PowerMonger - Guide
STRATEGIC & TACTICAL GUIDE
THE RHYTHMS OF CONQUEST
The Reminiscenes, Impressions, and Eyewitness Account of Ptarmigan
Burlihoo, Retired Imperial Poet Laureate and Paramount Censor
Emeritus, Describing and Explaining the Campaign of Enlightened
Domination Upon This Most Fortunate Continent by the Great Power
Monger. Incorporating Additional Expository Material Detailing His
Strategic Theora and Many Observations of the Peculiar Customs of the
Contendly Subjugated Populations.
With Instructive Maps.
Deluxe Edition. (Abridged).
THE PATH OF CONQUEST 4
THE JUDGEMENT OF THE SCALES 8
OPENING SHOTS 11
WOOLY FRIENDS 13
THREE SWORDS IN EMGGS 16
IF ALL THE SEAS WERE INK 18
THE VAST BLUE 20
BRIETH ENCOUNTER 22
THE CHAINS OF COMMAND 24
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON 29
A MOVABLE FLEET 33
SLASH AND GRAB 35
LIFE ON THE EDGE 37
THE BATTLES AROUND GAUNTLET LAKE 39
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY 41
A WAGONLOAD OF HINTS 43
NO ONE IS INNOCENT 50
WAITING GAME 52
WHITE KNIGHT TAKES RED KING 54
CAPTAINS AND THE KINGS DEPART 56
POISON PEN 58
OUR FAME PRECEDES US 63
PTARMIGAN AGONISTES 65
WORDS OF PEACE, ACTS OF WAR 67
NEVER SHOW A MONKEY YOUR TOUNGUE 70
PTARMIGAN RUNS SHORT 73
THE STORM AND THE CROWN 75
THE PATH OF CONQUEST
It occured to me that I was wet. Hazily remembering that I had spent
the past several peirlous weeks at sea, that could also mean that I
was drowned. But the fact that I was still breathing disallowed that
possibility. Reassuring as that was, it told me nothing of my current
location. I opened a blurry, salt-stung eye to reconnoitre. A crab had
ascended my nose and was looking gravely down into my theretofore
passive face. Our gazes met only briefly. Disgruntled that I was still
alive and that my face would not be providing him with a leisurely
meal, he scuttled away to conduct his business elsewhere.
I knew I was on a beach because of the roar of the surf, my interlude
with the crab, and the moderate quantity of sand in my mouth, which I
languidly scraped out with a white, wrinkled finger. I offered up
grateful prayers to the seven national deities, 11 local demigods, 15
community spirits, and my 21 anscestral guardians, as well as the many
fetishes I carry at all times but rarely bother to count. I gave
thanks that the sea had spared me, that my voyage was at an end, and
that I had enlisted in the army and not the navy in the callow days of
my youth. Maritime manoeuvres suited neither my temperment nor my
digestion. Both are sensitive. I stood at last on wobbly legs and
scanned the sandy shore for my countrymen.
There had been a woeful reduction in the Grand Army whose proud
vanguard we once were. Our homeland had been destroyed by unimaginable
geologic fury. Many of his Majesty's elite forces were swallowed up by
hungry cracks in the earth in the initial disaster. The majority of
the survivors were incinerated by steaming lava in the subsequent
conflagration, wit the better portion of the remnants washed away by
the concluding cataclysm. Then the situation began to deteriorate.
The score of use who were spared immediate calamity, including my
sovereign lord, raced to the seaside to find a means of escape. I was
alarmed to find that we would have to flee our disintegrating homeland
in a fleet of shockingly porous fishing boats. Their condition would
have been a scandal in less volcanic times. Still, we had no choice
but to consign our fate to their leaky hulls. As we pushed away from
the shore, the blast from an explosion struck our sails as an angry
mistress strikes an insolent servant, and it flung us far out to sea.
We never looked back as the smoke from our burning nation shrouded the
sun. Only airborne, glowing ash from our lost homeland lit our way.
The holocaust had changed even the familiar trade routes of the sea.
We rode alien currents for weeks through doldrums and squalls, icy
swells and tropical eddies. Our noble lord did what he could to
maintain morale by taking his turns at bailing, rowing, and keeping
watch, shouting encouragement all the while. He would accept no more
than an equal share of our meagre rations, although all begged him to
partake of more to keep up his strength. Without his noble and
unselfish example we surely would have perished, and his name and that
of his people would have vanished from the memories of nations. It was
his strength, not our own, that brought us to a fair shore.
At this moment, I feared he had saved us only to face new desolation.
When I spied him at last, he was standing alone by a rampart of jagged
black boulders. His red cloak shone like sunrise on a polished blade
even as dusk and stormclouds began to veil the sky. Brooding before a
roaring campfire built from the remnants of one of our incontinent
vessels, he did not look up as we approached. We did not so much
gather around him in the customary militarily precise circle as
collapse in a ragged and exhausted oval. Many of us were still gagging
up brine, and pulling seaweed away from our sunburned faces and faded,
threadbare uniforms. I counted our depleted number; it was the
mathematical equivalent of despair.
My lord's voice interrupted my geometric digression. I do not recall
now the exact words he said, but even today when I think on them they
are fire in my heart and heat all the corridors leading from its four
chambers. The men rose and the storm broke as he finished speaking.
The wind caught his cape in its teeth and flared it behind him like
the tail of a comet, a sure prophecy of conflict and strife. The
flames of the bonfire flared and convulsed, choreographed by the
tempest into a livid dance of war. The pelting rain was hot, but not
so hot as our warrior's blood. Then shet lightning struck the rocks
behind my lord and shattered them; and in the place of the rough brow
of stone was shining black glass carved into the five distinct peaks
of a crown. Mere moments before, we had been a sodden flock of
listless castaways. Suddenly, the words of our ruler had torn the
weariness from our muscles and bones, and scalded our minds until all
hopelessness dispersed like a foolish fog.
Needless to say, I felt much better. And I so enjoy these
opportunities to wax poetic. It is for this reason that I gave up the
scholarly life to become a soldier. I began to outline an epic poem to
immortalize us all.
THE JUDGEMENT OF THE SCALES
This island seemed an unlikely cornerstone for the foundation of a
great empire. It struck me as more analogous to the rude entrance to
a gate house than a colonnaded ramp leading into a palace. Still, even
the finest marble begins as the basest mud, and no throne is ascended
without climbing a few steps. The campaign here also promised to be a
brief one and would postpone any premature re-embarkation on the
We had constructed a home of sorts, a tower on a hilltop. It was
hardly an example of our brilliant national architecture, but then we
weren't planning to stay long. It served its dual purpose as a storage
facility for provisions and shelter for my noble lord. Before we left
the rude shelter, as we did at the beggining of any campaign, we
removed whatever food we had stored there. Better we eat it than have
it fall to the tower weasels.
Reconnaissance of the island showed it had only two large population
centres, a northern settlement called Tossogy and a southern one named
Ropmmer. The most disturbing thing about the natives, other than their
apparent fondness for unattractive place names, was their demeanour.
The regularity of their schedules, the rigidity of their organization,
and the uniformity of their dress bespoke one of two things: (1.) A
driven mania for unoriginality, or (2.) Milatarism. Not that those two
possibilities are ever mutually exclusive, of course.
My lord was wise enough to presume that these peasants, although not
organized into an army, were nontheless trained to engage in open
combat. His keen judgement echoed my own, as was often the case. I had
observed that these blue-garbed foreigners occassionally stopped in
the midst of whatever they were doing, saluted crisply, and shouted,
"All hail our noble mistress, Jayne III!"
I do not know how my lord arrived at his decision to attack Tossogy as
opposed to Ropmmer; as a future poet laureate, I would have preferred
Ropmmer since it lends itself to easier rhyming, although Tossogy might
have allowed for freer metrical experimentation. But I had long ago
resigned myself to the unhappy fact that the poetic muse occupies a
rank inferior to that of the martial spirit. And I could always
rearrange the facts for literary neccessity and effect later. Which I
The battle was brief and the victory decisive. Our attitude was
casual, even passive, as we overwhelmed the rabble. The vanquished
villeins slunk back to their rude dwellings in disarray. I led my
doughty comrades in a victory cheer, although my attempts to get them
to harmonize was met with the customary disnterest. The local
peasentry was an undistinguished looking lot (I've already mentioned
their tendency to slink), and their villagehad few visible resources.
There seemed little reason for us to stay.
I awaited my Lord's next order, which I assumed would be an attack on
the bucolic churls of Ropmmer. Instead, he was studying a scales or
balance, and pouring gold pieces into one of its tarnished cups. I
assumed he was preparing to reward those of us who had shown the
greatest valour and warlike spirit against the Tossogians. I
endeavoured to commemorate the occassion with a couplet (although I
was having trouble devising a rhyme for "well deserved") when the
scales tipped to one side and my lord put it and the coins away. "The
Conquest Balance has spoken. It is the judgement of the scales that we
now control this territory," he announced. "On to the next conquest!"
To decide such a thing on the basis of a tipped scales? At first, I
thought my sovreign had fallen under the sway of some preposterous
superstition. And as one who allows preposterous superstitions to rule
my life, I was all in favour of this innovation. But as time passed, I
came to trust the judgement of the Conquest Balance as purest applied
science. I detest purest applied science, but what works, works. One
may win a territory in the middle of a battle if a careful eye is kept
on the Conquest Balance and one acts quicly. The Balance can tip all
the way to the right during combat; if it does so, retire. But do not
hesitate; it might tip back if the tide of battle turns against you.
