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Dev Diary #8: Abrakhânese Events
By Matt Alexi
G'day, and welcome to today's Dev Diary for Realms, today I'll be showcasing the events and missions that have been created for Abrakhân. Read ahead if you would like to know the deep history of the magic city.
Abrakhân’s Mirror of Fire
Between the Dune Sea and the Inner Sea looms the most alien landscape in all the Haradwaith. Before a great sandstone mountain chain and deep within a sinkhole is the Ogladalo Vatra, the Mirror of Fire. The salt flats of the ancient, dried lake have no equal in Middle-earth, so broad and unvarying it is. It was once known in memory and in guiding dreams as Lake Uhtyārâ, the seasonal waters that flow in from the mountains retain that name.
Deep beneath the mountains and broken terrain are ancient fossil waters tapped through cracks in the surface by the people who dwell near the mirror. Extraction happened at an industrial scale, when once the kingdom of Abrakhân was wealthy with trade, grand norias gathered water from the lake and from underground. Without those norias, the Mirror of Fire would support no life at all.The salt of the Ogladalo Vatra is deadly to all life, used as a poison in the courts of Abrakhân and a fitting execution is salt mummification. The impossible difficulty travelling from the markets of the Far East and Distant Lands to the cities west of Lake Uhtyārâ in Abrakhân and Dârsalan has evaporated trade. And merchants are more likely to travel the long way around Abrakhân.
The modifiers gained from the choices in this event are:
- Pûstic Dreams
- Pûstic Trade Glory
- Pûstic Dead Kingdom
The Covshek Pûst of Abrakhân
Abrakhân’s native people are the Covshek Pûst. In distant, ancient times, these people dwelt on the rim of Lake Uhtyārâ, before it was a dried Mirror of Fire, and there they made their camps and fared not often into the lush lakeside.
From these times comes a dream of a boy who killed an ancient spirit-scorpion with the help of an old man. The man wanted to taste the scorpion meat, and he devoured the inner flesh of it in little time. The young boy wanted the adamantine chitin, a portion of which made his glittering armour as a new king of the lake men and mountain men, the rest he threw into the desert sands before the mountains, freeing Lake Uhtyārâ from whatever evil presence dwelt there.
Many Sandmen tribes descended from the orange sedimentary mountains of the south and east, collectively they were known as the Covshek Pûst. Those who settled the ancient lake and source of the Nâfarat River were collected into a trade empire, as it was the hub of all Middle-earth trade at the time.
The Pûst are innovative, developing aquaponics to feed a great amount of people, floating gardens growing vegetables. And when water resources from the lake became exhausted, the Pûst resorted to pulling out of the ground the fossil waters of the underworld.At some point in the past the splendour of Abrakhân beside Lake Uhtyārâ has fallen, trade networks moved west towards Rây at the river’s delta, and the Nâfarati tribes, warlike invaders from the south with a mystic and blood seeking culture, have taken the fertile lands of the Nâfarat River, disconnecting Abrakhân to Rây. To enact revenge, Abrakhân has occasionally fielded Nâfarati shock knights and marauders armed with great maces against the Râyan people. These tribes are also well known to use the megafauna of the jungles of the south, bringing both beast and bird alongside their mercenary companies for the use of the rulers of Abrakhân.
The modifiers gained from the choices in this event are:
- Pûstic Innovation
- Dwindling Fossil Water
- Nâfarat War Council
The Abrakhân Grand Norias are an engineering marvel, able to turn dry terrain into farmland capable of growing fruit orchards.
An array of waterwheels and irrigation infrastructure capable of watering vast plantations. The water council allocates distribution, they keep no minutes, and their decisions are absolute.
Desert Amber Expedition
Many of the craggy and shattered cliffs of Abrakhân contain veins of Desert Amber, and each of these veins lead underground into sources of fossil water. An expedition into the wastelands between Abrakhân and Dârsalan promises to bring back those two precious resources.
A most terrible denizen of the Ogladalo Vatra, known as The Destroyer by the Sand Men. A gruesome holdover from the armies of Morgoth in the Elder Days, he is a lesser fire demon. It is said that the Râzarac was placed under the Lake Uhtyārâ, but since the lake’s evaporation, and the vast extraction of water from underground, the Sand Men have broken the seals to its deep caverns, and now this terror prowls the night under the open sky.The Râzarac coverts our water supplies, and it is no doubt, after years of captivity, guarding the waters under the Ogladalo Vatra, it has burned into its mind a continuing desire to prevent people from reaching water sources. That much is clear in the demon’s purpose. We name it Destroyer and Unquenching.
Subjugate the Haradwaith as the Golden King
The time grows late, Hôarmûrath, Third of the Nine. Your orders from Mordor are to subjugate the Dune Sea, Nâfarat and Mahûd, and after they have fallen, you shall continue your conquest of the Haradwaith.There are consequences of denying my due tribute and veneration. Remind them of their master.
Who shall I target next in my subjugation of the Haradwaith? Sending scouts to their lands as an ill omen and pestilence for those who would reject my subjugation, and a call for those who would flock to my banners.
The Sandmen of the Dune Sea are roaming nomads, plentiful in number to feed my growing armies, we must crush their defiant nature.
The Nâfarati are bellicose. And bloodthirsty. Their warriors are a terror to neighbouring Rây, a future mission target.
The Mahûd tame the mighty Mûmakil, a great beast worthy of The Golden King’s army. They live in jungles beyond the southern mountains, whose passes are shrouded in a dark cloud, I cannot go there yet. (Mission will not unlock in Realms 2.2)Your scouts, the harbingers of death are black vultures taken from the Dark Lands and bred to monsterous form in the cages of Abrakhân's menagerie. Their beaks are red, dripping with a mix of blood and saliva, these scouts have no need for subtly and will bring a message of submission or death.
The choices here unlock your subjugation missions as Abrakhân.
Dark vultures circle overhead, an otherwise indiscernible dark spec in the brightest of daylight, yet from above a wet drop of blood soaks into the ground below me. Consulting my loremaster, I am told that this ill omen is a likely spy sent by Abrakhân. Our lands have been scouted, our armies already counted, and the Golden King desires our realm to add to his growing threat.
Of old, all trade routes in Middle-earth went through Abrakhân, and it was a golden kingdom set by the fertile shores of an inland sea. Ever it was ruled by a vicious king, said to be immortal, though none had ever seen their face, concealed they are with a golden mask.Now a dark presence fills the dead realm of Abrakhân, and already, the ancient Norias are turning. Despite the empty sea, slaves work the plantations thanks to the vast drawn supply of fossil water beneath Abrakhân. Norias and plantations will feed his growing armies, the Golden King desires all Haradwaith to worship, as they did in an age past, the Dark Lord Zigûr, known as Sauron.
Will you chose to submit or die in the face of an overwhelming desert terror?
The Golden Mask
This model is still a work in progress, but I thought I'd better a teaser as a last minute addition to this Dev Diary!
Please note I only worked on a new material. And this model might not make it into Realms 2.2.
I will now send you off with as few words as possible, as the vultures circle myself in 34 degree heatstroke: farewell readers! Gold is more precious than water.
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