Volume 14 - A Tale of Two Cities - The Life and Adventures of Sir Edelbert Spore
The Life and Adventures of Sir Edelbert Spore
A Tale of Two Cities
“Alright everyone.” King Arthur Amanita began “There is much to do and few of us to do it. Which means we are going to have to take some risks.”
Edelbert already knew the plan, so decided to cut in. “We need cities if we are to be successful. So, we are going to go and get some.”
“Sire?” Chief Kernel Claypool turned directly to the King “You will not be risking yourself. It is not every day that the Titans raise a Royal. You are special and I must insist on your safety, that means you stay in the Crags for now.”
Arthur and Edelbert made eye contact for just a moment, smiles hiding at the corners of their mouths.
“I appreciate your stern order Kernel.” The king said gently. “But it was never the plan to risk me, any more than leaving me here without Casters or a Chief Warlord. As you have seen we have extensive maps, thanks to Edelbert’s scout network. There are four unclaimed cities in this region and I intend to have them all within a few turns.”
A “Ker-sploch” resounded as another ball of battle-crap struck the tree next to Edelbert’s head. A large branch snapped off to the ground as the poor thing melted.
With a wave of his hand “Brick-a-stac”, Edelbert summoned a dirt wall between himself and the attacking group of Capoopin Monkeys.
On silent order, Lily the Tarantulip charged forward and up the wall into the tree canopies nearby the chittering beasts. As soon as she was within melee range, the heavy unleashed with a series of rapid bite attacks. This cost her a barrage of crap-balls, but was enough to drive the ranged monkeys to the ground.
As soon as they were down, Edelbert burned some juice and pushed the dirt wall over atop them. Trapped underground, the monkeys began to succumb to suffocation and Edelbert felt the bumps of xp as they croaked.
Journal of Sir Edelbert Spore
Turn 4774 – Good Evening Journal,
My journey through the jungle has been interesting. I am still nursing acid wounds but otherwise it was a nice day.
I realized today that I need to practice my peace based Flower Power. I am great with plants and poisons but when it comes to calming or pacifying I am lacking, especially without the Great Gardening Staff to aid me. Hopefully Peaches will be able to teach me a few things. If I had used my skills differently I might have avoided today’s altercation all together.
When she gets back to the capital I am going to take her to the Hippiemancer’s Glade. We can both learn a few things, this I am sure.
After nearly five thousand turns, Edelbert Spore still amazed himself with how dumb he could really be. In all his planning for these turns, he had never once considered that he would have to cross the river to get to his target city site.
“What a buffoon I am Lily.” The Dirtamancer said to himself as much as the spider.
The river was nearly as wide as the hex, without some water capability it would be very dangerous to cross.
“I have got it.” Edelbert shook his hips, waggled his fingers, and cast. “Bubble, Bubble Froth And Foam. Now You Make The Sea Your Home.” With that, Lily and himself both gained water capability. Adding in the bit of Rhyme-o-mancy even reduced the casting cost on the expensive spell.
Crossing the river was no sweat with the new specials. Edelbert was always glad any time he got to use Weirdomancy. Turnip’s Chant meant he had no need for extra specials, usually. This had always limited him to experimenting. He was not expecting Adept any time soon.
Before crossing the hex boundary Edelbert sent Pigeon A into the city. It did not automagically become a part of the Mushroomish Kingdom which meant there were units inside. This site had never been claimed before, Edelbert could sense it. That meant that these units had popped in and with the city.
“Let us hope they are friendly” he said to himself as he crossed the boundary.
Terrain for a never claimed level 1 city was apparently very neutral. Not quite enough trees to be forest but just enough that it was not a plain hex either. The ground was flat to the eye but was rocky and uneven under foot. The city itself was unremarkable. In fact, Edelbert was surprised it was not a level 0 with how sparse the buildings were. There were no apparent walls. No obvious tower. Other than a few basic wooden huts, there was only a simple log dock.
At first Sir Spore saw no units. No one emerged from the huts and there was no movement out in the open. Then he saw them, a group of canoes were floating toward the shore nearby. Units in the canoes each held long fishing spears at the ready. There was no sign of them having leadership and as soon as they were within range, one of the boatmen hurled its spear hard at Edelbert.
