Volume 6 - Fire Weather Friends - The Life and Adventure of Sir Edelbert Spore
The Life and Adventures of Edelbert Spore
Fire Weather Friends
Turn 3944- I love construction,
All the new buildings are done, or I mean they are fully built. Tomorrow I will finish the furnishing and some detailed amenities; lights, water, that sort of thing. This is not a type of work I get to do enough of. The differing styles of architecture made the process that much more entertaining.
It was generous of Mother and the Toadie to allow Phil to design his home first. I do wonder if she somehow knew his burrow would be well less than half a turn worth of Juice. A big comfy couch and a fire-pit were the major features he requested. No flooring or walls, he preferred the bare soil and stone. He does not know how to read, so I asked Vi to collect some picture books. I left a Ditto of each in Phil’s den. She has offered to try and teach him basic literacy as well.
Using his Green Thumb, he grew some Cloak Vines around the burrow’s entrance. This lets Phil live near the Orchard for his daily work but also should minimize the chance of intruders spotting him. The whole thing was his idea. He even performed much of the labor. I suppose that is why it cost so little juice.
The Toadie prefer to live underground as well. For the Reds, the Scouts, and the Knights; I installed a series of small barracks blocks. Their room is a central common space with three hallways. In each hallway are eight stone recess carved from the walls, for sleeping. Mother requested enough to house three max stacks of units. This block is attached to the mine near the entrance. They have a heavily reinforced door, just in case they must defend their space from assault.
Mother and Blue have decided to stay above ground with the daemons and I. Having the two nearby should be beneficial, both for them and us. Mother, Vi, and I are all excited about digging into some deep group discussions. Mother is also interested in the library. She says knowledge is important and that it is the Duty of the Chief to acquire as much knowledge for the tribe as possible. As a final thought, we realized the safest place in the Crags was almost certainly on the peak. Most of my best golems are Slumbering near the tower.
Blue showed me some Toadie construction tricks. For one, they typically carve their buildings out of a humongous fungus that they grow. Usually it would take a few turns to mature and then a few turns to work into a living space. A few simple spells later and the bulk of the project was done in an hour, a single mushroom house for two. Having an assistant with Fabrication will be very helpful. I am excited to see what other ideas he brings to the workbench.
Turn 3951- Major surprise today Journal,
The SDE showed up in force. Three stacks, two warlords; it would have been a difficult battle for the golems, daemons, and I; However, when the Toadies charged their rear flank, the SDE battle plan collapsed. Their ranged units and weaker warlord were suddenly in melee combat. The unled stack of swordsmen broke off and moved to assist the ranged group. Although my allies took some casualties, they bought enough time for the golems and I to crush the enemy main stack. With the reduced Leadership bonus the remaining units and warlord croaked quickly.
Looking at the gear and apparent levels of the corpses, I would guess the Silent but Deadly Empire lost a good many schmuckers today. Hopefully this shows them not to poke around here anymore. I had thought they had learned that lesson many turns ago.
Our losses were minimal, mostly Toadies. Mother does not seem bothered by that at all. I tried to apologize and she said “That is the way of Erfworld. The fallen are just as much a part of us as the living.”
Turn 3980 – Third time now Journal,
I was forced to adjust the Ironwood tree again. Its root system was punching into the hollow beneath the tower. As they expanded they would have caused structural deficiencies which could severely harm the tower long term. It would have taken quite a few hundred turn to do any major damage but I could not ignore the flaw.
Rather than continue to move the trunk farther away, this time I incorporated the bulk of the tree into the structural support of the tower. I guided the branches to encourage growth away from the stone. I even made channels to allow the roots to spread without crumbling the foundation. It will take a few more turns to smooth out the details, while the Ironwood continues to grow.
An unexpected bonus manifested, the tower has gained a significant boost to its Hits and Defense. The extra support afforded by the tree also granted a significant anti-siege bonus. I doubt the additional stats will make a difference against anything we face here, but I cannot complain about unintended advancement.
