Meet: The Rupani Military – Officer

Rupani Spearman - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Every army, no matter how powerful or organized has need of solid leaders to lead their forces into the fray. The militarized nation of Rupani has entire schools devoted to the study of war. Most notable is the officer’s Academy at Beih’go Bao which is known throughout Rupani (and even other nations) as the best school to become learned in the art of war. Here, promising soldiers and children of Fraehalders are taught strategy and tactics. Besides teaching the current strategy and tactics of Rupani, the past strategy and tactics of Rupani and other nations are also taught. A well wrought education will leave an officer ready for nearly anything and able to come up with the right strategy or tactic for any situation – even if faced with the unexpected or antiquated, or so Rupani hopes.

This school of thought seems to be serving them well given that Rupani has destroyed all other nations on their half of the continent.

The military officers of Rupani lead groups of soldiers into battle – be it small brigades as a Captain or the entire army as the Commander. The officers are rarely tent-strategists well-removed from the actual battle but more often than not these officers are on the front lines marching with their soldiers. The overall army is led by the General, a man or woman that won the position through trial by combat with their second in command being the man or woman that came in second place. Commanders are then appointed by the General to command garrisons and armies, with the Commanders appointing Captains as needed.

Unlike the infantry, officers do have more freedom in their equipment. Many of the officers wear the traditional breastplate and shoulder-plates, but some also wear leather armour for more mobility. Again, many of the officers carry shields with a rapier or a kampilan, but just as many carry spears when they lead spearmoldiers or longbows when they lead archers. This variance in equipment, especially in officers with multiple skill-sets, allows for a large amount of flexibility in Rupani tactics. Recognized officers and commanders often spend their well earned gold to buy recognizable pieces of equipment to help them stand out on the battlefield. Many Rupani armies had achieved victory from a rout when they were inspired by a well known Captain entering the field of battle. Sometimes these pieces of equipment are simply shiny helms or gold-gilting of armour, other times it may be a fancy pair of boots.

Meet: The Rupani Military – Spearsoldier

Rupani Spearman - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

The Rupani Military has its roots with its spear-wielding soldiers. Hundreds of years ago as Rupani left their swamps the only weapons they could make properly were spears made from swamp reeds. The rapidly growing reeds could be painstakingly sharpened to a fine point while still retaining their durability and light weight. Able to be thrown with deadly accuracy and durable enough to withstand most sword strokes these spears have long been the hallmark of their early success – until they found and stole better weapons of course.

Even today the Rupani army starts their soldiers off with the spear – a spearwall being easier to discipline and maintain than a shieldwall. The spears are now made from oak rather than swamp reeds and utilize a metal spearhead. The land army makes the heaviest use of the spearwalls, especially when protecting archers from charging Slahor cavalry. Spear-soldiers are also often employed on ships, using their spears to keep enemy boarders away from the allied archers and mangonels and the ship’s sails while being able to more easily damage enemy sails with the sharp metal spearheads. At short range the spearthrowing soldiers can hit as accurately as an archer and often with more force. Eventually spear-soldiers will be trained in other weaponry, such as the longbow or rapier as they show they have coordination, skill, determination and bravery.

Against Slahor the spear proves most effective as they are useful against cavalry charges. Unfortunately the Slahor cavalry archers tend to avoid the spear-soldiers, even spearthrowing soldiers. They are most useful in protecting the archers from sword-cavalry so that the archers can protect them from other archers. Against Kosekya the spear also proves quite useful against their more heavily armoured cavalry – a few soldiers lost to stop a Warden is a price Rupani is more than willing to pay. Against Narsput the spears prove as useful as a sword, and often more useful as a spearwall can stop a charge just long enough for archers to route the enemies. Unfortunately for the spear-soldiers the spear tends to be a bit too long for the jungles of Narsput but it does help defend the Rupani Baos from Narsput invasion. Against Wajanderu the spear does little as Wajanderu prefers to fight from a distance. Even when closing into melee Wajanderu’s shieldwalls balk the spearwall, and with their ranged superiority they will tend to let Rupani charge and lose any possible advantage.

Meet: The Rupani Military – Archer

Rupani Archer - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Truly, the Rupani military is the most powerful nation when upon the open sea; their navy has rarely suffered defeat. Alongside the warriors a core piece of their army and their navy land is the archer. More than five hundred years before the game starts Rupani was still in the process of conquering the western half of the continent. One of the largest challenges was defeating the Heiꜩon, as they made heavy use of the longbow – able to shoot down Rupani archers from well outside of the range of their bows. The longbows of the now-fallen Heiꜩon slew Rupani by the hundreds: stopping charges and breaking their morale more often than not. Ultimately it was the vast size of the Rupani empire which dwarfed the Heiꜩon and led to their downfall.

