Author Topic: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation  (Read 794 times)

Offline Benionin

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Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« on: December 08, 2016, 11:06:18 PM »
TURN 9

Lords Baelish and Erebus met in a dark room. A shadowed room for shadowed dealings, after all.

"How does it feel, gutting an empire?" Baelish asked with a smile.

"Excellent," Erebus said, and the other nodded in agreement. "It's time to start anew, to rebuild on the noble foundations that Aberion and the Flame Dawn have forgotten."

"Indeed."

"What are our assets?"

Baelish smiled. "I've been hard at work. We'll have to start small, but I'm sure we can quickly expand, especially with your propaganda messages sowing discontent in Lanstead. Right now we have 12 budget points to work with, along with your override. Also, we have the following bonuses based off of our unique allies:
Aleta (Talich), Aleta (Avarrach), and Lucca: +1 Research roll, +1 Research success
Kali and Aleta (Untamed World): +1 Recruitment success"

"Hmm... that's not a whole lot."

"Well, if we capture either Neon or Lanstead that will secure us 2 more points apiece, taking them away from the Flame Dawn Empire."

"And troops?"

"We have 2000 Jittarians, 1000 Basks, the 1300 remaining GI's, and your 1000 Knights."

"How about our research capabilities?"

"The Omnimind core has been breached. It gave us the technology to upgrade our knights, which the Empire also has, and it has a bit more in its databanks, along with the locations of 3 more cores. My teams are still working on it as we speak. The AI is fighting them, you see. It's not an easy task. Diplomatically, we're at war with both the Flame Dawn and the Overseers, but if we can break through the rift to the Untamed World I know that the Warpath will ally with us."

Erebus nodded. "Hmm. Given that, I think we should get in our budgets by the 17th. Send them in by private channel, but any propaganda messages should be posted here for the public to see."
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Offline ecliptix

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Re: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 12:16:36 AM »
--Start Transmission--
--From: Former Lord Commander Erebus --
--To: Yuanshi, Sage of Ferocity--

Wise Yuanshi,

As you have no doubt heard, the world of Talich is once again embroiled in a state of war - however this time it is inward inside the heart of the Flame Dawn Empire. There was once a time when the Flame Dawn was a noble empire and fought with honor and valued all people. Though it pains me greatly to say it, as I had dedicated my whole life to that pursuit - this is no longer true. The Flame Dawn Empire has become a corrupt dictatorship born on war for the sake of war. So long as Emperor Aberion stands the world of Talich shall never know peace and the threat of war shall always be upon your doorstep.

Fortunately, our noble cause is not lost upon those with similar motives. As a result we have raised an army capable of resisting this oppressive force presented to us by Mew and have the means to finally put an end to this bloodthirsty crusade. We have numbers. We have strategy. But most importantly, we have intent. It will not be an easy fight for us, engaging our brothers and sisters. But we believe it to be possible and would not be on this mission if we thought otherwise.

I digress however as all of this likely holds little interest to you. Suffice to say I do not send this message to request aid of any sort, nor to I wish to place you in a difficult diplomatic position. The reason I contact you today is that I no longer represent the Flame Dawn, but the Firmament Foundation - a body with the intention of ending the bloody reign of the flame dawn. Though I would be grateful for aid, this is a matter for the people of Talich, and a fight we must engage with on our own. All I would ask is that the sins perpetuated by the bloodlust of Emperor Aberion not be ascribed to the Firmament Foundation or the citizens of Talich.

All I ask of you is that when the flames of war finally fan, you would be willing to engage in a civil dialogue with us and that we may further both of our nations on the path of peace - and that the sins of the Empire die with it.

With Honor,

Former Lord Commander Erebus.

