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Turn 13453 Since Founding of the Illustrious Kingdom of HyGoa'uld (I think, I am still new at this)
1st Entry of Straf
Greetings to whoever reads this after I croak. My name is Straf. I am a barbarian caster. Currently I a Level 2 Apprentice Changemancer.
If you have been reading the life of Warlord Vigorous up to now, I have to inform you that Warlord Vigorous is no more. He was croaked three turns ago and I believe about six turns since his last entry. If you enjoyed Duke Vigorous's story up to now all I can tell you is how he croaked. Vigorous as you remember from his last entry was on patrol for his side, the Illustrious Kingdom of HyGoa'uld. He had been given the honor of patrolling the western forests of HyGoa'uld. In his typical above and beyond fashion, and in typical heroic style, he took it upon himself to not just stick to roads and holdings but seek out the dens of beasts & barbarians. Unfortunately for him his plan to gain level, loot, and laurels did not work out this time. He ran into my band of barbarians in our ruin and we croaked him.
If you liked Vigorous’s story so far I hope you don’t hold that against me.
And if you felt he was a bit of blowhard like me, I hope don’t hold that against him. For you hold in your hands something I hope will become I bit of tradition. And while this journal has largely been a work to glorify one man’s ego up to this point, it was still interesting to hear about someone’s story. It gave me a lot to think about, and I learned a lot about sides. And I can symphasize with Vigorous’s want to be remembered. Being a barbarian I really don’t know how long I have to live. There will be no side to remember me. And my band will likely die with me on that day.
So here are my promises to you if keep this journal or see to that someone else keeps it:
1) Most likely you, my croaker, will be from a side, so I will try to write down as much about the barbarian mindset and mechanics as I can. If nothing else you can put this book in a library for new warlords to read.
2) I speak well of your honor for a fallen enemy when we are before the Titans. For if nothing else I have at least earned acknowledgement from the Titans.
3) I will incorporate a cypher into my entries that leads to my barbarian treasure and hidden sites of value I have discovered.
4) I will try write something interesting.
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So let’s start. To begin with I am just 3 turns old. I popped with 5 squads of 8 barbarian chuckers each. Chuckers are a kind of spearmen unit that has a limited archery special that allows them to be proficient with throwing spears and javalins. I get the impression they are nonexistent among sides. Their thick leather clothes are not as good as the metal armor that your stabbers have. I really wish I could have fit into armor we picked up from Vigorous’s stabbers. I share the tough leather armor of the chuckers, but in my size.
Oh yeah, I am a heavy. As the heavy caster I hope you remembered croaking me. It amuses me that everyone in the squads comes up to just a little past my belly button. I love being the 'big guy', even though I think my heavy special is why my casting so Titan's blasted aweful. Heavy comes in handy in fight, but as I caster all I have is my “change sense” and the ability to change the willing to things I am familiar with. You have no idea how frustrating it is to be able to touch something or see something and sense it could change, but you can’t do anything about it. When I change something it is like I need the person’s will to hold my hand and help me make the change. If you have not guessed it, I can’t change inanimate objects. They have no will, so they cannot be willing. Plus if I am unfamiliar with what it could change to it is like trying guess what a tree looks like by touching it in the dark. ARRGGHHH.
Sorry to get off track, you probably want me get back discussing barbarians. If you want to know about magic and casters you can talk to your side’s casters.
Well for starters we are not all one side. The squads kind of work like a stack that doesn’t like to unstack. I asked the chuckers about it when learned about Vigorous’s side to get a better idea. As a natural stack they like to decide everything by consensus. Why do they need a consensus? Because when they run out of orders, they always have one permanent order. “Forage & Survive” And they use consensus to determine how to handle that order.
You may be asking ‘Who gives them orders?’ Well commanders just like you. Which brings us back to me and our warlord.
Three turns ago, I, the five squads, and our warlord SilverEyes all popped in our ruins. We all popped at night as the full moon was its zenith. This was different than how Vigorous explained how it works for sides. Your units all popped at the start of your turn. We popped at night, all auto-aligned. I think it was a kindness of the Titans. For when we popped we knew that tomorrow we would face an enemy who came to kill us and steal our holy Silver Armor.
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The Silver Armor was our first and most glorious sight. I remember seeing SilverEyes standing on that broken marble pillar. The bright moonlight shining its silver beams on the holy item. Looked like the moonlight was momentarily solidifying around SilverEyes as armor, then dripping down on the ground around her. Then SilverEyes spoke. She told us that tomorrow we would earn our right to exist and right to possess the Silver Armor. She explained that freedom was a gift of the Titan’s given only to barbarians, but we had to earn this gift. If we did well tomorrow we would keep that gift. If we did poorly we would fade from existence like we had never been and ignored at the gates of the City of Heroes for we had never really existed.