Naturally, the Rupani took this technology and integrated it into their army when they destroyed that nation.

The archers of Rupani now make use of the longbow when fighting on the sea and land. On land they stand upon hills or with a solid wall of warriors and spearmen to guard them and are able to rain death upon approaching enemies. On the sea the archers are accurate enough to slay foes on enemy ships – skilled archers even use fire arrows with oil pots to set ships aflame.

Against their hated foes the Slahor the longbow proves to cut both ways. The longbow easily out-ranges anything which Slahor fields and easily cuts down the lightly armoured soldiers. However, the archers tend to be slow moving and are easily routed by cavalry which Slahor makes heavy use of. When fighting against Kosekya the longbows have a proper arc to damage the enemy forces behind their shield walls which helps offset the destructive power of the enemy donderbus. Narsput and Wajanderu prove to be the most troublesome for the archers as they both use tactics which close the range quickly allowing their shortbows and Wajan Air Piercers to wreck havoc among the archers when caught by surprise.

World Tour: Shui Jintou, the Lonely Grove

Pyrrhic Victory takes place in a vast world constantly at war. Yet across the war-torn lands exist those trying to survive each day. There are still natural gems of beauty scattered around the world, little pockets of untouched landscape rarely encountered but always treasured. Let us take a tour of the world Pyrrhic Victory is set in and see what remains when war is over.

During our tour we saw several ships anchored in the ports of Ilia, Beih’go Bao and Shuicheng, and saw many of the oldest and most impressive sights of Rupani

Welcome back everyone – now I know you must be wondering, what could best the marvels of Ilia or the impressiveness of Beih’go Bao? Well, I welcome you to my favourite part of the Kingdom, Shui Jintou. Shui Jintou, or the Lonely Grove, is a five century old grove of trees and plants which has remained untouched – be it by war or any other encroaching danger.

As even young Rupani know, when we die we are reincarnated; those that live bad lives reincarnate as a chou hong yu, but otherwise we reincarnate as a new person. Those of us that lived truly well in service of Rupani will remember our past lives, especially our Yundoh Lun’wui, our water casters. As we remember our past lives, we can relearn the skills, which is particularly important for Yundoh Lun’wui as they can quickly re-master even advanced techniques through their memories. However it isn’t uncommon for especially skilled soldiers to remaster the skill with their bow or sword.

Thusly then, our homeshrines are where we pay respect to our ancestors – every family household has a temple where we keep a token of memory for our ancestors. Usually we keep a lock of hair tied with a leather ribbon, but if we were unable to claim the body of the fallen then we use seaweed or hay instead. Of course, for those with Yundoh Lun’wui in our family, we keep those ancestors separate to pay special respect to these mighty ancestors. We typically keep a bowl of water by a Yundoh Lun’wui resting place within the shrine so that each Yundoh Lun’wui can still watercast from the afterlife.

Excuse me while I pay my respects to the fallen.

Shui Jintou - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Thank you for waiting. Shui Jintou was once a memorial to a single fallen warrior, but has long since been a place to remember all of your fallen. I’ve had several close friends including my wife perish in wars with Slahor and Kosekya; I find it easier to remember fond memories of them when I sit in this beautiful grove. It is common for families to make a trip to Shui Jintou yearly to pay respects to fallen comrades, mothers, fathers, siblings, children – to remember them beyond the homeshrines.

Shui Jintou was originally to be the large blue leafed tree before you. Five hundred years ago, a mighty Yundoh Lun’wui died on that spot from dozens of wounds received while defending the King’s only daughter Jing’yi. Even the mightiest of casters cannot cheat death alas, for while he killed every single assailant he collapsed after the battle and never awoke. Shortly afterwards the King’s personal guard arrived and found the Jing’yi unharmed next to the fallen Yundoh Lun’wui. Around the two of them were more than two score Narsput warriors, dead. The King’s daughter was returned safely to the palace as her father declared war upon Narsput for this attack. A few years later the King stepped down and his replacement continued the war against Narsput. When the new King was killed in battle the old King’s daughter was elected and was the first King to finally crush the Narsput resistance; we’ve had peace since.

