Volume 11 - Sporophyte - The Life and Adventure of Sir Edelbert Spore
The Life and Adventures of Sir Edelbert Spore
It was late in the day and Edelbert was sitting in his apartment waiting. He was waiting because all his juice was used up for the turn and Arthur was engaged with Phil, playing Chess. The Dirtamancer had sent a Clay Pigeon with a note asking the warlord to meet in Edelbert’s own apartment. Arthur would arrive eventually, until then there was time to croak.
He had his rocking-chair and a good book called, Words, Words, Words – All You Need to Know About Letters. The read had been interesting so far, mostly focusing on subtleties of language use and how it applied to natural Signamancy. Although the caster felt he had a fine aesthetic eye, he also found very little aptitude for the magic of images and symbols. Luckily, Vi was an expert.
After some time, a familiar knock came through the door. “Come in Arthur” the caster said, knowing who it must be.
“Good afternoon Edelbert. Phil says hi. I got your note. What is up?” the warlord had a huge grin and was breathing hard from the climb up the mountain, he must have hurried.
The Dirtamancer pulled a large green Gem from his robe and tossed it to Arthur. “I hereby release you from my service. That should be more than enough to fill your purse. You are your own unit now, my friend. Come and sit with me, there is much to discuss.”
Warlord Amanita showed surprise for a moment, then covered it quickly with a false smile. He crossed to the seat next to the caster and sat down.
Edelbert continued without pause. “I am sure this is a surprise but you will understand shortly. Arthur, I have come to see you as a friend. More than that, I see you as an admirable Noble and good person in general. I release you from my service so you might act as you desire, without influence of my orders.”
Arthur’s shoulders visibly relaxed “You are not banishing me? You had me worried for a moment. Edelbert you rarely give me an order, and as you have said, I am only compelled to obey them because I have agreed to. Thank you for the gesture, dear friend. I do appreciate the consideration that this required. You are a kind and generous person, but why make such show of it? Why call me up here rather than just tell me when we saw each other later today?”
Sir Spore enjoyed how astute the warlord really could be, maybe it was an effect of being a Tinkerer. “As I said, there is much to discuss. As a Dirtamancer I can read the specials features that a hex has. The Crafty Crags Ruin has Level 0 Capital Site as a feature. It has since before you popped even.”
Arthur laughed, loudly and suddenly “Oh Edelbert, I have known a for a little while already. I overheard a conversation a while back and put all the pieces together. Things like there being two natural ally Chiefs here. The model of the crags is clearly a level one city rather than the actual ruin. You have an army, a literal army, of Golem stored away underground. Which you are paying upkeep on by the way. What is the holdup? Why are you not a Ruler yet?”
Edelbert found himself unsurprised that the secret had leaked “I am not going to be a Ruler. I do not want it. I am a caster and wish to explore my crafts without such a burden of responsibility. The others and I have discussed it and we would like you to accept the position. We feel you would be an excellent choice.”
The two sat in silence for a few moments as the warlord seemed to consider this new development. “You are certain? I mean you Edelbert, are certain that being a Ruler is not something you desire? I will accept this responsibility; however, I want to make sure you are not going to regret this decision in a hundred or a thousand turns. The right to this claim is yours, without question.”
This question had been anticipated by the Dirtamancer who replied “I believe I would be much happier as a Chief Caster rather than a Ruler. This would allow me to focus on my work while still being an asset to a side. The Titans told me my life was changing, I think this is what they meant. Mother and Turnip agree to turn to your side, although they have some minor terms. Phil will happily stay to work the gardens. Of course, all my Golem will turn to the Side. I will also open the armory and all the stores underground. Only asking that my personal possessions remain such, including Pigeon A and Lily.”
Arthur smiled, unsurprised at the thought that had gone into this plan. “Edelbert, you know that if I claim the Crags your plans will not go the way you envision. The new side will be from within me, not within you.”
