Chapter 566 Clan Prospect
Mary had advanced!
Greem returned to the banquet before it ended and delivered such good news to everyone.
Thus, the already lively hall erupted into even more celebration.
A newly established rising clan now simultaneously possessed two Second Grade adepts, with another Second Grade dragonborn and Third Grade thunder dragon that could be deployed with the command of the Clan Leader, Greem. What did it mean for a new clan? It meant that the Crimson Clan was already at the top of the many small-sized adept clans located in the Zhentarim area upon its establishment. The fundamental power of the Crimson Clan was almost enough to catch up with mid-sized clans.
However, every single one of those mid-sized clans had undergone hundreds of years of turmoil and risked the extermination of their organization to possess the stable status that they currently held. Yet, now, a new clan that had appeared suddenly possessed power that was not much behind theirs. How were they supposed to feel about this?!
However, Greem's Crimson Clan was clearly still inferior to established clans when it came to accumulated resources.
Most of these clans had already rooted themselves in their territories. They possessed ancestral lands and plenty of resources. Even the occasional failure wouldn't matter too much. These clans could still reestablish themselves and return to their position as institutions of power as long as they were given enough time.
On the other hand, Greem's Crimson Clan had no clan assets to speak of. They had no vast hereditary lands or resource sites scattered across their territory either. The Crimson Clan had no other properties or resources in Zhentarim apart from Fire Throne itself.
It was like a massive but rootless tree. It might look tall, mighty and sturdy, but it couldn't endure any sort of disaster or turmoil. It would be virtually impossible for the clan to turn the table around if they were beaten down by wind or wave!
There was no other choice but to launch clan wars if the Crimson wanted to expand their territory and accumulate resources within the Zhentarim area where many adept clans established themselves. How many wars could the Crimson Clan afford to fight with its current wealth?
All these questions that didn't require consideration had all become questions that Greem, the clan leader, needed to think about and solve.
It wasn't much of a problem for the Crimson Clan's current forces to stay within Fire Throne for the moment. However, expanding outward was unavoidable if they wanted to continue developing and growing.
In the future, apprentices would have trial locations for apprentices and adepts would have trial locations for adepts. All of this required the support of vast clan territories. Moreover, once the clan had grown in scale, the provision of essential resources had to follow suit as well. It was unrealistic to buy every single resource that the clan needed from outside. Greem wouldn't be able to afford such extravagance even if he had a mountain of magical crystals to spare.
The magical experiments of both adepts and apprentices alike required large quantities of resources on a regular basis.
The rare resources could be purchased from outside, but they couldn't go so far as to buy large amounts of essential supplies, could they? As such, finding suitable locations for the construction of resource sites and using them to cultivate large quantities of common resources and materials was the most commonly seen model of development for an ordinary adept clan.
Greem felt a genuine joy fill his heart as he looked upon the flushed red faces of the wildly celebrating adepts and apprentices. Yet, his heart suddenly felt a lot heavier as well.
The Zhentarim area was large and had abundant resources. Furthermore, there was no fearsomely large organization like the three major adept forces located here. That was why it was the first choice for all adepts who wanted to found their own clan.
The number of adepts that passed through Zhentarim each year was as numerous as carp in rivers; it was uncountable. There was no lack of talent or ingenuity among this crowd, and small clans and organizations were as plentiful as there were stars in the sky. However, only a select few could genuinely plant their roots in Zhentarim and continue to grow and develop.
Zhentarim was a large place with vast lands. However, after tens of thousands of years of history, every single mountain and hill in Zhentarim had an owner. On the surface, they all appeared to belong to certain human nobles or wealthy merchants. However, if one unraveled all the middlemen, they would find the real owners to be some established adept clan.
Touching any piece of land would provoke the full might of an established clan, causing them to strike back in retaliation. If one sought peace, they would have no choice but to establish themselves in unoccupied areas at the edge of Zhentarim, much like Greem had.
However, in doing so, another problem was created. There might no longer be any established clans that merited concern, but the backlash from the Black Forest was no mere matter than any ordinary clan could deal with.
No new clan could endure the perpetual exhaustion of resources of a drawn-out battle with the wild magical creatures if they failed to properly excavate the ores and biological resources promptly. Once the clan was weakened to a certain degree, there were certain 'vulturous creatures' that would show up and devour the clan in a single bite.
The established adept clans also relied on such methods to continue growing!
If Greem wanted to grow the clan according to the usual flow of development, he needed to spend a hundred years time at this stage to cross paths with those established clans, using pure military might to claim the lands the clan required from their hands slowly.
