132 Chapter 130 Grounded, so Kvetz
Mom grounded him for a week after coming back from the capital. He wasn't sure if it was the way he left, after breakfast with no warning, the free fall, though she shouldn't really know about that, or the teleporting into a war zone. He was leaning towards the war zone reason, but regardless, the grounding gave him free time, and he reveled in it.
Gathering his magic teachers together, he cast ESSENTIAL WOOD on all of the staves he had made. They were much stronger now. He taught several magic classes, cooked dishes with Stu, had a nice chat with Selena, visited the seamstress and got two hoodies, one a turtle and one a fox. He drew a map of the world for his dad, and discussed what he wanted his kingdom to be like.
Casting ESSENTIAL EARTH and then EARTH TO STONE, on several fist sized rocks, he gave them to the craftsmen to experiment with. He was hoping for lightweight armor or bigger stronger structures. He then made some more magical earth for the EARTH and PLANT mages to study.
He had a talk with both his dad and Stella about the world tree and then talked to the system about whether CREATE PLANT would allow him to make a new world tree. They all agreed that until the demons were dealt with, they would just corrupt the new one. Besides no realm could easily handle two world trees.
Joseph wasn't sure about using REJUVENATE PLANT on the world tree while it was corrupted. He really wasn't sure about how to even get to it, yet. No one had any ideas about the circles of green, that they had seen from space, so he noted it mentally so he could investigate them later.
That was all completed by lunchtime the first day.
After lunch, which was a delightful dish of roast rabbit with carrots and potatoes, he decided to make a kvetz board and teach Stella how to play the game.
The board was 13x13 square, with alternating orange and blue squares. There were more blue tiles than orange. The game pieces were red and green, with green being stronger on blue tiles, while red pieces were stronger on the orange tiles. Because the red side had an obvious advantage, the score only counted when red was beaten. If four games ended without the green player winning, the game tied.
There were units of cavalry, infantry, archers and a commander in 10- and 100-unit tokens.
The cavalry had an advantage over infantry and moved two tiles. The archers had an advantage over both when attacking and could attack from two tiles away. It had a penalty on defensive when being attacked.
A 100-unit split into two 10-unit tokens after an equal fight, or one 10-unit if disadvantaged and no tokens if double or more disadvantages. The other 100-unit token isn't split when it has double advantage.
10-unit tokens survive if they have advantages over another 10-unit token, or both die. Unless a 10-unit token has triple advantage over a 100-unit token, it is destroyed. A double advantage reduces a 100-unit token to two 10-unit tokens, and a triple advantage reduces it to a 10-unit token.
Commanders defeat any 10-unit token, but can't move or attack, and die if they are double disadvantaged, or are attacked by 100-unit tokens.
Infantry that kill three units, can promote to another commander unit, and infantry that kills one other unit, can be drafted to change a 100-unit archer, or cavalry unit, that was reduced to a 10-unit token, back into a 100-unit force.
The first infantry is called virgin, until after it wins a battle, then it is called blooded. Units placed in defense during the opponents turn, resists attacks much better than otherwise, but must take a turn to change back to attacking, before they can move again.
Joseph explained that there were tons of different approaches, from steadily removing the forces, to going straight for the commander. More modern play styles even allowed the green units to start off center, so it would be more fair at the beginning, but he was a traditionalist.
While he knew that it didn't really matter in this realm, his previous life had preferred it that way, because it made winning as the green side much sweeter.
The commander would start in the center tile on one side of the board, and then the players would take turns placing their starting tokens: two 100-unit Calvary, two 100-unit archers, ten 10-unit infantry.
Each token had to share at least one corner with another of the starting pieces. Just the opening moves had thousands upon thousands of combinations, but also tipped your strategy to your opponent from the beginning.
After the explanation, and a couple of practice rounds, Stella got the hang of it, but still lost…a lot. Several other people were attracted to their game, so he had some more boards made and explained the rules. After everyone watched a game, they started playing on their own.
Stella, when she was Sylva, was part of an elite hunter unit, so a war game like this, was really hard for her. Strategy was important, but not at this scale.
Joseph had been awesome at this in his previous life, so he was used to winning. He really just enjoyed playing with her. Fortunately, she didn't glare at him for just losing a board game, but when Sam came and called them for dinner, she gave him a look that must have shaved decades off his life.
Joseph couldn't help feeling sorry for Sam, since her frustration was at the difficulty of the game, rather than at him. He would have to make it up to him at some point.