The 50K Offensive was a challenge in Game of Tomes 2022 to write 50,000 words -- in a week. Participants wanted real in-Lore consequences for failure and so mechanics were developed:
Success granted the participant immunity when their House came up on the chopping block and their name was not added to the Wheel of Misfortune. Failure meant that their name was added to the next Wheel, regardless of whether it was their House on the chopping block or not.
Support writers set their own goals, and chose who to support among the Power Writers, but they could not tell anyone of their choice to make the sense of risk genuine. The words they wrote over and above their goals were added to their chosen writer's total for the purposes of preventing the extra vulnerability, but not to grant them immunity.
This battle represents the in-universe translation of the rules and consequences of this challenge.
The 50K Offensive was a massive literomantic assault launched by the living forces against the Undead Horde at the beginning of The Third Word War. Led by Regent Egryph of House Avis and Sable AradiaThe Chief Rabbit of House Lapin, and spearheaded by the Defenders of the Realm, it gathered and focused the Literomantic Power generated by some of the most prolific literomancers in the Realm against the Horde, while the living were at the peak of their strength.
Part of this assault was centered in a risky ritual adapted by the Bunny Queen, in which the participants literally bet their lives. Success in generating 50K Werds (words) worth of literomantic power in a week provided the participants with resistance against the corrupting effects of the Undead. Failure resulted in an increased vulnerability.
Following the success of The Battle of the Book in July 2022, Queen Sable of House Lapin considered how similar rituals might be used to great effect in the upcoming war in November, which she believed would be inevitable, despite widespread doubt. She researched adaptations of the ritual that bound the original Defenders of the Realm to the task, and discovered a variant. If some of the Realm's most powerful Literomancers were willing to risk increased vulnerability to becoming Undead, they could generate a massive battery of literomantic energy that might halt the Undead in their tracks. At the very least, Tome Knights who generated the required 50K of power would acquire a degree of immunity from the Horde's corrupting effects, thus increasing the effective strength of the living forces.
Reasoning that doing so would be best used at the war's outbreak, when the living were strongest and the Horde weakest, she reached out to Regent EGryph of House Avis and MrBigTAnderson, commanders of The Battle of the Book, and the other Defenders of the Realm. They embraced the concept, and agreed they would immediately throw down their literomantic powers, should another war begin.
The Third Word War broke out on November 1st, 2022, when ECC Books, suspected of being the Night Monarch's chosen Heir, disappeared, and Lord Galakrond stole The Iron Tome from his mother, Queen Sable. Once she had notified the other leaders of the Great Houses of the Tome's disappearance, Sable-rah contacted EGryph as agreed, and the combatants assembled in their various locations to begin the battle.
Many of the Realm's most powerful literomancers volunteered to join the Offensive. This force included several of the current Defenders of the Realm, and they were joined by Scion Striker , ambassador of House Mollusca, who heard about the Offensive on his mission to The Warren. They were also joined by 4 Tome Knights who are now among The Missing, including the Heirs of Sauropoda and The Missing House, and a significant Sauropodan and Chiropteran.
These Tome Knights were joined by 11 support writers, including the Monarch and two other members of The Missing House, and a Missing Chiropteran. Prinx Tempest Kwake of House Lapin, although a Defender of the Realm, chose to join the support writers rather than spearhead the assault, as they were distracted by their duties as an Owsla Officer.
Unbeknownst to the Defenders, the Undead Horde began the counteroffensive with not one, but two,Night Monarchs at the helm. This initial advantage proved significant, and allowed the Undead Horde to mount a significantly stronger resistance than the living had anticipated.
The battlefield literally spanned the width of the globe. Living combatants gathered in their Houses to engage the enemy. In the meantime, the two Night Monarchs set about the beginnings of the Word War in the usual manner; they combined their powers of Dark Literomancy to build up the strength of the Undead Horde around the world. Strategically, they chose to begin their initial assault in the Meles Protectorate, with House Meles as their first target.
