Times Turn 40

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 )                                                                         (
(                             NewOrigins Events                             )
 )                               May, Year 4                               (
(                                                                           )
 )     Handful locals are talking about the battle between two armies      (
(      happened in the volcanoes of Boldur Volcano where many soldiers      )
 )    will never fight again. This battle will be known as Battle near     (
(                      the mountains of Durwaz Rocks.                       )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(        Some pilgrims are worried about a fight between two armies         )
 )     happened in the desert of Great Ametanimos Desert where battle      (
(       ended in a slaughter of one of the sides. This battle will be       )
 )              known as Battle near the ocean of Volbuz Sea.              (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     Several locals have heard about an encounter between combatants     (
(     happened in the desert of Great Volbuz Desert where 42combatants      )
 )    were killed. The attackers slaughtered all defenders. This battle    (
(       will be known as Battle near the ocean of Great Amain River.        )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(       Dozen dockers are whispering about a conflict between hostile       )
 )     forces happened in the desert of Great Bletchgrove Desert where     (
(     battle ended in a slaughter of one of the sides. This battle will     )
 )         be known as Battle near the volcanoes of Durbadur Peak.         (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )       Many bards are discussing about the battle between enemies        (
(     happened in the mountains of Antanoatres Peak where many soldiers     )
 )    will never fight again. This battle will be known as Battle near     (
(                        the ocean of Winaer River.                         )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(     Many dockers are discussing about the town of Yazhnarb that lies      )
 )     in the Great Antanoatos Desert desert, where a partisans killed     (
(                                  guards.                                  )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(       A few scouts are rumoring about the town of Warringgrove that       )
 )     lies in the Great Morwaz Desert desert, where a villans killed      (
(                                  guards.                                  )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(       A few refugees are discussing about rangers who have expelled       )
 )     Sphinx (18831) near mountains of Bolagal Mountains. Freeing the     (
(              desert of Great Volbuz Desert from their fear.               )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(     Handful bards are whispering about daredevils who have massacred      )
 )      Sphinx (18840) near ocean of Great Gothall River. Freeing the      (
(            desert of Great Perikeros Desert from their terror.            )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(      Many scouts have heard about witchers who have expelled Undead       )
 )     (590) near jungles of Dokimatres Jungle. Freeing the swamps of      (
(                        Tama River from their fear.                        )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(     A few scouts are rumoring about rangers who have decimated Sphinx     )
 )     (18184) near ocean of Winaer River. Freeing the desert of Great     (
(                     Ialihn Desert from their horror.                      )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(         Numerous travelers are discussing about rangers who have          )
 )      destroyed Sphinx (18830) near mountains of Antanoatres Peak.       (
(       Freeing the desert of Great Ialihn Desert from their anxiety.       )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(        A group of witchers murdered the Demon (124) who inflicted         )
 )     anxiety on the inhabitants of the Lurgbuz Rocks mountains near      (
(                        volcanoes of Lurgbuz Peak.                         )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(     In the desert of Kataretes Sands, near ocean of Aoratalotos Sea,      )
 )    Sphinx (4611) who continue to cause anxiety to local inhabitants.    (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )        In the desert of Great Dunlock Desert, near mountains of         (
(      Khimilmud Mountains, Evil Warriors (921) who continue to cause       )
 )                      terror to local inhabitants.                       (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     Fearsome news were coming from the desert of Great Dokimarenos      (
(     Desert. Locals were terrified by the assassination near the ocean     )
 )             of Gelar River. The assassin escaped unnoticed.             (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     Frightening news were coming from the desert of Great Lurgshak      (
(     Desert. Commoners were scared by the assassination near the ocean     )
 )             of Milan River. The assassin escaped unnoticed.             (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )    Fearsome news were coming from the mountains of Dunham Mountains.    (
(     Inhabitants were stunned by the assassination near the volcanoes      )
 )         of Birmingmoor Volcano. The assassin escaped unnoticed.         (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )         Alarming news were coming from the mountains of Izuknuz         (
(      Mountains. Inhabitants were terrified by the assassination near      )
 )    the volcanoes of Izilgog Volcano. The assassin escaped unnoticed.    (
(__       _       _       _       _       _       _       _       _       __)
    `-._.-' (___ _) `-._.-' `-._.-' )     ( `-._.-' `-._.-' (__ _ ) `-._.-'
            ( _ __)                (_     _)                (_ ___)
            (__  _)                 `-._.-'                 (___ _)
            `-._.-'                                         `-._.-'

