Part 7 of 11 in The Imperfect Warlord
Chapter 7: Sizemore&Bogroll, Wanda&Maggie, Thinkagrams, Charlie&Toma, DonKing, Retconjuration
LordHamster: It's almost time, is everyone ready?
AllSeeingEye: Ready Warlord.
JadeArrow: Ready.
ImInUrDirz: Thanks to Maggie, I'm well rested and believe I am ready for battle.
LordHamster: Misty, you cast the sight buff on Sizemore and Jade?
AllSeeingEye: Yes, Lord. It's done.
LordHamster: Great. In terms of action, there isn't much going on today but it will be critical for what happens next turn.
LordHamster: Sizemore, all you need to do is hit the scouting stack that got closest to reaching the city.
LordHamster: Misty, you have the location?
AllSeeingEye: Yes Lord. It's right here.
AllSeeingEye: [Underground map - touch to expand]
LordHamster: Great. Sizemore. I know that this is your first time in battle but, even though Jade will be in the stack, YOU are in command.
Talking to Jade yesterday, we had also gone over the points of being in command.
First, only command units could get this position and they got it automatically upon joining a stack. If there wasn't a commander, then what usually happened was some sort of consensus from the group using natural date-a-mancy! THAT threw me for a loop when I had first found out about it. Like Parson, I had assumed stacking was natural thinkamancy.
Second, if there were two or more commanders, the one with the higher leadership gave his bonus to the group, but that person didn't necessarily become the group leader. Leader was determined by an, unconscious, natural date-a-mancy vote again. This was one of the few situations where a Chief Warlord, and even a RULER, could actually be unable to command a subordinate unit. If he let another become stack leader of the stack he was in then that unit was in charge. Letting another unit lead a stack could become an important show of trust. If it became an issue, they could always just break stack anyway. Usually.
Third, while the fastest way to level is by killing other units, winning engagements also gives the stack leader, and only the stack leader, some points towards this. The formula is... extremely complicated. Not only does it tally how many units there are, and their level, but also how many you have against them. You get more exp if you are a smaller force fighting a larger, among other factors. The books quantify this stuff by listing various high scores which the bracer can convert into how much exp the leaders could get.
It was important to note that to win an engagement, you needed to kill every, single, opponent first. That's why Stanley got mad at Parson during the siege attack. Since every unit in the hex counted, by withdrawing before the hex was wiped out, the uncroaked warlords did not get the stack leader victory exp.
I had thought about giving control to Jade, I really did. I was fairly sure that if I just let Sizemore heal the golems and make traps, that this would be less morally problematical for him. I didn't because, in the end, I was pretty sure that him killing everyone with the volcano would really dwarf that. Also, the guy needed to level up and this was the best opportunity I had to get that happening. In canon, he gained two levels from this and another one from the city rebuilding. That only put him at level 5 by the time this day was done. I had made it a personal goal that every caster that served me would become level 6 (I'd prefer 7, but the number of kills needed for that made it unrealistic). Sizemore was the one I deemed most likely to refuse killing prisoners, so he needed every exp he could get. So, if this was the best way to get him to level, this is what I'd pick.
LordHamster: Just remember, you only need to hit the scouting stack that got closest to reaching the city.
LordHamster: But hit it with excessive force.
ImInUrDirz: Excessive force, got it, Warlord.
LordHamster: Afterwards, you can ditch your stack and head off into the tunnels with Jade to do the final trap preparations.
LordHamster: With your digging abilities, the x-ray vision, and Misty keeping watch. There shouldn't be any troubles.
LordHamster: Misty will be updating her map as needed, so keep checking to make sure you don't run into any enemies.
LordHamster: Jade, you haven't been in the tunnels before, so make sure to get a feel for them before the battle next turn.
LordHamster: We don't want anyone to know what's going on, so be stealthy. Be sure to finish before end of our turn.
LordHamster: Understood?
ImInUrDirz: Yes Warlord.
JadeArrow: I got it.
LordHamster: The twolls are no longer able to help out with manufacturing anymore, right Sizemore?
ImInUrDirz: No, it would be too difficult to carry the stuff down, now that the tunnels are contested.
LordHamster: Alright, I'll get them working on some other stuff. Any questions?
I waited a few moments.
