Digdoug - Episode 14

Digdoug - Episode 14

At the next morning‘s meeting, Digdoug learned where Chief Peck intended to get more archers: from Delkey. He‘d requested them yesterday under the pretense of organizing a new offensive, and it turned out that Delkey happened to have about sixty in the vicinity. They would arrive in the afternoon.

King Posbrake wasn‘t entirely happy about it. “This will complicate the battle,” he fretted. “More units might better detect the ruse. And you are adding a needless fiscal risk to the equation.” The Delkey troops would be shooting to croak, he argued. The battle contract stipulated big penalties for downing Charlescomm‘s units, just as there were penalties on Charlie for croaking Homekey‘s.

But he didn‘t argue all that strenuously, and Peck finally seemed at ease with the plan. That meant enough to the general peace of mind that nobody yelled today. Even Bucky seemed less miserable. Digdoug dared to hope that things might go all right tomorrow after all.

Once they‘d adjourned, Chief Peck led Digdoug and his three golems up to the tower top.

The city‘s tower didn‘t display the same kind of architectural creativity as the rest of Homekey. It jutted up out of the palace like a chimney, like a cylindrical weed, like a...slapped-on afterthought. King Posbrake had never even given this tower its own name. The top of it was a simple circular platter, with an incongruously square guardhouse in the middle which sheltered the lone staircase down. Its edges were indented with rectangular crenels for archers, all of it plain and standard castle-ish stuff.

Digdoug‘s lightning trap involved adding a tall, cross-braced spire of wrought iron on top of the guard house. The trap could not charge up the tower remotely, but it could capture the occasional bolt of lightning from the nearest storm hex and throw it at an enemy unit. Peck was skeptical that Dove‘s Carnymancy had really allowed for the creation of a terrain-dependent trap in the wrong type of terrain, and he wanted a test.

“Show me,” he said, standing cross-armed on the tower‘s flat battlement. “Activate it.”

“I can‘t,” Digdoug shrugged, “I mean, I can activate it. Or you could, with an order. But with no enemy units in the city, there‘s nothing it could strike. It would just sit there.”

Peck made a face. “So we have only the word of a Carny that there‘s a working trap here at all. Grand.” He turned and gripped the stone wall, gazing out into the far distance.

After a moment, Digdoug nudged his golems aside and walked up beside him. In the cloudless sky far overhead, the wheeling hippo-drones hummed faintly. The city‘s lone hippo-crate floated into view over the palace walls below.

Digdoug didn‘t know what to say. When he‘d been casting to build the trap, he could see how it would use Dove‘s cheat to function. He wanted to defend her on that account, and reassure Chief Peck that the trap was real. But he couldn‘t quite remember how it worked now. He had to admit to himself that she might have only cast something to make him believe that it worked. Even within his discipline, it might have only been “a show” for him. Cooking the books had fooled a Moneymancer, after all.

“What should I do today, Chief?” he asked after a while. His palms were itching to cast something, to do some magic to help them prepare.

“That‘s what I‘ve been weighing,” said Peck. He turned his head to Digdoug. “Offense, defense, ambush? I‘m not overly fond of this position.” He indicated the tower top with a sweeping hand gesture. “I‘d be inclined for you to build some additional cover over this battlement.”

The Dirtamancer nodded. “I could do that.”

Peck scowled regretfully. “No. It would be too obvious a preparation. Likewise, I see some value in building fortified emplacements for our guests to shoot from. But those would raise suspicions, as well.”

The Chief put his hands on his hips, and looked around, frustrated. His eyes settled on the golems. “Whatever else, we must protect the King. Stay beside him at all times. I and your golems shall screen him...and you as well. And the flyers will provide an overhead screen. At the first sign of treachery, we must rush His Majesty into the tower. Sacrifice yourself if necessary,” ordered Peck, “but only as a last resort. We need you, Caster.”

“Understood,” Digdoug nodded again. He still didn‘t think there would be a real battle, but he couldn‘t help imagining the scene: Archons blasting at the tower, units falling or even exploding around him from Shockmancy. As terrifying as it was, he had not a doubt; he would willingly give his life for King Posbrake.

“Oh!” he said, reaching for his belt. He took out a tiny roll of magical parchment and resized it to show Peck. It was the scroll he‘d made on the flight to the capital. “What about a trap, for if they land? I‘ve got this.”

Peck eyed the scroll with interest. “What‘ll it do?”

“Create a pit trap of my choosing,” said Digdoug. “It can be anything: tar, water, sand, flame...whatever we need. I can decide what kind it is, and where I want it to go.”

Peck pursed his lips and nodded. “Could be of use. But if they‘ve already landed, it may be too late.” He began to walk slowly around the edge of the tower, looking for a likely spot for a pit. “Perhaps to cover our retreat...” he muttered. Digdoug followed along behind him.

Before he‘d reached a decision, a trumpet blast sounded. Above their heads, something shrieked.

Digdoug looked up to see the new hippo-crate, spreading its wings and blotting out the noonday sun. Homekey‘s turn had started.

---

Peck left him with orders to simply add more defensive spells to the tower: plain, reliable, versatile, boring Shockmancy. It was as good a defense as anything else, and Delkey wouldn‘t be able to tell how much magic was stored in the tower.

“We‘ll discuss the trap when I‘ve dwelt on it further,” said the Chief, before hurrying away to the Battle Room.

Digdoug began the process of hanging Shockmancy spells, which like any other magic could benefit from the caster‘s direct attention. He could dump all his juice here in a minute or so, and be on his way. But if he spent an hour or two to lay the spellwork with care, then it would maximize the effective power, and minimize his penalty as a non-Shockmancer.