I would prefer to understand the underlying principles that caused the boost. How did the incorporation of Flower Power enable such a significant Dirtamancy enhancement?
Turn 3991- The Toadie grow ever stranger,
I noticed that the common Reds were all level 1, in fact I could not recall ever seeing any of them level. The knights regularly level and Blue is up to level 2 because of all our work together. So, I asked why.
Mother told me very calmly that just before daily start of turn, the Toadie disband all the common Reds in the tribe. The knights are kept, as well as Blue and Mother. Any surviving scouts are maintained too.
The idea left me initially dumbstruck. Such cost and loss of Life! For what possible gain? I could not grasp it at first.
Any given turn an unallied tribe of Toadie can pop any of the Red variety; Common, Scouts, and Knights. Every time a Toadie is popped there is a chance that a specialty unit will appear instead. This chance is marginal but real. Mother and Blue are both specialty types. For the tribe to have popped with two is abnormal. Once the tribe is allied to a side they will be able to willfully pop units of those types but their chance to randomly gain new types will all but disappear.
Although culling is a common tactic, ordinarily the cost would be prohibitive to a wild group for such casual use. Our home provides with enough abundance to make it a feasible action on an almost daily basis. Once they eventually join a side, the tribe will be all the more valuable for this effort.
I mentioned the brutality and Mother laughed. The Toadie are apparently bound by a natural Date-a-mancy which enables their tribe to share, well um… consciousness I suppose. Her explanation was difficult to follow. Each unit is a part of the greater whole on a much deeper level than most sides or tribes. The very memories and being of the Toadie are maintained within this web and are not lost even when individual units are croaked. The common Reds see the unit cycling as a way of fulfilling their Duty. Each turn, new units add bits and pieces to the spiritual whole of the tribe. The Titans bless new strokes of creativity and knowledge within the stream of fresh units. Occasionally, Luck grants a new asset to the tribe.
Once again, I prove just how little I know about the world.
Turn 4009- So much Flower Power,
The combined skills of Phil, Mother, and myself continue to have powerful results. My orchard and Phil’s special garden are both overflowing. We have been sharing the Great Gardening Staff so we might all benefit from the bonuses. Mother holds the staff at start of turn in the hopes of boosting the spawn chances in the tribe. When I am training with the golems and knights, Phil uses the artifact as a part of his gardening. I still hold claim to the item and wield it most of the time, however, the sharing is satisfying.
I have always had abundant comestibles, but my specialty flora has always been primarily poisonous in nature. Phil has managed to cultivate Wacky Tabacky, Crazy Hazy Daizies, Burning Bush, Speedy Weedy, Sassa Grass, and Carniebis; just to name a few. The most powerful specimen seems to be the OPum, when inhaled it grants the ability to maximize any single effect produced in the subsequent rounds; An attack, a spell, a special. Afterward, the unit experiences a moderate penalty to everything for the rest of their turn.
Mother cautions that these substances can have very negative effects if used often, especially the OPum. I intend to test them all, but only a few times and very cautiously. With Mother’s supervision and the bonuses from the Staff, resisting the penalties will be easy. Experimentation always has risks and I am confident we have minimized these as much as possible. The only other precaution I would prefer would be if I were Adept in Flower Power.
I would not recommend this to most units, but this is just as valid a branch of magic as any other. Those alcohols from the White Whino were mostly fun and I had almost no issues from all that testing. Very informative sessions, which you certainly remember better than I. Hopefully these will be as well.
Phil claims to have strong resistance to the potential hazards as a part of being a Stoned Twoll. I may be able to reproduce that with some Weirdomancy practice.
Turn 4024- Vi is furious again,
A powerful Heavy popped on the tower lawn this morning. The level 10 Riddle Snake coiled itself around Mothers hut and began offering rewards for correctly answering its games. I was more than happy to play, but my Demander friend cautioned me to wait. She convinced me that her Signamancy skills made her the most likely to succeed, especially against the high-level puzzles they would no doubt be faced with. Apparently, this was not her first encounter with one of these beasts. If the riddle is solved, then they offer a reward. If the riddle is answered incorrectly they attack and eat their prey.