“Wait, wait. I have no desire to fight you.” The Dirtamancer cried out, barely dodging the spear. “I am from the Mushroomish Kingdom and I come in peace to claim this city.” Another spear whizzed by his head, nearly landing in Lily’s leg.
The spider reared back and retreated to outside spear range, at Edelbert’s silent order. He was flabbergasted, why would they not listen? If they would not cooperate he would be forced to croak them and claim the site. He did not want to harm them, but how to stop them auto-attacking?
“Wounds are Red, Violence is Blue, Peace is My Preference, How About You?” He cast over the area with as much love as he could muster. Unfortunately, he could feel it was a poor casting.
Six of the ten fishermen came to a halt and began hugging one another. The other four released a volley of spears at Edelbert and Lily, none scoring hits.
He did not want to, but Sir Spore knew that these four units had to be croaked to claim the city. Drawing his Quartzerstaff, he gave the order to charge. Lily was on the enemy in a mere moment. Four unled infantry against a caster and a heavy was unfair and it showed. Three croaked in the charge action, although the final fishermen combatant did score a hit against Lily’s rear before being bitten in half.
With the messy business over, Edelbert approached the other fishermen. “Good day fine folk. My name is Sir Edelbert Spore, I have come to claim this city on behalf of the Mushroomish Kingdom. Would any of you be interested in turning?”
One of the six stepped forward. “We will turn if you promise to pop more fishermen units. Otherwise we will leave.”
“Deal” Edelbert shouted out. As the six turned, so did the city. Being a Dirtamancer, there were some questions that needed answering because of claiming a neutral site. What was the name of the city? Riverside, keep it simple. What kind of units would the city pop? For free, he made the city pop the same units as the capital, that was what the king wanted. However, Edelbert decided to maintain the dock using some juice, thus granting the ability to pop a small range of vessels. This gave the city similar architecture to the crags as well, although Riverside was more wooden then the Crags were.
Not another moment passed before a thinkagram came buzzing at the edges of Edelbert’s mind.
“Hello there, my Chief Caster” The voice of King Arthur floated into Edelbert’s head. “Congratulations on our new city. Is it going to suit our needs?”
Edelbert thought for a moment. “Yes, it should. The site is so very plain, I will be able to sculpt it in most any direction. A suggested change of plans though. I have spent more juice today than desirable. I would like to remain here one turn and work on Riverside before upgrading it tomorrow, with full juice.”
There was a long pause, probably the King speaking with someone else on the other end, then he returned to the thinkagram. “Wouldn’t that leave you in a weakened position to travel south, as well that would be one more turn without that third city site. By the way, Peaches and Kernel were delayed, but they are safe and will arrive at their destination tomorrow.”
“Yes, but Lily can protect me and I have a plan for the cities. If I spend some juice I can rig up a canoe that will support Lily. With that we can ride the river two turns and be at the cliff site in one turn less than it would take on land alone. How does that sound?
Journal of Sir Edelbert Spore
Turn 4775 –Journal,
Putting together a ship was a fun experiment. I finally got it though, took way more juice than I had expected. Lily and I will be on the river starting tomorrow.
I went ahead and put extra time into the walls. I figure that this city will not see as much caster time but may need to defend itself without easy backup, at least until I can get some roads working.
The fishermen are very friendly and have some amazing fish recipes, our meal this evening was superb.
Turn 4776- Good to be on land Journal,
Being on the river was boring… and not the good kind.
We did have an encounter with a pair of Shadow Hawks. They swooped in on us just after we had made landfall for the evening. The trouble was that I am the only one with long ranged capability so the birds just kept dive attacking us and then pulling away.
I got one with a Geosmash and the fisherman got a crit bringing down the other. We did lose one of the three fishermen on our trip. I feel bad, these poor units have lost half their original number because of me.
Riverside is now a magnificent level 5 city. It is nowhere near the splendor of the Crafty Crags but it is still a feat I am proud of. I reduced the soggy dungeon zone and enhanced the walls and tower. This city will be hard to take once it has been properly garrisoned.
Working Dirtamancy on cities is fun. The little differences between the cities do not seem to matter too much and yet they make a huge difference, it makes a strange sort of non-sense. At the core of it city sites seem to have deep similarities. I guess you could say that of people too. We are all unique but pretty much the same.
