Times Turn 37

.----      - ---     --     ---   -----   - --       ----  ----   -     ----.
 )                                                                         (
(                             NewOrigins Events                             )
 )                            February, Year 4                             (
(                                                                           )
 )     Multiple pilgrims are talking about a fight between two armies      (
(       happened in the desert of Great Basingford Desert where many        )
 )      soldiers will never fight again. This battle will be known as      (
(                  Battle near the ocean of Glanar River.                   )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(     Handful adventurers are discussing about a clash between hostile      )
 )     forces happened in the desert of Great Basingford Desert where      (
(      many soldiers will never fight again. This battle will be known      )
 )           as Battle near the mountains of Basinggrove Rocks.            (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )      Dozen druids are rumoring about the skirmish between enemies       (
(          happened in the desert of Great Basingford Desert where          )
 )         72combatants were killed. The attackers slaughtered all         (
(     defenders. This battle will be known as Battle near the mountains     )
 )                          of Basinggrove Rocks.                          (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )      Dozen merchants are discussing about the town of Warringgrove      (
(     that lies in the Great Morwaz Desert desert, where an opposition      )
 )                            murdered guards.                             (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     Many locals are rumoring about the town of Warrington that lies     (
(         in the Great Antanoatos Desert desert, where a partisans          )
 )                            massacred guards.                            (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     Handful bards are discussing about witchers who have massacred      (
(     Sandlings (18014) near ocean of Great Gothall River. Freeing the      )
 )           desert of Great Perikeros Desert from their dread.            (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )    A few druids are rumoring about rangers who have massacred Undead    (
(       (18012) near ocean of Great Yaer River. Freeing the desert of       )
 )               Great Autarkirmos Desert from their terror.               (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     A few merchants are rumoring about daredevils who have murdered     (
(       Sphinx (632) near mountains of Bolagal Mountains. Freeing the       )
 )             desert of Great Volbuz Desert from their dread.             (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )      Handful peasants are rumoring about hunters who have murdered      (
(     Sphinx (18009) near ocean of Hornlock Lake. Freeing the desert of     )
 )                Great Autarkirmos Desert from their fear.                (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )        Some traders are rumoring about daredevils who have slew         (
(       Sandlings (17985) near ocean of Nottingwood Sea. Freeing the        )
 )           desert of Great Autarkirmos Desert from their fear.           (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )    In the desert of Great Izuknuz Desert, near volcanoes of Izuknuz     (
(      Peak, Evil Warriors (816) who continue to cause terror to local      )
 )                              inhabitants.                               (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     In the desert of Great Volbuz Desert, near ocean of Birmingvil      (
(         Lake, Undead (1927) who continue to cause terror to local         )
 )                              inhabitants.                               (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )      In the desert of Durbuz Desert, near jungles of Volbuz Woods,      (
(         Sandlings (17755) who continue to cause anxiety to local          )
 )                              inhabitants.                               (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )        Frightening news were coming from the mountains of Boldur        (
(     Heights. Inhabitants were horrified by the assassination near the     )
 )       volcanoes of Lurgshak Peak. The assassin escaped unnoticed.       (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     Fearsome news were coming from the tundra of Gotholzam Tundra.      (
(      Citizens were afraid by the assassination near the volcanoes of      )
 )          Birmingmoor Volcano. The assassin escaped unnoticed.           (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )    Frightening news were coming from the desert of Great Dokimarenos    (
(       Desert. Commoners were terrified by the assassination attempt       )
 )        near the forests of Volrod Forest; thankfully, the victim        (
(                                 survived.                                 )
 )                                                                         (
(__       _       _       _       _       _       _       _       _       __)
    `-._.-' (___ _) `-._.-' `-._.-' )     ( `-._.-' `-._.-' (__ _ ) `-._.-'
            ( _ __)                (_     _)                (_ ___)
            (__  _)                 `-._.-'                 (___ _)
            `-._.-'                                         `-._.-'


