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pythium-la

LA Pythium, Serpent Cult

Lore

Pythium is based on the eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium. Its history and military bears a legacy of Ermor, as did Byzantium from Rome. The Theurgs and their ceremonial magic are influenced by the lavish liturgy of the Orthodox Church. The Cathedral of the Spheres is filled with chanting, the fragrance of incense, and processions of Theurgs robed in gold and silver. Ritual magic is a public and religious affair. The serpent-and-emerald part of the nation is more free-form fantasy fiction, and comes from the name I think. In the late era the nation is influenced by the mystery cults and religious worshipers of subjugated lands, much as the late Roman empire became a melting pot of imported religious beliefs and faiths. The mystery cults of Isis/Sarapis, Mithra, Dionysos and Euleusis gave Pythium in the late era a new and interesting flavor. The serpent priests are more of a fictional addition, and probably came about as a result of the sacred serpent cataphracts and hydras. Since the mystery cults were inspired by the cult of Isis, a serpent priest with a C'tissian legacy felt fitting. I'm personally quite fond of late era Pythium, since my thesis was about the Roman Isis/Sarapis cult. -Illwinter

The Emerald Empire of Pythium was a splinter empire of the great Empire of Ermor. As dark arts were practiced in the heart of the Empire, the stars warned the Theurgs of Pythia to flee the impending doom. They led Pythia away from the falling Empire and formed an imperial theocracy under their wise rule. As Ermor slowly crumbled, the Emerald Empire struggled to keep the old Ermorian provinces under their rule. From these provinces came strange cults and foreign beliefs. Just as Ermor was seduced by the C’tissian cults of Death, the Pythians were fascinated by the exotic practices of the lizardmen. With shadows lingering near, the C’tissian cults were particularly seductive. No other people had such knowledge of Death and the dead. The popularity of the Theurgs diminished and the Serpent Cult gradually replaced the old state cult. But the Serpent Cult was not the only foreign cult that got a foothold in the Empire. Heretical mystery cults flourish and threaten to cast the Empire into disorder. Pythium uses a reformed legionnaire army with frontier soldiers and mobile field troops. The Serpent Cataphracts have received special status and they have become the most respected force in the Empire.

General Overview


Wide as an ocean and deep as a bathtub, LA Pythium has the gimmick of being the only nation to let you purchase access into all eight Arcane Magic paths. It also has the gimmick of recruit-anywhere stuff: you won't need forts right away, because there's stuff to be found in the frontiers as well! To top it off, it's the only nation to give you a bless effect for free, an extra Major Poison Resistance that doesn't prevent you from purchasing more Poison Resistance in Pretender nation, because Poison is the only thing that Pythium can handle consistently well. Many say that the lack of magical depth is Pythium's biggest problem, but that's a trend across all of the Late Age's Human nations: the real problem is that you don't have enough money and Priests to cover everything, and that you might spread yourself too thin.

National Features

Special Race Attributes Military Magic Access Priests Buildings
Humans Medium & Heavy Infantry
Tower Shields
Above-Average Map Movement
Off-fort options of lesser quality
Gladiator Levies
Sacred Reptiles
Sacred Assassins
nature 33 (rare 4)
fire 22 (rare 3)*
water 22 (rare 3)
death 22
astral 11 (rare 2)
earth 11 (uncommon)*
air 11 (uncommon)
blood 11 (rare)*
Average but costly (holy 22)
Free Resist Poison(10)
Pets from Swamps
Mystical Heretics
(A * denotes heresy paths)
Standard Forts
Mystical off-fort stuff

Capital Special Sites

Temple of the Spheres The Sacred Swamp The Imperial Capital

Enables recruitment of Theurg.
Produce 1astralpearl

Enables recruitment of Serpent Priest, Hydra, Hydra Hatchling.
Produce 3naturegem
Enables recruitment of Serpent Lord, Serpent Cataphract

Unit Overview

Commanders

Pythium is a nation that Drafts many of its units from anywhere. It has a large variety of mages. It can Recruit in and out of forts. You have a large path diversity but are limited in paths.

Most of the off-fort mages are Heretics, which will eventually scrub away the Candles in an area (could be weaponized if you bring large stacks to remove the enemies domain).