The next territory was recahed after a mercifully brief sail; we would
have to travel by boat many more times before our campaigns were over,
but happily, never over the open sea. Short coastal or freshwater
excursions were all that would be required. We built another simple
tower (my suggestion for a cupola and bas reliefs was ignored) and
awaited my lord's bidding. Our first target was to be the small
settlement of Heacidm. We removed our stored victuals from the tower
and sallied forth.
The Heacidmic varlets and knaves were no match for even our most
passive assault. However, they proved more skilful at war's
manufactures than its practices, for when they were set to inventing
they made several swords while in a neutral humour and even a cannon
while feeling more aggressive.
Their unselfish motivation was, no doubt, to strengthen our cause and
thus enable their unfortunate neighbours to share in the benefits and
security of my lord's absolute rule. This becoming show of loyalty,
keen perception, and metallurgy recommended them for inclusion in my
lord's crusading legion, so all were recruited.
It is worth noting that Inventing could leave my lord in a vulnerable
position. When everyone is off in the woods, chopping down trees and
diligently ruining fragile habitants, my lord was left all by himself
by the workshop; one lone enemy soldier could have come in and made
sure that he'd never be lonely again.
We could now strive to conquer the island's more populous settlements.
By my lord's will, Brininer would be next to fall. The lack of martial
mettle we encountered there was complete; the flash of sword's edge
and cannon's muzzle o'erthrew the local population with haste. This
demonstration of utter helplessness touched the heart of the most
calloused veterans, so we recruited all the Brininerarians to provide
them with the protection they so clearly required. My lord presumed
the citizens of nearby Brilltte were likewise militarily inept, so we
hastened thence to take them under our nurturing care. We addressed
the Brillteens with a salutary round of cannon fire and a few
sword-blows of greeting, and they welcomed us by surrendering politely
and without delay.
This brought an end to our strivings in this territory. Upon our
occupation of Brilltte, my lord's most prescient Conquest Balance told
us that our strategic brilliance had brought these insular peoples
within our beneficent sphere. We left our new contrymen behind as we
travelled to the next cog in the meshing gears of the imperial
We built our next tower on a hilltop, enjoying a view that was most
diverting. Too much so, perhaps, since it concealed from view several
rustic hovels; we practically had to turn our rocky precipice to and
fro to find them. My lord felt, as did I, that the nearby rough-hewn
mountain-folks would seize our tower for sundry unclean and dire
purposes if we left it unguarded before they were pacified. Our
assault quickly brought them to heel, whereupon they were recruited so
they might learn the kindred principles of civilised life and
We also slaughtered their sheep so they would not have to wander the
desolate hills alone, friendless, and decreasingly palatable. Since
sheep yield 200 units of food each, it seemed the most practical thing
to do, although we learned subsequently that we could have brought
them along. When a farm or settlement's shepard is recruited, his or
her wooly charges will accompany him when he leaves. Sheep could also
keep up with our army when it was crossing a body of water. They are
But one sheep we spared. Upon our approach, this most singular ram
exhibited the greatest glee I have ever seen a quadruped outwardly
express. And when the battle was won, he joined us in our victory
shout, and with great effort and patience balanced a plough on his
head to mimic our helmets. The men warmed to him because of his
warlike ardour and he was immediately adopted as our mascot. I
christened him Rupert after our national god of hostile livestock and
We marched away as Rupert Battle Sheep bleated cadence, and it seemed
to us that our woolly new companion brought us luck as this land fell
quickly to the fury of our arms. Yet our next battle was not an easy
one. The C in Ctaten may have been silent but the natives were not,
and their resistance was stubborn. First we saluted their bravery
after giving them a sever beating; then we accepted them as brothers
and their food as lunch. Both new and veteran soldiers needed to rest
before my lord selected our next target, Josataise, named for that
gore-sodden tyrant Jos the Red. We expected a battle fiercer than the
last, but Jasataise was deserted when we reached it. The natives left
with such haste that they left much food behind, which we added to our
own stores lest vermin feast on it, growing brazen and rotund.
The men, doughty war dogs though they were, were given rest and repose
as often as was practical. A smaller, rested force can cut a larger
fatigued force into ribbons and other decorative materials. Therefore,
in most cases when we attacked a settlement and got men/or food, we
typically camped immediately to rest if it could be done safely. While
the enlisted personnel were refreshing themselves, my lord would query
one of the recently recruited villagers to keep track of his personal
well-being. He would be very sickly in the wake of our fierce albeit
justifiable assault, but when he resumed his customary rural
robustness, we pressed on with our crusade. When possible, we gave
battle only when the bulk of our forces were well or fit. The merest
touch of a weapon or bare fist will send anyone who is sickly to a
better world than this where they will do you little, if any, good.
We expected to find the fell inhabitants of Josataise despoiling the
countryside as a renegade army, but this did not come to pass. The
rest of our stay on this bleak and rocky strand amounted to little
more than mopping up, as we invaded Haywarand and reduced its larders
and population to more manageable volumes (which is to say, empty)
through conscription, and then applied the same theories of resource
management and demographics to Joscidist, Brillman, Emwarh, and the
very unfortunately named settlement of Vomataeux. This unhurried
campaign came to a leisurely conclusion with the taking of Enwarlia
Little did we know that this was to be our last casual campaign.
THREE SWORDS IN EMGGS
Since before the mind of man runneth not to the contrary, my lord had
exhorted to us to prepare for the possibility of wandering armies.
The ruins in many of the settlements we had conquered had obviously
been the residue of conquests before ours, and conquests are rarely
achieved by posting surly notes to one's neighbours. An army or two is
generally involved in such political realignments. We soon learned a
simple and eminently practical policy when dealing with such opposing
forces: kill them, kill them all.
Our reconnaissance indicated the settlement of Beeme should be our
first target. The valour of the natives would have been insufficent to
fill a cavity in an immature tree shrew's molar. So as part of our
effort to bring remedial education to th ebenighted inhabitants of
this forsaken strand, my lord accepted the Beemish into his army. On a
probabtional basis, of course. Their first lessons were to kill their
sheep, gather all their food, and make a few pikes. Their grades were
passable if not scholarly. We repeated these steps upon occupying
Feboy and Licem. It would take some effort to seperate the men from
the Feboys, but as bringers of civilization, we felt obliged to try.
My lord chose Emggs as the next laboratory for his expirement in
educational reform. But he seemed uneasy as we travelled, as did
Rupert Battle-Sheep, who sniffed the air amid muttered bleats. Rather
than going into the unprotected settlement, my lord had us camp near
to it and looked warily toward the north. Both sire's and sheep's
instincts proved keen, for soon we were set upon by a savage
carmine-clad hoard of brigands loyal to Jos XVIII. My lord called out
"Three swords!" which is his signal for "No mercy!" The carnage was
horrifying, some of our own fellows learned their final lesson upon
that gory field, and my lord himself was failry coated by a frosting
of red tunics and nearly undone. But in the end the day was ours. A
short time later, the little Emms and their neighbours the Dessens
were helpless before our onslaught, battered though we were. After the
Conquest Balance declared our victory, the victors were more weary
than the vanquished, and their dreams more troubled.
IF ALL THE SEAS WERE INK
Recall if you will, my attitude concerning boats. Doing so, you will
understand the discomfort I expirencedm, while participating the
conquest of the next few territories. If all the seas were ink, I
should endeavour to write even more and thus do myself the srevice of
trying to empty them. Studying the lay of the land (and lack thereof)
in these territories, I was going to suggest to my lord that we take
every boat we came across; it would have been difficult to range
southward without them. But my lord, ever prescient, had already
formulated this policy before I could counsel him. It was always a
comfort to know that his judgement was at least as keen as my own.
It likewise came to my immediate notice that the fresh lake air in
this vicinity deepened the appetite ferociously. Indeed, on taking
the settlement of Cttes as our first trophy here, the Citizens
barely had time to swear their allegiance to my lord before we
hastily slaughtered their sheep for our stores. When we set sail in
those few boats in Cttes' meagre fleet, we hugged the shore tightly
(displacement had been somewhat increased by our late ravenousness).
My lord chose Hlled as our next goal.
The previous massacre we had inflicted upon Jos' ancarnadine
mamelukes had not taught them the meaning of fear. The red gang we
faced on the outskirts of Hlled would remain similarly ignorant,
since we slew them all with aggressive relish. The boats we removed
from their rended corpses proved more durable than they did, and
greatly speeded our progress down the peninsula. But as the land
broadened, our military difficulties increased. We began to
encounter the bloodthirsty rabble who follow the banner of Jayne III,
the cruel blue queen of atrocities. As we battled them in their
barbarous encampments, my lord frequently had to call to us to become
more immoderate in our posture; our natural inclination toward
mildness and mercy did not serve us well in some skirmishes.
Nonetheless, our progress was rapid through the fetid lanes of
Bwarry, Mash, Fueux, and Siery, absorbing all men and edibles as we
THE VAST BLUE
Our accelerated progress continued through the next territory. Sensing
peril in the beckoning shadows of nearby Fineh, my lord guided us to
Relyman. There we encountered but token resistance from the
Relymansmen, who seemed genuinely chagrined by the blandness of their
temperament. They clamoured for inclusion in our ranks so they might
be influenced by our vigorous attitude, and offered up all their
provisions and boats as enticement. How could my lord refuse?
