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Zorax's guide to starting
"So, have you made your decision?"

Embarrassed, you shake your head.

"Well, no matter, perhaps this is a little too much to ask you to do now… still, my time here is limited, and I cannot wait for your mortal mind to wrap itself about this problem. Let us now talk about the problems of managing a larger realm than that which you are used to. In addition to keeping your people alive by producing enough food, you must also build structures to allow your realm to pursue other interests apart from simply subsiding. Watch with me to the beginning of a realm and learn the first steps towards a successful and powerful empire…" so saying Zorax pulls a ball about the size of his clenched fist out of his robes and places it in the void between you.

Squinting, you can make out a landscape similar to the one you grew up in swarming with some type of beings, although you are unable to see what race they are of. Piles of gold, wood, stone and cloth are carefully arranged about a small village green in the center of the ball. "What is this place?" you ask. "This is the starting point. When you have selected which form you will take on your return to Gildor in your attempt to claim the empire of Zorax as your own, this is what you will have to start with, the gods are kind to those who they think might be able to build a great kingdom again in their honour." He is right, this is more gold and wood than you have ever had before. "It is critical that you make the most of the short time you have before your realm is visible to your neighbours to prepare for the confrontations that will occur when that happens. You have a limited number of days before this occurs, and you must always remember that every other leader will be looking for someone to take land from at the same time." "Let me show you a path." he says waving his hands in a complicated motion above the ball as if turning it inside out. Suddenly after the emptiness of the void, the air around you teems with the buzz of insects, the shouts of the peasants to each other and the smell of farm animals again; and you find yourself suspended in the air above the village green, but the people below you pay no heed to the yell of surprise which escapes your lips.

"We are not quite within their time, they cannot see or hear you, nor will our presence here disturb their toil. I wish simply to show you how they can best be put to work." As you hear this, you see a tall being step out of the manor hall, the face is not clear, but the being has an air of leadership, and a determined bearing. As the figure crosses to the tree section in the middle of the green and calls the peasants over to address them and assign their tasks, another figure, a tough looking man also walks into view and stands behind his lord. "He will be telling them to start building a construction yard to enable them to build other buildings, and to give them a place to store these resources scattered about the square. They must of course also produce enough food to feed themselves during this construction. He will be introducing the militiaman too, the peasants will feel better for the protection he offers, no matter how little real difference it makes while the realm is safe from others." "Even though it costs a great deal of gold and food every day to keep him employed, the difference to the morale of the peasants is well worth it. Morale can be a critical aspect to your success, and must be watched carefully. Many was the time when I was first starting to build that I had too little land for my peasants to comfortably live on, and the resulting drop in morale and production really hurt."

"Now let us go forward a month, and see how they are getting on. They now are just finishing the school in addition to the construction yard." Straining, you are able to hear the sure sounds of instruction at the monastery which you remember from you own youth, the dull rub of stylus on slate, the hideous scratching of fingernails at the blackboard, and the shouted question "What do you mean your dog ate it, you were supposed to write it on a square foot of slate tablet?" followed by the embarrassed silence which always follows such outbursts."

Zorax turns to you and grins, "And these are just the teachers," he tells you with a chuckle, "They will shortly go out to the farms, the building sites and the newly started ditch to help the peasants become more skilled in their endeavors, and improve their effectiveness. Once the school is built, the teachers are able to train all the workers, in the different races, some workers learn faster than others depending what the natural affinity of the race for that particular job is."

You see the militiaman and his lord moving towards the edge of the realm where the magic storm still rages and ask Zorax what they are doing there. "They are checking how much longer they will be under the protection of the storm, but they are also exploring for new land. Normally when the storm is not raging, it is simply a matter of either taking land by force or paying for your peasants to explore it for you. During the storm though, the gods will exchange land for gold offered to them by throwing gold into the storm."

As he speaks, you see the militiaman heave a heavy bag into the storm, an expression of doubt upon his face, but at the urging of his lord, he does what he is told. Suddenly ten acres of land pops into existence where before there was just the seething mass of the magic storm. The militiaman steps out onto the newly exposed ground seeming to test its firmness by stamping here and there, and stabbing into it with a small knife. Unconvinced, he turns to a nearby farmer and grasping his shovel starts to dig a hole until the exertion makes him realise that this is real land, and no illusion. He turns to his lord whose face is split by a cheery smile as he looks at the hard bottom of the shallow hole the militiaman has just dug. Zorax is grinning too when you look up at him "It seems the militiaman has found a good place to start the quarry once the ditch is finished, it shouldn’t be more than a week now until the people here are able to use the ditch to increase the amount of food their small plots produce by 30%, adequate water and drainage will do that you know?" "After they have finished the quarry, they will build the mine and then the blacksmith. These are critical to get some defense available when you the mists of the rage of the gods lift, and you come out of protection. Remember that although you are protected for a number of turns, once that protection is gone, you will need to either defend yourself or attack others to take back land that you lost. Without battles, there is no age of chaos, remember that, and that you can always recover from your losses."

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Basic Guide | Quick Start | Buildings | Diplomacy | Engineering | Knowledge | Materials
First 100 turns | Professions | Races | Spells | Theft | War | Long Guide
Storyline Part 1 | Storyline Part 2 | Storyline Part 3 | The Rules | Rules of War