In the desert of Great Lurgshak Desert lurks the Undead (911). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Bletchgrove Desert lurks the Evil Warriors (601). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
Build a Temple in Ametanaskalos Dale for the glory of the Gods.
Build a Temple in Alani Woods for the glory of the Gods.
In the desert of Great Dunlock Desert roams the Sandlings (433). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Durwaz Sands lurks the Undead (509). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Autarkirmos Desert roams the Giant Scorpions (108). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the plain of Aerakos Valley roams the Sandlings (405). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the jungle of Evihar Jungle roams the Living Trees (482). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
Build a Temple in Aerakos Valley for the glory of the Gods.
In the desert of Great Volbuz Desert roams the Sandlings (4300). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the tundra of Maranarotes Tundra lurks the Storm Giant (504). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Antanoarotes Sands roams the Sandlings (121). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
Seek a token of the Ancient Ones legacy amongst the rootstone of Antanoarotes Sands.
In the desert of Great Autarkirmos Desert roams the Giant Scorpions (490). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the tundra of Tritotuspolisus Tundra roams the Giant Birds (149). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Perikeros Desert roams the Sandlings (493). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Volbuz Desert lurks the Sandlings (2252). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
Build a Temple in Antanoatres Woods for the glory of the Gods.
In the desert of Great Volbuz Desert lurks the Sphinx (631). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!


And there is something to pay, but I don't want to win at any cost. I don't want to put my foot on anyone's chest. I would like to stay with you, just stay with you, But a star high in the sky is calling me on my way.
Gyperboreya (10)
Same old, same old.
Iron Harlequins (12)
There are tales of great conflict. So, far though, it's been pretty quiet around here. Even the monsters are behaving themselves.
Four Horsemen (13)
We welcome new factions in out part of the world. 
Great Horde (16)
Merfolks resist my sword. I need a new one.
Desert Eagles (18)
The undead die this turn. Then the demons, will be hunted.
The Filras (20)
As there were no other contestants, orcs claimed themselves to be the winners.
M9 (22)
Next time no matrial 5 faction games :) 
The Power (24)
Another monster down. Next !
Silver Hand (25)
The Demons are located. A Witcher squad is heading toward them!
Avalon Empire (3)
Some confusion in the orders leads the Cartographers to chaos this month...
The Cartographer (30)
I need to change my deodorant.  I seem to keep attracting monsters.
Atlanteans of Yore (32)
The crying angels
Blood Angels (35)
Ogre Mage Saint Story

Our Eldest's Column

This month I forgot to come inside from the rain, and my spell books got all wet.  Wouldn't matter for the simple spells I studied in my youth, but my old eyes can't read this wet paper very well.  I'm not sure coming inside is wise anyway; I read about all these assassinations, and I'm certainly not prepared to defend myself against an assassin.  Hiding out here in the rain seems safer.  I must be getting old.

To all those little folk I encouraged to go to Stockwood.  Ignore the Little Folk Liberation Front Loonies.  Just settle down.  Make things.  Don't start any fights you can't win.

Religion Column

(by the High Priestess)

An earnest orc in my class asked "Why are there stronger factions who take cities and kill our friends?  Why is there war?"

I answered "There is war because the gods, or at least _our_ gods are Philistines."

My class was shocked to hear me describe our gods as Philistines.  I think some thought this was blasphemy.  But the gods, or at least our gods, are what they are, and as a priestess, my job is not to invent gods that make good role models for little folk to emulate.  That's closer to Our Eldest's job.  My job is to describe our gods as they really are.  Even if that makes some little folk want to fight instead of sing or farm.

Our gods don't care about art.  If the gods wanted art, we would be able to separately study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.  There would be detailed advantages of each level of study in each art, and long discussions in the tavern about the unfair advantages one art has over another and how they should be rebalanced.  Our gods are Philistines, group it all together as entertainment (and building?), the mastery of which allows the use of no new raw materials, nor the construction of new items.

Our gods barely care about manufacture.  If the gods wanted manufacture, we would be able to separately study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture.  Our gods only care about the war related parts of these.  We may study naval architecture, navigation, and agriculture, because those are related to transporting and supplying armies.  If exploration counts, we can study geography, but only as much as is needed to move armies from place to place.  If the gods cared about manufacture, there would be more skills, raw materials, and magic we could apply to the mystic nine cooking challenge.  The mystic nine might have garlic, but the little folk might have shallots.  But the gods only care about armies, and don't care much what those armies eat.