So he was deep in magical thought when the trumpets blared again. His concentration broke, and the spell he was working on slipped away from him. It sprayed itself into the tower as a tangled mess of raw juice.

He looked around, squinting in the sunshine. That trumpet call was a signal for the arrival of allied units.

The tower‘s small complement of troops had gathered on the northeast side, to see the Delkey contingent arrive. Digdoug wandered over, and they shoved each other aside to make room for him. He peered down to the city streets.

Eight full stacks of little archers were marching down the main thoroughfare toward the palace, stepping in rigid formation. Digdoug squinted and turned his head to one side, unsure that he was really seeing what he thought.

He was. A tiny figure in crimson was flying above the lead stack. Even from here, sunlight glinted from the jewels on the scabbard of Prince Creen‘s sword.

Recent posts... (See full thread)
jeffseadot wrote:
I can also see the end result of this being Posbrake locked into a much worse arrangement with Charlie and/or Rose...

do you mean dove or am i forgetting some other character?
Finn MacCool wrote:
jeffseadot wrote:
I can also see the end result of this being Posbrake locked into a much worse arrangement with Charlie and/or Rose...

do you mean dove or am i forgetting some other character?


*facepalm* Yes, Dove. I'm no good at names.
Posbrake has previously demonstrated he's pretty sharp. I'm confident the contract allows casualties among allied troops, and given Charlie's previous actions I feel he'll play along until the contract terminates. However, I am much more worried about what happens next.

I also have to wonder why the trap can't charge the tower. Dove might have been the one to break the rules, but Digdoug actually built the trap, so if he thinks it'll work it probably does work. Possibly charging remotely and drawing in lightning remotely are covered by separate rules and Dove only broke one.
(name here) wrote:
I also have to wonder why the trap can't charge the tower. Dove might have been the one to break the rules, but Digdoug actually built the trap, so if he thinks it'll work it probably does work. Possibly charging remotely and drawing in lightning remotely are covered by separate rules and Dove only broke one.


Probably because charging the trap requires lighting to actively hit the Tower (a pretty visible event in a hex with no storm) while drawing in lighting from elsewhere during battle just draws the lightning that would naturally occur in the storm hex at the time of the battle and throws it at the enemy units. This is supposed to be a secret trap until it's activated, you know. Someone might ask why lightning is suddenly hitting the tower a few times each Turn for no reason...
Taikei no Yuurei wrote:
Like, back when [JoJo] saved Sylvia, he broke the rule that said an incapacitated unit croaks, but he also seemingly broke the rule that units automatically heal to full at start of turn.
Actually I think it is much simpler, now that Dove has supposedly told us how Carnymancy works in plain terms. He changed the croaking rule to "This unit can only croak from fire." Since she was out of the fire, she wasn't in danger. Failure to be healed after Incapacitation should normally croak a unit, but for her that rule no longer applies.
0beron wrote:
Taikei no Yuurei wrote:
Like, back when [JoJo] saved Sylvia, he broke the rule that said an incapacitated unit croaks, but he also seemingly broke the rule that units automatically heal to full at start of turn.
Actually I think it is much simpler, now that Dove has supposedly told us how Carnymancy works in plain terms. He changed the croaking rule to "This unit can only croak from fire." Since she was out of the fire, she wasn't in danger. Failure to be healed after Incapacitation should normally croak a unit, but for her that rule no longer applies.

Then why would he have had to keep casting over her every day until she got better? It's much more likely that he was breaking the "incapacitated unit croaks at start of turn" rule, each turn until he found a way to get her healed. We still don't know the nature of the "trade" he made in order to do that, but it probably has to do with her DIAF fate.
I would like Dove to help Digdoug break one more rule so he doesnt have to place the pit trap on the ground/ units do not need to land to trigger it.

"A lava pit? In the sky? This is total BOOP!"
Xarx wrote:
0beron wrote:
Taikei no Yuurei wrote:
Like, back when [JoJo] saved Sylvia, he broke the rule that said an incapacitated unit croaks, but he also seemingly broke the rule that units automatically heal to full at start of turn.
Actually I think it is much simpler, now that Dove has supposedly told us how Carnymancy works in plain terms. He changed the croaking rule to "This unit can only croak from fire." Since she was out of the fire, she wasn't in danger. Failure to be healed after Incapacitation should normally croak a unit, but for her that rule no longer applies.

Then why would he have had to keep casting over her every day until she got better? It's much more likely that he was breaking the "incapacitated unit croaks at start of turn" rule, each turn until he found a way to get her healed. We still don't know the nature of the "trade" he made in order to do that, but it probably has to do with her DIAF fate.

We don't know Jojo's capacity for Carnymancy at that time. He may have been able to break both rules at the same time (one unit, breaks two rules, for one turn). He may have needed a bit more juice, so he made a trade with a thinkamancer (or another carny with thinkamancer linking abilities) to be able to break a third rule (something like "incapacitated units do not heal at the start of turn")
But incapacitated units don't heal at start of turn. They croak. So he's only breaking one rule there.
Trotsky wrote:
Taikei no Yuurei wrote:
Arky wrote:
I see two possibilies:

1. Prince Creen goes ballistic when he discovers the ruse or discovers Dove and lashes out. He's a flying unit and seems to stay off the ground all the time, so this could well fulfil the prophecy.
I don't think Prince Creen all by himself is likely to count as a massive air attack.



But he might count as a massive HEIR attack, depending on how tricksy you think predictamancy is.


Oh, I like this. Death by pun.

What if Delkey is so steamed that they've secretly allied with Numloch and he's planning on seizing this opportunity to break alliance with Homekey the moment Numloch attacks (unaware that the "attack" is not going to be for real). The lightning trap blasts Creen, removing his leadership bonus and winning the day for Homekey.

That's one way Digdoug could get his happy ending, I guess.