Infernal Medicine: Another Solium Infernum Diary (part 3)

Readers unfamiliar with Solium Infernum may wish to read my original post about the game, as well as my first, massive Solium Infernum diary, Hell Or High Water, before continuing. And you should definitely read part 1 and part 2 of Infernal Medicine to get up to speed. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Six archfiends wish to ascend the throne in Hell. Four of them are chronicling their schemes here. The story so far: Codename Duchess has been trying to win vendettas against other archfiends so he can take advantage of his Playing For Keeps perk, which lets him claim Blood Feud — an all out war — after only two vendettas, instead of the normal three. He failed in a vendetta against Beowulf, but managed to start a new one against Anonymoeba. Anonymoeba has struck a balance between expansion and boosting his own power, using his Seer perk to learn secrets about his opponents. His spies, however, conspicuously failed to mention Codename Duchess’ Playing For Keeps perk. As Codename Duchess’ vendetta began, Anonymoeba used his personal legion’s Mountain Walk ability to strike at Codename Duchess’ tail and steal a Place of Power from him.

Baleygr has been expanding aggressively, claiming vast tracts of territory with his legions that grow in power as his own archfiend’s power grows, thanks to his Master Archer and Master of the Sword perks. He’s just managed to start a vendetta with The Magsitrate. The Magistrate hasn’t expanded at all, instead focusing on getting as rich as possible. But his praetor Morax did (barely) manage to win a duel against Kivah’s praetor Haagenti, and he hired the expensive and powerful Sons of Typhon to try to defend against Baleygr. At the same time, he played the Infernal Perfidy event, which sent the Infernal Inquisition through Hell, killing every legion that wasn’t a personal guard and disrupting everyone’s battle plans.

Here is what happened.

Turn 21:

Anonymoeba:

So, Codename Duchess decided to go for the Gates of Hell after all. Hilariously, his use of the Rod of Haruspex completely wrecked the place, permanently reducing it to 1 maximum HP. His legion would have done just fine without the artifact, but I guess he was expecting me to defend it. Also, since the Inquisition took his backup legion, his main legion is now stranded inside my domain.

This should be interesting and give me some new bargaining power. I’ll start by sending a message to all other archfiends that I’ve no intention to let Codename Duchess go free, and suggesting that everybody has a fine chance to go carpe diem on him while his uberlegion is out of the picture. I’m hoping this might have an effect, since Codename Duchess is currently the most prestigious and powerful amongst archfiends, at least when judging by appearances.

My underlying strategy is still a Prestige win, and my main short-to-medium-term goal is to capture the Garden of Infernal Delights from Codename Duchess. Yet as I’m expecting the situation to escalate quite fast, I want to keep my options diverse and put my new 4th order slot to use in order to draw a second secret objective. Maybe I’ll get lucky and draw one involving killing legions or capturing Places of Power. I’m also casting the Infernal Negotiations ritual which will net me some extra Prestige should anybody take up my advice and put some diplomatic pressure on Codename Duchess. It will also boost my rank for diplomacy as long as I keep it active, making any incoming demands from other archfiends less advantageous to the claimant.

Codename Duchess:

I have captured my target and won my vendetta. My Slaves are now trapped behind enemy lines, however, and I am open to bullying by others. The Gates of Hell have had their maximum hit points reduced to 1 by my Rod of Haruspex, so holding them moving forward might be a problem. I have gained some useful tribute this turn and am able to purchase a new secondary legion. I am also able to immediately make another demand of Anonymoeba. With his successful Place of Power trade in our previous vendetta, perhaps he will be willing to try his luck again. Even if I continue to trade Places of Power, all I care about are vendetta wins with an eye towards declaring Blood Feud.

Baleygr:

Total defeat. Not only was I outbid on the Darkwing Legion, despite overbidding heavily (with both souls and hellfire) but I also received nothing but darkness from my tribute demand, leaving me without key resources and without a useful, fast-moving, obstacle-jumping legion with good starting statistics. My only hope at this point is to try to do an end run around the Sons of Typhon and take out The Magistrate’s personal legion (which won’t happen because all he has to do is play ring around the rosie). My only consolation is that he has bled some resources on the Sons of Typhon, both in purchase and upkeep, as well as on a failed Infernal Affliction ritual. But this is a sorry showing. He may cut off my bridge or my route to pandemonium which would be incredibly bad given his resources. I have moved so as not to be crushed by Typhon’s progeny and demanded tribute so I can quietly begin rebuilding when this embarrassing silliness is over.

For the record, my archfiend’s strategy was completely useless and I highly discourage it for others. It relies almost entirely on luck. Not having legions wiped out, starting with decent random legion stats, getting something like the Black Ring or Infernal Promotion and so on to really take advantage of the Martial Prowess bonuses.

After putting in my orders, I decide to send an email to The Magistrate, suggesting we cease hostilities and I support his cause given my inability to recover at this stage. He has agreed and I will become his Blood Vassal, acting as his servant and combining my Prestige with his, should he gain enough Prestige to make the petition. I will of course betray him should opportunity for a comeback present itself but if it does not I would like to see him win this game.

The Magistrate:

Looks like Codename Duchess has won his vendetta against Anonymoeba. He captured the Gates of Hell, but in doing so stranded his legion inside Anonymoeba’s territory. The Gates of Hell also only has a single health point now. Codename Duchess used the Rod of Haruspex in the battle, which means all the damage he dealt was permanent. That makes The Gates of Hell an easy target for another archfiend.

There were also a couple of events played. Someone has received a windfall of tribute, and a general amnesty for praetors lost to the Abyss has gone through, returning each archfiend one praetor that they lost. I haven’t lost any, but my Morax did just kill Kivah’s Haagenti. Perhaps Kivah was the one who played this event?

As for my own affairs, I’m still trying to deal with Baleygr’s vendetta. My Infernal Affliction missed Baleygr’s legion, but my Sons of Typhon are now within range to attack. Baleygr can simply run away, since he acts first this turn, but I’ll give chase and blast him again.

Before the turn is processed, I get some emails. Anonymoeba has contacted the rest of us to propose we send demands to Codename Duchess now, while he is helpless to respond. This is actually a great idea. I reply to everyone to say I’ll hurl an insult at him, which should transfer some of his Prestige to me, provided he accepts the insult. If he doesn’t, he’ll have to claim vendetta on me, but with his legion stranded and my Morax still celebrating his single combat victory, I doubt Codename Duchess will try it.

I also get an email from Baleygr. He proposes an end to our hostilities, pointing out that he could keep running from the Sons of Typhon but can’t catch my personal legion. That’s actually not true; my Slothful perk reduces the movement of all of my legions. He could catch my personal legion, eventually, but it sounds like he’s lost interest in this vendetta and perhaps even in this game. He suggests becoming my Blood Vassal. That would require transferring a lot of Prestige to me, which he proposes to do by repeatedly demanding me and letting me refuse the demands.