The snake offered a complex word puzzle. Vi had to match which person equipped which weapon to croak which monster; from a list of a dozen options each category. A few cryptic clues were given to guide her. She only had one chance.
Very calmly, the snow-white lizard scratched out some notes and arranged a grid to eliminate options. Piece by piece, she whittled away possibilities until only the answer remained.
I was certainly impressed. Admittedly, the puzzle would have probably been too much for me. It took less than an hour for her to solve it.
For completing the puzzle Vi gained a massive xp boost. This moved her well into level 8. The snake also gave her four doses of Snake Oil. The odd little gel balls will remove any status effect from a unit, including incapacitations. These are highly valuable and apparently very rare items.
Despite her exemplary performance, Turnip still would not allow her to Change. Vi is eagerly excited to gain Rhyme-o-mancy skills as a DeJaymeleon. She has great difficulty accepting the orders but has obeyed so far. I wonder why Turnip tests her loyalty in such a manner?
Turn 4038- Finally!
The protrusions on the Growing Stone have touched the walls of its chamber. As soon as contact was made, the spines burst out another twelve or so hand-spans into the rock. Something is different.
I cannot sense Life or Motion contained within the strangely mundane quartz, despite the fact that it grows. This thing is plain Matter and an expression of clean simple Dirtamancy;
Whatever is occurring I must know. There are no apparent risks involved and I strongly believe I can learn important concepts of my craft. There is something here worth all of this. But what?
Titans, I must know.
Turn 4093- I should not worry...,
Magma Bum Loudie, the volcano ruin to the south, is billowing great quantities of smoke. Once again, as so often recently, I am concerned for my friends. The entire southern horizon is obscured from the haze. What could be happening? Is this a weather effect, or something more Titanic?
Is my hesitation to investigate cowardice?
Turn 4157- I am so proud!
While working to improve his Hatmail system and the Capstones, Harv managed to attain Novice in Dirtamancy.
Coupled with his recent Mastery of Hat Magic, he was also promoted to Chief Caster. Apparently, Ox had not been adequately filling the vacant shoes of Uncle Henry. Prefect Ford has expressed great pride in having a cross class caster.
I am glad for my friend on his accomplishments and promotion. The downside of this being that Chief Harvey feels Duty bound to report the Crafty Crags and myself to his Ruler. As a token of respect, he told me all of this before he goes to his father next turn. I expect either battle or negotiation in the near future.
Our relationship has been a source of comfort and benefit. I deeply hope this does not sour that friendship. Time will tell.
Turn 4211- Good Evening Journal,
The repetition of passing Turns causes everything to become ordinary. The infrequent becomes commonplace, which melts into bland routine. It is the nature of time I suppose. Sometimes I weary of the role which I have chosen.
It was turn 4313 and a peaceful morning had just been interrupted with the apparent need for battle preparations.
“Golems form stacks on the tower lawn. Daemon to me. Mother, order the Toadie assembled in their barracks, prepared to defend themselves.” Sir Edelbert Spore yelled as he realized that something was wrong.
Quickly moving up the mountain was a high level 8-stack of Moltar. Ordinarily this would be a welcome sight, however this time the stack seemed different. Four Knights and two Heavies were abnormal, but not enough for alarm. The last of the lava men was not an individual he recognized, although it had very similar insignia to their usual representative, Moltrex, who had been present at all previous visits. Also strange was that Edelbert had not been warned. If that were all, Sir Spore would probably not have responded by preparing for combat, these were his friends after all.
At the head of the Moltar stack jogged a Warlord, from the race of Man. His chainmail and other equipment all matched his crisp black hair. Slung across a cloak-less back, the unit carried a massive axe. The man’s skin had a strong yellow tinge to it, like raw sulfur. Bright white eyes peered from atop his eagerly smiling face. That smile despaired the Dirtamancer to his deepest core.
