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The Dragon Cult of Erebus (FFH DI)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Stories & Tales' started by Verdian, May 21, 2012.

  1. zbelg

    zbelg Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    159
    Spoiler :
    Updated 6/29. Sorry for the delay!



    The Long Summer
    Spoiler :
    Reports have come in all over Kuriotate lands that the days have been longer, the skies have been clearer, and the sun has shined brighter.

    With brighter skies, the Kuriotate militias have been able to see further and observe more of the countryside. Furthermore, criminals facing longer days have found it more difficult to operate within the city, and highwaymen have been less of a threat without cover from the night. The soldiers, able to shift their focus to the outlying lands, have used this period of relative peace to develop more efficient reconnaisance techniques that can be used in the field.


    Distant Lands
    Spoiler :
    Clearly, Ghaeru had correctly interpreted Dallarin's vision. He successfully opened negotiations with the neighboring kingdoms and was suitably rewarded. With a respectable home in Aerie, Ghaeru took it upon himself to offer lodging to Bannor and Amurite travelers, as the locals still were very suspicious of the outsiders. He entertained his guests and shared stories, particularly interested in attempting to discover any more insight into the vision of the desert.

    One night, a Bannor party told him an interesting tale.

    "We once were under the command of a decorated general by the name of Decius. For reasons unknown to us, he defected from Bannor service and was exiled from our lands. He ventured far to the west, and found a city in the desert. From this city, Golden Leane, the stories say that he now holds the throne of the Malakim."



    Another night, an Amurite scout told him a more unsettling story.

    "I was dispatched to a desert in the north to investigate an area rumored to posess powerful magic. Along the way, I encountered a sizable party of travelers. They seemed harmless, so I approached them, and discovered we had the same destination. The travelers called this area the Mirror of Heaven, telling me that it was a holy site to Lugus and that they sought to find enlightenment on the sacred ground. I accompanied them for a while, as they seemed to know where they were going. However, one night, a troop of soldiers ambushed our camp. They were led by vampiric generals and flew the banner of the Calabim. I was accustomed to such situations and I was able to escape, but the pilgrims stood no chance. They quickly surrendered and I watched from a distance as they were marched into Calabim cities. As for the Mirror of Heaven itself, I found the holy ground, but an angel commanded me to leave the area."



    Ghaeru reported these findings to Dallarin in front of the Elder Council, and made a statement.

    "The connection between your vision from Lugus and the story of these captured pilgrims certainly cannot be a coincidence. My lord, perhaps we should send travellers of our own to investigate this."
    Spoiler :
    Investigate the Mirror of Heaven.



    The Second Vision
    Spoiler :
    Another restless night for Dallarin. Once again, he was in the desert, but this time he was alone, and he found himself this time at a crossroads. One road led into a dark, twisted forest. Along this road, delicious looking fruit hung from the trees closest to him. The other road led towards a blinding light. The signature of Lugus.

    He went to reach for a fruit. Before he could get to one of the trees, a lion approached him, seemingly from nowhere. Dallarin drew his sword, but the lion sat and began to speak.

    "I am here to help you. This way is dangerous, and the fruit is not as it seems. Do not be tempted towards corruption. Following this path will lead you towards certain doom for you and your people."

    The lion walked towards the other road.

    "I will guide you through this road, but only if you allow me to. Alliances are being formed, and it is time for you to choose your side. Demonstrate yourself as a benevolent leader. Your empire will only stand on a foundation of morality and redemption. Forgive the unforgivable, and you yourself shall be redeemed."

    The lion began to walk towards the light.

    "Follow me."


    Dallarin awoke. This vision was not as cryptic as the last. He decided to keep this one to himself.
    Spoiler :
    Research Way of the Wise before Way of the Wicked.

     
  2. Lplate

    Lplate Esus (Allegedly)

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    578
    Location:
    Ireland
    Got it. I'm just putting the stories up first.

    Edit: I'm finished with my edits. Save is attached.

    OOC, Interventions
    Spoiler :

    Deducting 20 gold from Kuriotates reserves (Trade Quest not completed yet)
    Made Aerie the founding city of the Dragon Cult again (switched when Acheron was created)


    OOC, Divine Eyes Only
    Spoiler :

    Ashton is now Ruins and I'm leaving the boys held there for another 50 turns. They're to be a nuisance not devastating and they could do serious damage to the Sidar if released now.


