Volume 9 - Journal of a Ruler-to-Be - The Life and Adventures of Sir Edelbert Spore
The Life and Adventures of Sir Edelbert Spore
Journal of a King-to-Be
“Edelbert!” cried out Trivium as she dashed her way down the orchard path.
This was, however, not the white reptile of the Dirtamancer’s memory. In her new DeJaymeleon form, she stood nearly to Sir Spore’s shoulder. Her Signamancy was fiercer than before, with a muscular physique, plus enhanced claws and fangs. The top of her head formed into a hard ridge similar to a horn. Across her face she now wore a dark visor, her eyes completely obscured.
“Vi, you Changed. Congratulations!” Sir Spore was thrilled. “How did it happen, when?”
“The Silent but Deadly Empire knocked down our door four turns after you left.” Mother added “A difficult battle without your golem. We used many of the traps to whittle them down first.”
“Is everyone alr… Oh no, where is Turnip?” Edelbert panicked. The loss of his dear friend would be too much to take after all that had happened.
“Glum” the daemon said as it trotted up the path. Without slowing, it ran into Spore and hugged him using all four leaves. “Glum Glum Glum Glum Glum”
Edelbert had not expected this. Turnip was usually a bit grumpy. This sort of affectionate display was unheard of.
“I missed you all so terribly. Being home is wonderful. I, I… I.” Sir Edelbert Spore was interrupted suddenly by his own sobbing. Tears of joy and despair rolled down his cheeks like waterfalls.
The emotions, once released, would not be bottled again. The rest of the turn Edelbert and friends cried and comforted each other.
Turn 4331- I owe you my apologies Journal,
You are in many ways my dearest and most trusted friend. Until now you have known all about me. My inner most thoughts and aspirations. My grandest imaginings and foolhardiest failures. This can no longer be true.
I am sorry old friend. My days away were so terrible, I cannot share them with you.
Turn 4332- Good Evening Journal,
Mother spoke the truth, much occurred in the time I was gone.
When I was captured, the Toadie were forced to croak all my golem which were not Slumbering. Each of the golem integrated into the Ruin itself, upon my being shackled. All the active units auto-attacked the nearest non-allied target. She says that losses were minimal because they faced mostly unstacked unled units. Her Knights have gained much XP while I was away. The loss of Edwin is unfortunate. The Toadie were thoughtful enough to capture pigeon A, thereby Turning it to their tribe.
I met Lucy the Foolshroom today. Her spots are multicolored and she possesses an odd Foolamancy special. She can cause hallucinations by touching other units, however she is not immune to her own ability. She seemed a bit dazed.
Turnip is still being Turnip. Although its comfort the last couple days was much appreciated.
Along with her Change, Vi got a new magic item. The Veyezor gives her a sizable bonus to Spot and resistance to Foolamancy. She is still level one; her music shows it too. I am certain she will improve with time. There are a couple of things I may be able to show her as well. Apparently, she sticks to vocals because lyrics are a strong suit of hers from Demander form. I look forward to Rocking out together.
Blinky continues to swim circles around its pond. The silly fish has levelled again, up to 5. I cannot bring myself to jealousy any longer. Good for it, even Tragikarp deserve to level.
My buddy Phil Man is thriving, as ever. He has found companionship with Lilly, my Tarantulip mount. They play and have great fun together. Their friendship happened instantly and naturally. That big old Stoned Twoll has never seemed so happy and it has only been two turns.
I have such odd friends.
Turn 4333- Tiring Day Journal,
I made another stack of Soildiers, I will upgrade them tomorrow. They were useful and I enjoyed watching them grow.
I also made a new Caregrow to replace Edwin, I named it Freddy. Afterward I had just enough juice to make a Crap Golem to be Freddy’s partner. The next few turns my Juice will go into Golem animation. Later I can add new traps.
I need level 5, just for the Juice.
There is something I am forgetting, but I cannot grasp the memory.
It was turn 4334 and Edelbert was hard at work in the Tower yard when he had a thought.
“Hey, Mother?” He called across the lawn to where the fungus was reading.
She marked a page with her finger, sighed, then responded “Yes young man? What can I do for you?”
