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The Long Discussion

A prelude for Challenge II of Book III

 

Word of High Queen Ylspeth's decree has spread far and wide across the four realms. A mixture of excitement, relief, and unease accompanies the decree, depending on the one hearing the message. In Avalonia, the Mistress of Dragons, Lady Galaria of Druidham, has brought together some of her fellow nobles to discuss the news and plan a way forward. Lady Gwenllian of Prenmôr and Lord Arthur are with her today, brought to Druidham by a short ride on dragonback, ready to be brought back home by another short ride with little interruption to daily life. They are walking in the loggia off of one of Druidham's many courtyards in the late morning, conversing. 

 

 

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"I am not sure that we can do anything particularly extravagant in Prenmôr, of course," Lady Gwenllian was saying. "We are only just getting the settlement built up a bit more as it is, so coin is tight. And I'm afraid we are still some years away from being profitable with our farming, it being tedious labor just to break new fields, plant, and harvest, let alone shipping it across half of a continent!"

"Of course, no one expects you to be selling your grain," Galaria assured her. "We here in Druidham will also not be selling any grain, since we have very little farmland working as of yet. Like Prenmôr, Druidham is a new settlement, too."

Lady Gwenllian bit her lip in thought. "But we should still have a sort of mass entertainment, you think?"

"Yes," Arthur and Galaria said at the same time. 

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"It need not be extravagant," continued Galaria alone. "What is important is that you show the common people of your land that the High Queen is not so high above them that she does not care about them; that High Queen Ylspeth indeed wants them to be happy and fulfilled. Surely you have musicians and storytellers, yes?"

Lord Arthur said, "Everywhere has musicians and storytellers, Lady Galaria, even Nocturnus. I'd reckon even the Drow have musicians and storytellers, though I've never been to one of their underground cities to find out."

Lady Gwenllian smiled. "Nor I, Arthur, but yes, we have such professions, and we have cooks to throw a feast; would that be enough?"

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"Yes, as long as there are stories and songs that praise High Queen Ylspeth and the Unicorn of the royal house of Cedrica. Have your bards come up with something new, have your cooks try something exciting, and pull out all the stops that you can possibly afford to pull out. Here in Druidham, Henjin has already had our musicians begin composing a whole score for a new epic saga, which the poets have been tasked with composing. The events of Raavage's downfall have already been turned into countless ballads and tales, and those should be played and performed, too. Injini and the other gnomes will be putting on a light show with all sorts of explosive powders; the dragonriders will be doing aerial stunts, perhaps with some sort of skills competition; my husband's druids will be doing something with the deep magics to awe and delight; even the children are putting some plays together. This is not Kaliphlin, where we might watch some sort of gladiatorial combat or ostrich race; we have our own ways of having a festival, every city, town, and village of Avalonia knows how to celebrate in its own way. This is the time to do so!"

 

     *   *    *

 

At the same time, the serving folk of Druidham were busying about as usual, doing their daily tasks around the island keep.  

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"Have you heard?" asked Dervin, the steward of the household, as Hylena, the lady's attendant, approached carrying a tray of bowls from the brief luncheon the lady had had with her guests. 

"Heard what, Dervin?" asked Hylena. "You know I hear everything, same as you. To what are you referring?"

"We're having a party, a big one, in the next month or so!" said Dervin triumphantly. 

"Old news, you know. Old news. Besides, who will be responsible for throwing the party except us, as usual? Nothing changes for a servant; parties are just another occasion for work, except on a bigger scale."

"You're no fun," scowled the steward. "We get to have fun, even if there is work before and after the fun. I, for one, am excited. I hear that there will be dragon races around the island, and magic shows. All I have to do is make sure that everyone is fed and housed, and that there is money for it all, which I do all the time anyways, so this is a real treat for me. You should lighten up, Hylena. My son will be over the moon at the news."

"I'm sure he will be," the lady's attendant said. "In the meanwhile, I need to bring these bowls to the kitchen to be washed. The party can wait for another day."

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__________________________________

.....................................................................

