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[CH 1C - ESL] Mysterious footprints, a vale of orchids and pure gold

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After studying goats and frogs, the group had reached the further inward parts, which - while still verdant and mostly in
jungle - were less humid than the westward facing mountainsides.

"So what exactly are we looking for again, noble lads?", the doctor grubmled when they sat around a small campfire that
Luca had just lit.
"The hidden secrets of this island...", Luca do Figino replied.
"And so how exactly does that help anyone, if we find secrets here in the wilderness?", the doctor insisted.
"You as a doctor ask me, like... you really ask me what the purpose of doing research... exploring secrets... you must be
, stuttered a confused Luca. To which the doctor just frowned.

Most conversations had been like that. The doctor, sceptical, critical and ill-mooded, while Luca acted like they alone were
to save the world with their journey. Lady Ludovica remained rather silent, obviously struggling to keep up with the others
on their voyage. And Barlo did all the dirty work while hating it, because he kept insisting that's his role in the company of
the rich and noble. It was about time Juan changed some things about this.

"My friends. We have journeyd far, further than anyone we know before us. We have seen much in those past weeks. We
have come closer. And yet still I have a secret to share. I have not only come here to explore the flora and fauna of this
island. Well, the flora, yes, but I can be more specific. I am certain you have all seen more orchids on this island than we
are all used to seeing. Well then, I have heard rumours that the most beautiful orchid of the world is to be found on Celestia!
And that is mostly why I am here: To find it! The most beautiful orchid, that ever was, or ever had been! So what do you
think? Are you with me on that one?!"

Juan Alfonso Fontonajo thought he had done a great job of motivating his group, but not in the slightest. Soon after a massive
dispute erupted among them, to which The Doctor and Lady Ludovica were the only two to remain at their camp at the foot of
some ruins which they had discovered.




Stupid Fontonajo. All this expedition for what? An orchid? A flower? Hundreds and thousands of flowers were grown in the
greenhouses each and every day. And this young fool ventured all the way up the mountains through the dangerous jungles
of an unknown island... just to find one single flower? The Doctor had not thought that Fontonajo was this stupid... To forget
some of his anger, he soon took his chance to explore the ruins more closely, and was quite astonished by the fact that he
soon found footsteps. Most certainly of leather boots. Humans, civilized humans - most likely Halosians - had been here. The
Doctor was no scout, but he guessed the footprints were no older than two days. Now where were his companions to share
those thoughts?

Interested to find who left those footsteps? Maybe @Bregir will be able to tell you more about it?



Luca do Fignio had walked away. Stupid Fontonajo! He had come to Celestia to find the orchid, and take it away! And then what?
Plant it in Nova Terreli so that it would perish there, in bad conditions? What a moron! The world was full of bad people, and he
had once again joined one of them. And The Doctor, always in the worst mood. And Lady Ludovica never even said a word, and
let it all just happen. And here now he walked, on that narrow path through those ruins, and...


WOW! His mind stopped for a second, when he saw the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life. In a valley, in the highlands
of Celestia, surrounded by the ruins of an ancient civilization, grew hundreds and thousands of orchids, in all the colours he could
possibly imagine. That was... noone would ever be able to steal this beauty from Celestia. And right so. And he stood there in pure
amazement, just staring at all those flowers which in their beauty would even cheer up The Doctor. And he was so caught by the
beauty of what he saw, that he did not even notice the big yellow cat striding by further down the vale.



Barlod had joined him when Juan had left the company in anger. Why would those fools keep arguing? Had the height made them
dumb already? Was there not enough conflict in the world already? His life had become so much easier after he and his father had
decided to withdraw from politics, and from their ambitions at the same time. He even had time to travel the world now. And he didn't
even intend to take the orchid from Celestia. "Not even if it was made of pure gold", he thought, when Barlo touched his arm. And
right there it stood, and Juan was most certain he had found it - the most beautiful orchid in the world - though he did not believe his
own eyes.


In a lowered department of the ruins of an ancient temple complex, in a masoned pit, here in the highlands of Celestia, there stood
the statue of an orchid, certainly more than 6 metres in height, gleaming golden in the sun. Juan Alfonso Fontonajo had found it.
Right here in the jungles of Celestia.
"This is... beautiful! I will get us a shovel, mylord!", Barlo said.
"We should better take a quill and write a letter to Queen Annetta, telling her about the orchid, and congratulate her to her choice of
, Juan replied.
"And write to the Royal Society so they can protect it from the potential greed of Corrish statesmen?", Barlo said, with some uncertainty
still n his voice as to whether he was allowed to say such things.
Juan Alfonso Fontonajo just smiled at him and nodded. Finally Barlo started finding his confidence. The confidence, that in a new and
free world everyone was allowed to voice their opinion, regardless of both origin and wealth. If it took weeks of travel through the jungle
and a golden orchid in the ruins of an ancient civilization deep within the mountains to start changing the world - then it was all worth it.




Some more pictures:

39942493732_24267e35c1_n.jpg 39263452384_f6b0774033_n.jpg

39933430422_8f7d74a06b_n.jpg 26094020018_ac79acecf6_n.jpg  

25094195567_19ce6ed2d2_n.jpg 39973776951_bdbb24b872_n.jpg

Edited by Elostirion

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Absolutely brilliant! The builds and the story! A gold orchid is a great take on the superb orchid - a very original idea and combined with the valley of real orchids is fantastic! (Hopefully your men get away from that flash of yellow in the background!) The golden orchid itself is very well done. I didn't notice the extent of the petals at first due to the angle of the photo, but the additional pictures took care of that. Altogether easily one of my favourite entries so far!

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7 minutes ago, Ayrlego said:

The golden orchid itself is very well done. I didn't notice the extent of the petals at first due to the angle of the photo, but the additional pictures took care of that. 

Thank you! The first attempts at the golden orchid were absolutely horrible by the way, I started all over again at least four times before I (and my two advisors) were happy with the result.

Also I just swapped the two pictures in my post, maybe that's better.

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A really nice idea Elo and a well written story as always! A golden orchid is a vanished orchid though! Just wait for KPA to spread the word... Hehehe!

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Nice palm trees, must have gotten the idea from someone awesome! :pir_tong2:


All joking aside, I really like the three builds, nice job on the orchid.

Edited by TheCubbScout

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Great idea with a golden orchid!  Three very nice MOCs here, I particularly like the valley of brightly colored orchids!

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I want to get this over with at the start: an awesome entry for the challenge, absolutely amazing!


The three builds on their own are all good, but it is their use in the story that makes the whole thing shine for me. Plus the incredible golden orchid statue of course. Just brilliant! :pir-grin:

You managed to use your builds to tell a story, rather than tell a story to use the builds - something many other entries are really lacking. It is this approach that makes your entry really stand out for me, being my favourite one in Category C so far. There are better builds in other entries, but no better coordination between builds and storytelling. Well done! :thumbup:

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Great work with that golden orchid, Elos, I'm really liking the shaping you got there - but then, how could I dislike a golden orchid, being an Eslandolan? :pir-laugh:  That field of orchids really looks splendid as well, though!

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