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Quest for Arcemus' Tomb


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#1 MikeyB

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:15 PM

I wrote what turned out to be a rather lengthy story, so I am breaking it up into two parts. Chapters 1 and 2 are below.  I'll add chapter 3 and a few more pics to this thread tomorrow!

Chapter 1

Truth be told, I didn’t think we stood much chance at finding the Earth Crystal.

After hearing the accounts of Lord Owain’s encounter with Victor Revolword at Grim Hollow, the Crystal could have been anywhere.  Where would we even begin to look?

It was my father, Orthus who first suggest the old hermit, Corra, that lives at the edge of the lands of Circardia.  

Most think of her as a senile old woman, but no one really knows where she comes from or how long she has lived at the edge of civilization. Only that she has been there long before Circardia was settled decades ago.  Even the elves of the Oak Heart Clan say she has lived in her tiny hut countless harvests.

My father and I journeyed to her home as he suggested, with the intentions of seeking her council.  Father had visited her before, years ago when he was much younger.  Even though most thought of her as a crazy old croon, he said her eyes were wise and her mind sharp, even though she sometimes spoke in riddles.  Perhaps she did have some sort of knowledge of the whereabouts of the Earth Crystal.


When we arrived at her ramshackle hut, she was sitting outside, her skin wrinkled and but like Father said, her eyes looked young.

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“I wondered when you would come seeking me Orthus” Corra said.  “And your son has grown to a fine young man.”

“Greetings Corra. It’s been many years” said Orthus. “May I present my son, Arlindus.  He now rules Circardia and I am but a mere advisor to do as he bides, but how did you know we were coming?”  

“Even if you don’t speak their language, you should know that birds talk” she answered, laughing with a slow cackle.  “You come to ask if I know of the Earth Crystal.”

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Again I could see she surprised Father.

“You know much, Corra.  Can you help?”

“Not as much as you hope, but more than you could hope for,” was her answer.

“The stories are many and not even I know the whole truth.”  “But there was an ancient druid who was so filled with greed that if anyone would have knowledge or possessed the Crystal, he would have had to have it for himself.”

“Tell me what you know Corra.”

“I have always liked you Orthus, you have let me live in peace and have been a friend to this land.  And for that I will share my knowledge.”

Corra told of a druid named Arcemus.  He was once very benevolent and had a way with successfully taking the best charactistics of plants and creating the most wondrous flowers and varieties of fruits and vegetables.

But as he delved further into his studies and experiments he began follow a dark path and began to graft living creatures together.  His experiments produced some grotesque mutilations of creatures.  Others questioned his methods but they often went missing.  Over time his greed for power lead him to collect all types of oddities and items of power.

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‘Where do we find this Arcemus?” asked Orthus.

“He passed some time ago, so you will be looking for his bones!" she laughed.  "Some say at the hands of one of his own creations but I believe he simply died of old age. His creatures always had unquestionable loyalty.”

“He held a tower along the coast on one of the Mystic Isles.  It is now a ruin and nothing remains but stones and rotten timbers.  But I have a manuscript that that might hint to where his treasure is hidden”

She went into her shack and returned shortly with and old scroll, penned by druids sometime ago.

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“Along the coast and through the tears of Drudin lies the tomb of the evil one.  No one dares enter for it is protected by unnatural creatures and Death himself is said to live there.”

“Who is this Drudin?” I interjected.

“Eager aren’t we young Arlindus?”  Corra scolded.

“Few today remember the old names of rivers and islands.  Drudin was the small river that ran beside Arcemus’ tower.”  “The tears are where the river flows over the cliffs and into the sea.  Pass through the water and you will have found what I believe is Arcemus’ tomb where he kept his creatures.”

“Thank you Corra, if your information helps us find the Earth Crystal, you will be greatly rewarded,” said Orthus.

Corra cackled again, “What more could I want” as looked around at her aging hut and the surrounding forest.  

Father and I then said our farewells and departed for the journey back to the Hamlet.  We discussed much along the path home.

“Do you think her tale is true Father?” I asked

“It is the only lead we have and Corra is wise and knowledgeable.”

“Well then we must find Arcemus’ tower and I think I know who we should ask to help us”

“Roltic the Hunter?” asked Father.

“Correct, he has the most knowledge of the lands plus his knowledge of animals might come in handy if we encounter one of Arcemus’ unnatural creations”

“We will Council at my house as soon as we return.”