As for the fallen Yundoh Lun’wui? It was decided that in honour of his sacrifice and bravery in the face of such long odds, and in respect for his skill, that he would be buried where he fell. Upon his grave the King personally planted a seed from the Royal Gardens, the first ever occurrence of these beautiful trees being planted outside of the Royal Gardens. At the same time many soldiers whom had fought with him and family members planted other trees around his Lonely Grove creating what you see today. When the King’s daughter became King, she began a new tradition. Every year on the anniversary of the Yundoh Lun’wui’s death she would travel to the grove to pay her respects. Since her death, many Kings have respected the tradition and have continued to personally visit the tree and lay flowers upon the stone marking his grave. After many years the stone has shattered from the growth of the tree but the split pieces have wedged themselves, making the tree truly one with the fallen Watercaster.

The most amazing thing about the grove however is that every year upon the same day in the spring, all of the trees in the grove bloom. Likewise, all of the leaves on the trees change colour upon the same day in the autumn – as you can see now.

Artwork By: Patryk Kowalik

World Tour: Beih’go Bao, the Impenetrable Sea Fortress

Pyrrhic Victory takes place in a vast world constantly at war. Yet across the war-torn lands exist those trying to survive each day. There are still natural gems of beauty scattered around the world, little pockets of untouched landscape rarely encountered but always treasured. Let us take a tour of the world Pyrrhic Victory is set in and see what remains when war is over.

During the tour we saw several ships anchored in the Shuicheng port, you can find them at: Shuicheng Tour. We more recently saw the Capital city of Rupani, Ilia.

Beih'go Bao - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Welcome my friends to the edge of the Nation: Beih’go Bao.

Beih’go Bao is the largest shipyard in the world, it is easily larger than Chengshi, Shuicheng and even Ilia. Beih’go Bao’s by far larger than any ports built by any other nation. In-fact, Beih’go Bao is large enough able to dock the entire Rupani Navy if we so chose. No merchant ships are allowed to dock at Beih’go Bao as the shipyards are used to construct many of our largest ships such as the Shijin class artillery ships you saw earlier in this Tour.

Now, I can’t say too much about the defences here (we can’t have other nations using that against us), but as you can see from here, the Bao has several trebuchets upon tall towers which which can launch projectiles at incoming enemy fleets. The tallest building, the lighthouse, functions as both a guide for ally ship and as a watchtower as the tall tower gives the guards a high vantage point allowing them to see incoming ships up to a day before they arrive. This gives the defenders of the Bao a long time to prepare for their guests. Besides the trebuchets, the Bao has several smaller mangonels, archer towers and fortified gates. It would take a massive army to breach this fortress.

Of course, there is also the fleet itself. The more than two score Yi’feng scoutcraft live up to their namesake and stalk the waters, keeping an eye out for any pirates or enemy fleets. The tiny ships slip away from enemies and can sail through the roughest and shallowest terrain with easy. In less than an hour our Duyunshu transports are brimming with soldiers ready to board enemy craft: perfect for capturing rogue merchant vessels or capital ships. As I mentioned, our Shijin artillery ships are constructed and docked here and their fire power matches that of the garrison when they turn their mangonels towards the enemy! We can’t complete a naval defence without the many Jianjing ramming ships which can form a blockade of sharp points and firebombs, easily ramming through fleets! Fortunately there are no more Jianjings living in the area, so the waters are safe for our own fleet.

Never once has an enemy fleet come close to the shores of Beih’go Bao, the defences are simply too mighty. But, many ask: what if they did? Well, the Bao holds a garrison of elite soldiers whom can man the gates and towers, dropping hot oil on invaders. With a complement of Watercasters to dash enemy ships against the rocks and sink their ships there is simply no retreat for invaders. Once an enemy fleet has landed the garrison archers which shot flaming arrows at the incoming ships can take up positions inside the walls, peppering the enemy soldiers with arrows as they try to breach the two gates. What happens if they manage to break down both gates of our island fortress of might? Well, that isn’t going to happen – not even the Prevluda could do it! But let’s just say that there is a surprise in store for anyone that does manage to breach the outer and inner gates and attack the inner keep to try and capture the Bao.

