Conquest of the Surface

A cold called “Winter”, in the first year since the abdication of the Pantokrator

The surface world is subject to a terrible chill, slowing our forces. This, perhaps, will be the excuse used by the second army, that of the enthusiastic volunteers, who have failed thrice now. This time, they elected to flee as soon as the reached the enemy. They are thus recalled to the capital to be reorganized into an army less inclined toward frequent failure.

The first and third armies were successful in their expansion to the rich lands of the south, which is good, but our current inability to expand northward and procure additional caverns is of concern to Deepthought, who is using this chance as the motivating factor in inspiring the olms to join our armies.

The first army has been journeying in a direction not yet surveilled by Moss Agate’s scouts, and has detected a rather alarming quantity of apparitions. Obsidian Eye revealed to us that these are ghosts, the spirits of dead humans which were not properly disposed of, and are potentially dangerous to troops without the support of an oracle of the dead. We will therefore avoid them for the time being. Obsidian Eye has also revealed that the flaming human-like beings to the north, misbegotten descendants of Rhuax, would be potentially difficult for an army not supported by an oracle of the subterranean waters. With these avenues of expansion cut off, Ontog and his First Army are instead directed to a province with a great number of human soldiers, but no apparent troops of high skill.

only-choice

Thus writes Stonetongue, Official Historical Engraver to the Closed Council and Second Underlackey to Chiselword, He Who Takes The Minutes.

Coldest time of the Surface, in the first year since the abdication of the Pantokrator

The second army advanced, intending to avoid the dead humans of Therodos, however those ghosts moved ahead of our troops to intercept. Perhaps there was no ill intent, but there was ill result regardless, and our troops engaged theirs. Unfortunately, Obsidian Eye was correct in his assessment, and without mage support, our troops stood no change. Even one of the olms fell in this battle. Our scouts did observe that their sacred units were bestowed with blessings of water, death, astral and earth magic, but none of these magical blessings were on a truly divine level.

thed

Not wishing for further conflict with these ghosts before preparation of a sizable mage force, a message was sent.

lies

More significantly, the first army has one a sizable victory. The province Ontog and his men were sent to was the province of Abi, and contains one of the fabled Thrones of Ascension.

battle

The olms possessed sufficient numbers to deal with the mortal troops, and though there were mages there who animated the dead, Ontog made use of the power of Black Opal, who has given him the mantle of her terrestrial mouth, to banish those dead. With this great support, our troops were easily able to annihilate the enemy. The throne is called the High Throne. Thought it is of little immediate concern, Obsidian Eye has recommended that we secure it, and a local chief is being sought out to oversee construction. Lapis suggests that the power of this throne will bestow greater strength on Black Opal, who Obsidian Eye’s divination revealed to be a viable candidate to replace the Pantokrator, and who has aided our forces despite being dead. Indeed, the power she emits has caused some of the young ones and the humans to consider her worthy of veneration.

Thus writes Stonetongue, Official Historical Engraver to the Closed Council and Second Underlackey to Chiselword, He Who Takes The Minutes.

The beginning of warming times in the first year since the abdication of the Pantokrator

Again, an army has taken a province before ours reached it. This time, though, the army was composed merely of humans, and we were victorious. What’s more, Ontog’s first army is alarmingly close to the stronghold of this powerful faction which allegedly holds a pretender to the thrones of ascension.

terrible-start

Judging from what little portion we can see, these humans, the nation of Ermor, have barely expanded beyond their own citadel and have little by way of armies to oppose us. It is possible that they have some great army beyond our vision, but it isn’t likely. Therefore, while maintaining the element of surprise, Ontog is advancing to secure the fortress. This will be a great victory for our people if he succeeds, and if we fail, it is likely that the flaming men to the north or the ghosts to the south will see the weakness of Ermor and choose to become involved, cutting off the connection between Ermor and Agartha and ending the conflict nicely. Bribing one of those powers with free provinces, if necessary, would all but ensure they enter on our side, and therefore even the worst possible scenario does not risk more than a temporary setback to Agartha. Considering what can be gained, and the likelihood of gaining it, the Closed Council has voted to pursue this strategy.

In other military news, the second army has been reconstituted and advances once more to the north, hoping to gain the caves. The third army has regained those troops who survived the losses against the ghosts, but is returning to the capital for reinforcements. On a note related to those ghosts, there has been a note of diplomatic consequence.

kind-words

Fifty units of gold do not cover the cost of the casualties, of course, but they are a nice token of apology. It seems that there will be no need to go to war against the ghosts in the foreseeable future.

Thus writes Stonetongue, Official Historical Engraver to the Closed Council and Second Underlackey to Chiselword, He Who Takes The Minutes.

