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Duc leStrange`s Valentine Ball


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#1 robuko

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:29 PM

It has been a month since Duke Strange removed the secret panel in his chamber and consulted the profane oracles as to how to bring more Love to Historica.
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They told him, invite the fairest, the boldest and the richest in the land to the Valentine`s Ball, and bring some happiness and joy to these troubled lands.  "Dear My Lord/Lady, you are rich/hot/worth cultivating, please come for Love and Fun on Feb 14th,  Duc LeStrange"

Since then, much has occurred.  Next door to the embassy, ambitious Daniel has usurped his sleeping master, the mage Dr Dee, and summoned the djinn Bartimaeus.
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"WHO DARES SUMMON BARTIMAEUS" "Silence Dolt!  Rosemary and chains of fire constrain you at my command.  Find out what that imbecile Duke is up to.  Report"

Bartimaeus finds only that a sumptuous feast has been prepared, and Daniel has not been invited.
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But now, on the feast of St Valentine, the moment is here.  The guests make their way along the foul sulphur river, noting that Dr Dee has apparently installed a new lavawheel for the his nefarious thaumaturge.  Lady Alyssa is first to arrive, and her footmen amuse themselves outside.  Crocodile carriage is by far the best way to cross the outlying swamps.
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Soon, the Ball is in full swing.  The flirtatious couples whirl like dervishes across the floor, each dancing to his own beat.  Sabrina and the Desert Sands play their best-loved slushy ballads on the traditional Kaliphlin cacophony of bugle, drums and flute, while the Duke sprinkles roses and love tokens on the dancers from his flying carpet above.

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Has true love taken hold?  Who were the most romantic couple?

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Darecold seemed rather taken with Lady Alyssa`s enigmatic mazurka.  Dr Rod`s assistant was a wallflower who bloomed when S'dak'l'vil'th asked for the next dance.  Debutante Lady Jane thought Arcanis I a great catch, and a superbly elegant dresser.
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Sasha`s robust can-can won Dr Rod`s eternal admiration.  Haarloos seemed preoccupied and distant though Phoebe of Rakath was very keen.  Maybe as a hairless werewolf, he was envious of Darecold`s glossy pelt and rakish ways.  General Grimm and Valsharess were clearly attracted to each other by mutual distrust, admiration and loathing, but even more so by shared fury that Lord Ezcob chose to dance with elven emissary Elgesa, from Ilgadren of Gel Cidra.  Maybe they were plotting.

At the end of the evening, Duke Strange was delighted, the Ball had been a great success.  There was a lot of Love in the room and maybe war was now a little more distant and unlikely.  The most passionate dancers would fly by carpet to the roof garden to share a romantic glass of mead, elven wine or snake`s blood with the Peligrinus mermaids.  The stable hands did an excellent  job of looking after the guest`s steeds for the return journey.
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So, who do you think was the most romantic couple?

All of these scenes are inside the 48x48 floorplate.  Ground floor is kitchen, stables and the Summoning of Bartimaeus.  First floor is the ballroom, Duke Strange`s chamber and Dr Dee`s room.  Roof is the roof garden.  

I hope you enjoy the Ball!  Happy Valentine`s Day everybody!

:wub: :classic:   :wub: :classic:  :wub:

Edited by robuko, 14 February 2012 - 03:34 PM.

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#2 Rogue Angel

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:04 PM

Awesome!

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#3 Mr Copperhead

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:20 PM

That was a fun story and a great looking MOC to go with it!

#4 Maxim I

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:01 PM

Impressive!!

Now I know why this is the first build in the capital of Nocturnus (the epic proportions of houses :wink: )

Haarloos sent a mail to me where he said he was quite stunned by the beauty of the interior and Phoebe of Rakath, but after recovering, he had a great time dancing :thumbup:

Thx for inviting him!

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#5 Kayne

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:02 PM

Meesa wants more bombad love in Kaliphlin too!

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#6 Hersbrucker

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:51 PM

Lord Darecold say thank you for this invitation  :thumbup:
It is a honor for us to celebrate with you tonight  :thumbup:

Edited by Hersbrucker, 14 February 2012 - 06:53 PM.