What is the point of all this power? Well, Beih’go Bao is both our northern defence and our major military port and shipyard. Many of our Generals and Commanders are also trained here in the academy and eventually take command of ships or land armies. Most importantly of course is that Beih’go Bao prevents any invaders from reaching Ilia from the north. With the Yao Feng Divide to the far east of Ilia and rocky cliffs the north, the only way to Ilia through the northern waters is to pass Beih’go Bao over the water. Of course, just in case we have more Baos, outposts and armies to the north to stop any sneaky enemies from marching in peace. This means that Ilia is completely safe from invaders, so if you’d like to find a place to live in peace, you can’t go wrong with Ilia; it is the best city in the world after all.

Several people have wondered about the name Beih’go – which essentially means Nose in the Rupani language. Well have you seen a map? Beih’go Bao is placed right at the nose of the Hau Chau Wan. Here, take a look – doesn’t the land look like a face, with the Hau Chau Wan the gaping mouth, an eye and then Beih’go Bao is on the tip of the nose?

Beih’go Bao On Map - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Artwork By: Patryk Kowalik and Cedric Cunanan

Pyrrhic Victory – Soundbite of Rupani OST

Music in games is often the glue that brings the graphics and gameplay together and delivers helps immerse the player in their task. Good music therefore must should fit two criteria. First it must be recognizable – this is the music that you recognize after years of not playing a game, the first welcome home upon load and music that plays pleasantly in your head after you finish playing for the night. Secondly, music must be non-distracting – the music can’t take away from the gameplay sounds which are required to cue the player to the action, nor can the music just plain be distracting (irritating, too noisy, too chaotic, etc) that the player is unable to focus on the game they’re playing.

Pyrrhic Victory is a game of large scale – large armies on even larger maps battling to defeat or death. Each army has its own culture in the world, so each army will have its own music as well. Today we present to you all: a soundbite of the Rupani sound track.


Joining a team – experiencing the world of game writing

Have you ever wanted to join a writing team, be it for a game, a roleplay or to write a book? Our junior writer Rhyss shares his experience joining our small team, and what it is like joining an indie team as we create an entire world for the player to explore.

Writers - Meraki Games

Hello there. My name is Rhyss. I am the Junior Writer for Meraki Games and one of the newer people to the team. It has been a really weird experience for me as I’ve never worked with a game company before and I have actually never met the people I work with in real life. I’ve not been a writer for the team very long, only a few months really, but they’ve been really welcoming to me even with my family problems and time constraints with my real work. They even changed the time and date of our Writing Team meetings just to accommodate me, and helped me improve my writing skill so I can work on and improve my own projects.

Now that introductions are out of the the way my time here has been really pleasant. Working for Meraki has been a real joy. To learn from a much more experienced writer like Jenni it is almost an honour to see her work. She was the one that helped me improve the writing that got me into the job at Meraki. To get into the position I showed a creative writing post for a character named Luke Vermillion, who doesn’t exist in Pyrrhic Victory. This was used in a forum for a LARP I frequent when we’re not playing. The improvement I gained from Jenni’s help was startling. She taught me things that I haven’t noticed a lot before. I am a self taught writer as I was not taught creative writing other than many years ago at school. She really made me feel welcome and made me feel like I had a real skill for writing creatively even if I was a bit rough around the edges.

My first real project was one of Jenni’s, which was one of the parts for Fire Dance. I was only there to point out small mistakes and suggest ideas. This was my first real taste of working with Jenni. She was considerate to any small ideas and edits I may have noticed. This also taught me about some websites I should use when going into my own writing and handling simple grammar and spelling mistakes that could have been easily missed (some of which were just me being English and seeing the American spelling). It also gave me the first taste of the world that I was going to start help creating.

The people I talk to about my writing are Jenni and Kyle via a Skype conversation. They are the ones that help and give me ideas while also telling me what to write. Jenni makes sure I have my writing up to the best standard it can be. Writing my own story was going to be my biggest challenge for this world and after a few months I got the chance to finally write my own.

I was given a list to choose from. The story ideas I was given varied from battles, parables and a few other options. I was told about a crucial battle in the Kosekyan timeline. This was the battle that made the people of Kosekya change their ways and from following the god Lunale to the goddess Aurora (the story will be revealed later). What actually drew me to it is was a part where a bunch of rebels attack and overthrow the capital in a bloody battle. This is mostly because I have wide experience with this concept, except in a completely different genre.

