Game-related ramblings.

Hell Or High Water: A Solium Infernum Diary (part 5)

If you are unfamiliar with Solium Infernum, you may wish to read my earlier post about the game. And you should definitely read part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 first. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Last time, my archfiend pair Rufus and Big Beak had finally managed to arrange a duel in the Grand Arena of Pandemonium for their praetor champion, Morax, against the champion of Beowulf. Rufus and Big Beak’s Arena Gambler perk gives them double Prestige rewards for single combat victories, so I’m hoping this will be the start of a long string of victories. Here is what happened.

Turn 19:

My turn log, pictured above, is cruel. It is filled with unimportant bits of news, instead of telling me the outcome of the duel. Beowulf has demanded Xaklyth, and Nameless ex-autocrat has demanded Beowulf, big deal. Oh, and I’ve increased Rufus and Big Beak’s Cunning to 1! Thanks turn log, I already knew that, I literally just paid for that last turn. The announcement that the Infernal Conclave has recognized Morax as my champion for the duel is especially irksome. Yes! I know that! I have to scroll down to see the result.

Morax has fought to a draw against Zuul. The import of this does not register at first. A draw isn’t so bad, is it? At least Morax wasn’t defeated. But then I keep reading. Both champions have been banished to the Abyss for their shameful performance. Both Houses have forfeited the Prestige they wagered on the outcome of the duel.

This is a disaster.

I spent 18 in-game turns — weeks of real time — setting up this duel, and I’ve ended up in an even worse position than where I started. Not only have I lost Morax, upon whom I was pinning my hopes for Arena victories, but Rufus and Big Beak are left with only a single point of Prestige, and no clear way to earn more. I do some quick math. In order for another duel to be worthwhile, Rufus and Big Beak would need at least 21 Prestige, so they could spend some on a demand and then wager the rest on the fight. With only 1 Prestige, they can’t take any diplomatic actions at all. What am I going to do now?

I take a look at what happened in the Arena. Things begin well, with Morax’s first Infernal Burst hitting Zuul for 6 damage — the maximum amount — while she uselessly tries to block. Zuul hedges her bets with a guarded attack in the second phase, but Morax blocks it easily. But Morax’s second block is useless, because Zuul opted for her own Infernal Burst in phase three, doing 4 damage. The fourth phase is a rough one; Morax’s Infernal Burst only hits for 2 damage, but he has no defense against Zuul’s attack. In fact, he would have been killed that round, if not for luck, signified by the golden clover. Morax and Zuul each have 2 luck, which means they’ll get a bonus between 0 and 2 every combat phase. Zuul gets a +1 bonus, making her total attack score 5, but Morax gets +2, so he’s able to block 2 damage and only take 3, barely evading death. In phase 5, Morax and Zuul kill each other.

As I mull this over I begin to realize just how stupid I’ve been. I knew that Zuul had 3 Infernal Orbs, enough to throw an Infernal Burst of her own, but since I can’t defend against Infernal Bursts I wasn’t worrying about it. But practically it means Morax would have had to guess correctly with both of his melee blocks in order to evade death. I’m lucky I managed to come away from this with a draw rather than a straight defeat.

I never should have sent Morax into the ring before getting him trained. If I’d collected manuscripts to teach Morax special moves, I could have used his 12 Infernal Orbs to generate defensive auras, or launch more powerful attacks to kill opponents quickly. Instead I threw everything away on a fight with low odds of victory. I don’t even have a backup praetor to turn to. Rufus and Big Beak are terrible lanistas.

While I mull over what to do, I check the rest of the turn log. There’s not much of importance, except the news that someone has purchased the Great Scythe, an infernal artifact that can be attached to a legion to give it a chance to heal from melee damage inflicted to an enemy. I also look over the map. It seems that Baleyolfynn is marching northwest towards the unclaimed Place of Power near Xaklyth’s southern border. I’d wondered if he might have his eye on it, but he’d stopped to heal for a few turns first. I consider whether I can use a low-level Deceit ritual to stop him from attacking, but the turn order is such that he’ll act before I do. Oh well.

