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Heroes Community > Age of Heroes Coliseum > Thread: ICTC: Island
Thread: ICTC: Island This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
FriendOfGunnar
FriendOfGunnar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
able to speed up time
posted February 04, 2006 06:44 AM bonus applied.
Edited by FriendOfGunnar on 26 Feb 2006

ICTC: Island

Introduction: According to Goblin mythology

According to Goblin mythology, the goblins were born soon after the beginning of the universe.  During the war of the Primordial Twins, when the Dragon of Chaos dragged it’s claws across the belly of the Dragon of Order, scales fell to the earth on the great Northern Plains and mixed with mud near the River Dantze.   The first Goblins were what grew from those scales.  Human astrologers dispute this however, saying that nothing as primitive as the Goblins could have come from something as magnificent and divine as the Dragon of Order.  (And, they declare, even if something as disgusting and repellant as Goblins did spring from the Dragon of Order than it wasn’t the dragon’s scales)

Whatever their true origins are, the earliest Goblins led a happy and carefree existence in the Northern Grasslands.  They spent their days racing wolves, hunting praerie chickens and then carving chicken bones into playing pieces to use for their favorite strategy game, Dengdze.  All this changed however during the great Orcish Rebellion (467-504 YSD) when fleeing Orcs invaded the northern grasslands.   The Orcs mingled with the Goblins and picked up many of their cultural habits, the main difference being the Orcs preferred using Goblin bones for their strategy games.  This was bad for the Goblins.  The Orcs had lived their entire existence in warfare and the Goblins were no match for them. The Goblins had two choices, stay and serve the Orcs or flee to the harsh, hurricane swept, mangy bat-creature infested Northern Islands.  The Goblins that picked the latter choice evolved into the taller, sandy colored creatures that are known today as Skritzodublin, or the Sand Goblin.



The Island Faction:

Associated Colours: Tan, Maroon Red, and Deep Blue
Worship: Abatzikod, the mythical mountain-sized Kraken that lives in the center of the world (which they believe to be water)
Core Philosophy: Survival
Country/Kingdom: The great Tanaskrit Naval alliance.
Capital City: None (although the war assembly meets in the city of Abadz)
Key Symbols: The Shkonis (the double hulled boat), and the Kraken.

Description:

The origins of the Skritzodublin are fairly well known.  They were (many say still are) goblins that evolved into a taller and not so ugly species.  Along the way their skin became sand colored and their capacity for self-government was increased.  To humans and elves they are known as Sand Goblins.  They refer to themselves as "Skritzodublin" however, which means "Goblins by the group".  Nobody is sure why or where this designation came from and this remains one of the smaller mysteries of the world.  

After being expelled from their ancestral homeland by Orcs and forced into a marginal existence on the Northern Islands, they developed a ocean-going culture that became unsurpassed in it's maritime skills.  A couple hundred years later, when combined with the skills of warfare taught to them by the mysterious human Sheskiten (real name unknown) their shared heritage and their mutual pride in their new skills allowed the creation of a vast naval alliance that began to challenge the human mastery of the seas.  When they finally discovered a way to harness the power of the ocean Kraken into their army though, what was essentially a maritime nuisance became an undisputed oceanic military power.  This is why you will hardly ever see them inland, because in cities with no access to the ocean, they are unable to build the Jewel Caves that attract the Krakens.

Today their realm stretches from the Northern Islands, down past the  Lunisian Peninsula, the formerly Orc-occupied Barrier Islands, and finally the stony coastline that sits on the opposite side of the mountains from the Heresh Valley.  (Legend also tells of great floating cities out in the great Juekesh Ocean)

A Summary:

After many centuries of tenuous existence the Skritzodublin will do almost anything necessary to survive.  To humans however this will to survive sometimes appears to manifest itself in duplicity, dishonesty, and self-aggrandizing behaviour.  Although humans agree that the Skritz will hardly ever lie, connive, and backstab to enrich themselves the same way that goblins and hobs do. They lie, connive, and backstab in pretty much the same ways as humans do.

History:

467-504(According to official histories):  The Orcish Rebellion.  Defeated Orcs invade the Northern Steppes and meet the wholly unprepared Goblins.



495-580:  Exile

When the Orcs encountered the Goblins they first imitated them and then gradually realized that during a battle Goblins were the perfect size to stand in the middle of the field and cause a distraction while the Orcs snuck around and came in from the sides.  The ancestors of the Skritzodublin disliked this new style of warfare and chose to go into exile instead.   It was the bleak Northern Islands where they landed, and the first challenge to their existence came in the form of the giant ravenous sea-bats. These creatures found the Goblins delectable and promptly weeded out the smaller ones, leaving the less-small and the not-quite-medium sized Goblins to carry on the lineage.

The Skritzodublin eventually learned how to deal with the Seabats and then took their first step on the path to future greatness when they adapted the native elfs' small double-hulled rest and relaxation (r&r) vessel into the larger and much more versatile Raid and Revenge (R&R) vessel.  

580-650:  First contact with the Humans and Orcs

It was during this era that the Skritz tamed the wild boar (creature 3) and began to colonize the mostly uninhabited regions on the Lunisian Peninsula.  Later on they encountered the beautiful, Orc-occupied Great Barrier Islands, where they spent a great deal of time in some much needed R&R.  

