Some years ago Stardock developed a game called Elemental: War of Magic. We loved it. Unfortunately, it was a bridge too far. Too ambitious and it largely collapsed under its own tech. The name Elemental was tarnished and we moved away from using it.
The original plan was to have:
Elemental: War of Magic (2010)
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress (2012)
Elemental: Legendary Heroes (2014)
Elemental: Sorcerer King (2016)
Ah the best laid plans.
So here we are in 2016 and are about to release Sorcerer King: Rivals. Last year we did release Sorcerer King but, as many noticed, it was 75% RPG and 25% 4X. Rivals, by contrast, is a more even split. More 4X.
If I had to explain it super simply I’d say it’s Master of Magic meets Populous.
And so it begins…
Once upon a time…
During the War of Magic, one of the major powers was known as Gilden. In this land dwelt the Ironeers. They were the descendants of the Dwarves who had migrated south from the Frozen Realm during the elder years before the Cataclysm. In the aftermath of the War of Magic, Gilden was destroyed by Mirdoth the Sorcerer.
Now, in 464AC, the Frozen Realm has established a small Keep…
Part 1: New Lands
Of Giott and his expedition
Bazzal, the Lord Hammer of the Frozen Realm is a channeler. Having discovered the ruins of Ipel, found the Forge of the Overlord intact. While not knowing how to use it, he bound himself to it with the hope of being able to master its great power.
To explore these strange new lands, he sent out Giott, his most trustworthy servant, to see what there is to see.
The goal was to find shards. Through the Forge of the Overlord, Bazzal could channel the magic of this land to ascend to godhood and rid the world of evil once and for all. Giott quickly found a second shard near their fledgling keep.
However, the shard was already claimed by Krik, a wannabe Warlord in the south. He would need to be removed first which would require more soldiers.
The Frozen Keep had access to a single essence in these early days. This would allow the casting of a single city enchantment
Enchanted Hammers was a natural for the dwarves and would increase the city’s productivity.
The Loremaster of the Frozen Realm urged Bazzal to learn the Tuelage spell.
The shards granted Bazzal magic power that he could split between Lore, Skill, and Mana. Lore went to learning new spells.
Discovery by the Sorcerer King
The Sorcerer King sensed Bazzal was a channeler.
The proud Bazzal had no intention of allowing the Sorcerer King to tap his power. For now, the Sorcerer King, preoccupied, was willing to leave the Frozen Realm alone. This would not remain the case for much longer.
Giott found an abandoned village. Its fertile fields left unharvested. These lands were much warmer than what the Dwarves were accustomed to. Unlike the other creatures of these lands, the Dwarves could farm on tundra and ice itself if necessary as well.
Carefully, Giott approached the abandoned village.
The swampy village has been attacked by Ice walkers! These dread beings must have followed the Frozen Realm south!
Giott was more concerned if that meant the dreaded Ice Lords had come south as well. Their ancient enemy was powerful and relentless.
With the Ice Walkers destroyed, Giott looked through the ruins of the city and found numerous abandoned items. Bazzal now had enough to craft via the Forge of the Overlord.
A Humble start: crafting gloves.
Dril the Axeman joined the company shortly after the encounter with the Ice Walkers.
Dril would join the company and together, remove the ruffians guarding the southern shard.
Krik was backed up by a magic wielding Ogre!
Who immediately casts gigantify on himself.
Remember: NOBODY like a giant ogre.
Soon all were dead other than the giant ogre.
Calling for some help from Bazzal, an obstruction was placed in front of the ogre. Its giant size would work against him.
Protected from the giant, Giott could use his crossbow to inflict damage on the giant.
Giott’s spider’s belch made sure that the Ogre would have to wade through poison to get around the obstacles. Nevertheless, he was able to confront the mighty dwarf. Luckily, the poison was enough to overcome the giant. Unfortunately, the rest of Giott’s party was killed in the confrontation.
The defeat of the bandit lord would allow the Frozen Realm to claim a second shard. In doing so, Bazzal’s skills increased and he was able to acquire a new skill.
Bazzal could now train Dwarven Magi.
Similarly, Giott himself gained a new trait.
Legend of Gorm
Gorm was trained as an explorer. He was stealthy (for a dwarf) and could be sent off to get the lay of these strange lands.
Gorm would explore the new lands
He soon encountered Ceresa’s Legacy
From point of view of the Wraiths, Relias was the villain in Fallen Enchantress. And they tell a persuasive tale that indeed, Ceresa, the Fallen Enchantress, was the true hero of the story.
Ceresa’s lands spread chaos.
In time, Gorm would establish contact with others including the Keepers of the Flame and the Imperium.
The Dwarves are not above making dick jokes.
Tandis the Arnor
At first, we thought he was a man. But he was no man. He was something beyond that. He simply took the form of a man. He called himself Tandis and he offered to join our cause.
“I have approached the others and they are warring upon one another while the Sorcerer King smiles,” he said.
He looked at the Forge of the Overlord.
“Beware of the Forge, for it is the source of all grief on Elemental,” he warned. “Created by the trio of Hallas, Argynn and Breon through the Spell of Making, the Forge of the Overlord is what first caught the attention of the Titans. Now, you must use it to become a Titan yourself. Only through you can Mirdoth be thrown down and the lands freed.”
With Tandis came new recipes for the Forge
The Sorcerer King soon confronted the Frozen Realm about Tandis. For he knew what he truly was and the threat he represented. But the Dwarves would not give him up. It was at this moment that the Sorcerer King first began to perceive the threat of the Frozen Realm.
Tandis himself journeyed into the wilds for a time, alone, to seek out the location of other shards.
Part 2: Allies & Enemies
The Spring brought new hope to the Frozen Realm. Ceresa’s Legacy had allied with them in their cause to bring down the Sorcerer King. Their powerful forces would be a boon in the war to come.
Meanwhile, the Sorcerer King was still unaware of the growing threat. However, he had made a great deal of progress towards his own ascension.
The Ice Lords
The Spring also resulted with Gorm finding the Ice Lords. They had arrived. Fortunately, they were very far away. But now, they would be seeking the Frozen Realm out actively to destroy.
Dwarves are not known for their charisma. However, they were getting along better with the other races better than they were with each other. Each day, battles between the various races were fought out in plain sight. They were being manipulated by the Sorcerer King to battle against each other.
Through the Forge of the Overlord, the Spell of Ascendancy is available. With enough magic, it can be cast which begins to fill the Orb of Power (aka Curgen’s Bane) with Bazzal’s essence, wresting control of it from the Sorcerer kIng.
However, in doing so, the Dwarves would be noticed by the Sorcerer King immediately. Thus, Bazzal waited until he was well prepared for the consequences.
The Sorcerer King knows the threat
What would happen next I leave to you.