    Quest, Spymaster
    Spoiler :

    "Good morning, my lord."
    "Ah, good morning Rabish. I thought you were enjoying travelling to the rice farms with our guests this morning."
    "I was seen imbibing enough fermented mushroom juice last night that no-one was surprised when I didn't appear for the dawn start today."
    "I trust that they went ahead without you."
    "Yes, it proceeded as planned. It has allowed me to confirm some suspicions of the Bannor lady Darthia."
    Rabish handed Dallarin a carefully folded piece of vellum.
    "My lord, what you are looking at is a very detailed map of all major defences in Kuriotate lands. The apparent gibberish in the top right corner has been deciphered by the lamia, Chasthellah and is a count of all troops that lady Darthia has been in a position to observe."
    "What does this mean."
    "It means that we have a spy in our midst and the Bannor already have a plan for war."
    "Perhaps, you are jumping ahead of yourself. Lady Darthia may have been framed."
    "There may be truth in that. That only means that one of the other nations has a spy among us and is already trying to sour our relations with the Bannor. Either way, this evidence can not be ignored."
    "What is your counsel at this time."
    "As ever, there are numerous options. You have evidence that lady Darthia is a spy and could execute her as such. Of course, if the Bannor have been preparing for war, this may provide them with the justification they want to start it. You could simply banish her from our land and destroy that piece of vellum. I would expect that if she is in anyway a capable spy that she has already committed everything on that page to memory. Such an action accomplishes little but let's the Bannor know we are aware of their activities. They will have all the information they want and may still decide to press forward with a war. Subtlety may provide the best approach. Knowing that lady Darthia is a spy allows us to manipulate the information she receives and sends back to her masters. My counsel would be to allow her to continue for now without giving her any indication that we know. We may be able to use her against her own masters in the future. Of course, our observations may provide evidence that she is innocent and that we need to look elsewhere for our spy. Lady Darthia may not be the first spy in our land and may not be only one currently here. I would urge you to have a Spymaster establish a network of agents both here to defend us and in other lands to gather information. Remember, my lord, that most battles are won and lost before any weapon is drawn."
    "Are you offering yourself for the position of Spymaster?"
    "I may he the best qualified candidate but I fear I am already too well known both within your court and to the foreign dignitaries that have visited. You need an unknown, someone who is free to operate in secret as he develops your spy network."
    "Quintien, the Designer - he seems to have a knack for gaining access to our guests."
    "Discretion, not charisma is the brand of a good Spymaster. He must judge what to conceal and what to reveal. I would suggest Jerbane. He's proven himself capable and is still anonymous. I'll leave the decision in your hands. Until you have decided, I'll return that vellum to where it was found."

    OOC
    Spoiler :

    Objectives:
    Establish Spymaster and develop spy network (describe in the story thread)
    Learn Deception

    Carrot and Stick:
    If you kill lady Darthia, you'll take a big diplomatic hit with the Bannor.
    If you denounce her as a spy, you'll take a smaller diplomatic hit.

    If you do not establish a Spymaster, then some of the troops in any nation which goes to war with the Kuriotates will get a combat buff to reflect their superior information. At least 5 units will get the promo (8 if they have Deception). More troops will get this buff if the nation previously had Open Borders with the Kuriotates (number of turns of Open Borders in last 50 divided by 3. The divisor will be 2 if they have the Deception technology). Some nations will not receive this buff if discussions with the relevant God indicates they will NEVER resort to spying.
    If you have a Spymaster and develop the Deception technology, then your units will gain the Combat promotion if you're in a war with a nation that you previously had Open Borders with. The number of troops that get the Combat promo will be based the number of turns out of the previous 50 that you had Open Borders divided by 3. You won't get this benefit if the other nation also has Deception.
    If you've a war with two nations, then the calculation of the number of Combat promos will only be made wrt one nation.
    The Combat promos will be removed on the next God turn as the war will either be over or the information will be out of date.



    MP-II, The Song of Morpheus
    Spoiler :

    He'd been warned about the audiences in Aerie. Previously, bards had left that city with broken instruments or broken fingers as payment for their songs. Some said, the extra aggression was to be expected given a population of young men who'd been uprooted from their homes and forced to carve a new life for themselves in a strange place.
    As expected, the bard wasn't playing to an easy crowd but it was no more boisterous than those he'd seen in a dozen cities across the continent. He wanted a passionate song to catch their attention.
    He considered his repertoire and picked the Song of Morpheus. The early verses were all about the heroic Amurite, Morpheus and his great feats of bravery. Rooms of hotheads tended to identify with him and so the song was good for claiming young men's attention. It was not a tale of glory though. The Song of Morpheus was a story of one man's hubris. Morpheus had thought himself so great that he sought Acheron's city. There, he planned to slay the terrible dragon and then rob his famous horde. The gradual realisation that the hero, with which they had initially identified, was going to fail and die usually lifted a crowd emotionally only to make them plummet together once more. Once the audience was that emotionally invested, it was easy for a bard of his skill to control them for the rest of the evening.
    Things didn't quite go as planned when he sang. Initially, the song worked it's usual magic. Conversations lowered as all tried to hear. The few Amurites in the room began to mouth the words of the verses they knew best. When Acheron was mentioned all conversation in the room ceased. The only sounds were the bard's voice and the strumming of his strings. When Acheron slew Morpheus, most of the men gave a loud cheer. The Amurites were not impressed. It was a very impressive brawl, though. It started between some of the cheerers and the Amurites. Misplaced blows gradually brought almost everyone else into it. The bard tried to maintain his composure and finish the song. A look from the owner told him that he regarded the bard as being responsible for starting this fight. The bard made a quick exit and resolved not to play in Aerie again.

    OOC
    Spoiler :

    I'm not planning on changing Amurite diplomatic relations because of this - it was just a barfight after all.