LordHamster: None? Okay, operation starts as soon as our turn begins. Dismissed.
I closed the book and looked out the window before sighing and getting up to get outfitted. I looked over to the robe Bogroll had made. I'd tried it on last night. Worked well enough and my veil ring could make it pitch black under the hood. When you added in the gloves, it was pretty much impossible to see who was underneath. Nothing I could to to hide my height but it would be enough so none of the casters should figure out I am a warlord. Just needed to remember to ditch the armour before entering the portal.
“Alright Bogroll,” I said after he had finished putting my armour on. “I think it's time to go to the throne room.” Bogroll immediately started walking to that location. I hadn't actually been in there before. Preferring the situation room but I felt I needed a bit of gravitas for the next meeting.
LordHamster: Wanda, meet me in the throne room. It's time we talked.
I closed the book. I heard a 'ploip' noise, meaning that Wanda had replied. I knew what her answer had to be so I didn't bother reading it. I had also booked Maggie earlier, so she was already waiting for me there. I had Bogroll wait outside as I sat down. Maggie stood slightly behind me and to the right. Wanda entered shortly afterwards.
“Sit down Wanda,” I said. It was an order. She did a pretty good job of looking calm but I was pretty sure she wasn't and if she was, she really shouldn't.
She wasn't attuned yet.
“Jillian broke the spell, you got badly hurt, we lost a couple stacks of dwagons, and Stanley left. You've had half a turn to reflect. Tell me how this happened,” I said.
She took a breath and answered, “I was wrong about Jillian.”
“No,” I denied, “you were right. She did exactly what you said she would. The reason it went wrong was because of that archon. She was unusually invested in the coalition winning. Your judgement was sound. That things went wrong was not your fault. That's not my problem.”
“My problem is,” I continued, “that you massively undersold the RISK. You were so determined to believe that it would work that you didn't come up with any plan that would have helped mitigate the damage. I could have croaked a good two to four more hexes of siege but that would have also meant that more dwagons would have been added to to the damaged hex. More importantly, you didn't tell me about what happens when the spell breaks because you didn't accept the possibility that it could break. Not even when I pressed you on asking what would happen if Jillian broke it. You NEVER mentioned the backlash.”
“Wanda, did you not worry that you could be croaked from this?”
“No, that was never a worry to me.”
“Why not?”
“It wasn't my Fate,” I could hear her put the capital F in that word.
“Fate huh?” I decided to do a pause by looking out the window for a few moments before continuing. “But fate can be rigged can't it? You could have also been permanently incapacitated from the backlash too. Your mind might have never recovered. Just because fate needs you alive, doesn't mean it needs you in good health, does it?”
“I...” Wanda trailed off.
“I suppose not,” she admitted.
“You kept information from me. Again,” I stated. “I don't like that. I understand that when the Tool was here, maybe the best thing to do was work around him. I did that myself, as you have obviously noticed. However. I'm the one planning these fights. We already face bad enough odds without me being undermined by YOU. You are lucky I knew what would happen if that spell broke and made sure that your mind was somewhat protected. Luck is not something to be relied on. You need to tell me this stuff.”
“Yes, Warlord.”
“Fine. Moving on. You mentioned that you thought that Jillian would go after Stanley but she has stayed with the column. Do you have any thoughts about that?”
“Possibly Ansom forbade her from charging after him.”
“You think he will relieve her of command over the air forces?”
“Unlikely, she has just proven her worth to the coalition through her victory.”
“I need to know what they are doing. The way I see it, they will either attack us with the coalition or go after the Tool. If they stay, then we need to save our air defences for then the archons come in force. On the other hand, if they are going after him, then it would be better to use what we have on them now.”
“Tell me, Wanda,” I continued, “do you think you could parley and get her to reveal what she's planning if she does another recon on us next turn?”
“I believe so, yes. Which is why I was planning on getting that information last turn.”
“Wasn't your call," I said, narrowing my eyes. "Look, Wanda, I don't mind you taking initiative but, you don't feel she would, perhaps, simply try and croak you instead? Cause I sure do, she was your prisoner after all.”
“No, that would never happen.”
“I'm getting to the point that when you say things so definitively, I get worried, Wanda.”
“She won't,” she firmly repeated.
I sighed. Sweet Lord, this woman.