Edelbert turned to Mother and handed her the Great Gardening Staff. “You must take this and wait in the tower. The Toadie are not to engage, no matter what happens. If the Moltar are here for a fight, you would all be lost. Plants cannot battle lava. Got it?”
“That reasoning would be more convincing if you were not taking Turnip. Besides, if you expect combat you will need the bonuses of the artifact. Why give it to me?” As she asked, she also accepted, resized, and equipped the staff.
“In a few thousand turns you will learn not to bother telling Turnip what to do, complete waste of time.” Edelbert began.
“Glum” the flower daemon chimed on cue.
Spore continued. “If this is a battle, it will not be won by Flower Power. The Quartzerstaff I crafted will provide far more utility with my offensive Dirtamancy. Besides, if this does go poorly, I want you and the Toadie to have the artifact. This place can be dangerous and with most of my golems inactive, it will be tough to survive here.”
“Edelbert, you surprise me. You speak as if you have already croaked. There may not even be a fight.” Mother’s brow furrowed deeply as she looked over her companion.
“The Moltar have always worried me slightly, but their friendship gave me assurance they were not a threat. I am a fool” The Dirtamancer sighed and looked through the eyes of one of his Stoneheads. “That Warlord gives me chills. There is something different about the Moltar. I may not be a Signamancer but I am not blind. There is no reason the Toadie should suffer needless casualties. We must hurry, they are nearly here. Go.”
To Edelbert’s surprise the heart-speckled woman turned and headed for the tower, without argument. “Be safe Sir Edelbert Spore.”
Not long after, the stack of Moltar peaked the stairs and came to battle formation on the lawn. The Heavies flanked the warlord and the knights screened.
The tallest lava-man stepped forward and faced directly toward Edelbert. “My name is Molden. On behalf of the Council of Chiefs. I extend to you an invitation to be guest of the Magma Bum Loudie Moltar. We are honored to serve as your escort.”
Having been ready for battle, the Dirtamancer was caught off guard by the politeness “Oh, well…Thank you, this is certainly a surprise. Where is Moltrex?”
“Regrettably, our former Voice was captured and croaked by our Zorak enemies. I now serve in his place. Our time is short. Please come with us.” Molden gestured toward the stairs.
“Again, I appreciate your offer. Preparations will take time. Why not return to your home for now? We can plan via Thinkamancy and I may visit in a few turns.” Edelbert meant it too. A trip to the volcano would be interesting, but not under these circumstances.
The sulfurous warlord began chuckling as he pulled his wicked axe from his back. “You had your chance Molden. That was the Chiefs’ order. Now I get to do it my way.”
“As you wish Lord Silas.” The Voice of the Moltar stepped back into the stack and drew a mallet from his waist.
As the golems moved to engage, the warlord held up his hand. “Don’t bother.”
Edelbert ordered it, hoping there was a chance for peace.
“Okay you stinking filthy Dirtamancer, you are going to come with us right now. You will do so quietly and peacefully, or we will ignite an Inferno so intense even you could not stop it. If we do not return home in three turns, our tribe will come here in full force and scour this place. Those are the terms. We have little time for further discussion.” His weapon ignited, immediately covered in a white-hot blaze.
“That seems rash. Why? There is no need for any of this. Come sit and speak with me.” Edelbert wanted this situation to diffuse.
One of the Moltar knights raised its gauntleted hand and released a ball of flame; This flew across the lawn and a shrub sculpted as a gwiffon exploded. Immediately the grass nearby caught fire, which then started spreading.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” The Dirtamancer cried as he dashed toward the forming hazard. He cast “Wet Blanket” and a sheet of water fell over the area, dousing the blaze.
“Even if you attack with your full might, we can thoroughly ignite this hex before you could destroy us. All of your work and all of your friends would disappear into ash. Your home destroyed and at best you are left in the jungle.” The warlord continued to grin his wicked grin.
Edelbert wanted to resist. With a too-large expenditure of juice, he cast a Mathamancy trick he had picked up a few hundred-turn before. With it he could crunch numbers amazingly fast, the numbers as he saw them were not looking good. Silas seemed to be speaking the truth. The golems would win out but the tower and his friends were very likely to be lost. If he spent his juice fighting the fire, the battle would go heavily in favor of the Moltar. If he instead focused on the combat, then the intruders could cause enough damage that he would no longer have the Juice to quench the Inferno.