Our gods do care about politics and war.  For politics, they gave us factionmail, unitmail, the Times, and declare ally.  The convex down distribution of mages versus administrative capacity also encourages politics.  For war, they gave us choices of ranged versus melee weapons, swords versus pikes versus bare hands in the beginning, and mithril versus more iron versus admantium versus enchantment for later game swords.  Our gods gave us more types of weapons than types or artwork.  For war, they gave us more choices of armor than choices of edibles.  (For armor the choice matters, so really there is no choice, we must choose the best.  For edibles, the choice doesn't matter, we can eat grain, livestock, fish, meals or silver with no difference except in difficulty of transport.)  Our gods gave us free moving items that fight battles, not free moving items that build beautiful tall buildings, or present morality plays to the populace, or allow new types of music.  There is war, my avid orcish acolyte, because our gods want war.  And we, made in their image, want war too.  The gods haven't given us anything else to want in this life.

LFLF Column

Thane's Ring Spirits have taken Stockwood.  And it is all Our Eldest's fault.  Our Eldest encouraged little folk to make the dangerous trip south, and we have nothing to show for it.  It is time to stop listening to Our Eldest, who is far away from Stockwood (we think) and is not helping us.  Let's set up our own government in the south, free of Our Eldest's stupid instructions to leave our homes, and free of the High Priestess' instructions about who we should taunt and who we should be nice to.  The little folk can be free!  Well, free of Our Eldest and the High Priestess, if not free of Thane's Vanir.  Let us separate the little folk into those north of the equator and those south of it, with the south independent and free (of little folk, if not of foreign overlords) and the north still in thrall of Our Eldest and the priestesses.  Maybe the dividing line should not be the equator but the Tala, for all that made the dangerous crossing of the Tala owe nothing to Eldest and priests.  Let the little folk be free!  Free of ourselves, anyway; freedom from mithril clad overlords is not presently in our grasp.  If you live south of the Tala, come to a little folk liberation front meeting for discussion of how best to use our new freedom from priests and eldest, and for the very best cookies.  We wish the gods of this world had given us a way to contest our cookies against M9's garlic.  If you live north of the Tala, come to a little folk liberation front meeting to discuss how we can join the newly free south.

Census Column

21 cities have been mentioned in the Events section of the Times.
The little folk know the locations of these and of an additional 11 cities.
The large swaths of the map the little folk have not explored perhaps contain another 5 cities.
If so, the story ends when 19 cities agree to end it.

We don't control any of these cities, and it wouldn't be little of us to name here who does control them.  But if any other, bolder factions would like to share in the Times what they know about who controls which cities, that information might change the duration of the story we all tell together.

Unofficial Religion Column

(by the youngest sister, the one who is interested in the ice people)

Let me see if I can get in the same trouble as my older sister.  
My older sister is in trouble with the High Priestess and with Our Eldest because last month she offended our friends, defending (in words) the alliance of 5 recently named in the Times.  I shall defy my oldest sister to support my older sister.  

I think the alliance of 5 recently named in the Times, the first large alliance, has done us a boon.  Not just the little folk, all of us.  That alliance has made the times we live in more interesting, and our personal stories more interesting.  The times are less interesting for those, like the alliance that promised weather (who I liked), whose stories have been cut short by this alliance.  And the first large alliance won't make things more interesting for those who have long been busy in their own little local wars; their lives are already interesting, their warlords and tacticians are already having fun.  But for most of us, who have been polishing our war machines and training our magicians, the first large alliance has given us something new to do other than sit in our little kingdom studying and looting the local devils and ice dragons.  I, for one, thank the alliance recently named, for making life more exciting.

