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The Lost Druid Temple

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#1 Mike S

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:08 AM

Greetings most excellent Dextrus Flagg,

I present to you the water crystal of Kaliphlin. The story of how I came to find the crystal is long and I shall save the complete tale for another time. However I am now unconvinced of the benevolence of the Elder Druids and because of this I will recount to you the actual finding of the crystal. You may not recognise me in the paintings for I decided to set aside my heavy armor and wear a lighter more adventure suited attire.

My search party, which consisted of myself, ten soldiers, four packmen, my personal portrait painter, and our mysterious guide, had been trekking through a primeval jungle south of Barqa for over a week. Our mysterious guide that I had met in the caves I had discovered near the WitherWoods, continued to chart his course with a strange compass like device and we continued to follow him. Finally on the day we found the crystal, the ancient path we had been following abruptly ended at the edge of a cliff overlooking a hidden jungle valley.
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Across the valley, built in successive intervals, stood a row of towers connected by rope bridges. We continued our trek across the bridges and towers and eventually came to the center of the valley. One of my soldiers fell through a rotted plank of one of the rope bridges but he managed to grab one of the ropes and his comrades hauled him back up.
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At the center of the valley a mound of rock rose above the jungle fauna. Upon this rock was built an ancient edifice. We carefully crossed the last rope bridge to this structure and found the rock mound to be hollow on the inside and there was a staircase built into the rockface leading down to the bottom of the pit.
Suddenly the fauna growing upon the walls of the ancient edifice began to move. Until now I had not paid much attention to the fauna on the walls, my concentration being instead on the deep pit within the mound of rock. As the vines detached themselves from the walls, I realized these were a species of plants I had never encountered before. I had noticed some interesting plant species in the jungle below as I crossed the rope bridges one of which looked like the rare Dragonwing Flower.
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But these vines were thicker than a man and thorny.
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One of my soldiers screamed as a thick tendral wrapped around him, his swinging sword unable to free him before he was torn in half. The rest of my soldiers were already in action hacking at the tendrals but I could not see much hope in their efforts.
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Suddenly a burst of fire came from behind me and engulfed one of the massive vines. I looked behind me and saw our mysterious guide aiming his mages staff at another vine and saw a stream of fire shoot out of the glowing red gem at the tip of the staff.
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“Fire! Men! Light your torches!” I yelled to my soldiers. My packmen lit a torch as my soldiers retreated back to us to light their torches. With the torches, my soldiers began to make visable progress toward destroying the vines.
Unfortunately our success was not to be easily won. The vines changed tactics and instead of trying to grab my soldiers, they now began to coil and whip at us, the sharp thorns on the vines slicing and ripping through any unprotected skin.
Two more of my soldiers were felled, one being slammed into the wall and knocked unconcious and the other knocked off the narrow stairway and falling into the depths below. I heard yelling behind me and realized that our mysterious guide was trying to get my attention.
“The head!” he yelled pointing at the center of the pit below. I looked and understood what he meant. We had to get down to the head and destroy it if we were going to emerge from this battle triumphantly.
I yelled the orders for my soldiers to make their way down to the center of the pit. I instructed my packmen to return to the last tower out of reach of the vines and followed my men down the narrow staircase that wound down around the side of the pit. Our mysterious guide remained above and continued to shoot flames of fire out of his staff but now directed at the massive head at the bottom of the pit.
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Once I reached the bottom, I realized that I no longer had much of a fight ahead of me. The plant's head was engulfed in flames and it thrashed about trying to escape the fire to no avail. I swung my torch and hacked at the vines surounding the head and soon the plant ceased to move. A blackened and crumpled lump of leaves was all that remained of the plant head. I looked around to see if there were any other enemies or traps but couldn't detect any so I walked over and picked up the water crystal from its monument.
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The return journey home was quite easy and we encountered no problems. Our mysterious guide took leave of us just before we reached Barqa. I asked him to return with us and I would reward him for his help recovering the crystal. He refused saying he had somewhere else to be and had no time to stop in Barqa. I never saw his face as it was always covered by a golden mask but as I think about him now, I get an uneasy feeling about him.  I continue to ponder who he was and what was the strange device he used to find the crystal.

I now know that I have only scratched the surface of the mysteries that Historica holds and that thereare more mysteries here than a lifetime of adventuring can uncover. But I now have decided to search for more information about the Elder Druids, for if their sacrifice had the power to bless historica, why then was it locked away and the keys sent to the four corners of the land and guarded by such dangerous entities?

I urge caution in proceeding until more solid information is obtained of the Elder Druids for it seems now we act upon legends, legends that could have become corrupted over the ages.

May your wells always be clean and full,

Mikel Kalores of Barqa

Edited by Mikel Kalores, 13 May 2012 - 02:05 AM.

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#2 Captain BeerBeard

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:51 AM

Look's like you have a lot of word's. Your picture's are dark and blurry. The plant monster is cool but look's way too weak to over power so many troops. I only judge pics.
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#3 ZCerberus


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Posted 12 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

View PostMikel Kalores, on 12 May 2012 - 05:08 AM, said:

P.S Sorry for the painting quality... my painter has become intrigued by water color techniques so the paintings are not always clear. I have instructed him to repaint some of the scenes so I am waiting for them to be finished.

Haha.  You're right, some of your WIP pics were much nicer in quality.

Try retaking the photos outside, in a shaded area with no flash on.  I think you will like the results MUCH better!

