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    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

DaEvilNome

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This time around, this will only be one post!
I ran through a fairly quick game, originally intending to do a more in-depth AAR, but came up with this idea and wanted to give it a shot instead.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
My beloved, you have grown so quickly.
In body. In spirit. In mind.
I am proud of you.
I am so proud of you.
Soon, you will reach that age where you no longer want stories spoken to you.
Soon, you will stretch out on your own and seek your own light.
Soon, you will begin to leave behind the places where you first took root.
I would like to tell you a story, one that was told to me when I was as you are now.
It is a story of The Thirteen:
Our Gods, Our Saviors, Our Inspiration.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Forgotten Founder
Mother of Drakes & Titans
Patron of Explorers & Civilization

Stories tell that The Forgotten Founder was Mother to us all.
All roots lead to her, all seeds sprout in her name, and all light is filled with her warmth.
She is the drive to explore, the drive to take root, the drive to seek, and the drive to claim.
The first Season of every year is hers, as is the first day of every fortnight.
She is the dawn's light and the advent of life.
We thank her first.


Drakes & Titans

To us, Titans are a thing of myth and legend. I'm sure that to you, the name must summon up images of towering monsters being challenged by great heroes. The real Titans were very different. They were the forgotten children of other times, the abandoned remains of what came before the beginning, and the lonely guardians of forgotten wealth and knowledge. When The Forgotten Founder learned of the truth of their nature, she wept for them and sought to foster them as her own.


What Came Before

It is important to remember that The Thirteen were not the first ones to walk the stars. Long before their stories began, there were Others. These Others did not take root, did not eternally grow, did not rejoice in the repeating cycles that define us all. These Others grew, stagnated, fell, and refused to grow again - in knowing defiance of the way of things. The Forgotten Founder pitied them, and lamented their self-inflicted suffering.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Hiielar The Faceless
Savior of The First War
Patron of Soldiers & Protection

Stories tell that Hiielar The Faceless was Savior to us all.
All soldiers follow her path, all seeking protection find it in her presence, and all who do ill fear her.
She is the drive to fight, the drive to protect, the drive to shield, and the drive to defy.
The second Season of every year is hers, as is the second day of every fortnight.
She is the root's strength and the thorn's fury.
We thank her second.


The First War

The Titans, Drakes, and Others were not to only ones to walk the stars with The Thirteen. Many of The Young, like us, were found in their celestial wanderings. In time, all would embrace The Thirteen joyously. At first, however, many were hesitant. Many needed an intervention of faith: a strong force to guide them in the right direction. Of these many, only the second of their number would strike against The Thirteen - futilely and impotently. For this sin, they were forgiven and lovingly, patiently, guided.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ruuber The Treasurer
Daughter of The Signal
Patron of Wealth & Growth

Stories tell that Ruuber The Treasurer invested in us all.
All wealth comes from her, all growth is guided by her hand, and all who cultivate do so in her name.
She is the drive to flourish, the drive to invest, the drive to build, and the drive to grow.
The third Season of every year is hers, as is the third day of every fortnight.
She is the harvest's beauty and fruitful bounty.
We thank her third.


The Signal

Ruuber The Treasurer listened to the space between spaces and heard the whispering of the future that has come before, the past that is yet to come. In these whispers, Ruuber The Treasurer learned of ancient temples yet to be built, which waited patiently to be rediscovered and refilled with the prayers of the faithful. She led The Young to the halls foretold by The Signal's whispers, and rebuilt the future faith.


The Rebirth

The investments of Faith laid down by Ruuber The Treasurer reinvented us into what we had been before. In so doing, she taught us the important lesson that sometimes the key to evolution is looking backwards. Under her guidance, we were reborn: our minds and bodies reshaped into forms that could better perceive the truth of the faith, and better serve The Thirteen and their Worm-In-Waiting.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Visto'fane The Mystery
Child of The Worm
Patron of Mystics & Change

Stories tell that Visto'fane The Mystery unlocked the Divine in us all.
All knowledge comes from her, all wisdom is guided by her hand, and all who learn do so in her name.
She is the drive to learn, the drive to invent, the drive to understand, and the drive to teach.
The fourth Season of every year is hers, as is the fourth day of every fortnight.
She is the night's mystery and noon's clarity.
We thank her fourth.