It would also require that he have less than half of the territory I do, and since Baleygr has the most territory of all and I have the least, that seems unlikely. But it’s possible he simply doesn’t know about that rule. I don’t need a Blood Vassal, as I’m planning to buy my way to victory, and I suspect Baleygr is just trying to get out of this vendetta without any further losses. But if he is serious about it I certainly won’t say no to free Prestige. Besides, I don’t want to spend my time on this vendetta either; I want to go back to getting rich.

I tell Baleygr I agree to his proposal, and I cancel my orders to attack. Instead, I spend 6 Prestige to hurl an insult at Codename Duchess, put in a bid on Rain of Brimstone Vol. 3 (a powerful combat move for Morax; I thought I already had this piece in my vault, but it turns out I actually have Vol. 1, so this would give me two of the three pieces) and demand more tribute. Next turn, I can do a Demand of Supplication to bring in lots of resources and start boosting my attributes to get more order slots.

Turn 22:

Baleygr:

I have boosted my Intellect and demanded additional resources. I need that order slot. Eventually I’d like to take the Pit of Tartarus, but right now this would severly damage my legion, even with the Hellfire Ballista. If I can obtain one more point in Martial Prowess, I could do this much less painfully. Two points and I could do it with no loss.

Anonymoeba:

Only The Magistrate decided to take me up on pressuring Codename Duchess in the form of an insult. Instead it’s me who ended up as the archfiend under the most diplomatic pressure.

Codename Duchess demanded 3 tribute cards, which was expected, and which I shall just oblige to pay him. I want to engage any future vendettas against him in my own terms to quickly grab the Garden of Infernal Delights and prevent his main legion from escaping and entering the fray. I’ll have the turn initiative against him next time he has a chance to make a demand (turn 25), so I can just fling one against him myself during the first order, nullifying his, should he make one.

As an unexpected twist, Kivah has insulted me before the Conclave. Apparently, he is feeling confident at my completely empty western border because he has just acquired a legion of flying dinosaurs banished to Hell because of sins unrepented during the Jurassic period. Thus, they were named the fearsome Darkwing Legion, the sinister ancestors of a certain superhero. They have decent combat stats, around equal strength to my main legion, but nothing I cannot handle. Their flying ability could be annoying, but I do not see any effective way Kivah could exploit this from his current position. He should not be able to even threaten the Summit of Mount Erebus without exposing his legion to the attack radius of my main legion. And even if he did, losing the place to Kivah might be a plus, since that would just further deny it to Codename Duchess.

I also managed to draw the Destroy 3 Legions secret objective, so the temptation of getting to claim an instant vendetta against Kivah is too great! My spies tell me that Kivah is still at 2 Wrath / 3 Deceit / 0 Destruction, so I shouldn’t have to fear any high level shenanigans, and my initiative advantage should give me plenty of time to react to anything nasty Kivah might have bought from the Bazaar. Also this might serve as a good distraction to obfuscate my main goal against Codename Duchess. Ah, what the hell, let’s do this! [Hell reference, classic. –Ed]

I’m also boosting my Wickedness up to 2, so that I’ll be able to better exploit that +2 Destruction roll I gained from capturing the Summit of Mount Erebus.

The Magistrate:

My insult against Codename Duchess has been presented to the Conclave, and I’ll see how he responds next turn. He has demanded Anonymoeba, which is not surprising, as I’m sure he wants to resume hostilities and free his legion. Kivah, however, has taken this opportunity to insult Anonymoeba. Was this simply a mis-filing in the Infernal Bureaucracy? Or does he really want to pick a fight? Kivah’s motivates are inscrutable.

I’ve won Rain of Brimstone Vol. 3, and my tribute haul included another combat move manuscript, Sinew Slice Vol. 2. I now have both pieces of that. I also need to pay the Sons of Typhon again. I give them 6 hellfire, which should satisfy them for three more turns.

Baleygr has marched his legion west. He could still hunt down my personal legion if he wanted to. I have to decide if I trust him. Although I’m not sure I could evade him in any case. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now, as I’d rather collect resources than try to fight. I cast a Demand of Supplication ritual followed by two tribute calls. I need to boost my attributes next turn.

I’m worried about Beowulf, to the north. He’s been suspiciously quiet ever since fending off Codename Duchess’ attacks. I’m happy to see my opponents fight each other, since it gives me room to grow my wealth, but that may not help me if Beowulf is building up his power to take the throne by force.

Codename Duchess:

I have added The Dark Stalkers legion to my ranks. They are not particularly strong: 10 Hit Points, Ranged 4, Melee 3, Infernal 0. But with my praetor and the Rod of Haruspex I can buff them sufficiently to be a threat. Unfortunately the Rod was just stolen from me. While I was unable to detect who did it, The Magistrate has also chosen to insult me in front of the conclave this turn, so it’s possible the acts are related. I can either accept his insult and suffer Prestige loss, or refuse the insult and choose a vendetta against him. He has been sitting calmly and quietly since the start of the game. He could likely use wickedness rituals to easily destroy my legions. I also know he has a powerful dueling praetor from his run-in with Kivah. I am forced to accept the insult and lose a small amount of Prestige.

In other Hell news Kivah has also leveled an insult, at Anonymoeba. I wonder who Anonymoeba will respond to, Kivah or me. In further preparation I bid on another legion: The Grinning Legion, which has 11 Hit Points, Ranged 3, Melee 6 and Infernal 0.

Turn 23:

The Magistrate:

An event has been played that destroyed half of my tribute cards that contain souls. Someone has dared to strike directly at my money! I quickly check my vault. The conspicous gaps at the top of my card stacks — which were arranged in descending order of value — suggests that I’ve lost some of my most valuable cards, including two that contained multiple resources. Curses!

In other news, Beowulf has insulted Codename Duchess. A little late to the party, are we? Codename Duchess has already accepted my insult, putting me at exactly 50 Prestige. That’s not bad, seeing as I don’t have any Places of Power, and Codename Duchess’ lead is only at 123 Prestige. I’m hoping to start earning Prestige faster as I get more powerful. In other diplomatic news, Anonymoeba has refused Kivah’s insult and claimed vendetta. Yes, archfiends, fight amongst yourselves. Pay no heed to The Magistrate as he bankrolls his reign.

Baleygr seems to be honoring his agreement, as he hasn’t moved against me even though his vendetta is still active. So I can focus on my own affairs. Speaking of which, my enhanced tribute haul includes some nice manuscripts. Specifically, it contains the last piece of the Rite of Aether Rupture, and the last piece of the Rite of Blood. I’ve been sitting on two pieces out of three for both of those for a long time, and now that I’d finally decided to go ahead and boost my attributes without them, here they both are, all at once. Performing these Rites will boost my Wickedness and Intellect attributes by two points each, which is great, and since that will specifically put them both at 4, it will also unlock two more order slots! Jumping from three orders to five is huge.

