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Journal of Urtu the Scribe: The Castles of the Line

From the journals of Urtu the Scribe:

Amateur tacticians often debate the relative strength and wisdom of hypothetical campaigns on the Line. Such talk does little more than keep tea houses busy with custom as the old men talk and shout and arrange the cups on their tables to illustrate their points.

There is, however, one point on which nearly all the teahouse experts agree: if fighting erupts again, it will start in the lands surrounding the Durani Keep of Tel Kubra and the Gudanna fortress of Val Sattra. The argument, as this less-than-puissant scribe understands it, is that both fortresses on this portion of the Line augment the strengths of their masters.

Situated on a wooded plain, the castle town of Tel Kubra is second only to the ancient Tel Zarkara in size and strength. Its walls are almost of a height with ancient Bhira and fixed together so cunningly as to leave almost no joint between the stone. At the top of its battlements, reliquary artillery stands ready to repel attackers. It is a place well suited to the long range of Durani attacks.

Val Sattra, or Healer’s Hall, as the common people call it, is an altogether different sort of castle. Largely underground, or else deeply buried in the strong rock, it was once the monastery of a sect of Zikia healers. Now it is little more than a jumble of ruins, yet ruins have their strength as well!  From Val Sattra, Gudanna troops are well sheltered against the far-reaching attacks of the Durani until just before the walls of Tel Kubra. Within the sheltering crags of Val Sattra, an entire invasion force might enjoy complete cover from Durani attacks.

It is strange to walk between these two places, in the muddy farms of the poor people doomed to be destroyed by warfare. Is this the place where the war will finally be reignited?

 

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New Features in Update!

A new update for the Golem Arcana app is coming today for the iTunes, Google Play, and will be coming soon to Amazon. The update includes several new features, listed below.

 

Scenario Builder:

Scenario Builder allows you to make custom Scenarios using any of the tiles you own. In addition to creating a custom map, you will be able to place deployment zones, control zones and choose victory conditions. Victory conditions range from death match to king of the hill to a combination of the two.

Save Game 

The save game feature will allow players to save a game that is in progress and return to it at a later time. No longer will you have to worry about not having enough time to finish your epic Golem Arcana game.

Building Armies:

The layout of the in-app army creator has been updated to allow players to browse Golems by Arcanum. In addition, you can tell the app which Golems you own and then filter them to the top of the list to make army building easier.

New Digital Blood Knights and Ancient One: 

There is now an in-app store where you will be able to find new Blood Knights and Ancient Ones for sale. Blood Knights are powerful warriors who have both a passive ability and active ability. New Knights and Ancient Ones will be added to the store over time to acquire for your armies.

Beta of Emissary event system: 

The update includes the beta version of several tools that are designed to help Emissaries host organized play events.

 

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Lords of the Line, Living Word Scenario playable till Jan. 7!

The Living World Scenario Lords of the Line  is now live! Having bested the Durani at the battle of Two Rock the Gudanna have halted the Empire’ s invasion. Taking advantage of their victory the Gudanna are now trying to change the tide of the war by capturing the one of the mighty Durani border castles on the Line.  The Durani are not without allies however, the Mercenary King Vanya and his Untamed have sided with the Empire in the battle.

Rally your 1000 point Golem Arcana army and join the fight to determine the fate or Eretsu! Every game of Lords of the Line played before January 7th will be counted toward deciding the outcome of the battle, which in turn will have a direct effect on future scenarios and the world of Eretsu.

For the most up to date information on how the battle is progressing be sure to follow @HeraldofEretsu on Twitter.

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Results of the Caves of Mahtis

The Recorded History of the Caves of Mahtis:

Pursuing the Durani forces as they fled the city of Two Rock, the Gudanna vanguard encountered an enemy force stationed around the Caves of Mahtis. The Empire was searching for the ancient and powerful Rune of Zukti, a mystical Zri artifact hidden deep in the caves. Taking the Rune could completely turn the tides of war for whomever gained its devastating power. As the fighting around the Caves escalated, ambitious Mercenary Kings who had fought for both Empire and Dominion in the siege of Two Rock joined the conflict over the Rune, this time fighting on their own behalf.

After entering the Caves, the knights of Eretsu soon found that the Caves contained more than the treasure they sought. Warriors of every Arcanum found themselves face to face with the ghosts of of their ancestors and countrymen. The Durani forces met with more ghosts than the rest, one of them accusing the Durani of being usurpers from House Hamazi, stealing the Empire from its rightful rulers.

The rest of the spectres were far from benevolent. Many of those who encountered the ghosts felt their wrath, having their mana drained from them. Many affected knights were left powerless in the depths of the underground labyrinth.

Spurred on by their recent victory at Two Rock, the Gudanna beared down on the Durani with unbridled fury snatching the Rune from the Empire. Those who bore the Rune however found themselves lost, heading deeper into the Caves affected by the raw magical energies that ran rampant throughout the cave.