Edelbert also smiled, pleased at the continued kindness of Arthur even after this offer. “Yes, although I still hope you would allow your Chief Dirtamancer to offer advice. I do have some good ideas for improving this transition”
“Well then” Warlord Arthur Amanita proclaimed. “I shall be the Ruler of the Crafty Crags. Gather the others and we can discuss terms and plans. I would like to claim the site tomorrow, after I can reflect.
Turn 4775 was nearly at its close. At Edelbert’s insistence the new side had yet to be claimed, but the time was fast approaching. The entire gang had gathered in the statue hall on the base level of the tower.
Edelbert reached up and pulled the hidden arm-lever on the king statue. “I found this room on my first turn. Inside is the Seat of Power and my Gem stash. Although the seat was not always there.”
The stairs receded from the floor allowing access to the basement hollow.
Arthur peered down the steps into the pleasantly illuminated room that had just been revealed. “You are seriously giving me a Side and 1.2 million in Gems? Edelbert this is too much. There is still time for you to change your mind, if that is what you want.”
Mother huffed “Are you getting cold feet Arthur?”
“Yeah” interrupted Vi “We have all agreed you are the Man for the job. The suspense is killing me.”
Arthur stepped up to the Hide-and-No-Peek Chest and opened it. The light that erupted was nearly blinding for everyone present; The entire hollow suddenly filled with the bright glow of pure Money. Inside rested a half a dozen massive stones, like giant eggs, each faceted hundreds of times. Each was worth multiple hundred thousand schmuckers. He quickly closed the chest, returning the room to the glow of the lamp flowers.
The warlord then walked over to the Seat.
Edelbert started, then yelled. “Do not touch that yet. Turn will end soon and then you can proceed. Consider this my first order as Chief Caster.”
“I was just looking” Arthur smiled “I understand the plan. Well, no. I understand what I must do in the plan. The why still somewhat escapes me.”
Sir Spore stood up a bit straighter “Well I will try and explain again, at least until turn ends. By claiming the site off-turn we will spread out some of the natural enhancements that come with claiming a new city and side. Which will allow me to manipulate the process more as a Dirtamancer. Because this is a level 0 site I expect that when you sit down we will manifest a level 0 Capital, instead of the common level 1. I am unsure if we will get units off-turn or if they will appear when turn starts.”
“I am not to upgrade yet.” The warlord said as much for himself as to ease Edelbert. “This will allow you to cast an ultra-spell.”
The caster gave a hearty laugh. “That is an over simplification of my genius plan, but yes. My Juice is currently full. I will begin casting on the new city just before tomorrow’s start of turn. At the last moment, I will also initiate the upgrade from level 0 to level 5. This means five upgrade levels rather than four, each providing an extra kick of capability and strength to my efforts as the controlling Dirtamancer. It is my hope that with the spell actively being cast, my Juice will refill mid-spell and I can pour two turns of power into this complex city enhancement process. All of these factors should combine into one extraordinary city. The Crags already have the defenses of at least a level 2 city. We have the potential to come out with an equivalent of a 9 or 10 capital site, I mean in theory.”
At that moment, the local turn ended. Outside, night fell over the Rocky Road Range.
Arthur looked up and turned to face the others. “My dear friends, before we do this I want to offer each of you a final chance to change your minds. Edelbert you have been clear on your position. Let me start by formally offering you the Chief Caster position of my new side.”
“I formally accept. This is going to be so much fun!” The caster cried out a bit too enthusiastically.
Arthur smiled but turned to the little pink mushroom woman “Mother, Chief of the Crafty Crags Toadie, do you accept my offer of alliance, according to terms already discussed?”
“We do, Sir Arthur Amanita. I share Edelbert’s enthusiasm.
Vi jumped in “And I can speak for Turnip on this one. We are behind you all the way. Too much time has gone into this for us to miss it.”
“Glum” the plant daemon bobbed ascent as it spoke.
