Let me start by pointing out one of the many little ways in which this game is annoying: picking up loot. First of all, there’s a pop-up telling you that your hero has found something:
But of course, it doesn’t tell you what you’ve found: you have to first get rid of this redundant window and click ok. Then it will tell you what you have found, and, in an attempt to be helpful, the game gives you the option of equipping it straight away:
Except that it gives no indication of how good the item is, or it it will interfere with your current kit. So you have to dismiss this window, and then click to bring up your heroes inventory and then decide:
Stupid game. Anyway, I was exploring and lands around Hadgast…
While exploring, I stumble across my first question: alchemy. It’s basically the same as all the other quests: go somewhere and kill some things. I can barely even bring myself to read the small print.
Again, as with recruiting your first hero, this appears to be a non-choice: there appears to be no negative consequence to turning down a question versus accepting a quest but not actually carrying it. Hence, I just accept, and then treat the quest marker in the same way as any of the wander monsters on the map: go kill them when you’re strong enough and got nothing more pressing to do. In my case, thanks to my warg, I can go do that straight away.
Maybe I should just auto-complete all these battles? Although, then I get no control over what happens, and does it not somewhat defeat the point of the game design? At least both my heroes gained a level. So I take adventurer’s boon for Nabeanice (+8 hit points), and boringly, give Miredesi that useful looking potential I. My reward for completing the quest is the alchemy spell (turns mana into gold). I guess that could prove useful.
With the building of an outpost, my empire now has access to iron and an air magic shard. And weirdly, a few turns after founding it, a magical being pops into existence. I guess I must of missed a notification or something, as when I first saw it, I thought it was going to destroy my newly founded outpost! Anyway, mustn’t grumble: free magical demons have to be a good thing right?
After defeating a wandering troll, my two heroes level up again and I assign Nabeanice to the path of the mage, and Miredesi to the path of the governor. My army also picks up a pet wolf called Anna, who hopefully won’t cause problems with the warg. And Nabeanice finds a nifty flaming dagger and an iron shield.
South from Hagdast I find a couple more city spots, one of which even has some essence slots, so I order some pioneers to be trained in my capital once they finish the pier they’re currently working on. A few turns later, and Blackstead, the sister settlement to Hagdast, is founded. I make use of the essence slots immediately, casting oppression (which, weirdly, reduces unrest) and meditation (which gives me more mana per turn). Seems like a weird combination. I guess the meditation helps the citizens put up with the daily oppression.