--END TRANSMISSION--
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 04:25:40 AM by ecliptix »
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Offline Benionin

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Re: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2016, 09:02:53 AM »
TURN 10

Erebus looked around the council chamber in Aubade, resting his hand on the back of his chair. Across from him, Baelish's empty seat. The former Arch-Cyurate had... elected... to retire. His ruthless mind, so similar to that of Aberion in ways neither would admit, was not the future. No, Talich deserved a bright new dawn, not a dawn of fire and flames.

Mew's chair, recently vacated. The self-styled Hammer of the Dawn, who always wanted to strike the enemy hard right in the center. Now Erebus's sworn enemy. His plans were always brutal and bloody, regardless of their effectiveness. But if Erebus was to have his way, those brutal days would fall behind.

"And here," the former Lord Commander said, "is Aberion's throne."

"It's big," Syn noted. "Not as big as the one in the audience hall, but big. Unnecessarily so."

"I can have it removed, if you'd like."

The lad nodded. "Then do so."

One of the veteran knights entered, one of the few members of Erebus's force that survived the streetfighting in the west of the city. "Sir, I have here the battle reports." He turned to Syn and bowed. "My lord." Then he left the room.

"That will take some getting used to," Syn noted.

"Nevertheless, my lord, you are the hope of these people. The hope of a brighter future. Of a more civilized age."

"What's the battle report?"

Erebus coughed lightly to clear his throat and glanced at the scroll, though he knew the results by heart already. "The battle was fierce and bloody. Lunar Battalion was caught up in a protracted clash in the streets of the west of the city while the Solar Battalion swept through the east. Mew's ambush force of Aspirants took the Solar Battalion by surprise, but they were driven off. All sides sustained heavy casualties, but the city is now ours. Aubade's infrastructure grants us an additional 2 resources, raising our allocations to 14 points."

"How heavy were the casualties?"

"The Flame Dawn forces lost 500 Knights and 500 Aspirants. We lost 600 of my Knights--including almost all of the 500 knights that were part of Lunar Battalion--and 300 Basks."

Syn shook his head. "Too many dead. Far too many."

"Your brother won't give up his empire lightly," Erebus said. "Our forces, led by the Genesis veterans, have already heavily fortified Aubade against the counterattack that will surely come. Mew will seek to overrun us with the Morningstar Knights. However, our researchers have, extrapolating from information contained within the Omnimind data core, created a new technology that will grant us an advantage in the coming fight."

"That's good news. Tell me, what troops do we have at our disposal? If I am to lead the Firmament Foundation, then I'll need to know everything."

"The majority of our forces are currently in Aubade, pending reassignment. We have our 2000 Jittarians, 700 Basks, 1300 Genesis Veterans, 400 Knights, and 1000 Irregulars, who volunteered thanks to your influence and that of Kali. We have the most charismatic figures known to Talich on our side, my lord. The people will support us as they never supported your brother."

"And our diplomatic standing?"

"We are at war with your brother's empire and with the Overseers of Solace. We have not yet contacted the Warpath or Descendants of the Dragon, but before I left I sent Yuanshi, one of their leaders, a message asking for his aid. I'm confident in his affirmative response."

"Very well." Syn looked at his hands. "I'm still rather inexperienced at all of this, Erebus. I trust your guidance. Please, send in your budget proposal by the 24th."

"As you command, my lord." Truly, this lad was the figurehead of the new dawn, of Talich's bright future.
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Offline Benionin

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Re: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 05:39:09 AM »
A smuggled letter:

To the Firmament Foundation and Erebus, their leader

My name is Captain Jiro. The wise Sages of Jinhai have received your missives and heard your pleas. While we can spare few men and women from our front lines to help you, I and a small force have been dispatched to your aid against the arrogant Flame Dawn Empire. However, we cannot make it past the rift, which is heavily guarded. It was all we could do to send you this message. My force is willing to do whatever it can to aid you, if you can but secure us passage to your world. Or, if you'd prefer, we launch an attack on the Rift here in the Unblemished World.