The Divine In Us All

Visto'fane The Mystery did not remake us as Ruuber The Treasurer had. Visto'fane The Mystery instead taught us the secrets of our new forms, the mysteries of the mind, the magics of divinity, and the truths that exceed science. Through her gifts and guidance, each of us is given a chance to aspire to become more than what we are.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Visto'fane The Conqueror
Destroyer of Paradise
Patron of Conquerors & Victory

Stories tell that Visto'fane The Conqueror inspired the spirit of victory in us all.
All conquest follows from her, all victories are given at her behest, and all who contest honor her.
She is the drive to dominate, the drive to control, the drive to seize, and the drive to enforce.
The fifth Season of every year is hers, as is the fifth day of every fortnight.
She is the storm's wrath and the fire's burn.
We thank her fifth.


Worm-In-Waiting

It was Visto'fane The Conqueror who, in a brief period between her numberless battles, cleaved a hole in time and space large enough for the Worm-In-Waiting to emerge. It was Visto'fane The Conqueror who guided The Young to embrace the Worm-In-Waiting, the miraculous ruining of our ancestral paradise, and the holy violation of our genetic code.


Taming The Titan

Visto'fane The Conqueror collared the great Titan, beloved of The Forgotten Founder. Rather than stand in splendid isolation, The Titan was given to the yoke of The Young - sent to protect and honor them in the name of The Thirteen.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Gaulth The Trickster
Keeper of The Awakened
Patron of Intrigue & Wit

Stories tell that Gaulth The Trickster cast a shadow of protection over us all.
All deceit is his, all secrets are his to keep, and all who mislead earn his smile.
He is the drive to conceal, the drive to trick, the drive to sneak, and the drive to disguise.
The sixth Season of every year is his, as is the sixth day of every fortnight.
He is the cloud's shadow and the poison's subtlety.
We thank him sixth.



It was Gaulth The Trickster who fooled The Others to rejoin the natural cycle, and it was him who misdirected their wrath from The Young. Through his lessons, we were able to chase them off: despite their strength, despite their numbers, despite their arrogance. By his example, we incited them to follow us in endless and fruitless pursuits - while we bided our time. In his name, we exhausted them until they retired. By his shadow, we survived.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ziuus The Visionary
Father of The Scourge
Patron of Survivors & Resolve

Stories tell that Ziuus The Visionary taught the value of survival to us all.
All survivors cling to him, all sanctuaries are his, and all who persevere are guided by him.
He is the drive to survive, the drive to fight, the drive to run, and the drive to hide.
The seventh Season of every year is his, as is the seventh day of every fortnight.
He is the hope for tomorrow and the rain's promise.
We thank him seventh.



The Scourge

The Scourge did not have a single name, a single face, or a clear purpose beyond mindless consumption and destruction. Stars blinked into darkness with their passing. Siuus The Visionary did not offer The Young salvation or victory, but the challenge of survival - the challenge of proving our worth through deeds. The Scourge devoured worlds, destroyed armies, killed The Drake, and ended civilizations. We lost friends whose names we have long forgotten, teachers whose knowledge is forever lost, artists whose works will go on unmade, but Siuus The Visionary did not deliver us from The Scourge.


Gifts of The Visionary

What Siuus The Visionary did was grant us were the tools to defend ourselves with, the means to fight back against the Scourge - and the resolve to refuse the almost certain promise of extinction. When The Scourge invaded, we sent ships. When the ships fell, we trained armies. When the armies fell, we created militias. The Scourge was held back - but at heavy and constant cost.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Gaulth The Shelter
Breaker of Tides
Patron of Sailors & Storms

Stories tell that Gaulth The Shelter gave the strength to overcome to us all.
All storms end by him, all clear skies are his, and all who defy adversity honor him.
He is the drive to stand tall, the drive to laugh bravely, the drive to awaken, and the drive to defy.
The eighth Season of every year is his, as is the eighth day of every fortnight.
He is the morning's arrival and the storm's end.
We thank him eighth.


Gaulth The Shelter taught The Young that the strength we required for survival and victory could be found within ourselves. By his inspiration, we rallied. Scourge swarms were destroyed in great multitudes, and their worlds burnt to ash. We outmaneuvered their wrath where we could, and withstood it where we could not. Gaulth The Shelter did not give us victory: he gave us hope.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Viiridi The Reclaimer
Sword of Vengeance
Patron of Revenge & Justice

Stories tell that Viiridi The Reclaimer gave justice to us all.
All wrongs are rights by him, all laws are his, and all who serve justice serve him.
He is the drive to do right, the drive to show mercy, the drive be merciless, and the drive to be absolute.
The ninth Season of every year is his, as is the ninth day of every fortnight.
He is a heart full of pride and a soul fulfilled.
We thank him ninth.




