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therodos-ea

EA Therodos, Telkhine Spectre

Lore

Therodos was once a kingdom of sages and craftsmen ruled by the Telkhines. When the Telkhines declared themselves god-kings, their kingdom was visited by divine judgement that plunged their island homes into the sea. Now, what remains of the living toil away alongside spectres of their former kinsmen, who were barred from entering the underworld and have not yet fully grasped their incorporeal condition. The more powerful remaining mages, the Hekaterides and Daktyloi, are brothers and sisters of one ilk; and while the Daktyloi toiled away on crafts the Hekaterides flowered in dance, and gave birth to the satyr race.

Many of the units in this nation's lineup are adapted from Greek myths surrounding the crafter daimones who protected an infant Zeus from his father Cronos. The story of a race plunged underwater as part of divine retribution is also reminiscent of the flood after the end of the war with the giants in Ovid. The nation's Telkhines are also of Greek myth, and just like in myth they mixed water from the Styx with sulfur to create a terrible poison.

Therodos shares an era with the other last living remnant of the Telkhine's empire: Berytos, The Phoenix Empire.

Overview

Therodos is an underwater amphibious nation whose dominion kills population and generates units. The units generated in this way (termed freespawn) are a mix of ethereal ghosts with spectral weapons, a very small number of which are sacred. Therodos' recruitable units and commanders are fairly limited in variety but include berserkers (Kourete), good commanders (Melia), powerful Nature and Water mages (Hekateride), and versatile crafters (Daktyl), all of which are sacred. Other unit options include the conjuration of Telkhine at Conjuration 8, as well as regional Mediterranean summons.

Therodos has an easy time expanding early with its troops, owing largely to their etherealness. However, it can take a few turns to get an expansion force out and the troop composition that is offered up by their dominion's popkill is out of the player's control. Dealing with other players can be an area where Therodos struggles, either after expansion is finished or due to someone else's early aggression. There are a few spells and tactics they deploy effectively, but their versatility falls off when dealing with certain kinds of opponents, notably high morale or poison-resistant foes, or anything with plentiful weapons.

Gold is a constant concern for Therodos. A fort is required in a province in order for ethereal units to spawn there, which means Therodos wants to scramble for income early and get the funds for a few forts before their dominion kills too much of the population. Recruiting mages until the lategame also requires gold, but their dominion largely prohibits growing an economy. It is sometimes preferable for Therodos to keep high-income provinces free of their own dominion, allowing the enemy's dominion to fill in instead, in order to maintain an income from there. Acquiring new territory is another source of income, but it comes with its own vicissitudes.

National Features

Special Race Attributes Military Magic Access Priests Buildings
Spectral Humans
Powerful Magic Beings
Neutral Temperature
Spectral hoplites
Spectral skirmishers
Sacred berserkers
nature 44 (Rare 5)
earth 33 (Rare 4)
water 33 (Rare 4)
air 22 (Rare 2)
death 11 (Rare 2)
fire 11 (Rare 2)
holy 22 Cap-only
holy 11 in Coastal Forts
Advanced Forts (Castle)
Can build Underwater Forts

The magic paths listed above do not include paths obtained through summons or low-percent randoms.

  • Mercenaries are 25% more expensive.

Capital Special Sites

Telkhinis
Enables recruitment of: Melia, Hekateride, Daktyl, Kourete
Generates 1watergem1airgem3earthgem1deathgem per turn.

Freespawn

As mentioned earlier, Therodos' dominion kills population to generate ethereal units in forts. Death scales increase the number of units generated. Forts also prevent the complete depletion of population.

It is worth noting a few things about the ethereal units.