Captain Jiro
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Re: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2016, 03:42:20 AM »
TURN 11

"So," Syn said, sitting in a much less ostentatious chair than Aberion's old throne, "we weren't attacked."

"Not yet," Erebus admitted. "But it's only a matter of time. The city has been fortified against assault to my exacting specifications, so whenever he comes we'll be ready. I have put much thought into the city's defense--any assault will be bloody."

"What about our diplomatic missions?"

Erebus smiled. "The Aleta of the Untamed World has carried our message to the Warpath. The beasts are now allied with us, though we have yet to convince them to declare war on the Flame Dawn. Give it time. Moreover, Captain Jiro's Honor Guard has reported to Aubade. He sends his regards."

"Send him an appropriate message, Erebus. It is good to have allies."

"Of course, my lord." Erebus shuffled the papers in front of him. "Now, on to the recruitment reports. We have reorganized our army, joining the Basks, Jittarians, and Irregulars into a single cohesive force. Our 4000 Regulars are joined by the 1300 Genesis Veterans, the 400 Knights of your honor guard, and Captain Jiro's 500 Soldiers."

"That's quite the force," Syn noted. "It might even be larger than the Empire's."

"Maybe, but Mew's Morningstar Knights are formidable. They'll tear through our Regulars in an open fight. And if the Overseers give them Auxiliaries like they once did then we'll be in even more trouble. I've begun the research into Anti-Air arrays, but it's not quite done yet. Unfortunately, we've been pushing our industry to its limit. The materiel Baelish and I stole from the Empire cannot make up for our limited industrial sector, and this past quarter has pushed our factories to their limit. We cannot launch an attack or further fortify any of our positions until the sector has been restored."

"That's a setback. You'd best get in your next budget by the 31st. If there's anything I've forgotten to ask you about, please remind me."
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Offline Benionin

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Re: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2017, 05:34:07 AM »
TURN 12

Erebus shuffled the reports in front of him, smiling. "All things considered," he mused, "not as bad as it could have been."

Jittar had been lost, which was a blow of course, but the two Aleta's had escaped with all of their research notes and the Omnimind core. Captain Jiro's breakout assault, while not exactly as he had planned (he had, apparently, underestimated the Captain's aggressiveness, which was quite at odds with the general reputation of the Descendants of the Dragon).

Research Report:
Our Genesis Veterans managed to upgrade and install new anti-air batteries throughout Aubade. Additionally, they launched an orbital satellite that was able to identify the location of Mew's concealed ambush force.

Sabotage Report:
Unfortunately, our inexperienced saboteurs failed to make any significant dents in the Flame Dawn Empire's war machine, stymied by security forces and their own inexperience.

Battle Report:
Upon noticing that the ambush force of the Flame Dawn Empire was being thinned as they moved to take Jittar and Bask, Captain Jiro led a breakout attempt with his Elites in the vanguard. This breakout prompted the withdrawal of the force that was moving to take Bask and led to a bloody battle. In the end, the siege held but Bask was saved and the Empire paid for their cordon in blood. The Overseers suffered especially as a newly arrived contingent attacked the city and was cut down mercillessly. Estimated casualties for the Flame Dawn: 1000 Aspirants, 200 Morningstar Knights, 600 Angels. Estimated Casualties for the Firmament Foundation: 500 Regulars, 100 Elite Descendants of the Dragon Soldiers.

"Going to admit, I did not expect Jiro's soldiers to do so well. Though the Flame Dawn certainly is disadvantaged in defensive operations, this was... well, far better an outcome than expected."

Diplomatic Report:
Syn's conference of faction leaders to found the Infinite Worlds Defense Force has begun, although talks with the Warpath have stalled as the Flame Dawn continues to attempt to sway them diplomatically. It is believed that the Warpath, Firmament Foundation, and Descendants of the Dragon will soon sign the charter of the IWDF. The DoD Delegation included Lingbao, the Sage of Discipline, and Xi, who Honors the Dead, while the Warpath Delegation included Aleta Caretaker and an unidentified man who stood apart from the proceedings and said nothing.

