|Ability||Bloodbound Spell: Summon a 2/2 Iron Dervish on a random space nearby your General.|
Access to a generic 2/2 minion is useful because it allows him to make a poor early game slightly better or bolster one that is already going well. Later on in the game (when both generals get to use their bloodborn spell every turn) you can constantly flood the board with Iron Dervishes to body-block large enemy minions (such as Dragonbone Golem), use Dervishes to summon more threatening minions closer while distancing your General and gain benefits from Fireblaze Obelysk, Windstorm Obelysk and Dunecaster however unlike Wind Dervishes, they do not expire.
Due to the RNG nature of where Iron Dervishes are placed, you can lower the chances of spawning them in a bad spot by moving into areas that other minions/generals are blocking, potentially increasing your odds of a more favorable spot.
You have a 12.5% chance of placing an Iron Dervish on each of the 8 squares (assuming that there is nothing on the adjacent 8 tiles of your General). The stats go as follows:
|Number of open tiles around Zirix||% Chance of spawning an Iron Dervish on a specific spot|
So if you wanted to use an Iron Dervish to block an enemy minion late game, note that going into a corner gives you a much higher chance of that Dervish placement blocking the enemy minion than being out in the open (assuming there's nothing occupying the adjacent tiles)
Consider summoning your minions and then using your bloodborn spell. The reasoning behind this is that if you were to use your bloodborn spell (lets say, turn 3) first, you may end up blocking a spot that you were gonna put a more higher-valued minion.
+ Iron Dervishes allow Zirix to cover a weak early game, or bolster a strong one.
+ Iron Dervishes have decent stats for 1 mana (comparable to Helm of Mechaz0r).
+ Unlike Wind Dervishes, Iron Dervishes do not expire unless killed.
+ Iron Dervishes, being part of the Dervish class, benefit from buffs from Fireblaze/Windstorm Obelysks, and can be buffed by Dunecaster.
+ Lucky placements can bodyblock powerful enemy minions.
+ Your BBS allows a steady stream of minions late game.
- Iron Dervish placement is random, so you have no control over where to put them, potentially causing trouble.
- Iron Dervishes, although decently statted, are mere cannon fodder without buffs from Scions Wishes, Dunecaster, Obelysks, etc.
The hourglass had a crack in it. Zirix's mother had given it to him, a tool for meditation.
When the time comes for the Rite of Melding,’ she said, ‘think about the hourglass.’
Now, sitting on a bench in a walled garden, Zirix watched sand trickle out through the crack. He took a pinch of sand between his thumb and forefinger. A hot wind blew through the garden, dispersing the rest.
‘Zirix!’ A metal-skinned figure ran toward him, adroitly navigating the garden's paths and ducking beneath the trees' verdant branches. Flowers swayed in her wake, exhaling great golden drifts of pollen. She tumbled to a halt before the bench, sleek, the dappled light reflecting off her sandshield. ‘Everyone's looking for you.’
He waved at his friend Belisara. ‘I can't be late already,’ he said. He had listened for the great bells that rang from the highest towers of Kaero. And, of course, there was the hourglass. Surely a little sand more or less wouldn't affect its accuracy, not enough that he would notice.
Belisara had undergone her own Rite just two days ago. Zirix remembered holding his breath as they buried her in the sands. He had bitten the inside of his mouth until he tasted blood. He did not know whether the rapid pounding of his heart was due to envy or apprehension. Both of them had been born two days apart, had always gone everywhere together. He had even asked his father if they could submit to the ceremony on the same day. Only two days, after all. But his father, concerned with tradition as always, had refused.
‘We will be the greatest heroes of the Imperium,’ Belisara said, offering her gauntleted hand.
Zirix grinned, and saw his distorted reflection in the polished sheen of her mask. He missed her bright eyes and her unexpectedly shy smile. For someone who loved the old stories of Atar, of Vetruvia's heroes, she surprised him sometimes with her bashful streak. Perhaps the ceremony had burned it out of her.
‘Together,’ he said, grasping her hand. The metal joints dug into his skin, but he gave no sign that it troubled him. Soon enough he would have a sandshield of his own. He asked, ‘Is it very different?’ It wasn't the first time he'd asked, but the adults always shook their heads and said, You will understand someday. Surely Belisara was different, though.
He couldn't read her expression behind the mask, couldn't tell what she was thinking. ‘I'm still getting used to it,’ she said. ‘But you'll see. Hit me.’
He took her at her word and aimed a fist straight at her chest. She didn't dodge. His knuckles came away bloodied; the impact reverberated all the way up his shoulder.
The half-bell tolled.
‘Your turn,’ she said.
Together they left the garden. Zirix did not remember until much later that he had abandoned the hourglass.
[Next Chapter: Blindscorch]
Zirix Starstrider MKII
During his own Melding, his Sandshield seared and permanently damaged his face.