Realms Beyond Epic 21: Temujin's Cold Fury

The first Epic of the second season was a PTW Potluck game on Emperor difficulty. I drew the Mongols, one of the new civs included in the expansion. What followed was a wild game of bloody mayhem in which the other civs learned the price of sharing a wintry world with the Mongol Hordes!

4000BC     Snow-Covered Jungles
750BC       The Humbling of the Great Tsarina
70AD         A World Full of Enemies
570AD       Keshiks on the Rampage Overseas
860AD       Otto Has Chosen Unwisely
1170AD     Another One Bites the Dust
1360AD     Into the Teeth of the Norse Storm
1520AD     World Domination

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Well, I had some free time this month when I was working on the report, and decided to try something different. There are a lot of excellent stories written up about Diablo 2 characters at Realms Beyond, but I hadn't seen too much fiction for Civ3 games yet. So I made the decision to write some short episodic tales to go along with my report for this game. Although both the report and the tales can be read independently, they're meant to go together and make the make the most sense that way. This was a lot of work and I don't think I'll be doing again anytime soon, but I'm extremely pleased with how it all turned out (even better than I expected). Read one or both or neither, but I hope you enjoy it regardless.

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Temujin gazed out across the desolate tundra to which he had lead his people. Snow covered everything in a blanket of hazy white, hinting at but not quite revealing rocky outcroppings and low rolling hills. A large river to the south was still flowing beneath a thin layer of ice as if to mock the bitter cold, slowly working its way to the coast that was little more than a blur on the horizon. Temujin knew that that ice was not strong enough to support the weight of a man. Several of his followers had found that out the hard way.

It was a hard land, one that would kill off all but the most determined and resourceful of tribes. But there was food to be found here, for those who were willing to take the time to look for it: the woods to the east were teaming with fine game, filled with majestic elk and shaggy reindeer that could be brought down with a bow and a skilled hand. The rough grasslands to the west were fertile enough to support the hardy grain and barley that the Mongols used as the staple of their diet. And even the sea itself produced silver-scaled fish to spice their meals, for those with the skill to catch the elusive creatures.

A harsh land to shape a harsh people, echoed through Temujin's thoughts. A broken-toothed grin spread across the face of the great khan as he called out orders to his assorted clansmen and hangers-on. Puzzlement little short of open confusion played across their faces as they were told that the Mongols would be ending their nomadic ways to found a great city here, but no one questioned his orders. No one would dare. The wind whistling across the barren tundra cut the small band of settlers like a fine dagger, but Temujin's spirits remained as crisp and clean as the air around him. There was a great deal of work to be done. A very great deal.