Spoiler

Not a true interior here, as it is an exterior loggia, so I break from my recent streak. Though it is mostly the "interior" part of the exterior... Still, everything in the shot is 100% LEGO. The light source is a single desk lamp up above at an angle, imitating the sun. C&C welcome as usual. 

@Grover and @TitusV, I hope you don't mind that I used your sigfigs... I had them made for the council meeting before Challenge I, and they were conveniently sitting on my LEGO table. I don't mean to slight anyone by not using their figs!

 

Edited by Henjin_Quilones

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The interior is just lovely, the columns are great and the chandeliers are nicely done.  I  like the views from the courtyard.  The roof looks spectacular,  the building is very detailed and has some nice techniques.  I love the archways with the slope pieces look great.  And once again very nice story to accompany the build.  

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Oh no, certainly not! I feel honoured to appear in such an amazing build my dear Henjin, you've pulled this of really well :thumbup: 

The architecture is great, with these SNOT-ted arches (a nice break from the commen prefabs) and floor pavement, but it really leveled up by the amazing photography. The light :drool:  Also, the chandeliers are a sweet touch!

(The only problem I can see is that I now feel kind of obligated to enter the upcoming challenge, aaargh! Not like I don't want to, but time... I'll do my best to live up to my sigifig's glorious mentioning here!)

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Another glorious build @Henjin_Quilones! Nice work on the light, it does really look like sunlight coming down into the courtyard. The tree in the foreground looks amazing too, you've managed to achieve a very organic shape.

The revelation here is using those 2x2 plates with the technic holes underneath as tiles, that's genius! :wub: I'm in love with that technique, and am very likely to try that one myself. It's hard to see the second row of these, they look offset, I'm not sure how I feel about that but I might need to experiment myself and see what looks good.

Do you know when the challenge rules will get announced?

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I doin't mind at all and am honored to have my sigfig as part of the story.  Lady Gwenllian is available for anyone to use in their stories (as long as they don't do major story changes, like kill her off, marry her, have her commit treason, etc., but I think everyone here is respectful of things like that).  Both prelude builds are spectacular.  The lighting is awesome, and I like the way you've cropped the pictures to make the scenes more intimate.  The thoughtful inclusion of decorative elements along the hallways without being gaudy really looks nice, too.  I think your architecture style for druidham is remarkably consistent, and I can imagine all the builds you've done so far being put together into one large one to see the entire place at once (not that anyone has enough pieces for such a thing).  Thanks for taking the time to make the builds, take the pictures, and write up the story (I assume in some conjunction with the other mods on here).  Nice work!

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Great use of droid heads for bowls!  The slope arches also look really good, as does the angled tiling on the wall.  Neat curve on the tree trunk too!

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Another great one. The tree is outstanding but as always, it's the photography and lighting that "shine" here. :P

I don't even know how people do trees like that and keep 'em standing!

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17 hours ago, zoth33 said:

The interior is just lovely, the columns are great and the chandeliers are nicely done.  I  like the views from the courtyard.  The roof looks spectacular,  the building is very detailed and has some nice techniques.  I love the archways with the slope pieces look great.  And once again very nice story to accompany the build.  

Thanks, zoth! I am glad you like the details. 

13 hours ago, TitusV said:

Oh no, certainly not! I feel honoured to appear in such an amazing build my dear Henjin, you've pulled this of really well :thumbup: 

The architecture is great, with these SNOT-ted arches (a nice break from the commen prefabs) and floor pavement, but it really leveled up by the amazing photography. The light :drool:  Also, the chandeliers are a sweet touch!

(The only problem I can see is that I now feel kind of obligated to enter the upcoming challenge, aaargh! Not like I don't want to, but time... I'll do my best to live up to my sigifig's glorious mentioning here!)

Glad you approve of Arthur being included (I hope this does get you to participate in a challenge now!) SK did arches much like these a while back on his kitchen, and I feel like I've seen them somewhere else, too (on a bridge, perhaps?), but I like them. They allow spans larger than any pre-fab arch out there, which is nice in many settings. 

