lost air superiority. Plan B isn't enough anymore. Even if it works, the losses we will take form the counter-attack will inflict losses we can no longer afford. Good thing I got a plan"
 
“What plan, Hamster?” Stanley questioned.
 
“I call it 'Plan C', and it's not one anyone is going to like...”
 
“What is it?”
 
“We are going after the Arkenpliers instead.”
 
“While I do, actually, like the sound of this plan, the stack he's in is too strong. You'd never make it,” Stanley said.
 
“Yea, I know. That's why we'll need bait.”
 
“What kind of bait?” Stanley was rightly acting leery of what I was saying.
 
“I'm sorry my Tool, but it will have to be dwagon bait.”
 
His eyes narrowed, “explain.”
 
“Okay, so, originally, plan B was to have some of the dwagons raid the column to kill the siege from this lake hex here right? If you don't use too many, it was more then enough to hold off on the limited flying units that could be provided. Then on our next turn we could wipe out all of the siege.“
 
“Now,” I modified the map to show off the dwagon guard from canon, “the start is still the same. We send some dwagons to raid the siege but the goal is different. Instead of putting all the dwagons on the same hex. We'll divide the forces up with the undamaged dwagons being divided up to form a ring around what we will pretend to be the location of the damaged dwagons. My guess is that Ansom will lead an attack on it, by moving his forestry units, and himself, to attack. However, since he'll want to as fresh as possible, he'll move his units to hit the back hex, which we will leave less guarded then the others. When he gets there, he'll have used all of his move and be exposed. He's far enough away that he won't be able to get back to the main column without punching through the front hexes. Then, we croak him and take the arkenpliers."
 
“It's the best way to minimize casualties and maximize damage, but it also carries the risk a big loss if they are discovered,” I concluded.
 
“And what happens if they ARE discovered, Hamster?” Stanley glowered. You do not ideally threaten to destroy dwagons.
 
“We lose two to three stacks worth, plus the warlords. It's not a plan I like, but if it works, we can get the arkenpliers easy.”
 
Stanley mulled it over, “how likely are you to think it will work?”
 
“If we put the damaged ones over the water here, they are unlikely to be found by the bats, as long as the other dwagons seem to be protecting something in the forest. Ansom doesn't think you are capable of tricking him like that. “ Stanley visage darkened as I spoke those words. “The main problem is Jillian. She is the most likely one to find it, but as long as the spell holds...”
 
“It will,” she firmly stated. She really believed that, the poor fool.
 
“Then is should work. It's unfortunate but this is our best chance of making a hit. I promise, no matter what Tool, that I'll keep at least half of the dwagons alive.”
 
“What do you mean Ansom doesn't think I can trick him?” he asked.
 
"Ansom's a super proud guy, and he's got nothing but contempt for you." I said, as Wanda chimed in agreement. "In other words, he'll assume he's smarter then you and act on that assumption. He can't imagine you laying a trap that he would fall for, but you WILL, my Tool." I grinned.
 
"Beat that smug jerk. Show HIM who's better..." Stanley muttered. "Okay, Hamster, you made your case. I'll show him who's smarter by doing this trap!"
 
“Of course, my Tool. I am certain that you will be able to do just that.”
 
He sighed, “alright, I'll leave ya to is then. I'll see you tomorrow, here, in the sitch. Later,” saying that, he walked out.
 
“I'm impressed by your ability to manage his Toolship.” Wanda praised. “I've never seen anyone pull it off quite so effectively before.”
 
I looked at the board, before I started talking to Wanda. “I'm not sure how much longer I can do it for. It's hard to not have costly victories, and I'm not fond of this plan. On a different note. Wanda, do you have any idea which of our casters the coalition knows of?”
 
“They know we have a foolmancer, a thinkamancer, and myself.”
 
“They don't know about” I was about to say Misty but it probably not be a good idea with her in hearing distance, “the eyemancer or Sizemore though?”
 
“No.”
 
“Okay, good. Then he probably doesn't know just how well I can position my units, and the traps Sizemore is making will be a complete surprise. That's something anyway.”
 
I gave a silent order for privacy again, and the guards did so. “Wanda, I think I need to know a bit more about this spell. Suggestion spells are not unbreakable by any means. You said that this woman doesn't like Stanley at all, so why will she follow the suggestion anyway, when it's made by someone that is her jailer? Do you have some sort of history with her?”
 