    In Vino Falsitas
    Verdian, this spoiler is only to be opened when you meet a hunter.
    Spoiler :

    Verdian, this spoiler is only to be opened when you meet a Calabim hunter.
    Spoiler :

    The boatmen were laughing again. He couldn't help feeling that they were laughing at him. Granted, he was the only one on board that kept retching. At the start, it might have been associated with his hangover, which even now tormented his head. At this stage, he had accepted that he just was not cut out for life on the water. Still, their laughter irritated him. It drilled into his head and he kept thinking that there was some big joke that his drink addled mind had missed.
    He'd arrived in Kingsport the previous night. After almost a third of the year out hunting and trapping in the wild, he'd needed a drink and a bit of human social contact. The drink had fueled a bragging contest with the hunter not accepting that the Lanun were superior to the Calabim at anything. He kept pointing to his own skills as a hunter and asked them to name one Lanun who could match his skill. They told him that across the water there was an ape, bigger than 10 men which was more than a match for his petty hunting skills.
    He'd woken this morning lying on his back on the deck. All the furs and hides he'd gathered over the last four months had been sold to buy him passage on this boat. He'd catch that great ape and make his fortune.
    Why were those boatmen laughing?



    Return of the Roving Eye
    Verdian, This spoiler is only to be read after you have played through to turn 150. I'll expect your response in the next report.
    Spoiler :

    The ever vigilant Aerie guards spotted the flotilla when it was still far out to sea. Rabish made his way to the cliff edge on hearing.
    The lead ship was familiar. It was the ship that Dallarin had travelled to this continent on, just under twelve and a half years ago. Lord Rabish made the trip down the steep cliff path to where the fishermen kept their boats. He was curious to see if Captain Ruet was still in charge of The Roving Eye. Rabish reached the sea just as Captain Ruet's skiff pulled up.

    Captain Ruet jumped out and walked up out of the water. He grabbed Rabish in a rib-crunching hug.
    "Well met old friend. I long for trips like de one dat we shared. Dis last 'as been an 'ellish journey."
    "I remember it was a long trip but not an exceptionally hazardous voyage. This time, were there pirates, storms . . .?"
    "No. We brung all our problems wi' us from Kwythellar. De job was sold to me as bein' jus' like your old voyage. What weren't made clear were dat de cargo be de lowest form of life e'er to board a ship."
    "What manner of cargo have you? Is it animals or Orcs or what?"
    "Dey're people, well de mix of races you lot call people, but dey're scum. Lorda's thrown every murdering, thieving, lying son of a whore out of Kwythellar and onto our ships. Dey tried takin' two ships over - lost some good men dat day. We've 'ad to chain 'em all down in the 'old - none of de freedom to roam de ship that you 'ad. Dat Cardith Lorda 'as made me ships into slaveships and me and de crews ain't 'appy 'bout it."

    ---

    "My lord, I would remind you that we are not a colony and not a vassal of Cardith Lorda. We are exiles and so are not bound by his laws nor are we bound to accept the dross he sends us."
    "They are already here. From your discussion with Captain Ruet, I doubt he'll agree to bring them back to Kwythellar. At least, not at a price we can afford."
    "If we allow them to freely join the city, crime will soar. It would be better to help them establish a settlement further away from the capital's population."
    "You heard of their attempts to take control of the ship. If they are too far from our capital, they may rebel against us."
    "Quite true, my lord but that in itself offers a potential solution. They are not Dragon Cultists and so are not bound to our nation in the way others are. If we accept that they would not remain true to us, we may be able to recompense Captain Ruet to ensure that they settle sufficiently far enough from us that they don't pose a threat. Let them be a thorn in someone else's side."
    "Any who meet them will quickly assume that they are Kuriotates, given the mix of races they represent. Letting them loose elsewhere on the continent, out of our control, will surely be damaging to our reputation. It would be better to have them establish a new city and quickly build a temple where they can learn more of and become part of the Dragon Cult and our new nation."
    "We should quickly invest in such a city then so that they feel welcomed and more loyal. This may help redeem them. Otherwise, they must be close enough to the capital that our influence will discourage their independence. If these people do settle in Aerie or elsewhere in our land, I'd suggest prioritising the building of the dungeon that Cardith Lorda chose not to."
    "I'll need to look at the maps to see what the best option is."
    "There is one further, distasteful option. They have been brought here chained like slaves. If we choose not to remove the chains, then it will certainly be easier to control them. . ."

    OOC
    Spoiler :

    Decision time:
    Get Rid of Them
    Make a suitably generous offer and Captain Ruet returns the Settlers to Cardith Lorda.
    Make an offer of some gold and pick a Coastal location on the continent for the establishment of a barbarian city with a Held Warrior for defence, Assassins, Hunters Lodge and a Palisade. Take a diplomatic hit from other nations.
    Pay no gold (or I think your offer is too cheap) and I'll position the new barbarian city. Take a diplomatic hit from other nations. Anything offered will be considered.