“Well, you can stop calling me young, child, boy, or anything else like that. I am thousands of turns your senior” He smiled at his mild jab. It was good to be home.
“I will stop when you grow up Sir Spore.” She smiled too “I assure you it is a compliment. Do not ever grow up. That is not something I would wish to see. What did you want Edelbert? I was in the middle of something.” She held up her book.
“Did anything odd happen here on the day of the eruption?” He asked as he moved down and sat on the ground, legs crossed and eyes closed.
“The ground shook, the sky was hazy for a few turns. Nothing that seemed out of place at the time, considering what was happening.” Mother thought back, scanning the Toadie memories.
“Wow, something is different.” Edelbert wobbled as he spoke. “The whole mountain is so clear. I can feel the Heart down in the mines. It has connected the Dirtamancy of the whole hex. Mother, the Crafty Crags are now a level 0 Capital Site. I did it, I changed the Hex type.”
“How do you claim it. That is fantastic news.” the shroom woman jumped with excitement “You will be an excellent Ruler!”
“No. I will not.” Sir Spore said with gravity “At least, not yet. The Titans said my Kingdom shall be, and so I have time.”
“That is foolishness young one. We have an amazing, possibly unique opportunity. You must seize it before someone else does!”
The Dirtamancer opened his eyes. “I weep myself to sleep. This has been happening since before I escaped.” Edelbert’s head and shoulders drooped as he spoke. “I am not crying for any reason, I cannot stop either. Does that sound like an excellent ruler to you? I need time Mother. I will become Ruler, the Titans themselves have assured me”
“That does make sense. However, starting today you will submit to treatments from Turnip and myself. Between our magics, we should be able to work some of that away.” She crossed her arms and looked very seriously at Edelbert.
“Glum.” Turnip said suddenly, startling the other two.
Edelbert looked reluctantly around. “Agreed. Thank you both. First, we need to find the source of power. In a normal city, it would be a seat, usually in the tower, but I have no idea what a level 0 capital ruin site might have.”
“I know where it is Edelbert. Before, I was unsure what it was. With this new information, I am certain. In the hollow, there is now a plain wooden chair. It is affixed to the floor and I cannot interact with it in any meaningful way, besides sitting on it.” Mother smiled as she shared.
“Show me” the Dirtamancer said as he went inside and pulled the lever.
Turn 4335 – I have a plan Journal,
I am going to reproduce the Hide-and-No-Peek effect onto the entire hollow.
I figure this spell rests at an intersection between Weirdomancy, Dirtamancy, and Lookamancy. At least I am skilled in two of those. Looking at the idea today, I am confident I can make it work. I need my full Juice though before I make the attempt.
If this works, no one will ever find it.
Turn 4336 – I feel better,
My first session with Mother and Turnip went very well. We meditated and they cast upon us all. I feel calmer and the pain of the past feels more distant somehow.
I should remember the wisdom that Mother possesses.
The casting in the hollow worked. It was easier than I expected. I did have a model to work from though.
Turn 4337 – Animation Journal,
That is what I will be doing for the next few ten-turn. I am crafting a large storage of slumbering golem. When the side begins, I want as many advantages as possible.
My personal group of golem I have building up the wall fortification I added so many turns ago. I figure when the City Walls are added, existing walls will only bolster them. I know the Crags already have better walls than a level 2 city. I do not know what to expect when the site is claimed.
The Toadie continue to Pop incredible numbers. They are also mining at full speed. I designed tunnel patterns so that they increase the undergrounds defensibility, rather than random tunnels.
Phil is just doing his thing, but he is excited about our new goal. It and Lilly have really put a new spark in him.
The daemon are focused on levelling. If we encounter any new variety, Vi will be handling the dual.
The way I figure it, the Titans said my Side would be, so I can wait to begin. It will happen eventually, I may as well prepare until I feel ready.
Turn 4349- Combat today Journal,
A raging Crocktopus popped down in the pond. I am amazed but Blinky survived the combat, even scored a hit.
The beast did wreck some of the orchard, unfortunately. Phil, Freddy, Lilly, and the Crap fought valiantly and ended the intruder before the rest of us arrived. No casualties, but Phil was severely injured
Mother and I warned him to wait next time.
