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The Holy Order of the Mad Monks


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#1 robuko

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:16 PM

Apologies for double post, I saw that the other entries posted as threads, so I guess I should too:

There is an ancient tale, or maybe it was not so long ago, of how the Holy Order of the Mad Monks was founded, and how the great temple and its vast catacombs came to be.  

It began one enchanted evening in the Eastern badlands, not too far from Qarkyr.  Rasputin (no relation) and his sweetheart Isabella were walking back to the village of Arrakheen after a day of talk and laughter, fruitlessly hunting for scorpions, when Rasputin stumbled over a smooth and shiny stone.
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Suddenly around them, the sands swirled and parted, and the head of a great beast rose from the sands.  "Who dares disturb my slumbers?" roared the beast.
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Isabella trembled with fear but she would not be intimidated by the monster.  "We are Isabella and Rasputin.  Who is it that addresses us?"
"Are you pure of heart and deed?" boomed the great voice.
Rasputin blushed, and calculated his odds. What was the downside?  "Of course we are, our honour is unimpeachable!"
"Then today is your lucky day! Only the pure of heart may enter the Cave of Wonder.  Great treasures, great riches await the pure of heart, but be careful what you take.  Everything has a price"

And they saw that the beast's tongue was a staircase down into a cave.  Now, Isabella was of what passed for a rather wealthy family in Arrakheen, but Rasputin was the poor son of a camel herder and the thought of treasure tempted him greatly.  If he was a wealthy man too, then maybe Isabella's father would look upon his suit more favourably.  Driven by greed and his desire to win acceptance, he entered the cave, and Isabella followed.  Down and down and down they walked, until the ground flattened out, and they saw a golden glow at the end of the tunnel.  They walked towards it and found the source of the light was a cave filled with riches that sparkled in the depths.

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Isabella thought the giled cavern rather nouveau and gaudy, but Rasputin was bedazzled by the classy bling.  A vast horde of treasure, gems, gold, and legendary artefacts surrounded them.  They stared and stared.  
And jumped with fright as a golden statue of a bygone hero greeted them.
"Wotcha! Roll up Roll up to the Cave of Wonder, all genuine treasure and historical wotsits of great importance.  Fancy a ruby, Love?  Goblet of Holy Water, Sir?  Blessed with some big old crystal of something special, innit, you'll live to seven hundred after one sip.  Everlasting lamp, pet?  Genuine, used once, it is, be sorry to see it go, but plenty more out back in the stockroom.  Impenetrable Helmet of Acathansus White, him what fought the dragons?  The Key to Dokodemo Door?  Takes you anywhere in a heartbeat, dunnit, even Mitgardia, brilliant piece of work that, Samurai wrought.  Tell you what," and his voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper, "I can do you a special deal matey, 3 for the price of 1, how's that?  Now, what takes your fancy?"
Isabella had an eye for the real deal and she exclaimed with delight, "Oh Ras, look!  The long lost diadem of Rowena Ravenpaw!  Mummy would love it!  And a time turner dagger!  This place is loaded!"
Rasputin gaped in awe.  "We'll take them, Old Hero!  We'll take your Dokodemo doorkey, we'll take the Holy Water, and we'll take the time turner dagger!"  They would live 700 years, with power over time and space with this trinity.
"Right Guv, a very shrewd customer you are, I can see.  But," and his voice dropped to a whisper again, "you know there's a price, right?"  
"Name it" said Rasputin in a hushed tone.
"Well, not to put too fine a point on it, your excellency, but the price of immortal life and mastery of space and time is not, in fact, our cheapest deal this week.  It would have to be," the statue cast his eyes at Isabella, who was still thrilling at the tiara, "It would have to be your good lady there."
Rasputin considered the proposition carefully for about half a heartbeat.  Isabella was a fine girl, he loved her dearly, and he had sworn only this morning that he was hers forever.  But that was before he knew about the cave, so it didn't really count. There were plenty of fine ladies, and with the ability to go anywhere at any time, well, he could meet any lady of his choice.  "Done" he said.  And he drank the Holy Water and grabbed the key and dagger, while the golden statue dragged the weeping Isabella away.

"FOOL!" roared the voice of the great beast.  "Only the pure of heart may enter!" And the cavern started to fill with boiling lava.  Rasputin was doomed, and worse, Isabella with him, for his greed and treachery!  
But no!  He saw a magic carpet twitching to escape the molten rock and he hurled himself onto it as the stone crumbled beneath his feet.