“Very well. I want you waiting at the tower for their turn. If she comes in, you will parley with her. Find out what she is planning, if it's to stick with the column, hold off from firing, unless you feel threatened. I'll have the keshiks nearby to cover you as well, if needed.”
You are going to trust my judgement, even after what happened?”
I blinked at that. NOW she gets insecure?
“Everyone makes mistakes, Wanda. Your judgement was mostly good and you understand both Jillian and Ansom better then I do. You make a valuable contribution to the team and I'm not going to cast you aside for what's been done. You really need to start working on your B plans though. No plan survives intact, when it makes contact with the enemy, after all.”
“Getting back to what you should to with the fliers,” I said. “If they say they are leaving to hunt Stanley, you croak them. Fire everything we have. Your targets are the archons, then anything you can uncroak. Units you can't croak, I leave to your discretion. Also, don't croak the vampire warlord.”
“Why not?” she asked.
“From the accounts I have of his king, the ruler seems the least prideful of royalty, opting to go with what works, instead of who has the highest noble rank. His kingdom is behind the mountain range and it's not really practical for us to be at war. I feel it might be possible to negotiate with him. So, I'd like to try and minimize our conflict, for now.”
“I see.”
“I'm also aware that killing the archons is usually difficult, but we happen to have an edge.” I took off my glasses from my face and tossed them to her. “Among other things, these can see through foolamancy. Croak them first thing and if you can't get them all, at least croak Jaclyn.”
She held the glasses, re-sized them and wore them.
“I don't have to tell you which one that Jaclyn is, right?”
“No,” she said. On this matter, I felt we were one mind.
“I expect those back afterwards.”
“Understood, Lord Toma.”
“Is there anything else I should know?” It was a question, not an order. I was curious if she would finally tell me certain things.
“I don't believe so,” she replied. LIAR!
“Maggie. Call for the keshiks. Also, have Jade join them if she can get out of the tunnels in time.”
Yes Lord,” Maggie replied. I could do this stuff myself but it's just so convenient to have her around to get it all organized for me. So this is what it's like to have a really good secretary, huh?
“Alright Wanda. Make sure you are at the tower's top when the enemy's turn starts, DON'T try and contact Stanley,” I didn't want any chance of Charlie figuring out our Dragon Lord was still nearby, “ and keep my glasses safe. You're dismissed.”
Wanda replied and then left. Hmm, was there anything else that needed to be done? Oh yes.
“Maggie, get the twolls working on master craft armours for the keshiks,” I said.
“Very well, Lord,” She went silent, I assumed to do that. Seriously, this woman has been super reliable on making sure the stuff I wanted done, was done. As long as she's around, I don't even need to TRY and remember.
Okay, time to eat.
I motioned for Maggie to sit down as I popped my meal. It was a subway sandwich, called Erfway, this time around. As before, it only had a single factoid.
Did you know? The Royal Crown Coalition makeup:
Capital sides:__________Natural Allies:
Jetstone (3379)________Marbits (1655)
Unaroyal (1379)_______Elves (780)
Sofa King (708)________[Woodsy, shady, Luckless,
Foxmud (208)_________Eager, Schlemiel, Altruist,
Hobbittm (116)________Lofty, Superfluous]
Transylvito (29)________Barbarian (17)
Charlescomm (15)
We were so incredibly outnumbered. It wasn't even funny. Even after the pounding we gave them...
The sub also had the second part of my sword. After I had finished eating I called Bogroll out to take it and hook it. He took it to the situation room where I had left the hilt with orders to put it in my room after he had connected the pieces.
“Time to make a few thinkagrams, Maggie,” I said.
“Very well Lord,” she replied. “To whom will be be talking with?”
“Charlie.” There was a significant pause to my statement.
“Is that wise, Lord?”
“Me talking to him is something that can't really be prevented thanks to this,” I held up the eyebook.
“I had thought that those were secure. Yours, in particular, had a great deal of security features placed upon it.”
“True,” I conceded, “but they are not enough. Which was why I had the chat function separated from the information storage. Stopping Charlie from being able to hijack communications that use thinkamancy is pointless. However, it also allows me to engage him without risking actually going into his think-scape.”
Maggie hummed at my comments.