651  The sack of the city of Aracopola on the Lunisian peninsula

This is widely considered to be the beginning of the conquest of the Lunisian peninsula.  It was also the first time that the Skritz tasted the pickled Kasabon weed, the culinary specialty of the Lunisian peninsula.  This is the source of the Skritzodublin's most popular dish, the Kasabon sandwich: a layer of Kasabon in between two layers of ham. (Occasionally you will find a vegetarian Skritz, their version of the sandwich being a slice of ham in between two slices of Kasabon)  Since the Kasabon will only grow in the highland regions of the Lunisian peninsula, this new-found affinity for the pickled weed was to spell bad news for the rest of the peninsula in the coming years.



760:  The crew of the Golden Angel is marooned on a Skritz inhabited island.

Sometime during the settlement of the Northern Islands, the Skritz encountered an island they named Hardzikinee, where there were vast deposits of living stone.  Unaware that it was living, Skritz artisans made huge decorative artpieces out of it and shipped many of them to their major cities.  

This changed in the year 760 when Golden Angel, a ship from one of the Free Cities of the East, was marooned on a Skritz- inhabited island.  The only survivors were the cook and the ship's band.  The Skritz ate the cook but were fascinated enough by the band's loud brass section that they ordered the band to perform nightly at their communal storytelling.  When the band began to play for the first time however, the idols in the ceremonial hall began to jostle and move, much to the terror of everyone present.  It wasn't too long before they deduced that the living stone responds to loud musical resonances.  At first the idols were used for religious amusement but gradually the idols appeared on the battlefield, accompanied by war buglers. (see creature #6 below)

720-780 (?)- Sheskiten

Skritz folklore tells of the time when a human named Sheskiten (real name unknown) came to the islands and showed them how to organize their raiding bands into an effective war machine. Previous to their encounter, Skritz armies were little more than bands of disharmonius savages.  A fully trained and well maintenanced troop of Human soldiers could easily be expected to disperse one of their ever-more frequent raids.  After the military conversion though, disciplined Skritz armies began defeating Human armies on their own ground.  It was during this time that the Skritz evicted several small kingdoms from the Lunisian peninsula.  The Holy Falcon empire also took notice of the new oceanic power when their naval fleets started being hassled by the Skritz’s fast moving Shkonis.  The rise of the Skritz was swift and unexpected and the Skritz credit much of that to the military guidance given by Sheskiten.  

There are many theories amongst scholars as to who this mysterious Sheskiten was.  Some say that it was King Stephen, a king whose rightfull inheritance was usurped by his younger brother just by the simple fact that he was deaf.  The legend goes like this.  He was expelled from his kingdom and sought refuge with the Skritzodublin.  Once there he taught the Skritz military skills and organized them into cadres.  Using his newly created army and the promises of coastal concessions he then invaded his homeland and reclaimed his throne.    Proponents of this theory then claim that later historians couldn't accept the disgrace of a defeat by goblins and rewrote history by describing the Skritzodublin as merely sea-pirates.

Theory two goes like this:  A cunning court advisor named Ketchigan was caught in a dalliance with one of King Boringard's many beautiful concubines.  (both Ketchigan and Boringards are universally recognized as real).  The standard punishment for this is to be split exactly in half, starting with the toes (although how this mathematically impossible feat is done isn't described).  The proponents of this theory then say that Ketchigan used his cunningly stolen hoard to buy his freedom and make his escape to the realm of the Skritzodublin, where he taught them military skills and organized them into cadres in order to exact a revenge against King Boringard for hoarding all the women and good food and not sharing in any of the fun.  Proponents of this theory then point out that when King Boringard met his defeat at the hands of the Skritz eight years later at the battle of Garcons Ford, it was the first time that anyone had seen boar riders with metal tusks, bola catapults operated by Skritz women, and most fearsome of all, the living idols careening into battle on giant wagons.

Theory three goes like this:  The mysterious Sheskitan is actually a combination of several different humans who have entered into the Skritzodublin realm at one time or another and passed on different ideas for military technology.  Proponents of this theory have been gaining popularity recently as more translations of Skritz folklore are made available.  For example in the north islands the Skritz remember Sheskitan as having straight teeth and a crooked nose.  In the middle islands though they remember him having crooked teeth and a straight nose.  In the islands out in the Juekesh Ocean meanwhile there are depictions of him having no nose at all, allegedly because it was cut off as punishment for him stealing a goat when he was a juvenile.  

Only time will unravel who the mysterious Sheskitan actually was...

785  Sin Gorah, the free-est free city of the Free Cities of the East is sacked by the Skritzodublin, thus marking the end of the era of the conquest of the Lunisian peninsula.  Moralists in the Holy Falcon Empire claim this to be divine judgement on a wicked and independent minded city.  They are left completely unable to explain however two years later, when the Skritz wasted no time in putting together an armada and engaging in...  

787 The sacking of Oak Bay, the Holy Falcon Empires third largest city. This begins The forty year long Oak Bay Naval War.



818 The Skritz organize the First Naval Concordat in the city of Abadz and go on to found the Tanaskrit Naval Alliance.  

828  A treaty is signed between the warring parties, ending the Oak Bay Naval War.  The Humans agree that from then on, their warships will be restricted to a wide strip of water off the coastline of the Falcon Empire and some of the nearer Free cities of the East.   The Free Cities of the East, meanwhile, were required to pay a yearly "protection" fee to the Skritz.  Although this was highly unpopular at the time everybody agreed that it was a couple of steps up the civilization ladder from the come-as-you-please policies of the past.

*Compilers Note*(many years later, after the assimilation of the Kraken, the Skritz renegotiated the treaty and changed the phrase "wide strip of water" to "narrow strip of water".

800-870(?) The powerfull Kraken are assimilated into the Skritz armies.