Arthur straightened his back at that. “Thank you both. You will be valuable allies, just as you are dear friends. We come to you last Phil, my man. What say you? Will you join my side and do your Duty at all times?”
“Gladly man. As long as we still play Chess, I am going to beat you one of these turns, man.”
“Excellent, challenge accepted. After this, everything changes for all of us. We will no longer just be a family, we will be a Side. Does anyone have any other points they would like dealt with before we proceed?”
Mother looked around the group and spoke “We have all been preparing for this for many turns longer than you have existed Arthur. We are all prepared, even Edelbert. I wish to ask if you are ready, are you sure this is what you want?”
Warlord Arthur Amanita barked a single jovial laugh. “No, of course I am not sure, but this is the last time I can admit something like that. How could I be certain that I am ready to be a Ruler? How could anyone? I suspect that a Ruler is made by taking responsibility, for oneself and others, despite uncertainty. Authority comes from an insistence on standing against whatever challenges the Titans may pop for us. Leadership and Nobility are performed by example, not just spouting orders. And Compassion should be shown, not just felt. Mother, friends, I am as ready as I am going to be. By the grace of the almighty Titans, let us begin.”
At that, Arthur sat back onto the Seat of Power. Everyone gasped and a pulse of light rippled off the throne, then waved out across the room and the Crags beyond.
As the light struck Edelbert there was a split-second in which he was asked by a nonvoice “Invitation received. Will you join?” His answer was already decided.
When he refocused, he could sense a few obvious changes. The biggest and most important of which was the direct connection he now felt to his family. He could read their full stats, although he knew them already. They were all on the same side. A tangible bond now existed between the group of them and at the center of the bond stood Arthur, but not Arthur.
Sitting on the now intricately carved throne say King Arthur Amanita, no longer a Noble but a Royal. His armor had changed to a set of regally red robes. On his back rested the Leadership Mantle, now a deep violet trimmed by white fur. His head held a platinum crown with a multi-colored Gem embedded at the center forehead.
Edelbert started at the monarchical change “Arthur you are a King, how?”
“There is so much I have learned in such a short period time. What an unexpected rush. Edelbert does it say anywhere in Scripture that the 99 were all popped at the same time? It seems I am one of them.”
“That seems unlikely. Why would the Titans do that” The caster confessed.
King Arthur had no good response but could not admit that. “It is simply fact. The will of the Titans is obscured from us, even when they give us insight. I am a Royal now, although I wish I knew which of the 99 I am. Although I guess it makes no difference. Chief Edelbert, would you give an assessment of our circumstances, please?
Using his special senses, the Dirtamancer reached out and swept the hex for status. The city was as Edelbert had predicted, although it had multiple special features as well as the terrain bonuses. These combined stats resulted in a near level 3 city that was officially a level 0. Everything was going according to plan and Edelbert said as much.
“Alright good” said his highness “First order of business, everyone let us head down to the Horizon Pavillion to meet our new units. I will let them introduce themselves. I think you will all be pleased.”
Vi turned with an “Oooh, what are they. Did we get a Caster?” She said all this as she already was headed up the stairs.
The group began to ascend behind her
Outside, on the mountain, little had changed. The main stairwell was now twice as wide. A few Toadie houses had appeared on the surface scattered along the slopes. As well, several footpaths and small waterways which ran between clusters of buildings had appeared all over. The tower remained physically the same, although Dirtamantically it was completely different. The walls were now officially walls, but much higher than any other level 0 or even 1. The many enhancements Edelbert had added to the hex over the turns remained, as expected.
Edelbert, the King, and the family all walked down to the pavilion together. With it being night, only Edelbert got a good chance to survey the city. For everyone else everything appeared to be dark shapes spotted with the glow of lamp-flowers.
As the group reached the entryway to the pavilion, they came upon a man just exiting.
He immediately spoke “Good evening everyone. It sure is nice to see y’all. The Princess and I were beginning to worry we were alone in this city.”
