We Dwarves are a proud and robust race.
We make our homes beneath the mountains of Nyvaria, which is in the realm of Alamaze.
The back-breaking labor of harvesting stones and precious metals have made our shoulders broad and our backs strong, even if our stature is short.The giant stones we harvest are famous for their hardness and are used in the building of the most legendary of castles.
Similarly, the iron ore we harvest from the mountains is the finest in all the lands. When in the hands of a master Dwarven blacksmith, it can be crafted into an armor of renowned strength, that is coveted by warriors throughout all the lands.
However, getting our precious stones and metal to market is no easy task. Giant rocks do not travel well by wagon and must be delivered to the market by ship. Being great builders, but poor sailors, we built deep-water ports so large ships from all nations may come and trade for our wares.
Our ports are our lifeblood. They bring great prosperity to the people. As King, it is my job to protect the people and that prosperity.
During the early spring, as I was doing a personal inspection of the port town of Hunter Stream, a messenger arrived from the village of Red Hook. The messenger approached and said. “My Lord, A band of armed warriors traveling on horseback, have been seen riding through the land. They skirt the edge of towns and villages without going in. When anyone approaches, they ride off. The governor felt it was important to report what was happening and awaits your orders.”
“How many riders?” I asked.
The messenger replied, “No more than a dozen or so, my Lord, although, it is hard to be sure. They seem to be able to blend into the grass of the plains as easily as we can blend into the stones of the mountains.”
I asked, ” In which direction are they heading?”
He told me, “South along the base of the mountains, always keeping to the plains.”
“Tell the governor to do nothing. I will take my guards, and we shall intercept them to determine what their business is!”
Turning to the Captain of my guards, I said, “We shall set a course to intercept these warriors. Send out scouts and eagle familiars to locate these trespassers. We shall put ourselves in a position to block them, should they continue south.”
Solemnly and with a somber look in his eyes he replied, “Aye Aye my lord.” A veteran of many hard campaigns he set himself to the task of planning the details.
It did not take long to find them. The eagle familiar of the mage Danmaker spotted them just outside the very town in which we stood.
I ordered my personal guard to form up, and we marched out to meet them.
Sitting on their horses with a casual ease, as if they had been born on horseback, I recognized them immediately as Amazon warriors from the lands of Darkover.
It was no surprise to me that the villagers did not know them. These warriors are famous for their secrecy and were a long way from home.
These wild-looking women who refused to be ruled by any man are great warriors. They are known for their skills with the bow and arrow. I know these women. These Amazons, to be masters of the plains and the hunt.
Seeing the banner of my house, the leader of the patrol approached while maintaining a respectful speed and making the universal sign of parlay.
“You are far from home, are you not mistress?” I inquired.
In a very matter of fact way, she said, “Yes, your grace, we mean no threat to you and your people. We are simply on a quest to recover an ancient artifact that has been stolen from our holy temple. The thieves had been seen going south, and we have set out to apprehend them.”
Also, she added, “We will take nothing from your people. We will only hunt enough game as needed to fill our bellies. Once our mission is complete, we will head back to Darkover, where the thieves will stand trial before the Queen.”
Having no reason to disbelieve her word. I let the Amazons continue in peace. This was a mistake I would come to regret.
Early that summer, a messenger came before me. The messenger informed me that emissaries from the Amazon Kingdom are quietly going into the towns and villages, making grandiose promises and telling vicious lies about us and inciting the people to rebellion.
Many villages have taken down our banners and are now flying the flag of the Amazon Queen.
Additionally, at Hunter Stream, where I had encountered the Amazon patrol just a short time ago, an Amazon army had arrived and placed the town under siege.
I immediately recognized the Amazon Queen’s strategy of wanting to cut off our food and gold supplies and destroy the army’s morale.
At the time of the siege, we were vulnerable. Our army was in the west, securing the region of Stormgate, the gem of all the realm.
I believe the timing of their attack wasn’t accidental. The attack was well planned and executed with precision. The Amazons had mapped the layout of our land. Probably by the patrol my men and I encountered during the spring.
War had been forced upon the house of Hornblower and if I fail my people will be ruined.
“Unfurl the battle flag!” I ordered, “Summon the bannermen!”