A Conclave token was drawn this turn, so we’re on 5 out of 15. One third of the way through the game, or maybe less since the tokens will come faster for each one drawn. I don’t think I have enough time to build back up for more praetor duels, and my military strength is still pathetic. Perhaps I should focus on magic instead. I’ve just boosted Rufus and Big Beak’s Cunning to 1; with higher levels they’ll be able to cast all manner of Deceit rituals on opponents at any time, stealing their stuff or otherwise messing with their plans. With high enough Deceit, I can even mask my own rituals and use direct Destruction against my opponents without getting into a vendetta first. I also desperately need higher statistics so I can get more order slots and get more done each turn.

Speaking of which, the unholy relic known as the Dreaming Head is for sale in the Bazaar, offering its owner a boost to their Prophecy power. This would put Rufus and Big Beak’s Prophecy at 4, enough to unlock another order slot. I can’t afford it now, but I should keep an eye on it. For now, I put in a call for more tribute and raise Rufus and Big Beak’s Cunning to 2.

Turn 20:

My opponents are up to all sorts of diplomacy. Inquis has demanded Beowulf, and Xaklyth has refused Beowulf’s demand from last turn. For his part, Beowulf has conceded to Nameless ex-autocrat’s demand, giving him the requested number of tribute cards to prevent a vendetta. There’s also been another Infernal Census, granting each archfiend 1 Prestige per canton of territory under their control. This gives me 7 Prestige for a total of 8. I should have remembered the census was coming! I could have used one of my order slots last turn to march my personal legion and claim two more cantons, for another 2 Prestige this turn. Oh well.

Nameless ex-autocrat has hired the legion known as the Fulminata. It also looks like he’s marched his personal legion north to threaten Beowulf’s Garden of Infernal Delights. But since Beowulf conceded to his demand, he’ll have to wait for an invasion. Inquis has attached the praetor Furfur to his Order of the Flame, letting me see that he’s boosted Furfur’s attack power after his earlier victory in the Arena. Most surprising, however, is Baleyolfynn. Instead of attacking the unclaimed Place of Power, he’s headed north into Xaklyth’s territory, and has captured one of his cantons. I am legitimately bewildered by this at first, until I realize that Xaklyth had actually claimed vendetta on Baleyolfynn a few turns back, when I was busy planning Morax’s combat moves for his ill-fated duel. Apparently that vendetta is still going on; without a vendetta or blood feud, capturing another’s territory is impossible.

As for me, my tribute offering only has 1 soul in it. I need more souls to boost Rufus and Big Beak’s attributes and get more order slots. I decide to play the Event card that Rufus and Big Beak have been holding, which will give every archfiend a boost to the quality of tribute delivered for a few turns. My second order is a request for tribute, which will hopefully benefit from the boost. I’m going to spend some time filling the coffers.

Turn 21:

The diplomacy drama continues. Beowulf concedes to Inquis’ demand, and chooses not to claim vendetta on Xaklyth. He must be feeling the pressure as everyone hassles him. I’m also informed that Xaklyth has failed in his vendetta against Baleyolfynn. Nameless ex-autocrat hires another legion known as the Cthonian Crawlers. My Event has taken effect, and it has indeed improved my tribute offer, which even includes a piece of the Rite of Aether Rupture manuscript. If I can find all three pieces of that, I can use it to boost Rufus and Big Beak’s Intellect attribute by two points.

Speaking of manuscripts, someone has purchased the manuscript Sinew Slice Vol. 2, which can teach a new combat move to a praetor if both pieces are found. It’s been replaced by Machine of Gluttony Vol. 3. Machines are special four-part manuscripts that, when assembled, will lower every other archfiend’s statistics. The Machine of Gluttony is probably the most dangerous, because it lowers opponents’ Charisma statistic by two points, crippling their ability to gain tribute. There are now three out of the four pieces available for sale in the Bazaar.