The Skritzodublin have acquired a reputation as ruthless sea-pirates.  This was true in centuries past but currently it is remote from the truth.  The source of this slander has to do with the Skritz's thirst for jewels.  The Skritz's power is based on the Kraken, which is based on their ability to build the Jewel caves which attract them.  Islands aren't natural repositories of jewels and thus getting jewels from their inland sources to the places that need them requires a reliable and safe trading network.  During the era of the early Tanaskrit naval alliance they did exactly this.  In the most favorable shipping lanes they set up patrols, eliminated piracy, and created a series of reliable maps and navigational buoys.  Human merchants were thrilled with this development because all the Skritz required for usage of this system was a payment of jewels based on the distance traveled.  This system was used so extensively in the south seas that the number of jewels required became a shorthand for distance traveled.  For example merchants would speak of the copper and ale run from Norodom to Cape Valor being 12 jewels long.  

This created problems, because the Holy Falcon empire  needed jewels for their own purposes.  When they found that all of the jewels were being 'lost in the ocean' so to speak they did two things: they perpetuated the above mentioned slander that the Skritz were pirates, and they passed a law that henceforth all people in possession of jewels can only sell them to the government.  This wouldn't have been a problem if they had offered fair prices, however merchants estimated that a jewel's value in guarenteeing safe and quick passage was worth 30 to 40 times what the King was willing to pay.  During the War of the Gray Alliance (951 YSD), the Holy Griffin Empire grew so hungry for jewels that they began to question merchants when they arrived.  If the merchant had had a trouble-free passage then the court inquisitor would know that the merchant had spent jewels to do so.   In order to keep their operations in order the merchants found that they had to invent fictional problems with pirates and bad weather.   This led to the creation of some more now-common phrases, such as "paying for bad weather" (paying the ship navigators to record episodes of imaginary bad weather) and "having a pirate party" (staging mock raids by pirates).  Both of which mean creating a practical solution to beaurocratic foolishness.

898  Hed-duth

During the great Orcish Rebellion many Orcs fled across the water to the Great Barrier Islands.  The largest of which is called Hed-duth in Orcish. During the Skritz expansion Orcs had gradually been eliminated from the smaller Barrier Islands until only Hed-duth was left.  In the year 898 YSD a Skritz captain named Askadurdis led his troops inland to the last great Orc Fortress and razed it to the ground, thus enacting a revenge that was 400 years in the making.  Ironically it was this great victory over their ancestral enemies that touched of the great schism.  Mainly it was about what to do with all the dead Orcs.

900  Schism

While to outsiders the Skritz appear to be unified, they are actually divided into two factions.  The cause of this division has to do with Abatzikod, the mountain sized Kraken at the center of the earth that they worship.  Both factions believe that in the end times, Abatzikod will reach up with his harpoon-like eighth limb and spear the sun, bringing it back to earth where it will burn up the seas and scorch the earth.  Abatzikod will then devour the sun, bringing the universe into eternal darkness and coldness.  This they both agree on.  However the "deep ocean" faction of the Skritz believe that they can delay these end times by tying stones to their war dead and dropping them into the sea where they will sink down to the center of the earth (which they believe to be water) to be eaten by Abatzikod.  Thus appeased, Abatzikod will not need to spear the sun and devour it.  (The extremists of this point of view also like to capture live virgins from other races and drop them into the sea).  The "Island" faction however like to point out that feeding Abatzikod will only make him bigger and thus more ravenous, thus hastening the day when he will need to harpoon the sun and devour it.  Thus they bury their dead on land.  (And just about all of the members of the Island faction believe, correctly, that going out to capture and sacrifice live virgins is harmfull to race relations).  Thus if you fall when facing a Skritz army you can know, depending on the faction that you are facing, whether your corpse will end up buried in sand or tied to a stone and thrown into the ocean.

Luckily for humans, these internal divisions have slowed the expansion of the Skritz realm.  If it were not for these theological disputes the Skritz would probably have run the Human factions from the seas entirely.

Below you can see the flags of the different factions.  The Ocean faction is on the left and the Island faction is on the right.



Or maybe it's the other way around.

860-930 First contact with the Necromancers.  

In the early years of the Tanaskrit Naval Alliance (before the schism) the Skritzodublin expanded rapidly,  colonizing the coastal areas that sit on the opposite side of the mountains from Heresh Valley.  Heresh Valley as you may recall is the former domain of the Necromancers.  They were all supposedly exterminated however you can't really kill something that wasn't alive in the first place and recently Heresh Valley has been seeing signs of increasing morbidity.

It is not certain why the Skritz acquired such an aversion to the undead, perhaps it was the occasional stench of dead bodies that wafted over the mountaintops.  Perhaps it was the Liches who would appear from time to time and try to (forcibly) convert the Skritz to the idea of not being alive.  What is indisputable is that the Skritz will attempt to destroy any undead that they encounter.  After Hed-duth (below) this conflict with the Undead is considered to be the fourth great epic phase of the Skritz story.  (the first three being (1)The colonization of the Lunisian peninsula, (2)The 40 year maritime feud with the humans begun by the sacking of Oak Bay, and (3)The War to Sink all Orcs.)  



Creatures:

Level one:  Skritz Spearmen.
Level one upgrade:  Skritz Warriors

When the Skritzodublin were goblins they were short, green, and their speech was too high for human hearing.  As the Skritz evolved however, they became taller and their speech dropped into the range of human hearing.   What was once inaudible then become intolerable.  Sitting in on a Skritz conversation could best be described as listening to someone drag their fingernails back and forth across a chalkboard for several hours.  The Skritz are fully aware that their speech is uncomfortable to humans and sometimes will take advantage of this.  For example when interrogating prisoners of war they merely have the prisoners sit down and then politely ask them questions over and over until they get an answer.  