Our next operation, the conquest of gloomy Fineh, put some colour in
Relymanic blood. The Finehers themselves marvelled at the salutary
effect enlistment in my lord's service had had on their formerly wan
neighbours, and followed their example. Our sweep into Renogene
turned this into something of a mass movement as, after a brief
skirmish, each and every one of the Renogenetic pleaded to enlist in
my lord's cause so they might better emulate our hardiness. Indeed,
the veterans among us frequently had to admonish the recruits not to
perfrom calisthenics during periods reserved for rest. Our march into
Modgen was met with less enthusiasm than we were now accostumed to,
but the Modgenals still yielded to our relentless onslaught. And to
prevent any further onslaughting on our part, they invented a
serviceable flotilla for our pleasure.
The excursion to the southern shore was mercifully brief. Our
lightning campaign and sinewy tactics quickly brought Flya, Fbetria,
Emmmlia, and Brian into the service of the cause of righteousness
and tipped the Conquest balance in our favour. It was a bitter thing
to leave the dishevelled, unmotivated foreign scum I had moulded
into battle-hardened, disciplined foreign scum, and many soldierly
tears were shed as we parted.
I almost cried a few more soldierly tears when I realized that my
aquatic aojourns were not at an end. The seawinds around Fninria
bore away the cries of the wounded as our first campaign here
reached a climax. We convinced the Fninrii that their hurts would
heal more rapidly if they remained active, but we marched away from
them when we left for Hayatmit. Before we began our country sojourn,
though, we collected all their boats as we knew we'd have to get off
this island at some point. The ensuing battle implied that the sea-
going Haytatmitnauts must have been better sailors than warriors;
they all would have drowned otherwise. We took all their boats to
encourage them to develop their landslide skills but left them
behind as food was scarce.
We journeyed to Brieth, where we gave them a taste of the single
sword. We made a present to ourselves of the food and boats but left
the weary Briethers behind as we knew our journey across the ocean
blue was to be long and treacherous.
We plied the somewhat odious waves to Togbalr; it fell easily as
spring rain. They also had the first sheep we had seen in weeks. It
was here we brought on board our first hired troops. Futmmman proved
no more doughty, but the people could hum wonderfully well; we
recruited them all to teach them to hum our national anthem as soon
as I wrote one. We went to Decanogy and Deferr and repeated the
excerise. The position of Deferr to the nearby forest allowed us to
build a catapult which was a mighty force in our continued conquests.
My lord sensed a lurking Blue troop approaching. Their fate was the
same their brothers' had been in the shadow of Brieth.
Our power was now sufficent to overcome the most stubborn
countermeasures of the settlements of Emmd and Heazarth, and the
Conquest Balance declared in our favour yet again.
THE CHAINS OF COMMAND
Consider this chapter as an interlude between campaigns. No, not an
interlude as much as a debriefing. Certain information imparted
herein I was able to jot down only delayedly, long after the fact.
Other events I was not aware of at the time of their occurrence, and
I could describe them only after interviews with my sovereign lord.
But these facts, no matter the number of years elapsing between the
events and their inscription, must yet be known for a complete
understanding of our success. Or as my lord would say with an
economy of phrasing I find endearingly quaint, "Better late than
Enlisting multiple Captains was imperative to my lord's master plan.
In as much as Captains must scatter to carry out a broad strategy,
issuing orders to them was often a vexation. The use of carrier
pigeons was the only practical avenue for such communication. Because
there was always a delay between a pigeon's departure and arrival,
careful planning was necessary to issue orders. If pigeons were sent
out at properly choosen times, it was possible to "stack up" orders.
For example, if my lord wanted a subordinate Captain to get food,
then equipment, then men, he could send out pigeons in sequence to
carry these orders. However, a newer order overrode an older one, so
timing had to be precise and well-monitored.
The forces of Jos the Red, Blue Jayne, and even Rather Yellow Harold
soon began to mimic my lord's innovation. When a single carrier
pigeon not of our own prized flock was espied flying above us, it
meant one of my lord's opponents was sharing conspiracies with one
of his scabrous commanders. O dreadful cooing messanger of havoc!
Happily, my knowledge of ornithology was so voluminous I was able to
suggest two alternative strategies for handling this ongoing
situation: First, sweep the feathery heralds from the sky's great
blind shell; or, second, follow the lice-ridden little statue
Killing a carrier pigeon on the wing is no task for an unclear eye
nor usnteady hand. Their flight is as fast as that of bow-shot
arrow, which in likewise the only weapon that can bring them to
earth. But if all an opponent's pigeons are shot down, he will no
longer be able to issue orders to his swinish minions. Tracking
pigeons is an easier matter, as long as surface conditions do not
slow down the tracker. Following them in their flight can also lead
one directly to enemy forces which might otherwise be hard to detect.
But keen vision is necessary for both endeavours, since it is
possible to mistake a soliray flushed coot or migratory flock of
grebes for a carrier pigeon.
There were also protocols established concerning subordinate
Captains. They were often assigned the tasks that my lord did not
have time to perform himself: Inventing, supplying food to a village,
recovering discarded equipment from a battle field, etc. They could
similarly be used as my lord's main attacking force, although the
lag time in issuing orders might have been irksome and inefficient
in battle when managed by a lesser commander. This also allowed
Lord PowerMonger to stay in the back lines and thus have a more
panoramic and strategic view of the battle.
Sending a Captain to survey unfamiliar territory with a vanguard of
less than four men was an RSVP to catastrophe. He was more
susceptible to attack by unabsorbed townspeople and oafs. If his
contingent was less than four, it was often best to assign him to
spy, thus allowing him to sulk observantly across the land without
being set upon by opposing blackguards.
There is one stratagem, however, that requires a Captain to travel
alone: Assassination. To play the assassin's role, the captain who
is given the task must be equipped with a sword or bow and
dispatched to an area near his target. When the enemy camped, the
assassin moved in as a normal spy would; but when he was inside the
circle of camp, he attacked. With luck, the enemy Captain died
before his men realized what had happened. If the enemy was very
healthy or well equipped, the attempt often failed and my lord lost
There was a time when I was not as accomplished a versifier as now I
am. The following fragment shows this, I think (even though it is not
a completely unaccomplished piece):
Through the flowery fields to Mouist,
Our armour shing, our valour truest.
The Blackguards! How they cringe and creep,
Watching while we kill their sheep.
Their men sign up to avoid impalin',
And everyone scampers towards Embalem.
We attack from where the warm sun rises
And deliver many rude surprises.
Recruitment will make the locals less insular,
And we head for Futtted, where the land is peninsular.
The battle is brief in flighty Futted,
And we leave it, like Embalem, looted.
The rigours of camp life left me little time to work on my rhymes,
hard though that may be for you to believe after you have read the
previous. So I will continue the commentary on this campaign in more
prosaic terms. We turned again toward Embalem, where we paused to
make a cannon. We then made our way towrds Liced. The Red horde we
had seen before appeared. They fared no better then the sheep did
before the fury of our aggression. A passive demonstration of the
joys of the warrior's life convined the Licedines to take up the
trade, and they brought along all the food to add to the general
merriment. They even practiced a bit of warfare on their own
Following our swift victory, we overcame the town of Timllh. The
Conquest Balance declared that no further slaughter was necessary
in this land.
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON
I cam to miss the lobsterback ruffians that follow Jos the Red before
I left this territory; even more did I miss the wretched warriors who
stumble along ineptly after Rather Yellow Harold. The scurrilous
scoundrels who follow the lead of Blue Jayne were all we encountered
here, and they did nothing to soften my harsh estimation of their
Emcidion fell with almost embarrassing ease; they would have
surrendered to Rupert Battle-Sheep if they'd had the chance. Their
rather portly Captain was so eager to please us that he offered to
spy on the settlement of Futmmn. He located a boat, as he had to
cross the one sea, then went on his merry way. His enthusiasm for
treachery did not recommend him particularly, but it was good that
his offer was accepted. Even then, and invasion was brewing.
Our spying Captain's intelligence warned us of the Blue approach; we
went north to secure some seemingly abandoned boats. Waiting until
their polluting tread sullied the beach, we attacked them without
mercy. We recovered a goodly amount of food and boats from the
carcass of their slain Captain, but barely had time to secure our
grains before more Blues attacked from teh south. We dealt with them
as we had with their loathsome kith, and left their bodies in the
Before we left Emcidion behind, we decided to produce a catapult to
assist us in our onslaughts.
Futmmn was then brought to task for striking at my lord. We had food
and boats aplenty, so we took none from this place, and we left some
townspeople behind so they might inform others of the might of our
arms. Mofofry was treated likewise. We crossed the seas of Togemit.
This island was roaming with Jayne's hoards so we were always on the
lookout. The miners of Togemit raised their picks against us only
briefly; we then instructed them in the making of swords to show them
what true warriors wielded. And then, Mwarboy, Ropoage, and Briery
were ground beneath our ravishing stride. The Conquest Balance rarely
tilted with the finality it did then.
This territory represented something of a lull. Or perhaps my mood was
just a bit grey. The attack on Licboler required no tactical
improvisation or acts of valour (I found it hard to keep my eyes open
during the contest), and was quickly won. Even taking all the men and
food in town lent no invigoration. I daydreamed through the siege of
Togcaning, was barely able to join the victory cry, and even found
killing some sheep passed the time drearily. The conquest and
harvesting of Myiogy overwhelmed me with deja vu. Lackaday!
The Blue attack on Myiogy from teh south added a destive note, and
they were a formidable lot. We used the whole of our might to defend
against their assult. The poverty of their Captain also spoiled the
mood. I dragged myself to Heazarist, then around lakes to Huand,
wearily recruiting and requisitioning all as we went. With the leaden
steps of a sleep-walker, I lurched toward Jlly, my comrades seeming
to float along beside me. Were the Blues who attacked us halfway there
the gossamer wisps of a dream or actual foemen? Whatever they were, I
killed my share. The Conquest Balance dropped its cup, and I finally
got the sleep I needed so badly.
