But perhaps I should back up a step, or mayhaps several. When last I wrote, the pack of hungry Chimera were feasting on resources and Velociryx had just been named the largest landowner on Devil’s Isle.

What happened just after that was…I had an idea.

A vision of how we could better control and police our piece of the island, and thus, exert more control overall.

I remember being so excited when I unrolled the map across Vel’s expansive desk and pointed excitedly.

“See…if you sell me the cities of Dol’Doras, Calimba, and Sutheron, that gives you more expansion options in the eastern portion of the island…”

“Given the King’s decree that no Lord may posess more than ten cities in the realm…yes, I see it…and it would consolidate us both in a nice, tight pattern, with shared borders for ease of defense…I like it!”

I beamed proudly at this. “I’d like to start with Sutheron then…we could do sort of a mock wargame, you know? A simulation of the preparations for a siege before taking control of the city…would give our troops some much needed practice for later, and you said yourself that the Chimera should have a trial by fire.”

“Well, yes…but I didn’t envision that it might damage my own cities.”

“Oh no…no damage…the whole thing would be a mockup. There’d be no actual fighting, but all the preparations would be the same. Practice…that’s all.”

He considered this a moment, then nodded.

“I like it….yes! Let’s do it. Sutheron first, then Dol’Doras…Calimba last…the city of music. You’d better treat her well. I think she’s my favorite out of all my kids…erm…I mean cities, but don’t let my other cities know it.”

He smiled at that, and I smiled with him. “No worries…she won’t be going anyplace, and she’ll always be a part of the family.”

That’s what convinced him, and that’s how it had begun.

Innocently.

Just a few land grants and transfers to sort things out on the peninsula before the next phase of our expansion…

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