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CATAN – The Legend of the Conquerors Developer Blog Series – Part 2

|   March 2, 2020

The story of CATAN – Legend of the Conquerors – Chapter 1 – Part 1

Introduction

670 years have passed since the first settlers arrived on Catan. A fleet consisting of many caravels loaded with warriors had been sighted on its way to Catan.

Thora

Thora stared out the window. Dark rain clouds shrouded the countryside, making everything look gray and sad. A lightning bolt struck the ground, its glare soon followed by a deep rumble. It was a gloomy spectacle, as gloomy as Thora’s thoughts, which desperately revolved around the question of how it could happen that Catan, her beloved homeland, was at the edge of an abyss.

Thora remembered the manuscript traditions she had read in her youth.

After her ancestors‘ arrival on Catan, on occasions many decades apart, fate had brought other seafarers from the Old World to their island. In most cases, severe storms had turned proud seafarers into helpless castaways stranded on the coasts of Catan. Other seafarers had simply lost their bearing due to insufficient means of navigation; emaciated and close to dying of thirst, they were lucky enough to reach the shores of Catan.

The newcomers weren’t always well-disposed toward the island’s inhabitants, but in the end, they had to come to terms with their hosts because most of the unfortunate sailors deemed it impossible to survive the long, dangerous voyage home in their few longships that had remained intact.

Thora clearly remembered some evenings of her childhood when her grandmother told her and her siblings exciting stories, her words accompanied by lively gestures. One of those stories was about a day when her grandmother was still a child herself.

“That day,” her grandmother said, “ships no Catanian had ever seen before entered the harbor of our capital – massive, pot-bellied ships with four huge masts from which hung sails that could easily have covered an entire homestead.”

Thora smiled. At the time, her grandmother had definitely exaggerated a lot. But the caravels, as the foreign seafarers called their ships, were ocean-going and able to carry their crews back to their homeland much more safely than the longships known to the Catanians.

Back then – now almost 100 years ago – Catan had been happened upon by the Old World and was since being visited by its seafarers on a regular basis.

A lightning bolt hit one of the towers of the council hall, and the almost simultaneous, roaring thunderclap made Thora tremble. Was that a bad omen for the future?

Thora took a deep breath.

She had to admit to herself that the continuous contact with the Old World during the first decades after the discovery of their island had definitely brought many benefits. Trade with the Old World made Catan flourish.

It wasn’t only the profitable exchange of goods and resources – a lively exchange of knowledge was also taking place. Soon aqueducts were built on Catan to supply the cities with fresh water, guilds and trading houses stimulated Catan’s economy, and just a few years ago the island’s first university had been established in the capital of Catan.

However, Catan‘s wealth did not only attract peace-loving merchants; greedy adventurers came, as well. Initially, small groups of them plundered the regions of Catan and returned with their loot to their ships. They were brutal and unscrupulous, which is why the Catanians gave them the derogatory name “barbarians.”

When the barbarians became more numerous and more brazen and even pillaged a city, threatening to burn it down, the Council of Catan decided to raise a standing army and reinforce the fleet. The Catanians finally managed to repel the marauding hordes and since then, the barbarian attacks were far less successful.

But now everything is different, Thora thought. A new chapter in Catan’s history had begun. It wasn’t a promising chapter…