“Why would you do this Molden? I have been a friend of the Moltar for over a thousand-turn!”
The Voice stood silently with his stack, ready to engage in wanton destruction if so provoked. Another blast of fire erupted from a knight and a bed of flowers shriveled to nothing. This time the flames did not spread.
“My patience grows thin caster. Our available time wanes. Come now or I will destroy this place anyway.” The warlord and Moltar turned toward the stairwell down the mountain and began walking away.
“Wait, I am unprepared. I do not have the right gear. What about provisions or my purse?” Edelbert found himself panicked and unable to think straight.
“Have your golems collect what you want, one of them can meet us before we leave the hex. Come with me now or my stack will begin firing.” Silas said without stopping.
Unable to think of a way to resist without seriously risking the others, Sir Spore turned to his daemon friends. “Turnip, we cannot win this fight without losses, you in particular. I am going so that you will all be spared. Do not follow, it will do no good.
Edelbert’s friend growled but said nothing.
“Vi take good care of everyone. I will return as soon as I can.”
“We must do something.” The white lizard yelled at the remaining units.
“No. You must not.” Edelbert called as he jogged off to catch up with his captors.
Mentally, he did a quick inventory of his armory. Many of the items would be useful, but taking them would basically be giving them to the Moltar. That he did not want to do. After brief consideration, he ordered a Terracotta to collect the Ranger gear he had made, his most powerful Amulet of Fire Protection, and the Shield Ring tucked away in a back drawer. As a last thought, the caster ordered the collection of some burn salves to counter flame based incapacitations. Everything was packed into a waterproof satchel and Pigeon D13 sped the pack down the mountain.
A separate golem was sent to find Mother and it led her down to the ground floor of the tower. For the first time in his life, his secret had to be shared. The Toadie must know if they were to effectively survive here. Edelbert ordered the arm-lever to be pulled, revealing the hollow beneath the tower.
Distracted by the tasks, the Dirtamancer found himself at the hex boundary surprisingly fast.
Just before crossing the border Silas turned. “There is little time for explanation. I may answer questions after turns end. For now, know these things. You are our prisoner no less than if you were bound and gagged. You will only be restrained if you resist, which I would not advise, otherwise we prefer you battle ready. As our group passes through the jungle you must be silent. Noise invites Ferals, which will bring the attention of the Zorak. None of us want that. Remember, if you betray us in any way, the Moltar will return to this hex and scour it. My stack and I must return in three turns or the Crags will burn. Do you understand?”
“No, I do not understand. I will comply with your demands however.” Sir Spore was determined to resist in any possible way, if it would not endanger his friends.
“Be careful filth. Now gear up and we will head out.” The warlord was clearly not pleased.
The rest of the turn passed quickly and uneventfully. Excitement Edelbert might have felt from travelling was thoroughly quashed by his circumstances. The sights and sounds of the jungle were intriguing, but any time he might slow to absorb them, a Heavy would shove him to speed up.
As evening overtook the stack, Silas called stop just before a hex border. The two Heavies stomped into the next hex and began releasing pulses of fire, immediately igniting the surrounding foliage. The flame moved rapidly across that hex, leaving only ash in its wake.
As the hex continued to deteriorate, something moved in the remaining trees. A max stack of Zorak emerged and charged at the two Heavies. The bug-men had all taken fire damage.
“Okay stack, enter and engage.” The warlord turned to the Dirtamancer and pointed at the next hex.
“We are going into an Inferno? What a stupid thing to do!” Edelbert nearly laughed as he spoke.
A black gauntleted fist broke Spore’s nose before he even registered Silas move. The pain was blinding, but he had only lost a single hit. “Do NOT insult me! I have seven units with Immunity to Flamemancy of all kinds. My armor is fire resistant. Don’t forget, we have a Dirtamancer.” With a strong push, the warlord forced the caster into the burning hex.