  • They have a protection of 0, meaning that anything that makes its way past their etherealness (which is 25% of mundane attacks) will inflict serious or lethal damage.
  • One exception is the Spectral Hoplite unit, which while still having 0 protection, carries a shield. This shield is treated as mundane and anything that this unit blocks will be treated as a hit against 15 protection.
  • All of these units have Spectral weapons, which prompt the targets they hit for a MR check for half damage. This reduces the spectral freespawn's damage output against all units to some degree.
  • Spectral javelins and bows can be fired underwater.
  • These undead are not mindless and are susceptible to morale damage.

Morale penalty

Non-undead units controlled by Therodos suffer a -1 morale penalty their dominion instead of receiving a +1 bonus. This is a national trait which is not negated by being a disciple and is not shared with disciple nations should Therodos be the pretender.

National Units

Therodos has a limited recruitable troop lineup to begin with, and this is further constrained by fort location.

  • Underwater forts that are not the capital have only Melia as national recruits.
  • Land forts with no connection to a water province have no national recruitment at all.

Coastal forts (land forts that have a connection to a water province) allow the recruitment of the national mage Kabeiroi as well as a slew of average human units. In addition, every coastal fort can recruit Korybantes, sacred berserker troops very similar to the cap-only Kourete without being amphibious.

Commanders

Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Melia
Gold 160
Resources 21
Recruitment points 2
Capital and Coastal Fort Only
nature 11holy 11rp 99random1100%
Sacred
Awe (+3)
Inspirational (+1)
Supply Bonus (+20)
Reduces Unrest (2/month)
Poor Amphibian
Magic Being
Recuperation
Female
The Melia is a very multipurpose commander. It is a capable thug, leader (of normal, magic and undead troops) and minor priest. The water randoms are especially notable as thugs, since they can make use of the potent physmoss combo (Liquid Body/Temper Flesh + Mossbody) and be very difficult to kill with a few other point-buffs.
Daktyl
Gold 240
Resources 2
Recruitment points 4
Capital Only
air 11water 11earth 22rp 1515random1100%
10%

Sacred
Master Smith (1)
Magic Being
Amphibious
Daktyls provide good earth access along with the Master Smith trait, which allows them to craft higher-path items than they normally could. They are Therodos' only native fire and death access, the latter being important for some of the nation's summonable researchers and units. As with any minimum earth 22 mage, they are useful for the powerful earth buffs.
Hekateride
Gold 270
Resources 1
Recruitment points 4
Capital Only
water 22nature 33holy 22rp 1717random1100%
10%

Sacred
Poison Resistant (+5)
Awe (+6)
Inspirational (+2)
Supply Bonus (+50)
Reduces Unrest (3/month)
Amphibious
Magic Being
Recuperation
Female
This big cap-only mage provides Therodos' highest water and nature access. This is particularly significant for Foul Vapors, which synergizes wonderfully with Therodos' undead, poison-resistant troops.

The following commanders can only be recruited in coastal forts.

Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Therodian Scout
Gold 25
Resources 3
Recruitment points 1
Stealthy (+55)
Mountain Survival
Forest Survival
Slightly stealthier than a generic scout.
Therodian Commander
Gold 40
Resources 31
Recruitment points 1
At 60 leadership, the Therodian Commander is incapable of leading troops in formation, meaning there is little to recommend it as a commander over indies or Meliai.
Kabeiros
Gold 125
Resources 7
Recruitment points 2
earth 11rp 99random1100%
Sacred
Resource Bonus (5)
Forge Bonus (1)
Cause Unrest (1/month)
The Kabeiros' low paths makes its combat power somewhat unreliable. However, it is a much more gold-efficient researcher than the Melia and comes with a forge bonus to pair with its solid forging paths. It can potentially also help pay for the resources of Therodos' coastal troops.

