Ok, so this is turning into a bit of an unwieldy beast, but that’s pretty fitting really. My parts one and two. RPS’ parts one and two, and the companion to this part, three. Hentzau’s part one and two. I think we’ve past the 10,000 word mark. When this thing is done it’ll be long enough to fill a book. So yay for that.
Here’s where things stand as of turn 20. Or there abouts. (Thanks to Noc for the colouring in. You stayed in the lines!)
Anyway, this is turns 21-30, in which I do a lot, while not actually achieving much. Let’s get on with it.
Through the entire first part of the game, I was convinced Orias was the be-all and end-all of Praetors. I was pretty sure that he starts out with the highest stats, and if you can win a few fights with him, he becomes nearly unstoppable. Which is why I’m so damn rattled by what Scrofula’s done with that bloody event. I need to get rid of his guy, Belial, sooner rather than later. So it’s both a blessing and a curse that he chose to fight Speedo instead of me in our fight. I mean, he could’ve wiped Orias off the map, and then I’d cease to be the nuisance I so clearly am, but at the same time, our praetors are evenly matched; if he lost then he’s got nothing to challenge me with. Much easier to take the easy fight and beef up his guy a little more. Which gives me a few more turns to put into effect my plan.
I also get a nice little prestige boost because he doesn’t show up to my fight. I really, really need the prestige right now, because I’ve still not got a place of power, and that means I’m not getting the steady flow everyone else is. So any prestige is Good Prestige.
Oh crap, maybe the few turns respite I thought I’d be getting was a little over-optimistic. Scrofula is after blood, probably as some sort of misguided revenge thing over Zuul, who’s probably in Orias’ tenth stomach by now. I suppose revenge is very suited to hell, but still! Maybe he was using her as a concubine or something. I’m not giving him any of my bloody tribute though; he can naff off.
Over the past few turns I’ve been slowly building up my wickedness trait, which means that I’m now level three. At four I get an extra order slot and some seriously mean little rituals I can perform, including banishing Praetors to the abyss without all the messiness of a fight. So that’s another way to go if the whole getting-someone-to-steal-him thing falls through. It’s going to be a close call though.
It feels like the calm before the storm. I just got a bunch of resources back from Quinns after giving him some, and now we’re all but allied for seven turns. Neither of us can attack one another, which is fine by me. It also means I can start putting together tribute to level up my wickedness. This is the turn that Scrofula gets my refusal, and I’m fully expecting him to throw down the gauntlet and pit his guy against mine, which could end really rather badly for Orias.
This is part of the beauty of Solium Infernum; because it’s turn based, and play by email, the cylce of demand-refuse-vendetta can take anywhere from an hour to a few days. And when the stakes are so constantly high, it really does become incredibly tense. You’re just sitting there, waiting for that ‘ding!’ of your email to let you know another turn is sitting waiting for you. Those few moments it takes to move around the save and load up the game are like getting exam results, but multiplied by a few hundred degrees. It’s horrific.
Wait… what?! He wants a land fight? But he’s got only one unit that isn’t a quivering wreck! What the hell is he playing at? Looking around at my territory, my main Legion, The Blood of Amperelix Beastias, is too far away from the Gates of Hell to do anything this turn, and besides, I’ve got another unit, the Harbringers of Phlegethon, in the way. And because my entire empire is just a long string of single hexes, I’ve got no space to manoeuvre them around. Probably easier to just sacrifice them on the Gates, and hope they take some damage off it. I’m guessing besides sounding like you’ve got a cold, ‘Phlegethon’ must mean ‘suicide’, because that’s the only thing those guys are going to be Harbringing.
Well that could’ve gone better. Harbringers died in turn 25 after attacking the Gates ineffectually, and Scrofula’s personal unit somehow managed to sneak up to my northern border and take out another of my units. At least my main Legion made it to the Gates and I’ve finally got a place of power, and a much easier border to control against Scrofula. Plus, they levelled up, finally. So they’re no longer the strongest level two legion on the board. Now they’re just the only worthwhile level three legion on the board.
It’s interesting how I can have a unit that’s on a par with anything in the game, but because they’re only a low level, they’re pretty crippled when it comes to the more interesting parts of the game. Rituals are much easier to perform against them, and they can only have a few attachments. As soon as they level a bit they become increasingly tough, until they’re almost unstoppable. Problem is, almost everyone knows this, and so they’re going to do their best to stop me from using them in a fight. Man, this game!
Ok, I’m not going to name names, (because I have no idea who it is), but there’s some idiot trying to use Prophecy rituals on me to figure out what my stats are. I wish people would just ask, so I could lie to them. They failed once in turn 25, but now they’ve been successful. I’m not really sure how Prophecy works in Solium Infernum, but I know I don’t like being spied on. I feel like I should randomly lash out at someone and hope I get it right. I mean, there’s only five other players, so that’s a 20% chance I get the right guy. And I’m semi-allied with two of them, which makes it most likely to be Scrofula. I’ll beat him up some more.
Finally get around to sending Zah’hak the rest of the tribute I owe him, which should sweeten him up to grabbing that praetor. Really, I shouldn’t have to do anything, but it never hurts to make something into a sure thing. I would’ve thought he’d be eyeing Belial for himself regardless, but some people just aren’t paying attention, and swapping their focus in that direction never hurt anyone. Demand to Scrofula sent, so when he refuses, I can call a contest of Champions and then right before the fight get rid of his guy. I feel like one of those shady Boxing guys who make sure that a rival guy’s boxer never makes it to the match. Oh wait, I know why I feel like that; it’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m a bastard.
And here’s where things stand as of turn 30.
Oh good, he’s still got his balls. Scrofula has refused my demand, and now I get to pull the floor out from under him. Weirdly, this feels a lot like where I was ten turns ago, except I’m a place of power richer, and a hell of a lot more confident about screwing someone over. Solium really does bring out the very, very worst in people, while making them excell at it. Well, it’s either that or the Abyss, and no one wants to go there. I heard it’s awfully boring.
Astonishingly, Scrofula has left his all powerful guy attached to one of his units. This is stupid for a number of reasons, primarily being that he is fair game for any kind of attack; if I were to get in a land war all his arena skills would be useless, and if I beat his legion his Praetor would go with him. Not only that, but it allows me to peruse his stats at my leisure, which is more than helpful when going into a fight. And, he’s ripe for stealing. That’s the main one. Maybe the fact that he’s been sat there for so many turns unmolested has lulled Scrofula into a false sense of security, which is really excellent. Because I need him complacent. I just hope the deceit ritual goes through.