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Guarding the Great Escarpment


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#1 SkaForHire

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:03 PM

South of the Great Pass lies the lower Great Escarpment. At some places almost a mile high, this feature guards the deep interior of the Siccus Badlands. Long ago a series of watch towers were placed upon the top of the Escarpment to watch the plains below. The men assigned to these towers were often thought to be suicidal or at least not in their commander's favor.  Many of these towers are crumbling, and all of them are isolated. Usually located near (but none closer than 20 miles) a small oasis, or a source of water, the tower system provided a valuable lookout for the old nations, as it does today for the Kaliphlin guild. Connected by a path along the ridge line, riders are sent to the interior to warn villages, oases, and cities.  Some towers utilize large signal beacons to communicate with the  plains below or with the towns in the interior. On the lower escarpment Towers pull double duty. Not only are they a warning system  for the interior, but they also serve as an early warning system for the populations along the Arkbri river. Towers will send out a warning with a signal fire if an enemy is detected coming up or down the river. Since it is almost impossible to march a large army through the scorching hot and dry badlands without following the rivers for sustenance, the route of an enemy invasion is almost always predictable. (There is a reason the maps of Badlands oases locations are a heavily guarded secret.)

The Tower of Me're Deet is south of Queens Cross on the lower Great Escarpment. It watches the Arkbri River, but it also can see over much further on a clear day (some have claimed they have been able to see the green lands of Avalonia on the best of conditions). It is supplied by the Oasis at Me're Deet, about 14 miles away from the cliffs.  About 257 years ago, the Tower of Me're Deet was crucial in warning the city of Queens Cross from the Aglinder Barbarian raid that came up the Arkbri that year. The massive raid sacked Barqa and every village along the river. The horde, consisting of nearly 9000 angry barbarians and their large fleet of 150 war galleys, were detected by the Tower of Me're Deet. The signal fire at the tower allowed Queens Cross ample time to prepare its defenses.  They sent for volunteers from all over the interior of the Badlands, and even to areas now in Avalonian hands. The siege began ten days later, but the Queensmen repelled the barbarian attacks until help arrived from around the continent. The combined forces smashed the Aglinder threat and the Great Aglish Invasion was ended. The commander of the Tower of Me're Deet was given a Queen's Medal, the highest honor, and promoted to a much more desirable duty.

Today the tower is maintained by the small village at Me're Deet as part of their tax duty to Kaliphlin. Because of its historic prestige it is kept fairly well.

Here is a painting of the tower today.
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DSC_0743 by princeofska, on Flickr


The Tower of Me're Deet is some what unique. Most of the tower complexes along the Great Escarpment are minimal or surrounded by out buildings. Due to soft rock in the area and a small water pocket, the tower's out buildings are replaced by caverns under the tower that serve as the soldiers lodgings. It also serves as a local prison (although with such a small population, very few prisoners are kept here).


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DSC_0727 by princeofska, on Flickr


Because the builders could tunnel under the watchtower, they were able to create an observation deck down below the tower on the cliffs. A small cave entrance allowed for the construction of this deck. This painting shows the tower high on the cliffs and far, far below Queens Cross and the Arkbri River.


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DSC_0711 by princeofska, on Flickr

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DSC_0722 by princeofska, on Flickr

The tower from the South Face:

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DSC_0744 by princeofska, on Flickr

The back of the whole MOC, with door open.

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DSC_0729 by princeofska, on Flickr

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DSC_0734 by princeofska, on Flickr

Keeping the torch maintained... Looks like someone needs to re-paint the parapets. (I ran out of Dark Blue)

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DSC_0715 by princeofska, on Flickr

A look at Queens Cross far below.

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DSC_0740 by princeofska, on Flickr

So, here is the rest of the picture, I don't want to clog up any more space here. Here is the rest of the picture (or at least how many Flickr would allow me to post) Tower of Me're Deet

I was pretty happy with the outcome, considering I only had one Battle of Alamet set before two weeks ago.  Additionally, I had only about 5 1x2 tan and 5 1x2 white when I made this and I still don't  have slopes or tiles at all. Or else this may have come out a lot smoother looking. But you work with what you can get cheap. :) I hope you all like it.
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#2 JacksonRemus

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:46 PM

This is excellent!

I love the town below in mini scale to show the height and I especially love the balcony on the cliff face!

Very well done!
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#3 AlexScammer

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 12:30 AM

Everything looks very cool EXCEPT for the white balcony. It would have been cool if it was dark tan or brown.

#4 Waterbrick Down

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:38 AM

The idea was superb, maybe shooting down with the cliff face in focus as opposed to the city would aid in the forced perspective, but still great job :thumbup: I was a little leary of the great escarpment when it was first brought up, but I love it now, great representation! My favorite part is the small balcony sticking out of the cliff face, not to mention the story :thumbup:  :thumbup:

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#5 Evil Stu

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:37 AM

Love the contrast of the white against the sand colours, and excellent job working in your guilds own colours in to the build; blends in seamlessly. The shapeing on the tower is nice too.

#6 Gabe

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:59 PM

Great work, i love the detailed backstory. :thumbup: The design and colours of the tower and the observation deck really stand out nicely against the tan of the cliff-face, and the addition of the desert vegetation at the top of cliff is a nice touch too. I understand what you are trying to do with the forced perspective and for the most part it works well (especially the microscale town and river at the bottom - so cute!), but i do get the feeling that the observation deck is a little too big to be that low down on the cliff - if you raised it maybe 4 or 5 bricks it would really give that sense that it is a long way down to the bottom of the scarp. Also it would be great to see the moc against a plain background - there is so much to appreciate in this but it is kinda hard to see against the window like that. But you've done such a great job overall with what is a very ambitious build.  :thumbup:
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#7 robuko

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 02:39 PM

This is a great concept, and I love  :wub: the backstory.  The desert flora is a really great touch, and the micro build does superb justice to the proud city of Queensgate.  I really would like to build some escarpment too after seeing this, great job!
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#8 SkaForHire

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 05:07 AM

View Postrobuko, on 13 December 2011 - 02:39 PM, said:

This is a great concept, and I love  :wub: the backstory.  The desert flora is a really great touch, and the micro build does superb justice to the proud city of Queensgate.  I really would like to build some escarpment too after seeing this, great job!
:classic:


Thank you! I think if someone ever builds the great bridge at Queens Cross, that would be a feat. I think for now it may have to stay in micro or perhaps midi size.

Thanks to everyone who commented. I have been a bit busy to say thank you the last few days. This is the first MOC I have done in a long time, and I usually do ships, so it was good to do something new. I like the offset of the white balcony, but I can see in my minds eye what Alex is talking about. A cliff fortress that looks a bit like Petra would be pretty cool, In fact, I raided a PAB wall for tan again, and started building something along that line, but got side tracked when work called (Dang finals week and 5 classes to grade!) I don't really have the small pieces to do detail unfortunately, but I hope to see someone else take on the escarpment in later challenges.

Thanks to all who commented, I look forward to your towers and the next challenge.
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