The column of golem should arrive in a few more turns. I wish I had a chance to lay roads for them. We have already suffered some minor casualties on their trek through the jungle. We calculated the risks and still feel the losses are worth having a golem garrison in each city. Plus, we have the golem to spare, right now at least.
Peaches and Kernel have managed to claim the city site they were sent after she has named it Farmville. I look forward to upgrading it in a few turns.
This was a busy day and I am very tired.
The second day on the river was just as boring and uneventful as the previous turn. The boat drifted downstream as the day slowly passed. Eventually the creaky canoe ran out of move and Edelbert set off on his Tarantulip into the jungle.
The destination was a city site that Edelbert had already decided would be called Cliffside, again keeping it simple. He and Lily had a long day and were beginning to tire as the sun sank down toward the horizon. Luckily there were no encounters between the river and the city site.
Cliffside was better defined than the unclaimed Riverside had been. Back from the edge of the cliff lay a collapsed tower and granite walls. Looking at it, Edelbert doubted this city could be seen from the bottom of the cliffs, possibly explaining why the SDE never found the site. Once again Edelbert was not alone in the site, something would have to be removed.
No obvious units were nearby so Edelbert headed deeper into the city. Looking around, the site had some real potential. The tower was unfortunately weak owing to the expansive tunnels underneath the city. Although, the honeycomb of tunnels could be used as a tactical maze, holding off any intruders. By focusing the city underground then the attackers would need tunnel capable units to be effective. That would be the plan, Edelbert thought as he searched.
The grounds seemed to be abandoned. That left the tower and the tunnels to find the current city occupant. Edelbert figured clearing the tower first was best, since Lily could not go underground.
There was no door on the tower, just a large opening. On the first floor, there were no signs of life. The meager furnishings were carved from the granite itself, spread around the room. A simple stone staircase led up to the second of four floors. Again, nothing of importance.
On the third floor was something odd. In the center of the room rested a ring on a granite pedestal. The ring had the light glow of a minor magic item, a +1 Ring of Armor. This was clearly a trap Edelbert thought. It was an obvious trap too, especially to a Dirtamancer. Standing in alcoves around the room were four Hard Rock Golem, each in stasis until the ring were removed.
“Double Agent” Edelbert cast on the golem and they all turned to his side. Immediately Cliffside became a Mushroomish city. Knowing what to do, the Dirtamancer also raised the city straight to level 5. The cost was high but this was the fourth city the side had and the third level 5.
Once again Edelbert chose to maintain the general style and units of the Crags. This meant little mushroom houses popped all over. The walls were reduced but with the cliffs on one side it would still be difficult to assail the city. Making the tower average was a choice Edelbert did not want to make, but only out of personal desire to spend time in this city. There were many hex types he was less than familiar with nearby and he would love to spend some time exploring near Cliffside. Duty called however.
Then it finally happened. Something in the mind of Sir Edelbert Spore clicked and he was a master Dirtamancer. So much suddenly made sense. Golem could be forged from any element and even alloys. The vastness of the Dirtament nearly overwhelmed him as his Dirt sense increased dramatically. All his Dirtamancy became cheaper and more potent. A wide variety of new spells opened as available.
More surprisingly, he could now see deeper interactions between the various disciplines he had skills in.
New magic items from Dollamancy, like a powerful sonic siege enchantment or a range of animated mount models. He could see how the principles of Motion could be applied to Dirtamancy, both golem and construction. He had done these things in the past but they now became clearer, more basic concepts. Weirdomancy and Dirtamancy combined to show him the inner workings of weather and new specials too. Edelbert realized that between Dollamancy and Weirdomancy he was a potent Spook.
Flower Power emphasized the connection between Matter and Life. How Life could not exist without Matter; but surprisingly how Matter could not exist without Life to witness it. Flowers grew but they needed the ground to do it, the Dirt provided sustenance for the Life. However, that sustenance provided something for the Dirt. Without Life to grow and thrive on it, the Dirt had no reason to be
It felt good, gaining enough understanding that it nearly hurt. He had waited so long to become a master.