    Accept Them
    Choose to accept the newcomers and get a Settler.
    Choose to accept the newcomers specifically into Aerie and increase it's population by 1.
    Pay 30 gold to cover the cost of the quick temple construction and select a tile within your cultural control (or within 1 tile of the border) and I'll position the CITY (note: not a Settlement) with a Pagan Temple already in it there.

    Any assassins or agents of Esus in the city (founded by settler or placed by me) get an extra 5 xp on the God turns up to a max of 25. If they are settled in Aerie, then it will be only 3 xp for these units on the God turn.

    Enslave Them
    If you already have Philosophy researched (or are within 3 turns of completing research on it) and choose the Slavery approach, I'll give Way of the Wicked tech and two Slave units.
    If you already have Way of the Wicked, you can have the two slaves.
    If you don't have Philosophy, you can have only 1 slave and don't get Way of the Wicked (you're not as efficient at managing their work). If you manage to get Way of the Wicked in the next 50 turns and the slave is still alive, I'll give you the second as you can efficiently work them then.

    Divine Eyes Only
    Spoiler :

    Cost to return the criminals to Kwythellar is 400 gold or equivalent.
    For determining if an offer is too cheap for selecting the barbarian city location, the number of sea tiles to reach settlement location * 3 is the required amount for an offer not to be too cheap. If Verdian is creative in the offer, I'll consider anything he includes apart from the gold.




    Esus Flavour - Shortening the Road
    Spoiler :

    Between Aerie and Cevedes
    They saw a stranger on the road, travelling in the same direction. As always, they invited him to shorten the journey by sharing stories along the way. He was full of tales. There was one of the minstrel who joined a campfire, sang everyone to sleep and then stole their goods. There was one of the guide who promised to show the caravaners a shortcut through the Dimwood. He led them to a hidden grove to be sacrificed to the savage aspect of Cernunnos and feasted upon by wild animals. There was the tale of the merchants, Tarik and Quale, who in the end are revealed to be mercenaries who'd slain the man who had employed them. He had many tales of travel and shared them as they walked and as they sat that evening around the fire. As everyone settled to sleep, they reflected that it was a long time since they had passed such an entertaining day.
    The stranger parted company from them the next morning.
    In the afternoon, they saw a stranger on the road, travelling in the same direction. They quickly hurried past him.


    Esus Flavour - Love
    Spoiler :

    People fear the shadows. They wonder what lurks in the dark. They're suspicious of that which can not be seen.
    They're less wary of silences, especially when they're slipped into a torrent of words. Esus prizes such silences. A missed word or silent syllable can completely change a meaning.
    This is one of his favourite first salvos against a loving relationship. Once the initial misunderstandings are established, it's easier to provoke more. In the end, the couple have trained themselves to completely ignore entire topics of conversation without further interventions from Esus's minions.
    Even True Love can be killed if the lovers stop believing in it.
     
  3. axecack

    axecack Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    33
    .....
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Ravus_Sol

    Ravus_Sol God-Emperor of Mankind

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,597
    Location:
    Cruithne
    Spoiler gods eyes :

    Good job on the cottage solution :)

    But in other news, the most recent save has an extra Settler to the west, I assume added by mistake at some point. That probably needs deleting.

    I fiddled with the save and I think we can pull off a colony spin off. We probably shouldn't do it often, maybe bring it up in the god-hermatic lore thread.

    I should also note that I placed the Pallus near the Dragon City before realising that the Pallus was the Tower of Eyes that Perpenchant was meant to have escaped from. So it should be near the Balseraphs and deleted from the dragon spot and the spot near the Lanun. I may steal the save for one last quick edit before its taken on friday if that's okay.
     
  5. Ravus_Sol

    Ravus_Sol God-Emperor of Mankind

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,597
    Location:
    Cruithne
    Spoiler Mortal eyes :

    A few edits needed to be made, to fix a few things
    EDIT: Somehow while writing the update the attachment disappeared. I'll edit this post and put it back in.


    :c5food:Cernunnos - God of Nature:c5food:

    He was only an Archangel.

    At the end of the day, sitting upon his thrones of leaves, the new Nature god did not feel worthy. When his Lord Sucellus had been reborn as the God of Life he turned to his Archangel and said "I cannot do both Precepts Justice, I have been reborn as something new. You must take my place. I have faith in you." But Cernunnos does not feel it.

    He has no Divine Spark. Not like the First born Angels, now gods, or the mortal race, whom all hold a remnant of the Divine from their forefather Nemed the original God of Life.

    For over half a Century he had sat on this throne and tried to wrestle nature to do his bidding. It was all so much he barely had any time for the mortal realm of Erebus. But even when he was distracted he could feel it, the other gods pushing against the compact. The Divine Law that kept the gods out of Erebus, away from all its wonders and peoples...

    He had not realised he missed it so.

    As an Archangel he had been exempt from the Compact in some minor ways. One of which was the ability to pass back and forth as long as he limited the use of his powers. He had left family behind to take up his Lords mantle. It was sickening that others were bending the rules while he tried to stay true to them.

    He would have to take more of an interest in Erebus and the other gods.

    First the Horned Gods eyes turned towards the now fallen demons of Camulos, escaped from his vault. The isle was aflame, set alight by the Hellhounds death throes. But they had been dealt with by mortal means. Although a part of him hated to see his forests burn he shouldn't interfere...