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#7 Zilcho

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:33 PM

Very very well done! A great moc! It is good to see all the characters from Historica in one place! Good job  :thumbup:

#8 Darkdragon

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:46 PM

View Postrobuko, on 14 February 2012 - 03:29 PM, said:

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The whole thing is great, but I especially love your kitchen.  :wub:

#9 CptMugwash

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:48 PM

You've done an excellent job here, there's so many details  :drool:
The Duc leStrange vig is cool, aswell as the crocodile carriage, heh.
The nocturnus house has turned out great, aswell as your mosaic and the whole embassy is awesome, loving the front and all those domes and arches, very traditional of Kaliphlin.  Also the story, the characters, fantastic  :thumbup:

#10 Ecclesiastes

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:28 PM

An pretty impressive build! The side with the white pilars and the side with the white arches are well done!

Also a nice story :sweet:

Edited by Ecclesiastes, 14 February 2012 - 10:28 PM.

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#11 Angeli

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:51 PM

You are crazy, my friend ;)
Such an innovative idea, perfectly realized :)
Bravo ;)

...and we were plotting, not intimacing. Valsharess loves girls.

:devil:

#12 Hyler Talliwell

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:05 AM

Haha, awesome. What a great build and thanks for the inclusion. Much appreciated. I think Valsharess and General Grimm were a pretty cute couple. S'dak'l'vi'th can't be trusted with those tentacles. They have to learn manners. Posted Image

#13 Artanis I

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:51 AM

Looks like Arcanis I fared better than expected. (I wish I had that much hair for real... :laugh:) White tie on black! How did you know?

Great build, and I like how you've used the minotaur head piece!

#14 MikeyB

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:41 AM

the mosaic on the dance floor and the musicians are great.

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#15 Balthasar

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:46 PM

wow, man this is one crazy build! Very impressive and great fun. To many interesting features to name them all: roof, mosaic, heroglyfs, croc-carriage, etc etc.

If we have to build all building in Abyssan this size, Albion will look like a tiny village ;) But I guess, since we nocturians like to live in the shadows, this massive structure is more then welcome :P

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#16 Basiliscus

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:53 AM

I think this is a great example of a great idea well-executed. The details are fantastic - the ornate ballroom floor, the musicians balcony, the pool, etc! All add to the atmosphere.

However, the exterior is no slouch either! It looks fantastic! What a nice sense of scale you get from looking at the photos, and the fact you had room for two buildings just adds to the fun.

Well done!  :thumbup:

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#17 Gabe

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:38 AM

Wow, what a huge, impressive build! :oh: The story and the interior scenes are awesome, it's great to see all the Nocturnus characters come together in harmony. All except Daniel of course... poor fella!  :laugh: So much going on with the buildings as well - i love all the different windows and styles of ornamentation you have used. The top part of the embassy is particularly beautiful!  :wub:
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#18 SkaForHire

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:33 AM

Apparently I did not reply yet - What is ridiculous about this build is the top 4th of this could have been an outstanding embassy on its own... This is like a whole city of awesome below that level.
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#19 NiceMarmot

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:12 PM

Absolutely incredible. A wonderful building, with a great story as well. You are quite the storyteller.  And the design of the building sets the standard for Kaliphlin desert-style.

My invitation was probably lost in the mail somewhere I'm sure. That's OK, her ladyship probably wouldn't have approved of me attending anyway.  Glad to hear everyone had fun. Will be be seeing any interesting MOC vignettes in about nine months?

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#20 Dr Rod

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 01:21 AM

Woah... it has taken a few days for my head to recover.

From what I recall, it was indeed an excellent ball, awesome food (the Ostrich head was so tender!!), sensational mead, great company :blush: and a beautiful location and ball room. Looking forward to next year!!

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#21 robuko

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:02 PM

Thankyou all very much for your kind comments.  This was a ridiculously ambitious build for my abilities, and I am quite happy with how it came out.  The cartouches on the front and the curved windows were the most technically demanding parts, and there was a lot of experimentation to come up with I think original window detailing (Doktor Frankenstein helped  :laugh: ).  