11 hours ago, Basiliscus said:

Another glorious build @Henjin_Quilones! Nice work on the light, it does really look like sunlight coming down into the courtyard. The tree in the foreground looks amazing too, you've managed to achieve a very organic shape.

The revelation here is using those 2x2 plates with the technic holes underneath as tiles, that's genius! :wub: I'm in love with that technique, and am very likely to try that one myself. It's hard to see the second row of these, they look offset, I'm not sure how I feel about that but I might need to experiment myself and see what looks good.

Do you know when the challenge rules will get announced?

I am glad the light works out! I find light to be the part that sets things apart, as it were, so I have been trying different lighting set-ups recently. I am afraid I can't claim any credit for the roof technique, though, as I stole it from the Ninjago City set. They are not offset, they do line up, but the angle makes it hard to see; though for full disclosure, I only had enough of them for one full row, and the second row is the similar part with only one hole, which doesn't look as nice.

Soon. In a day or two, I think, after a few more prelude builds from the other guilds come out. 

6 hours ago, W Navarre said:

Love the inside under the arches, and I wonder who the guy holding the bag is? He looks mean.  

He's not mean, just a serious fellow in charge of running the day-to-day affairs of a large castle-settlement. His name is Dervin, as I mentioned, and he is the Steward of Druidham. 

6 hours ago, Grover said:

I doin't mind at all and am honored to have my sigfig as part of the story.  Lady Gwenllian is available for anyone to use in their stories (as long as they don't do major story changes, like kill her off, marry her, have her commit treason, etc., but I think everyone here is respectful of things like that).  Both prelude builds are spectacular.  The lighting is awesome, and I like the way you've cropped the pictures to make the scenes more intimate.  The thoughtful inclusion of decorative elements along the hallways without being gaudy really looks nice, too.  I think your architecture style for druidham is remarkably consistent, and I can imagine all the builds you've done so far being put together into one large one to see the entire place at once (not that anyone has enough pieces for such a thing).  Thanks for taking the time to make the builds, take the pictures, and write up the story (I assume in some conjunction with the other mods on here).  Nice work!

Glad you approve, Grover. I hope to continue to make Druidham seem a coherent place stylistically, which is easier than it seems; I only have enough bley to make one thing at a time on this scale, so the same pieces get used over and over again, including some of the design elements. Rafters, tables, chandeliers, statues, all end up being re-purposed again and again. It's kind of cheating, but it also helps to maintain that consistency. If I didn't crop the photos, by the way, you'd see the mess that is the rest of the build: yellow plates, red bricks, greens, blues, oranges all over the place, odd bits bulging out here or there to accommodate the different niches, etc. I build with cropping and different angles of photography in mind. The tree, for example, is lower than the tiles, but the tiles just sort of end in a jagged line, which is cropped out, as is the ugly base that supports the weight of the tree. And the cables holding up the leaning trunk are also cropped out!

5 hours ago, Kai NRG said:

Great use of droid heads for bowls!  The slope arches also look really good, as does the angled tiling on the wall.  Neat curve on the tree trunk too!

Thanks, Kai! I saw the BB-8 head used as a bowl in someone's diner picture a while back, and have been eager to use it for that purpose myself - I actually already used it, in fact, in my large City of Bandari build, though in a crowded market stall where it got lost in the bustle. 

2 hours ago, mccoyed said:

Another great one. The tree is outstanding but as always, it's the photography and lighting that "shine" here. :P

I don't even know how people do trees like that and keep 'em standing!

Cables that are cropped out of the picture, that's how! Thanks, mccoyed!

43 minutes ago, Andrew Spader said:

Repeat my last compliment on lighting, but I'll add that the wheel chandeliers work really well

Glad you like the chandeliers, they remind me of ones from old castles that I have seen, so I think they work well. 

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43 minutes ago, Henjin_Quilones said:

I am glad the light works out! I find light to be the part that sets things apart, as it were, so I have been trying different lighting set-ups recently. I am afraid I can't claim any credit for the roof technique, though, as I stole it from the Ninjago City set. They are not offset, they do line up, but the angle makes it hard to see; though for full disclosure, I only had enough of them for one full row, and the second row is the similar part with only one hole, which doesn't look as nice.