A MOVABLE FLEET
The ways of the sea are mysterious, and the men who sail it fear its
intentions. That, at least, we have in common. If, as is claimed,
the sea is haunted, then it is not just by the wandering souls of
men. The ships that sail it also travel in ways cautious men do not
try to investigate.
Our invasion of Ropssral began this campaign on a successful note.
Men, sheep, and food were found worthy of our use. We likewise
favour Jbroman by accepting all it had to offer. These new recruits
quickly proved my lord's estimation of them to be correct (what else
could it be?) as they were instrumental in obliterating a Red attack.
The Reds' leavings provided us with wnough food, but insufficent
boats, for our full troop.
How does my lord see so far, beyond seas, beyond mountains, beyond
horizons? It is a mystery, even to me. Yet he perceived food and
boats aplenty in far Dtisse, and set sail for its unseen shore. This
required us to leave behind several of our brothers to an unknown
fate. To increase the chances of their remaining safe, my lord left
them outside of Jbroman. As we sailed away, I watched them wander
disconsolately on the beach until they were at last lost from sight.
We did not take the most direct route; had we done so, we would have
encountered a Blue armada that could have been our undoing. Dtisse
was deserted by all but one ragged citizen when he reached it; it
must have been the site of a great battle at some recent time for we
found a beach littered with boats and a cache of food. We took all we
found. Their coming was as timely as it was marvellous, for we were
at theat moment attacked by Blue cutthroats. Our late-arriving
brethren contributed much to our total victory.
The rest of this territory we then conquered with ease.
SLASH AND GRAB
Finesse in battle is often lost on the Blues and Reds, even if you
don't happen to kill them. Any engine of war more complicated than a
bow is beyond the scope of their so-called minds. Their tactics
usually consist of nothing more than slashing and grabbing.
Primitive! Fun, but primitive.
This territory was also dominated by Blues on the cutting edge of
Blue technology (i.e., they had bows). We learned to change our
posture here frequently as conditions and our lord dictated; not all
villagers were unprepared for our coming. And while boats were not a
necesity here, the numerous lakes puddling the landscape made having
them a good idea.
We thought the simple ports of Whdgage and Fdglia could improve their
fishing techniques under our tutelage, so they were brought under our
administration. We were on the lookout for Jos' Reds as scouting
reports indicated they were about. We borrowed their boats to
demonstarte advanced fishing techniques, but found in the end we had
to use them for military purposes. To ensure their trust, we brought
the townspeople along so they might keep an eye on their property.
Fueux fell happily into our hands, as did the hilltop settlemet of
Josggand. My knowledge of Geology suggested that this community
might be atop a rich vein of iron, and at my lord's neutral urging, a
mine was constrcuted. Indeed, ferrous orse was tucked just beneath
the topsoil. To celebrate the event, the hardworking Josgganders
constructed many fine ceremonial swords and, with aggressive fervour,
a cannon decorated with tableaux of our many victories. Swords and
cannon, while able to stand scrutiny as objects d'art, also stood
the test of the uses of war. They and the boats we were safeguarding
were put to good use as we travelled a complicated route across
the landscape to Whssman, Myeral, Brieene and Mylene, all of which
provided us with the riches of their fields to fill our bellies and
the flower of young manhood to fill our ranks. Thereupon we were able
to safely liberate Mollen and Scria from the grasping hand of Blue
Jayne. The drop of the positive side of the Conquest Balance
confirmed her defeat.
LIFE ON THE EDGE
During my university days, before an unfortunate misunderstanding led
to revocation of my scholarship, confiscation of my books, and a
death sentence, Geology was among my foremost areas of expertise. Had
there been time, I would have studied the river-etched canyon that
formed the central and most obvious feature of this territory. My
travels around it were necessarily hurried during this visit,
however, so I had no opportunity to analyze its strata.
The ramshackle huts of Mynogth were the first to feel the fury of our
war making. The Mynogths seemed truly grateful to accept enlistment
into our now-legendary force, and offered up all their food as a
token of appreciation. There were a number of boats ready for the
taking here, but my lord indicated we shoudl pass them by for the
The terrain around the canyon proved difficult to travel, and echoes
resounding off the chasm's sheer walls were eerie and confusing.
We thought we heard sounds of battle far to the north, but we could
not be certain. It might just have been Rupert kicking rocks into
the yawning rift as a prank. After many changes in direction, we
reached and conquered Whied. The Whiedbodies had tired of a life on
the edge of the canyon (the echoes kept them up at night) and were
happy to enter the soldier's life. They brought along their food as
well lest it topple into the gorge that was the source of their
Traveling to Licggeux allowed a much straighter path, but the presence
there of a Blue army lessened our enjoyment of it. We let the Blue
taste of our unbridled wrath, a last meal they found most bitter. We
served Licggeux a sweeter repast, but in the end it was our hunger
for conquest that was satisfied. Killing some sheep in Thanksgiving
and exchanging booty in a spirit of comraderie, we set out for
Ematasit; we left a few Licggeezers behind after they began to
construct mines in our honour. Emataist was deserted, so we turned
our attention to Mywarth. There were signs that Bluebellies had
passed this way, but there was no telling when. Mywarth and Futien
completed our set of conquests. The Conquest Balance declared that
this contest was over.
THE BATTLES AROUND GAUNTLET LAKE
The most notable geographic feature of this territory was the large
freshwater lake in its centre. It to me looked rather like a mailed
fist, so I named it Gauntlet Lake. We came to know its shores well as
we liberated the settlements that surronded it from the yokes of Red
and Blue tyranny. The first of these was Siwarise, a provincial
backwater loyal to my lord in quick order, and we took their food into
our care to prevent unnecessary spoilage.
I was devising in my mind a bold campaign to capture the neighbouring
hamlet of Maceage when my lord gave the order to march on Finbalral;
this sounded like a marshy trek to me, but I learned later that a Red
sun was rising in the west and would be set upon us soon enough.
My lord chose our target well, and the name Finbalral was soon added
to our battle ribbons. No sooner had the Finbalraliers pledged to our
sacred cause than the swinish minions of Jos the Red attacked us
from across the lake. The sound of their paddling betrayed their
coming and we slew them as they landed. Their swords made teh battle
a deadly one, but we overcame them (it is our fate to rule, after
all). We took their blades to turn them to the cause of virtue. We
likewise turned their food to the cause of breakfast.
Captain Vonoh of Finbalral warned us that a gang of Blue Jayne's
torturers and fiends might be lurking to the west within the bloody
walls of Haycedime. Rupert Battle-Sheep was ready to storm this
bastion of azure woe, but torturers and fiends require a more subtle
approach, and bloody walls retain a slickness that makes storming
them troublesome. Vonoh's knowledge of the place recommended him as
just the spy to penetrate Haycedime's secrets and observe its blue
oppressors. So anxious was he to carry out this duty that he left
forthwith, pallid and sweaty with anticipation.
Swords at the ready, we marched on Mninise and Brinenen, both of
which offered little more than passing sport for our whiling blades.
Neither the Mninisie nor the Brinenen bled remarkably much when we
overwhelmed them; such rapid coagulation recommended them highly for
soldierly tasks, so we recruited them all. In the meantime, reports
from Captain Vonoh assured us that Blue Jayne's wanton marauders
remained awash in unwholesomeness within Haycedime. Now was the
time to take their measure, and we had just the ruler to do so.
Massacres are never pretty; then again, you don't stop to look at
them much when you're in the middle of one. Haycedime was reduced
after a savage battle. After that, only Beidboy and Jlland stood in
our way. Jlland was empty after the depredations of the Blues and
Reds. But the butchers of Bcidboy paid the same price as the
harrowers of Haycedime. The Conquest Balance then tilted in our
favour, and our revenge was complete.
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY
If there is anything postive I have marked in the natures of Jos the
Red's pestiferous thugs and Blue Jayne's noxious yahoos, it is that
they are as likely to attack each other as they are to attack us. It
makes them seem almost appealing. When they weaken each other in
battle, so much the better for us. This territory allowed us to
observe this mutual bloodshed. It is their only good habit. I should
add, however, that as we approached our final conquests, both Blues
and Reds attacked us somewhat more than they did each other, but
never in alliance.
We avoided Ropbety at the beggining of this campaign, as my lord
thought its citizens might be tougher than they appeared. The bland
appearance of the inhabitants of Tolguette concealed no warrior's
mien, however, and it felt like a desiccated pomegranate
We recruited the bipedal population, but left the quadripedal
population for a later reckoning, as our lord demanded haste in our
travels. Ammem proved less amenable to conquest, however, and we
needfully attacked with a whiff of aggression, inflicting a few
instructive casualties on the stubborn Ammembers before they
My lord was unrelenting in his demand for lightning travel.
Togferen and Hon were the next to fall, and both we left empty as
we left quickly. My lord had selected Togoa as our next conquest
(our forces would have become too spread out if we had attacked
Mobaland). But to our delight we found that Blue and Red armies
had met near the city, destroying each other in the process. Out of
respect for their valour, we stripped the bodies of bows and food
and promised to use them for the good of the people of this land,
assuming they were on our side.
The mining centre of Tottage was no match for our new found bows,
and Whatas and Ropbety were no more challenging. The Conquest
Balance dropped a shoulder, and all was well.