Clearly, two of my order slots will be used for those. I’ll do a little of this…

…and a little of this…

The downside is that everyone else will be informed. So much for paying no heed to The Magistrate. What to do with my last order? I can’t demand tribute on the turn following a Demand of Supplication, so I decide to hurl an insult at Beowulf. I’m hoping that the combined threats of Morax and the Sons of Typhon will force him to accept it. I also decide to email the other archfiends to warn them about his threat. I’m afraid he may try to go for Pandemonium directly, and we’ll have to stop him before it’s too late. I don’t want any bullies ruining my path to riches.

Baleygr:

I lost half of my souls cards. That leaves me with only 5 souls so I cannot hope to raise my Intellect this turn. I have bid on the Maneuver Training manuscript in the hopes of improving my crumby legion further. There are no others worth having at this time in the Bazaar.

I am half tempted to boost my Cunning for the Pilfer, Coerce and Bribe ritual, to steal the Darkwings back. Perhaps the Pit Fiends (is that what they are called?) will show up in the Bazaar, as an alternative legion. I’ve demanded tribute, we’ll see what I get. If I can get a leg up on just one of my attributes and get that damn order slot things will begin to improve [damnation reference, classic. –Ed].

Codename Duchess:

Anonymoeba has refused Kivah’s insult. This is unsurprising because it allows Anonymoeba to choose the rules of engagement for a vendetta. Unfortunately, this means he has chosen to concede to me and I’ve gained some paltry tribute cards. An event has also removed half my souls, though this affects my goals little. Finally, Beowulf has also chosen to insult me this turn. Where has all the decorum of Hell gone!?

On the previous turn every fiend was allowed to return a praetor from the Abyss. This means Beowulf has regained that pesky Eligos. With my Slaves trapped in Anonymoeba’s territory, I am forced to accept this insult as well. Although my focus is getting as many vendetta wins against Anonymous as possible, so I don’t really mind all that much.

I did succeed in my bid for the Grinning Legion. Now my two weaker legions can support each other and my southern border with Anonymoeba looks more secure. With my loss of the Rod of Haruspex, I could use another combat Artifact. I demand tribute twice in preparation for this.

Anonymoeba:

The vendetta is on! Surprisingly, Kivah did nothing at all. Was he expecting me to just swallow his petty insult? This gives me plenty of time, so I decide to let my legion make camp for a turn, training them with the Infernal Training manuscript I acquired earlier. Initially I wanted to use it as an ace up my sleeve against Codename Duchess, but I still have the Banner of the Flayed Apostate for that. This should let me probe Kivah’s reaction to my vendetta claim while keeping my legion safe, out of striking distance.

While standing around, I may as well bring in the artillery and throw two Infernal Afflictions against the Darkwing Legion.

On my eastern front, Baleygr has lost his vendetta against the Magistrate, driven off by the Sons of Typhon, a sluggish but powerful legion the Magistrate has bought from the marketplace. The Magistrate has also been trying to convince everybody that Beowulf is cooking up sinister plans about conquering Pandemonium. Strangely enough he hasn’t provided any proof for his claims. Apparently he has chosen the old but effective strategy of appealing to emotions, omitting an important factor: archfiends have no emotions! Anyway, it’s suspicious and I definitely do not consider Beowulf to be in a position to become an usurper.

Turn 24:

Codename Duchess:

The Magistrate has performed two Rites, boosting both his Wickedness and Intellect by 2 points. While I can’t see them, I’m sure his attributes are quite fearsome at this point. Regardless, it does not change my path to victory.

I need more tribute before I can purhcase anything I want, so I demand tribute once. Anonymoeba has moved his legion away from the Place of Power he stole from me, so I take my second order to reposition closer to my lost property.

Anonyoeba:

Kivah moved his personal legion up to support the Darkwing Legion, but that’s all. My Infernal Affliction barrage damaged the Darkwings for 5 HP. Now it’s time to move in my freshly trained personal legion (infernal stat up from 4 to 12!) to the mountain range separating Kivah’s and Codename Duchess’ territory. This way I’ll be in a position to take out the Darkwing legion as a first strike next turn, even if they should try any offensive flying maneuvers towards my territory. I’m also boosting my Martial skill from 0 to 1 because I can easily afford it and a spare dummy combat card could always be useful.

As for The Magistrate, we didn’t have to wait long for proof of his vested interest in his attempts to discredit Beowulf: he has just played two extremely rare manuscripts boosting both his Wickedness and Intellect attributes by 2. I already suspected he has high Diabolism (giving him high quality tribute), but this proves that he’s definitely hoarding manuscripts and is most likely also planning to unleash some attribute-draining Machines upon us. His problem is that Beowulf holds the Pillars of Malebolge, which grants immunity against attribute loss.

This is Hell and an enemy of your enemy is still your enemy, or perhaps a Blood Vassal at best, but as I still consider The Magistrate to be the highest threat of all archfiends. I can’t let him sow dissent amongst the other archfiends. We might need to unite against him before it is too late. So, I decide to defend Beowulf on the issue against Magistrate’s subterfuge. It’s also a good chance to publicly claim that I’m going to capture the Wood of Suicides from Kivah, since that’s what he’s most likely expecting. This could let me concentrate on his legions instead without him expecting it.

The Magistrate:

Some might say that performing two Rites in a single turn is overdoing it, but not The Magistrate. That’s just how I roll. My Intellect and Wickedness attributes are both up to 4 now, so I’ve gone from three order slots to five. As an extra bonus, I’ve gained 5 Prestige for each Rite performed, and another 5 for stopping Baleygr’s vendetta, which officially ended this turn. Excellent!

Unfortunately, my email to the others to warn about Beowulf seems to have backfired. Anonymoeba responded, claiming that I’m planning to build Infernal Machines to lower everyone else’s attributes, and that I’m trying to turn everyone against Beowulf because his Place of Power grants him immunity such attribute loss. I take a look at the Place of Power in question, the Pillars of Malebolge. It says “Evil Sanctuary” in its description. I had not registered that before, but it is exactly what Anonymoeba says it is: immunity from attribute loss. That actually is annoying. I wasn’t planning on building a whole bunch of Machines in particular, but if I managed to acquire all four manuscript pieces for one, I’d certainly do it. Any archfiend would do the same. But since I fear Beowulf is also building up his power, it’s unfortunate that he’s immune to Machines; they would have been a good way to keep him in check.