“Besides, you know how I mentioned to Isaac that I was planning on striking a blow against Charlie? Can't do it unless I talk to him now.”
“I see, Lord. Could you tell me this plan?”
“Sure,” I replied. “It's extremely simple. The first thing you gotta accept is that we can't win,” that's a terrible way of putting it, now that I think on it.
“Or, rather,” I amended my previous declaration, “we could win, except Charlie keeps ruining every opportunity we create. He's beaten me more than once already. If I want to be sure of what he's planning next, I need to give him a target.”
I held up my bracer and continued, “this, is an incredibly valuable magical item. I'm going to tell Charlie about it, then he's going to come after it, because it's pretty clear that this guy is the most greedy unit on Erf. He's going to bring enough archons to wipe out everyone in it and, when he does, I'll erupt the volcano.”
“You'll do what, Lord?” Maggie was clearly shocked at my statement. Which was understandable.
“Technically it's called 'uncroak' the volcano. I already know the spell needed. I just need to do a tri-link with a Sizemore and Wanda and it will croak every unit in the city and beyond. Stanley's nearby so he can wipe out any remainders.”
“Was that always your plan?”
I laughed, “no. I'd prefer to keep the city intact, thanks, but Charlies' beaten me too many times now. If I can't win, then I'll settle for kicking the board around so everyone loses. I suppose I could say that I always knew that this was an option but I suppose some bits of fate can't really be worked around.”
“Fate, Lord?”
“I'll explain later. For now, get Charlie to contact me through the eye book.”
“Very well.”
Maggie went silent for a few minutes before I got a 'Ta-Da!' sound from my eye book. I opened it up and, as expected, Charlie had hooked up.
CharlsNChrg: Good Morning, Lord Hamster! I am Charlie, Overlord of Charlescomm.
CharlsNChrg: A most ingenious communication device your Side has created. May I call you Toma?
LordHamster: You can call me whatever you want, as long as it doesn't give you some sort of power over me unknowingly.
CharlsNChrg: Interesting. I like the way you think Toma.
CharlsNChrg: May I call you... “mind slave”.
LordHamster: Oh? Didn't I already agree that you could?
CharlsNChrg: What makes you think that?
LordHamster: I already gave a blanket permission to call me whatever you want.
CharlsNChrg: As long as it didn't give me any power over you.
LordHamster: If it did, you wouldn't have been so rude to ask to call me something that I already said you couldn't, right?
CharlsNChrg: Hmm.
LordHamster: Is trying to charge me for the info really worth the bad rep you can get if I decide to assume that you try to mind control people right after they ask you not to?
CharlsNChrg: Heh. I suppose not. Okay, you got me Toma. So, what can I do for you?
CharlsNChrg: Are we talking surrender terms here, or...?
CharlsNChrg: I think maybe you got something more interesting in mind.
LordHamster: Yea! I wanna cut a deal.
LordHamster: Did you hear that Charlie?
CharlsNChrg: No. Did you say something?
LordHamster: Oh. Sorry, I accidentally made my last post in the storage section of my eyebook, instead of the public chat. I always get the two mixed up. The thing isn't user friendly.
CharlsNChrg: Hate it when that sort of thing happens.
LordHamster: Anyway, I said I want to cut a deal.
CharlsNChrg: Sure, sure! Let's hear your pitch.
LordHamster: Let me first ask a question, Charlie. How you doing for Mathamancers these days?
It didn't work. I knew it wouldn't. I had sort of hoped I could trick him into make a reveal if he could read my storage, but I guessed I would have to end up paying him to find out for sure.
“Maggie, I'll be needing to send a thinkagram to Ansom this turn. How many others can you send off?”
“In addition to that, a second one wouldn't be a problem, Lord Hamster. I could probably also manage a third.”
“Alright, lets go through to Don King.”
“One moment, Lord.” After a short time, Maggie did the thinkamancy pose and an image of Don King showed up.
His signamancy was that of a mafia boss from the movies. So that's how you should talk to him. I lowered my voice and put on one of those gangster accents as I did a small bow. I'd always been a bit of a linguistic mimic to begin with and I, frankly, liked the gangsta accent.
“It's n'honour to meet you, Don King. I am Toma Tattel, Chief Warlord to Gobwin Knob.”