He simply said “But what about the garden?”
Turn 4387 – Healomancy has a problem,
To practice Healomancy someone living needs to be hurt. I cannot get any experience unless I let myself or my friends be harmed as a part of the experiment. At least I can try when we do get hurt the normal way, it is still frustrating.
I wonder if Healomancer’s realize how morbid their craft is. Do they get along with Croakamancers?
Turn 4434 - Finally it happened,
I am now a level 5 Adept Dirtamancer. Although I did not get any stat boosts, I did get a sizable bonus to my Juice reserve. This will help speed up the preparations for the Side.
The Golem phase is coming along well. I have one hundred various Terracottas. Four hundred Advanced Samurai Soildiers.
I am working on a set of twenty-four Granite Guardians. The plan includes forty each of Softies and Hards. Last I will make an 8-stack each of various specialty golem; like Caregrow, Croak-test Dummies, Steel Strikers, Wood Golem, and the like.
It should only take eighty-one more turns before I can move to the item fabrication phase.
Turn 4492 – Interesting special today Journal,
Elementalist seemed to allow me a solid understanding of different Shockamancy flavors. Due to this, I could develop a spell that is basically Hoboken with variable damage types.
The differing elements are surprisingly like one another. Fire, Frost, Acid, Light, and Shock all burn their victims in one sense or another. Sonic, Ooze, Wind, Oil, and Stone, all exert physical effects matching their forms. There are mental types like Revulsion, Remorse, Surprise. There are so many Elements which I did not even discover today. I can only be astonished these all fall within Shockamancy.
Realizing that Stone is both a common Element and an important Material seemed a pivotal concept to me. I intend to research Shockamancy starting today. This may be my next Novitiate.
Turn 4539 - They said I would travel,
So I made myself a Collapsible Cottage. Basically, I built a cottage. Fully furnished it and finished the inside. Then I enchanted the entire building with Dollamancy. Once it qualified as a magic item, I resized it to fit in my pocket easily.
I had the idea out in the Jungle. Until now I had not had the time.
This was a fun experiment but was too cost and time intensive for such a mundane result. All units in an army do not need a folding cottage. I am considering alternatives that might provide some of the comfort without as much space or stuff needed. Maybe a body sized bag or box?
Turn 4571- New Item Today Journal,
It is called a Zinger. The small rod produces a blast of focused sonic which does damage and leaves the target demoralized. Interesting effect. I will need to study possible secondary effects from the Elements.
I would really like that Shockamancy Novitiate. I just have to keep studying.
These Zingers are an item I can duplicate. I will add a few to the armory project. A group of Knight Archers would be deadly with these items.
Turn 4613- Lilly Gained a Level,
A few stacks of Flying Fruit popped in the orchard. She had croaked many of them before they escaped.
I did not get a chance to see or capture one for study. Too bad, I could have used a distraction.
Turn 4657 - Disappointing,
I got the Raise special again. This time, however, there was nothing for me to Uncroak. Croakamancy and Dirtamancy share elements of Matter manipulation. I would enjoy more opportunities to test its capacity.
Why are Croakamancy specials so rare?
Turn 4698 – Odd Encounter Today Journal,
A massive Boat-Ox Popped down in the orchard. The beast was far too large for the pond.
Poor Blinky got quite a thrashing about.
I have no idea why an aquatic mount unit would Pop in a jungle mountain ruin. I had pity for the poor beast. Rather than croak it, we lured it to the eastern hex boundary and encouraged it move off that way. If it can make it a few hexes, the Ox will hit the river. Maybe it can live there.
Turn 4742 had just begun. Edelbert and company were headed down the mountain to meet a new unit which had just Popped on the great balcony. The group instead encountered a man ascending the stairway, moving toward them.
In front of them stood a warlord wearing plate armor that was a dark oaken brown. He walked with confidence and grace and had an air of competence and skill, despite being freshly Popped. “Greeting friends. I am Sir Arthur Amanita. My intentions are peaceful, I will defend myself however. Do not test me.” The man had a skin tone like wet sand, just like Edelbert. His shining brown eyes assessed the stack as he smiled, but Spore noticed his grip tighten on the haft of his glaive.