A WAGONLOAD OF HINTS
(Archivist's Note: It was my duty to assemble this chapter from
Ptarmigan Burlihoo's notes for the revised edition of ANNALS OF
THE POWERMONGER. This was a challenging task. Except for the original
parchment, all other copies of the ANNALS were lost when they were
sold in lot to a fellow named Ououadage who represented himself as a
bibliophile but actually operated a fish market in the piscivorous
village of Slough. Ptarmigan's notes were very disjointed and
confusing; for instance, I have no idea what the chapter's title
refers to. Ptarmigan's habitual literary self-indulgence didn't help
matters, either. Still, his writing, irritating though it may be, is
the most thorough source of information we have on that long ago
era. Other than that, I'm glad he's dead.)
To Vomdgist; take all food and men and kill some sheep. Hurry to
Vonlyion, do same. Go toward Mywarral. Red army halfway to
Mywarral; they will still be weakened from last battle, so attack
them at Aggressive posture. Kill Reds, take food (they have no
inventions). No need to go to Mywarral, Assral, or Das, they've
been emptied & have no sheep or goodies. (But check Assral for boats,
which you won't need.)
Go to Brioa, Jostattte, and Headgem. Take men & food from each. Was
Each tribe at the start of each land has certain characteristics.
Some tribes walk faster, some tribes eat more food. When my lord
notices this after I pointed it out to him by imitating their
various gaits and table manners, it was of great advantage when
deciding which people to recruit.
If bowmen were not hitting their targets, my lord issued his
attack order from a different angle. For example, target a specific
person or a nearby house.
Transferring Troops during Battle
Having two armies, one of which was in a battle and disgracing
itself, my lord transferred some of the troops from the first army to
the second army as reinforcements. This was a good surprise tactic
Spy command as Escape Option
If the tide of battle flowed ill, a Captain often attempted an escape
by spying on something. His men attempted to retreat home to be
recruited later. This did not work if said Captain was fighting hand
Each person in the world has a job and only certain jobs produce food
for villages. Of farmers, merchants, fisherman and shepherds, only
farmers and fisherman produce food for their villages. Unless you
enjoy eating merchants, which has never appealed to me. Farmers will
not produce food in Winter but will stay at home. Fishermen will
produce year around. If a farmer has a plough, he will produce twice
as much food. Each time a farmer returns home, he brings enough
food for himself and one other person.
In Winter when people are staying at home in their houses, they will
eat more food to stay warm.
If troops are in camp, they eat half the amount of food as when they
Merchants carry food and equipment around from town to town,
whether it is your town or an opponent's town. They are shameless
mercenaries, by far their most winning characteristic. So if you see
a merchant and you don't want him delivering food to others then kill
Beware of enemies wandering around your settlements or armies; they
might be spies. Both the Power Monger and I learned this quickly.
Armies and settlements are seperate entities. So if there is an enemy
army camped in an enemy settlement, one can attack the army without
the townsfolk joining in and spoiling the transaction with their
unprofessionalism. The attack must be aimed very carefully, of course,
and one's targeting must be precise.
If the leader of a large wandering army is slain, his troops may all
run to their homes. This can split a large force into two or more
manageable portions that can be more easily defeated. Further, if the
home they run back to was conquered by an opponent since they left it,
the faithless rabble will change their allegience to that opponent,
further diluting the power of their former side, and possibly adding
My lord sometimes found that sending subordinate Captains toward our
destination a little ahead of the main force was an efficacious
manoeuvre, but he was ever careful not to sent them into battle by
themselves; they'd die and he'd miss them. This sentimental side
always endeared him to his men.
Likewise, subordinate Captains provide good standby protection if my
lord was attacked. If such subordinates have no troops assigned to
them, they might be kept to the First Captain in case his person is
insulted by the enemy while his troops are carrying out such
assignments as Inventing.
Battle is a disconcerting experience, and sometimes distorts
perception, especially when one is Equipping Inventions left behind
by their recently deceased owners. Indeed, one may try to equip
one invention, only to equip something else entirely. But if one
perseveres, the desired invention will be equipped.
You cannot divide an individual Captain's forces in combat to execute
complicated strategic manoeuvres; you have to use them in a bloc. But
if several Captains have troops, they may be used to attack from
multiple directions and thus divide the enemy. The PowerMonger
employed this tactic several times after I suggested it to him in a
Boats are valuable Inventions to have equipped, but don't necessarily
equip every one of them you see; walking along the shore and picking
them up one by one can waste valuable time, either from a
settlement's store or from the detritus left behind by slain enemy
Watch for settlements at high altitudes where mines can be
constrcuted. A clanging noise from such a settlement means that either
a mine exists there and inventing is going on, or a mine is under
Keep soldiers well fed. If you don't maintain a good food supply, your
men will be quickly overwhelmed by irresistible homesickness.
Watch your food consumption CAREFULLY; it is accelerated in some
territories. Don't campaign in winter unless you have lots of food or
you know large armies are wandering around. The slower movement rate
in winter will make your food run out faster. Freezing cold and
driving sleet wet the appetite.
Movement & Speed
Beware when crossing a body of water, or moving through terrain that
is near a body of water. Any troops who aren't equipped with boats
will lag behind or wander about dazedly when confronted by seas,
lakes, rivers, lagoons, estuaries, etc. Even a relative puddle in
your line of march can send a platoon or two reeling into the
countryside. If you do not want to get caught in battle short-handed,
make sure you plan your moves through the terrain appropriately;
zig-zag when necessary.
If you notice that your army is moving slowly, you can take measures
to speed it up...sometimes. Rain or snow will cause an army to slow
down and there's nothing you can do about it; you might consider just
camping out until the weather clears. For unknown reasons, movement
in some territories is slower than it is in others. But if you've
been picking up everything that isn't tied down during your campaign,
you're bound to go slower; carrying 30 boats and three cannons would
impede anybody's progress. Mark a Captain's speed to make sure he
isn't overburdened. If he is loaded up with a huge cache of
inventions, drop some. Keep in mind that one may not have to drop
everything to boost the First Captain's Speed up to the desirable
level, and you can pick-up what you drop later.
Any weapon you have equipped can be taken on a boat, so you won't have
to leave your cannons or catapults behind when you cross water. These
implements of destruction can even be used to bombard the shore while
you're bobbing along.
Settlements & Towers
You may find abandoned settlements here and there. Keep an eye on
them: They may be repopulated later either through birth of new
citizens, Deranked troops from opposing armies, or refugees from
armies whose Captains have been slain.
If all the settlements in a territory are owned by one opponent, the
craven wretch won't attack you until you take one of his settlemts.
It was determined that if a settlement is attacked, Captains friendly
to the ruler of that settlement will support the settlement if they
are sufficently close by. So if you take a settlement and camp in or
near it, and a force allied with the settlement's former overlord
attacks the settlement, you'll get dragged into a fight.
NO ONE IS INNOCENT
You never know where a recruitment drive might take you. Settlements
provide the usual meadows for reaping soldiers; less populated fields
are typically fallow. But rustic vales are sometimes fertile fields
for harvesting enlistees or even conscripts. Indeed, some of these
chaurls proved to be most able warriors. The image of callow farm
youth rambling tawny pastures and trading chirrups with the merry
lark is propaganda. When it comes to taking up the sword, few are
genuinely unwilling. And on a battlefield, no one is innocent.
We began this campaign with a passive, modest little attack on a
small building called Deaand. The nearby municipality of Jeing
reckoned our endeavours to be provocative and came to express their
displeasure. My lord ordered to increase our aggression as necessary,
but not to kill too many of the Jeingites; he had other plans for
them. After Jeing's insolent interference was turned away, we
procured Deaand's food and men.
But Jeing was still near to our hearts. We killed a few of their sheep
as a demonstration of what was in store for them if they continued to
resist. When we attacked their town itself, our little visual aid had
done its work, and they succumbed to a passive approach. My lord urged
haste in collecting Jeing's men, boats, and food; it was only later
that he informed us a Blue army was at that moment crashing northward
like a poisoned tide. If Jeing's Captain had not earlier, he could
have sent a spy to these Jaynite filibusters. Rupert volunteered for
the duty himself but was turned down. Even though he was a master of
disguise as horn-bearing ungulates go, he would no doubt have been
discovered and would have ended up bobbing in gravy among carrots.
But even without the intelligence a spy could have provided, the doom
of the Blue army was ensured when we took Jeing; as long as we
recruited everyone we encountered, the manpower of Jayne's bully boys
could never exceed our own. A sojourn to the fish hut called Headgh
and Parogy town provided us with enough men, food, and conflict to
maintain our interest. We were also careful to scan the countryside
for any wandering individuals. A sweep through Hdgh, Remms farmhouse,
and a few fishhuts increased our number until we were unstoppable.
(I've always enjoyed being unstoppable; it does wonders for one's self
esteem.) We had but one logical target left, the tower of Emiand. With
the bows we had invented earlier, and an aggressive attitude to
improve our aim, it fell quickly. The sweeter cup of the Conquest
Balance swung low, and we were once again victorious.
Waiting is a soldier's lot, even more so than combat. He must wait for
his commanders' decisions, he must wait for the weather to moderate,
he must wait for his enemies. It sounds dreary, and often is, but it
allows time for observation as well. In this territory, waiting
offered us the delightful oppurtunity to watch our enemies decimate
We attacked Finod as our movement, and found the Finodes receptive to
our overture. We quickly recruited the locals while our quartermaster
recruited their edibles; our alacrity inspired second thoughts in a
Blue army approaching at the time with the intent of attacking us, I'm
sure. They camped sullenly while we expressed loud and exaggerated
doubts concerning their hygiene. They departed in tears a short time
later. We let them go so they could be tortured by their shame.