The biggest challenge for me was the genre gap. As a writer for occult, futuristic, and horror themed stories writing a fantasy story was not completely new. This was a bit of a challenge as I had to write for a more mature audience than I was used to. I was given some tips by Jenni and Kyle to make sure I plan ahead. This meant creating a plan to my story and that’s where my three parts came into fruition. This was completely different to how I write. I normally write continuously when the ideas come to my head. This, however, did lead to problems with little to no paragraphing and run on sentences. I was also told roughly how many words I have to write per part and how many parts should be included with some main pointers for the story.

I was given a month to finish three parts of the story. That was when the full editing process came into effect allowing both Jenni and Kyle to comment on what should be edited first. I saw the comments and edited to what was obvious with continuity and normal errors everywhere. With the edited piece I was now able to work with Jenni to make sure that grammar and spelling were correct. It’s now in its final stages of editing and almost ready to be posted.

Another part of working with them is the writing meetings. These meetings are normally on a Sunday morning for me at 1:00 am. This was changed as I never have any shifts that are overnight which allows me to juggle the two jobs. The meetings can vary from helping each other write stories, including the editing, from seeing concept art and helping decide on what designs would be perfect, giving ideas for countries, names, and places, plus a lot more wide variety of writing that needs to be done within the game. This is predominantly frequented by Kyle, Jenni, and I. I was struggling at first trying to catch up with all the information but asking them gave me enough information to help even a little. I want to make sure I’m as helpful as possible as they’ve been to me.

That’s mostly about it. In retrospect, I would have regretted it if I didn’t take this chance working for Meraki games. I was honestly scared because everyone else was trained in making games in some kind of way or had been doing it for a while. I’m learning quickly even if I still make a lot of silly mistakes due to my writing style (the irony is that there were probably a lot of mistakes in this blog before they were edited out). They have been very welcoming. They’re very hospitable people and welcome everyone to the team even if they’re inexperienced. I am excited to show you my work soon and I hope you enjoy them just as much as Jenni’s.

Nation Creation in Pyrrhic Victory

Have you ever daydreamed about your own imaginary country? Those of us at Meraki Games have or else we wouldn’t be in the business we’re in! What kind of terrain would each country have, who would live there, what kind of government would rule? We had to answer these questions plus many more we’d never before imagined in the creation of our world of Zevestok for Pyrrhic Victory.

We knew what kind of game PV would be but before we could start the artwork or programming we had to develop all the details of the world. Kyle tasked each of us on the writing team to create two of our own countries. We had to think of the physical aspects like geography and climate. Next, we explored the people and their culture. We met numerous times over the last several months to reveal and discuss our new countries with each other as well as to fill the many holes. Finally, we had to come up with names for everything. That was probably the hardest task of them all!

We used a bit of experience with our own countries, to start, in helping to decide what the world would look like. Take Rupani for example. This was one my babies. I live in south-central United States so using that as an example was easy. Rupani is a diverse landmass ranging from deadly swamps to highly fertile plains, and finally, north to the colder territory of Ngahn Laahng. The mountains of Yao Feng Divide on the Eastern border of the country closely resemble the Rockies but with an Alps flair. This basically means they’re roughly the same altitude as the Rockies but match the Alps when it comes to the huge amounts of ice and snow.

One of the biggest questions was, obviously, what kind of people would live in each country? I imagined Rupani housing a small but sturdy and fierce race of people who respect their ancestors so much it’s as if they never died. As the running pattern here, and following the typical advice of start with what you know, I decided that each citizen would serve mandatory military service for a time. There is a bit of a twist though. When I say each citizen I mean both men and women. When it comes to government the idea of a king and queen with a democratic election process is fascinating. Granted, King would be title only whether a man or woman is elected. Yes, that means his or her spouse would be called Queen.

Once we decided on the basics of each country the Writing Team met each week for many, many months to discuss them with each other. The main reason was to hash out any missing details or fill holes that the country creator couldn’t see. And there were so many holes, which is why it took so many months to finalize the world! It did get frustrating at times, but I can honestly say that I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished through that hard work and look forward to releasing more World Tours with our trusty guide Tsai Shan, though his expertise may not be as profound in Slahor or Wajanderu. We shall soon see.

As you may have noticed most of our names for Rupani have a Cantonese background. Ahn Wuh, for example, translates to Eye Lake. Granted this may not be grammatically correct, for those of you who actually speak the language, but we took a bit of artistic license there. The same goes with Beih’go Bao. It indirectly translates to Nose Fort because, well, that peninsula looks a little like a nose. We had a bit of fun with that one. That is basically the theme throughout our naming process. Each country has a base language we modelled their speech after. We used English to name everything and artistically translated into our choice dialect. Not only did we have fun naming things, but it also helped us learn a few words here and there in different languages.