I should probably try to buy these. Assembling the Machine would be a huge setback to my opponents, and I definitely don’t want any of them assembling it and ruining my day. It’s bad timing though. I should be demanding tribute from my minions while my tribute-boosting Event is in effect. And I also want to buy the Dreaming Head to get a third order slot unlocked. But I can’t afford both the Dreaming Head and one of the manuscripts, and I decide it’s too dangerous to wait on those. I place bids on the Machine of Gluttony volumes 1 and 3.

Turn 22:

I’m greeted with the news that Baleyolfynn has captured the Mouth of Abbadon. Checking the map, I see that he needed to cross Xaklyth’s territory to do this. The vendetta between Xaklyth and Baleyolfynn doesn’t make sense to me. Baleyolfynn simply marched through Xaklyth’s territory, capturing the two cantons he needed to get past, and Xaklyth didn’t do anything about it. Could they actually be working together? Xaklyth hasn’t been taking any obvious actions recently. What if this whole vendetta was a ruse, an excuse to transfer some territory? If Xaklyth has less Prestige and half the territory that Baleyolfynn has, he could become Baleyolfynn’s Blood Vassal, combining their Prestige to make a joint bid for the throne. Hmm…

Beowulf has hurled an insult at Nameless ex-autocrat, daring him to claim a vendetta in response. Namless ex-autocrat has marched his Cthonian Crawlers west, so they sit south of Pandemonium, the capital city. I also get a courier message from Inquis, telling me that Nameless ex-autocrat is preparing to strike against Baleyolfynn, and suggesting we try to cut off his stronghold from the rest of his territory so we can take him out. He also hints I might buy the Gorgons, who are still available for hire in the Bazaar after Beowulf finished with them, to help get me back in the game. Unfortunately, attacking an opponent’s stronghold is not so simple; a mere vendetta is not enough, one needs a Blood Feud. And even if I had the Gorgons, I’m not in much position to threaten anyone. I’ll wait and see what happens.

Someone has hired the praetor Malacoda, who has been replaced in the Bazaar by Orias, a decent duelist. Also, someone has purchased the Machine of Gluttony Vol. 2 manuscript, but I won the bid for volumes 1 and 3. Looks like it was a good call to go after those; I just wish I’d had three order slots and could have bid on all three. My event that boosts tribute quality is still going, so I decide to make two tribute calls this turn.

Before the next turn is processed, Nameless ex-autocrat sends an email out to everyone, accusing me of collecting the pieces of the Machine of Gluttony. This sparks a slew of accusations. He claims I’ve acquired two pieces of the manuscript, and he acquired the third to stop me from assembling it. I respond by noting that the only way he could tell I’d purchased the manuscripts is if I outbid him for them, so he was clearly trying to acquire them himself. Nameless ex-autocrat claims he intentionally under-bid on the other pieces to find out who else was bidding on them, but I counter with the accusation that he was clearly trying to buy them all and simply couldn’t afford them.

I also voice my suspicions about Xaklyth and Baleyolfynn, accusing Xaklyth of letting Baleyolfynn through his territory without a fight. Xaklyth denies this, claiming he simply underestimated Baleyolfynn’s resistance. For his part, Baleyolfynn claims that Xaklyth was simply inept with his vendetta, and that Baleyolfynn took advantage of the situation. I scoff, asking if we are to believe that Xaklyth was unable to land a single Destruction ritual for the entire vendetta? We know he performed the Rite of Blood, so he must have considerable skill with Destruction. I even drop a hint that Xaklyth may have the Power Behind the Throne perk, which would mean that if he became a Blood Vassal and his Blood Lord won the game, he would win instead. Baleyolfynn responds by sending this screenshot:

So it seems that Baleyolfynn was able to resist all of Xaklyth’s Destruction rituals. I wonder where his insurmountable resistance comes from…

Turn 23:

Nameless ex-autocrat has refused Beowulf’s insult and claimed vendetta. It looks like there’s going to be a big fight, as they both have legions amassed near their borders, ready to battle over the Theater of Sloth and the Garden of Infernal Delights. I’ll have to keep an eye on this conflict.