The requirements of the ritual established unique conditions that would have significant repercussions in the course of WW3:
Living combatants were required to each generate 50K words of literomantic power
Success in doing so would build up a significant literomantic battery that could then be applied against the Undead Horde in the course of the War
Those who succeeded would acquire resistance against the corrupting powers of the Horde's influence, should they face the Undead directly in battle
Failure to do so would result in an increased vulnerability for that combatant, who would be tainted by the Undead's necrotic influence
Combatants who did not spearhead the magical assault could lend their literomantic energy to the soldiers at the literomantic front
This energy would only be able to bolster their resistance to the curse of failure, not increase their chances of acquiring the literomantic immunity
Only spare literomantic energy could be used in this manner, meaning that only exceptional literomantic efforts could be used for this purpose
These support writers would have to choose which of the power writers they were supporting
No one could know whom they had chosen to support, since the ritual's effectiveness was dependent on a sense of real risk for the combatants
The Undead Horde also experienced unique conditions. With two Night Monarchs beginning the War instead of one, their initial strength was considerably greater than anticipated. This may have been enough to overwhelm the living forces without the efforts of the 50K Offensive.
The campaign was entirely magical in nature, so the belligerents never confronted each other face-to-face. Living combatants gathered to write and generate energy in a literomantic battery; sometimes in groups, sometimes alone. To the outside observer, it looked like any other write-in, except that the combatants engaged at every possible waking moment for the length of a week.
The Night Monarchs, in the meantime, rallied literomantic power and set about creating zombies on a mass scale. Quickly realizing they were under attack, they turned their efforts to a counterspell.
The Dark Literomancy of the Night Monarchs drained the magical energy of the living literomancers as the ritual was underway. Some felt the effects almost immediately. Others felt the weight of attrition as the Offensive commenced.
Foxx was required to restart their novel in the course of the offensive because the dark literomancy of the Horde caused them to take the plot in a strange direction. The Mad Batter suffered from various health problems under the curse, and Sable Aradia simply experienced more of the same insomnia and exhaustion due to the infliction of anxiety and nightmares. Prince Jean became physically ill, and Duochanfan was inflicted with a severe case of Writer's Block. Even EGryph suffered repeated migraines. AttorraRu struggled under the weight of illness and repeated strokes of bad luck, and was writing right up to the very end with no sleep for 36 hours, but succeeded in achieving the goal.
All of the participants successfully generated the 50K words worth of energy, except for Prince Jean of House Lapin, who subsequently fell to the Horde in the Fall of House Chiroptera. This was later used to great effect against an exceptionally-powerful Undead Horde as generated under two Night Monarchs, rather than one.
Foxx's immunity prevented her from dying of a zombie-cursed bite until she could ultimately be healed by Sable Aradia, and allowed her to get her Archon Mykola Void to safety in the Fall of Chiroptera.
Sable Aradia's immunity is believed to be one of the factors which caused the "Turn Undead" effect that brought an end to The Battle of Kin Beach.
The survival of new and existing Defenders of the Realm had a significant impact on the course of The Third Word War. With twice the "usual" power of the Undead Horde working against them, the level of literomantic power being thrown around had never been higher, and it was desperately needed.
In many cases, the output of a single Defender made the difference between a House's survival or destruction. Many analysists have concluded that it was the literomantic immunity gained by the ritual's participants, as opposed to the sheer volume of literomantic energy generated, that had the greatest impact. Most of the ritual's participants survived to the end of the War, maintaining their resources for the living and depriving the Undead Horde of their use.
The veterans of the 50K Offensive were the second group to receive the title Defender of the Realm. This time, only the forward combatants were given the title, as an element of direct, personal risk was deemed to be necessary to warrant receiving it. This decision was controversial, as some felt that this decision failed to acknowledge the accomplishments of the support writers reaching their goals.
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.
4 support writers from among the Missing, including the Monarch and two other members of The Missing House, and a member of House Chiroptera
Declaration of the 50K Offensive by HeroForge
Queen Sable had just returned from a Halloween party when the Iron Tome was stolen. She immediately contacted Regent EGryph and the 50K Offensive was launched. From left to right: Prince Jean, Scion Striker, Duochanfan, Sable Aradia. Background: AttorraRu
The 50K Offensive, Day 3 by HeroForge
The 50K Offensive at the Cavern From left to right: Foxx, the Mad Batter
The 50K Offensive, Day 2 by HeroForge
Scion Striker checks in with Licia MB back at Zafforza Trench Left panel: Licia MB
The 50K Offensive, Day 7, the Warren by HeroForge
Sable Aradia created a Void pocket to limit distractions to the combatants at the Warren.
The 50K Offensive, Day 7, after-action by HeroForge
End of the 50K Offensive. The majority of combatants receive the immunity, but Prince Jean is afflicted with the necrotic curse.
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