CHAPTER 2

When we returned to the Hamlet of Circardia, we sent for Roltic the Hunter to meet us at Father’s house.

“Hail, Lord Arlindus, how may I be of service?” Roltic’s voice was quiet, like one would use when stalking a deer.

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“We need your assistance,” I said.  “We hope your knowledge may help us recover an item of importance for Avalon.”

I then told him the story of the Earth Crystal and our meeting with Corra the hermit.

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“I believe I know the place, it isn’t too far of journey.  We could make it in a day or two at most,” whispered Roltic.

“Count me in too,” exclaimed Orthus, “My legs have been aching for a long journey.”

We studied the map and sat long into the evening planning our quest.  It was decided we would leave by the end of the week.  We would gather our provisions and select a few members of the Phoenix Guard to accompany us in our journey to find the Earth Crystal.

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We travelled by foot down south along the Isca River to the Orthus’ Bay, named for where Father came to Circardia years ago.  The cliffs at the Orthus’ Bay are too high and the coast too rough for a true harbor but we hired a small boat for our journey from a fisherman that lives in the small fishing community that thrives there.

The journey into the Mystic Isles and to the coast where the remains of Arcemus’ tower was uneventful as Roltic navigated as though he had been there a thousand times.  
  
“Those must be the Tears of Drudin,” Orthus said, as we saw a waterfall that seem to flow out of the eyes of a skull on the side of a cliff.

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“The tomb must be behind the waterfall,” he continued.

“There is only one way to be sure” I said, “Let us prepare to enter Arcemus’ Tomb!”

Chapter 3

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As soon as we passed through the waterfall and enter the cavern, we could tell we weren’t alone.  The smell of death was heavy in the air. Even though it was poorly lit and the sound of the falls was quite loud, we could hear movement.  We lit some torches and immediately saw a grotesque creature.

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His howls and snarls combined with his stench made him quite imposing.  It appeared to have traits of a gigantic wolf but it had horns coming from the side of its head and it stood upright.  Its arms looked unnatural with the tusk from a huge creature grafted into its forearms.  These created a deadly weapon for which it could use to pierce or batter its opponents.

Behind the creature was a mound of huge treasure surrounding a throne of sorts with what must be the skeleton remains of Arcemus.  In his hands was clutched what could only be the Earth Crystal!

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The creature lunged at us with a speed that was remarkable.  Luckily we were ready as Roltic, Father, Samlin, one of the Phoenix Guard and I let lose a volley of arrows that slowed the creature just enough to keep it from pouncing upon us.

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This gave the other Guard members, Cras, Orlim, and Euroch, a chance to attack with their pikes.  

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The creature was fast and parried two of the pikes but the third found its mark in the gut of the creature.

It howled in anger and thrashed about in pain.  Quickly, Father and I leapt forward with our swords as Roltic and Samlin unleased another volley of arrows which found their marks in the beast neck.

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Father’s blow cut off one of the arms and my strike found the creature’s skull.  With a single stroke, it cracked open and the creature fell silent and still.

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“Good work lads!” said Orthus

“From the bones scattered around, I would imagine that creature hunted down and ate whatever else was in here,” said Roltic, ““but keep on your toes.”

“Roltic, Samlin, Cras, and Orlim, set up a perimeter as the rest of us survey what we have here!” I said as I looked over at the pile of treasure.

I climbed up to the throne in which could only seat Arcemus’ remains, I could see that his greed lead him to surround himself with his gold and precious items as he passed into the afterlife.  

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I reached down and pulled the crystal from his skeletal hand and sighed a breath of relief that our quest was nearly complete.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon loading the loot into chest and transporting it to our waiting boats.  The Earth Crystal would soon be on its way to the Lord Owain and the treasure would be brought back to for all of Circardia.




Notes: Sorry it is so long.  I just keep writing and writing, but i hope you all enjoy.
More photos are available at the following link
http://mikey.smugmug...99985&k=VX3hnfx

Thanks for the comments that were up on Chapter 1 and 2 Please let me know what you think of Chapter 3!

Mikey

Edited by MikeyB, 15 May 2012 - 03:52 AM.