Our results in Finod were so encouraging that we decided to repeat
ourselves in Fissand. Our accomplishments here were mixed: The
conquest was simplicity itself, but there was only one Fissander
present to recruit. We assured him we would enter into a holy crusade
to liberate his former neighbours from their servitude to whatever
foreign slave-master had spirited them away. Then we killed all his
sheep. I hope he didn't think we were sending him mixed signals.
Then the Blues made another in their chronic series of fatal errors.
They attacked the Red capital of Aovery even though it was obvious
they hadn't the strength to carry it. Many of our troops wished to go
watch the fun, but my lord ordered us to the Blue base of Acidmit
instead. We whiled away the time there playing cards and composing
ribald songs until the battered Blues returned from their certain
defeat. They were no match for us in their weakened condition, and in
a trice they were not only defeated but in fact gave up the Blue tunic
for the White. They would now learn the ways of the victor.
Their first classroom was Whllh, where an army loyal to Jos was
camped. They needed little encouragement from us to despise the poxy
nematodes who served the cause of redness. It was a brief melee.
Afterwards, we had to reclaim a few of our previous conquests south
of Whllh, to make sure their new citizens remained loyal to my lord
and had the inestimable opputunity to serve him.
We next attacked Jos' foul seat at Aovery. Seat as in capital, that
is. It collapsed like a diseased larch in a monsoon. The rest was beer
and skittles. We freed Hmmtte from a Red army of occupation, and then
swept Ber and Attem clear of ruddy detritus. The fleeing Reds made a
last stand at Whllh, or at least tried to. Upon their inevitable
defeat they fled to their homes, which were controlled by my lord.
Learning this, they had no alternative but to join and become
followers of Lord PowerMonger.
WHITE KNIGHT TAKES RED KING
We passively attacked the town of Scrballia, tried and executed some
seditious-looking sheep (who then became part of our provisions as
further punishment), and recruited all the Scrballians. By the time
we had reached Scrnoglia, they had all learned to march in step. As
a reward for responding so quickly to training, we let them watch
the fight between Jos and Emgges of Macciding. After the two armies
had decimated each other, we attacked aggressively and killed Jos
and Emgges, and their remnants of their haughty hosts. (If we hadn't
killed Jos with some dispatch, he could have given orders to other
units in the landscape. We later learned, however, that Jos was not
quite as dead as we thought.)
Scrnoglia then laid helpless (as well as unpronounceable) before us,
and was taken easily and without aggression. All the Scrnogalerts
were eager to join our number (they were impressed, I think) and
food and equipment was likewise accepted into our lord's service. As
my lord despises littering, we also spruced up the battlefield by
picking up what food and equipment we could find there. We did not
tarry there for long in case other Red or Blue contingents were on
their way to investigate the fates of their overdue comrades. Leaving
Scrnoglia, we went thither some distance to rest. Once refreshed, we
next overwhelmed the settlement of Macwartte. My lord wondered at the
quality of Macwartty handicrafts, and was duly impressed by the pikes
he had the Macwarts fashion for him.
Then Rupert Battle-Sheep baaed an alarum; we had almost been surprised
by a sea of Blue uniforms. And at their head was Jayne III herself!
Even their sovereign in command, the Blues were overwhelmed by our
pikemen. Ruler and ruled alike died on the cruel points of our
weapons. We rejoiced at the fall of our master's great antagonist; now
surely all the Blue forces would be immobilized, and overcome with
The battlefield was cleansed of all that we might use, and all
Macwarts were conscripted for the remainder of our stay here. We
learned of Jayne's tower stronghold called Sifofise and it was decided
that it, too, must be purged of the pollution of it's late mistress.
So disconcerted were the Blue remnants that they fell to a passive
atatck. After a rest, we made for Macciding. It was conquered rather
casually. Upon seeing our Macwart-made pikes, the Maccidinglings were
consumed by jealousy. To prove their own superiority in handicrafts
they fashioned fine bows for our use and even a fearsome catapult. The
Red circle at Vombolion was broken into random parabola by its awful
missles, and the tower of Fferes crumbled also.
The capital of Molyr was last to fall, conquered almost as an
afterthought, and surely with passive demeanour. The sweeter cup of
the Conquest Balance descended with the surrender of Molyr's last
CAPTAINS AND THE KINGS DEPART
I hate to miss a good battle. Carnage, suffering, and dying gasps
provide me with some of my best source material. I'm sentimental that
way. My early experience in this territory led me to believe I was
gathering the best research to be had hereabouts, but later reports
informed me I had missed some quite delightful and picturesque
massacres. Oh well.
First, we attacked Jnogise passively, which defended itself just as
passively, so we carried the day. The Jnognese sheep proved just as
nonchalant about life and death and seemed unperturbed as we killed
them for food. Adding the provisions of the town to this plethora of
fresh mutton and lamb, we had nearly 3000 units of provisions.
We couldn't have eaten that much by ourselves without feeling
gluttonous, so we decided to share it with our former caretakers by
accepting them as fellow Legionnaires.
After a hearty meal of mutton sandwiches, we attacked Scrbalsh. While
I usually hate to make aggressive war on a full stomach, I nonetheless
did so when ordered by my lord. The size of the Scrbalshian encampment
of Blue Jayne's fanatics left us no choice. Many of them fell, as did
a few of my brothers-in-arms. In the end, the Blue hooligans
surrendered, the few of whom survived taken into our number.
It was then that we first heard of the remarkable events that
transpired in this territory just before our arrival. The Captains of
Rather Yellow Harold had formed armie, and then in warfare with the
Red and Blue blackguards almost everyone had been obliterated. All
native Captains were slain, and only a few stragglers survived. The
Yellows retained the only viable (if small) army. By the time we
reached Scrbalsh, the war's refugees had returned to their homes to
reconstruct their shattered lives. My lord decided to shatter them a
bit more before the season turned.
The Yellow army was thought to be in Whqueria, where we hastened to
congratulate them on their victory and demobilise them as soon as
possible. Yellow survivors were indeed found there, but the remaining
army had conquered Jnogise and our homebase. The men called for
vengeance against such rudeness, but my lord counselled patience. He
believed they would return. They did, after which they neither won,
nor survived, any more battles.
Then it was just a matter of mopping up the survivors from Emoogy,
Rellboy and Emees. We thought we had won, and the Conquest Balance
confirmed the surmise.
(The following is adapted from the text of a maddeningly arrogant
letter from that shrieking harpy, Blue Jayne. I have added Editor's
Notes to correct errors and provide commentary.)
To: The "PowerMonger"
From: Her Most Cobaltine Majesty, Jayne IV
Greetings. Your usurpations begin to amuse us. I take it from the
scribblings of your rather over-florid scribe you think me twice dead,
but there are many of me. Slay me as you wish, rend my flesh, shatter
my bones, drink the spurting blood hot from my opened veins; in the
end, it is you who will perish. (Editor's Note: Over-florid!)
How shall I let you know how closely and precisely I follow your
movements? Would a recounting of your most recent campaign suffice?
First, you attacked Bridgist with extreme violence, afterward stealing
every crumb and kidnapping the peasants. (Editor's Note: Our attack
was passive; her other comments are not entirely accurate, either.)
Your thirst for blood unquenched, you indulged in the massacre and
pillaged Timiboy. (Editor's Note: Another passive attack that everyone
survived.) Not even the sheep were left alive! One poor creature was
tortured to death, his skull crushed with a plough! (Editor's Note:
That was Rupert, of course, and he was only sleeping.)
Back at Bridgest you sought more men and invented a fiendish implement
of destruction. (Editor's Note: It was only a catapult.) I sent a lone
peace envoy to suggest an end to the carnage, but he was murdered in
cold blood. (Editor's Note: He was alone with an army and there was
nothing cold about the way we killed him.) The food and boats that
should have gone to his widow and children you instead claimed as
booty. As if that weren't enough, you raped Timiboy one more time.
(Editor's Note: I wouldn't call taking food and one little boat
Your cruel tyranny and looting was then visited upon Macdgboy, where
you depleted the place of its stores. (Editor's Note: We settled down
for a good meal near Abrom.) After that I could stand no more!
(Editor's Note: About time!) My personal guard was patrolling a
coastal area when I ordered them to put an end your wanton cruelty.
You defeated them, but only through the foulest of tactics. (Editor's
Note: Which is to say, we fought better than they did.)
You committed your next atrocities in Abrom, stealing every scrap of
food and slaughtering a troop of underpriveleged Blue youths on a
nature study in the bargain. (Editor's Note: They were soldiers,
of course.) Using the foulest propaganda measures, you managed to
sway the more gullible of my soldiers into joining your fell army.
You then walked off with Abrom's finest technological wonders and
returned to Bridgest for some unholy celebration. There you found
that a small troop you had left behind had "killed" me. As you
gathered the food and boats from my "corpse," I was laughing at you
the whole while! (Editor's Note: She has an unconventional sense of
humour, I'll give her that.)
Next, you used passive attacks to add the following settlements to
your menu of carnage: Whnogeme, Tolan, Brizarr, Tower Briwarmit, and
Myaboy. All of these offered up some men and provisions, which you
then threw against Toloveeux. This last was the site of your greatest
act of barbarism as you slew an encampment of Blue maidens gathering
flowers for their grandmothers. (Editor's Notes: They were soldiers,
they were gathering nothing but dust, and I doubt they could trace
their ancestary as far back as their grandparents. We attacked on
neutral.) Thereupon, your dark victory was sealed.