As Edelbert crossed the hex boundary, the blanket of smothering air was both unpleasant and interesting. His dirtsense went wild as Matter all over the hex burst, Changed, flexed, and then disappeared. He had seen things burn before, this was something entirely different. The entire hex was shifting on a basic level, unlike anything else he had ever experienced. He would have focused to gain more knowledge but the warlord yelled from behind.
“Focus Dirtamancer, place a shallow pit underneath the Zorak wearing the blue vest. That is the stack leader.”
“Erfhole” cast Edelbert, and a large space opened beneath the feet of the Zorak stack. The remaining bugs fell into the trap, most of them croaked on impact.
Again, a gauntleted fist struck the caster hard on the side of the head. The blow knocked him off his feet into the layer of ash coating everything.
“It is time to establish your position here, Dirtamancer.” The sulfurous warlord snarled. “You will do exactly what I say and exactly how I mean it. I told you to drop the blue vest, not the whole stack. I wanted it alive to interrogate. Their leaders are difficult to capture. From this point forward, you will only speak if asked a question or told to by me. Any attempts to disobey me will be met with the rod.”
Pain flashed across Edelbert’s lower half. One of the Knights had jabbed a red-hot iron poker into his leg. A scream tore from the caster’s lips.
“Oh, what a sweet sound. I have been waiting to hear that scream my entire life. This is going to be delightful. My name is Sir Silas Laughter and you are mine now.”
To prove the point, a strike from the poker came against Spore’s shoulder and then hand. The burns were excruciating and he felt ready to pass out.
“This is just a taste of what I am capable of putting you through Eddie boy.” Once again Silas laughed and flashed his wicked grin.“Please give me the excuse. I never get a chance to torture anyone anymore. It can be so tough with my Sadist special, pain is not as easy a thirst to quench as one might expect.”
Edelbert rolled forward, trying to stand despite the wounds. “What sort of mon…” The hot poker came down across the Dirtamancer’s chest and he howled
“I already told you not to speak. Learn this lesson slowly. Please.” Sir Laughter chuckled again. “You will do as you are told and I will have to convince you. My Motivator special does not get enough use either. You would be surprised how effective pain can be.”
Erfworld had many forms of time dilation; combat, thinkamancy, boredom, even the moment of casting a spell could extend far beyond its normal temporal flow. Nothing in Edelbert’s life had prepared him for the eternity that pain could bring forth.
Two turns passed as the group travelled toward the volcano. Every time he tried to speak he was burned. If Silas thought Edelbert looked defiant, another searing wound. Almost worse than that, when the Dirtamancer ran out of move, a Heavy would pick him up and carry him over their shoulder. At least being tortured was dignified, he could not help but tell himself.
A few encounters with lone Ferals made for small but uninteresting diversions. A couple hexes before their destination, the Moltar encountered another group of Zorak, apparently looking for the escort party. Using the same burn and slash tactic proved just as effective against those bugs as the previous.
Flame effects were a deeply dangerous force; Edelbert was seeing that now. Immunity to fire also allowed for some very ruthless strategy’s. Silas seemed all too willing to employ them.
The group entered the Magma Bum Loudie Ruin with Edelbert slung over a shoulder like a sack. As they passed the hex boundary, his senses burst with new information from the volcano, then were cut off as thick manacles appeared at his wrists and ankles.
Warlord Laughter grabbed the prisoner’s ankle and pulled him roughly to the ground. “Now we can begin in earnest. This will be entertaining Eddie. You are going to learn to serve my will.”
With that, Silas popped a red-hot coal into Edelbert’s mouth and slammed him backward into a cage.
Turns passed, ten-turns passed for all Eddie could tell, hundred-turns even. Everything was a long streak of intense pain, time had lost most of its practical meaning. It bothered him, no longer knowing how old he was.
The burns, stabs, slices, amputations and other myriad of tortures; had become oddly easier to endure with the loss of time. Pain was certainly no fun, it was closer now to background noise though, like his heartbeat. He realized that it would last until Lord Silas had enough. That meant he could not stop it, so must wait it out.