Quests

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 desert of Great Autarkirmos Desert roams the Giant Scorpions (108). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
Build a Temple in Antanoatres Woods for the glory of the Gods.
In the tundra of Maranarotes Tundra lurks the Storm Giant (504). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Antanoimos Sands roams the Sandlings (405). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Izuknuz Desert roams the Giant Scorpions (17307). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the plain of Basington Valley roams the Sandlings (433). 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 Durwaz Sands lurks the Undead (509). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Volbuz Desert lurks the Sphinx (631). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
Build a Temple in Ametanaskalos Dale for the glory of the Gods.
In the jungle of Evihar Jungle roams the Living Trees (482). 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 Bletchgrove Desert lurks the Evil Warriors (601). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Bletchgrove Desert roams the Demon (728). 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!
In the desert of Antanoarotes Sands roams the Sandlings (121). 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 Lurgshak Desert lurks the Undead (911). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!

Articles

$
Gyperboreya (10)
Magic carpets, RINGs, and Gate crystals. I wonder what we could do with them.
Four Horsemen (13)
Resources are scarce but world is full of aggression
Great Horde (16)
Some nice neighbors decided to donate a load of BAXE, MXBO and other goodies. It must have been Santa. 
The Filras (20)
Orcs are never ill. Praise the garlic!
M9 (22)
jumpers are jumping
Akacis (23)
Magic Power is also POWER :)
The Power (24)
Less monsters, more producers!
Silver Hand (25)
Running turn in the middle of celebrations is extremely tough!
Avalon Empire (3)
Ridiculous faction who needs six rounds to kill a unarmed and peaceful cartographer... The Gods are watching you and are laughting !
The Cartographer (30)
Another month, another random monster attack on my settlements.  Bah.
Atlanteans of Yore (32)
As times go by...
Blood Angels (35)
=================
Philistines Again
=================


Our Eldest's Column
-------------------

We are very flattered to be adopted/drafted by Stormspike then by Orc Hunters.  Yet it seems to me that their argument is "we don't have to plan to defend against our enemies because even if we are losing men and cities every month and are only a month away from defeat, we still 'win' if we meet winning conditions."  To the little folk, or at least, to the Eldest of the little folk, that seems like cheating.  Well, not cheating, because it is not illegal or forbidden.  But perhaps poor sportsmanship?  Winning like that would feel more like the end of a game than the end of a story.  To the (naive) little folk, it seems the factions opposed to the alliance that flies a beastmaster on their flags should not just quickly raise enough identical flags to end the game.  The should instead take down some flags with beastmasters on them.  

My friend of January year one, Good Mr. Hagen, has offered us all a way we could have a storyworthy end, not a sneak achievement of 'winning conditions'.  Last month Good Mr. Hagen proposed a contest of champions.  His exact words were "Would like to see an invitation to visit someone's mages."  One worthy ending would be to offer that invitation and prevail.

If the factions that oppose the alliance with a beastmaster on their flag dislike the contest of champions (because no champion thinks they can prevail against the party that took Perikirmos, Baddor, and likely another city this month), then another story worthy ending would be for other factions to replace flags at two cities (or two admantium mines) each month that one beastmasters flag is raised.  The alliance with a beastmaster on their flag would then have to split their always victorious party or slowly lose cities and production.  

The best end of our story is not many factions raising the same flag just before they would otherwise be defeated.  That's a cheat, or at least, a game like, not story like ending.  The best end to our story is many factions raising the same flag after they have emerged victorious.  And although we are flattered and honored by the Stormspike and Orc Hunters, should the story ends in honest victory, not "just before the clock runs out winning conditions", then the little folk think it right that the flag the victors raise should bear the emblem of a champion of that victory, not the emblem of a minor faction that writes long Times articles.


Religion Column
---------------

(by the now white haired High Priestess)

Are our gods really offering us an early peace?  I said our gods are Philistines.  Have our gods heard and replied?  
Thane's ring asks in last month's Times for an invitation to visit someone's mages.  This sounds to an old priestess like a famous Philistine call:

"Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us."

Truly Thane's ring is led by a good man who wishes to spare scores of soldiers and civilians by proposing a ritual combat between champions.  Good Mr. Hagen taunts us like Goliath of Gath, and his opponents, like Goliath's oppenents, are very afraid.  We wish only that Good Mr. Hagen's religious advisors had read over his text and provided the additional details we need to accept the challenge.  Goliath of Gath provided what counts as victory ("fight and kill me" or "kill him").  Goliath of Gath provided the stakes ("we will become your subjects" or "you will become our subjects and serve us").  Goliath of Gath provided the terms of how many fight how many "choose a man".  