(Editor's Note: What an unpleasant woman.)
Discipline has never been a problem in my lord's forces. Even the
greenest recruit who had seen us destroy his home and liveliehood
understood the military necessity of doing so and was later ready (and
occasionally eager) to repeat the exercise elsewhere. If discipline
ever came close to breaking down, it was from the enthusiasm our
forces had for the cause, and not because of any flaws in their
There was nothing remarkable about this territory. Our first target,
Tolbaleme, was taken with tolerable ease, men were recruited and food
was accepted without incident, and a rather portly Captain joined us.
After a period of rest to get acquainted with our new comrades, we
turned our attention to Whcidd. The Whcidders' stubbornness required
a moderately strident attack, which was quickly modified to passivity
when their reluctance began to crumble.
Soon there was more food, more men, another Captain, alughtered sheep,
you know the pattern by now. The Whcidd Captain warned of dark deeds
afoot in Jtarty, and so was sent there as a spy to investigate.
While my lord's agent attempted to ingratiate himself with the
Jtatrians, our lord directed us to Togish. It was overcome in a
routine operation, and its resources were exploited in a routine
manner. A third Captain joined us, which was a little out of the
ordinary. My lord left in him in Togish with orders to react
aggressively if the need arose.
In the meantime, that undying virago Jayne III was combining her
forces from Tolbolise, Finataed and Han. While we attacked Togish, she
had engulfed Whcidd into her empire. The insatiable Blue harridan then
attacked Tolbaleme, and then Togish; but my lord PowerMonger had by
now devised a brilliant plot to counter and defeat her.
As Blue Jayne attacked helpless Togish, my lord sent us to camp near
Jtatry. Some in our camp broke ranks to go rescue the unoffending
settlement, but my lord called upon the discipline he had taught them
and called them back from what would have been a certain defeat. The
Captain of Togish was captured in the melee, and he the joined the van
of the Blue witch as she turned her cold, hungry eyes on Jtatry.
She had tried to do too much, Jtatry was left to fall into her hands,
but we then attacked the settlement ourselves. The beating she had
inflicted upon them had left them weak, and the settlemet was ours in
a trice. We the immediately attacked the Blue army aggresively; they,
too, were still recovering from battle, so they were slaughtered. If
we had attacked them while they were fit, as some overzealous recruits
had wished to do, their superior weapons would have been our undoing.
Our faith in our lord PowerMonger was again proven well-founded when
the Conquest Balance tilted after the Blue army was slain.
OUR FAME PRECESES US
Word, as they say, spreads fast. When we arrived in this foreign
place, we found that the enlightened population of Aitth had already
declared for our cause. But this was not the first place we visited.
My lord granted Mowara his first audiece. Their resistance to his
message was brief. We removed a quantity of food from the settlement
to determine its wholesomeness, but the people we left behind, if
only for the movement. We also took three boats so corsairs might not
use them for piracy, and looked for more as we travelled along the
The welcome we recieved in Sitth made all our hard campaigning seem
worthwhile. Our larders were almost bare when we arrived, so we took
all the settlement's food, which they seemed glad to give.
The Sitthians also told us of more food and a pile of boats that a
Yellow Captain dropped north of Futcanion. We found it necessary to
wait until the Blue marauding army from the north was occupied in
attacking Heabroage before we grabbed the formerly Yellow possessions.
In his generosity, our lord did not want to deny the men of Nowara the
glory of combat, so we returned to the settlement. Meanwhile, the Blue
army was besieging Whffral, leaving their recent conquest Heabroage
ripe for plucking. And plucked it was, although the Blue army came to
their rescue as we slew them with gusto.
After a whirlwind campaign through Whffral, Futcanion, Hayette, and
Finsasr (Futcanion was deserted except for some unusually tasty sheep)
we encountered a lone enemy Captain wandering the countryside. His
suicidal attack impressed us by its valour and we did him homage after
cutting him into bits. The ragtag remnants of a Blue army appeared,
and we dispatched them with equal respect. The Conquest Balance avowed
the completeion of our strivings here.
My name is Belshezar. I am writing this for Ptarmigan, who was
"wounded in the last battle" and claims he cannot hold a quill to
write with. He does not know that I know his hand was injured when
that crazy ram he keeps as a pet bit him when he tried to take a
chicken leg from it. Writers! Give me the old barbaric preliterate
days anytime. Maybe if I write this down for him he'll quit his
whining. I'm just scribbling down most of what he says - he uses a
lot of words I can't spell and would not care to learn to.
These are his words (most of them):
Attacked Futtatboy passively, get food and men aggressively. Rested.
Attacked Ftatria passively, get food ad men aggressively. Rested.
Blues sent out a scout who conquered our homebase and then started to
go to Ftatria. Killed them, grabbed his food and about a score of
boats. In the meantime, a Blue army conquered Futtatboy and was making
it's way to Futatria. Our men were spurred into battle by the attack,
but Lord PowerMonger called them back since they were outnumbered.
Attacked lone Blue Captain called Bribroman instead. Grabbed all his
food and equipment as before.
The Blue army then left Futatria to attack a Red-owned city called
Deggh. We attacked them while they were weak and defeated them. We
proceeded to attack the city while the yellow and red armies were
fighting; they had exhausted each other so we won. We camped in the
centre of the city. Then the Red Captain wandered home and attacked.
We killed him, getting much food and equipment. Also got all the food,
men and equipment from the city.
Went to Relyry which has been attacked (by Blues?) and were only a few
men there. Killed all the sheep in this area after conquering
There was a fairly large army now advancing towards Deggh. We attacked
them aggressively and killed them all. We got the slain Captain's food
and picked up all the boats.
Then it was just a matter of defeating, grabbing all the food, men and
equipment from the remaining towns: Boer, Brinien, Brillish, Pareth,
That is all Ptarmigan said. And this is all I, Belshazar, can write.
My hand is cramping and must hurt more than Ptramigan's. I don't know
how he does it. Perhaps all his talking strengthens the muscles used
in writing as well as his flapping jaw.
WORDS OF PEACE, ACTS OF WAR
Again, I am moved to interrupt my commentaries on our brilliant
campaigns to cast greater light on the details that ensured their
First, I offer a summary of the unpleasant mechanics of killing. We
are discussing war, after all. It was ever my fantasy that our enemies
might be overcome by the power of our eloquence; alas, dreaming could
not make it so. Briefly, a pikeman can kill two unarmed people, a
swordsman can kill four unarmed people, a bowman can kill one person
no matter what weapon they have, and artillery such as a cannon or
catapult kills everybody in a small area.
Catapults and cannons were our most effective weapons, but could only
be used by Captains, and were a long time in the making. It took one
year for one person to forge one, although naturally it took two
people one/tenth the time. It was futile for a subordinate Captain to
carry more than one unless it was his lord's intent that he transport
it to another subordinate. The destructive power of such artillery
could blast houses and workshops into slats; if a workshop was
destroyed, all the inventions in the shop would be destroyed as well.
Left to their own devices and faced with the draft alternative, the
villagers rebuilt their houses, and sometimes decided to build
workshops even though there may not have been one there in the first
When we projected our force upon a settlement, we bore in mind the
following tactics. If we attacked from the sea, the villagers were not
to be able to reach us unless they had boats. This assumed, of course,
that we had bows and arrows to attack from a distance. All that should
be obvious. What might be more obscured is that villagers will go
towards their workshop to pick up any weapons stored there. It was
thus our practice to get as close to the village as possible to
surprise them and prevent them from getting to their weapons.
Once we defeated a village, our ungrateful new fellow citizens always
seemed dissatisfied. To sweeten their humours (whenever it seemed
necessary), we would give them food. If we did otherwise, they would
often turn traitorous, or even go to the extreme of joining another
tribe. And if we left them surplus equipment in a settlement, the
cunning yokels would automatically pick them up if they had a use for
Attacking armies travelling overland was a more hazardous endeavour
as we were never certain how many of these brigands were equipped with
weapons. It is likewise a brave soul who attacks a Captain who has a
cannon or a catapult because one of these weapons can literally wipe
out an entire army with one salvo.
After an enemy Captain was vanquished but not killed, he would always
return home, whereupon he bacame one of my lord's Captains if we had
previously absorbed his settlement or tower into our enlightened
commonwealth. Happily, our soldiers would never attack someone who is
running away, even when mistakenly urged to do so.
It's a good idea to have half your men equipped with bows and the
other half equipped with pikes.
If you are faced with an army of bowmen, try and instigate the attack
in the trees since foliage will offer cover for your men.
If you've been playing a particularly long game then the people in
your army can grow old and feeble. If they are over 60 years old, you
will notice them start to slow down. If they reach the age of 80, they
will seek to leave your army and go back home to die. So think about
replacing your army with younger, more robust troops.
Nothing expedited making an alliance quite so much as the high opinion
of a prospective ally. Thus anything we were carrying when an offer of
an alliance was made was given over in the form of a tribute.
This is totally non-refundable. And once you have attacked an aligned
partner, then the alliance is immediately broken and you have very
little chance of reforging that alliance again.
Forming alliances proved to be of mixed eddicacy. It enabled us to
trade for better weapons, a less strenuous practice than taking them
as booty, and to maintain an ample supply of food. And in territories
where local populations had not yet learned the fulfilment to be had
by catering to our every whim, having a safe place where we could fall
back, minister to my lord's hurts, and gather our wits about us was
often the difference between victory and its bleak alternative.