Unfortunately I was pretty sick going in to the deadline, so I apologise for the obviously unfinished parts, I just ran out of energy and daylight.  I guess the judges will only accept what made it pre deadline, regardless of illness, but I thought you might like to see how it was intended to be.  I am feeling much better now, the changes are very small but I think they make it look much more finished, especially tiling off the loose surfaces at the top of the walls.  I don't know how I forgot to attach the chimney the first time, the lava stream provides heat for our kitchen and it is then cycled through the building in a complicated lattice of tubes, which you can see above the kitchen fireplace.  It keeps the embassy at a standard Petraea temperature.
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The inspiration was from Kaliphlin's heritage as a rich desert empire, I consciously wanted to reflect different glorious ancient empires on each side, and inside.  The front entrance is inspired by Karnak in Egypt, while beside Dr Dee's house on the other side is my sketch of Petra in Jordan.  The roof was very loosely based on the Suleiyman mosque in Istanbul, while the sides are inspired by various Indian facades, especially on the medium blue side.  The rather lavish use of bulls on the columns is from the palace of Persepolis.  The mosaic attempts to blend the red and gold of Nocturnus with the red and dark blue of Kaliphlin, and it is more or less directly lifted from the incomparable Katie Walker (eilonwy).

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I also somehow missed out the wings when photographing the band.  I am quite pleased with the mirror.
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View PostAngeli, on 14 February 2012 - 10:51 PM, said:

...and we were plotting, not intimacing. Valsharess loves girls.
We did actually invite a suitable partner for Valsharess, but when Anatole the chef saw a big spider in high heels, he sadly turned her into medallions d'arachne avec ossobucco.  Tragic, but delicious.

View PostNiceMarmot, on 16 February 2012 - 11:12 PM, said:

My invitation was probably lost in the mail somewhere I'm sure. That's OK, her ladyship probably wouldn't have approved of me attending anyway.  Glad to hear everyone had fun. Will be be seeing any interesting MOC vignettes in about nine months?

My dear Gex, we assumed you would be too busy supervising your incredible palace to attend our little soiree, you and her ladyship are of course very welcome next year!

I do know that since dancing with lady Alyssya, there is a recurring nightmare that has haunted our friend Lord Darecold in his sleep.  But she's rather a lovely lady, so not to worry!   :laugh:  (Sorry Hersbrucker, werebabies were the only things that I had on hand to make this work)
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#22 Mike S

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:14 PM

View Postdarkdragon, on 14 February 2012 - 09:46 PM, said:

The whole thing is great, but I especially love your kitchen.  :wub:


Same here... :cry_happy:  I think that is the best stocked kitchen I have ever seen in LEGO...


I also like how when you first look at the MOC it looks a whole lot larger than it actually is because of the roof design. And it is a massive MOC as it is....

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#23 Rogue Angel

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:18 AM

This thing is unbelievable!  You've packed this space both vertically and horizontally.  I LOVE all of your arches and towers.  I especially love the tower with the white droid arms circling it - brilliant.  This thing is amazing, and I would love to see a lot more pictures. :wub:

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#24 Angeli

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:36 AM

View Postrobuko, on 18 February 2012 - 12:02 PM, said:

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ahahah someone should learn a thing or two about protection ;)
or not to drink & love ;)

#25 NiceMarmot

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:27 AM

View Postrobuko, on 18 February 2012 - 12:02 PM, said:

My dear Gex, we assumed you would be too busy supervising your incredible palace to attend our little soiree, you and her ladyship are of course very welcome next year!
Thanks! No problem, you're right, we were up in Valholl supervising the finishing touches on the embassy. Believe me, her ladyship was none to pleased to be spending Valentine's Day up in the cold north. She's a true Arizona, er, Ariz-Onahi girl. I tried to get her some Northern Warg fur coats to warm up, but of course she insisted on only the much more expensive Nordheim ermine furs. They set me back almost as much as the tilework on the embassy. Might have to go treasure hunting again this spring to make up for it. Looking forward to next year's ball though.

View Postrobuko, on 18 February 2012 - 12:02 PM, said:

I do know that since dancing with lady Alyssya, there is a recurring nightmare that has haunted our friend Lord Darecold in his sleep.  But she's rather a lovely lady, so not to worry!   :laugh:  (Sorry Hersbrucker, werebabies were the only things that I had on hand to make this work)
Oooh, that definitely gives me some ideas about what to do with all those microfigure mummies from those Ramses Pyramids that I bought on sale!
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