Hopefully his master would be sated soon, there was work to be done. Their Moltar allies needed terrain that would support them.
Ok, now the story is going from wacky to all grimdark. But it really shows what a flipped up place Erfworld is to live in. In retrospect Edelbert should have built some fireproof golems the moment he learned of the existence of the Molthar.
Also, Magma Bum Laude, that one alone was worth the read :).
So many plot lines! Also what will happen when the Prefecture checks in and finds nobody (human) home? And, going off of what @bandaid said about golems, if our protagonist was properly paranoid, he should have built an extinguishing system the moment he heard the mortar could make an inferno in a hex.
... Shouldn't almost ALL golems be fire resistant at least? They are made of stone after all. Also, what's a bit confusing is that a battle between a dirtamancer and anything using fire should be an instant win for the dirtamancer. Have all units like the Demander, Toadies, and Twoll hole up int he mines where the inferno can't get to them, then have all golems engage. He is a novice Florist isnt he? If he isn't, then Mother should be able to cast a relatively simple spell to prevent Edelbert from being engaged directly. They could then try to croak Edelbert by setting his surroundings on fire, but since they cant hit the square he is in, then he would be able to effortlessly negate any uncontrolled fire they start. Once you have an effectively immune quasi-warlord to lead 20-40 golems against a warlord and 7 units (im going to assume that their fire immunity and fire attacks are the main portion of their stats), it should be a cakewalk. if it goes badly at all, then he could just run to the tower and awaken all of the golem slumbers he has. Im am still assuming, but i think he would have about 50 or more golems at minimum sleeping. They effectively don't cost anything and are a good way to store experiments that are not immediately useful.
Worst case scenario, the zorak were able to contain the Moltar for hundreds to thousands of turns, and Edelbert just proved he could croak a stack of Zorak with one spell. Which by extension, means the Moltar are toast.
If all else fails, just spawn a pit under the Warlord's feet.
Interesting thing of note, is that Silas said that he had fire resistant armor, so that means there is a point where his fire resistance can't protect him. An albeit interesting way to croak him would be for Ali to coat him in ink and he sets himself on fire. It might get into his eyes and blind him, burn his eyes, make him trip, and all in all make for an easy croak.
Seriously though, a dirtamancer is able to manipulate stone (which doesn't burn) and water (which puts fire out). Against units that are made of fire/are fueled by it, he should be able to hit them with water and affect them the same way normal units are affected by lava if not worse.
Seriously how did any calc tell him that he would lose.
Wasn't trying to say that he could stop the engagement completely, just keep either one unit from engaging (enemy warlord) or from being engaged (himself). The explanation that he is following a different skill tree is good enough i guess.
He was able to command a terracota to collect some gear, why didnt he have it collect the fire resistant/immune armor he made over 2000 turns ago? (speaking of which, within the next/previous 2000 turns of experience, had he been able to reproduce a stronger version of the effect?)
after getting that fire resistant/immune gear, he could've donned it then run, making a quick wall behind him as he did so to provide cover. Have the golems come up into a position where they were close yet not quite visible before this, then have them all charge/screen for him. The Toadie are very much expendable (the level 1 reds and greens at least), and could also be screening at this time.
Once he gets about 60~ feet away, dig down some then backfill it so they cant get to him. Then just have the golems/toadies finish off the Moltar.
All in all, just make a mention of him having the special "optimist" (gives you a cheery outlook with a disposition to make the best out of any situation. Minmaxing included) and change the tone somewhat, removing some of the "im ded" with some "the foretold time has come, the titans have told me this will happen" (im assuming he rereads his journals sometimes and after reading about the Longveiw special after allying with the toadies, made a copy of the premonition and reread it every few ten turns to keep it fresh in his head).
the "i definitely can't win this combat" can be easily replaced with him thinking that they are just in dire need of help. They could trick him, or he could just perceive them as having their backs to the wall and needing help NOW.