My tribute includes volume 3 of the manuscript for the Rite of Aether Rupture, which means I now have two of the three pieces. If I can get all three, performing the Rite would boost Rufus and Big Beak’s Intellect to 5, which would also grant them an extra order slot. Alternatively, I could buy the Dreaming Head, which would boost their Intellect to 4 to provide the extra order slot. I decide to wait on making purchases for now, so I can take advantage of the continuing tribute quality boost. If I’m able to find the last piece of the Rite, I can purchase the Grotesque Mask instead of the Dreaming Head, since it provides +1 Prestige per turn and also a chance to gain a curse of Deceit any time an archfiend performs a Deceit ritual.

I’m Regent this turn, which means I’ve drawn another Event card. This one is Torment, which targets another archfiend and lowers one of their attributes by 1. Unfortunately, it costs 10 Prestige to play, and Rufus and Big Beak need every point of Prestige they can get. A Conclave token was also drawn, so we’re at 6 out of 15 before the game will end. As for my orders, I consider using Deceit Rituals to mess with Beowulf and Nameless ex-autocrat — by preventing their legions from moving, for example — but decide against it. I want to take advantage of the boosted tribute, so I make two tribute calls instead.

Before the next turn is processed, Inquis emails me to brag about how “they” (presumably referring to Nameless ex-autocrat and himself) are striking a great blow against Beowulf, and will soon turn their attentions to Baleyolfynn. He also says he’ll give me manuscripts at some point. I’m not sure what that’s about. I mean, I wouldn’t say no, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

Turn 24:

Well, that was fast. Nameless ex-autocrat’s vendetta against Beowulf is already over. He captured the Garden of Infernal Delights, even though I didn’t think his legion was quite powerful enough to do it. It may have just gotten a lucky die roll during the combat, or maybe he boosted his legion with a combat card or something. Beowulf didn’t seem to move; his legions weren’t powerful enough to capture the Theater of Sloth while it was receiving battle support from Nameless ex-autocrat’s Fulminata, who have the special ability to provide double the battle support that other legions would. This victory also means that Beowulf is cut off from his other Place of Power, the Vaults of Avarice, so he won’t be able to defend it easily. I notice that the Garden of Infernal Delights has 3 HP now, does that mean Nameless ex-autocrat’s Healing Rate is up to 3? His legion is also at full health.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any more manuscripts with my tribute, and the tribute-boosting Event has ended. I debate bidding on the Dreaming Head. I have enough resources to directly increase Rufus and Big Beak’s Intellect to 4 for the extra order slot, and I’ll still have plenty of darkness left over to boost their Deceit (although I’ll need more souls). It comes down to whether the Curse of Prophecy ability from the Dreaming Head will be useful, or if the Curse of Deceit ability from the Grotesque Mask will be better. I expect to see a lot more Deceit rituals thrown around than Prophecy rituals, so I decide to pay for a direct increase in Intellect, and use my second order slot for a tribute call.

Turn 25:

Nameless ex-autocrat has demanded Baleyolfynn. It seems Inquis’ earlier information, about turning attentions towards Baleyolfynn next, was correct. Beowulf has refused Inquis’ demand, which apparently happened last turn, but I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Also, someone has purchased the Black Monolith, a relic which can be attached to a Place of Power to render it immune to capture by an enemy. It’s been replaced in the Bazaar by the Tongue of the Liar, which boosts an Archfiend’s Deceit power. This would be very useful both for getting access to more powerful Deceit rituals and for unlocking yet another order slot. Unfortunately, someone has hired the praetor Decarabia, who would have made a good duelist, and he’s been replaced by Bifrons, who most definitely would not make a good duelist.