Thus their special ability is that when they are fighting humans or human derived creatures, when they attack their vocalizations cause enough of a distraction to take away a little bit of initiative from their enemy.  A pack of Skritz surrounding and harassing a mounted Knight for example would be able to greatly delay the Knights attack.

The upgrade, Skritz warriors, also are issued an atlatl and 3 javelins, which means they have a fairly effective ranged attack.



Level Two:  Sea bat
Level Two upgrade:  War bat

Everyone in the Skritz faction is ugly but these creatures are by far the ugliest.  The Skritz call them "Flying Things", probably because they have never seen a bat.  The sea bat is quite simply, a bat that has evolved to fish in the sea.  They are huge though and can be trained for warfare.  Over the millenia their eyes have repositioned themselves to the bottom of their head, which makes possible their favourite offensive tactic, to glide over the battlefield and look for an opening to dive and snap.  In the Skritz army,  with Seabats attacking from above and Boars (the level 3 creature) gouging from below, the enemy typically finds he has no idea how to defend himself.  This special ability to gain a bonus when attacking in conjunction with ground troops carries over to members of other factions fighting alongside as well.



Level three:  Boar riders
Level three upgrade:  Boar Raiders

When the first Skritzodublin we're forced onto the islands they found that their preferred mounts, wolves, were absent.  They found a ready substitute though in the boar.  These beasts are 4 times as heavy as a man and twice as greedy.  While the first boar riders carried weapons into battle they found that these were insignificant compared to what the boars could do by themselves.   The Skritz then started sawing off the natural tusks and installing metal blades, thus making the even more fearsome Boar Raider.  Despite their fearsomeness though all factions, friend or foe, look forward to a battle when boars are present, for they know that if they come through the battle without an evisceration then there will be a large supply of bacon to enjoy on future marches.  

Boars make great scouts.  When a hero is traveling with only boars he will move as if accompanied by a creature faster than the boars natural speed.  Not only that, the boars thrive in all environments and so a hero moving with only boars will not suffer any penalties when traveling through difficult terrain.



Level Four: Bola Teams
Level Four: Champion Bolaers (pronounced Champion bowlers)

In Skritz campaigns the women are organized into teams of four and directed to woman the bola swingers.  These are large war machines that swing spiked nets at the enemy, greatly reducing the speed and effectiveness of enemy troops.  The fact that these are only womaned by females brings up an interesting subject:  Skritzodublin women and Skritzodublin men are indistinguishable, even to themselves.  The question naturally then becomes: how do they know who the females are to woman the Bola swingers?  The question has been occasionally asked to Skritz and the sheepish reply almost always seems to be some version of “They go first”.  (Any more direct questions will usually result in nothing more than embarassed giggling.)

The upgrade,  Champion Bolaers, are outfitted with even more dangerous nets that inflict punishment even when the recipient tries to move as well as attack.

Level Five:  Coral Trolls
Level Five:  Coral Brigadoons

Coral Trolls are neither coral, nor trolls.  In their natural habitat though they spend their days trolling for small fish delicacies amidst the coral, thus they are called Coral Trolls. These so-called Coral Trolls have several different unusual characteristics.  First of all they relish war, indeed many of their natural amusements closely resemble martial activities, for example whenever they see something flying nearby they’ll grab a razor sharp shell from the giant Sucker clam and heft it at the target, almost always with excellent accuracy.   Coral Trolls also have an uncanny resistance to pain.  They do in fact, not feel it at all.  This plus their bizarre-beyond-imagination lifecycle leads many to believe that they were the creation of a long extinct race whom they managed to outlive.

When Coral Trolls are given armor and real flails (instead of the mock flails they like to assemble in the wild) they become even more effective as front line troops, becoming Coral Brigadoons.

Coral Trolls never have anything less than maximum moral.  They are immensely unaware of physical punishment and have only a vague idea of what death is.  They are best described as quasi-intelligent (which is to say less than semi and greater than un).  Animals for example will recognize when they are hurt, unlike Coral Trolls which will carry on almost completely unaware that they have been impaled or cut in half.  After a battle this presents a bizarre sight, as various Coral Trolls can be seen strewn about the battlefield, still grinning as if they were merely relaxing in the sun. (and then of course their babies pop out of their chests and eat them but that is the topic of another discussion altogether)



Level Six:  Living Idol
Level Six Upgrade:  Battle Wagon

The Living Idol and the level seven creature, the Kraken, are the great equalizers in the Skritz army.  Were it not for these two creatures, the Skritz armies would be hopelessly outmatched.

As related in the history, the living idol is a huge figure carved out of living stone and animated by loud musical resonances.  The typical set up is to have three buglers gathered behind the idol with four backups standing on the sides with spears. When a bugler is felled one of the backups leaps up to continue the revelry.  The Living Idol itself is all but impervious to damage.  The weakness of course is that the Skritz that command them are susceptible to the same arrows, swords, and deathclouds that their compatriots are. This leads to a unique battlefield quality: a group of Living Idols never diminishes, it is only made more and more inert until completely rendered harmless.  And in fact dozens of years after battles have ended, you can still see many idols on the battlefield where all the trumpeters were felled.  

The other great ability of the Living Idol is that they can batter down siege walls with ease, provided they can reach them.  The weakness of course is that while the war wagon protects them against ranged attacks they are greatly susceptibility to area spells like death cloud and fireball that affect all the Skritz equally.  