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#2 soccerkid6

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:20 PM

I'm glad it won't be long before you post the 3rd chapter  :classic:
The shack looks very fitting, nice work on making it small yet not look uninhabitable  :thumbup:
The fire looks very convincing, as do the pen and ink bottle.
And these are only the introductory MOCs  :look:
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#3 Sirens-of-Titan

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:29 PM

Great builds MikeyB! You've nailed a sense of style down and the narrative form of your story, minifgure choice, color selection and photo quality and presentation are incredible! I say bring on chapter 3!  :wink:
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#4 Blaze

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:46 PM

Very cool scenes indeed. The shack with the old woman is very cool! Nice story too, I am eager to find out what kind of creatures Arcemus made.
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#5 purpleparadox

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:25 AM

All the tiny details make these scenes great. And I love the story! Your writing has me hooked. Can't wait for more!

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#6 MikeyB

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:16 PM

Thanks for the comments, Chapter 3 is now added to the first post!

Enjoy and I look forward to you critics and comments

Mikey

Edited by MikeyB, 12 May 2012 - 04:17 PM.

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#7 soccerkid6

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:30 PM

Nice finish! I especially like the ruined tower and birds outside. The fight scene posing is perfect  :thumbup:
Keep up the good work  :classic:
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#8 kabel

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:36 PM

The waterfall is it! I mean the rest of the moc a pretty nice too, but the waterfall does it for me! It's always amazing to see with what kind of interesting ideas people around here come up with, and then I usually woder why I didn't think of it either. Well done!
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#9 Captain BeerBeard

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:41 AM

I love the outdoor scene! The crumbled tower is awesome. I don't have anything bad to say except the story is too long to read. That dosen't effect your great scene's in any way. :thumbup:
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#10 purpleparadox

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:45 AM

View PostCaptain BeerBeard, on 13 May 2012 - 12:41 AM, said:

I love the outdoor scene! The crumbled tower is awesome. I don't have anything bad to say except the story is too long to read. That dosen't effect your great scene's in any way. :thumbup:
If I were you I'd really take the time to stop and read it. The story is AWESOME! Fantastically written! And it's not that long compared to many GoH stories. Seriously, READ IT! You won't regret it.

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#11 MikeyB

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:58 AM

View Postpurpleparadox, on 13 May 2012 - 02:45 AM, said:

If I were you I'd really take the time to stop and read it. The story is AWESOME! Fantastically written! And it's not that long compared to many GoH stories. Seriously, READ IT! You won't regret it.

thanks! I am glad you appreciate the story!  Hope the suspense of waiting for Chapter 3 was worth it.

@Capt. Beerbeard, i thought the story was pretty long too.  comes from sitting for a couple hours with no access to a computer and I just wrote it out long hand in a note book!  I am not a big fan of long stories either (well reading them on a computer screen, I do like to read) so I was worried it might distract some people, but hopefully the the photos tell the story well enough even if you dont read it all.

@kabel  glad you enjoyed the waterfall. Luckly all those clear 1x1 rounds and other blue 1x1s I found a year or two ago in a PaB wall have come in handy!

@soccerkid (go Chelsea and my hometown team, the Charleston Battery!) Glad you like the bird and the ruin,  I was going to add a detail about the birds but the story was long enough as it was!

mikey

Edited by MikeyB, 13 May 2012 - 06:59 AM.

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#12 Ecclesiastes

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 03:44 PM

Great job Mikey! I really like the ramshackle hut, with the different colors brown! Also the ruin is well done! :classic:

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#13 NiceMarmot

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:57 PM

Great job! This comes together very nicely. I think you've got a good variety of scenes -- nice hut, good interior where they're planning the quest, great cliffs, waterfall, and landscaping, really good fight scenes. Nice clear, well-lit photos too; that makes such a difference!  The interior of the cave looked just a bit plain compared to the great, lush landscaping above it. But on the other hand the plainness kind of highlights the guardian, the fighting, and the treasure.

The story is great too, and well-written. I don't think it's too long at all, only took a few minutes to read it.  Beery, if this is too long for you, wait until you see my entry; my story is much longer!
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#14 Erynlasgalen

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 07:48 PM

My favorite parts are the ramshackled shack and the waterfall, they were really well done. You can tell you really put a lot of thought into the different scenes. Your pictures are really clear and detailed too which really adds to the overall MOC.


View PostNiceMarmot, on 14 May 2012 - 06:57 PM, said:

The story is great too, and well-written. I don't think it's too long at all, only took a few minutes to read it.  Beery, if this is too long for you, wait until you see my entry; my story is much longer!