“Ah...” Wanda paused. I waited for her to continue. “I knew her from before.”
 
“Before? You mean in Faq?”
 
“You know about Faq?” Wanda was startled by that tidbit.
 
“Stanley told me a bit about it. He said you betrayed your side to help him. He also said that he croaked everyone from the kingdom.” Silence. “Wanda, is Jillian from Faq?”
 
Yes,” she said in a small voice.
 
“So the kingdom that is supposed to be Stanley's safe spot is not a secret after all, is it?”
 
No,” it was hard to hear her.
 
“She won't go there while under the suggestion spell though?”
 
“Absolutely not!”
 
“But if is breaks?”
 
“It won't!”
 
“WANDA! If. It. Breaks. Will she tell Ansom and lead the coalition there?” I gave the question the force of an order.
 
“Yes,” she finally admitted.
 
“Okay, I can use that too.”
 
“How could you possibly use that?” Wanda asked, bewildered.
 
“Hmm. Not sure yet. I don't automatically have answers, you know. That said, knowing a person's plans and weaknesses are always helpful, and you are NOT helping the cause by keeping secrets Wanda. You and I are going to have a long talk, if we get out of this alive. Dismissed.” Wanda took off on that.
 
Siiiigh. I'd been quite busy these last two days, but that I had been through would be NOTHING compared to what was coming. First thing though, now that the bulk of the work for the link was done, was go get them working on a veil ring. I told them I wanted a ring that would show me as having stats that would be able to remain, even under the gaze of a master class foolamancer. It was possible. Which is great! Turned out that stat reading actually counts as natural foolamancy to begin with. Since I don't have natural stats, the fake ones don't even have to cover up anything, making it indistinguishable from the real thing.
 
Then I talked about extending the illusion to change my looks, or, perhaps, hide me completely as an object. That was also doable to a degree. Minor physical changes could be done but it was mainly limited to colouring and texture. It would have to be pre-set to make sure no details were overlooked, as the smallest one would allow others to pierce the veil. Anything beyond that wouldn't work on a foolamancer though. Better to just physically cover your face. Perhaps I'd need to get a robe.
 
When it was made, I tried it on and I could finally see stats for myself. I modified them so that I seemed to be a level 2 warlord. I picked numbers for myself that seemed to fit. I also had tested riding a dwagon earlier, just after I had finished promoting the archers. So I now knew that I was a light class unit, not a heavy. Which I was thankful for. The next item I figured I'd need was some sort of device to protect me from thinkamancy, but they didn't have the juice for it. I also needed to get a new outfit for when I ended up in the Magic Kingdom.
 
I started working on the battle plan. After awhile, Sizemore showed up, and I tested the my veil on him. He appeared to be completely fooled, until I revealed that it was because of the new magical item the casters had made. Then I discussed magic with him some more. I talked about the link. Saying I might need to hire some thinkamancers to come in and work on it so that it didn't croak anyone. He felt it was a good idea to give some notice. So I did. Not surprisingly, the person Maggie set me up to talk to was Headmaster Isaac. Head conspirator in the plan to take down Charlie. I'd have loved to get involved with that but Charlie appeared to have a spy working among them. Possibly more then one. If I could talk to Isaac alone though, maybe I could work something out.
 
Time passed and night fell. I checked my watch. It was fully dark 15 hours after start of turn. So, it probably works like this. 3:30am is first light, 4am dawn, 8:30pm night again. Seven full hours of darkness. I doubted that would change. This world didn't seem to have seasons or anything like that.
 
Well, that's how it was. So I best make sure I get a good nights sleep. God, I hope I can pull this off.
 