During the great military concordat of 818, when the Skritz where in the middle of their losing war with the Falcon empire, they undertook the most expensive military development project in Skritz history.  Day and night for two years the metallurgists and engineers worked long hours to create what would eventually become the critical weapon that would turn the war in their favor: the valved trumpet.  



Level Seven:  Kraken
Level Seven Upgrade:  MotherKraken

Before they were able to assimilate the Kraken into the Skritzodublin army they were called Shushikenabolikabinarigatz, which roughly translated means "Mighty sea creature who inspires feelings of awe and fear".  After the assimilation into the Skritz faction the Kraken came to be known as Saragatdzsod, which means: "Seven armed squid".   The Skritz mistakenly believe that the Octopus-resembling Kraken only has seven limbs.  Students of animologae however recognize that there is actually eight, the eighth being a normal limb that has developed into a bony harpoon-like device attached to the Kraken by a long tendon.  The Kraken use these to spear whales and boats, and when times are hungry, they occasionally crawl a ways inland and spear terrestrial creatures like elephants and behemoths.  In battle these giant harpoons become a fearsome weapon, able to strike at a distance and more and more deadly the bigger the target is (dragons long ago learned to fly a good distance above the water for this very reason).  Unfortunately this is almost useless against smaller horde type creatures.  Against this threat they have a second mode of attack, which is to wade in and thrash around with the remaining seven, which is also highly effective.  It is no wonder that this fearsome creature adorns the flag of the Skritz faction.



Skritzodublin's relationship with other races:

Haven:  While the Skritz consider themselves rivals to the Haven faction, especially on the sea, there is no racial animousity to the humans and will in fact work with them when dealing with their mutual enemies.

Necropolis:  They hate the "false living" and will go out of their way to destroy them (or more likely, themselves)

Inferno:  They do not understand the demons or where they came from and so fear them immensely.  When facing a threat from the Inferno faction they will easily make alliances with Haven, Sylvan, and even Dungeon.

Sylvan:  The Sylvan realm and the Skritzodublin realm are mutually exclusive so the two races have a good relationship.  Also, while the Elves consider the Skritz to be somewhat repugnant, the Skritz find the elves handsome and charismatic and will actually gain a morale bonus when fighting alongside them.

Dungeon:  The Skritz hardly ever go underground and therefore have very little interest in the Drow.  The Drow see a benefit though in maintaining contacts with the Skritz because the Skritz have a strength in the Drow's one great deficiency: maritime skills.

Academy:  The Skritz distrust the mages immensely. Probably this is because the mages live in buildings that float in the air.  This is unfortunate for the Academy faction because if the mages were to make a list of all of the factions they would want as allies in their efforts to eradicate the necromancers, the Skritzodublin and their fanatical hatred of the "False Living" would be at the top of the list.  

(the next two factions are imaginary)

Dwarves:  The relationship between the Skritz and the Dwarves is an interesting one.  As you may recall from the history of the Skritz, jewels are what drive the Skritz economy.  And Dwarves are the top producers of jewels in the world.  This means that the Skritz will seek to strengthen ties with Dwarves at every opportunity.  This is unfortunate though because while the dwarves rather enjoy adding fish to their mundane diet, they have no use for the Skritz's other main products: shells, bamboo, and decorative tattoos. This is a most vexing problem for the Skritz leadership and every 3 years at the great military concordat in the city of Abadz, a large portion of time is devoted to the hearing of proposals for methods to get the dwarves to sell more of their gems. Some of the more outlandish proposals in the past have included miniature Abatzikod figurines, music revues, and growth serum.

Stronghold:  The human barbarians do not get along well with the Skritz.  This is for several reasons.  Barbarians value honesty; their word is their bond.  The barbarians believe however that the Skritz's word is bond only until the tide changes.  Another is that the essential barbarian philosophy is that people should be free to go wherever they want to pitch their tents.  This contrasts with the Skritz's habit of claiming islands and coastal land and claiming it as their own.  The Skritz also believe that they are more 'civilized' and look down on the barbarians as savages.  These and other small cultural differences do not lead to easy mixing between the two peoples.

Orcs:  While the Skritzodublin say that the "War to Sink all Orcs" is officially over, it's not really.  The Skritz will seek to destroy any Orcs they happen to meet.  It is for this reason that the Orcs have learned to stay away from the water.(actually it's not the main reason though, Orcs are denser than water and therefore can't swim)

Hero Specialty

The Skritz's biggest advantage is on the ocean.  This manifests itself in several different ways.  1.  The Skritz can build their city with the entrance on the water, only accessible by boat.  2.  The most common form of transportation is the giant double hulled Shkonis (a catamaran).  As well as being fast, they function as amphibeous landing vessels, meaning the Skritz only need half a day to board and deboard instead of a full day like other factions.  The practical result is that coastal cities are extremely susceptible to Skritz "influence"  3.  The Skritz heroes, known as Waveriders, can travel 20% farther in a boat then other heroes (even without the aid of a navigational secondary skill)

Strategic Overview

In the very beginning the Skritz army is weak, however when they gain the dual attack combo of the 2cnd level creature (Warbats) and 3rd level creature (Boar Raiders) they can challenge any army that is at a similar level.  They start to lose confidence though in the 4th(Bola Teams) and 5th level (Coral Troll) stages.  When the Skritz army brings Battlewagons (6th level) to the field though a well played Skritz army with sufficient magic support can defeat another faction at a similar level.  Finally, a Skritz army with Krakens is the match of any other faction, especially when facing an army that consists mainly of large creatures.  (this is mitigated by the fact that the Krakens don’t travel well on land)