Img Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Scout
25
4
1
Stealthy(50) Good for foreign recruitment and while you have palisades and are building up to forts, they have niche strategic uses for sieging vs assassins but normally they are only made in provinces that have them natively.
Serpent Assassin
75
1
2
Sacred
Resist Poison(15)
Stealthy(60)
Patrol Bonus(25)
Assassin (2)
Scale-Walls
A good Assassin that can kill even during sieges and very likely to inflict a high amount of poison Damage on the target. Need gear for survivability and can take your bless.
Centurion
70
22
1
+ foreign Rec
Your base unit commander since he is only 1 recruitment point. Very capable, can get anywhere, and lead 3 squads with a +1 morale boost and 4 squads without a morale penalty. Can do all formations and is the cheapest commander that can lead formations.
Tribuni
80
30
1
Inspirational(1) Step up from Centurion, has a shield for more protection, and can lead 3 squads with a +2 morale boost or have 5 Squades without penalty.
Magister Militum
110
22
2
Old Age(55/50) Your best unit commander, able to lead 120 troops. He is however Old, cost 2 recruitment points and almost twice the upkeep of a Centurion. Recruit when you need a big army lead by one commander (likely with morale boosters).
Battle Deacon
65
19
1
holy 11
Sacred
Resist Poison(5)
Priest Leaders, useful for moving and blessing your Serpent Riders and Hydras.
if leading Hydras, you may want give them a Dragon Helmet For a Morale bonus.
Serpent Acolyte
70
1
1
nature 11holy 11 7
Sacred
Resist Poison(5)
Supply Bonus(5)
Temple Trainer(Hydra Hatchling)
Cheap fort researchers and Fluffers.
They are a spammable way to give your troops poison resistance and to bless your fort mages.
Having one at each Swamp temple is a gold-saving method for amassing Hydra Hatchlings.
Renata
150
1
2
water 11death 11random1100% 11
Sacred
Two very similar mages, being the main combat mages coming out of your non-cap forts.
Renatus are usually the most preferable of the two because it has a 1/3 chance to be a death 22.
Renata are more situational, able to have water 22 and boasting a situational AOE Holy grenade attack.
astral 11 randoms can form communions, with Nature being relegated to sight searching and Construct Manikin.
If you have a favorite, you can cast Katabasis on them to save them from death multiple times; they have a chance to become a stronger Death mage each time.
Renatus
150
1
2
water 11death 11random1100% 11
Sacred
Serpent Lord
100
56
1
Capital Only
Sacred
Resist Poison(5)
While there are very few uses for this commander, light thugging is one of them.
Theurg
135
2
2
Capital Only
astral 11holy 11random1100% 9
Sacred
Communion Mages left over from the Middle Age.
Production is restricted to the capital, but they are guaranteed to have a path in Astral, and they may add Air to your communions.
Serpent Priest
265
1
2
Capital Only
water 11nature 22holy 22random1100%+10% 13
Sacred
Resist Poison(15)
Supply Bonus(20)
Temple Trainer(Hydra Hatchling)
Your big cap-only mage (though certainly on the lower end of "big", even with LA standards).
Your Foul Vapors and Serpent's Blessing/Gift of the Sacred Swamp caster.
Your Nature Communion Master.
Leo
80
22
1
+ foreign Rec Only
fire 11random010% 5
Resist Fire(5)
Fire Power(1)
Heretic(1)
A Centurion that knows some fire magic.
Paying extra may be be worth it if for a Commander that dose more than just stand in the back.
Can support lines with evocations and Summoning Will o' the Wisp (Fire elementals would require proper positioning).
Could be used as light thugs, especially if they get nature 11 (that 10% random path).
Heliodromus
90
1
2
foreign Rec Only
fire 11random1100%+10% 7
Resist Fire(5)
Fire Power(1)
Heretic(2)
Proper fire mages (compared to Leos).
Able to bring down bigger fire spells, such as full-sized Fire Elementals.
A fire 11nature 11 can't do to much, but you can have one cast Taurobolium to be a fire 33nature 22, which'll be able to give your armies Fire and Cold Resistance and cast battle-wide Fire stuff such as Heat from Hell and Flaming Arrows, and which an make more fire 33's with Summon Flame Spirit.
Mystes
40
1
1
foreign Rec Only
nature 11random010% 5
Supply Bonus(10)
Cost effective Research monkeys and the only off-cap mages that are not heretics.
Plop down a lab anywhere and mass produce Swarm casters and a Vine Man creators
Epoptes
110
1
2
+ foreign Rec Only
nature 11random1100%+10% 7
Disease Healer(1)
Supply Bonus(30)
Heretic (2)
requres two turns to recrute a upgraded Mystes with some more magic, Supply Bonus and is Disease Healer but recuces your dominion.
Half are earth 1 which is more likey to ocurr then the 10% on Mystes. Earh randomse can be used to point Stranght buff and Earth Meld enemies, Summon Ogres for sieging or stitched into communions for bigger buffs.
Reveler
50
1
1
+ foreign Rec Only
nature 11random020% 3
Supply Bonus (10)
Causes Unrest (+2 Per Month)
Heretic(3)
On paper they are worst Mystes (produces a lot of Heresy and unrest with lower Research). You spam them for their 10 percent chance of blood 11.
You're often going to have a lot of gold to make labs, and you can recruit cheap troops as patrollers from anywhere, so you might as well recruit a few of these guys.
Blood adds useful utility in and out of labs, if you can boost it.
Their signature Ritual, Orgy, is a cheap way to get freespawn chaff (though getting Revelers that can cast it might cost you quite a bit).