Soon. In a day or two, I think, after a few more prelude builds from the other guilds come out. 

Thanks for the honesty about the roof's Ninjago origins, I never buy sets so I've no idea what techniques are used.

And thanks for the heads up about the start time, I'm frantically trying to dismantle and sort my freebuilds so all my bricks are at my disposal.

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Another polished floor and wonderful arches. The tree looks crooked and natural and as others have mentioned the roof looks good too. I like the servants gossip too.

Interesting to hear a few more details about the queen’s requirements too. We will have to see how people put their spin on them.

Also I like the many statues in the niches. Lots of little differences between them.

Another polished floor and wonderful arches. The tree looks crooked and natural and as others have mentioned the roof looks good too. I like the servants gossip too.

Interesting to hear a few more details about the queen’s requirements too. We will have to see how people put their spin on them.

Also I like the many statues in the niches. Lots of little differences between them.

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Very nice work, especially like the scene in the "hallway", beautiful lighting. And those BB8-bowls are perfect :laugh:

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Lovely tree trunk and arch-itecture (pun totally intended) :thumbup:
The semi-interior shot really looks good, especially the lighting :classic: 
Two minor photography nitpicks on that photo however is that I would recommend straightening the picture so that vertical lines in the middle of the frame is vertical. (For interior/architecture shots it is generally a good idea to keep the camera level so that all vertical lines are vertical and don't converge/diverge to the sides either...just check any decent real-estate photos!) 
The other is that I'm not fond of when something just barely peeks into the frame. The droid heads are a great detail when shown in full, but when only the tray and the "bowls" are visible between the pillars I think the shot should have been taken without them in the build. The same goes for the hand on the other side, it is much better when the figure was more visible in the last photo imho.

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This looks great, I really love the way you built the tree, the roof, the tiling and the arches! Did you only build the things that would be visible from the photos or is it entirely built? 

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Did somebody say... magic show? :poke: 

As I've said earlier on Flickr, you've improved so much in the department of photography skills! I have to agree: the shot from inside the hallway is sweet! The arches from differently sloped roof tiles placed sideways look good. The most remarkable detail in this build is definitely the chained ninja statue, there's something very mysterious about it. Great writing too, there's a lot of character in the conversation between Hylena and Dervin. :thumbup:

Honestly, there's nothing in the Guilds that awakens my excitement quite like preludes do! :excited:

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Wow, what a cool scene! Excellent work, loving everything here, but that tree is spectacular! As I said on flickr, the use of wagon wheels for chandeliers are very nice as well. :) Also, super hyped for Challenge II, and this story got me even more pumped!

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oh my! You nailed the sunlight effect! :thumbup: And such elegant loggias in Druidham! I also love that tree trunk (while I do have a gut feeling, I can't actually figure out what's keeping it up..). The shots from inside the loggia must be my fav :wub: Awesome to see all of the preludes after your representation of the queen's council, btw. Well done :classic:

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The interior and exterior are both done nicely, I really like the way you built the roof!

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Everything is great, but the shot with the floor reflecting the sun, really transported me to the realm. Great job. :sweet:

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Beautiful tree :wub: Angles in the trunk often lead to unsightly gaps, but you managed to pull it off really well!
The series of arches and chandeliers down the hall way looks tremendous and super realistic :thumbup:
One thing I really appreciate about your lighting in the first photo, is the lovely shadows that are cast :classic:

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On 12/17/2018 at 5:22 PM, Basiliscus said:

Thanks for the honesty about the roof's Ninjago origins, I never buy sets so I've no idea what techniques are used.

And thanks for the heads up about the start time, I'm frantically trying to dismantle and sort my freebuilds so all my bricks are at my disposal.

I don't buy nearly as many sets as I would like to, and I don't typically buy big ones like that, but I do look at pictures and read reviews!

On 12/17/2018 at 6:56 PM, The Last of Nergoue said:

very nice moc, i really enjoy the lighting as always

Thanks!