Making our friends hate us even more, I will write here that Kiiran is right, the first large alliance is not cheating.  They are just playing _better_ than some of us.  I'll add that I'm unsure why "Thoon" or "Good Mr. Hagen" gets all the credit (blame?) for the deeds of that alliance in the Times.  Little folk saw, and were awed by an early city capture by 4 members of that alliance.  Our Eldest personally witnessed another early city capture where M9 defeated a city full of mages using only non-magical soldiers.  For more than a year little folk have watched Martinks Trade Guild slaying sphinxes that interfered with trade routes.  And we have witnessed Beasthunters slaying members of famously experienced and observant old factions without getting caught.  There is more than one skilled warlord in that first alliance.

Maybe I'm now in the same trouble my older sister is in, having offended our friends and praised our conquerors.  Now I'll see if I can outdo my older sister, and get in even more trouble than she is in.  I'll try to offend (or at least tell secrets of) the first alliance instead of offending our friends.

Our Eldest, for advice, pays years of his life to demons.  
We priestesses are jealous of the length of our threads, so we eschew demons and listen instead for free advice in taverns.  (Well, I do, maybe my elder sisters spend less time in taverns than I.)  In the tavern, I heard an Ogre Mage (saint?) give advice better than any Our Eldest has had yet from demons.  That saint advised "let's focus on good story  more".

When a saint advises, a priestess should go to work.  So, blaming all that follows on that Ogre Saint, I'll now tell some secret bits of the little folk back story.  

Our Eldest has previously described how we thought desert was the obvious place to enter if we wanted a settlement to ourselves.  He has previously described how on the first month Good Mr. Hagen advised him to tarry in the Nexus for a month, because the world beyond the gateway to desert was a dangerous place, and a month would give Good Mr. Hagen time to make the world safe for the little folk before they entered.  Our Eldest did not say, and now I am revealing secrets I'm not authorized to reveal, that Our Eldest entered in the village of Stockdare, slightly north of the Lanktos Sea.  Here he, or rather the first little folk who joined him, soon met a couple friendly factions.  We promised good neighborship to one, and allied with the other.  We almost immediately saw some cities fall to what we now know (but did not then know) was the first large alliance named in the times, or perhaps a subset of 4 of them.  The falling cities frightened us, so Our Eldest fled from the falling cities, overland on camels to the nice safe city our ally had set up, to begin study there.  No sooner had he arrived than Our Eldest witnessed the conquest of that city and the destruction of all our ally's mages by one member (not Thane) of the first large alliance.  If I remember correctly, that attacker used no mages, ordinary soldiers with mithril and flaming swords sufficed to defeat 5 (not perfectly defending) mages.  Our Eldest snuck away, and spent several month travelling back overland to Stockdare.  

By the time he got back to Stockdare, villages, towns, and cities all around us were falling.  We didn't think we could take any settlement faster than it would fall to the men of mithril and flame.  So instead we spread out as wide as we could.  The men of mithril and flame fanned out rapidly, so we still couldn't really get beyond the ring of their armies, except perhaps a bit to the extreme far west and south of our expansion.  Suborned in the lands where where we first entered this world, there we retreated into the wilds the alliance of 5 didn't want, and offered whatever we must to survive.  And in time, that alliance let us have a village and two towns inside their safe ring.  A village and two towns was far better than we would have achieved on our own, so this put us in debt to our conquerors, which was a bit awkward.  The little folk have always been slaves, but the bad guys seem to be being nicer to us than we expected, without promising us anything.  How do we stay honorable in that situation?  So now most of the little folk live inside the safe ring of the first alliance's armies.  This really has been safer from monsters than the lands outside the ring; Martiniks Trade Guild doesn't approve of monsters ambushing his trade wagons.  (That's probably another secret I was not supposed to tell.)  We also work some with our friends outside the ring, wondering whether these friends will be strong enough to resist the expansion of the first large alliance's ring or not.  The answer has largely been "not"; the alliance promising winter was/is one of our friends, and was unable to resist the first alliance.  The details of that are their story to tell or not, not ours, so I won't write more about it here, other than to say that just as we were all impressed by that alliance's early conquest of city near our origin, and Our Eldest was impressed by the first alliance's conquest of the city he and our first ally occupied, I and my sisters were impressed by the story of the conquest of Perikirmos.  Wow.  We've got nothing like that.