This process couldn't be rushed. It needed to be done slowly and procedurally. It was very easy to provoke intervention from the Zhentarim Association or allied counterattacks from the established clans if too many unnecessary wars were waged.
Consequently, a hundred years was already considered a short frame of time!
Greem would need at least two to three hundred years of political grinding if he didn't want to take any risks.
Once they possessed clan territories, they would own the space needed to set up resource sites.
The territories of most clans were obtained through clan wars. As such, it was unlikely for the territories to be well-connected, making it difficult for a secure and defensible defensive line to be constructed along all their lands.
Every territory and resource site had to be defended by sufficient adepts, separate from the necessary staff and apprentices. Otherwise, any wandering adept that walked by could cause devastating damage to the clan's assets.
Insufficient adepts and apprentices would make it difficult to sustain operations, even if the clan possessed vast lands and numerous assets.
Greem was riding on the waves of his intimidating victory over the Viks and with Fire Throne sealed deep underground, he didn't need to worry about intervention from a foreign force.
It was the perfect time to establish the Crimson Clan!
Greem estimated he could lay low for another six months. Any more time beyond that and the outside world would no longer be able to suppress their curiosity. People would start probing the Crimson Clan to figure out their real strength.
Greem had to smooth out the internal hierarchy and confirm the future direction of the clan within these six months. More importantly, he needed to squeeze out sufficient resources and benefits from the Goblin Plane he now owned. He had to turn it into one of the cornerstones that supported the rise of the Crimson Clan.
Thunder Dragon Arms had already left Fire Throne and returned to Lance. When he left, he transferred Second Grade Dragonborn Zacha's soul contract to Greem, as he had promised.
Thus, Greem now held in his hands the soul contracts of a Second Grade dragonborn and a Third Grade brain monster.
Greem had confidence in fending off a siege for extended periods of time with the help of these two hidden subordinates, even if it was a Fourth Grade adept that he was dealing with. The strength and stability of Fire Throne meant that the Crimson Clan had a root that no one could remove from the earth.
As long as this root remained, the Crimson Clan would see a day where they rose to prominence once again, regardless of what great calamities they faced on the outside.
Thunder Dragon Arms had already become a strategic ally of Greem. It was the Dragon Pledge Stone he got from the knight's plane that allowed for the establishment of this relationship.
It was the Dragon's Pact that the Fourth Grade green dragon had signed with the human king to obtain his trust.
To avoid the green dragons being bound to the cause of the humans, the green dragon leader had played a little trick when signing the contract. Naturally, the green dragons were one party involved in the agreement. However, the other party involved in the contract was not the human royal bloodline, but the owner of the gemstone.
The human king back then was entirely under the surveillance of the green dragons. If anything too troublesome occurred, the green dragon leader needed only give an order, and his subordinates would immediately snatch the gemstone. The pledge stone would then no longer possess any binding power over the green dragons.
However, no one had expected Greem to forcibly take the Dragon Pledge Stone for himself under the eyes of so many dragons.
It became a large matter of concern for the green dragons.
If Greem found any green dragon tribe with the gemstone in hand, he would have the right to request that the dragons help him in his battles.
Fortunately, there were thousands of millions of planar worlds out there, and the green dragons were only a tiny branch of the emerald dragons. The chances of Greem running into any green dragons upon leaving the Knight's Plane were close to zero. That was why the green dragon leader hadn't impatiently tried to go looking for Greem.
This Dragon Pledge Stone didn't hold much significance to Greem. At the very best, it could allow him to learn some arcane knowledge related to the green dragons. However, this gemstone had far more significance in the hands of Third Grade Thunder Dragon Arms.
Greem might not be able to find the green dragons, but this didn't mean Arms couldn't.
If Arms could offer this Dragon Pledge Stone to the great Dragon God, he was sure to be blessed with rewards. If Arms went to visit the green dragons with this gemstone, he might be able to blackmail them into giving him some treasure and precious items.
In the best case scenario, Arms could run into green dragon branches living in abject conditions and use this gemstone to take them under his wing, instantly turning them into his subordinates and dragon soldiers.
After all, such dragon pledges were exceptionally valuable to any higher dragons. It shouldn't be easily leaked to the outside world. More importantly, the dragons could not go against the pledges they had made.
Consequently, the Dragon Pledge Stone that meant nothing to Greem was like a free dragon summoning tool for Third Grade Arms. As long as Arms was able to catch wind of the locations of any green dragon tribes, he could run over with his gemstone and would most likely be greeted with a pleasant surprise!
That was why the Third Grade thunder dragon agreed to be Greem's ally without a second thought the moment he was shown the pledge gemstone. The two of them signed an agreement of mutual battle aid.