Well, I must try to defend myself from Anonymoeba’s slander. I reply, arguing that Beowulf is even more dangerous as a potential usurper if we cannot damage his attributes with Machines. And I also publicly point out that Anonymoeba’s legion is now suspiciously powerful, with a whopping 12 infernal stat. How did he achieve this? Perhaps he has the Sorcerer perk, which boosts his legions’ infernal power based on his own Destruction power? But that would also boost his Places of Power, which are not showing the same strength. So it must have been an Infernal Training manuscript. I guess I’m not the only one acquiring manuscripts! By the way, didn’t I give an Infernal Training manuscript piece to Baleygr a while back in response to a demand? Did Anonymoeba get ahold of it somehow?

Anyway, I must tend to my own affairs. I’d like to raise my Charisma attribute to 6, the highest possible value. I honestly wasn’t planning to do that this game, but I’m bringing in so much money with my Demands of Supplication that I figured, why not? It will give me another point in Diabolism for even better tribute, and access to the Burnt Offerings ritual, which lets me convert tribute directly into Prestige. The Charisma boost costs 15 of every resource, however, so I need more tribute first. I cast Demand of Supplication and put in four tribute calls. Show me the money!

Baleygr:

Pitiful tribute again but I did win the Maneuver Training manuscript. Of course it was immediately replaced by the other half in the Bazaar, so I’m bidding on that too. The Magistrate completed two Rites, boosting his Intellect and Wickedness; I suspect he’s now at 6 in each. I would hate to face those Destruction rituals. I am still thinking of becoming his Blood Vassal, but I don’t intend to hurry that process by failed demands as I proposed earlier because he might take the opportunity to simply crush me.

I have demanded tribute again and that’s the turn. By the by, Codename Duchess has been pummelled the last few turns by intense insults and demands due to precarious positioning and high Prestige. I will be in the same boat soon.

Turn 25:

Anonymoeba:

I seem to have miscalculated. I forgot that I planned to use my first order this turn to make a demand against Codename Duchess, otherwise he might manage to slip one against me. This means I’ll lose my first strike against Kivah, but I consider Codename Duchess a much bigger threat so I’ll have to do it. If he refuses the demand and my vendetta against Kivah goes as smoothly as it seems to be going, I might be able to do a pivot to the north and capture the Garden of Infernal Delights from Codename Duchess with one big swoop.

Kivah has attached a praetor, Vassago, to his Darkwing Legion, buffing its melee stat to 8 and giving it +4 to level rolls. I could still destroy the legion with straight out combat but that would put heavy strain on my legion, losing most of its hitpoints. Since I’m going to move only during the second order anyway and thus cannot guarantee that the Darkwing Legion will stay put, I’m going to choose a different approach: trying to steal Vassago with a Deceit ritual. Should that fail, I’m also casting a Combat Deception ritual against the Darkwing Legion, so they’ll be softened enough next turn for me to take them out. I’m moving my main legion southwest down from the mountains, so that they’ll be in a striking distance of both Kivah’s legions as well as his Wood of Suicides to make it look like I’m about to capture it.

Codename Duchess:

The front between Kivah and Anonymoeba looks to be heating up something fierce! I’m not sure who I want to prevail. If Kivah bloodies Anonymoeba too much he may shy away from future conflict with me. If Kivah is decimated, Anonymoeba may become too strong for me to even trade Places of Power with. I still require tribute so I spend one order requesting it. I am able to demand Anonymoeba again and do so.

Baleygr:

Another round of terrible tribute. I won the second half of the manuscript of Maneuver Training so I can now make my legion a bit faster. That’s nice, but only useful if I can truly get a foothold some other way. I’ve demanded tribute twice in hopes of getting enough souls to boost my Intellect by two and get that additional order slot. Still no ichor so no chance of a point in Martial Prowess…

The Magistrate:

Before the turn starts, there are even more emails. Beowulf has chimed in, claiming that he has no intention of attacking Pandemonium and accusing me of going for Machines. Sigh. I reply with a mollifying email saying that I’m glad to hear he won’t attack Pandemonium, but I doubt anyone is going to buy it. At least Beowulf accepted my insult; I’m now up to 72 Prestige.

In better news, my tribute haul is absolutely ridiculous. Four tribute offerings, each enhanced by my Demand of Supplication, mean I’m drowning in cash. 15 of each resource to raise my Charisma to 6? No sweat. I’ve got plenty to spare. Plus I’ve received some more manuscripts, including the Rite of Flesh Rapture Vol. 2 (giving me two out of three pieces of that), a Manual of Attack, and Rain of Brimstone Vol. 2. Yes! That’s the last piece I needed in order to train Morax with the Rain of Brimstone comobat move, which does three six-sided dice worth of unblockable damage to an enemy praetor in a duel. That’s enough to kill many praetors in a single blast.

Since I can’t make any more tribute calls this turn due to my Demand of Supplication last turn, I should start spending. I should definitely train Morax, but what else do I want to do? I pay the Sons of Typhon for two more turns of service, and consider training them with my Ranged Training manuscripts. But I’m also thinking about bidding on the Grotesque Mask, an Unholy Relic that will generate a point of Prestige every turn if I attach it to my stronghold, and will also sometimes provide me with a Curse of Deceit anytime anyone casts a Deceit ritual. Or I could boost some of my other attributes. I’m also allowed to insult Codename Duchess again, so I should probably do that. And maybe I want to cast the Infernal Negotiations ritual, which will give me some Prestige every time my erstwhile colleagues make demands or insults of each other? Or perhaps I should take advantage of my boosted Intellect and draw a secret objective (I’m now able to choose from a few of these) to earn some extra Prestige.

In the end I decide to insult Codename Duchess, train Morax with the Manual of Attack as well as the Sinew Slice and Rain of Brimstone combat moves, draw a secret objective, boost my Cunning to 1 and my Charisma to 6. Morax is going to be an offensive powerhouse now, so I should think about having him challenge the champions of Pandemonium. But I’d prefer to get him some defensive moves first. There’s no point in killing one of the champions with a single move if the champion also kills Morax.

Turn 26:

Codename Duchess:

Argh! Unfortunately Anonymoeba had initiative against me and made a demand of me first, nullifying my own demand. While it does not matter who wins vendettas that he initiates for the purpose of declaring a Blood Feud, it does reset the degree of concession I can demand against him (each time you make a successive demand from the same opponent you can demand more, this theoretically eventually forces them to refuse your demands). For this reason I refuse his demand. Perhaps he is bluffing and has no interest in starting a fight with me while still engaged with Kivah.

The Magistrate has insulted me again, and I am forced, for the previously stated reasons, to accept it. I am still unable to purchase an artifact of interest, and with a potential conflict coming with Anonymoeba, I decide to demand tribute twice.