I didn’t get any souls with my tribute, so I can’t boost any more attributes just yet. But since I raised Rufus and Big Beak’s Intellect to 4, I’ve finally got myself three order slots. I should have arranged that long ago. What to do with them? Mostly I need more resources, so I’ll make two tribute calls, and use the third order slot to march my legion to capture some unclaimed territory so I’ll get a bigger Prestige boost when the next Infernal Census goes through.

I’ve just had a thought. With a Deceit level of four, archfiends are able to cast a ritual known as Secret Manipulation, which, if successful, allows them to move another archfiend’s legion as if it were their own. Beowulf has a legion that’s sitting close to the capital city of Pandemonium. If someone were to cast Secret Manipulation on it and march it on the city, Beowulf would be excommunicated for his supposed treason. Then we could all move in and crush him without the need for vendettas, conquer his stronghold and eliminate him from the game.

Rufus and Big Beak don’t have enough Deceit power to manage this, but I suspect that Inquis does. I email him with this plan to see what he thinks. He says that right now he wants to keep Beowulf alive, as a buffer against Baleyolfynn. I’m not sure I agree with his reasoning, but decide to drop the issue. Inquis also says that once he’s captured Beowulf’s Place of Power he’ll send me some hellfire, which is nice.

Turn 26:

Nameless ex-autocrat has sent an emissary to Beowulf. What!? Just a few turns ago they were at war. Beowulf is still the Prestige leader. What is Nameless ex-autocrat up to? I email Inquis to ask if he knows who his allies are, but he just laughs it off. At this point I realize that when I sent my own emissary to Inquis many turns ago, the other archfiends were all notified. If I’d known that, I might have been more reluctant to send it.

Baleyolfynn concedes to Nameless ex-autocrat’s demand. Baleyolfynn has also started marching again, taking his huge legion back south through what used to be Xaklyth’s domain. Inquis claims vendetta on Beowulf, and it looks like he intends to capture Beowulf’s Wood of the Suicides, and cut it off from Beowulf’s territory while he’s at it. He’s placed the praetor Malacoda in command of his Accursed Company, who will support his Order of the Flame on the front lines. But the attack will take at least two turns since Inquis’ slothful perk means he can only move his legions one canton at a time.

I got enough souls in my tribute to raise Rufus and Big Beak’s Cunning to 3, which will give them some more Deceit power. But I really want to get it to 4, which will not only provide another order slot, but will also enable Rituals that can steal other archfiend’s praetors, which I can then use to try to set up more single combat vendettas for extra Prestige wins. The Tongue of the Liar would be very helpful for that, but I can’t afford to bid on it and boost Cunning. I decide to hold off until I have some more resources. I march my legion to capture another two cantons, and make two tribute calls.

Turn 27:

Inquis’ Accursed Company has been destroyed by an Event card. He’s not going to be happy about that.

Beowulf has also accepted Nameless ex-autocrat’s gifts, and someone has purchased the Dreaming Head. But it looks like Inquis was able to get his Order of the Flame into position to strike at the Wood of the Suicides, capturing a canton from Beowulf and cutting the Wood off from Beowulf’s forces. Maybe he can still pull this off?

As I look over the map for other developments, it takes a while before I realize something is missing. Baleyolfynn’s massive legion… it’s gone! What happened? There’s nothing in my turn log, it just seems to have disappeared. As I take a closer look I realize that he must have marched against the Altar of Abomination, a neutral Place of Power, and lost the battle. But this doesn’t make sense; he should have been able to win easily, with the praetor Temeluchas in command boosting the legion’s melee stat to a whopping 15.

As I ponder this, an interesting possibility comes to mind: what if someone used Deceit to steal Temeluchas just before the assault? A suitably devious thing for an archfiend to do. Unfortunately it means I can’t steal Temeluchas myself; I wasn’t able to boost Rufus and Big Beak’s Deceit power in time. I’ll have to find another way to get my hands on a praetor for duels. All the ones on offer in the Bazaar are terrible, so I’ll have to steal one from someone else. I’ll focus on boosting Rufus and Big Beak’s attributes and getting more order slots for now. If I can get their Deceit power to 5, I can use ritual masking to start throwing Destruction rituals around without consequence, which will be another way to generate Prestige. Hopefully it will be enough; another token was drawn this turn, so we’re at 7 out of 15. I decide to bid on the Tongue of the Liar, march my legion to capture two more cantons, and demand tribute.