Units

Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Kourete
Gold 28
Resources 23
Recruitment points 36
Capital Only
Sacred
Size when Sailing: 2
Bad Formation Fighter (-2)
Berserk when Blessed (3)
Poor Amphibian
Magic Being
Sacred dancing warriors that are Therodos' only recruitable unit from the capital. Their mixture of abilities results in some interesting strategic and tactical implications. Since they are magic beings, they can only be led by magic leaders, meaning Kourete ferries need to be more specifically planned. When blessed, they will immediately charge forward due to going berserk, which may cause them to separate from the rest of your army and engage the opponent piecemeal if blessed in small groups at a time. Finally, being bad formation fighters makes them less efficient to buff and makes their tankiness somewhat lower than what might be expected.

The following units can only be recruited in coastal forts.

Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Therodian Archer
Gold 10
Resources 7
Recruitment points 9
Very similar to ordinary indie archers.
Therodian Peltast
Gold 10
Resources 5
Recruitment points 9
Cheap, militia-level troops with a javelin. Will die in droves to a stiff breeze.
Therodian Hoplite
Gold 10
Resources 31
Recruitment points 9
Notably not a formation fighter, unlike other hoplites. Heavily armored but otherwise unremarkable, suffering from the same issue as other hoplites of not doing much damage on their own.
Korybant
Gold 20
Resources 23
Recruitment points 23
Sacred
Size when Sailing: 2
Bad Formation Fighter (-2)
Berserk when Blessed (1)
Differs from its Kourete cousin in several ways; it is not amphibious nor a magic being (so no requirement for magic leadership), has a lower berserk value, and have slightly higher prot. Otherwise, the same considerations apply.

Heroes

Therodos has several enormously powerful heroes due to being the legacy of the Telkhines themselves.

Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Axiocersa - Kabeiride water 22nature 33holy 11rp 1515
Sacred
Awe (+4)
Inspirational (+1)
Sailing (Max size 2)
Supply Bonus (+40)
Reduces Unrest (5/month)
Poor Amphibian
Magic Being
Recuperation
Female
Dexithea - Telkhine
Minimum hero arrival turn: 25
air 55water 44earth 33nature 33holy 33rp 3535
Sacred
Cold Resistance (5)
Poison Resistance (20)
Shock Resistance (22)
Healer (2)
Fear (5)
Sailing (Max size 4)
Pathboost: +1 +1
Supply Bonus (30)
ShapechangerDexithea - Telkhine
Master Smith (1) (second shape only)
Amphibious
Female
Lysagora - Telkhine
Minimum hero arrival turn: 25
air 44water 44earth 33death 22nature 22holy 22rp 3535
Sacred
Cold Resistance (5)
Poison Resistance (15)
Shock Resistance (20)
Healer (1)
Fear (7)
Sailing (Max size 4)
Pathboost: +1 +1
Supply Bonus (20)
ShapechangerLysagora - Telkhine
Master Smith (1) (second shape only)
Amphibious
Female

Freespawn

They all share these special attributes:

Image Name Additional Attributes Comments
Spectral Archer spectral Bow
Spectral Peltast spectral javelin
Spectral Hoplite Formation Fighter (2)
Spectral Kourete Sacred
Bad Formation Fighter (2)
Berserk when Blessed
Spectral Commander Formation Fighter (2)
Ephor holy 11
Sacred
May also be summoned with Call Ephor.
Spectral Philosopher rp 1010
Philosopher (2)
May also be summoned with Call Spectral Philosopher.

Freespawn Mechanics

Freespawn mechanics courtesy of Loggy's Freespawn Reverse Engineering Notes.

Therodos' freespawn is generated only in forted provinces under Therodian dominion. The number of freespawn attempts in an eligible province in a given turn is determined as follows:

Number of Freespawn Attempts

$\text{Freespawn Attempts} = \frac{\text{Candles}+\text{Death Scales}+\text{Random Number 0-2 Inclusive}}{3}$

$\text{Result rounds down. If freespawn attempts < 1, nothing happens.}$

In an eligible province with 5 candles and 3, 2-3 spawn attempts will occur per turn. With the maximum of 10 candles and 3, 4-5 spawn attempts will occur per turn instead.