Harnessing the vast amount of mana present in the Caves, Durani mages unleashed powerful miracles and curses upon the disorientated Gudanna. Using the magical barrage to its full advantage, Durani knights cornered any Gudanna warrior carrying the Rune, slaying him for his prize. During the battle, the Durani unleashed more magic than any other force in the Caves.

As Durani and Gudanna Golems tore each other apart, the fighting became so fierce that the two great nations armies were forced into a stalemate. During the course of the fighting the Rune changed hands 150 times as the carriers of the powerful artefact were rapidly brought down by their enemies.

The Mercenary Kings, while never controlling the battlefield, continued to make their presence known, especially against the Empire whom they launched several attacks on. As the Durani and Gudanna beat each other into submission an Urugal Mercenary King, Raza Osa bin Beleem, saw his chance. Organizing his own force and those of several lesser Mercenary troops, the Urugal commander ambushed a Gudanna force who had barely survived capturing the Rune from the Empire.

Raza Osa Bin Beleem’s  gambit paid off. The Urugal chieftain was able to escape with the Rune of Zukti, secreting it away to the south. Some have reported that Osa Bin Beleem was not the lone architect of his plan. Many claimed to see a young Urugal princess help design his plot, but others assert there was no girl, and one of the Caves’ phantoms was responsible.

The Rune out of both their grasp, the Gudanna and Durani pulled back from the blood soaked canyon around the Caves, saving what was left of their respective armies for the long war ahead.

 

Data

The Caves of Mahtis had an interesting result from a data perspective. Throughout the two week collection period, the Durani and the Gudanna kept things close. So close that they were within a few percentage points of each other for most of the weekend, often within one game of each other.  As the collection period came to end the two great nations were tied.

This left us with interesting choices to make. We expected that the side that won the scenario was going to claim the Rune of Zukti for their own, and have it help them in a scenario in the future. However, with a tie, this was no longer an option and we were needed to get creative when looking at the games data for which way to take the story.

Winning less than 15% of the total games, the Mercenaries were far from winning the battle on their own merit, but they did acted as spoiler for the other two sides. Looking at the data, the Mercenaries ended up hurting the Empire more than the Dominion, one of the major reasons why the Empire didn’t win the scenario.

Since the scenario ended in a Tie, we felt that there were two options open to us. Either the Rune could be destroyed in the fighting, or the Mercenaries could make off with the Rune. We decided that having the scenario end in a null result wasn’t fun and didn’t work to progress the plot. On the other hand, deciding to have the Mercenaries claim the Rune allows us to bring it back in our next Living World campaign and give the fledgling Mercenary powers a place at the table so to speak.

As at Two Rock, the Gudanna forces at Mahtis were divided in their loyalties between Rudatha and Nandanna. At Two Rock more of the force was loyal to Rudatha, at Mahtis however Nandanna seems to have picked up popularity.  55% of the Gudanna forces were loyal to Nandanna at Mahtis.

Over the course of the battle, the Rune changed hands a significant amount of times. In all the holder of the Relic was killed on average 3 times a game.

The Durani encountered the most ghosts, with Gudanna close behind. While the Gudanna and Durani had more bad ghost encounters overall the Mercenary kings had the highest percentage of bad encounters, almost half of them ending with a negative effect. Overall there were 280 Ghost encounters.

 

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From the Journals of Urtu the Scribe

The Castles of the Line…

 

Anyone with any question about how tenuous the peace is between to the two great powers of Eretsu need only look at the Line, the mighty fortifications that they have erected across the plain of Paranami between the Zailata and Ul-Napur Mountains. These rich farmlands are now spotted with mighty castles designed to forestall any sudden aggression from the other side.  Wherever one power erected a castle, the other built a corresponding structure to counter the enemy’s influence.

 

Now seven Gudanna fortresses watch the edge of the border while eight Durani watch those seven.  The eighth Durani castle, Tel Carusara, is situated up on a high plain in the shoulders of the Zailata Mountains. Colloquially it is called The Lonely Place, set on a high plateau devoid of other settlements, the garrison of Tel Carusara can spend their entire assignment without seeing a single other living soul, save for the Grave Birds that haunt the skies whenever some beast has died out on the plain.

 

Of the remaining fourteen castles Tel Zarkara, whose foundations were built in the Second Age, is the mightiest. Guarding the gates of the ancient trade city of Venipur, its formidable defenses are covered in delicate sculptures illustrating the five great virtues. There is a mighty stone tower for each virtue and each is connected by stout bridges high enough off the ground that Titan may cross underneath easily.

 

For the Gudanna the most notable castle is Val Locana. The tallest of the Castles of the Line, Val Locana is little more than a spire of stone that rises up out of the desert to open onto a wide platform. Reckoned one of the softer regions in the Gudanna Defenses, Val Locana commands the surrounding dunes, offering the Gudanna time to marshal forces.

 
Each Castle of the Line, however, has its own unique history as well as its own unique defensive strengths and weaknesses. Both powers watch the other, noting changing commands and the strength of each garrison, probing for soft spots in the defense of their realms.

Illustration by: Joel DuQue

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