“Woohoo!” Edelbert cheered out just as he received a thinkagram request.” Hello Sire. I have great news. I just classed up. You now have a master Dirtamancer as your Chief Caster. How about that?”
“Congratulations Edelbert.” Arthur sounded quite pleased. “This is big news, especially on top of obtaining our newest city. Amazing job. You are truly doing your best for the Mushroomish Kingdom and I appreciate you my dear friend.”
“Thank you, Arthur. Is everything else going as smoothly as it is out here?” Edelbert assumed it was.
A long pause occurred, then Arthur began “Well, my daughter is working with the Jesters to improve the farms. Kernel will be to Hilltop, our next city, tomorrow. Then he will have just enough move to return to the Capital. Also, I gained a level and we fought off a small SDE attack.”
Edelbert was not sure what to say. Who were the Jesters? Who named the city Hilltop? The King levelled and the SDE knew they existed! What else had he missed?
Excerpts of the Daemondex by Red Ketchup
-#97- Debone – These Skeletal units possess an element of natural Croakamancy that makes them easily comparable to uncroaked. They are relatively weak but very cheap. They have somewhat superior stats to an average uncroaked and are considerably more intelligent. They serve as cheap desert infantry and possess no other specials.
-#98- Dembones – Upgraded to knight class, Dembones also have a powerful Croakamancy special. After losing all hits, these units uncroak naturally. Croaked knights raising as infantry is not only surprising to an enemy, but it is unsettling on a deep level.
-#99- Deezbones – Deezbones gain limited juice and the ability to uncroak units. If the Dembones self-uncroak was useful for your side then I suggest popping a Croakamancer. These units will serve until that time. They cast equivalently to an Adept of whatever level they are. This means they can uncroak other daemon corpses too. The cascading effect uncroaked add into a battle can be very potent.
Nice installment, but for the first time in a while I actually have a critique or two. With the weirdomancy, unless I'm forgetting some signifigant bits, edelbert had previously had little luck with weirdomancy, and water capable seems like a fairly potent special, especially on a heavy with signamancy resembling a creature famous for not traversing water well. Either the reaction to this success was majorly underplayed, given how much edelbert prizes progress and inspiration in his skills, or he made signifigant progress between visible journal updates. If the latter's the case, I'm kind of dissapointed, because one of the coolest things about this series to me has been reading an interpretation of how a capable and experiment-prone caster progresses through his craft. Also, not that it's quite to this point yet, but if edelbert has signifigant capabilities that we're not aware of nor are expanded upon, future problems would lose some of their weight. The other thing is just kind of my own unfamiliarity with how river cities work, but can they pop fishermen just by being on a river? You mentioned the docks enabled vessels, and edelbert didn't add any units that the capitol didn't have, but if river cities CAN just inherently pop them, and that fact was cut for brevity, that's fine.
Deezbones almost seem more useful than having a Croakamancer. After all, it is very difficult to pop new casters due to not being able to specifically request them. They don't seem to have leadership, but with enough of the others, you've got twice the army you did before. All you need then are a few of the random Debones who reach Dembones in a stack with leadership, and just spend a few tenturns grinding.
I look forward to learning why we're learning about dem dry bones.
I would advise downgrading Deezbones to novice croakamancy. couple reasons, 1) it is a huge leap from limited self croakamancy to adept level croakamancy. 2) the Pokedaemon already has mid-high level knight stats. 3) from book 0, we have seen that even a novice croakamancer can do quite a lot. Wanda as a low level novice pretty much changed the course of the war and might've even won it if they were fighting anyone but Haffaton (and no fate stuff). We didn't see her as an adept, but Master class wanda was a terror. She was responsible for the entirety of Haffatons defense (other than poisoned food), and was fighting off the above ground Jetstone offence. So adept would presumably be between "changing course of small scale war" and "defending a 50 city side essentially alone". Adept would be somewhere between that. Casters are limited by being extremely valuable and almost irreplaceable. Deezbones would be hard to replace, but as long as you can pump xp into a couple dozen debones, you will eventually get a few Deezbones. Then you get more than one extremely useful frontline casters and almost no worry about having to keep them safe. They would have level 8 or 10 knight stats for one, even at low levels. Plus, replaceable.