When we first started creating Zevestok I thought it would be the easiest part of creating Pyrrhic Victory. Was I wrong or what! It has been the lengthiest part of the game development to date, but the details of what we’ve created is fairly epic.

Map of Rupani - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

World Tour: Ilia, Capital of Rupani

Pyrrhic Victory takes place in a vast world constantly at war. Yet across the war-torn lands exist those trying to survive each day. There are still natural gems of beauty scattered around the world, little pockets of untouched landscape rarely encountered but always treasured. Let us take a tour of the world Pyrrhic Victory is set in and see what remains when war is over.

During the tour we saw several ships anchored in the Shuicheng port, you can find them at: Shuicheng Tour.

Alas, we arrive at the best city in the world! Ilia, the capital of Rupani, the seat of power and home to King Jingyi and Queen Zhou. Ilia is twice the size of her little sibling Sui Hingdaih, and larger than every other city outside of Kosekya (but their fortress cities are cheating). Ilia is a massive ocean-side city that can easily dock two hundred ships, both mercantile and military, although there are not many ships in this portion of the docks today. The city rests on the western side of the Rupani lands and is guarded by the might of Beih’go Bao to the north and Chengshi to the south. And for any would be invaders we have more than enough of a home navy and militia to repel you! The capital has multiple levels due to the rolling hills upon which the city was built. The hill we are on now overlooks the western and middle of the city, although it spans out of sight past the buildings to our left. There are several other hills which hold various important parts of the city as well.

Ilia Capital of Rupani - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games
Gaze upon the Royal Palace, for all that is important happens there! The Royal Palace shimmers with the blue of the sky and ocean as they are our most important symbols, and towers above all else in the city. The tallest spire of the Royal Palace rises thirty two floors, and from base to roof is nearly six hundred and fifty handlengths tall! The other spires are not quite as tall, but are equally as important. The spire in the middle, the Da Fanzou Tah, is the realm of the current King and Queen. Both live within the main building and can observe their domain from the heights of the spire while working with ministers and Fraehalders, the General and Commanders on the lower levels. The Da Fanzou Tah is also where the King and Queen hold audiences. I’ve only once had the opportunity to have an audience with King Jingyi, and she is as beautiful as she is wise. The King and her husband Queen Zhou have brought much prosperity to Rupani with the trade between Rupani and Wajanderu, with the schools and monuments setup between the two nations lands.

The other two spires, Guo Tah and Nu Tah house the remains of past Kings and Queens respectively. Every turn of the moons, the King and Queen visit the spires to honour past Kings and Queens, gaining strength and wisdom from the dead. The ancestors of the King and Queen remain at their family’s ancestral home, including any children whom die while their parents are ruling. Anyone that serves as King or Queen can be placed within Guo Tah or Nu Tah, even if they were not ruling during their death.

Behind the palace lies a great green hill, and behind that rests the military centres of Ilia. Here is where Commanders are trained to lead armies, and the children of Fraehalders are taught the ways of war and governing so that they may defend the land the King gifted to their family. The best horses from across Rupani, and occasionally from other nations, are brought to our corral in order to breed the finest horses our nation has. These horses are gifted upon commission to Commanders and Generals, and the very best is reserved the King and Queen and their children. Occasionally one of the prized horses is purchased by a particularly wealthy Fraehalder with the permission of the King. It is truly an honour to have a horse of your family selected for breeding by the royal horse breeders, and it is common for a soldier that acquires the offspring of one of these prize horses to visit the family with gifts of thanks from the horse’s maiden battle.

See the brown coloured houses? That is the poor district, the least safe part of town. Those that live in the poor district tend to be down on their luck merchants whom cannot afford to pay taxes to the city. The strict rules of the poor district mostly prevent crime, but there are always dissidents in that district. The buildings are brown as the citizens are forbidden from painting the temporary houses, and also because few citizens wish to live there long enough to call any house a home. As people regain financial stability, they typically move to the middle district again. Houses in the poor district are small, especially for families, and afford no room for ancestor rooms. Thus, there are dedicated buildings where remains are kept for many families, and up to fifty families will honour their families together while they live in the poor district. Some houses have multiple tiers with one family living on each floor – often these houses are inhabited by an extended family, such as the married child living on the second floor with their children and spouse while the rest of the family lives on the first floor. The poor district has its own docks as well, to keep them from getting in the way of those that are making ends meet. Those that make no effort to improve their station are encouraged to leave and seek out a town that will take them in.