Mother huffed lightly “Young Warlord, we mean you no harm. Which is good for you. You could not score a single hit against this stack before being croaked. Even Edelbert would defeat you in a one-on-one. I advise not to be so cocky in the future. Ask Vi, she has learned that lesson.”
“Yep” said Vi.
“Wait.” The Dirtamancer interrupted. “What do you mean ‘even Edelbert would defeat you’. Of course I would, I am the strongest unit in this hex!”
“Glum Glum” Turnip added sarcastically.
Mother stepped down toward Arthur, ignoring the brewing squabble. “What I mean to say is that you are low level and alone. Warlord, why not stay with us for a while? Learn a few things, maybe pick up an item or a level before venturing onward.”
“Well I can see you are a crack team of hardened combat units...” Arthur pointed back to Turnip and Edelbert who were now, apparently, arguing about who was the stronger.
“We are, but we are also a family. A very generous family which just offered you our hospitality. Would you like to stand here and argue power levels, or come eat breakfast with us and chat?” Mother was not in the mood to be bickered with by some first-turn.
“My apologies dear lady. I meant no disrespect, you must admit you are a strange stack.” Again, Amanita smiled as he spoke “I accept your hospitality. First, I would like to accept the open challenge against the Caster, to a nonlethal duel. If that is all right?”
Mother’s shoulders drooped as she sighed deeply. “I warned you not to be cocky.”
Turnip, Edelbert, and Vi; all stood silently staring at the new Warlord.
“What do you mean duel?” Edelbert asked, mostly out of shock. “You just Popped, right?”
“I am a Noble Warlord, I think I can best a Caster in a formal duel.” Arthur then raised the glaive onto his shoulder “Besides, I Popped at level 2.”
“Glum” Turnip said with humor, which Vi tried to hide on her own face.
Edelbert then said with a genuine smile. “Oh. Well I have some melee gear at the tower. I was not prepared. May I retrieve them? The best place for a contest would be the tower yard anyway.”
“Lead on.” Arthur said with the pointless force of an order.
The group made their way back to the top of the mountain. Edelbert dashed quickly inside and retrieved a few items he felt would be relevant to such an encounter. Almost too quickly, he returned dressed in the same garb that he had left in.
“Impressive melee gear, Caster.” Amanita laughed.
“I just needed my hammers and my ring.” The Dirtamancer answered with a grin. “I have never had a duel Arthur. Almost five thousand turns as a Noble Barbarian and not a single challenge. I suppose I owe you a thanks, for the experience.”
While Edelbert was inside, the warlord had been walking around the tower lawn observing. “This is a beautiful place. How responsible are you for all of this? I am looking forward to being in command here.”
Mother spoke again. “I warned you not to be cocky.”
Vi laughed a loud, almost barking, laugh.
“Five thousand, wow! How did you survive so long being a Barbarian?” Arthur asked, clearly impressed.
“For starters, I did not go around challenging superior foe. You said nonlethal so I brought my First-Aid kit, just in case. Are there any other terms or conditions you are concerned with?”
“Standard melee rules, obviously. Live combat nonlethal encounter, as established. Whomever wins, gains the service of the other. I will be your Warlord, or you will be my Caster. Accepted?”
“Agreed completely. This should be fun.” Edelbert laughed lightly.
The contestants took opposing positions on the dueling field and Sir Spore found a certain excitement building. Edelbert had always envied Turnip and Vi their natural inclination toward one-on-one combat. It had never been a smart move for the Dirtamancer to risk individual encounters. Even in battles he usually tried to avoid directly engaging, although it happened often enough anyway. He had prepared to defend himself in these circumstances.
Arthur smiled and took an impressive pose, with his glaive held behind and above. “I will try and make this quick for you. There is no desire within me to hurt you. I simply cannot abide your mockery and see no better way to prove my position.”
“There is no need to try and make this quick. You will not last more than three rounds. This is not boasting, just stating the Numbers. You did not realize I was 5th level, did you? One piece of advice, next time do not allow magic items when battling a Caster.”
The smile on the warlord’s face faded by a couple of degrees of sincerity, but remained. “We said standard melee rules, that means no magic. Otherwise, your level makes no difference in this, you are a Caster. I am surprised you have a melee weapon at all.”