SilverEyes is a really good speaker and if I had known about record keeping back then I would recorded it. As it is I can only remember the gist of it.
You are probably wanting some hard facts. For those of us who popped with the armor, there was in deed a mechanic attached to all this love. As long as we possessed the Silver Armor or were allied with the one who possessed it, our upkeep was cut in half. Furthermore if the possessor remained inside the ruins we could choose to go into stasis in the ruins like a side-less city, avoiding all upkeep. But we could end the stasis a predetermined time or when enemies entered our hex. Naturally we all choose to stay with the Silver Armor for it improved our chance of survival. At this time I am not sure if this was a feature of the magic item or a Titan’s law governing our world.
If you are wanting speculation, my guess is that we popped that night because Vigorous was Fated to enter our ruin and find the armor. And obviously Vigorous had to prove he was worthy of it, so we popped to guard it.
Dawn came and so did our turn. SilverEyes immediately ordered us below the ruins in the tunnels. Luckily they were big enough for me to enter. We would ambush them down here in the tunnels. SilverEyes’s plan was pretty solid after she surveyed the area. We would wait in one of the larger chambers. I used my Changemancy to give everyone the best camouflage I could. We then would rig an artificial cave in to cut the forces in half. After springing the trap we would overwhelm one half of them and then get the rest later.
I wish that I could say that Vigorous had went out in glorious combat like he wished, but fortunately for us his Level 7 ass got itself caught in the cave in. He was crushed by rocks. I think my band all forgot to breathe when we saw that leadership bonus to his units and did not inhale till we saw it vanish.
I then used the last of my juice to change two squads of chuckers to heavies trait like me for the rest of the turn and made my hands hard like rock and waded into combat. I was stacked with one of the enhanced squads and SilverEyes with the other. We made short work of the leaderless stabbers, and then mopped up the confused and orderless stabbers on the other side of the cave-in.
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I am very proud of my first bit of work as a caster. SilverEyes’s camouflage plan had worked, and my idea to change the front liners into heavies had made up for our inferior arms. After the fight I claimed all of Vigorous’s gear (which is how I got this journal and his spare pen) except the sword and no one fought me over it. SilverEyes wanted the sword since hers was so crude. The chuckers eagerly changed into the stabbers equipment.
Someday I am going to change that armor into something that will fit me. It is something to work towards and it is nice to have a goal other than pure survival.
After the fight we had a pow-wow. Being barbarians we have no “Duty” or “Loyalty”, so everything has to be decided before hand. The squads decided to that they would rotate out stasis. Four squads still lived after the fight. One squad would forage, while the other three would stay in stasis. That way we would minimize our communal upkeep. SilverEyes was made leader if she agreed to go into stasis. I was heavily pressured to go into stasis also, but I had no interest in that. I knew that if I was to grow as a caster I need to experience more of the world. I needed to be able to do more than change units temporarily into heavies. While it is true that barbarians have much lower upkeeps than units with sides, when you have no treasury or holdings the reduced cost of a barbarian caster is still daunting.
I was prepared to leave though. The prospect of that terrified me, but something in my heart told me I had to be firm on this. The squads conceded the point for now, but I had to prove that I would not be a burden within 12 turns, shut up, or follow through with my threat.
For now I lead the foraging team into the forests around the ruin. So far my status as a caster has been less useful than by heavy trait. At the end of the day I am usually the one carrying all our supplies. I am really strong too. I can carry by myself what 5 chuckers can.
I can still not change inanimate objects yet, but I have learned one trick. If I hold an object and channel juice through my “change sense”, I get an intuitive sense of some of the things I can fashion manually out of a material, the best way to do it, and how to do it with the tools I have on hand. Yesterday I used Vigorous’s sword to cut, widdle, and hack some reeds and grass into some quality baskets and tonight I used the trick to cook our evening meal of roots into something somewhat edible.
That is all for tonight. I need to turn in. In the two turns since the battle our forging has been poor, mostly due to me. My caster trait is eating through the few smuckers we find from smucker-convertible items. As a heavy I need to eat thrice as much as the rest. I really need to get better at this forging. Baskets and slightly better prepared tubers only go so far. I don’t want to go into stasis.
Readers: What happens next?
1) Straf finds and tames a pet
2) Straf meets other barbarians while forging
3) A barbarian horde comes to the ruins
4) Straf encounters unallied natural allies
5) Straf finds a gem mine