Those with jobs and money live in the middle district. This is also where the market and all trading occurs. The citizens here paint their houses a bright crimson, to contrast with the blue of the Royal Palace. Most merchant ships dock here, and goods often travel along the wide roads of the markets, with vendors displaying their wares to all passersby, enticing them into buying anything from trinkets to food to clothing or weapons. This is also where you will find an inn and tavern if you want to sleep in a bed for the night. With plenty of warehouse space, large family homes, and small bazaars, the middle district is always busy and full of people. Just be sure to stay off the market roads during the turn of the moons, the celebrations fill the streets to the brim!

Be sure to take a break at one of the taverns. I recommend the Swift Current, which has local ale that is so strong it is barely legal! Before we leave there will be time to visit the market roads and bazaars, so this is a great time to pick up souvenirs for your family!

Artwork By: Patryk Kowalik

Meet: The Rupani Military – Warrior

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Rupani Warrior Concept Art - Meraki Games - Pyrrhic Victory

The Rupani military takes war very seriously. Having been almost constantly at war for the last several hundred years, the Rupani nation has risen to the challenge by enforcing a mandatory 2 year military service for every able-bodied adolescent, male or female. Deserters from the military and those too weak to pass the tests bring dishonour to their family and ancestors. Many have been disowned by their families for failing, to avert the dishonour. Every child of a Fraehalder will have learned basic weapon training and many go on to have successful careers in the military. It would be a poor Fraehalder that didn’t know how to fight; it would be difficult to rally the militia, fight off invaders and keep their title. A Fraehalder that can’t fight would be quickly displaced by the King.

The Rupani military is large horde led by a single General – a position which is acquired through trial by combat. Under the General is a Sub-General, his/her direct replacement if the General perishes.  Further down the chain of command are the Commanders. Commanders report to the local Fraehalders, but take orders from the General and the King alone. The rest of the army is made up of the warriors (as seen above), the archers, cavalry, engineers, and Watercasters. The military transports physicians on loan from Yi Shae Yu’an Moshu – a Rupani medical school to treat their wounded and sick. We’ll see more on the other parts of the Rupani Military later.

As Rupani is heavily focused around their Navy, they have developed their fighting styles around ship fighting; the equipment which the Navy and Land Army use are nearly identical.

Rupani Warrior Armour - Meraki Games Inc - Pyrrhic Victory

Rupani Warrior outfit. The traditional armour of the military is a steel breastplate, pauldrons, bracers and greaves with a wooden shield. Naval soldiers don’t wear the pauldrons or greaves.

The Rupani nation produces (and steals), a vast quantity of quality steel. They forge all weapons and armour (except for shields) out of steel to ensure maximum strength. When on land, the soldiers wear steel greaves, and pauldrons which are too heavy to wear on a ship. All of the plates are held together with dark green leather straps which are treated to prevent shrinking and stretching when wet or heated. To ensure that a soldier can escape drowning in their armour, quick release compression clasps are hold the front/back plates together – this allows the soldier to swim out of their armour in seconds if they fall into deep water. Warriors also carry round wooden shields. The shields of soldiers are typically painted with their ancestral family crest.

Rupani Warrior Weapons - Meraki Games Inc - Pyrrhic Victory

The warriors typically use Rapiers, although they also field spear warriors. Every soldiers carries a Sgian, a type of curved cutting knife.

The Rupani warriors tend to attack with skill and speed, preferring the rapier over thicker weapons. Most warriors are adept with rapiers and are able to create a tough guard with their rapier and shield, while rapidly attacking the foe. Due to this agility, the Rupani don’t fight in formation, attempting to overwhelm the enemy with sheer number and personal skill to rout their foes as quickly as possible. In the event that they lose or break their rapier, every warrior carries at least on Sgian, a small razor sharp knife which has saved the lives of many soldiers. While rapiers are issued to soldiers by the military, Sgians are typically passed down through the family.

Unfortunately, this style of combat is weak against charging foes, such as cavalry. To prevent a total rout from a soldier cavalry charge, the Rupani military trains some of its soldiers to form spear-walls. The spear-walls are made up of soldiers with increasingly longer spears which rest on the shoulders of the soldiers in front of them. The front row has the smallest spears and hold shields, while the back row wield spears up to 4 meters long. This bristling wall of spears (not unlike a porcupine) is daunting to charging cavalry and infantry alike – if they can position the spears between the enemy cavalry and the rest of the army. In addition, palisades will help in defensive engagements, and their own cavalry are often seen skirmishing with opposing cavalry when possible.