Anonymoeba:

Kivah’s Darkwing Legion flew over my legion to the east, which is inconvenient since I only have 2 turns left for my vendetta. I succeeded in weakening it by both stealing Vassago and lowering the Darkwing Legion’s melee to 1 with Combat Deception, but I’m out of hellfire so I can’t blast it with an Infernal Affliction ritual this turn. I also can’t send my main legion back to fight it, since I need to keep the momentum towards the Garden of Infernal Delights in case Codename Duchess declines my demand (and I’ll hopefully take out Kivah’s personal guard in the process).

Yet I really don’t want to lose the Prestige I wagered for my vendetta, so I’ll have to try a haphazard plan of rendering the Darkwing Legion immobile with a Sowing Confusion ritual and buying a new legion, which will have 75 % chance of appearing in a canton within striking distance next turn. The legion I’m buying is the infernal-specialized Sisters of the Flame, which should have a fair chance against Kivah’s Darkwings. Should my Sowing Confusion fail, Kivah might take the Summit of Mount Erebus from me, but as stated earlier that’s not really a problem since it will just keep the place out of Codename Duchess’ hands in the long run. And the Darkwings might take some damage in the process, so I might be able to finish them off next turn with some Inferanl Affliction rituals, if I get lucky enough to gain some hellfire by then.

The Magistrate:

Anonymoeba has made a demand of Codename Duchess. I wonder if he has cut a deal with Kivah to end their conflict, much as I did with Baleygr. Checking the map, I’m completely confused as to what has happened in their vendetta. It looks like Kivah’s Darkwing Legion has flown over Anonymoeba’s legion? It’s now sitting in Anonymoeba’s territory, while Anonymoeba’s legion is at their border. And it looks like the Darkwing Legion no longer has the praetor Vassago in command; did someone steal him?

In other news, I’ve missed my chance to purchase the Grotesque Mask, as someone else has snapped it up. But I now have 6 Charisma, and Morax is a badass. He has 14 attack, 7 defense, and 18 infernal, with the Impale, Rain of Brimstone and Sinew Slice special moves. I would not want to face him in the ring.

I also have a choice of three secret objectives: Make Demand of All Opponents, Insult All Opponents, or The Wood of Suicides. The first two would require me to demand or insult each of my opponents between now and the end of the game, while the last would require me to hold the Wood of Suicides Place of Power at the end of the game. Since I have a weak military, I’ll skip that one. The safest pick is the objective to demand all opponents, because even if they refuse I do not have to claim vendetta if I don’t want to. But making demands costs Prestige, which is only refunded if the opponent concedes. Insults also cost Prestige, but if an opponent accepts the insult, I actually gain Prestige. This means I could be earning Prestige even as I work towards my secret objective, which itself awards me Prestige at the end of the game. Besides, I’ve been having good luck with my insults recently, since my Sons of Typhon are a military deterrent and Morax is a single combat deterrent. So I choose Insult All Opponents. This should be fun.

I’d like to do a Demand of Supplication this turn for more tribute, but amazingly I still have some of my riches left after last turn. Enough to try out my new Burnt Offerings ritual, which directly awards me 10 Prestige. I cast that, as well as Deamnd of Supplication and three tribute calls.

Baleygr:

A turn of mildly dissapointing tribute. A little of everything, not a lot of anything. Someone bought the Grotesque Mask, don’t know who. The new item is the Crown of Fire, which boosts Destruction rolls. I’m curious if Anonymoeba will buy it, given that he holds the +2 Destruction roll Place of Power.

I’ve boosted my Intellect. One more point of Intellect will grant another order slot. I’ve also requested tribute.

Turn 27:

The Magistrate:

My Burnt Offerings ritual is successful, granting me 10 Prestige, and Codename Duchess has accepted my insult as well. I’m now at 88 Prestige, but I’m still trailing Codename Duchess by about 50 Prestige. Partly that’s because he’s just refused Anonymoeba’s demand, netting some extra Prestige for his audacity. We’ll see if Codename Duchess and Anonymoeba go to war now. Anonymoeba has purchased the legion known as the Sisters of the Flame, so maybe he’s gearing up for it. The new legion on offer in the Bazaar is the Adamantium Guard, who can (optionally) be used to permanently bolster the garrison of a Place of Power or Pandemonium. I might consider buying them to reinforce Pandemonium or my stronghold. But I’m not sure it would be enough to stop a dedicated usurper anyway.

Anonymoeba’s personal legion has killed Kivah’s personal legion, deep in Kivah’s territory. Kivah’s Darkwings haven’t moved, but they’re now commanded by Haagenti and are standing next to Anonymoeba’s new Sisters of the Flame. Neither archfiend has captured any territory because they’re advancing too fast. I wonder: could Anonymoeba just be trying to get through Kivah’s territory so he has access to Pandemonium?

My new tribute haul includes manuscripts for the Crippling Strike combat move (actually useful against the Pandemonium champions, as it removes attack skulls from opponents’ moves) and the Machine of Despair Vol. 2 (Vol. 3 is available for purchase in the Bazaar). And of course I get plenty of resources. What to spend them on? With my Burnt Offerings ritual available, I don’t think I need to cast Infernal Negotiations, which only gives a small amount of Prestige and only when opponents demand and insult each other. But I should consider casting Demonic Premonitions, to help defend against Deceit rituals. It’s only a matter of time before someone tries to steal my money. I also need to keep insulting my opponents to satisfy my secret objective.

I decide to cast Demonic Premonitions, insult Anonymoeba while he’s busy with his wars, draw another secret objective, cast Burnt Offerings again, and boost my Cunning to 2. Next turn I can cast Demand of Supplication and spend all my orders on tribute calls to bring in more money.

Lastly, I notice that Beowulf has the Grotesque Mask on his stronghold. What a jerk.

Baleygr:

I got no souls. I did get 3 ichor, which will eventually come in handy, but as I am currently completely soulless, I am without options [soulless reference, classic. –Ed]. I have demanded tribute twice in hopes of a haul of souls. I am still in second place with respect to Prestige but the Magistrate is rapidly catching up.

A new legion, the Adamantine Guard — one I have never seen before — has become available [The Adamantine Guard were added to the game as part of the free Rectification mini-expansion. –Ed]. It has the reinforce property, and could make Pandemonium nigh unasailable which could be interesting for two reasons. First, it could force a Prestige game rather than the usual Pandemonium strike near the end. Alternatively, assuming it works within the coding of the game, if you could purchase them and take command the same turn you are excommunicated, you could reinforce Pandemonium while holding it, making it invincible. An interesting prospect to be sure.

Codename Duchess:

Anonymoeba has purchased another legion, the Sisters of the Flame. They have 9 Hit Points, Ranged 0, Melee 4 and Infernal 4. I also see that his slaves have destroyed one of Kivah’s two legions without taking any damage. Kivah’s flying legion has the powerful Haagenti sitting on it, and it’s within flying distance of my Place of Power that Anonymoeba stole. If Kivah takes it, that will be quite crippling to my combat options against Anonymoeba. Anonymoeba is deciding this turn whether to declare vendetta against me.