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#4 soccerkid6


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Posted 12 May 2012 - 12:49 PM

I like the towers with rope bridges between them  :thumbup:  The rockwork is great, looking forward to your better pictures  :classic:
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#5 Mike S

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:14 AM

Some additional photos:

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This was my original concept:

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Edited by Mikel Kalores, 13 May 2012 - 02:22 AM.

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#6 Kayne


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Posted 14 May 2012 - 03:10 AM

This looks fantastic!  The scope of this build is great, and I really like how real the vegetation all feels.

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#7 Hersbrucker


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Posted 14 May 2012 - 04:25 AM

Very cool fighting scenes and excellent MOC.
Love, that you have a great army to capture the crystal.

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#8 Gabe


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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:04 AM

Great stuff Mikel, i especially like the pulled-back images, they really give a sense of the grand scale of your creation.  :thumbup: The landscaping with all the vegetation looks really lush and tropical, and the ruined structure with the towers (temple? old castle?) are fantastic. Best of luck in the voting!  :classic:
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#9 Sered


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Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:02 PM

Oh my God, it's Amazing!

It's very clever how you realized the wooden bridge

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 04:27 PM

Good entry! A like the tower designs with the bridges, als all the foilage is well done! :thumbup:

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#11 kabel


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Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:39 PM

It's a good thing you changed those photos. Now I can really apreciate this moc. And now I can say that I totally love it. Great build!
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#12 Erynlasgalen


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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:28 PM

I really like the second picture, the curve of the temple and vegetation are really nice. You really captured the jungle feel with the MOC. Very creative guardian too!

What pieces did you use for the base of the towers? I keep looking at them, but I can't figure it out.  I don't think I have run across that one before and really like the way it looks.

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#13 de Gothia

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:07 PM

That plant is so well done! Loks very much alive!  *oh2*

But my favourite part has to be that bridge in the forest! So good! Great work!

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#14 glenpinpat


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Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:23 PM

love the jungle scene and soldier hanging from the bridge, as this is a lego site and not a photography site the concept and delivery are great. Unfortunatly you are in the wrong guild;)

#15 Mike S

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 11:35 PM

Thanks everyone for the comments! I have just realized with this contest that I may end up learning to be a better photographer as well as a better builder. I never fancied myself to be that great of a photographer but I'm realizing that without good photos, its hard to share a good representation of what I build. I plan to do some experimentation with my camera so I hope you will see an improvement in later entries. The main problem with this one was its size. I had always been able to set up artificial light that worked fine imo (e.g. A coffee house of Barqa), but with this I couldn't really rig any lighting I had available with satisfactory results. I lucked out that it turned out to be a fine day when I got off work on Saturday evening so was able to take better pics.

View PostErynlasgalen, on 14 May 2012 - 06:28 PM, said:

I really like the second picture, the curve of the temple and vegetation are really nice. You really captured the jungle feel with the MOC. Very creative guardian too!

What pieces did you use for the base of the towers? I keep looking at them, but I can't figure it out.  I don't think I have run across that one before and really like the way it looks.

I think you are asking about Bricklink part 2903 Dark Bluish Gray Wheel 81.6x15? I stacked a bunch of them to make the trunk of the towers.

View Postglenpinpat, on 14 May 2012 - 08:23 PM, said:

Unfortunatly you are in the wrong guild;)

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Edited by Mikel Kalores, 14 May 2012 - 11:39 PM.

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#16 NiceMarmot


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Posted 15 May 2012 - 04:08 PM

Nice job, Mikel. Very cool guardian. Lots of great foliage; it really feels like a jungle. And cool towers and bridges. I'm going to have to get some string and try some bridges like that.
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#17 Captain BeerBeard

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 01:08 AM

The new pic's are much better. Now that I can see your building techniques it look's really awesome! :thumbup:  I still stand by my comment about the guardian. :tongue:
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#18 Angeli


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Posted 16 May 2012 - 01:20 AM

Wow, I love those towers :)
And the jungle ;)

I must say, challenge 3 brought the best from us, all entries are just spectacular :)

#19 Rogue Angel

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 01:37 AM

This is a great entry!  The scale is immense, and the foliage is very well done.  It looks completely filled with greenery without being too busy or repetitive.  I really like the towers and the building that houses your guardian.  The story was told well, and the fight scene was exciting, and not just a "thwack and it was dead."  Good work with the guardian too.  

Excellent work!

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#20 Mike S

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:17 AM

Thanks again for the comments!

View PostCaptain BeerBeard, on 16 May 2012 - 01:08 AM, said:

I still stand by my comment about the guardian. :tongue:

If it was an army of axemen it might have been another story...but alas they were only swordmen :wink:

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#21 Si-MOCs



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Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:46 AM

Mikel ! What is there not to like?

I love the fact that you built a single MASSIVE MOC and took pictures around it. And those long shots really show off your skills and make it worth while. :wub:

The build it self was fantastic - I remember seeing your little LDD and was like... no way... that's huge! Really really well executed. All the vines and such really look real/natural. Not the easiest to do ....

Also I love how you included your personal painter  :laugh:
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#22 robuko


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Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:13 PM

Even better big than small, you made this beautifully Mikel, I think opening the side of the temple makes it much more mysterious somehow, as well as easier to photograph.  The soldiers hanging off the bridge are excellent.  The ground cover vegetation is really well done, it does exactly what you need it too in terms of being unobtrusive but interesting.  A wonderful build for Kaliphlin!
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