For those that favour a strong navy – Rupani is right for you. If you have questions or comments we’d love to hear from you; drop a comment below (or on our facebook or twitter!).

Rupani Warrior - Meraki Games - Pyrrhic Victory

Pyrrhic Victory Screenshots

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone enjoyed the first Chapter of Fire Dance! Fire Dance, and the short stories to come are meant to give you backstory on the nations in the game and many of the main characters. It is a harsh world out there, especially for mages – keeping alive is difficult when the 5 major nations are often at war with one another. Of course, since most nations have assassins, magic and highly trained soldiers, allying yourself with one of the nations will usually keep you alive a little bit longer. As O’in found out, even blood ties can’t keep you alive in Slahor if you wield fire magic, but there are some in the world that do appreciate the good that fire magic can do (or at least, how destructive it can be against your foes). If you haven’t read Fire Dance yet, be sure to check it out here. We’ll be posting up the second chapter of Fire Dance in a couple of weeks where we will be introducing more of Wajanderu and follow O’in as he meets other mages and other people – people that aren’t trying to kill him for once.

Fire Dance Moon - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Chapter 1 ended under the light of Aurora, the blue moon

Since O’in will be heading to Wajanderu soon, I wanted to show you all some actual in-game screenshots of Wajanderu. Bear in mind that the maps are subject to change, not to mention they might not fit precisely into the game by the time we release.

First up is a small travelling trail through the large forest Herwald near Blauflus. Blauflus is the Wajanderu city which floats on a river on the eastern side of Mount Xue’feng. The Herwald surrounds Blauflus, from north to south and provides protection for Blauflus – enemies that attack are often beset by Wajans in the trees (at least until they burn down the trees). This particular portion of the Herwald is used by merchants travelling to and from Slahor and Kosekya (a nation we’ll see later).

The Herwald - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

A path through the Herwald

Mount Xue’feng is a massive mountain range similar to the Rockies in North America. Mount Xue’feng splits the continent in half, and ranges from freezing high altitudes to mellow almost tropical hills. A lot of precipitation is trapped on the western side of Mount Xue’feng, which is why a lot of Rupani (on the west of the mountain) is swamp and Slahor (on the east of the mountain) is a desert. It is difficult to travel across the mountain range, although there are a few mountain passes which will go between rest points. The below is one such point high up in the mountains. Since Wajanderu has many citizens from Narsput, and since Wajanderu and Rupani are usually closely allied, the two nations use their magic to keep the pass clear. Narsput citizens moved the mountain earth and bolstered the sides of the mountain to prevent avalanches/rock slides, Rupani moved the snow and Wajanderu keep snow and earth from blowing back into the pass. The joint effort allows caravans to pass through with little trouble or delay, which would otherwise be impossible. The passes through the mountain are based loosely on Noctis Labyrinthus on Mars – cold (for different reasons) and imposing with their sheer cliff sides – you can’t climb out, only keep going forward. With a guide you can get through the mountain, but without…

Mount Xue'feng Pass - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

A mountain pass through part of Mount Xue’feng, kept safe by the magics of three nations.

Do you see the tiny black dots inside of the red circle? That is a hint to the size of Mount Xue’feng and the scale of the task that the three nations have undertaken to shift this tiny part of it without getting anyone killed (usually). This is also the scale of game we’re looking to make, large maps with plenty of room to plan strategy and tactics with large (or small) armies. Perhaps in a defense having people climb high up on the mountain to drop rocks on the enemy’s head could prove to turn the tide in a defensive battle – it would be impossible for them to fight back if the enemy is far out of arrow reach.

This is the size of the actual soldiers in the mountain pass.

Soldiers in Mount Xue'Feng Pass - Pyrrhic Victory - Meraki Games

Yes, this is the proper size of the soldiers. Mount Xue’feng is just really big.

Well, that’s it for this week – have feedback or questions? Comment here, or on facebook/twitter! If you like Pyrrhic Victory, help spread the word please with one (or more!) of the buttons below! If you found the tidbits of world lore interesting, we have Nation pages up for Wujanderu and Rupani, and we’ll be adding one for Slahor soon!