I have not put words on paper in what feels like a lifetime. After the Monster arose from the depths where my Summoner friend fell, I took shelter in the wilderness.
I came upon the Beastfolk but fled as soon as I saw the sails of the Armada Battleships on the horizon. It is a very different experience seeing them approach than it is being onboard those ships.
A friendly merchant caravan took me on as a passenger. When I asked where we were headed, they said our destination was Kerranad.
A new era has begun. The proud city-state of Kerranad is rushing to mobilise. Most of the tables at the tavern where I am staying are empty. The usual roaring banter between spies, wizards, soldiers, and passers-by has been replaced with the uneasy silence of war afoot.
Outside, the Immortal Guard is being assembled and most are immediately sent for Knights training.
I counted three-thousand Battlemages perched atop the magnificent city walls, ready to defend their home and haven with metal and magic.
There are probably thousands of Assassins as well but they blend in with the general population.
Seizing an early opportunity, the mayor sent out troops to capture land from a Barbarian. The Battlemages look a little nervous but spirits remain high thanks to the Immortal Guards and Knights.
Tomorrow, I hope to meet with the mayor.
The defences look sparse but the sun had just risen when the Immortal Knights marched out through the city gates towards a nearby Barbarian encampment.
I will never grow tired of watching the Immortal Knights marching out in their intricate violet purple and golden orange armour. Although I must confess that the experience is bittersweet, seeing the illustrious city-state, for centuries known as a peaceful safe haven for warriors, artists, merchants, and anyone who agreed to follow the city-state’s rules, now engaged in bloody warfare.
Their name does not betray them. The Immortal Guards and the Immortal Knights live forever, in memory.
With the army back at home, I was allowed to meet with the Mayor of Kerranad, an Engineer whose speciality in metallurgy and stoneworks is helping transform the city’s already magnificent improvements.
The Knight did not stay at home long. The Mayor is determined to grow the city-state as quickly as possible while there is an absence of strong external threats.
Wizard Guilds and Barracks are being built up to ensure there is room for the Battlemages and Immortals.
“And of course Forest Havens for the Assassins,” the Mayor said with a smile.
A Firewalker in the Commonwealth proved a worthy target, with the Immortal Knights and Assassins being sent out twice in immediate succession, capturing crucial lands.
The Battlemages have almost doubled in number, but takes a long time to train them. The Mayor worries about the momentum.
The sun shone brightly this morning. I strolled the large harbour and looked at the dock workers. Because Kerranad never developed the skills and instead focused on adaptation, the city-state’s workers make the most of what land they gain.
Sadly, in waters not far away, our Merfolk allies had suffered an invasion from Spirits.
I was finishing breakfast when I heard the familiar sound of the gates opening up. Having been informed by our Kobold allies that the Spirit’s defences were weak and so the Immortal Knights were sent out to capture lands for the city-state, strengthen by a sense of retribution.
Shortly after their return, the Kobolds warlords and Kerranad Mayor were assembled to discuss the current threats and opportunities. A Dark Elf had just been spotted invading the Spirit. Neither Kobold could invade it and instead left it to the Kerranad to seize the swamp lands which no doubt will be useful for building Wizard Guilds for the Battlemages.
In a tired haze, one Kobold failed an invasion on a Wood Elf. The other Kobold successfully invaded the Demon lands of Malbolge.
Unfortunately, the masters of war had not fully studied the reports about the Demonic lands and the Demon was able to strike back at the Kobold.
The Growth also sent out on a risky attack and suffered the consequences as the Spirit forces swept in and made short work of the contiguous tissue spread across the outer swamps.
While unfortunate for the Growth, it once more enabled the Immortal Knights to march out in battle in retribution, conquering lands from the Spirit. One of the Kobolds soon followed.
A new Spirit has joined the Commonwealth. There have been many skirmishes between the Empire and Commonwealth. So far, we have only been invaded twice.
The Demon has been unrelenting in its attacks. Our Simian and then our other Kobold both suffered invasions. However, the solution is clear and achievable.
The Mayor is in a advantageous position and although the military training camps is constant, the nearly twice as long training times makes it challenging for the Mayor to ensure there are enough of the mighty troops.
A chill in the air, as a Void Ziggurat has been spotted up in the mountains.
As night falls on the city-state, our troops are returning from another risky invasion, this time on the Spirit forces of Lumbricine.
The day has been a bloody one, with a triangle of attacks between the Commonwealth Spirit, Imperial Demon, and Independent Kobold and my new home of Kerranad.
Two Imperial Gnomes are being permitted to grow unchecked, which concerns both me and the Mayor. There is also a Dark Elf whose slow but steady growth is cause for concern.
The city-state fell into a week of chaos and then returned to days of prosperity, larger than ever before.
After battling with the Spirit and Demons for days, with large parts of the city burning and in ruin, the Mayor decided to seize the fighting and give the city-state time to heal.
This came at the cost of letting the mighty Demon Malbolge feed on the Spirit armies until it could feed no more, placing it firmly in the lead with no threats from the outside.
The lesser Demon and the Imperial Gnomes joined the fighting with War Machine Mark II being strongest ever seen.
A Lucene army grew strong and even invaded the city-state of Kerranad.
In the end, the city-state sprawled at over ten-thousand acres, with no plot of land left empty.
The borders are heavily defended by over one-hundred and fifty-four thousand Battlemages. Nowhere near enough to keep the Demonic or Spirit armies out but we are strong and small enough to be of no concern.
Nearly all Immortal Guards have completed their training to becoming Immortal Knights. Out of nearly one-hundred thousand Immortals trained (and still surviving), only some eight-thousand remain as Guards
The Assassins report numbers over twenty-two thousand.
But towering above all, with millions upon millions of captured and tortured souls, was the Demonic armies of Malbolge. Even as the Spirits, Imperial Gnomes, and a smaller Demon invaded each other, it was always Malbolge who reaped the greatest benefits.