Troops

Pythium's Late-Age army is based on the organization of the Late Roman & Early Byzantine "legions", with cheaper Limitanei drawn from the "frontier" provinces and elite Comitatenses/Palatini deployed from the forts. Most of your men are pretty-well-equipped for the Late Age; unfortunately, good equipment goes with high Resource costs, and the cheaper guys are both sub-par at fighting and limited in movement range. You'll practically need Productivity Scales if you want large and effective armies.

Img Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Milite
8
9
5
+ foreign Rec
Militiamen with Javelins & Tower Shields that you can spam out of any province.
You can expand with them, sure, but you'll take quite a few casualties in doing so.
Limitane
8
26
5
+ foreign Rec
Castle Defence Bonus(1) Well armored and rec anywhere makes them often better then most indies.
Useful for protecting important sites but limited by Resource costs. Limitanei have Javelins and a lower Recruitment Point cost, but Primani are much better-suited for the front line with their better armor and 11 Morale.
Limitane Primani
10
30
9
+ foreign Rec
Castle Defence Bonus(1)
Comitatense
15
26
21
Your elite fort troops, often used for expansions.
Armies made of only them are also good at claiming ground and responding to threat with their high map move. Comitatenses are often better expanders as they cost less and have javelins (they're essentially decent Limitanei), but the Palatini have better armor and higher stats (they're essentially decent Primani).
Palatine
20
30
31
Standard
30
26
21
Standard(1) The extra squad morale is very welcome and a few should be sprinkled in any infantry formation.
While the Limitane Standard is cheaper, the Limitanei have significantly less map mobility and will hold your Comitatense/Palatini army back.
Limitane Standard
20
26
21
+ foreign Rec
Castle Defence Bonus(1)
Standard(1)
Gladiator
10
1
9
levy Two attacks with a bonus against shielded foes make this the unit of choice against medium infantry. Their low resource cost makes them easy to mass, but they will disappear after either inflicting or suffering damage in battle. Very useful for early expansion or as an emergency defense recruit.
Retiarius
10
1
9
levy Your mainstay expansion, rush, and counter-rush units. These deal effectively with several types of elite low strength units due to their net attack and extremely high piercing damage. Extremely cost-effective unit, with fog warriors, will of the fates, and mass flight they are weapons of mass destruction.
Serpent Cataphract
65
56
46
Capital Only
Sacred
resist poison 5
Dying Shape(Serpent)
mounted
Very good for dealing with PD dumps, and very strong(albeit expensive) expanders. They have 2 forms in battle but die after if the first form is killed. Fluff these up with Body Ethereal & Luck, and 12-20 of them can clear almost arbitrary PD amounts.
Hydra Hatchling
35
1
15
Capital Only
Sacred
Regeneration 10%
vulnerability fire -10
resist poison 25
Poison Cloud 4
Unsurroundable 2
undisciplined
blunt resistant
pierce resistant
Animal
cold-blooded
swamp survival
swimming
recuperation
Hazardous to mix with other troops until your mages can grant Poison resistance. Has some uses as early expansion units in a retreat strategy, leaving behind clouds that will kill the chasing independents.
Can soften up heavy cav and many other unit types but suffer vs ranged attackers and can not one turn capture provinces which makes them a bit sub par.
Having Acolytes at every SWAMP temple pumping them out will give stacks for later game.
make sure to have your other troops hold so Gift of the Sacred Swamp can be applied to them.
Hydra
210
1
50
Capital Only
Recruit Max 1/turn
Sacred
Regeneration 10%
vulnerability fire -10
resist poison 25
Poison Cloud 8
Fear 5
unsurroundable 4
undisciplined
blunt resistant
pierce resistant
animal
cold-blooded
swamp survival
swimming
recuperation
Can be used in combination with a high morale commander and fluffed with Body Ethereal and luck for good clear potential. Absolutely hilarious with protection buffs and mass flight, but in general not very often recruited or massed due to their high upkeep and how they can not easily be combined with your troops in combat.
(On a sidenote, if you have a b1 n1 you could communion those up to cast purify blood which makes hydras very effective in combination with your armies)
Limitane Solaris
14
26
18
foreign Rec Only
Castle Defence Bonus(1)
resist fire(5)
a cross between a Limitani/Primani and a Comitatense/Palatine.
Their stats are in-between the two, plus being resistent to fire evocations and not suffer Fatigue from heat.
Hard to amass since you can't get them from forts.
Primani Solaris
18
30
27
foreign Rec Only
Castle Defence Bonus(1)
Resist Fire 5