Report from Avarrach:
Kyrallic, the source of the Virus of Avarrach and location of the IWDF peace talks, has been recommissioned by the Firmament Foundation. Although we lost two budget points with the loss of Jittar, two more were gained by colonizing Kyrallic, although without a doubt the Overseers will soon descend upon the city in force.

Troop Deployments:
Defending Aubade:
1300 GI Veterans, 3500 Regulars, 400 DoD Elite Soldiers.
Defending Kyrallic:
Syn's Honor Guard of 500 Knights

Erebus nodded to himself. "Very well. I'd better get in my budget by the 7th."
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Offline ecliptix

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Re: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2017, 07:48:00 AM »
Captain Jiro,

Your heroic efforts this day have won a great victory for the IWDF. Your ability to capitalize on an opportunity against an outnumbered and well-supplied force has resulted in a great victory today and cemented the friendship between our nations. The next time you are in the Capital of Aubade, we have arranged for a celebration for you and your troops, where you will be awarded the Golden Sun Medal - the highest honor our nation can bestow upon a soldier for their bravery and valor in combat. Your deeds today will never be forgotten, and it is with great excitement we look forward to your next triumph.

With Honor,

Dimensional General of the Infinite Worlds Defense Force - Erebus

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Offline ecliptix

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Re: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2017, 06:18:54 PM »
Soldiers of the Firmament Foundation!

As I speak to you now, I could not be prouder to have all of you standing beside me in combat this day. Many armies have conscripts, but this army...all of you have joined this force not out of coercion or fear, but because you have chosen to be here. This alone gives you a strength of conviction our foes lack. Ultimately, you all have what our foes lack - you fight for each other and every man and woman watches the back of their blood siblings. Our forces will assault the enemy, and their brothers will guard their back and their sisters will guard their backs. 

This day will not be easy. The enemy will bring to bear everything they can against us, so we will not give them the time to prepare! Today, we shall seize the initiative and strike when our foe believes us vulnerable though we are NOT. If all goes well, we can set into motion a series of events that will end this world once and for all.

The forces of the Empire are divided and a world away from us. They will not be united to strike at us, though we shall - and we will be prepared for all that is seen and unseen. No doubt the foe will attempt to surprise us, but we shall rise to the occasion and meet the challenge with strength and bravery. Should any forces seek to outmaneuver us, they will have to go through the city, where our defensive battalion awaits to meet them head-on and from any direction.

You have all witnessed numerous victories following me into combat and today shall be no different, but it will require more of you than has ever been asked. Above all you must remain vigilant and focused. Do not lower your guard, even if it seems that victory is inevitable. Until we have Mew or Aberion, the war goes on.

Today will be the day in which history marks us all. I ask you all but one simple question. DO YOU WANT TO WRITE HISTORY TODAY?!


Then to battle. To arms my brothers and sisters and tomorrow the dawn will rise on a new Talich.
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Offline Benionin

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Re: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 02:49:20 AM »
TURN 13

The morning of TURN 13: Erebus arose, smiling and cracking his knuckles. "Today is a day of days," he said, and he set out to prepare for the city's defense.



Ecliptix sat in the council chamber of Aubade, leaning back in his chair with a smile. "Indeed it has been," he remarked, thinking back to his early morning thoughts."

His radio buzzed. The interplanar signal was a bit prone to static, but it worked. "Erebus, this is Syn. Where are you?"

"My apologies, my lord. The defense of the city required more attention than I had hoped. I was unable to arrive to speak with our... guest. How goes the negotiations?"

"They go. Hammering out terms is difficult, and it took some time to transfer to our new location. You are certain that Xia Han is completely safe?"

Erebus nodded. "Captain Jiro assures me that it is the safest place in all of Reish. How many of your men made it?"