“Magic and magic items are separate dueling restrictions, we did not disallow item enchantments. I am Noble, so I know these rules too. Think before you act, beware pride. Oh and Mother.”
“I warned you not to be cocky little Arthur.”
“Oh, well… BEGIN!” Amanita dashed forward, trying to seize initiative. His glaive whirled twice and then stabbed true at the Dirtamancer. That was his first mistake.
As the glaive struck at the Dirtamancer, Edelbert blocked with his left-handed hammer, which did not count as an attack so had no penalties. It was enough of an action though to trigger the Anvilstrike spell on the hammer. Imagine making a sword by striking two anvils together, that was the purpose of the enchantment. The hammer took on the effective mass of an anvil when it was swung against objects. It provided no specific combat bonus, however it applied a huge circumstance bonus to Fabrication, Siege, and it turned out, Blocking. It had been difficult Dollamancy.
Arthur bounced away off from his attack, spinning and dancing to maintain his footing after the surprise deflection.
Edelbert had developed a unique melee style over his many turns. He was a caster and possessed no inherent bonuses to regular combat, in fact, he possessed a few penalties. Slowly he had devised strategies to avoid his weaknesses. An intuition had led him to train with hammers over other weapons, for instance. Over time, his work in Fabrication developed an unexpected synergy bonus with his hammer use. He added an additional hammer and synergy bonus as he developed his Dirtenspiel and Rhyme-a-mancy skills. These bonuses applied ANY time he was wielding the hammers for something, combat too.
The warlord continued with his offensive, having few other options. He dashed forward, zigzagging as he closed to striking distance. At the last moment, he jumped far to the right and swept back at ground level with the shaft of his glaive. The pole collided with Edelbert’s ankle just above his boot, but he stood and took the blow without faltering or damage. This was Arthur’s second mistake.
A while back, Edelbert had learned his Rockhoppers provided immunity to trip and bullrush attempts. Minitaur were an unfortunately common spawn in the Crafty Crags.
For a moment, the warlord and caster made eye contact as they both realized the situation. Arthur was lying prone on Edelbert’s turn, exactly the opposite effect the trip attempt was supposed to evoke. Sir Spore smiled and Sir Amanita did not.
Two hammer strikes, both from the Speedstrike Hammer in Edelbert’s right hand; One across the face caused Arthur to fall backward, exposing his chest for a hard blow to the sternum. His armor absorbed some of the damage but each was a fierce blow.
The warlord, to his credit and honor, rolled backward off the second strike and used the extra force to come up standing, weapon in hand. Without delay, he charged forward into a clean direct stab attack at the caster.
With a smile, Spore deflected the attack using Anvilstrike.
Amanita spun up high, propelled by the force of the block. Mid-twirl a loud shing sounded as a spike ejected from the butt of the polearm. The warlord used the full strength of the whirling maneuver to collide the hidden spear deep into his opponent’s gut. The caster lost nearly all his hits. This was the warlord’s boldest and third mistake.
Edelbert looked into Arthur’s eyes and smiled as he said “Round three is up.” Two swift hammer blows to the side of the warlord’s head dropped him into incapacitation.
Sir Spore swiftly followed.
I was actually down for this part to end as the battle begun, and for the next to start with an epic, fleshed out fight, but this is good too. I'm looking forward to seeing Arthur's character developed. And, of course, I'm really looking forward to what this city will turn into, what it can pop, what features it will possess, and how that giant growing crystal mass played/will play into this. Interesting concept to have someone start at level 2, brings all sorts of questions but none that really need to be answered.
@ KenD - No need to apologize. Good idea, but the Snorepion was collected as a reagent. He ground it into dust and made a sleeping powder inspired by his original encounter with the SDE. I did not say that in story, but I had considered it when I wrote that entry.
There are many details that I consider but never are specifically stated. A good number of journal entries have repercussions on later ideas or spells. Not everything has deeper meaning but there has been a lot of hinting and foreshadowing at non-plot stuff. Mostly my own magic theory.
Thank you for your comment and time. I deeply appreciate questions, corrections and criticisms.
Thank you all.