“I greet you, Chief Tattel, so what's yer business with callin' me?”
“I'm here ta talk about the relations between our Sides, Don.”
“Izzat a fact?”
“I understand that ya gots a beef with Tool Stanley. He's made some aggressive moves.”
Tool Stanley?”
“Well, the guy's attuned. It's something a bit higher than Royalty, ya know what I'm saying?”
“Nah, could ya break it down for me?”
“Of course Don. It's like this. It's all about gettin' the job done, right? Royal, commoner. That's just a load that doesn't really matter. Tool Stanley is just plain tougher than the rest of us. The only reason my Side started losin' ground is because Stanley can't take the field no more. The reason for his power, is clearly having the ArkenHammer. The thing chose him, to do a job, that 'em stuffed shirts can't manage. He can do it, y'see, but the problem, until now, is that he was surrounded by... 'substandard' advisers.”
“But not anymore.”
“That's correct Don. Not anymore.”
“What IS this job Stanley has to do?”
It's about spreadin' the word! We gots to show that just because we ain't royal doesn't mean that we can't become a model for all of Erf to look towards. To do that, mebbe we gotta beat some sense into 'em puffed up royals, so yea, we've been tryin' to expand the last while. Didn't work out so far, but I'm guessin' that we'll be makin' a turn around soon.”
This was the plan I was going for. I had no particular problem with saying that Toolism is higher than royalty. Where Ansom went wrong, in my opinion, was saying that they would take over the world and they would force people to join, rather than just try to persuade them. Not that I wasn't going to back away from wiping out a few kingdoms either. I had a clear objective. Take Unaroyal, HobbitTM, and either ally with Jetstone or spin a new side off of it, then CONSOLIDATE, and negotiate.
“Let me also tell ya what it's not about. It's not about crossing into Transylvito's space. Honestly, I'm an admirer of the way ya run things, Don. You don't get bogged in all that royalty crap. You paired down, kept what works. Now that I'm Chief, I'd like to be takin' a few pages from your model after I win the little battle here.”
“Yea? Y'think you can win? Even after Stanley split the scene?”
“Oh? THAT? No need to worry 'bout that. It's just a little test the Tool has given me, after I lost them dragons. I guess I can see why he'd think it was a bad move on my part. In my defence though, it woulda worked if Charlie hadn't decided to be a philanthropist about the situation.”
“HA!” he burst out. Finally got a reaction out of the guy. “Yer kiddin' me.”
“I kid you not Don. I'm not sure if y'know the details of Charlie's contract with Ansom, but it most definitely did NOT include magical protection. That barbarian Chickie was under a suggestion spell. Our suggestion spell. If she'd been alone she'd have sailed right though them dwagons and I'd of taken care of the siege next turn. But, apparently, Charlie's archons decided to help'er out a bit. Might have been a professional curtsy, y'know, since they are both being mercenaries and all. Oorrr mabbe he's got a thing for short haired blonds. I'm sure I don't know.”
“Huh. Well, ain't that somethin'.” Don King mused over the news for a few moments before continuing. “So ya saying Stanley is just parked nearby letting ya do yer own thing for a few turn and not, say, running off to found a new Side?”
“Well, I cant go spillin' secrets about our plans, but a new Side?” I asked, seemingly confused. “Where didcha hear such a thing? I think between our two sides, we've pretty much scouted out everything that can be found in the area, don't ya think?”
“I do. Ansom is the one that seems convinced that's what he did.”
“Well, it ain't no skin on my nose if zat's what he thinks. If y'want some advice though, Don, I'd say ta ignore that whole thing. If you go lookin' for Stanley, you probably won't be findin' anything.”
“Look, our kingdoms seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot. I feel like we could get along a lot better. So I was calling to ask if I could to somethin' about settlin' this feud between us.”
“Sorry. I'm kinda committed to it right now.”
“Well, it was worth a shot. But yer sayin' that this only the case for right now, amIright? Maybe we can talk again after I deal with some uninvited guests? Afterwards, I'll call again, Mebbe we can do some business. Course, you might end up losin' a warlord out of it. Hope that won't upset things.”
“Hmm. Guess we'll see how it goes.”
“Arright. Guess that's the best I can do. Thank you for your time Don King. Have a pleasant evening.