Soon, the emails begin. Inquis is furious about losing his legion, pointing the finger at Beowulf and accusing him of destroying Baleyolfynn’s legion as well. Beowulf responds, and tries to implicate Inquis in destroying Baleyolfynn’s legion instead. Before chiming in, I crunch the next turn.

Turn 28:

The turn log isn’t too interesting this turn. Baleyolfynn has hired the legion known as the Illuminatus. I win the Tongue of the Liar. Another Conclave token has been drawn, putting us at 8 out of 15. The map, however, proves more interesting. It looks like Inquis tried to attack the Wood of the Suicides but fought to a standoff. Beowulf has placed the praetor Decarabia in command of the garrison at the Wood of the Suicides, which may be why. But also it looks like Inquis’ Furfur, who was in command of his Order of the Flame, is gone. Could it be the same archfiend who stole Baleyolfynn’s Temeluchas?

If I can power up Rufus and Big Beak’s Deceit power, I can try to steal Decarabia away from Beowulf next turn. I place the Tongue of the Liar in my ritual chamber so others won’t know I have it, pay to boost Rufus and Big Beak’s Cunning, and put in a call for tribute.

At this point I realize I should join the emails that are being thrown around. With Inquis’ Furfur conspicuously missing, I can implicate Beowulf as the one who’s been stealing praetors. I send an email (as Big Beak) going through my logic, pointing out that Baleyolfynn’s loss was due to losing Temeluchas, and that Beowulf seems to have played the same trick on Inquis to thwart his invasion. Baleyolfynn confirms that Temeluchas was stolen, and claims that he had taken precautions to defend against Deceit, so whoever did it must be powerful indeed. Does this mean that Baleyolfynn has the Amulet of Shadows, a relic which boosts one’s resistance to Deceit?

The next email is a public proclamation, from Inquis, that Nameless ex-autocrat is a fool. I send him a personal email asking what Nameless ex-autocrat did, and Inquis responds that he made a diplomatic faux pas, not realizing the threat that Beowulf represents. From this I gather that Inquis hoped to secure Nameless ex-autocrat’s help in his vendetta against Beowulf, but was refused. Nameless ex-autocrat, for his part, responds by pointing suspicion towards those archfiends who have had time to build their power and lust for the throne. I take this as a thinly veiled accusation that one of us may attempt to seize Pandemonium by force, rather than through Prestige. Inquis and Nameless ex-autocrat trade barbs for a while, and even Beowulf jumps in to chastise Inquis for his failed attack. Inquis responds by accusing Beowulf of receiving aid from Xaklyth.

Turn 29:

Someone has attempted a Dark Augury ritual on me, which fails. This is a Prophecy ritual which would reveal information about Rufus and Big beak to the caster. It’s generally not that useful, since higher Prophecy power simply provides more options for what information is revealed and therefore less chance of getting the information one wants. I wonder if the caster did so simply to try to generate a Curse of Prophecy? Someone did buy the Dreaming Head recently, after all.

Inquis sends me an emissary and a message, saying that with his inability to capture Beowulf’s Place of Power, he fears his own ambitions have ground to a halt and he may soon be destroyed. He sends this offering as repayment for my earlier aid. I must choose whether to accept the emissary, refuse it and send the resources back to Inquis, or humiliate it to gain Prestige but give Inquis the option to declare vendetta on me with a special Prestige bonus if he wins. I decide to accept, but apparently I do not get the tribute cards right away. This must be to prevent players from accepting, looking at what’s inside, and then changing their minds and refusing or humiliating instead.

