It’s all coming to a head. Just not mine.
Here’s the turns so far:
So I didn’t end the last turn in a good way. I was despondent, at best, and basically I’d seen my last oppurtunity to be useful go straight out of the window due to bug or obscure ruling. I’m more inclined to believe the latter now, but man if it wasn’t hugely frustrating. But everything has to balance out, right?
So a few turns back I got Orias returning from the Abyss. I’m not sure if it was an event someone played or the denizens of hell just smiling down on everyone, but each of us got a Praetor back. I doubt it’d mean much to most people, but Orias was a little special for me. He’d been instrumental in my ‘piss Scrofula off’ plans, and when he went down to that huge Bull-faced bastard Haagenti, I felt like I’d been kicked in the face. So getting him back is a great thing.
Except, it’s not. I’m a Blood Vassal now, which means I can’t enter into diplomacy, and therefore there’s no chance of me defeating anyone else’s champions because no one can call me out to one. Which means getting him back is like rubbing salt into the wound of my humiliation.
‘Oh hey! We heard you just bitched up, so you’ve got pretty much no use for a powerful combat praetor now.’
‘Yeah, it kinda sucks.’
‘Here you go, have Orias back.’
‘Oh you utter twats.’
But, and there’s always a bloody but, a contest of champions has been called, except now it’s not to settle some petty dispute between two archfiends. This time it’s far more grand and epic; it’s taking place in the Colosseum in Pandemonium, and it’s for a big wad of prestige. I know that Haagenti will be winning it; by now the bastard must be almost as powerful as God, but I can still enter and see how well Orias will do. I mean he might as well. I’ve not got a huge amount of flies knocking about for him to eat, after all.
So it’s send him off to die, and build tribute. Those are the orders for the day.
Not sure how this is even possible, but Kieron’s attacking my units. With lightning. And it hurts.
He’s not in a vendetta with me, but he can still hurt my stuff, which means.. yeah.. he’s in a vendetta with Quinns. Seems like when I said ‘Wife’, I meant ‘Head attached to his body through weird science’. I’m not just there to back him up in fights; I’m literally an extension of his empire to the extent where my units are his units for the terms of vendetta. So instead of attacking Quinn’s slightly more loyal and powerful units, Kieron’s picking off my stragglers to satisfy vendetta. Fuck.
Orias is dead, as per usual, and Haagenti won the games, which couldn’t have been less of a surprise. Still, Orias made it to the final, taking out a Praetor along the way, so good on him. Enjoy the Abyss, frogman.
Oh man, this is beautiful. Ok, ok.. just look and wonder and get faintly aroused:
Look at her. I mean, ignore the stats for a second and just look at her. See the fine curve of her buttocks, the way she loosely holds those blades as if they weigh little more than a feather? That’s pure sex, wrapped up in a bundle of carefully orchestrated violence. That’s a ballet dancer who’s more at home in the Colosseum than the theatre.
Ok, now you can look at her stats. She’s two levels lower than him. She’s got less than half his hitpoints. She’s got a third of his attack, less than half of his defense. Less luck, on paper. But what she does have is three times the infernal, and a set of bloody gorgeous special moves. In other words, she danced around him like a matador of the highest degree, just toying with him as she slowly cut his hamstrings and brought him to his knees. I like to imagine she made him beg before she cut off his head.
I don’t care that it makes no difference to my position. I can take a satisfied delight in Speedo’s suffering. He killed Orias, twice. It’s fitting that his own greed got him killed. Without Haagenti, Speedo’s tentative grip on his power is failing. Sure, he might have a backup Praetor, but he’s not fought any fights, so he’s going to be at the best a match for any other praetor out there.
There is something slightly worrying on the battleground though. A few turns back someone brought a host of angels down to clean up shop. And they’ve gone at their job with a worrying zeal. I suppose zeal is all you can expect from Angels, but these guys really enjoy their job. The really worrying thing is that they’ve not got around to me yet. The way I understand it, they work their way down the prestige ladder. Right now, I’m smack at the bottom of it, and with Kieron slowly eating away at my units, I’m worried they’ll pick my personal guard as their target. That would really suck.
I’m trying to figure out what I should be doing. Obviously diplomacy is out of the window, so all I should be doing is building up my armies and making sure I’ve got enough ritual might to back up whatever Quinns is up to. He dies, I die, etc, etc. So I go to the Bazaar.
By this point I’ve got so much Tribute nothing is beyond my reach. I can buy pretty much everything in one turn, so long as I’ve got the order slots for it. So I grab every legion, artefact and praetor that looks remotely useful, and I wait. I figure something’s gotta happen soon, what with it being so close to game end.
When I said ‘something’, I didn’t expect this.
In the Manual there’s a mention of ‘excommunication’. Basically, if you attack Pandemonium, you get excommunicated, which means that you’re fair game for everyone else, but if you hold the Infernal City for five turns, you win the game. It’s one of those Hail Mary plays that you see in the rules, laugh and shake your head at, then never really think of again, because surely no one would be that stupid. Then it happens.
Scrofula attacked Pandemonium. But it was with a ritual, not an army, so he’s not holding it. That just means that he’s shrugged off all diplomatic ties, and turned himself into a rogue state. He can do whatever the fuck he likes, to whoever the fuck he likes. But it goes both ways, and that means that I can finally make up for the bullshit rules that stopped me attacking him before. It’s time to make things a little more up close and personal. I’m going after his stronghold. But first, I’ve got a stop to make.