Introduction to Seven Kingdoms 1

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Enter the world of Seven Kingdoms, a world of intrigue and diplomacy, of trade, conquest, and espionage.

Take control of any of seven emerging civilizations: Chinese, Persians, Japanese, Greeks, Normans, Vikings, or Mayans. Begin with a single, modest village under your command, and an entire world to be conquered by force of arms, by guile and persuasion, or by whatever other means you choose.

Seven Kingdoms is a real-time game of epic strategy and empire building. Players compete against up to six AI opponents or other players for control of land, trade, and peasants.

Wage open warfare on your rivals, or forge alliances with them. Send spies to infiltrate their ranks, or hold your spies back to guard against your enemies' prying eyes. Mine ore and manufacture goods, then build markets and establish trade routes to bring gold flowing into your coffers. Have your scientists research new weapons of war, or turn from science to the mystic arts, and seek the ultimate power: the ability to summon the aid of the gods. All these choices and more are yours to make.

The People

In the beginning, there are seven kings for seven peoples ... but in the end, only one may rule.

Each culture has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Choose any of the seven, and play against up to 6 rivals. Whatever kingdom you choose to lead, your peasants will take on their own identity. Each peasant has his own skills and loyalties, from miners and factory workers to spies, generals, scientists, and more.

Treat your people well, keep them fed, give them grants and medals, and promote the best of them to higher ranks, and they will remain steadfast, loyal, and efficient. Treat them poorly, overtax them, starve them, or earn a reputation as a militaristic tyrant, and their loyalty will suffer. And when loyalty is low, rebellion may soon follow.

As your kingdom grows, peasants from other cultures will become your subjects. Whether by military conquest of other villages, or by simple persuasion, these foreigners will join your empire, bringing with them their unique talents. But with diversity comes new challenges ...

Show favoritism to subjects of one culture, and watch as the loyalty of others rapidly declines. Each must be treated as an equal if unrest and rebellion are to be avoided. Lead them wisely, though, and your subjects will unite to form a mighty empire destined to rule the world.

The Greater Beings

The most worthy of kings may gain the ultimate power: the ability to summon the aid of the gods.

Each culture worships its own Greater Being. To win the aid of any of them, you must first perform legendary deeds. The seven ancient Scrolls of Power hold the keys to winning divine favor, but the scrolls are jealously guarded by the Monster Kings. If your armies can muster the courage and might to defeat a Monster King and his gruesome minions, you may lay claim to a hoard of gold and a priceless Scroll.

With the Scroll in hand, your construction workers will master the art of building a mighty temple of worship that will strike awe into the hearts of your subjects. Send supplicants to this Seat of Power to plead for divine favor, and in time your patron god will answer the call. Then your enemies will have cause to tremble before you.

But beware -- yours is not the only god in the pantheon, and your rivals may find a way to summon their own against you.

Espionage

The Spy is every king's most versatile and devious tool ...

Spies offer a cunning king a bloodless path to victory. Used wisely, a spy can do anything from gathering information about your rivals' activities to infiltrating the uppermost ranks of their military. Train spies at home and assign them the guise of any of your rivals' subjects. Then they will be free to move amongst the enemy, working in his factories, training in his command bases, all the while reporting back to you and answering to your commands.

A skillful spy can bribe enemies into secretly entering your service, persuade peasants and workers to rebel against their king, capture buildings, and sabotage production. But every spy's ultimate aspiration is to win a promotion to General of a rival army, and secretly turn the enemies' armies against one another. And if a rival's king should be killed, then maybe, just maybe, such a spy could ascend to the throne, and hand the keys of the kingdom over to you, his true master.

But the life of a spy is full of hazards and pitfalls. Constantly at risk of discovery, these brave agents might be caught and executed at any time. The best will serve their master well, and survive to reap the rewards. Those less skillful will perish long before.

And of course yours will not be the only kingdom with spies afoot. Any one of your 'loyal' subjects might actually be a spy for the opposition, spreading dissension in your ranks. You can station your own spies at home as counter-espionage agents to watch for signs of infiltration and subterfuge. Catch the enemy in the act, and you can execute his agents at will.

Conquest

Then peaceful methods fail, a king must find other ways to enforce his will ...

Warfare is a way of life for the Seven Kingdoms. Even when the kings make peace amongst themselves, there are still the ancient, monstrous Fryhtans to be reckoned with. A wise king is a well-armed king, whose powerful armies inspire fear in the hearts of his rivals. Such a king, supported by a loyal, well-trained military, can strike harder bargains in trade and diplomacy, or strike down those who are too stubborn to negotiate.

The Soldier is the foundation of the military, trained in the art of combat at your villages or in your forts. Every soldier hopes one day to earn the rank of General. Hand-pick your generals from the best of your soldiers, grant them their own forts, and raise troops. They may train in peacetime under the care of your generals, always improving their skills, or they may be sent to learn the hard way: in battle.

But even the most highly trained soldiers serving under the finest of generals cannot hope to survive marching into the waiting mouths of enemy cannons. Keep your scientists busy inventing the advanced weaponry you will need to face your toughest foes. Catapults, ballistae, cannons, and more can be constructed in your War Factories. Build harbors and ships to take your battles across the seas to distant shores. You'll need all this, and the cunning to use it well, against the rivals who want to see your kingdom ground into dust.

If you seek treasure to fill your coffers, you'll have to tangle with the deadly Fryhtans. These horrible beasts know no fear, guarding in their foul lairs vast sums of gold and, some say, the secrets of the gods themselves. Slay a king of the Fryhtans and great powers may be yours for the taking. Such power could turn the tide of war in your kingdom's favor, if your armies can survive to claim it.

Diplomacy

Even the strongest and most cunning of kings must sometimes depend on the aid of others.

To gain the power to rule all the land, a king may find it necessary to call on the support of one of his rivals. Perhaps a trade treaty would be to both kingdoms' advantage. Or perhaps an alliance would deter other kingdoms from harassing you.

Exploit any of dozens of diplomatic options. Form friendships and alliances to secure your kingdom from the dangers of war. Propose treaties to promote economic growth. Barter for food if your stores are depleted. Join other kingdoms to impose a trade embargo on a hated enemy, or request a declaration of war from your allies.

Rival kings are not easily manipulated in matters of diplomacy. Deal fairly with them, and you will build a strong reputation that will serve you well. But betray them, and they will remember your misdeeds and turn their people and your own against you. And remember that even the strongest of alliances must eventually be broken, because in the end, only one of you may rule the land.

Trade

Gold is the foundation of power, and trade is a king's greatest source of gold.

If you wish to rule the Seven Peoples, you must first master the art of trade. To gain sufficient wealth to rule as you please, you will need markets overflowing with goods and commerce. Import raw materials from other kingdoms' marketplaces, or build mines to produce your own. Convert raw materials into finished goods in your factories, and transport these goods to your marketplaces for sale. A wise king can turn a profit in each of these transactions, and fill his coffers with gold to fuel his dreams of conquest.

Caravans are the backbone of your trade system, carrying raw materials and goods from place to place. When distances are short, buildings can be linked together to share resources without the help of caravans, but when distances are very great, even caravans may not be enough. Build harbors and trade ships to carry your goods to distant shores.

Trade can also be a useful tool for persuading independent villages to join your kingdom. Build a marketplace for them and sell your goods there, and you will not only reap the profits but also win their loyalty.