I place a bid on the praetor Astarte and the artifact The Great Horn of Doom. The Horn is a powerful legion vs legion combat item which can reduce enemy legion combat stats to 0. Astarte is a mediocre combat and dueling praetor. She provides an infernal bonus to an attached legion, however, and this is a useful bonus to all of my legions, which have low base infernal stats.

Anonymoeba:

The Darkwing legion was held in place and my new legion managed to appear in the right canton, but Kivah had another ace up his sleeve: he has attached another praetor, Haagenti, to the legion, buffing their melee up to 10! Now they’re too powerful for the Sisters of the Flame. Luckily, I managed to gather up some hellfire, so I’m bringing back the artillery, trying to take the Darkwing Legion out with a double tap of Infernal Affliction rituals. Haagenti doesn’t boost the commanded legion’s level, so I should still have a decent chance to take them out on this last turn of the vendetta.

Also, Codename Duchess refused my demand, which is finger-steeplingly excellent! This dictates the next target of my main legion and my next step: onwards to the Garden of Infernal Delights!

In other news, the Magistrate has cast Burnt Offerings, the ultimate Diabolism ritual that converts tribute to Prestige. Is he trying to mislead us all by covering a soon-to-come usurpation attempt, or is he actually aiming for a Prestige win? Either way, at this point there are plenty of things I presumed he would be spending his riches on instead, which means he must be really swimming in them.

Turn 28:

Baleygr:

Beowulf bought the Adamantine Guard. I have publicly called on him to reinforce Pandemonium with the Guard, to prove his loyalty to the Conclave. In other news, I acquired 4 souls and additional ichor. I now have enough ichor for another point of Martial Prowess, but still require 2 more souls. I also need 8 more souls to increase my Intellect and get another order slot. Turn 30 is coming up and will bring another Prestige bump from my enormous territorial holdings. I think I will remain in second place for the time being, however. If I should take the Pit of Tartarus, I will rapidly climb to first place, a dangerous position but one that could yield a win, particularly if Pandemonium becomes unassailable. I put in two more resource demands, we shall see what I get.

The Magistrate:

I’ve successfully cast Demonic Premonitions, which will help protect me from Deceit rituals, and which I can maintain by paying the cost each turn. But it does not protect me from Prophecy rituals, like the Dark Augury that Beowulf cast against me. At least I think it’s Beowulf; it’s possible another archfiend framed him. The Dark Augury will reveal something about my attributes, possessions, perks, or rituals, but I don’t know what was learned.

I have another three secret objectives to choose from, but these are less appetizing. Capturing and holding the Pillars of Malebolge — the Place of Power that Beowulf has, which grants him immunity to attribute loss — is tempting, but with my slothful legions I have little chance of capturing any military targets. It would take many turns just to reach Beowulf’s borders, not to mention the hassle of engineering a vendetta against him. My other choices are to hold 6 Unholy Relics at the end of the game, or to level up a praetor five times between now and the end of the game, which would require winning five single combat duels. Since my opponents are unlikely to actually engage Morax in single combat, the latter seems unlikely, so I have no choice but to take the objective to hold 6 relics. I have lots of money, so it’s not too bad, but I’d rather spend it on other things. Unfortunately, failing the objective will actually cost me Prestige, so I should try to do it.

In other news, Anonymoeba has failed his vendetta against Kivah, which makes me fairly certain they cut some kind of deal. Anonymoeba had ample opportunity to capture the Wood of Suicides, but did not. He’s now declared vendetta against Codename Duchess, however, and has moved his mountain-crossing legion next to Codename Duchess’ Garden of Infernal Delights. Kivah sends a derogatory email, saying he looks forward to another vendetta against Anonymoeba soon, and Anonymoeba replies, welcoming more war, but I suspect these are just misdirection to make it appear they are not colluding. Speaking of emails, Baleygr has called upon Beowulf to send his new Adamantine Guard to bolster Pandemonium’s defenses, and I second the motion.

As for my own affairs, it’s time once again to refill my coffers. I cast a Demand of Supplication and put in four tribute calls.

Anonymoeba:

The Darkwing Legion survived my Infernal Affliction barrage and the vendetta against Kivah is lost. Although losing the 16 Prestige I wagered is a major setback, compensation in the form of another, potentially fruitful vendetta against Codename Duchess is on! His Garden of Infernal Delights is still undefended, but Codename Duchess has the initiative on me, so he might be able to slip something nasty in there before my attack. I don’t want to risk it, so I’ll attach both Vassago and the Banner of the Flayed Apostate to my legion before I order the assault.

The Magistrate has cast another Burnt Offering and insulted me before the conclave. A revenge for my defense of Beowulf earlier (which also apparently led him to flip-flop on his accussations), perhaps? Interestingly, I drew the In Dreadful Deeds Fearless event just last turn, which grants a praetor the Infernal Order of the Crimson Skull, greatly boosting their dueling strength and making a vendetta by single combat of champions a potential option. I know that the Magistrate has Morax, who’s been presumably trained with powerful combat manuscripts, but my newly stolen praetor, Vassago, is also by default a decent fighter. Buffing him up with the event should still give me decent odds, so I decide to go for it. As everything seems to be going according to plan against Codename Duchess, it’s about time to start brewing a final strategy against my ultimate rival, that crooked plutocrat and gratuitous purchaser of books, The Magistrate! (name uttered with a clenched fist, the bitter shout of it echoing from the stronghold balcony during a thunderstorm, fading ominously in the dark horizon of the infernal plains ending in a dramatic electric guitar solo)

Codename Duchess:

Anonymoeba has failed in his vendetta against Kivah and no further change in power has occurred. Thankfully Kivah did not take the Place of Power contested between Anonymoeba and I. Anonymoeba has declared a vendetta against me and I have won the auction for both the Great Horn of Doom and Astarte. Anonymoeba and I are already within striking distance of each other so I imagine we’re about to trade Places of Power as we did before. I place Astarte on my Garden of Infernal Delights, hoping Anonymoeba will get greedy and not buff his own legion before attacking. With my second order, I order The Grinning Legion to retake the Summit of Mount Erebus.

Unfortunately, with my lack of order slots I can only do two things this turn, so I can’t also free my Slaves from within Anonymoeba’s territory. But I decide to stick to my plan. If I hold off Anonymoeba this turn I can remove my Slaves from his territory next turn. Besides, I want them to stay close to Anonymoeba’s stronghold, in the event I’m able to claim Blood Feud and make a killing blow.