Another season passes as the first year since the abdication of the Pantokrator draws to a close

The results of Ontog’s assault on Ermor are here.

humans

The lands surrounding the fortress are guarded by what may generously be described as an unruly human blob. It is said that the armies of Ermor pride themselves on discipline, but this force seems little different from the other humans. Indeed, though they are well-equipped, their greatest asset is numbers.

already-going-poorly

The First Army has already fought many human nations, and it is small in current size. Though the support of the olms is great, it is unable to make up the difference, and the javelins of Ermor change the numbers more in their favor before lines meet. Out infantry is not well situated. Indeed, they realize as much and shortly quit the battle. The Olms, to Deepthought’s credit, are made of sterner stuff and stay to fight. Their ability to drain the lives of the enemy is almost as formidable as their ability to blast minds, but in the end, olms are not a melee force and their valiant resistance only results in casualties.

bravery

The battle is eventually lost.

death

However, due to the wisdom of the oracles, this eventuality was planned for. What’s more, Moss Agate’s scouts have intercepted a missive, sent before our attack, which reveals something that makes our situation even better.

diplomacy

Though the idea of ceding gains is not appealing, we may acheive a greater benefit by entering into a position of trade. We will begin by asking for much, but talking up what we have.

better-diplomacy

This message, if accepted, will prevent Ermor from warring with us and establish peace with the Abyssians who, despite their small stature, do seem to be affiliated with the great Rhuax. Even if they suggest different terms, those goals should be accomplished, but because of the great value of a Throne of Ascension, they seem likely to accede despite the fact that even Ogon grumbles little about abandoning land we cannot hold. Peace is more valuable than those provinces, for now. Because though the ghosts are friendly and the human nation to the north seems idle, there is a great threat to our south.

uh-oh

Moss Agate’s scouts have determined giants, nearly twice as tall as even the oldest of Agartha, heavily armed and armored and truly fearsome. They are small in number, meaning that they may be susceptible to Olmish skill, but their size and resilience suggests that even this may be inadequate. Worse, they are headed straight for the ancient caverns of Agartha and have now reached the borders of the pacified surface.

If we do attack, there is one other benefit besides the Olms. Lapis’ research has finally paid off, and the spell Earth Meld is now available to our mages. Though it may not hold something so big and strong for very long, it will still be an advantage to our troops.

Thus writes Stonetongue, Official Historical Engraver to the Closed Council and Second Underlackey to Chiselword, He Who Takes The Minutes.

Spring in the second year since the abdication of the Pantokrator

It seems that the humans have words for the variation in temperatures that take place on the surface. Because Moss Agate has strong feelings about this sort of thing, these conventions will now be used to mark the passage of time here.

There is little else to report. The first army continues the voyage home for reinforcements, while the second and third armies each had small victories, expanding our territory. Research and scouting each proceed apace. Despite the setback of the first army, the Olms flow from the deeper waters in search of new lands. Black Opal rests in her sarcophagus at the Seal, dead and yet not so dead. Perhaps the most interesting development is that the giants who were headed towards us have turned eastward, their sites presumably set on a throne of ascension rather than on our lands.

Thus writes Stonetongue, Official Historical Engraver to the Closed Council and Second Underlackey to Chiselword, He Who Takes The Minutes.

Late Spring in the Second Year

Obsidian Eye’s divinations have revealed that two more of the thrones of ascension have been claimed by those who would succeed the Pantokrator.

ascension-wars

Though there have been only skirmishes so far, how long will this last? It seems we may truly be at the beginning of a period of ascension wars.

As for our own expansion, we’ve encountered an unusually large force of humans.

throne-guys

Their numbers are great, and their magical support bolsters those numbers with skeletons. Despite this, Olmish attacks throw their infantry into disarray.

all-spread-out

Unfortunately, though the mortal troops are dealt with effectively, the undead best our pale ones, and the olms are forced into melee.

not-a-good-situation

The olms fight valiantly, but against a continuously replenishing tide of ambulatory dead humans, even the valiant must eventually give way.

killed-the-infantry

Though the battle was lost, the mortal troops are mostly destroyed. It is possible that this would allow an easy conquest, if the attacks of the olms find the enemy mages as their targets. Indeed, another army has been built which is suitable. However, it is a surer and safer thing if the army should be accompanied by mages.

Thus writes Stonetongue, Official Historical Engraver to the Closed Council and Second Underlackey to Chiselword, He Who Takes The Minutes.

Early summer in Year 2 of the Ascension Wars

It seems that the province we had previously supposed to hold but a few lowly wights was in fact more heavily guarded.

not-just-xombies

The lions died in the flames of their allies, causing great mirth among our forces, but this was short-lived as the Sphinx flew directly into our infantry.

Fortunately, the olms were able to nullify it.

freeze-a-god

Unfortunately, this was not a permanent state of affairs.

orderly-lines

The enemy undead advanced with only relatively minor losses to the magic of our Oracle of the Dead. Thankfully the shadows leading the charge were only able to paralyze pale ones, but this left them rather open to the attack by the sphinx and the other things. Though many of the enemy were slain, our own infantry eventually fled, as they are wont to do. As always, the olms put up a valiant fight, slaying many and bringing the sphynx five sixths of the way into the grave, but they were not ultimately able to prevail.

bad

Though half of the enemy forces were eliminated, their most powerful elites remain intact, and we lost far too many troops to this fight. These olm deaths in particular may impede our efforts to recruit additional olms in the future.

Thus writes Stonetongue, Official Historical Engraver to the Closed Council and Second Underlackey to Chiselword, He Who Takes The Minutes.

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