The Skritz army is mainly a “might” army so the Waveriders are trained in magic from an early age.  Their magic progression is tied in with Skritz history.  From the Emerald Elfs of the Northern Islands they learned the basic elemental spells like Zap and Blast.  In the years leading up to the Oak Bay naval war, Skritz adventurers found a way to get past the giant Sauralasion whirlpool, where they discovered the Talking Cliffs of Sauralasia.  Here they learned many mind spells, like  how to confuse creatures (Dumfry), how to mentally bind them (Hypnotize), and how to make them attack things that aren’t really there (Massdistraction). Sometime later (it is not known when) Skritz exploration teams tangled with the Sirens of the outer Juekesh Ocean, where they learned (the hard way) many usefull battlefield spells like Fog (prevents ranged attack and creature spellcasting), Zephyr of the Old Ones (prevents forward movement of the enemy), and Haildemon (summons several hail elementals that can block or harass enemy soldiers).  Finally during their years sparring against the Necro Faction, they found tunnels leading deep under the earth where they found gnomes who taught them some of the mightiest spells in their arsenal like Earthblast and StoneGate.

Elaboration on creatures and special skills
Level 1:  
When Skritz Spearmen hits a human, elf, or human derived creature, the iniative bar is reset a small amount.
The upgrades, Skritz Warriors, are a ranged creature with 4 shots, after which they revert to Skritz Spearmen.  

Level 2:  
Seabats get 30% bonus if they attack somebody that has previously been attacked by one of your ground troops (and has your ground troop currently sitting next to it).  
Warbats get a 50% bonus if they attack somebody that has your ground troops right next to it (and they don't need the "previous hit" requirement either)

Level 3:  
A hero is traveling with only Boar Riders will move as if accompanied by a creature of 1.5 times the boars natural speed.  
A hero who is traveling with only the upgrade, Boar Raiders, gets the same 1.5 advantage and also suffers no terrain penalty if his Boars are in a non-native terrain.

Level 4:
Bola Teams: A hit by a bola team reduces the enemy speed by 50% and also reduces initiative by 33% (not to 33%).
Champion Bolaers: A hit by a champion bowler does the same as a bola team but the nets they throw also cause damage when the creature moves and attacks.  (.75% (.0075)of the creatures point total  for each square plus 1% for each attack)

The strength of the Bola teams attack is based on the principal of  "1/4 and 1/3 rule" and also the "equal gold" rule.  An enemy creature can never be reduced beyond 1/4 of his speed and 1/3 of his initiative and also the 50% and 33% caused by the Bolaers only apply when the gold value of the Bolaers are equivalent to the gold value of the enemy stack.  If the opponents gold value is higher or lower than the effect is adjusted accordingly.

Level 5:  
The Coral Troll is a ranged creature, able to throw razor sharp Suckerclam shells with excellent accuracy.  
The upgrade, Coral brigadoons, are melee units.  The have roughly twice the melee effectiveness of the regular Coral Troll.
Special Skills:  The Coral Trolls always have maximum moral.  These creatures also have a fair amount of magic resistance.  The drawback though is that due to their irrepressible nature they can never be placed in a defensive posture.

Level 6
Living Idol & War Wagon:  The idea behind this special ability is that you have to kill the complete stack of Living Idols for it to stay dead after the battle. If the stack is not completely eliminated then the Skritz player reacquires all of the Living Idols that he started the battle with.  (This would be a nice feature in the beginning stages of gameplay to deal with wandering creatures, however Living Idols are a level 6 creature and difficult to obtain so by the time a Waverider has acquired Living Idols, most of the wandering creatures have already been eliminated.  Therefore it becomes an important strategic component on the battlefield when heroes and their large armies meet.)  


Level 7 Kraken: The Kraken is a ranged creature who's harpoon only reaches 4 squares.
The upgrade, MotherKrakens, have a reach that is extended to 6 squares.

Special skills: The idea of this special ability is that instead of having a specific number of hit points damage, it is based on a 40% percentage of the target creature.  For Example, attacking an ArchDevil  (hit points 199) the damage would be 80 for each Kraken, while if attacking a "Frightfull Nightmare " (57) the damage would be 22.  They can also use the multi-attack "Hydra" Option and that would be 20-25 points for each attack.  The Kraken's drawback however is that it is not very mobile on land.    


Elaboration on the History

The history is planned out to resemble a campaign, where each map represents a map that must be won in the video game.  

Map 1: The Skritz exile.  In this map the player must conquer three of the Northern Islands, which are infested by Seabats, Boars, and the occasional Coral Troll.  The player must do all of this while facing severe pressure from the Orcs.

Map 2: The Lunisian Peninsula.  The player must simultaneously beat a fully developed human faction and an underdeveloped Orc faction that is based in the Great Barrier Islands.  By this time they will have the Seabats and the Boars under their control, and they will also be able to develop the Bola teams and a limited number of Coral Trolls.

Map 3: The Sack of Sin Gorah.  The Skritz have clearly bitten off more than they can chew.  They must face the combined onslaught of a Haven faction allied with the Free Cities of the East faction, all while facing ground challenges to their new home base on the Great Barrier Islands.  If they can last for 4 months without getting destroyed they will be able to negotiate a treaty which ends the war.

Map 4: The players must simultaneously A) Defeat the last remaining Orcs on the Great Barrier Islands B) Hold off the pirates in the Juekesh ocean, so as to keep the shipping lanes open (to be able to acquire the level seven creature).  C)Do a dungeon crawl beneath the Heresh mountains to gain the spells that they will need, and finally D)Wipe out the Necro factions who are embedded in the Heresh Valley.