Turn 29:

Codename Duchess:

Unfortunately Anonymoeba and I do trade Places of Power. This means he has succeeded in his vendetta and poor Astarte has been banished to the Abyss. My Slaves are also still trapped behind enemy lines. While this leaves me open to attack, I’m fine with it in terms of positioning against the only fiend I’m focused on. I am able to immediately make a demand against Anonymoeba and do so. I also move my Dark Stalkers north to support my Slaves in a coming conflict.

Then I get an email from Anonymoeba. He says it’s unfortunate that I wasn’t able to free my legion during the vendetta, and implies we might be able to arrange its release. He proposes that I send a demand to him this turn to that end. Since I was already going to demand him, I agree; perhaps I can turn this to my advantage.

Baleygr:

I caught a break! I got both souls and ichor. After consolidating some low-value souls cards into a single higher-value card, I will be ready to increase my Intellect and get a third order slot, finally. This will be followed immediately by another point of Martial Prowess and then I shall take the Pit of Tartarus and continue building my Martial Prowess to get a fourth order slot. I will wait to declare Blood Vassalage to The Magistrate until I take another blow; if I do not then I still have a shot at a win. My second order is another demand for resources. Hopefully I’ll get more souls and be able to get that point of Martial Prowess on the next turn.

The Magistrate:

Beowulf has used a Curse of Deceit on Morax. Curses were added in the free Rectification mini-expansion to the game, and I’ve never really encountered them before. Generated by his Grotesque Mask (which I had hoped to buy), this Curse seems to make Morax drain my Prestige by 5 points each turn for three turns. I guess Beowulf used his Dark Augury last turn to peek at my vault, allowing him to target Morax (who has been hanging out in my vault, unassigned to any legions or Places of Power and therefore not officially visible to others) with his Curse. Jerk!

Anonymoeba has refused my insult and claimed vendetta by single combat. He must not know that Morax is now an absolute beast in the ring. I almost feel sorry for whatever pathetic praetor Anonymoeba plans to send to the fight. But, Anonymoeba may have been smart here, since it cost me 8 Prestige to hurl the insult, and it will cost another 8 to wager on the duel. So if I win, I’ll merely break even in Prestige by getting double my wager. And he’ll break even too, since he gains 8 Prestige for refusing the insult, which he can then put right into the duel wager [Actually, this last bit is wrong; archfiends gain Prestige for refusing demands, not for refusing insults. –Ed]. So the only thing he’ll really lose is the praetor, and he will get a look at how strong Morax is.

But then I look up the rules for the Curse of Deceit, and discover that it also blocks a praetor’s special combat moves.

This is a disaster. Without his special moves Morax is just a fragile praetor who relies on the luck of the roll (for his variable-damage Infernal Bursts) to kill an enemy before dying himself. He barely defeated Kivah’s Haagenti (now returned from the Abyss by an event card) even with a special combat move. With chagrin I realize that Anonymoeba and Beowulf are conspiring against me, timing their moves so that Morax is cursed just as I face Anonymoeba in single combat. I try to determine if there’s a way Morax can still win. Morax does have decently high combat stats now, since I threw in some Manuals of Attack when training him, so he could throw out two (almost) fully-powered guarded attacks (4 attack skulls and 4 defense shields each), a full 5-skull attack, and three infernal bursts dealing 1-6 damage each. Given the praetors that Anonymoeba might have — which, I notice, now includes Vassago, who I believe he stole from Kivah during their vendetta — there’s still a chance Morax would come out on top. But Morax still only has 9 health, which is dangerously low, and losing him would be a great setback. Especially since I still need to insult all my opponents for my secret objective, and I therefore need a deterrent against single combat vendettas like this. And I know that Beowulf has seen Morax’s stats and will tell Anonymoeba.

Then again, if I lose Morax, I won’t have the Prestige drain from the Curse of Deceit anymore. With no Places of Power earning Prestige every turn, every point of Prestige is extra valuable to me. I decide to go for it, and send Morax into the ring anyway. I assign him a guarded attack, a melee attack, another guarded attack (with only 3 defense shields), and then three infernal bursts. Since the actual fight won’t happen until the turn after next, I also place a bid on the praetor Caim, so Anonymoeba will think I plan to send him in instead. He’ll also make a decent backup praetor in case I lose Morax.

I look over my huge tribute haul. There are a bunch of manuscripts, including Oath of Retribution Vol. 1, Rain of Brimstone Vol. 2 (I skip that one since Morax already knows the move), Machine of Omens Vol. 3 (giving me two pieces, with a third for sale in the Bazaar), Manual of Devotion Vol. 1 (I skip this since I don’t care about legions), Tentacle Rupture Vol. 2 (Vol. 3 for sale in the Bazaar), Rite of Infernal Awe Vol. 1, and the Machine of Gluttony Vols. 2 and 3. I already have Vol. 4, which means I’m only one piece away from being able to construct it! It will lower everyone else’s Charisma by 2 points, crippling their ability to bring in tribute and making them all hopping mad. Except Beowulf, with his Pillars of Malebolge stopping attribute loss…

And I also get a ton of resources. I use some to pay the Sons of Typhon for three more turns of service. What else should I do? I’d like to train the Sons of Typhon with my Ranged Training manuscripts, but it turns out I can’t train them and move them on the same turn. I decide to train them anyway, and move my personal legion to claim one more canton before the Infernal Census goes through next turn. Also, in addition to my bid on Caim, I bid on Tentacle Rupture Vol. 3 and Machine of Omens Vol. 2. Lastly I cast Burnt Offerings for more Prestige.

Anonymoeba:

I won the vendetta against Codename Duchess and the Garden of Infernal Delights is mine! In response, Codename Duchess took the Summit of Mount Erebus — the defense of which I completely neglected — with a counterattack, but I consider that a minor setback.

Passing this milestone demands a strategic overview:

I’m currently at 73 (+2/turn) base Prestige, which is not quite where I’d like to be, especially considering the 2×16 points I lost because of the screwed up vendetta against Kivah. Yet it’s not that far behind the current Prestige leaders: Codename Duchess at 138 (+3/turn), Baleygr at 120 (+3/turn) and Beowulf at 101 (+3/turn) Kivah’s at 48 and +2/turn and the Magistrate has 77 Prestige with no stable per turn income, but I’m expecting him to rise up fast if he keeps those Burnt Offerings rolling (+10/turn!). Which seems likely considering he’s still sitting in a comfy zone uncontested, and because the overall diplomatic situation seems to be in complete disarray.

My greatest advantage are my public and secret objectives, which amount to 60 extra Prestige. 30 from my public objective Lust (which simply requires me to hold on to the Garden of Infernal Delights until the end of the game) and 30 from secret objectives, although I still need to kill 2 legions to fulfill my second secret objective. That already evens up the gap. I’m making the bold assumption that I’m the only archfiend relying on secret objectives, since it’s a relatively rare strategy. If I’m going to capitalize on them, I’d ideally have to stay a bit behind the Prestige leaders so I’m not at the top of anybody’s threat list.