"200," Syn said. "The others were forced to stay behind and try to hold the city. How went the battle there?"

Erebus grinned. "Well, our rift technology managed to send 600 Morningstar Knights and 400 regular Knights to Kyrallic. I'm sure the Overseers are pleased with themselves for razing a city full of their allies. Then 500 Aspirants defected to our side. The rest of the troops didn't surrender, but we surrounded them and began to launch our attack. The ghost knights bore the brunt of the assault, but before we could finish crushing them Aberion arrived and led a breakout. 100 of his knights died--100 of Jiro's elites fell before Aberion's might as did 200 of our Genesis Veterans."

"Speaking of the veterans, how went the missions to Neon and Lanstead?"

"Both have been taken. 100 are in Lanstead, 300 and Lucca are in Neon. Because we have captured two cities and lost Kyrallic, we now have 16 budget points--equal with the Empire."

Captain Jiro marched into the room, his armor surprisingly clean. "I saw him," he said agitatedly. "That, Aberion. With his wings and blazing hammer. An unstoppable force." He grinned. "I bet I could have taken him."

"Discipline, Captain," Erebus smiled. "Why didn't you?"

"Those abominable spirits were in the way! I don't know what you do with your ancestors here," he spat, "but they were pathetic. I cut through them as much as I could, but there were so many. Horrible." He shook his head. "We don't treat our ancestors that way in Jinhai."

Erebus said nothing as the Captain paced.

"He killed my men, Erebus," the warrior-monk finally said. "I'll see him dead."

"So you will."

The radio buzzed with static.

"My lord," Erebus said, "have you heard from our guest?"

"No, he's staying apart and quiet."

"You delivered my letter?"

"Yes. He said nothing."

"I'll have to speak to him in person then."

"Probably. I won't be getting through to him."

"Very well. I'll submit my budget by the 14th."

Jiro grunted. "The men did well today. We've 4200 Regulars, including the new Aspirants, along with 300 of my men and 700 of those Genesis soldiers here in Aubade."

"Our satellite has revealed that Aberion's forces are licking their wounds to the city's south. He'll not recover from today easily."
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Offline Benionin

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Re: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 03:41:24 AM »
Note: This encounter took place before Turn 13



Erebus was sitting in his council chamber, plotting his next move with grim satisfaction. Then he had the sudden urge to vomit as the fabric of the universe was torn open and a man in a hooded cloak stepped out.

"So you're the one who has been gathering her back together," the man said as Erebus fought down his lunch (today had apparently been the wrong day to get takeout from that spicy new restaurant just down the road). The man sat down, not bothering to remove the hood that concealed most of his face. "You have my attention."

Erebus paused, confused. "Um..."

The man sighed and threw back his hood, revealing dark hair and eyes that seemed deeper than the void of space. "What are you doing with Aleta? I've been busy, otherwise I would have confronted you earlier."

"I'm not sure what you mean," Erebus replied, regaining his composure.

Sighing, the man traced a rune onto the table and a magical image of Aleta's face appeared. "Aleta. Immortal individual, one per plane? Two of whom are in your employ? You're allied with an additional one? I don't like it when people interfere with her."

"You've got me all wrong, Master..." Erebus paused, waiting for the strange man to supply a name. When he didn't, Erebus continued. "I'm currently coordinating the defenses of the Infinite Worlds Defense Force, a interplanar coalition designed to promote peace across the infinite worlds and security against threats such as the Flame Dawn, Overseers of Solace, Demons of Torment, or even the now-extinct Sleepers of Avarrach. Aleta has been recruited to our side because of her unique abilities and talents, not for any ulterior motive."

The man laughed. "IWDF? I'm familiar with it. How cute." He leaned forward, his voice dropping. "Listen, kid, if you want to fight the Overseers then that's fine. If you want to fight the Flame Dawn, have fun. But if you harm so much as a single immortal hair on her head, I will find you and I will make you wish that I had killed you."

