Duke Forecastle, Part 1

Duke Forecastle, Part 1

One hundred and eighty turns ago, the HMS Superbia set sail for the western colonies, with a crew of sixty seafaring units on deck and a complement of more than 400 soldiers and seafarers below.

In command was the legendary Royal Lord Admiral Hubris Unsinkable. This was the mighty flagship‘s maiden voyage, and both the three-masted ship of the line and the Chief Warlord himself were the pride of Seaworld, their illustrious side.

Superbia made Uwotmate in an astonishing eleven turns, exchanging crew and supplies and joining with the frigates Extraneous and Bagatelle. Admiral Unsinkable dined with the Viceroy, talking of trouble with Anchorbar to the far west, and affirming the Crown‘s commitment to defending her colonies.

The Anchormen were Seaworld‘s only maritime rival, and of late they had become increasingly aggressive. The Admiral told the Viceroy he intended to sail out in this brawny vessel and smack them in the nose a bit.

Other than routine position and mapping reports, that meeting was the last anyone heard from the Admiral or his ships again.

---

On the turn of Superbia‘s commissioning, Duke Joseph Forecastle had traveled to the capital to witness the ceremony (and even play a small part in it). He‘d also made his requisite appearance at court (which was little noted) and then at the ball (where he dragged a reluctant Lady Windlass around the floor before retreating to the smoking room), and at the War Council (where the Admiralty again explained to him why Seaworld could not afford to upgrade his garrison). Duke Forecastle then rode back to the city that bore his name, the city he had popped in, to patrol the mountains and keep the side safe on its only approach by land.

Seaworld comprised only five coastal cities, plus the inland fortress of Forecastle. The side was an indomitable maritime power, known and feared as far as three thousand ocean hexes away. Her colonies numbered nine, with a total of twenty-nine colonial cities supplying her great treasury. The management of this sprawling empire demanded a vast navy of fine ships and a vast bureaucracy in the capital, and Seaworld could afford both.

But it could somehow not afford to upgrade the city which protected its eastern flank. Nor could the Admiralty spare any more troops here.

As Seaworld‘s only warlord without the “seafarer” special ability, Forecastle knew that he was something of a joke to them. That was all right; he was doing important work out here in the east, whether or not Her Majesty‘s Admirals appreciated it. He remained vigilant. He patrolled. He‘d be ready, come what may.

---

Ninety turns ago, an identical ship to the Superbia–the HMS Hubris Unsinkable–was formally commissioned. She sailed westward on a mission of vengeance, with a fleet of fifteen ships bearing twenty-eight masts.

In command was Royal Lord Admiral Buck Brummel, a protege of the late Admiral Unsinkable, who endeavored to speak and dress exactly like his late mentor: royal blue finery, golden epaulets, and a grand black bicorn hat with gold trim. He looked magnificent.

Once more, the fleet made for Uwotmate, subsequently making port at Corblimey to rendezvous with another three warships, bearing two masts apiece.

They sailed for where the city of Anchorbar was supposed to be located. This time, reports were made with more detail and care. It is known that Brummel met and sank two pirate and three Anchormen vessels as he stabbed westward. No new land was charted on the voyage.

It is also known that the Vengeance Fleet then met the main force of Anchormen at sea, the enemy force numbering twenty-one ships, thirty-two masts. After two inconclusive engagements left Seaworld‘s ships mangled, Brummel turned the fleet around and made for the distant port of Buggrov, eleven turns‘ sail away in their current state of repairs.

They made it only three. The fleet was wiped out to a man, without a word sent home about the cause. More than two thousand units and twenty-seven warlords perished in all.

---

Lord Forecastle had attended the commissioning of the Unsinkable, of course. And he dutifully returned to the city of Seaworld for the ceremony to commission her successor: the HMS Hubris Unsinkable II.

This time, there was little ceremony and no balls. Queen Eliteabit herself attended the War Council.

Looking at the map and hearing the Admirals speak, the situation was even worse than Forecastle had understood it to be. Two colonies had been lost to Anchorbar while the new flagship was being popped. Ships were needed more than warlords now, so the steady stream of new Captains and Admirals had slowed in favor of popping vessels. Seaworld‘s strategic position had shifted from conquest to defense. For the first time in Forecastle‘s life, his side was losing.

He sat quietly, telling himself he wouldn‘t even ask for more troops this time around. He would give his perfunctory report and tell them all was still quiet in the east, and ride home again. Her Majesty had greater worries, and he was grateful not to be a part of them.

But when he was finally called upon to report, there were no private smiles. No-one ignored him. As he rose, Eliteabit spoke his name. Her tone was sombre.

“Your Majesty?” asked Forecastle, bowing to her.

“Your report is not required. And you shall not be returning to your city,” said the Queen.

“My...” his heart suddenly pounded in his chest. He knew he was viewed as useless, but was she about to disband him? He couldn‘t find words. “I‘m sorry, Majesty?”

“Your services in Forecastle are no longer necessary,” she said gravely. “You sail at dawn upon the Unsinkable II, as her first mate.”

Recent posts... (See full thread)
sdub wrote:
A related thought I just had was what if a kingdom asked their predictamancer to predict when a given side is at their weakest before attacking? I wonder if that would work.