    Second his eyes turned towards the Angels of Sirona, prowling the lands openly. Many of the other gods wouldn't interfere with her. They all saw her as their "Little sister", she could do no wrong in her siblings eyes. If no one else would do something Cernunnos would.

    But for now he would hunt for the goddess who hid between worlds. She was a prey worthy of his pursuit. To bide his time waiting he encouraged animals to settle and make homes among the mana nodes of the world. That should slow down whatever machination the witch had in mind.

    -

    They came in groups, trickling in. The Orcs had heard about the status of Demi-humans and the worship of Dragons. Both were things of interest to them. They settled in a small collection of cottages north of the Aerie, the Suburb was named Rotfang..

    Initially there was rumours that the King had made a deal with Bhall but no one knew for certain. There was some trouble, but mainly with the pure humans, most of the Demi-humans like the Lamia and the Mustevals were happy to have the Orcs around as long as they obeyed the law.

    The humans who got along most with the inhabitants were actually the ones who followed Lothbrok the Harbinger of Camulos. Many a night people in the city could hear the drunken songs from the small settlement. Some of the Orcs even promised to follow along if Lothbrok got permission to establish a warcamp.

    The Orcs had barely been there a month but it looked like they could make this land a home. If the King allowed them to stay.


    Spoiler Divine Eyes :

    • Deleted the Pallus near the Lanun
    • Changed the Mana node of the Pallus near the dragon to a fire node
    • Added a Vampire Hunter
    • Deleted the Extra Settler
    • Named the Orc cottage Rotfang


    Spoiler Mortal Eyes :

    We needed to fix some things with the save so I also added some story stuff as well. The Orc cottage received a name to differentiate it from the other cottages you may make. But you may still kick the Orcs out and even pillage the cottage etc.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Bad Player

    Bad Player Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    3,531
    Location:
    (Bris)Vegas!


    Seated in his chamber, the archangel called upon Cernunnos.

    "So it has come to this."

    "What do you mean?"

    "War is inevitable. Bhall, the treacherous, weak goddess who has fallen from her grace, wills the Bannor's destruction in fire."

    "And why should the fate of your people concern me, Junil?"

    "The world will burn if she has her way. Your beloved forests will be no more. The screams of woodland folk will cut your heart and your ears. Your power will wane, your cause will die. Your ancient lands will not be remembered in history books for those who follow unholy fire have no care for such things. Barbarian rabble for the most. Yet they are powerful..."

    "I see..."

    "Join me in holy crusade against those who wish death upon all order and the destruction of nature. My people have not the strength of orcs, nor the speed of wolf riders. But I tell you this. Our will is relentless! We are a people forged in the fires of hell! Bhall shall bring fire to us, but we shall smelt weapons of iron!"
     
  7. Bad Player

    Bad Player Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    3,531
    Location:
    (Bris)Vegas!
    OOC (for all):
    Spoiler :
    I have some stuff to do for my save yet, if anyone wants to take the save I have to still think of quests and do the barbarian promotion stuff.
     
  8. apenpaap

    apenpaap Tsar of all the Internets

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,468
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    :evil: Ceridwen, goddess of Magic

    Ceridwen appeared in Camulos' vault. She saw it was once again just the way he liked it: an enormous battle raging all over it. Demons and only partially demonic humans chopped around with weapons designed to cause as much agony as possible, mauling each other again and again, as it was impossible to kill anyone in Hell. Deep below, the screams of the endlessly tormented prisoners of war sounded. The groundd itself was a horribly scarred, broken land.

    Ceridwen calmly moved through the melee. Anyone who swung their weapons at her always found she was somewhere else than where they'd thought she was, and so she reached the largest, most ferocious fighting figure without ever being touched. Camulos was fighting with more ferocity than anything else here, raging and crushing entire groups of others with a single strike. Ceridwen always thought it amusing that many of the gods felt the need to take such gigantic forms, as if to show their power off to mortals. Ceridwen found her human-sized form much handier. And she had her own, more subtle ways to make her power obvious to anyone.

    "Enjoying yourself?" she asked, letting Camulos know of her presence.

    He swung one of his many giant weapons at her, an club thrice her size with axes and morningstars sticking out of it. Of course, it landed beside her new place. "WHAT DO YOU WANT?!" the God of War spoke in his thunderous voice, "CAN'T YOU SEE I'M BUSY?! WARS DON'T MAKE THEMSELVES, YOU KNOW!"

    "This is your Vault," Ceridwen said with a smile. "Wars always happen here because you want them to, even if you're not here. Besides," she added with an arch look. "Wouldn't you rather be this... busy over in Erebus? With all the squishy mortals and their true fear?"

    Camulos took another swing at her, but this was to be expected when talking to the God of War. Though Ceridwen doubted the soul who got crushed in her stead thought about it the same way. "THE COMPACT-" he began, but Ceridwen interrupted him.

    "Is but an inconvenience. I have a plan that will work around it so nicely, it will let your friends and later you yourself have all the fun you want in Erebus."