For each spawn attempt:

  • Overall, there is a 95% chance of generating units, with commanders spawning in only 5% of freespawn attempts.
  • 42.2% exploding 1d4 Spectral Hoplites
  • 21.1% exploding 1d4 Spectral Archers
  • 21.1% exploding 1d4 Spectral Peltasts
  • 10.5% 1 Spectral Kourete. If the province does not have a temple built in it, the Kourete is replaced with exploding 1d4 Spectral Hoplites.
  • 2.50% 1 Spectral Commander
  • 1.25% 1 Ephor
  • 1.25% 1 Spectral Philosopher

Detailed Mechanics

Magic

Magic Access

Despite its ghosts, Therodos is not a Death nation: Death is actually its rarest path. Therodos is also not a Communion nation, completely lacking Astral and Blood, so you should understand what you have available to you.

Nature is unusually strong with Therodos's Hekaterides and their Melia daughters; all of your usable underwater Commanders have nature 11, while you can pay 2.375x the price for a guaranteed nature 33 who might have nature 44. In my experience, hoping for that one-in-four chance in the short term is folly, but you'll eventually get one; unfortuantely, the nation doesn't start out with income, and Nature is somewhat-limited without , even at nature 44 and especially with Undead troops. Assuming you go the Enchantment route and don't get absolutely screwed with site-searching, you can meme Atlantis and R'lyeh with Foul Vapors from even your nature 33's, while your nature 44's can (if you're also doing Construction for boosters) reap the benefits of nature 66 with Gift of Health. If you choose to go the Alteration route instead, you can apply Barkskin to your Protection-less Ghosts in vast quantities (Mass Protection, Wooden Warriors even without ), and you won't have to worry about the Vulnerability to Fire (if you stay underwater), unless Atlantis gets miffed enough to try using Boil.

Water is a staple of all Underwater nations, and Therodos is no exception; however, Therodos has the weakest and least-efficient Water Magic of the five Underwater nations. Disregarding summons, its depth is tied with Oceania's (though Therodos has better Water depth than Oceania on land), but its access is quite limited outside of its capital. Hekaterides are the "big" casters once again here, all of them having water 22 and a quarter of them having water 33. Unlike the major Underwater Water powers (Atlantis, R'lyeh, and Pelagia), Therodos can't exactly churn out Water Elementals to dominate the seas, since its Hekaterides are slow-to-recruit and capital-only while its Meliai don't consistently have even water 11. Water has other underwater functions that you only need a mage or two for, however; Alteration has Wave Warriors and Prison of Sedna (as well as Liquid Body and Encase in Ice for amateurs), while Enchantment has Friendly Currents and Water Ward. With Construction boosters, you can boost your Hekaterides to water 44/water 55.

Earth is the specialty of the Daktyloi, as well as your coastal mages. All of your dwarves have earth 22, and one-in-five of them have earth 33. Since all dwarves can make and wear Earth Boots, you are guaranteed earth 33 for at least them; only one-in-four of your coastal Kabeiros jerks will have earth 22 innately, but that's not the end of the world. Typically, Earth's earliest power-boost comes from getting Legions of Steel in the Construction school; while you're encouraged to get deep into that school for your dwarves to have more shiny things to make, Legions of Steel is ineffective on your ghosts (who lack physical armor), and your earliest useful power-bump is actually in Enchantment via Strength of Giants. Alteration (while it takes a little longer to bear fruit) is one of the best-known schools for Earth, and for good reason; Maws of the Earth, Earth Gem Alchemy, and Marble Warriors are all quite useful, especially Earth Gem Alchemy for making up for your laughbable income. You can even juice your earth 44 dwarves (earth 33's wearing boots) to cast Army of Gold or Army of Lead.

Air is a Telkhine path, and not exactly a Daktyloi or Hekateride one, though all of your dwarves will have air 11 with a one-in-five chance of air 22. This is just below what you need for forging Air boosters, unfortunately, but it adds some elemental variety to your magic. Atlantis's Iron Warriors won't like an Orb Lightning or two messing them up, for example. One-in-250 Daktyloi have air 33 and can (and should) craft the Air boosters.