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FriendOfGunnar
FriendOfGunnar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
able to speed up time
posted February 04, 2006 07:02 AM

My contest post shows up a little strange on my computer, could you let me know if there are any problems with the appearance on your computer and then I will try to fix them...
-thanks

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phoenixzs
phoenixzs


Adventuring Hero
posted February 04, 2006 10:40 AM

The creature lineup seems generaly okay,but some creatures have overpowered abilities;
-The bat has too much boost %100 and%50 are too much for a second level.According to the description the creature has to have somekind of no retaliation-dive bomb cross breed.Please work on that.
-Bola warriors:I hope the effect is not cumulative also either get a formula for the 10 bola vs archangel thing or stick with some non-changing effect.The effect is still a bit blurry.
-War Wagon:Strangely ý dont think its overpowered.A disposable 6th level ý like the idea.It has to be probably the weakest unit in 6th level with that ability.Although its good aganist sieges and AI ýt can cause problems vs Player battles.
-Okay ý like Krakens but that does not change the fact that they are aquatic.I would recommend you to change it with a King Crab or some other amphibian creature.Its really hard to imagine such a creature walk the land and attack others.

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phoenixzs
phoenixzs


Adventuring Hero
posted February 07, 2006 07:21 PM

Race: 6
History:8
Creatures:8(the squid being aquatic,loved the 6th)
Balance:6(overall well but some abilities are a bit ovepowered,the lineup is good with variety)
Originality:9(the concept is very original)
total
37/50

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Oakwarrior
Oakwarrior


Famous Hero
posted February 07, 2006 07:31 PM

Race: 9 (Excellent!)
History: 8 (Great!)
Creatures: 9 (Excellent!)
Balance: 7 (Good)
Originality: 9 (Excellent!)

Total: A whopping 42!!

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gwyndolium
gwyndolium


Known Hero
Ancient citizen
posted February 08, 2006 03:27 PM

Race: 6
Nice, but not really something useable for the game I think cause I think Goblins are more neutral.

History: 8
Alot of history, probably more then needed

Creatures: 7
Like most creatures. Though the troll and doll wagons are somewhat weird.

Balance: 7
It's ok.

Originality: 6
Nice town, much information and stuff. But maybe too much taken from other things.

Total Score: 34

Good luck!
____________
~I came down from heavens, to bestow the people under me, with hope and knowledge~

-The angel of judgement, Gwyndolium.

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kookastar
kookastar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
posted February 10, 2006 11:00 AM
Edited by kookastar on 31 Mar 2006

Race 9
History 8
Creatures 9
Balance 8
Originality 9
45/50

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BoogieMan
BoogieMan


Famous Hero
The John of Spades
posted February 10, 2006 05:37 PM
Edited by BoogieMan on 10 Feb 2006

Race: 9

Sea raiding goblin pillagers, excellent concept. Well defined, well described and well fitted into the Heroes 5 Universe.

History: 9

Flawless (Or not - I seem to remember something worth objecting to, but when I went back for it, after I had finished reading, I couldn't find it anymore ... that's how big your history is )

Just kidding. Awesome extend and depth, wihtout being redundant or repetitive, skillfully going around Ashan's turmoiled history (being ocean-based, the goblins have the excuse of being far from events like the demon invasion or the elven wars)

The reason why that 9 is not a 10 (besides the obvious mathematical paradox) is that your goblins seem to mop the floor with pretty much every race they have contact with.

Creatures: 7

A very colourful line-up, well backgrounded. However, the Coral Trolls and Stone Idols are too far out for me.

Balance: 7

Some balance issues: ranged deffiiency (kraken's ranged not always efiicient), flying (only the bat, together with ranged defficiency they're a pain in the ass when sieging; which kinda contradicts their history of ransacking towns), supertank idol (its special trait makes it too easy to clear the map of wondering monsters with no losses, it's a level 6 after all). In open field I would say the balance is great.

Originality: 10

The "Fight against sthereotypes" foundation awards you a special prize for the benefits you have brought to the public image of the goblin race.
The "Bored Rater" association awards you the "Laugh my ass off" award for a threadlength of achievements.

PENALTY -1 for not including Hero's racial skill and specialities
BONUS +1 for having a map

TOTAL: 42


kookastar, your added score comes up to 43, not 45
____________
The BoogieMan wrote ... and saw that it was good.

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Gnoll_Mage
Gnoll_Mage


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted February 10, 2006 08:43 PM

33/50

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frakel
frakel


Adventuring Hero
posted February 11, 2006 07:19 PM

Race: 10 (I love this faction. I love the way you portray them. You capture so well many of the lighthearted and unpretentious qualities, which I have vaily tried to introduce to my own faction...)

History: 9 (Well written. VERY FUN! Almost fell down my chair on several occasions... Only reason this is not a natural 10 is that the lighthearted approach is perhabs too far off ´the more mature and dark´ H5 universe - a pity really!)