At that, the man noticed Arthur and his crown. Slightly clumsily, he moved into a bow. “My liege, I am sorry. It is dark and I was overjoyed at the company. I meant no disrespect sire.”
King Arthur’s smile did not waver. In fact, he showed no signs of displeasure at all. “None taken. Why not introduce yourself and then you can take us to my daughter.”
Edelbert then said, almost to himself more than anyone else. “You have a daughter Arthur?”
The nervous man bowed, again awkwardly. “My name is Kernel Claypool, level 1 warlord. Specials are Rider and Musician. At your command my lords.”
Raising his hand and stepping forward, Arthur said “I am your King, Arthur Amanita. I would shake the hand of my new Chief Warlord.”
“Wow, Chief. Are you sure?... Eh I mean, of course you are sure sire! It is just that I am not a Noble and I just assumed you would want one in command.” Claypool rambled out quickly as he shook the King’s hand.
Now Arthur seemed insulted. “You, Kernel, are what the Titans have seen fit to send to me. You are what I will make use of. We do not stand on such ridged formality here; every unit is valued. I have deep confidence you will do a fantastic job in the difficult role you have been placed.”
The new Chief Warlord stood for a moment with a silly smile. “Thank you, my lord. Please come with me, I am certain the Princess is wondering where I have gotten to.”
Mother stepped down the passage first. “Yes, let us see what sort of daughter you have popped Arthur.” She said as the group crossed the mountain tunnel.
In the Horizon Pavilion some things had changed. The previously empty space was now furnished. Massive lamp-flowers surrounded a large round wooden table. A ring of chairs also sat around the table, more chairs than there were units present.
Sitting at one of the nearest seats there was a female unit with golden blonde hair. She wore a flowing pink dress which clung just enough, but not too much. On her head rested a platinum tiara. She stood and bowed to the incoming group.
“Oh dad!” she said, then curtsied to Arthur, very cleanly. “I am Peaches, your daughter and level 1 Florist. I am humbly at your service.” She curtsied again for good measure.
The King looked very stern for just a moment. Then it broke as he smiled and grabbed his new daughter in a massive hug.
“Welcome, welcome. I could not be any prouder. Both of you are just perfect.” Arthur turned toward his group of friends “Introductions everyone.
Vi predictably spoke first. “I am Trivium of the Crafty Crags Pokedaemon. I act as our voice owing to Turnips’s handicap.
Turnip for its part was busy it seemed. It stood in the background chanting “Glum glum glum glum”
The small pink shroom woman stepped forward and shook hands with Kernel first and then Peaches. “It is an honor to be working with you both. Princess, we will do wonderful things together. I can teach you much of peace.”
Phil leaned in over Mother. “Yeah man. I can show you a thing or two in the garden. I am Phil Man by the way, man.”
Peaches beamed a pearly smile at the group “I am delighted to have Flower Power units as allies. You are right, we will be potent together.”
Edelbert had intentionally waited until last. “There is always much to learn. My name is Sir Edelbert Spore, I am your Chief Caster. We have a great deal of work to do tonight Princess. You have expanded my plans greatly.”
I read a lot of fanfics. Many of these concepts are form other people but they meshed into my personal canon.
Edelbert takes place near the very beginning of the Beta Age of Erfworld. I see the 99 as new players getting a bonus for playing in the Beta. Some players did chose not to get the bonus, like Prefect Ford. Not all of them started at the exact same time.
We know almost nothing of early Erfworld or the 99. All we have is a few vague statements from the new king of Jetsone, which are out of context and not direct quotes, even then they come from books which could be tampered with (Carny and Signamancer working for a wicked Ruler).
My Magic Kingdom will be different by the way.
It was pointed out that Edelbert would not have thought he would be King but thought he would be a Duke or Regent of some kind. It is only through the Titans blessing that Arthur can be a Royal. Previous references to kingship will be retconned to say Ruler instead.