Stellar Relic

The Iron Chalice, Part One


Massive Chalice is a ‘tactical strategy game’ developed by Double Fine and released on Steam Early Access way back on November 11, 2014. On June 1, 2015, it hit launch on both PC and Xbox One. To learn more about Massive Chalice, check out our roundtable on it (coming soon). For this AAR, I’ll be playing on Hard difficulty with Iron Mode enabled – meaning every choice is saved immediately.

Behold, I am the Lord thy…uh..demigod?

Truth be told, I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be. I know there is some lip service about how I am some sort of immortal demigod emperor of whatever this place is, but I have no idea who I was before this came to be. Was I a King? A tribal chieftain? A baker? No clue. All I know for sure is now that Massive Chalice has begun, I’m going to be the God Emperor this place needs. Whatever it’s called. For the next 300 years I will command my soldiers and researchers in order to hold out against The Evil Bad Guys Cadence in what is essentially a centuries-long rearguard action. We’re all that is left and salvation is right around the corner and now we need to make babies. Yes, babies.

Before we get to that though, we need to assemble our noble heroes! These are men and women who have but a drop of the Chalice-y good stuff I do, making them pretty powerful – but not so powerful as to prohibit them leaving their chair (like me). After some quick randomizing, this is what I end up with:

that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them

My early favorite? The House Jett – they get me. Jaaksi seems a bit too upbeat, what with their positive and proactive house words, but at least they aren’t the super-downer Fireshaper clan. Strength among the ashes? Seriously? Anyways, with that sorted we can get down to the business of running this place, which since it lacks a name I’m gonna call Davelandia.

Davelandia is divided into five parts: The Pale Sea (that has no sea); The Augurs; Ebott Marsh; The Salt Stacks; and The Cinterlands. Each has an inner and outer realm, or put another way: places that are relatively safe and places that are going to be destroyed in the next 300 years. I, of course, elect to build Davelandia’s first Keep (we were ranked 273rd in country infrastructure prior to the Cadence showing up, sorry) in the latter place, out in The Augurs, which grants me more XP per kill for all heroes of the Vanguard.

"how many birds do you see?" "I dunno, six?"

In a scant five years (Davelandians are quite hard workers when they have an immortal Emperor threatening death on one side and weird alien bad guys threatening death on the other) the first Keep is built and a decision must be made: who shall sit as its regent and found the first Heroic Dynasty of Davelandia? Massive Chalice is a game of genetics as much as it is a game of blowing up enemies, and having completed one (failed) play through previously, I now know exactly what I want from my bloodlines. Thus, anyone who is puny, a dullard, a drunk, or asthmatic is immediately disqualified. Unfortunately, this reduces my options down to two: Clotoric Jett or Eochaidh O Nuallain.

Davelandia needs some help in the given name rankings too, if we're honest

Jett is perhaps the better choice, but is younger and slightly higher level, useful in the Vanguard for the next 20+ years (as long as he doesn’t get himself killed); O Nuallain is a solid pick in the genetics department but relatively replaceable on the Vanguard, and so:


All Hail House O Nuallain (the house of a thousand pronunciations)! And for his partner I have picked the very demure Lady Bloody Boar. Take notice as well, for their children will be a class (I’ve) never before seen: the Brewtalist! I have no idea what I’m doing but hopefully they can make some not-terrible children.

With research renewed on something called a ‘health potion’ (which I’m pretty sure involves whiskey) Davelandia seems well prepared for the next onslaught. By which I mean probably totally fucked.



David Andrews

Blogger, Developer, Editor.

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David Andrews

Blogger, Developer, Editor.