Alliances also had their contraty aspects. When a tribe with whom an
alliance had been struck took over or already controlled a large part
of their native territory, we were inevitably obliged to break the
alliance and confront the ambitious bumpkins on the field of battle.
If these erstwhile comrades had been busy conquering land and
gathering resources, the resulting negotiations were all the more
frank and lacerating.
NEVER SHOW A MONKEY YOUR TONGUE
I believe I have previously mentioned my absolute faith in
superstition. Not that I approach it uncritically; I obey only those
superstitions whose effacy I have observed first hand. I never carry
salt in my hat, I never extinguish candles in a vat of broth, and I
never show a monkey my tongue. Nor have I broached the greatest of all
prohibitions, killing all the sheep in a territory. And look where I
am today, having attained high station and rank as a result of
avoiding these dreaded taboos.
Some think of reincarnation as superstition, but this is not so. If a
person is killed, they will be reborn, but not necessarily in the same
village from which they came. And the requirments for rebirth are not
that different than those for birth: A person will only be reborn if a
husband and a wife are in the same house at the same time. So if all
the men or women from all the villages are recruited into an army,
then no people can be reborn in that village no matter how many have
The issue of superstition arose in this campaign since it takes place
in a territory our maps reckoned as being 13 measures to the eats and
13 measures to the south. Some of my less sophisticated comrades
thought this to be the worst possible luck. Being rather educated, I
know it is just the opposite. As long as everything said about this
territory is written in the present tense, that is.
Attack Togferboy passively, you will only just win, but will get a
second Captain. Get all the food, send the second Captain to spy on
Futoing. A lone Blue Captain called Diing will attack you while you
are in Togferboy, kill him and grab his food and equipment. Send your
army to camp near Moataeme, and wait. A few armies will pass you by
without giving you a second glance.
Wait until Moataeme is uninhabited and attack. Then nearby on the
coast a Red Captain has been ambushed and killed by a Blue army. Kill
the Blue army and its leader and grab all his food and equipment. Go
to Futbros and conquer it. It is uninhabited and so causes no
problems. Invent a catapult and equip it. Go to Moataeme where
survivors are returning and are joining your army as the city is now
owned by you.
Get all the men from Moataeme and go camp near Futoing. Attack Futoing
and using a combination of passive and neutral postures get all the
food and men from Futoing.
Now the next target is Hqueion. On the way there, pick up as many men
from all your cities and any food, weapons that you come across on
the way. (There is a bow, some food and some boats to the south west
of our homebase.) Attack Hqueion. Get food and men from Hqueion. Go
and camp outside your homebase.
The final battle. There are two Red armies camped outside the tower,
and a Blue army that owns the tower. The first catapult fire will
kill the Red Captains as well as the entire Blue army that is camped
within the tower. The Conquest Balance is quick to declare our
PTARMIGAN RUNS SHORT
Shortage of paper when written. Making do with birch bark. Must be
brief. Writing will lack artistry. I weep.
Attacked Moggage passively. Army was camped there but no competition.
Food. Men. Subordinate Captain. He slouches.
Red devils of Jos from Robeteux attack. Arrows, bows, death from
above. Reds slain but not before Subordinate Captain falls valiantly.
Dropped much food and more than 20 boats he was carrying. Explains
poor posture. Got boats, bows.
Rebeteaux paid for crimes. Taken in battle. Men enlisted, food taken,
sheep killed, Rupert sheared. More comfortable now.
Danger! Peirl! Raiding party from Moggage attacked. Killed them,
killed them all. Got their food, more bows and boats. Practiced
archery. Didn't go fishing.
Went to Whssth. Two people, no vowels, no resistance, some food.
Reds camped outside Jffy. Only 16 Reds, attacked them passively.
Complete victory, survivors returned home to Whssth. Learned my lord
was now their ruler, joined our side. Much rejoicing as my lord
promised to grant them a vowel for their city as soon as possible.
Learned of red tower called Emttes. Many Reds, but fewer then us.
Rested, attacked passively, won. Conquest Balance proclaimed our
victory. No need to attack Blue Jayne's city; cost might have been
Found paper. Finally. Just in time for the final battle.
THE STORM AND THE CROWN
When did I truly lose my former home? A year ago? A decade? It is
almost lost to memory; even my vaguest dreams seem more tangible now.
Did I have life then, or was I born when I dragged myself along that
beach so long ago, and a violent sky bellowed to my lord of a new
realm? My old life ended as it sank from view beneath waves thick and
bitter with dissolving ash. This new life would truly begin only when
the final battle was over and the promise of the storm was kept. And
that battle was soon to come, somewhere in this isolated corner of the
world. Our 27th conquest would be last one we would need to
Our terminal campaign began in Hllogy. Even in defeat, the Hllogists
attempted to thrawt us by hiding five sheep in a barn; Rupert saw
through this and rammed the barndoor to expose their flimsy ruse. The
sheep were slaughtered before the eyes of the felonious herders and a
stern warning was issues. They were also taken into service to purge
them of their contrariness.
It was hard to rest with the bouquet of final victory succulent upon
the zephyr, but my lord ordered that we conserve our strength.
Refreshed, we marched upon Jfery and secured it against only a modicum
of resistance. No sooner had the Jferians joined our cause and made
the appropriate offering of food than a band of Jayne's carrion-crows
appeared with blue murder in their eyes. Their hearts seemed not to
contain their eyes' murderous aspect, however, for they fled without a
fight. We sent only derisive laughter to follow them as we took some
rest, finding some diversion from battle in piecing together a sturdy
My lord guided us next to the enviorns of Mbalion. We imitated the
action of the tiger, watchful, silent, and deadly as we observed the
poisoned witch Blue Jayne form an army of corrupt Mbalionites. Then we
sprang, and gathered in the prey for the kill. None survived our
pounce. The dreags of Mbalion were likewise defeated, but allowed to
live to they might serve us their food and surrender their equipment
in a humiliating ceremony.
Red Jos decided at this point to test our resolve as well. His fleet
landed north of Mbalion, and we hastened there lest they have time to
fortify their beachhead. Never have I seen the battle light shine so
fiercly in the eyes of my lord's minions as I did on that day. We left
the Red host to be food for crabs and gulls, took their meagre
leavings, and built a sandcastle as mockery of Jos' ever fleeting
We began to surge over the landscape, restless and relentless as the
storm that drove us onto that distant beach so long ago. We fell upon
Coveen like burning hail, consuming all that we touched. After
resting, we precipitated on Tolbroer much the same manner. Gathering
all the men, food, and boats we could, we pointed our prows towards
Tocidry's loathy enviorns. Sweeping over the unsuspecting
settlement as a tempest-swollen river bursts through weakened levees,
the flood that was my lord's army swept away men, food, a catapult.
And when that catapult mimicked the lightning as we attacked Jbalion,
the Conquest Balance tilted one last time, slowly, as if exhausted
from weighing out victory after victory.
The promise that had been made on that beach long ago to a landless
THE COLORS FADE
I retired from my lord's army soon after he was crowned, but not from
his service. Accepting appointment as his poet laureate and paramount
censor, I spent the next several decades composing poetic tributes to
my lord's past victories. Now, I, the chronicler of those campaigns,
am their last veteran.
All my old comrades in arms have gone to their reward. Even Rupert
Battle-Sheep, fiercest of the ruminants, passed from the scene. He
grew near-sighted with the passing years, and put away his
plough-helmet. One day, he saw what he believed to be a Josian trooper
standing bold as you please in a public square, brazen in his scarlet
tunic. With a savage bleat, Rupert charged his ancient foe.
Tragically, what Rupert had myopically observed was a bullfight, a
colourful sporting event adapted from a quaint Josian warcrime. Some
silly fellow was standing in the middle of an arena, waving a red cape
at a bull in a manner I assume bulls find irksome. At any rate, Rupert
and the bull simultaneously converged on the provocative garment at
breathtaking velocities. The impact killed Rupert instatly. The bull
died several days later without regaining conciousness. The fellow
with the cape was so shaken by the experience that he retired to a
cave for a quiet life of contemplation and vegetarianism.
I was inconsolable when I heard of my comrade's fate. My grief poured
itself out in a cycle of sonets that still makes even the most
down-to-earth sheep farmers weep when they hear it recited. They weep
because they hate it so profoundly, but I enjoy the intensity of their
I buried Rupert in a field of sweet clover on a windswept hill, where
the silver rain falls gently and the golden sun shines warmly,
adjacent to a swift rushing stream fragrant with the run-off from a
nearby slaughterhouse. I knew he would have wanted it that way.
Call me sentimental, but it was too hard for me to bid Rupert farewell
without keeping some momento, some token of our now legendary
campaigns. I had been searching for some time for just the right
length of parchment and vellum upon which to enscribe my epic poem.
No stationer had what I was seeking. It occured to me that no other
surface would be as worthy to bear the record of my exploits as the
scraped, stretched, ad bleached hide of my woolly comrade.
So the great masterpiece of my career was enscribed using the finest
blended inks on the meticulously prepared hide was everything I had
hoped it would be, soft, supple, yet sturdy enough to resole a pair of
boots (which I did using a leftover scrap, with the utmost respect and
But the larger piece bears my epic. I cannot read it myself now (curse
these dim eyes that once shone so brightly!), and few now frequent the
dusty corner of the archives where it is shelved. People nowadays have
no interest or respect to spare for bygone triumphs, Insolent young
Then again, perhaps it is unaviodable that my story will be forgotten.
Perhaps ancient war stories share the same fate: They just fade away.
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Cluebook by Michael Humes
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