Fire is a lot more limited than Air, since your dwarves aren't guaranteed a level (and since you start underwater). One-in-four Kabeiros guys will have fire 11, versus one-in-five of your Daktyloi. Fortunately, you can still hammer other underwater Barkskin-exploiters with Geyser, you can convert directly into money with Distill Gold, and your Fire-dwarves who wear Water-boosters can exploit the game's lack of Acid Resistance on land. Should you luck into a fire 11death 11 dwarf (these guys make up one-in-250 of the world's Daktyloi), you can (and probably should) craft a Skull of Fire or two, just so you can cast Phoenix Power in battle and Boil unsuspecting foes.

That leaves Death, which appears on one-in-five of your Daktyloi as a mere death 11. Fortunately, your Daktyloi are Master Smiths and only need death 11, since they can craft a Skull Staff to reach death 22. Your Staff-wielding dwarves will provide everything you really need from the dark path: Wights and Banes from Conjuration, Enfeeble and Soul Vortex from Alteration, and the dreaded Horde of Skeletons from Enchantment.

If you want the extra paths from Telkhines (they deepen your access regardless of their random1100% random), your cheapest setup option is to spend 30 to empower a water 33air 11 Hekateride up to water 33air 22, and then fill the missing Water levels with a Robe of the Sea and a Water Bracelet.

By the way, Therodos has a virtually-unique opportunity to take advantage of the hidden paths on "Greek" summons; they possess both the prerequisite paths for Gift of Reason and the prerequisite paths for summoning Keres (both with boosters), allowing you to uncover blood 11, and uncovering astral 11 from the Lampades is just an empowerment in Death (a mere 30 extra ) away. Granted, you're probably not going to find much use for Blood with your tainted tax base, while getting Astral this way is a bit of a novelty as well.

National Spells

Call Spectral Philosopher Conj0 death 11 for 11deathgem ( Spectral Philosopherx1). These ghostly commanders have no magic paths but a base research value of 10.

Call Ephor Conj0 death 11 for 7deathgem ( Ephorx1). These ghostly priests can perform the Call Spectres action to yield more of Therodos' freespawn ghosts.

Summon Telkhine Conj8 water 55air 22 for 69 watergem ( Telkhine Telkhinex1). Telkhines are very powerful magi with diverse paths, which can be difficult to obtain due to the spell's path requirement. A Hekateride that randoms air still requires 1 and 2 to be able to cast the spell. The Telkhine is amphibious and has the sailing ability, which can offer Therodos mobility across the coastlines they wish to control. Two features that represent the curse placed upon the Telkhine are their reaper trait, which kills 5% of the population they are in each month, and the Telkhine Malediction spell that they automatically cast at the start of each battle. This spell behaves exactly like Foul Vapors. As a mage, the Telkhine possesses baseline paths of fire 22water 44air 44earth 22death 22random1100%, which when the random path is applied, is usually the highest base value in any of those paths that Therodos can achieve, barring rare randoms and empowerment. Additionally, when it shapechanges into its human form, it gains the master smith (1) ability, allowing it to forge items even one level higher than their paths (at the cost of -1 and -1). This can open up many path boosters not previously accessible and allow Therodos to continue climbing in effective path levels. The human form also possesses hand slots that the demon shape does not, and a better leadership and morale value. The demon shape, meanwhile, emits a fear aura.

Regional Summons

Procession of the Underworld Conjuration 5, death 33 13deathgem, (summon 12x Lampad). is an unarmored torch-bearer of the underworld with limited invulnerability, recuperation, and patrol bonus. Their torch grants them an area of effect 1 attack that can also apply decay. While these are units, the spells Gift of Reason and Divine Name can make them into commanders, whereupon they become astral 11death 22nature 11 mages.