Because Good Mr. Hagen's religious advisors did not provide these details, it falls to whoever issues the invitation to answer what are the terms of this ritual combat?  Who is allowed to participate?  How is victory determined?  What does the winner gain, and what does the loser forfeit?  Perhaps leaving these details to the faction that issues the invitation was Good Mr. Hagen's way of being fair to the challenged, like letting the man challenged to a duel of honor choose the weapons for that duel.


Story Column
------------

Let's have more good story.  Now that's a slogan a retired teacher can get behind.  I'll paint it as a motto on my shield.  

The peace columnist was in my classes years ago.  He was bad at his story classes.  He meant well, he tried to do the work, and he even thought he might want to be an author.  He never understand rising tension, success, followed by failure and a new larger threat, then final success.  His stories were bland and directionless.  To my surprise, despite earning poor marks in my class and in later story classes, he is now a more successful author than many of my students who were much better storytellers.  He has a regular column in the Times.  I misjudged him.

But please ignore his advice about flags.  He always liked short stories, and surprise endings.  If you want a long story with a good dramatic arc, Our Eldest and the High Priestess have better ideas than the peace columnist does.


LFLF Column
-----------

At our next meetings, both north and south of the equator, we shall discuss the good news that Our Eldest and the High Priestess have ignored our declaration of independence in the south.  We seem to be free; no army of littlefolk priests and pikemen is coming to put down our revolution.

At our next meetings, both north and south of the equator, we shall, over tea and biscuits, discuss the overall strategic situation.  It seems most factions in the south are still growing and monster hunting, with some preparations for war but not much fighting.  North of the equator, things are different.  Some factions in the north are seeing most of their mages and fighting men abandon this world for the next stage of existence.  In some cases the rest of the faction carries on, in some cases the rest of the faction loses interest in this world and waits for the next life ascention granted to all who meditate without acting for ten consecutive months.  

One of the littlefolk outside Stockwood will lead a break out discussion of why this duration is ten months and not a year.  Does death follow an old ten month Roman calendar?  Find out by attending the Stockwood rural area breakout session.

There is also the issue of war.  We find our southern hemisphere revolutionary guard is woefully unprepared to fight.  We ranch and farm okay.  We think our 
painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain are unparalleled, but there are no art shows here.  Art seems to be more about quantity (customers paid 16,000 silver to our musicians, poets, painters, potters and weavers last month) than about quality.  Should we participate in politics and war despite being late to the party, or should we concentrate instead on mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture?  Come to a little folk liberation front meeting to contribute to that discussion.  Politics and war, or commerce and agriculture?


Old Guard Column
----------------

Yazhdur did not last long.  Two armies met there, one carrying the flag with a beastmaster on in, the other hunting orcs.  A long battle ensued.  The beastmaster flag held the field, but they took losses.  Nearby, the orc hunters prevailed and slew many master archers.  The little folk wonder whether the master archers and the main beastmaster frontline were meant to be in the same place, and the master archers were intercepted on the march before they joined the main army?

In any case, I think my long walk to Yazhdur to safely relax with a cup of tea might have started too late.  It is unclear whether the tea houses will still be open when I get there.  I'm going to walk there anyway, maybe the tea houses will reopen under new management.  Maybe the new managers will be as good or better at maintaining peace than the Old Guard were.


Peace Column
------------

The peace of the old city guard is no longer available in Yazhdur.  I wish Our Eldest were not encouraging us to fight a long battle before the story ends.  What is so bad about a story that quickly ends in peace?  Maybe Good Mr. Hagen and the High Priestess have the best compromise; a ritual combat between champions to avoid shedding the blood of many soldiers.  A ritual combat is not exactly peace for the combatants, but if it results in peace for all the civilians and soldiers on both sides, the overall result is better than a broad war.  Someone suggested to us recently that those factions opposed to the alliance with a beastmaster on their flag might quickly raise many flags as a "trick play" to force the hand of the alliance flying beastmasters.  I'm not sure I see any trick here.  Unlike Our Eldest, I think a majority vote for anyone is a vote for peace, not a "trick play".  If it is a trick, I can propose another trick even more likely to succeed; we could all put up the beastmaster flag, and probably have peace next month.  I'm in favor of peace.  I don't care who is on the flag.  We could put a cute monster on the flag, and vote for peace that way, anything that can get a majority.  

Getting a majority is hard because a majority don't want peace yet.  One alliance wants peace so long as we put beastmasters on the flags.  A couple factions have (thank you, we are honored) proposed putting little folk on the flags.  Our faction has proposed putting anything on the flags, but putting them up soon to force the hand of the faction flying beastmasters.  (I don't know what "forcing their hand" would mean, but I fear it will mean more war and deaths, not peace.)  Most factions don't want peace yet, they still want to show off the fearsome war machines they have built.  