“To you as well Chief Tattel.”
Break,” I said and the transmission cut off.
“Alright, that went well.”
“How so, Lord?”
“Well, I'm trying to put a bit of a softer face on Toolism. Which I hope can pay off a bit, later on.”
“I see.”
“Plus, did you notice that Don had his own thinkamancer?”
“I did. I was most surprised, I had no idea they had one. How did YOU know that?”
“Good question. Actually. I think it's about time I told you a few things. I think we are caught up on stuff for the moment and have a bit of time before the end of turn.” I turned to the hobgoblin. “Guard, close the doors and let no one listen in on what we say,” he hurried to obey.
“I had been curious...” Maggie said, softly enough to make think it was probably to herself.
“I'm gonna have to order you to keep an open mind on what I am about to say Maggie because I'm about so tell you something quite unbelievable.”
“After all that I have experienced so far. I believe that shall not be a problem.”
“Well, guess I'll find out. Maggie,” I took a breath. “I came here by an act of retconjuration.”
“Doesn't exist? I assure you it does. All these events have played out before. I've seen them. That's why I know how to win this fight. That's how I know Charlie will come after my bracer. This is why I know how it ends. The only way out seems to be making the volcano erupt. At which point Wanda will get the pliers, attune to them, and re-pop the entire army that was wiped out by the the volcano I'm going to uncroak. On top of that, Sizemore will find out that there are many gems in the mountains that can still be mined. So we'll suddenly have a large army again and the funds to supply it.”
“That's all quite unbelievable,” she looked a little unsteady.
“This is also how I know that the Great Minds have, or will have, a spy among them. Because he was the reason Charlie was able to assassinate the true Perfect Warlord.”
“Of course. What? You think Charlie would just sit back and let you thinkamancers go about with your plans? Parson A. Gotti, perfect warlord, was removed from play via a trap Charlie set up around the Jetstone capital.”
“Parson was relieved of his chief position by Stanley in the original time-line, and Ansom was put in his place, after the man had been decrypted and turned to our side. This was an appropriate action due to Parson not really knowing the rules of Erfworld at the time. He knew even less than I did about how things work, in fact. This gave him a few ten turns to soak up the rules of Erf. However, Wanda got trapped when she invaded SpaceRock by Charlie doing a link with a turnamancer and casting a spell to end our turn early. Ansom was captured afterwards, so Parson was put back in charge.”
“Parson was unable to stand by and direct the battle from the capital, so he went through the portal. You sent out a warning to the Great Minds to help Parson make it through without problems. Unfortunately, your message was intercepted by Charlie, or, more correctly stated, the spy got the message and passed it on to him.”
Maggie gasped at this.
“Afterwards, Charlie did what he does best. He manipulated the situation. Delayed Parson from entering the portal too fast. Cut deals with the Royals, and, in the end, he had King Slately change capitals so that the portal closed behind Parson. Then had the city set on fire to croak him off. Finally, he then corrupted the transmissions so that, even after Parson took over the city, he couldn't get the Tool to change capitals so that the portal could open again. This would have let Sizemore some in and put it out.”
“That all happened?” Maggie asked, dumbstruck.
“Close enough,” it makes a better story if I don't tell them that the plan failed. Plus, it made it seem like there was a good reason for me to be here, rather than for the lols of a ROB. “Point is, Charlie won and he kept winning with every new plan the great minds came up with afterwards. It seems someone with retconjunation didn't like that so they replaced Parson with a summon that had knowledge of the Battle for Gobwin Knob to try and do better. In short. Me.”
“So EVERYTHING has been part of your plan?”
“While I wouldn't say it's my plan, and it's not like I consider what happened as an ideal scenario, the short answer is yes. However, you have to understand, if I had told everyone that this is my plan, and it worked flawlessly, it would have risen expectations. I, unfortunately, am NOT a perfect warlord. The idea of uncroaking a volcano? Not something I would have thought of myself. I can do better then he did, only because I know what happened. When we run out of material, then I have to win on my own and I'll probably not always be able to manage it.”
“If that's the case, then it's best to show them I can lose, I think,” I finished.
“I think I need a few moments to digest this information.”