Summon Hound of Twilight Conjuration 5, earth 22death 11 4earthgem, (summon a Hound of Twilight). is a ritual that summons a single large two-headed dog that has a snake for a tail, at the cost of 4earthgem. The Hound of Twilight has moderate protection but a fair amount of HP. Along with its patrol bonus, the hound has in-combat uses by providing a fear aura and resisting poison. It has three attacks: two hound bites which deal extra paralyzing damage to undead, and a strongly poisonous snake tail bite.

Bind Keres Conjuration 6, death 22 12deathgem, (summon 3x Ker). are demons that have a slew of abilities to their name, being ethereal, flying, invisible, and causing fear, to name a few of their advantages. Conversely they come with mediocre HP and protection that is only slightly mitigated by a decent defense score. When targeted by Gift of Reason or Divine Name, they become death 11blood 11 mages, which can allow a nation with death access and either or for the afore-mentioned spells to break into blood.

Sow Dragon Teeth Enchantment 6, earth 22 1earthgem, (summon 10x Spartae during Combat). has qualities in common with longdead, such as pierce resistance, poor amphibian, inanimate, cold resistance and poison resistance, and spirit sight. However, the Spartoi are not undead but magic beings. Well-armored and armed with magic spears, they can prove sturdy line holders with their formation fighter trait.

Forge Brass Bull Construction 7, fire 33earth 33 30firegem, (summon a Khalkotauros). It is a tough trampling unit with a minimum of 15 in all resistances, as well as all physical resistances, and fairly high protection. Despite all these strong points, its price tag, required research level, and its average Magic Resistance score are prices to weigh carefully when thinking of fielding these. Of note besides the basic attributes, the bull is inanimate and thus has an encumbrance score of 0, meaning that it does not accrue fatigue while trampling or attacking. It also has a heat aura and a fire breath weapon that can respectively fatigue and damage enemies not resistant to fire.

Notable Generic Magic

Discuss the top few generic spells that most increase a nation's combat power or synergize with national strategies. These will generally be early-to-mid game spells since individual spells matter much more during those periods of the game. Some examples are Foul Vapors for MA C'tis, Horde of Skeletons + Sabbath Master/Sabbath Slave for the Niefelheim line of nations, Mother Oak for the Pangaeas, Wailing Winds access, etc. For broader advice on magic use, consider linking to Not-Lola's Basic Magic Use Guide.

This is also a good place to point out notable magic weaknesses, such as a lack of nature access making a nation vulnerable to Foul Vapors.

Magic Items

Therodos' Daktyloi have broad but shallow magic path access. With the Master Smith trait, they add one effective level to each magic path for the purposes of crafting. This allows potential access to several magic path boosters, or other desired items. Notably, all Daktyloi have at least earth 22 which allows reliable access to Dwarven Hammers. The nation's coastal recruitment magi, the Kabeiroi, have even more shallow path access, but have the Forge Bonus (1) trait, which reduces the gem cost of anything they make by 1. Paired with Dwarven hammers, this can reduce the cost of items that can be made with the Kabeiroi's paths by 3 gems. Path boosting items can increase the variety of items that these magi can make.

Crafting in Nature and some of its crosspaths is also possible via the Hekaterides.

Strategy

Power Curve

This is probably the most difficult section to get consensus for. Describe how strong the nation is during expansion, the early, mid and late game, and what makes it strong/weak at each of those points. This should give readers an idea of where the weaknesses of a nation lie (if they have not been shown already) and when to take advantage of a nation's strengths.

Expansion Strategies

List some example expansion strategies here. If a strong bless or pretender is required then leave the specifics for the pretender section.

Example Pretender Builds

List some example pretender builds. Try to use the following format to keep authorship and pretender design rationale clear.

See More

therodos-ea.txt · Last modified: 2022/08/11 10:52 by wigglefig