Reclaimation

Viiridi The Reclaimer joined the armies of The Young in the last days of The Scourge. He led us to their greatest hives, guided our arms against them, and delivered justice unto us. He granted to us tools which would deliver us from any future foe. By his blessing, we began to rebuild on what had been torn down and to return to stars that had once been rightfully ours.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Gaulth The Generous
Benefactor of The Weak
Patron of the Poor & Charity

Stories tell that Gaulth The Generous taught charity to us all.
All goodness flows through him, all kindness is his, and all who serve one another serve him.
He is the drive to help, the drive to care, the drive be selfless, and the drive to use power well.
The tenth Season of every year is his, as is the tenth day of every fortnight.
He is a warm embrace and smiling stranger.
We thank him tenth.

Gaulth The Generous helped us to learn how to use our gifts and newfound power responsibly. Under his tutelage: we ended tyrants, united peoples, and took no spoils of conquest for ourselves. In his name, we grew to be beloved - even by our enemies.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ziuus The Defiant
Champion of The Unlikely
Patron of Luck & Fortune

Stories tell that Ziuus The Defiant gave luck to us all.
All fortune comes from him, all luck is his, and all who take chances do so at his whim.
He is the drive to gamble, the drive to take risks, the drive to be daring, and the drive to try new things.
The eleventh Season of every year is his, as is the eleventh day of every fortnight.
He is jovial laughter and rolling dice.
We thank him eleventh.


It was by the grace of Ziuss The Defiant that the mysteries of The Drake were not left forever lost. On a world far from The Drake's home, another was found - dead long before the other had been born. With this boon, we were able to investigate mysteries that we had feared to be forever lost.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Viiridi The Usurper
Slayer of The Ancient
Patron of Cycles & Regrowth

Stories tell that Viiridi The Usurper gave the stars to us all.
All space comes from him, all time is his, and all who embrace the truth are his.
He is the drive to improve, the drive to cast down, the drive to reach zenith, and the drive to rule.
The eleventh Season of every year is his, as is the eleventh day of every fortnight.
He is thunder and flooding.
We thank him twelfth.

Viiridi The Usurper led us in our final victories against The Others. Victory came at great cost. Engines of industry and war burned across the galaxy for decades. While victory on the ground was easy, victory among the stars was costly. It wasn't uncommon for a fleet to sacrifice itself to ensure the safe invasion of one of their worlds. Viiridi The Usurper championed our forces through the decades, and handed the triplet capitol worlds of The Others to us.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Viiridi The Uniter
Empress of The Young
Patron of Fertility & Peace

Stories tell that Viiridi The Uniter unified us all.
All social order comes from her, all cooperation is hers, and all who stand together serve her.
She is the drive to come together, the drive to embrace, the drive to love, and the drive to spread life.
The thirteenth Season of every year is hers, as is the thirteen day of every fortnight.
She is budding seedlings and soft rain.
We thank her thirteenth.


Viiridi The Uniter brought together all of The Young, binding us under one banner and one faith. After doing so, she entrusted us with a sacred mission: your creation. Just as The Thirteen gave us direction, guidance, and wisdom - so we were instructed to do for you. You were the last gift given to us by The Thirteen.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Beloved, you know as well as I that there are 14 seasons - and 14 days in a fortnight.
They do not belong to anyone.
Not yet.
Just as we were given the gift of Divinity,
Just as The Thirteen were once among The Young,
so too have you been made Divine,
and so too will you one day become The Fourteenth.
I believe in you, my beloved.
We all do.

You are the love and hope of us all.
All of our dreams are yours, all of our work is yours, all of our legacy is for you.
You are why we've achieved, why we fought, why we learned, why we endured.
The last Season is every year is yours, as is the last day of every fortnight.
You are whatever you want to be.
We thank you.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -​
 
Last edited:

volksmarschall

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Here's to a new endeavor in the far beyond that is the final frontier! :cool: I must say, glad I've never met a Viiridi, I'd faint at first sight! :p

Will be watching again. Good luck.
Cheers!
 

Nikolai

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Wow. This was a fantastic read. So poetic. So good. Thank you for sharing this.:)