I totally agree, I really enjoyed the story and didn't think it was too long at all. In fact, I was curious and calculated that mine is over twice as long as this, so I consider it relatively short  :classic:

Good job!

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#15 de Gothia

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 07:57 PM

Great story Mikey! Love the moc as well! The ruin on top with the stair is a great touch!

Fun too se so many Avalonians entering!

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#16 MikeyB

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:43 PM

thanks again for the kind comments.

the vingette scenes came together pretty quick.  I did struggle with a hair peice for the the old hermit lady.  I wanted something in gray but I didn't have anything and as I didn't build these until the last week of the comp, I didn't have time to BL anything.  In the end the CMF hippie hair works pretty good I think. I still wish it were a gray color.  Finally a hippie that is good for something!

I don't feel this is my best work but I want to try a couple things I haven't done before.  Building a round tower that is the ruin was one and building it modular was another (the top lifts off in two pieces.)

As to the interior, I have begun to think about the photographibillity (I know I just made up the word) of my builds.  One of the reason I wanted it to be modular was so I could pose the guardian in the different scenes and get good angles in my photos.

As to the story, my son read it the other day (he is nine) and asked me if I was going to write a chapter 4! I couldn't ask for higher praise than that!

Now I have the rest of the week off and am contemplating a free build....what to start...

Edited by MikeyB, 15 May 2012 - 12:44 PM.

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#17 NiceMarmot

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:24 PM

View PostMikeyB, on 15 May 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:

As to the story, my son read it the other day (he is nine) and asked me if I was going to write a chapter 4! I couldn't ask for higher praise than that!
Similar story here. My 5 year old son and I had a four-hour-each-way car trip last weekend, and my car's CD player is broken. We play a lot of audio books in the car for him on trips. Well no CD player == no audio book, but he wanted a story anyway. So I started to tell him my challenge 3 story. He loved it so much and demanded more (ugh, the trip wasn't even half over yet), that I started creating the story from scratch from the time Gex finds out about the challenge/quest and forms the team, slowly starting to go through a series of adventures which will eventually lead up to my challenge entry.  Now every time we get in the car, he wants me to continue the story. At this rate, I'll have a full book or two by the time we're done...  At least I've got subject material for another eight or so MOCs so far!
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#18 Rogue Angel

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 02:28 AM

Great entry Mikey!  I really liked the story, and the way your characters have recurring roles, it really gives you a connection up front.  I like that you put the hippy hair to good use (I was choosing between the hippy and the bride for the flower, but I couldn't see ANY use for the hippy - now I see what I missed) and I really like the way she is sitting - may have to use that myself.  I like the sword over the fireplace, the bird and the treasure trove.  

Excellent job!

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#19 Mike S

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:01 AM

Nice job! I really like the ruined tower with the broken staircase!

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#20 Gabe

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:11 PM

Top entry Mikey B! I loved the story, and the series of vigs to illustrate it worked really well.  :thumbup: The cliff with the greenery and ruined tower on top looks very nice, although perhaps using dark bley for wet areas of rock might have made the waterfall area a bit more obvious. I notice that some of the bricks in the "behind the waterfall" shots are lifting up a bit too, which is rather distracting. Anyway, nice work, best of luck in the voting!  :classic:
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#21 MikeyB

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:38 PM

@NiceMarmot,  that is great!  I don't know If I could come up with four hours worth of stories!  

@rougeang  I decided shortly after we started GoH that it might be easier to reintroduce minor characters than trying to come up with new characters with every story.  I still need to get some gray hair for women!

@Mikel  thanks I wanted to try a technique I haven't tried before.  I have always like round towers so I thought I would give it a go.

@Gabe  thanks for the feedback.  I did think about using dark grey at the base of the cliff and along the waterfall area but felt like I was limiting the build as I don't have many dark grey  guess I will add that to my next bricklink order!  Also, I need to give myself more time to photograph everything.  I was rushing around on the last day trying to get it and a ton of normal life stuff done.  I just didnt recheck everything like I would have liked to.

thanks again to everyone who looked.

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#22 robuko

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 11:35 AM

Some very nice scenes Mikey.  I really like the overhead shot of the maps.  Lots of nice details, which really help the story to come to life.  Great entry,
I am glad you keep stretching yourself
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#23 Basiliscus

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 05:01 PM

A great entry! I love the small details, and the photography is top-notch. I also thought the story was very well-written.

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