Heroes

Sprite Unit Name Abilities Comments
Master of the Games
Start with a Heroic Ablity
Mulit Hero
ambidextrous(2)
summons in battle:(Gladiatorx2)
Must fight in arena
You periodically get Light Human thugs.
They must participate in area battles.
often die in them as other nation would enter bigger monsters.
Hierogallus - Hero Sacred
Resist Poison(5)
Old Age (60/50)
Mounted
An old Centurion on a Horse/lizard. Better Protected Commander.
Gallus - Pontifex Serpentus water 22nature 33holy 33 15
Sacred
Resist Poison 20
Supply Bonus 30
Temple Trainer(Hydra Hatchling)
A 5 path Serpent priest and a Throne claimer.

Magic

National Spells & Summons

Pride of Lions: Conj 3 10naturegem, nature 22( Great Lionx10+) fast animal chaff with two high damage attacks.

Contact Lar: Conj 5 16naturegem, nature 11( Lar) A very good summonable mage despite how easy it is to summon him. Is water 11earth 11nature 22 Stealthy and Etheral mage. With Boosters and gems he can use a lot of usfule magic.

Daughter of Typhon Conj 9 30naturegem, nature 55death 22( Hydra - Daughter of Typhon) Summons Unique a immortal size 6 Hydra. Not much to say except a big monster with two Misc slots. Something you get you can cast as a byproduct of the Tartaian Stratgy

Gift of the Sacred Swamp Enchant 2 nature 11holy 11 A Efficient but short-range way to put Poison resist on your troops before they walk into poison clouds. You have to have your troops take the hold action and/or but the caster close to the front to apply properly.

Katabasis Enchant 3 8deathgem, death 11water 11 Only cast by Renata or Renatus. Acts like a discount twiceborn, the mage returns alive to the lab were the ritual is cast instead of dying (will keep afflictions gained). Unlike twiceborn, you can recast it on a favorite Renata or Renatus multiple times. The effects of twiceborn will supersede Katabasis if the mage dies, returning as a Wight Mage Instead. Like twiceborn, this has a 20% chance to increase the mage's Death level by 1, up to death 44.

Epopteia Enchant 3 12naturegem, nature 11 Only cast by Epoptes. Trades Candles for a +2 in Growth scale until next spring. If you time it right, you can easily make a large profit over the game while saving some Pretender points.

Awaken Hamadryad: Enchant 5 25naturegem, nature 44. Only in Forests. ( Hamadryad) In general, not a worthy summons, you have recruitable Nature 3s and can forge booster, and there are not many things this unit is good for since it is completely immobile and can only be cast in forests. The innate caster, Hard to kill, and 3d6 Harpys has SOME applications when your un-forted labs get attacked but hard to justify when you can have 2 Lars.

Taurobolium Thaumaturgy 3 6naturegem, nature 11fire 11 Only cast by Heliodromus. Turn one of thier number into a fire 33nature 22 mage for a year but become a Heretic(5)(only one Heliodromus can benefit from this at a time).