Anyway, before I can switch focus to the Magistrate, I’ll have to do something to de-escalate the situation with Codename Duchess. This is where his main legion, still trapped inside my realm, comes into play: I’ll open up a diplomatic channel with him and propose to arrange his legion’s escape in exchange for an informal truce, pointing out the danger The Magistrate presents if left unchecked. Looking at the situation from Codename Duchess’ point of view, he hasn’t really lost anything from our chain of vendettas, so he shouldn’t really have that heavy of axe to grind with me. He got his Summit of Mount Erebus back, and we practically just traded the +2 Prestige per turn Places of Power: his Garden of Infernal Delights to my Gates of Hell. Although he also has the Lust public objective that incentivizes holding the Garden, so that’s a minus for him. Nevertheless, his response to my diplomatic inquiry was positive and he definitely wants to free his legion. Should he try something funny, my main legion has actually grown stronger than his and I should at least be able to defend the Garden against any backstab attempts. He’ll make a demand against me this turn and we should work out a controlled vendetta from there.

As a hilarious coincidence, the Magistrate has made a public accusation that I’ve been conspiring with Beowulf because Morax, his powerful praetor, was afflicted with a Curse of Deceit (a manuscript that renders a praetor practically useless for a few turns) just before our scheduled single combat vendetta. According to public knowledge, only Beowulf has the capability to cast the ritual because of the Grotesque Mask relic attached to his stronghold. At first I think this is a trick but check the claim with Beowulf, who confirms it. Speak about luck of the devil, although I’m still using the In Dreadful Deeds Fearless event card this turn to boost my praetor with the Order of the Crimson Skull, just in case. I’m also not going to refute The Magistrate’s claim about conspiracy between me and Beowulf. Let him wallow in his paranoia!

Turn 30:

Baleygr:

I got more souls, 4 to be exact. I’ve increased my Intellect as one order this turn, so next turn I’ll have 3 order slots. I’ve got enough resources to gain a point of Martial Prowess also, but I think I should wait to do so until I have enough to gain two. That way I can power up, gain an order slot, take the Pit of Tartarus and regain a position of power all in one fell swoop.

I fear to go to war with most of my competitors. Both Codename Duchess and Kivah can jump around the map. Anonymoeba is potentially vulnerable, however I cannot get at any valuable targets of his. The Magistrate is a tempting target, and I have told him I’ll send fake demands his way for him to deny as a way of transferring Prestige for a Blood Vassal petition, which means I could easily claim vendetta instead. But he continues to pay for the damn mercenary Sons of Typhon who, even with upgrades, I cannot hope to challenge. That leaves me with the Pit of Tartarus which might provide my legion with a level up, but would also push me into first place making me a prime target for attack, a position currently unhappily occupied by Codename Duchess who has been pounded from all sides the last few turns. Next turn I should make a demand of The Magistrate and then pass on a vendetta when he declines, to lull him into a false sense of security and to lower my Prestige so I can take the Pit of Tartarus without immediately becoming target number one.

The Magistrate:

Anonymoeba has used an event card to grant Vassago the Order of the Crimson Skull. This boosts his combat stats tremendously, so he’s now at 12 attack skulls, 9 defense shields, and 4 infernal orbs, with 16 health. That health is the kicker; there’s no way Morax can win the duel now. I have to withdraw him and simply forfeit the fight. But, apparently I can’t just withdraw Morax after assigning him, all I can do is swap him out for a different praetor. So I have no option but to send my freshly acquired Caim to his death. Curses!

Also, Beowulf has insulted me. What, does he think that single combat is all I’m capable of? I refuse his insult and claim a standard vendetta with the goal of destroying his only legion. I can do that from afar with Destruction rituals. But, if Beowulf has decent Destruction power himself, he can try to Banish Morax, which will remove him from the game. Maybe it is a better idea to claim single combat. I think Morax’s curse should run out just before the fight commences, so as long as Beowulf doesn’t manage to steal him I should win. All right, single combat it is, and I make sure to keep paying for my Demonic Premonitions ritual to try to protect Morax from theft.

I can’t quite afford to cast Burnt Offerings this turn, so I cast a Demand of Supplication followed by four tribute calls. Bring me those sweet, sweet resources.

Anonymoeba:

Continuing my strategic ruminations from last turn, I decide that escalating aggression against Kivah will provide a fine extra source of Prestige. He has a weak military and generally unfavorable strategic position against me (both in terms of territory and turn initiative). Unlike Codename Duchess, fighting him shouldn’t require much resources or effort, so to play the bully I’m making a new demand against him this turn. I should be able to easily fulfil that secret objective by eventually killing a couple of his legions.

Speaking of secret objectives, I’m also drawing a new one to get some fresh potential directions of development from here. We’ll have to see how the deal with Codename Duchess goes. He sent me the agreed demand and we’ll keep negotiating on how to handle the details.

Other than that, Vassago is freshly crowned with the Crimson Skull and thirsting for battle against Magistrate’s champion, should he provide one this turn.

Codename Duchess:

Anonymoeba has awarded his praetor Vassago with the Infernal Order of the Crimson Skull. This provides Vassago huge dueling bonuses. Not really an issue for me, but Anonymoeba’s power continues to rise. He has an upcoming duel with The Magistrate, it will be interesting to see who triumphs.

The Infernal Census was conducted this turn and despite my setbacks I remain in the lead (9 Prestige points ahead of Baleygr, who other than losing a vendetta against The Magistrate has been fairly dormant). While I am waiting for Anonymoeba’s response to my demand I need to purchase a second praetor. Lacking much tribute, I demand some with both my orders.

As I wait for the turn to be processed, Anonymoeba reaches out to me again, and so begins a great game of intrigue and bargaining…

__________________________________________________

Next time: Will Baleygr manage to conquer the Pit of Tartarus? How will The Magistrate fare in his single combat duels, with Morax cursed? And what exactly are these intrigues and bargains between Codename Duchess and Anonymoeba? Stay tuned to find out!

EDIT: Read part 4 here.

Solium Infernum is available directly from developers Cryptic Comet.

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2 Responses to Infernal Medicine: Another Solium Infernum Diary (part 3)

  1. Some Sketchy Guy says:

    I’ve really loved this series, me and my friends recently got this game and we are very excited to play it (if we can find enough players)

    • waltorious says:

      Glad you’re enjoying it! I’m working on the fourth installment, so that will be up… eventually. It takes a long time to put these together!

      I’m also happy to see more players discover Solium Infernum. And I’m always up for another game, so let me know if you want to play.

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