Hello, peasants. Despite being the star of the Let’s Play Video Games Podcast ever since it began, I have (very rudely) never been asked to contribute to whatever the hell this site is meant to be before. Fortunately, Joe left his computer unattended while we were discussing very important diplomatic things, and so now is the perfect opportunity for me to make my mark.

Subterranean diplomacy is more of an art than a science. Any friend can be an enemy, any territory can be revoked at any time (as Laura and Vikki know all too well), and of course, all lands are mine for the taking thanks to my vast armies. With that in mind, let us look at some… promising… underground civilisations that will shortly be under the rule of my iron claw.

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Arx – Arx Fatalis

While it’s certainly no comparison to my own empire, it is impossible to deny that Arx is an impressive example of what can be done with a few giant mountains and the constant threat of freezing to death to keep people motivated.

Arx is a planet that has had its own sun die on it (my sun’s better, of course), and instead of dying of hypothermia, the various races decided to move into the Dwarven mines for warmth. Ogres, goblins, humans, dwarves, and all other kinds of things have a fragile alliance under the surface. Goblins and humans try to keep apart bar for trading, ogres are fantastic workers, and the Dwarves sealed themselves away, frankly not wanting to put up with anybody else’s shit.

It’s this alliance I plan to use to my own advantage. Curiously, instead of sealing up the entrance to the frozen tundra with rocks or dirt, Arx simply put a locked door as its last line of defence from the cold of outer space. Once my soldiers have secured this door, I’m certain the goblins and humans will be a little bit more willing to cooperate with me.

If not, a few mysteriously-mole-sized scratches on a few of the right members of the aristocracy and there is, what we call in the business, a power vacuum ripe for filling.

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Orzammar – Dragon Age

While the Arxish dwarves have locked themselves away from my wondrous empire, the dwarva of Orzammar are slightly more sociable.

Orzammar is a valuable asset for my empire. It’s strong, sturdy, well-built, and spacious enough for me to fit entire legions of molediers in, once the time comes for me to make my move.

I have also heard, far too many times, that the finest of dwarven crafts come direct from Orzammar. This brings up an interesting dilemma: moles, for all of our wonderful advantages, do have tiny, stubby hands. We can dig, and I can wave a sceptre around, but we’re certainly not tradespeople by any means.

So there are two options when dealing with Orzammar: once I have taken my rightful place as its monarch, I exile the dwarva and make use of the vast living space. Or, alternatively, I remain in my current abode in a flat in underground Shepard’s Bush and simply collect the taxes and tithes from those crafts.

I must consult with my advisers further.

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Stacey’s Minecraft Cave – Minecraft

Taking Stacey’s, or as she is known in her land “xXxStacey2006’s”, house she made out of a cave in Minecraft is of the utmost strategic importance to me.

The surrounding lands are rich in untapped natural resources, and initial geological analysis from my top scientists suggests that there are vast networks of underground tunnels that will be perfect for the moleteriat to expand into. I am told the final results are not in, but estimates suggest “a metric fucktonne” of stuff there.

There is a problem though: Stacey’s house is built into the entrance of the cave system. It’s built of dirt, which makes it difficult to find, and there is a wooden door. I just cannot seem to breach the barrier. Other kingdoms, such as the Congregation of the Spider People, have tried and failed to take the lands, but Stacey is a stalwart defender of her territory.

While Arx and Orzammar are fairly simple to take control of – a bit of stabbing here, some whispers in the right ears there – Stacey has thwarted every diplomatic tool I have at my disposal. We’ve even tried burrowing in from another angle and occupying the further tunnels from her watch post, but then we were encounters by exploding cactus-like beings.

I am The Mole Queen of the Subterranean United Kingdom, and I am fucking good at my job. I united the Wormclans of the Underground Isle of Sheppey, I organised the raids on the Underjersey, I even took Subterranean Rhyl under my wing, despite that never being of any use to anybody. I will have Stacey’s Minecraft cave, even if it kills me.

Ahem. I have been informed by Joe that this is the part where I should put “I hope you have enjoyed this look into the daily life of a Mole Queen”, but frankly I couldn’t give a toss if you liked it. Do you have numerous underground sovereignties at your beck and call? No? Thought not.

Joe is LPVG’s resident hardware nerd. If it’s overpriced and has gaudy RGB lighting, he’s probably drooling over it. He loves platformers, MMOs, RPGs, hack ‘n slashers and FPS, with his favourite games being Mirror’s Edge, Left 4 Dead, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Oblivion and Dead Space. Don’t ask him about his unhealthily large Monsters Inc memorabilia collection. Seriously, just don’t ask…

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