All the Dwarven houses answered the call as well as our allies the Hill Giants. Large in size but small in numbers. They mounted their giant woolly mammoths whose every step shook the earth.
I split the army, leaving a small force behind to guard Stormgate.
Next, I ordered our emissaries to assure the people that their King has their best interest at heart, and that the words of the Amazons were lies.
Slowly the people started coming around.
As the political war continued, our emissaries started to go missing. It was reported that enemy agents were kidnapping them.
So, we gave our top agent the mission to protect our emissaries. One night a magical sleep came over one of our Dukes. A dark-clad figure came out of the shadows and was attempting to abduct the sleeping noble. Our agent who was ever so alert, was able to eliminate the threat of the enemy’s agent forever.
It took two seasons for our main army to arrive in the area. I knew challenging the Amazon army on the plains would needlessly cost the lives of many a good warrior.
So, we tried luring the Amazons into the mountains, since there we are the masters. The Amazons did not take the bait.
For now, the war was mainly political with our two armies playing cat and mouse.
After we moved our army to the south to reclaim the town of Dominia Cray. A small port town on the southern shores of The Waves of Azure. It was then that the Amazons struck my capital.
Like screaming banshees, the Amazons breached the walls. My family and many of our people were able to escape through the hidden passages beneath the castle.
My court was moved to Stormgate and the main army moved to take my family’s ancestral home back.
It was not difficult taking back the capital.
As master builders of fortifications, we are also masters of breaking into them. Few castles can stand before a Dwarven army.
But the Amazon Queen was only trying to get us to react, their real target was to become apparent. They had moved their army to the gem of the realm, Stormgate.
Ideally situated on a land bridge. The city of Stormgate sits on two seas at once. The Tempest, and The Waves of Azure.
This quirk of geography gives the kingdom that possesses it two ports, one on each sea. The fields around the city are lush and fertile and are renowned for their bountiful harvest.
Kingdoms that wished to conduct trade between The Tempest Sea and The Waves of Azure had to travel through Stormgate. Guarded by the high thick walls of ancient Dwarven stone.
But it was two armies that arrived at the gates of Stormgate, the Amazons, and an army of the dead.
The Necromancer believed he could take advantage of our war with the Amazons.
Our small army that was left behind to defend Stormgate was severely outnumbered. But with stalwart determination, they put on their legendary armor, picked up their finely crafted Dwarven weapons, dug in and prepared to defeat all challengers or die.
Not wanting to share their prize with the Necromancer, the Amazons attacked the army of the dead.
The Necromancer, with his mastery of death magic, waved his hand and said an incantation summoning death itself. Instantly killing a score of the Amazon’s army.
Hurt but not defeated, the Amazons pushed the Necromancer’s army aside and marched on the defenders at the walls of Stormgate.
Since our craftsmen are the best in all Alamaze and had been busy strengthening the fortress. The Amazons broke like waves against the walls.
Having lost more than half of their remaining troops, the Amazons finally left our realm and returned to Darkover in defeat.
Growing stronger from the souls of the Amazonian dead, a new enemy has emerged outside of our walls. An army of the dead.
As we were sailing hard to get to Stormgate. We watched from the decks of our ships, as the Necromancer summoned a great meteor to break down our walls. We stood aghast at the sight. After the dust settled, we saw the walls still standing and our flag still flying over the ramparts.
With a great cheer! We stormed the shore, attacking the Necromancer’s army from the rear.
Raising his hand, the Necromancer summoned death once again. But, we Dwarves, having disdained magic our entire existence have developed a resistance to death magic, and the Necromancer’s spell failed to affect us.
The decaying flesh of the Necromancer’s troops were no match for the hardened steel of finely crafted Dwarven arms and axes. We destroyed the Necromancer army down to the last cursed creature. Including the wizards that attempted to destroy our city and our lives.
Now it is our turn to take the fight to our enemies.
The game of Alamaze is seriously fun.
The story above is a narrative of the first 20 turns of one game and the game is only halfway done.
Alamaze is not a video game, nor is it a game you can play on your phone. Alamaze is a turn-based thinking player game of deep strategy.
Played using maps and turn result sheets, players receive up to 72 hours to determine and input their turn information. As the turn results come in, your imagination will run wild as an engrossing narrative unfolds before your eyes.
Do you have what it takes to dominate in Alamaze?