NIGHT. FOUR DAYS REMAIN UNTIL THE BATTLE FOR GOBWEN KNOB (TBfGK)


Mechanics Corner:
  • Lancers: Their role hasn't been defined, so I figure that they count as knight class pikers.
  • Keshiks: After I decided what lancers are, I invented a new promotion for archers. I tried to create an interesting name for 'archer knights'. Found the name 'keshik' in Civ5 as a unique unit that replaces knights. which is perfect, except for it being such an obscure term. Open to suggestions on other names. Don't like 'longbowmen' though.
  • Stats: There are very few examples of unit stats. We got one of Bogroll, Jack, a double eagle, a mention that leaderless defenders would have 2 or 3 combat (and that's WITH the 1/3 chief warlord bonus. Assuming Cruz is 3-5, which I feel is low, that means +1. Infantry then has to be either 1 or 2 base), and an offhand mention about Ansom (33) and Wanda (the lowest combat unit in the stack was 30). For Ansom, his combat seems to be 8. 33-8 (wanda's leadership)-10 (ansom's leadership)- 7 (max stack bonus)=8. Heavies, like Bogroll should be stronger then warlords, so I decided Ansom would have a lower base then Bogroll, and made up the difference from his leveling. Noble units also need a higher base then non-noble. So I came up with base 3 for warlords, base 4 for noble/royal warlords, and a +1 for every odd level gained. With other bonuses even levels. Technically, I'm sure you'd notice that Wanda should have a base 2 but doesn't. I decided that attunment gives a bonus like being a royal does, only of +2 instead of +1, which is why Stanley has a +5 base. With this, it all fits with known canon.
  • Stats continued: for reference, these are the base states for the basic units. Pikers/archers= 6mv/4hp/1att/1def. Stabbers= 6mv/4hp/2att/1def. Warlords= 7mv/5hp/3att (+1 noble)/3def(+1 noble). Casters= 7mv/5hp/0att (+1 noble)/0def (+1noble). Knight= 8mv/6hp/4att/4def. Then leveling comes in to add to those bases. In addition, I do variations, add modifiers, and what not for other unit types. the Keshiks, for instance, have the same total stats for att/def, but it's tilted in favour of attacking, especially since archers are not known for being good defenders. The reason I picked 6 for move was a mention in book zero that said that a specific hex type could eat up 6 move from an infantry. It seems to be the base.
  • Multi-shot special= I figured every knight class would have a unique special. I consider archers to be anti-infantry units, so giving them the ability to attack twice seemed appropriate.
  • Armour bonus= I created this. I feel that manufacturers should be able to create items that are better then normal, even if they are not magical. Limit of +1 bonus though, and there are restrictions.
  • Stat board is foolamancy= Seemed the most logical place for it.
  • Night= I figured night is 7 hours long, with a half hour transition between darkness and light before turn start, turn end comes a dusk, and then another half hour before full darkness. It's never been completely written out before but turn end does happen before night fully falls. The transition seems to happen after.

Word Count: 6200

 

Part 2 of 11 in The Imperfect Warlord

Comments

  • Thecommander236

    I would actually be a little upset if Erfworld fixed my eyes. I only have 20/40 vision without them. That's good enough for glasses to correct my eyes and give me 20/15 vision when I wear them (yes that's a thing) instead of the normal 20/20. By fixing my eyes, my glasses would no longer give me vision better than a normal person (maybe it's a placebo, though a powerful placebo; with them I seem to have slightly better farsight than my mom, but her farsight may just be getting worse).

     

    I guess I just get Misty to make a new pair, but having glasses would be detrimental in a fight anyways and I would need those 3-D glasses to see stats. Wearing both pairs of glasses would be uncomfortable. I would hope that Erfworld would pop a plastic frame pair (better than that cheap-ass paper/cardboard one that Parson got) and that they would improve my eyes to 20/15 for sure. The red/blue lens effect would be annoying, but at least I would be 20/20 without them I suppose.

  • tomaO2

    Red, blue, glasses are so last century. The latest generation of 3D glasses are much better. Parson has the cheap, obsolete, ones, I feel, because he doesn't see glasses as being a part of his signamancy. I, however (and much like yourself, TheCommander), do. I'd imagine that our self-perception would influence the form and function of the glasses into making them more like the ones we already wear. 

    That said, I have a few plans for upgrading my stat glasses that will be coming up in future chapters. So keep an eye out for that.

  • Thecommander236

    I would upgrade mine if Misty never died. Give me the ability to zoom in and auto-focus.

  • drachefly

    Lord Crush and Benjamin both use glasses. IIRC, for Lord Crush, they were actually corrective lenses.

  • tomaO2

    By this you mean that since the new turn didn't fix their eyesight, it shouldn't fix mine?

    I don't think Crush needed those glasses to see when he was first popped. I think it's part of his aging signamancy, due to him having a non combat role for so long. Given that my glasses are because of a genuine defect in my vision, I think it might be corrected.