Orgy Blood 1 1bloodslave, blood 11nature 11 ( Satyrx1, Maenadx6) A excellent spell with a lot of potentially if you get lucky and Start a early blood economy. For one Blood slave, you get 6 Beserking chaff and a stealthy Satyr Seducer that can make more of them for the rest of the game (Stealth lets them run from enemies with little consequence). If you had 2 Blood Revelers, you could summon 2 Satyr and 12 Maenad a turn, and each Satyr produces 1 Maenad a turn. This could potentially result in recursive growth, hopefully making entire legions of Maenads every other turn if not interrupted. With assassin items, Satyrs can steal you stronger mages from the enemy.

Magic Access

You can access all magic paths, but most are only Lv1, and some are not guaranteed.

Nature is the most spammable path you have, able to pump it out every turn even from Un-forted labs.

Forts produce a spread of Water, nature, Death, and Astral with Air being Cap only.

Revelers are a national way to get enter blood but spamming to get that 10%. Blood slaves are easy to gather in the Late Age, and you can easily climb blood.

Pythium relays on boosters and summons if it wants higher magic. Water and Nature magic has many summonses for magic climbing. Naiads(Water/Nature 3), Kokythiads (Water/Death 3), Lamia Queen (Strong Death and nature with some blood), Fairy Queen (Air 3). With a Heliodromus, you can Summon Flame Spirits to have multiple Fire 3s.

Combat Magic

Mage power comes from the spam-ability of mages and forming communions. Boosters and empowerment are required to be responsible high in a path.

Early game magic comes from Renatus and nature 11 mages with gems to Spam and over well enemy with chaff.

Because you have all the paths and the ability to boost them eventually, your mages can stack a lot of buffs on your already impressive infantry. It is possible to buff your mass javelins infantry to threaten late-game armies. This does hinge on your ability to quickly Research and gathers big enough communions.

The nation has many ways to apply Poison Resistance Efficiently, which is very useful to a nation that uses Hydras. Apply it and then cast Foul Vapors.

If you keep up with the magic game, you mage lineup may look like a medium-size communion, backed by an assortment of others and a lot of nature 11s that act as Magic Archers and Spot debuffs. Other Words Slinging more spell then having big casters.

Ritual Magic

Because of low but wide pathing, one of the better uses for your mages outside of research and site searching is summoning chaff many different kinds. Mystes and Revelers with Ivy Crowns Making Vine Men. Death Nature Renatus and Renata can Construct Manikin,

Summoning Spectral Mages has chances to forge you Crystal Items.

Magic Items

National Discount

  • Serpent Kryss: Const 4, nature 11, 4naturegem. The same dagger on your Serpent Assassin. Ignores 60% of enemy armour, High poison damage, and grants some Poison resist. Useful on a counter-thug character.
  • Gloves of the Gladiator: Const 2, nature 22, 8naturegem. Go Kung fu by two handing glove with bonus strength, MR, and 3 additional extras.
  • Astral Serpent: Const 4, nature 11astral 11, 4naturegem4astralpearl. Grants extra Poison Resistance and a bonus high poison damage attack.

Strategy

Early Game

Expansion is fairly easy with Pythium, a group of Milite, Gladiators, and Comiatesnes plus an Assasins for harder regions, you can Claim land fast and reliably. If you need troops for number replenishments, you can build troops ahead of time and have your army pick them up as they move instead of going directly to forts.

Good idea to build several labs early. mass-producing Mystes will accelerate your Research Goals. placing a lab in an unprofitable province is the best place to recruit Revelers to get started looking for blood mages and Casting Orgy while not greatly hurting your potential income.

Outside of swarm, Vine Men, and nature spam, your magic game is limited.

Usually, your Comiatesnes plus spamming Gladiators and Milite will beat back early rushes.

Mid Game

FIXME What is the first big research rush, what is the first big powerspike, where do you shift recruitment? what are the big magic diversity issues, are there particular globals you should gun for

Late Game

FIXME How do you close out the game if you are in it, is the high-level research stuff you can do uniquely well, does your nation fall off, aka do you have to force things to conclude swiftly

Strategy Guides

FIXME Link here to guides for the nation, on and off(?) the wiki. This should likely include things like suggested pretender designs as well as strategy guides.

pythium-la.txt · Last modified: 2021/04/14 19:39 by joste