Creatures: 7 (Allthough closely linked to the history some of these are simply too whacky )

Balance: 6

Originality 10

Overall: 42 (I have to surrender here - the backgroun and flavor is simply great).
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War-overlord
War-overlord


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Presidente of Isla del Tropico
posted February 14, 2006 09:53 PM

Race:8. This is one entries of the few with racial unity. The problem that I think it has, is that they are rather featureless, there only small and have screeching voices. This could have been worked out more.
History:9. I love your history. It explains how your race became the people they are, you have even created a creation myth. The only problem is that it sometimes drifts off the main point and some things like the Theories about the Human Sheskiten and of the infighting should have been placed elsewhere.
Creatures:7. You have made realy nice creatures, but the Coral Trollthings and the Idols are downright weird. On top of that I see no reason why the Trollthings would ally themselves with the Skritz and be in their army(being quasi-intelligent).
Balance:6. You have worked this out very well, the only thing is that your race is rather useless on land(as I understand it). This is very unbalancing, as most of the maps, I suspect, will me 90% land or more.
Originality:9. Very good, but it lacks life outside battle. Still you've done a very good job.

Overall: 39/50
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Iron from Ice.

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Aculias
Aculias


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Pretty Boy Angel Sacraficer
posted February 15, 2006 04:08 AM

Heya Gunnar I would of done it yesterday on request but I got sick.
Well good luck in your contest & well start with history.

History-6 You worked very hard on the history but otherwise it should be in a science fiction book like Forgotten Realms ete then heroes.
Remember Goblins are a nuetral but greedy race.
As long as you pay them what they want, they will do any job they are asked of for a price .

Race-9 Race is good,about the relationships & the goblins etc.

Creatures-7 What can i say, you have an interesting set of creatures.Wierd for me but interesting.

Balance-4 It was really hard to tell.I didnt see any structures or heroes skills to judge.
Orless I missed it.
Sea Bats % bonus att seems powerful for a lv 2.
Net attacks seems worthless for an actual battle even if upgraded.
I think Net attack creatures should be lv 2 & the cute bats where the net attackers are.

Originality-7 It's pretty original,even with some of the creatures comebacks.

total is 33

Good luck in your contest.

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Hellward
Hellward

Tavern Dweller
posted February 15, 2006 02:22 PM

Race: I dislike using any other gods- I hoped Sand Goblins will be atheist, I like your idea but in my opinion it doesn't fit highly & strictly classified and ballanced world of Ashan (only dragon gods: order&chaos, light&darkness, etcetera...)
History: creation really mythological- nordic style - I like it though all races, expect yours originated purposly
Creatures:
Balance: nice, only excuse- there is no ranged attack unit...
Originality: It surely is an original faction, but what I rate is originallity of skills & other statistics- which is also nice

Total: I am not going to rate, since I totally can't imagine it in homm5, but if it was "create your own game town contest" I wouldn't hesitate to give 10 ;P. Your race reminds me the funny (positivlly) orcs from Warcraft II, but it doesn't fit the Dark Fantasy style of Homm5. Maybe you are destined to make your own game or at least "paper RPG".

____________
member of Kongo_Team - creators of ICTC: Hollow

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Valeriy
Valeriy

Mage of the Land
Naughty, Naughty Valeriy
posted February 23, 2006 11:30 AM

Race: 10
Very well described, anecdotes are superb.

History: 10
Funny, detailed, illustrated, clear. Race relations well explained.

Creatures: 8
Creatures are very well introduced and illustrated. The mix is cohesive.
Coral trolls needs integration into history. Lack of spellcasting / magic resistant creatures.

Balance: 7
Everything is great except lack of spellcaster on the battlefield, and dynamics of some original special abilities (level 4 and 6 for instance) need detailed explanations and balancing.

Originality: 10
Very witty and creative. It was a long but very captivating read. You are quite a storyteller.

Judge Rating: 45
A superb entry. Amazing effort, just a few adjustments needed to make it perfect.


Phoenixzs: 37
Oakwarrior: 42
gwyndolium: 34
kookastar: 45
BoogieMan: 42
Gnoll_Mage: 33
Frakel: 42
War-overlord: 39
Aculias: 33

Visitor Rating Average: 39

FINAL AOH ICTC RATING: 84

FRIENDOFGUNNAR IS THE WINNER OF AGE OF HEROES INTERNATIONAL CREATE A TOWN CONTEST!!! CONGRATULATIONS!
____________
You can wait for others to do it, but if they don't know how, you'll wait forever.
Be an example of what you want to see on HC and in the world.
http://www.heroesofmightandmagic.com

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BoogieMan
BoogieMan


Famous Hero
The John of Spades
posted March 01, 2006 08:53 AM

Goog luck, FriendOfGunnar, I'm cheering for you.
____________
The BoogieMan wrote ... and saw that it was good.

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Oakwarrior
Oakwarrior


Famous Hero
posted March 01, 2006 02:34 PM
Edited by Oakwarrior on 1 Mar 2006

Congratulations!

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FriendOfGunnar
FriendOfGunnar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
able to speed up time
posted March 01, 2006 04:55 PM

Thankyou very much all.  and thanks for your feedback.  I realized that I had to tighten up the game mechanics and not just tell a bunch of silly stories about my imaginary race.  (If there's anybody who'd like to see the changes you can just read the last two sections.)

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Zeldor
Zeldor


Known Hero
The Bringer of Pestilence
posted March 01, 2006 05:33 PM

FriendOfGunnar:

Hero could travel on Kelpie.

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FriendOfGunnar
FriendOfGunnar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
able to speed up time
posted March 01, 2006 07:31 PM

kelpie don't like that

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Sindbad
Sindbad


Famous Hero
The lost soul
posted August 17, 2006 09:12 PM

Sorry, but I dont like this town very much. I just cant imagine these weak goblin guys in the world of ashan between the mighty heroes, neither can I imagine the city on adventure map. Its true that it is original and I also like some of the ideas, but some things just dont fit together.
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Already gone...

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