    "WELL, DON'T JUST STAND THERE! HOW DO YOU PLAN TO DO THAT?!" roared Camulos.

    "Let me worry about the details; Dimensions are my precept like yours is War, after all. But in large lines: we need to weaken the borders between worlds. We can do it by having lots of mortals die, like in the razing of their cities, or by having our servants perform specific rites. The weaker they get, the easier it will be for your anger and war to enter Erebus and cause yet more war. And if we keep it up, we'll be able to let your demons, or even your archangel, into Erebus. All you would need to do is something you'll enjoy doing anyway: make sure as many wars as possible rage over Erebus. Especially wars the servants of our enemies will lose. What say you? Will you join me?"

    The God of War's expression of rage hadn't changed through the conversation, but it did when she mentioned the Avatar of Wrath. "I'M IN," he growled with a broad, vicious grin. "NOW GET OUT OF MY VAULT, YOU'RE KEEPING THE FIGHT AWAY FROM ME!"

    "Excellent," said Ceridwen with a grin as Camulos once again swung his weapon at her. This time, she disappeared completely from his vault.

    --

    As Ceridwen stepped through a tear in space and appeared in Agares' hell, she instantly felt the despair around her. That same despair was the reason she was not here to visit Agares: Ages of wallowing in his own despair had made him too desperate to do much of anything. Ceridwen was the true leader of their coalition, though none of them would ever think about mentioning that to Agares.

    Instead of Agares' dark throne, she started to head for a brightly burning sea of flame until a whoosh of sound left notes of music and the rustle of trees in the air.

    "Ceridwen!" Roared the horned being that stepped through her slowly closing portal. "I have tracked you through the dark spaces in between worlds, I knew you would eventually visit a Vault. I would-"

    "You would do nothing," she sneered. Such ungraciousness from this pathetic being nearly snapped her control.

    Cernunnos stepped up to her, as if trying to use his height to tower over her. "You will stop violating the compact. We all heard you, even if the others do not dare call you on it. I will."

    A effort of her will pulsed through the air and forced the God of Nature to back away as space and time themselves twisted. "You speak to me of daring, Archangel? Why, I'm surprised you have the daring to set foot in this vault. We all know what happened last time you were here... Your son killed before you, your dark twin born before your eyes."

    The words seemed to beat into the young god like whips of malice. He flinched and looked away, showing weakness. The older god smiled in satisfaction. Hell was slowly stirring, realising there was an uncorrupted godling walking among them. Ceridwen's eyes flickered to the south and Cernunnos followed her gaze. There, standing tall atop one of the burning mountains was a dark horned shape, gazing at them. Slowly, it started to make its way across the expanse to them.

    "You will never be one of us," Ceridwen whispered to the young god.

    She turned and walked away, unafraid. Knowing that Cernunnos would be too busy fleeing from his dark twin, Hyborem, to pester her any more. As she entered the flames she had been heading to, she felt him jump back through her portal just before it collapsed. Maybe it was the flames, or maybe the loss of the Archangel pretending to be a God, but the despair was much less powerful in the flames. She reached the heart of the inferno, where the burning godess Bhall was collecting demons of her own.

    "I love what you've done with the place," Ceridwen remarked.

    "What do you want?!" Bhall spoke with a fiery voice.

    Ceridwen decided to get straight to the point. Bhall was not a patient godess, after all, and she'd wasted enough time with Cernunnos.

    "Will you join me in burning Erebus? We have worked well together in the past, when I bound your traitorous Archangel Brigit in starlight. Agares is wallowing in his despair, he has so little time, even for the ones he loves."

    Emotion flittered across the Fire Goddess' eyes.

    "We can show him the way again. Set the world aflame, bring mortal souls by the thousands into the vaults of Hell. It would be a tribute to both of you and a fitting revenge against those that denounced you."

    "They will all burn in the end! Time matters not!"

    "Those on Erebus... But even now some of your angels shelter under Lugus. Hiding in his vault. Junil has stolen mortals from your vault and his Archangel leads them himself! He even named them Bannor as a slur to you. Right now, Bannor children are being taught to curse your name and revere Junil's.

    Right now we cannot enter Erebus. The Compact we created has locked the world away from us. But if the compact and the boundaries between worlds were weakened... Then we could get back at them, you know.

    If we have your followers on Erebus to go to war, especially with traitors like the Bannor and the Malakim, have them attempt to summon demons into the world like the followers of your Dragon, the boundaries will weaken. We could even make Archeron swear fealty to you instead of biting your hand. But we must teach them the proper ways to worship us; make us more powerful while weakening the world at the same time. Will you join me, Bhall?"

    Those words rang through the the goddess' head like electricity. They had brought out both excitement and a longing for the glory days in Bhall. She realized how much she missed the thrill of the gods war and the chaos across the planes. Although Agares' hell had vast quantities of souls to torment, the ones Bhall wanted to burn the most weren't here, but on Erebus. The thought of her unholy fire enveloping the mortal realms had re-awoken Bhall's passions that she herself forgot she had.

