A New Charter…
We were all feeling quite accomplished for having completed our charter. After finishing the mundane task of transporting the seized goods from the slain Stag Lord and his henchmen back to Oleg’s (where we intended to sell most of it which would net us a nice profit), we were tasked with yet another charter.
The Sword Lords of Restov sent an envoy by the name of Jan Ice to find us. Jan presented us our reward for mapping the territory and quelling the banditry – a bag of 500 platinum pieces. Jan also informed us that we were to start a new nation to serve as a “buffer” between the untamed wilds of the south, and the city of Restov. In order to get a start on meeting this daunting task, we were given a large sum of coin to be used for laying the foundations of what we intend to be a great nation. All told, we were given ~200,000 gold pieces. The price for such a generous offer from the Sword Lords: that we simply become a trade partner once our economy is properly established. But the primary focus on Restov having our nation serve as its buffer echoed in my mind no less.
I personally took upon the mantle of Baron for the city that we would call New Hope. Our vision with this city is that others see it as a beacon of hope, that they may live in relative safety and security in a land newly liberated of bandits and lawlessness. Zirul took to the task of clandestine affairs while Ganon would become the head of the council. Poog only desired that he patrol the frontier. For that, he was appointed as the Marshall.
It was then that Bosco, our long lost Gnome friend, had finally come back. He was a welcome sight, indeed. He regaled us with tales of his adventures, dealing with bandits and wizards. Bosco had become quite proficient at storytelling. Whereas Bosco had once been only able to tell a yarn, of which we could clearly sense he was embellishing, he was now able to spin tales of yore that not only entertained us greatly, but were quite believable. His abilities with his recorder instrument had also become above reproach. With his silver tongue and general likeable persona, it was best that he fulfill the role of Grand Diplomat – a position that he was all to happy to accept.
Kesten Garess, the Captain of the Guard at Oleg’s, also readily accepted a position with us. He would take the position of Warden – essentially fulfilling the same duties as he had for Oleg, but on a much larger scale, and with far more responsiblity. Oleg himself, on the other hand, was no stranger to keeping his own personal records of finance and inventory, him being a trader and all. It made perfect sense for him to be our Treasurer. His wife, Svetlana, would also be his assistant.
Spied by a Spider…
Deciding it best to make the roads completely safe, we decided to rid our land of the trap door spider that we had encountered several weeks ago. It was to be a few days before the first group of settlers would show up, so we had some spare time to complete this little errand.
Ridding ourselves of the large vermin proved to be a more challenging task than anticipated. It mostly stayed under it’s rock trap door. We had all tried to lift the door ourselves but to no avail. Ganon then made use of his Druid repertoire and turned the stone door into mere mud. The door more malleable, Bosco then set the mud ablaze (with the assistance of some oil I had happened to have). Now the door was ceramic. I was able to smash through the door but not without the spider grabbing me and pulling me down a bit. After an arrow or two successfully finding their mark, the spider nearly dragged me into its lair completely. I had thought my fate sealed. Then I pulled out my dagger. I raised my dagger up high, and with a desperate lunge downward, using all of my strength and might, I drove my dagger so far deep into the spider’s skull (which killed it instantly), that I had great difficulty retrieving it back.
The roads now safe from the giant spider menace, we then went back to Oleg’s to meet with the settlers.
A New Companion…
Poog was feeling down. Asking him what was bothering him, Poog told us that he really liked us. Of course the feeling was mutual (well, maybe not so much for the Gnome). The reason for Poog’s despondence, however, was that he wanted to help other Goblins who were of a kind heart, just like Poog. But they were currently vassals of a very evil Goblin King. And what’s more, Poog’s very own brother was a personal bodyguard of this Goblin King. Wanting nothing more than to rescue those poor good Goblins from their plight, Poog asked us to escort him go back to this goblin encampment, so that we may kill the king and his minions.
Naturally we agreed to help Poog, but we would need to enlist more help. Looking at the group of settlers that had just arrived at Oleg’s, I asked the group if there was any among them who had skill in battle and brave enough to fight insurmountable odds. Only one stepped forward. His name was Kratos. He was a tower of a man, and he was a Ranger to boot. But he was a Ranger unlike Zirul. While Zirul was handy with the bow, Kratos was quite skilled with the blade. And not just one blade – Kratos was quite adept at wielding two blades, one in each hand. His martial prowess would definitely be a welcome addition to this mission.
