Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Warlock 2: The Exiled - Part 9: And Now For Something Slightly Different

"These girls devote themselves to only one occupation - archery. Planestriders even have a saying: 'If you want to marry an Archer of Planes, become a bow'. Well said, very accurate! Nobody has ever seen an Archer part with her bow. They eat and drink with them, and when they go to bed, they put bows at the head of their beds, and arrows under their pillows."
"Chronicles of New Worlds" written by Master Vardies Teleran

Thank Helia for magic.

Praise to Helia for the light she brings us every day.  Glory to Helia for burning away the darkness.

It is the beginning of my third week here in this hellscape land full of nightmarish creatures.  I lost a quarter of my compatriots just to the -plants- in the never-ending jungle here.  The previous army had been completely destroyed by the natives of this land, as well as the wildlife.  But we learn.  We stride the planes and we adapt.  Also we now have tiny talismans that build temporary shelters that protect us from being eaten in our sleep by the very grasses of this land.

That was before.  I woke up this morning and the vegetation was all dead. The hard packed dirt was replaced with shifting sands.  The humidity that made me feel as if I was walking through walls with every step I took was replaced with the welcoming dry heat.  Helia be praised!

We marched to the edge of the desert, where it met lands devoid of vegetation, but the very soil poisoned your essence.  My undead compatriots marched through fearlessly, though to be fair everything they do is emotionless.   We could see Dremer Warriors upon a hill, the light of holy land tainted by their presence.

But then we were surprised, warriors came out of nowhere and surprised us, overrunning our position. Two thirds of my compatriots fell as we retreated.
We were saved from the Warriors by our Great Mage's spells.

We rested, we healed, new recruits were brought to our position. As we marched the land continued to turn to desert, as if our very feet were missionaries spreading Helia's glory.

We approached another bridge.  And our unit was chosen to be the first to cross it.  We were brimming with pride.  We were chosen to scout out a new land and report upon it!  

We quickly retreated.

In our pride we had forgotten one important fact.  A new plane has dangers that border upon the ridiculous, that eat the scout units alive.  Few of us survived to flee back through the bridge.  The beings of fire did not follow us, thank Helia.

It has been a few weeks.  Weeks of avoiding that bridge to what we've been advised is known as Crystallis.  Weeks of doing Operation: Cleanse Dremer.  We have gotten so efficient at it, the land cannot keep up with turning to desert as we advance.
We must once again deal with plants.

We even, for reasons I cannot comprehend, have settled this lost land.  Xebico has been built nestled into desertified hills.  But as far as our scouts can tell us, there are no more Dremer's, or their castles, upon this plane.  We've done it.  And for our reward, we are to head to the plane of Shadaran and deal with the spiders there.
This promises to be painful.

The money is quite well, and the battles have been epic so far.  I, Llsorr, have been recognized by the Great Mage to lead a small group of forces into yet another bridge connected to this Lost World.  Four lands are connected to it.  We have been told to ignore Crystallis for now, but to instead focus on this Deadland.

Our Great Mage has told me that he feels the small amount of forces he has placed under my command will, with my presence, be more than enough to handle the lands here. We find a city and quickly overrun it.
I am so large and spectacular.

This land will hold no challenges.

This was something a little different, as most of the action was just endless fighting in the Dremer jungles.

The Deadlands will assuredly connect to another Great Mage.  And that's where I'm going to talk about the AI Problem.  I was earlier afraid of King Lich turtling, but he's just sitting in his area.  And the Deadlands *will* connect to another Great Mage (There are 2 more. They have to connect somewhere).  In my two previous aborted playthroughs, this land was the first one I went to and it was astonishingly easy.  And look, no sign of another Great Mage.  We're well past turn 100.

Now perhaps this is because of the Casual setting, but a quick look into how the AI functions via Google searches it sounds as if it does really stupid things at even the hardest settings.  So this game looks as if it'll be me versus the other planes, more than me versus the AI. 

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