    The fires of hell began to burn like never before. Flares rose higher than they ever have since Bhall first landed in Agares' vault. Noticing this, Ceridwen started to hesitate. Had the goddess of Fire rejected her offer? She knew she needed to get out of the vault before the fury of both Bhall and Agares fell unto her.

    "Don't look so worried, Ceridwen. These flames are as much yours as they are mine! Let us bring them to Erebus together and see those puny mortals ablaze!"

    Bhall raised herself high above her throne. She expanded her demonic wings and let loose a blinding light that seemed to illuminate all of hell.

    "I will rally the infernal armies with Agares and prepare them for war. I leave the weakening of the veil to you!"

    OOC:
    Spoiler :
    No immediate effects, just some behind the scenes plotting. My thanks to Derf, Ravus Sol, and axecack, who took the little drafs I posted and expanded them greatly and replied to them.


    Weyoun entered Dallarin's quarters. Dallarin was surprised to see how much the man had changed. Last time he'd seen him, he'd had bronzed skin from working on his farm for a lifetime and rough farmers' clothes. Now a very pale Weyoun in long black and purple robes entered his quarters. Dallarin didn't remember him having such unsettlingly purple eyes either.

    "Good day to you, my Lord," he spoke with an unsettling smile. "The Emyrs send you greetings. You'll be pleased to know we have served both our Goddess and you well. Clearly Ceridwen is happy with the conduct of our nation."

    "That's... That's good," said Dallarin, still taken a bit aback.

    "Indeed it is, my lord. We have been researching further and further, and we have trained users of magic. They are at your command, my lord, and will serve both you and Ceridwen. The academy we have built will be of even greater use to all of us in the future, helping us both in our research and the training of users of magic. However..."

    "Yes?" Asked Dallarin.

    "We are with only a very few. We're doing our best to serve you and Ceridwen, but it would be much easier if we had a populace to educate. Ceridwen told me this in a vision. She wishes you to send a small populace, so that our knowledge may be put to even greater use. She also wishes us to discover the proper ways to worship her. I know you are a wise man, my lord, and I'm sure you'll do these things. Not only would they please the greatest of all gods greatly, but even without her rewards the acquisition of knowledge and magic will benefit us all greatly."

    OOC:
    Spoiler :
    You received two Adepts with Dimensional 1 and Prophecy mark in The Emyrs, and the Adept already there received these promotions too. An Academy and Mage Guild have been built in The Emyrs but are virtually useless right now because it's still a settlement.

    Quests:
    -Upgrade The Emyrs to a city.
    -Research Way of the Wicked before Way of the Wise (other than that, there's no time limit to this one).
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Derf

    Derf Modular Mushroom

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2002
    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    UK
    (I know I've already made a post -this is more supplementary, and doesn't affect the game - yet.)

    Camulos, God of War

    Ceridwen visits...

    OOC all:
    Spoiler :
    This is the 'other side' of Ceridwen's visit, taken from Camulos' point of view. More or less the same but for obvious reasons, with different sentiments voiced.
    And yes I know I didn't use caps like apenpaap did. It's just a personal choice.


    Camulos had tired of the endless commentary and incidental 'accidents' that befell those he didn't support. Some of the undying souls fought better than others, but he alone fought better than the lot. You didn't go through existence as the God of War without picking up everything, after all.

    He was vaguely aware of another God arriving in his Vault, but was too distracted by the raging battle to care. Whoever it was clearly had an interest in finding him, so he silently nudged the war toward them in the hopes they'd give up and go away. A simple and completely ineffective plan.

    "Enjoying yourself?" the voice came from somewhere below, and was instantly recognisable as Ceridwen. Almost absently he swung one vast weapon at where her voice had come from, though it found naught but empty air - and a careless soul. Ceridwen stood beside where the weapon had stopped, completely unconcerned by his reaction or the twitching remains of the soul.

    She'd chosen to stay on the same scale as the mortals, he noted. He'd never understood why some gods did that - what was the point of being a God if you didn't get to show off?
    "What do you want?" he demanded ungraciously, absently sending a stray demon back into the war with a backhand strike. "Can't you see I'm busy here? Wars don't make themselves, you know."

    "This is your Vault," she pointed out. "Wars always happen here because you want them to, even if you're not here. Besides," she added with an arch look. "Wouldn't you rather be this... busy over in Erebus? With all the squishy mortals and their true fear?"

    Camulos grunted, taking another swing for her. There was nothing personal intended by it and she knew it; this was a battlefield, he was the God of War. "The Compact-" he started darkly, but was cut off.

    "Is but an inconvenience. I have a plan that will work around it so nicely, and let your friends and later you have all the fun you want there."

    She waited for him to answer that. It took him a while as the nearby battles, left unaffected by his distracted attention, returned around them. When there was a rare clear moment, he finally rounded back on her and almost roared, "Well don't just stand there, how do you plan to do that?!"