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The headlong flight through crumbling caverns left Rasputin senseless and exhausted. When he awoke, it was already morning, Isabella was nowhere to be found, and his face was wet with tears.
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The magic carpet was real enough, but the knife and key were just a knife and a key.  He did live to 700 though, and he spent most of those years digging with the dagger, down through the sand to find the Cave of Wonder again.  He never found it. But his digging is what created the catacombs, and the rocks he excavated became the walls of the great temple we know today.  

And that is how the first Mad Monk founded the Holy Order.
:classic:

ps There is a rather interesting story that is told in the Strange embassy below stairs.  We all know the current Duke says much that is nonsense.  He once told a scullery maid that he owes his dukedom to a clumsy stumble, a hungry statue and a banana.  No-one really knows how he got hold of that carpet.

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Rasputin Jones is restoring the King of Kaliphlin in Guilds of Historica

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#2 Creator

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:47 PM

Great story, great MOC'ing! I love it! Keep it up!

#3 Ecclesiastes

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:46 PM

Nice story! ANd great job on the small mocs. I like the monster the most, because it's well detailed :classic:

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#4 Christoph

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:34 PM

Nice story and build. For example, I like the beast and also the simple set-up in the first picture with the mountains. (Although the sun seems to be on the wrong side? The darker side of the mountains could be in the shadow.) I also like the cruel turning point in the story.
Two questions: What does the holy order do today? And will there be diplomatic tensions with Nocturnus when they find out that Kaliphlin sent a mad monk as an ambassador?
Abū Alī al-Ḥusayn ibn Abd Allāh ibn Sīnā, a truth seeker of the Kaliphlin guild

#5 Captain BeerBeard

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:42 PM

This is great! The sand dune background is really cool looking with the camel. Reminds me of my old favorite brand of cigarettes!
Nocturnus Scoundrel

#6 Cij Daoke

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:01 PM

Excellent work, both in building and story waeaving! I really loved the first photo with the desert horizon and the golden sun is really awesome!
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#7 robuko

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:49 PM

Thanks all for your kind comments.  I have wanted to play with the idea of turning 3d bricks into a 2d background for a while, so it was nice to try with the haut-relief on the first and last scenes here.  The story is sourced from the Disney Aladdin cave scene, but I needed a reason for the Monks to be Mad so..... sorry Isabella!

View PostChristoph, on 13 March 2012 - 11:34 PM, said:

Nice story and build. For example, I like the beast and also the simple set-up in the first picture with the mountains. (Although the sun seems to be on the wrong side? The darker side of the mountains could be in the shadow.) I also like the cruel turning point in the story.
Two questions: What does the holy order do today? And will there be diplomatic tensions with Nocturnus when they find out that Kaliphlin sent a mad monk as an ambassador?

Good point my truth seeking friend!  Yes, I only noticed that problem with the sun after it was too dark to rebuild and take more photos, and actually I don`t have the parts to change it.  The lighting really sucks on the last shot too, making it look like the sun is on the wrong side - again!

Today, the Holy Order is an educational charity with a focus on purification of the soul.  It attracts those who have lost their way and are looking to forget, and turns them into rather fanatical missionaries who don`t blink quite enough.  

We can`t fully believe what the Duke Strange says, and there is no record of his service at the Monastery.  Our friends in Abyssan don`t take him seriously anyway, he appears to be a simple good-natured eccentric who loves a good time.  If they suspect he was trained at the Holy Order and is in personal contact with the profane oracles, Nocturnus might just respect him a little more.  But the way it is now suits us just fine, we pay a little more this way for our brimstone, salpetre and quicksilver, but we get good volumes of the stuff, and that`s what we value right now :wink:
Rasputin Jones is restoring the King of Kaliphlin in Guilds of Historica

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#8 Gabe

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:54 AM

Great story and creations Rasputin/robuko! A cautionary tale indeed - we should all beware the tempting call of our hearts desire. Should i be offered a MISB Kingdoms Joust set by a golem in a cave, i shall definitly be considering the price carefully...  :laugh:

I really like your style of builds btw - the mix of brevity and idiosyncratic detail you have going is really appealing. If you are dealing with significant part restriction in your builds, you do it very well!  :classic:
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#9 Rogue Angel

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:45 AM

I love this tale!  It was very amusing, as your builds usually are.  I really like the monster, as well as the room with all the gold.  I especially like your patterning along the walls.  Great build!

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