“Sure, that's fine. The reason I'm telling you is because you were the person that the original summon, Parson, trusted the most. You are also the most important person TO trust because you were the link between him and the great minds. If he can trust you, then I feel I can too. I don't see any reason to keep this from you. The stakes are too high for me to be playing around with everyone. So I'm gonna trust in the person I saw you become and hope you will help. I'll see myself out. We'll talk later.”
I got up and walked out of the throne room. I decided to go down the steps and practice riding spider back for a bit. God damn stairs. I don't need to constantly be climbing them. I was going to get a turnamancer to invent the escalator or something. I found a spider quickly and ordered it to try climbing the wall, which it could. After it had gone up and down a few times and I was confident that it wouldn't fall, I strapped myself in and then had it move around while I was mounted. I stuck close to the ground at first and, as I got more confident, it went higher.
Falling damage was serious business and one I didn't know if it affected me the same or not. You know the old saying it's not the fall that kills you but the stop? Well for Erfworlders, it's not even the stop. Hell, they don’t even break bones from the fall. No, it's the shockomancy that kills you after you finish crashing.
Humans tend to die because of the speed when hitting the ground and how soft the ground it when hitting. As far as I could tell neither was a problem for Erf. If it wasn't for the shockomancy, they would likely be able to survive a fall from pretty much any height. Also, while they are more likely to die from a longer fall, rather than a shorter one, even a tiny jump could kill them, if it happened in the wrong place. So their system had differences, I might possibly be able to take advantage from, if I knew how their rules affected me.
I was pretty sure that I would fall under earth rules, but there were safer things for me to test my humanity on first.
After about a half an hour I felt like I could ride the spidew elevator like a pro. I decided to name him Spindly and had it set up that he would stick around the tower for me. This was good, because I now could move quickly all over the city.
After I felt confident about it, I decided to check out the hex boundary. Only to realize that I didn't have my glasses on me, so I couldn't see it anyway. I went back to the tower. Had the spidew climb up to get me to the top, then I walked to the situation room. Misty was there still guiding Sizemore and Jade around. I had thought about talking to her but she looked so into it I decided not too.
I didn't feel like talking to Wanda. Woman frustrated me. In the end, I decided to go to the library and look through some books. Which I had done very little of so far. They kept me occupied for awhile. With less than half an hour until end of turn, I stopped my reading, climbed the tower and mentally ordered all humanoid troops around the wall.
I looked out and it seemed to have worked as I noticed groups of troops walking towards the city's outer rim.
I headed back down to the situation room to talk to Misty. She told me that Sizemore and Jade were finished but would probably not make it back to the surface until the enemy turn started.
Maggie was now in the room as well. I broke off from Misty to ask her how she was handling what I had told her. She said that she felt she had come to terms with the situation and was ready to help in any way she could so that things would go well.
Would have to do.
Noon is about ready. Time for the coalition's turn.
Mechanics Corner:
  • Stack Leader: Nothing conclusive but if a king lets the leader of his stack be another unit, I see no reason why that unit wouldn't be able to give the king orders.
  • Spider climb: No evidence on this but they are freaking spiders. I think they should be able to climb walls.
  • Falling: I have no idea if you break bones from a fall or not but I read that shockomancy was the big killer and that you could otherwise survive a fall of a massive height. So, I'd imagine that units don't get too damaged from simply hitting the ground.
  • Coalition numbers: My god is this so NOT fun. Okay, I'm doing a rough estimate of 2,500 units killed in my raid, after attacking 10 hexes that held 4,500 units. 1000 units were all stationed in those massive siege engines and were also killed in canon.  We got 5-10 heavies killed per hex. Lets say 10 per, so 100 heavies killed, which were also killed in canon as well.  The first big difference starts with killing the enemy archers. They take up 20% (900 units total) and the losses would be split among the men, marbits, and elves. There are 820 elves, two of which are archer focused.  I'll split up the numbers equally and say 100 of each. Woodsey elves were not in the column, as they were in surrounding hexes doing scouting duty, so they survived. The Shady elves took a hit though. That would be the total of elf losses.This takes up 2,000 units total. The last 500 would be mainly stabbers, which would also be the only group likely to go underground for the secondary attack, losses that can be made up for without much worry. I subtracted 1400 from the various members and called it good.

Word Count: 6.1k

Part 7 of 11 in The Imperfect Warlord