The little folk are divided about what to put on the flags.  Our Eldest says flags shouldn't go up until a good end of the story, and when that end is achieved, whatever it is, the flags should then honor a champion of that victory, not us.  I have said two things, that putting beastmasters on the flag can get us peace in a month, and that if there are more flags flown by factions unwilling to put beastmasters on the flags than there are flags with beastmasters, then we might instead put a cute monster on the flag, to avoid fighting over who to honor.  Anything is good, so long as we get peace before too many more die.


Obituary Column
---------------

This world is a dangerous place.  Most months more little folk advance to the next plane of existence than the month before.  Supposedly the underworld lies below us, but the gates to it have all been sealed.  The little folk have for years been seeking a way into the underworld (anywhere has to be safer than here) by rapelling over the edge of the world.  Last month, Doireann, Ariht, Anfeald, Urist, and one of the little folk we were unable to name searched for a way across the northern edge of the world.  There was a volcano close to but not quite at the edge of the world, and they went to the tundra north of that volcano to try to find a way over the edge.  They were expert climbers, but when a cute, curious little ice dragon (3123) tried to imitate them, grabbing the rope in her claws, either her claws or her weight was too much for spun littlefolk herbs.  Carefully spun little folk herbs parted, and all hanging from the rope were granted the blessing of more rapid descent.  The dragon had wings and went back to the tundra.  The little folk continued down together with their rope, either to the fabled underworld, or to the next plane of existence.
little folk (38)
Overhead in an Urgdur tavern....
-------
*I thought we had dealt with those pirate scum.  What happened to our elite squad?"
     "I heard they were just drinking on the shore while the fishers were attacked."
"But, they were right there.  Were they avoiding combat for some reason?"
     "They said the boss told them not to stay home - but also to avoid combat.  They found it confusing and decided the battle wasn't worth their time."
"What the heck?"
    "I know - boss gave them a talking to and told them they were all getting sent to the volcano if they didn't take care of the pirates this month...."
Kiiran (39)
The Ambassador perused the details in The Times. It seemed the number of factions in the world was going up again, and more people were coming into this world. He hoped they had a good plan, for there were many established factions sat hovering over all the gates and settlements.
The Children of the Four Winds (40)
...it was worth waiting for the main forces... although it still makes no sense...
Prodigal sons (42)
- Orc hunters attacked our lands.
- Why did they do it? We did not conduct military operations against them.
- Perhaps because they do not like to live peacefully ...
Martiniks Trade Guild (43)
Utuk'ku knows it is time to walk the talk. Time to take the first step.
Stormspike (49)
Guests moved away as quickly as they they arrived, didn't even sit by the table.
Hacked front door with an axe and left. Rude, very rude.
Magogash empire (51)
Dead can dance. If asked politely enough.
Corvin Ravens (55)
Barbarians a the gates!
Orc Hunters (56)
The priest cleared his throat once, then raised his eyes from the book before him on the lectern, to the congregation that waited in patient yet fervent adoration.

"And the Fendahl went forth among the people, and He saw that conflict had laid waste to the fields, and that many villages had been put to the torch, and many of the peasantry had been put to the sword.  And the King of that place came unto the Fendahl, and spoke with Him before the gathered peoples who yet dwelt there, seeking His wisdom as to how the conflict should be prosecuted.

And the Fendahl turned unto the King and said unto him, 'War, huh, what is it good for?  Absolutely nothing."
Then the Fendahl raised up his arms and called unto the multitudes, telling them "Say it again, y'all!"
And the people cried out in reply, "War! Hunh!  Good God!"
So the Fendahl replied, "What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.  Oh! Listen to me!"

And the King of that place heard the word of the Fendahl, and saw that it was good.
The Fendahli (65)
..
Peacekeepers (7)
Winter sleep is getting longer and longer.
It's great that our beawers knows what to do.
SuperBober (78)
No signs of the Demon, hope he went away..
Romans (8)
Happy holidays! :)
The Broken Skull (81)
Time to send the next Deathscarab.
Let's see if we can dodge assassins for two turns this time.
DeathScarab (87)
The area have a lot of resources. We need to find shelter and protection.
The Merry Magicians (89)
A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Onyx Drakes!
The Onyx Drakes (90)

Rumors

Joyous Yule!
Some people say that little people sell information...
Holden's back....nanana...
The Power is out of charge.