I’m regent this turn, and Rufus and Big Beak’s high Prophecy power means they get to draw two Event cards instead of one (but must still choose only one to keep). I was holding Torment, but that costs 10 Prestige to play, which I can’t afford. The new cards are Legion Tax, which forces each player to discard a tribute card for each legion they’ve hired, and Evil Amplified, which doubles damage from Destruction rituals for several turns. I decide to take Legion Tax, since everyone else has more legions than I do.

Checking the map, I see that Beowulf has marched his Scourge of God and his personal legion against Inquis’ Order of the Flame, and destroyed it. This is a major blow against Inquis, so I can understand his despair.

With the Tongue of the Liar and their boosted Cunning, Rufus and Big Beak now have four order slots. I’d really like to steal Decarabia, but due to Beowulf’s position on my threat list it will cost 3 souls and 6 darkness to try it (up from the minimum of 1 soul and 4 darkness). I could consider moving Beowulf higher on my threat list, but that would cost an order slot and some resources, and wouldn’t take effect until next turn. After some pondering I decide this is worth it. I make two tribute calls, march my legion to capture one more canton before the Infernal Census goes through next turn, and move Beowulf and Baleyolfynn to the top two spots on my threat list.

Turn 30:

My acceptance of Inquis’ emissary has gone through, revealing that he’s sent four tribute cards worth a total of 7 hellfire. I have lots of ichor and hellfire now, but I’m short on souls and darkness. The Infernal Census has gone through, granting Rufus and Big Beak 13 Prestige for a total of 21. That’s enough to try to arrange a vendetta. If I can steal Decarabia, maybe I can start to claw my way back into the game with a few single combat victories.

Someone has purchased the Orb of Oblivion, an artifact that turns a legion into a suicide bomber. The Vasdranai Carpet, an artifact that grants a legion the ability to fly, has also been purchased. Most importantly, however: Decarabia is still attached to the Wood of the Suicides, meaning I can still target him with a Deceit ritual.

I get an email from Inquis asking how things are going. I give a vague answer, hinting that I can engage in diplomacy again and hope to start building up Prestige. He responds that my 21 Prestige is nothing next to the leaders, who have over 200, and suggests more drastic action be taken. He wonders what would happen if the capital city of Pandemonium were to simply disappear? From this, I deduce that he has purchased the Orb of Oblivion and intends to use it against Pandemonium, which would completely destroy it, removing it from the map. I remember reading about this tactic on forums years ago, and recall that it put the game in an unwinnable state; I tell Inquis this. Later, I learn that my memory was faulty, and the game would actually continue, the only difference being that no one could directly assault Pandemonium (and, by extension, could not voluntarily excommunicate themselves in order to wage open war on others). But apparently my counsel (sent in good faith, as I was simply mistaken and not attempting deception) convinced Inquis not to try this course of action.

As for my own orders, I could start boosting Rufus and Big Beak’s Wickedness attribute to gain Destruction power using my stockpile of hellfire, but I also need souls for that. And I may want to save up for the Grotesque Mask or another praetor. So I decide to hold off for now. I will simply attempt to steal Decarabia, play my Legion Tax event, and make two tribute calls.

With any luck, I’ll have my hands on a decent duelist next turn, and can start arranging some duels. I only hope it isn’t too late.

In part 6: the road to redemption?

Solium Infernum is available directly from developers Cryptic Comet.


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  1. Cool post.

    With such prestige difference, how realistic are your chances of still making a come back?

    • With the Arena Gambler perk, a single duel will net 49 Prestige (56 from the wager minus 7 to make the initial demand; this is assuming the relative ranks of archfiends as they are this game). Also, with a really powerful praetor (read: trained with special moves) players can challenge the four champions of Pandemonium in sequence, and the Prestige rewards from each of those battles would be doubled due to Arena Gambler. So it should be possible with efficient play.

      But to find out what happened, you’ll have to wait for the next installment!

      • I realized I did the math on that wager wrong… the net Prestige per duel is actually 35 Prestige. Still a hefty amount.

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