Probably not, but even if it did, Fate still has the option of betraying whoever asks that question. For example, suppose you had asked it of Gobwin Knob. The answer you'd get would be something like "Immediately after the end of the battle with the RCC" and this would be true: at that point, they're down to a single Level 1 city, the remaining casters, Parson, Stanley, a few golems and dwagons and a single hobgobwin. However, if you planned on using this fact, chances are you'd either get wiped out by the volcano (if a little bit early) or run into the Decrypted horde (if a little bit late).
Godzfirefly wrote:
ryuplaneswalker wrote:
well unless water counts as "erf" for Dirtamancy purposes which it might since there is no Aquamancy school, which since there is Maritime rules for Erf I would think that there would either be a school of magic to cover water, or it would be tied into another school.

Castles and tower floors counted as the ground, after all, since they had a foundation set into the ground.
I believe that all required is an uninterrupted connection to the Terrain, and because Structures are under the purview of Dirtamancy, they do not count as an "interruption". Vehicles and the like are not, so they interpt the sense. Because Water is a Terrain feature, I think it's reasonable to conclude that if the Dirtamancer has contact with it, that's valid (so, being on a boat wouldn't count). Of course mind you, the ability to sense the erf requires contact, but nowhere did they say they needed contact to perform magic at all. In fact, Digdoug completed casting his water pit trap while he was in midair...so to me that suggests contact is required only for sensing, not for casting. Granted casting "blind" is probably harder, but apparently not impossible.
From Facebook!

Quote:
Erfworld That's correct. A ship and its crew pop together and can be split up. A ship can also be built separately and manned by seafarer units.


Good to know that ships(and probably other vehicles too) can be both popped or constructed.
Ashendant wrote:
From Facebook!

Quote:
Erfworld That's correct. A ship and its crew pop together and can be split up. A ship can also be built separately and manned by seafarer units.


Good to know that ships(and probably other vehicles too) can be both popped or constructed.


Didn't we already know that? :?
With Erfworld, I take everything as unconfirmed until it's in the comic or Rob says it. :D
0beron wrote:
Godzfirefly wrote:
ryuplaneswalker wrote:
well unless water counts as "erf" for Dirtamancy purposes which it might since there is no Aquamancy school, which since there is Maritime rules for Erf I would think that there would either be a school of magic to cover water, or it would be tied into another school.

Castles and tower floors counted as the ground, after all, since they had a foundation set into the ground.
I believe that all required is an uninterrupted connection to the Terrain, and because Structures are under the purview of Dirtamancy, they do not count as an "interruption". Vehicles and the like are not, so they interpt the sense. Because Water is a Terrain feature, I think it's reasonable to conclude that if the Dirtamancer has contact with it, that's valid (so, being on a boat wouldn't count). Of course mind you, the ability to sense the erf requires contact, but nowhere did they say they needed contact to perform magic at all. In fact, Digdoug completed casting his water pit trap while he was in midair...so to me that suggests contact is required only for sensing, not for casting. Granted casting "blind" is probably harder, but apparently not impossible.


If you want the Dirtamancer to feel the water (perhaps to sense what is ahead), just dangle the mancer in a rope from the bowsprit.
Godzfirefly wrote:
Ashendant wrote:
From Facebook!

Quote:
Erfworld That's correct. A ship and its crew pop together and can be split up. A ship can also be built separately and manned by seafarer units.


Good to know that ships(and probably other vehicles too) can be both popped or constructed.


Didn't we already know that? :?


Maybe from something to do with Haggar? They had ships (which also told us that ships have levels) - http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/ ... -03-19.png
Godzfirefly wrote:
Ashendant wrote:
From Facebook!

Quote:
Erfworld That's correct. A ship and its crew pop together and can be split up. A ship can also be built separately and manned by seafarer units.


Good to know that ships(and probably other vehicles too) can be both popped or constructed.


Didn't we already know that? :?


I don't think it was ever specified.
Prodigial_Knight wrote:
0beron wrote:
The thing I find the most interesting is the total absence of a caster thus far. They always seem to play a major role in the strategy or at least style of the side, so given the Queen's unusual attendance at the War Council, you'd have thought any caster they have would be there too. Or that Forecastle would have mentioned one generally speaking even if they weren't present. This leads me to suspect that either they lack one, or that its of a discipline they shun/think to be useless. Maybe some discipline that can't do much at sea, like a Florist, Dirtamancer, or Croakamancer.


It would be so funny if Seaworld had a Dirtamancer, and he/she was even more bored out of his skull than Lord Forecastle who at least gets to go hiking every turn, sorry "patrolling".


A side that has no use for a caster sells them on. We've seen a bunch of casters how have been traded about including Isaac and Digdoug.
Arky wrote:
On the one hand, ANOTHER story about an Erfworld side who are dogmatic and fail to appreciate what they've got is a little tiresome now. On the other hand, Erf seafaring and the idea of sending ships out on missions that will take dozens of turns is very interesting. It's a very different dynamic to what we've seen with Erf armies on land.

Of course, you'd think that a navy would require caster protection. These ships of the line apparently concentrate so much value in one place that one enemy caster with a Shockamancy scroll could do incredibly cost-effective damage.


I think it's less about that, and more a common element of most sides. It's why Parson is so booping dangerous. To use, he's just good at games. To them, he's an alien thinker that can be appreciated by the open minded, but even Jack and Wanda, the people who respect that most, can't fully duplicate it after seeing it for some time.

I'm thinking the whole seafarer ability will reflect a change in general erfworld thinking that Forecastle will help us observe though.