    "Let me worry about the details; Dimensions are my precept like yours is War, after all. But in large lines: we need to weaken the borders between worlds. We can do it by having lots of mortals die, like in the razing of their cities, or by having our servants perform specific rites. The weaker they get, the easier it will be for your anger and war to enter Erebus and cause yet more war. And if we keep it up, we'll be able to let your demons, or even your archangel, into Erebus. All you would need to do is something you'll enjoy doing anyway: make sure as many wars as possible rage over Erebus. Especially wars the servants of our enemies will lose. What say you? Will you join me?"

    His expression had not changed until she made mention of Wrath. The Archangel had been trying to find a to Erebus for some time. So far only a few lowly demons had managed that, and never where anyone knew about it.

    "I'm in," he growled with a broad and, to the nearby souls, deeply unsettling vicious grin. "Now get out; you're keeping the fight away from me." Then his attention was gone again, entirely focused in the eternal war around him.

    OOC all:
    Spoiler :
    The below is just a touch of flavour and foreshadowing. Again, no effects for now, but a few hints of what's coming. Divinities and those outside the game can glance into my posts over in the Hermetic Lore thread to gain further insight into the meaning of these little scenes.



    One in another...

    In a hidden room, three figures met. They took great care not to be recognized by anyone on their way to their meeting, and ensured that none knew what transpired within.
    "I've been to see him," one spoke, a gravelly voice.
    "What did you make of him?" a second inquired.
    "His hold is firm, but he appears more cosmopolitan than conqueror," he replied. "I do not believe he would support us."
    "Did you receive his response?" the third, the only woman among them, asked.
    "I didn't wait for one. I left the options before him and let him consider it. No doubt I will hear back from him in due course."
    "What will you do if-"
    "Don't start with what-ifs," the gravelly voice sighed wearily. "I have already made plans. I'll inform you as necessary. Now we leave - and carefully. None must know what we plan."

    OOC, Divine only:
    Spoiler :
    Obviously, the first speaker is Lothbrok. As for what they're up to - have a glance into the Hermetic Lore, if you're not already aware of it. Clearly here, this is only in the very early formative stages.


    A familiar story...

    Cevedes sat along a shoreline, like other cities. The city guard patrolled the outer perimeter, like other cities. These things by themselves were merely coincidental.
    As the guard changed over between the night watch and the day watch, one pair of guards near the shoreline paused to watch a battered old ship sail up to the shoreline. It flew no flag, bore no crew, name or sign of origin. Only one person was aboard, and she looked like she'd seen more than a few battles. The great battleaxe she held competently in one hand was pitted with nicks and had many dark stains over it.
    She was not, however, a competent sailor it seemed. The ship snagged on a reef that tore into its hull, before long the currents ripping up the ship. The warrioress aboard made it to shore without any suggestion it had bothered her. She stumped up to the guard, one leg apparently not as strong as the other.
    After looking them over critically, she spoke. "Convey me to your leader," she told them in a tone that indicated this was not a request, it was a command with an implied threat. "I have words for them from Lord Camulos."
     
  10. Ravus_Sol

    Ravus_Sol God-Emperor of Mankind

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,597
    Location:
    Cruithne
    Looks like you were busy this weekend and couldn't grab the save. The length was very good. Everyone is writing for a story so as long as it all flows the length is superfluous.

    We got organised in the Hermatic Lore thread, so I figured I'd post an updated Quest list for you, so you don't have to worry about catching everything yourself when you get back.

    Quest Status
    Ceridwen - Research Way of Wicked before Way of Wise. ON-GOING
    Ceridwen - Upgrade the Emyrs to a full city. JUST STARTED
    Esus - Learn Trade. ON-GOING (Current loss = 20gold)
    Esus - Set up Spymaster and Spyring JUST STARTED
    Sirona & Lugus - Research Way of the Wise before Way of the Wicked JUST STARTED
    Sirona - Found a holy city with the Swanmay rallied Settler JUST STARTED
    Lugus - Seek out the Mirror of Heaven JUST STARTED
    Cernunnos - Respond to the meeting of the wild Centaur herd JUST STARTED
    Camulos - Settle or banish/deal with Lothbrok and his violent settlers, he wishes a forward base and to create a command post JUST STARTED
    Bhall - Burn down the Bannor forests (Make a choice to be a friend or enemy of Bhall) JUST STARTED
    Bhall & Cernunnos - Decide what to do about the Orc Immigration in Rotfang Cottage JUST STARTED
     
  11. Bad Player

    Bad Player Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    3,531
    Location:
    (Bris)Vegas!
    Can you please take the save Verdian?
     
  12. thecougarbear

    thecougarbear Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Oregon
    This has been a great read! I hope it continues.
     
  13. Ravus_Sol

    Ravus_Sol God-Emperor of Mankind

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,597
    Location:
    Cruithne
    We do too :)

    But Real Life may have become serious. It does that. Whatever it is we'll be keeping an eye on this thread for when Verdian comes back.
     
  14. Ravus_Sol

    Ravus_Sol God-Emperor of Mankind

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,597
    Location:
    Cruithne
    It's been three weeks since Verdian visited the site so we're guessing this is on hiatus until whatever real life event has occurred is over. We hope whatever it was turns out to be benign or joyful.

    While you are away we'll start another DI to keep us busy, but if you manage to return we will pick this right up again as we are all interested in it :)
     

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