I'll also say that some author of rumors is mistaken if they think elricz or any of the faction that died at Perikirmos sits too close to the fire.  That faction _never_ sits close to the fire.

We are newcomers here, and although we are overawed by the force used at Perikirmos, we imagine some wise old factions are ahead of and prepared for the attacks of first large alliance.  We see that the factions who expanded over our old homes, (where many suborned little folk live still), are not the only factions preparing fearsome war machines.  Perhaps some of the factions we witness will be strong enough to make islands of safety, cities the first large alliance cannot or will not capture.  The first large alliance will still be able to win a majority election by overrunning weaklings, though, unless those islands of safety cover more than half the world.  We don't see that they do cover half the world; there are many weakly defended cities.

That would be okay.  A fast rush by the first large alliance is not a bad story.  Some complain that the same heros win every time in the fast rush story, but,well, the same heros winning every time is the most common way for a series of stories to be told.  If Ogre Mages advise us to make good story, well, in a series of stories, usually there are heros the reader is meant to identify with who always win.  So maybe we are already on track to make a good series of stories in the usual mold.  In that case, some readers are meant to identify with Thane, others with Martiniks, and some others with M9 or Beastmasters.  Maybe there will even be a few weird readers who identify with the villains who always lose.  A fast rush by the first alliance is, perhaps, a short story.  Not too short, the previous volume in this series of stories was even shorter.  If the builders of fearsome war machines want a longer story this time, if they want more time to play with their toys in this installment of the series, well, then I think my older sister has it right; a long story needs an alliance of 23, not 11 alliances of 2.

Peace Column

The high priestess is preaching war.  Her youngest sister is offending everyone.  She says she wants more story, but couldn't we have a nice, short, _peaceful_ story?

Obituary Column

Ethne, Onuist, and Talore were slain while looking for weather.
little folk (38)
Overhead in an Urgdur tavern....
*music playing*
"And who are you, the proud lord said
That I must bow so low?
Only a cat of a different coat
That's all the truth I know.."
Kiiran (39)
The crucial supply train of camels supplying stone had failed to turn up. This was a disaster, as the quartermasters could only distribute for free into nearby regions, and the heavy stone required a lot to transport. The final link of road would have to wait two more months....
The Children of the Four Winds (40)
life in this world is coming to an end, as I understand it. sadly. I have just begun to understand how this life works...
... my father says the same thing when he remembers his age...
Prodigal sons (42)
no rumors
Martiniks Trade Guild (43)
Don't wait until the flaming swords are at your door, act now and it is possible that the strongest would not take all. Name your city for the smallest of all, Little Folk (38)!
Stormspike (49)
All for one.
Thane's Ring (5)
Our scouts still report new and new territories found, exploration is still ongoing.
Let's hope our ocean scouts won't meet pirates like the last time.
Magogash empire (51)
Blank is the new black.
Corvin Ravens (55)
How many have fallen already?
Orc Hunters (56)
In the golden fields - wheat,
Herds go through the pastures.
And the villagers have faces like bronze,
Because every day is a harvest.
They feed us tirelessly,
They provide us with bread and milk.
Dark League (6)
Amidst the arid scrub, a few goats chewed contentedly in the afternoon heat.  Their goblin herders sat nearby atop their packs, swathed in undyed linen draped to provide shade.

A few grains of sand stirred, trickling down the face of the dune.  

Then a few more, a sussurating whisper that gathered and grew into a rush of wind and roar of abrasive wrath towards the goatherds.
The Fendahli (65)
Fleet was successfully expanded, but we need more ships!
SuperBober (78)
Demons are attacking the Roman Empire!!!
Romans (8)
I asked my girlfriend
what to write for this turns times 
she said a haiku
The Broken Skull (81)
Ahhh, the quite times drifting in the nexus planning the peaceful spread of the swarms......
DeathScarab (87)
We start our journey, jumping blindly. Hopefully, we will find some allies soon.
The Merry Magicians (89)


At least six cities have another city at the same latitude.