Erebus paused. What's he so defensive about if she's immortal? She can't die, so nothing I could do would make any difference anyway. "Listen, Master..."

The man leaned back and crossed his arms in front of his chest. "You can call me Ethan."

"Ethan. That's your name?"

"I never said that. Now, you were saying?"

"It strikes me we're on the same side. You appear invested in the Aleta's. The Overseers wish to capture, torture, and even kill them. And with your no doubt considerable abilities, I'm sure that some sort of arrangement can be made. You're very busy?"

"Quite," the man said drily.

"Well, I'm sure I can talk to Syn and the Firmament Foundation would be glad to offer them protection from the Overseers and the Dawn."

"Syn's nothing," the man said dismissively, and Erebus bristled.

I've worked very hard to groom him towards leadership, the general thought, but he hid it behind a smile. "Still, we can keep them safe. You don't like folks interfering with Aleta? Once this war is over I'll turn her over to your supervision. I'm sure we can even arrange for a rescue mission to retrieve the Immortal Sorceress from the demons, though the Descendants of the Dragon won't be pleased about it. The point is, I'm never going to turn away a potential ally and I think we can each do each other good."

"Listen, mortal," the man said coldly, "I don't care about your pretty little alliance, or who rules the planes, or whether or not the whole puffying multiverse is embroiled in an infinite war. I have a bit of unfinished business that I'd rather like to attend to but this convergence at the center of the multiverse is forcing me to take time away from that. If you want me to work with you, you're going to need to offer me something concrete."

"Fine," Erebus said. "What do you require?"

"Nothing," Ethan said. He stood. "I'll be in Avarrach at the conference if you need to speak to me. Otherwise, stay out of my way." Then, slashing his hand through the fabric of reality, he stepped through, the rift sealing itself shut behind him.

Erebus's stomach rumbled. "That's the last time I get that spicy food," he vowed.
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Re: Pod 1B--The Firmament Foundation
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2017, 04:19:58 PM »
TURN 14

Erebus watched as his brave soldiers of the Firmament Foundation closed their siege around Pyr. "I know this fortress," he said to himself. "All of its entrances, all of its hidden exits and sally ports. I will not be taken by surprise." 3400 Regulars, 700 Genesis Veterans, 800 Knights, and Jiro's 300 Elite Guards now surrounded the fortress. There would be no escape.

The message of the battle in Lanstead was troubling. Ghostlike warriors had cut through combat robots and militia before the veterans could rally and Lucca could arrive with reinforcements. Now there were only 300 Genesis Veterans defending the embattled city, outnumbered by these mysterious ghosts led by a mercenary.

Perhaps the most troubling development was the loss of Kali. Erebus had watched the duel, surprised by Ireul's use of a jetpack and pistols when traditionally the so-called Vanguard of Ruin fought with blades alone.

Erebus held two messages in his hands. He had read them both multiple times, knew the one by heart. He was troubled. One message, from Syn, declared that the negotiations of the IWDF had been finished, and that he would be delivering a speech announcing the new alliance soon. This was good. The lad Erebus had gone to so much trouble to cultivate was stepping out on his own.

But the other message, the one from the man calling himself Ethan... that was troubling. It was brief, befitting the impatience Ethan had exhibited in his earlier meetings with Erebus. "Ask what you will," it said. Four words. Four simple words. But what it meant was uncertain, and what it implied was dangerous. Nonetheless, Erebus had put a great deal of effort in convincing Ethan to aid him. Now was not the time to back out, even if he was getting more than he bargained for.

"Sir," an aide interrupted, "we have news from the Untamed World. A massive army of Overseers is heading south from the Reish rift towards the rift to Talich."

"Just what I need," Erebus muttered. "Very well, thank you."

And with the loss of Bask to a pitiable 100 knights, I'm down 2 budget points. Nothing to be done about the past, however. I should submit my budget by the 4th.
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