Leaving Kesten and Aurora (who we had appointed as High Priest to our nation) to deal with the mundane affair leading the settlers south so that they may prepare the lands surrounding the Stag Lord’s fort and thus make it suitable for establishing a city, we journeyed towards the west, where Poog once called home.
The Goblin Village…
We made it to the goblin village in about 3 days time. Zirul went ahead to scout out the village itself while we discussed the best avenue of approach. Once Zirul reported back, we decided that we would simply walk into the village while Zirul and Bosco hid up in the trees. Should combat be met, and we all felt certain that there was simply no way to avoid a violent outcome, Zirul and Bosco would be in a good position to snipe whilst up in the trees.
The most peculiar thing was that the Goblin King spoke the same language as us Human folk with such relative ease. I challenged him to a duel, 1-on-1, but since I was no goblin, I was not allowed to duel the king for the throne. Unable to solve this problem the civilized way, we simply met them head on, myself and Kratos engaging the Goblin King toe-to-toe with his two bodyguards flanking him, while Zirul opened up from his elevated position in the trees.
Ganon had the presence of mind to cast a spell that took all of the goblin troops out of the fight altogether, entangling them with vines coming up from the very ground from which they all stood. They never had a chance to participate in the fight.
Kratos and I were having a difficult go as the Goblin King and his bodyguards proved more than a match for us. Poog was able to divert one of the bodyguards away. Not surprisingly, that bodyguard happened to be none other than Poog’s brother himself. The odds more even, Kratos and I engaged the Goblin King and just one of his bodyguards. They were still very difficult to take down, but summoning the strength of Iomedae, I was able to smite the heathen king not once, but twice! The goblin king fell in short order, but not before leaving several painful marks on me.
Ganon did well making sure that Kratos stayed healthy as Kratos took quite a licking from the bodyguard he was dealing with. The combined efforts of Poog, Zirul, and Bosco were more than enough to take down Poog’s brother. And soon enough, Kratos and I were able to dispatch of the remaining bodyguard. Predictably, the entangled goblin soldiers immediately lay down their arms and surrendered when they saw that we had defeated their leaders.
I was able to separate the evil goblins from the non-evil goblins. There were 11 non-evil goblins (1 of whom was one of the soldiers), and we offered to take them with us. They eagerly complied. The remaining 20-25 evil goblins we had them leave immediately, leaving their weapons and armor behind and only taking with them supplies to make the trip elsewhere.
A New Hope…
Returning to New Hope, we were finally able to start construction of the nation. In about three months time, we had laid down some farmland as well as a road directly connecting it to our city. We then built a very defensible castle. I am quite proud and fond of this first structure as it is a testament to the strength iconic to a nation bearing the name “New Hope”. Worthy, indeed. We also constructed a Town Hall – an important edifice which would allow for the city’s citizens to directly meet with us when it came time to discuss civil matters. Lastly, we put together a cluster of homes so that the new settlers would have some place nice to live.
In those three months, our initial population of 36 settlers plus 11 goblins ballooned to roughly 1800! I have plans to appropriate approximately 5% of the total population into the army so that we may have some semblance of a regular standing army. Our new nation will also require a full-time city watch to man the gates and walls, and city guardsman to patrol the streets. I will also require that an additional 10% of the total population receive some form of basic soldiering training so that they may serve in the auxiliary defense force (reserves), to be called upon in times of dire circumstances and extreme duress. I feel that security is of the utmost importance, considering our vulnerable fledgling status as a newly founded nation. I will oversee training and Kesten and Kratos will both assist me. It must also be noted that Poog intends to patrol the frontiers and maintain its security. He will be training his goblin kin that we had liberated and they will be included as part of his regular patrols.
We have been told, flat out, that we are to serve as the BUFFER between Restov and the untamed wild. This tells me that we can expect to be attacked often. If we’re to be any form of effective buffer, we’re must have a well-trained, well-armed, and well-sized defense force contingent. With our high castle walls, this is certainly a strong positive step in going towards this direction. Next we need to construct a Barracks to house these soldiers and guards. After the Barracks, we can start thoroughly focusing on buildings of commerce.