On 12/18/2018 at 9:13 AM, Muakhah said:

Another polished floor and wonderful arches. The tree looks crooked and natural and as others have mentioned the roof looks good too. I like the servants gossip too.

Interesting to hear a few more details about the queen’s requirements too. We will have to see how people put their spin on them.

Also I like the many statues in the niches. Lots of little differences between them.

Thanks, Muakhah! Every statue is different, to keep it interesting. Servants of course have a different view on life and events than their masters do, so I think we need to see a bit of both. 

On 12/18/2018 at 10:46 AM, adde51 said:

Very nice work, especially like the scene in the "hallway", beautiful lighting. And those BB8-bowls are perfect :laugh:

Thanks, I saw the bowls in somebody's diner scene once and fell in love with the idea. 

On 12/18/2018 at 1:23 PM, Ecclesiastes said:

That hallway shot is really epic!:drool: Nicely done!

Thanks, Ecc!

On 12/18/2018 at 3:53 PM, Gideon said:

Lovely tree trunk and arch-itecture (pun totally intended) :thumbup:
The semi-interior shot really looks good, especially the lighting :classic: 
Two minor photography nitpicks on that photo however is that I would recommend straightening the picture so that vertical lines in the middle of the frame is vertical. (For interior/architecture shots it is generally a good idea to keep the camera level so that all vertical lines are vertical and don't converge/diverge to the sides either...just check any decent real-estate photos!) 
The other is that I'm not fond of when something just barely peeks into the frame. The droid heads are a great detail when shown in full, but when only the tray and the "bowls" are visible between the pillars I think the shot should have been taken without them in the build. The same goes for the hand on the other side, it is much better when the figure was more visible in the last photo imho.

Thanks, Gideon! Glad you like the lighting. As regards your advice, I did try to straighten the picture, but my primitive photo editor doesn't have that much nuance, and any minor correction to one side skewed the other too much, so I called it a wash. I do try to keep my camera level, but it is not always perfect, even on the tripod...I'll try in the future to make sure that it is a bit better.  

And I hear and appreciate what you say about the bit of bowl and hand that peeks in, but even in hindsight I'm not sure I would change it. I generally don't fiddle with the build if I can avoid it during shoots, but maybe I should have here. 

On 12/18/2018 at 5:37 PM, LegoModularFan said:

This looks great, I really love the way you built the tree, the roof, the tiling and the arches! Did you only build the things that would be visible from the photos or is it entirely built? 

Thanks! Only what you see is built. The floor tiling ends in a jagged edge and the tree is built up on some pieces to get it up into the scene, but it stops at the edge of the roof, where some LEGO cables keep it vertical. It was built solely for the intention of looking good in pictures, not for display!

On 12/19/2018 at 7:38 AM, Exetrius said:

Did somebody say... magic show? :poke: 

As I've said earlier on Flickr, you've improved so much in the department of photography skills! I have to agree: the shot from inside the hallway is sweet! The arches from differently sloped roof tiles placed sideways look good. The most remarkable detail in this build is definitely the chained ninja statue, there's something very mysterious about it. Great writing too, there's a lot of character in the conversation between Hylena and Dervin. :thumbup:

Honestly, there's nothing in the Guilds that awakens my excitement quite like preludes do! :excited:

Glad to know people like preludes! Photography is the area I have worked the hardest to improve, since that is really what separates the boys from the men, so to speak, in the online AFOL community. 

I'm not sure what the chained ninja conveys, but I was looking for light grey/bley pieces to make statues unique, and that one came together. Perhaps I'll have a backstory for it eventually...

On 12/19/2018 at 11:51 AM, TheLordOfBricks said:

Wow, what a cool scene! Excellent work, loving everything here, but that tree is spectacular! As I said on flickr, the use of wagon wheels for chandeliers are very nice as well. :) Also, super hyped for Challenge II, and this story got me even more pumped!

Thanks! The tree was a last-minute addition, inspired by Ralf Langer's stuff, especially this tree

On 12/19/2018 at 4:55 PM, en_zoo said:

oh my! You nailed the sunlight effect! :thumbup: And such elegant loggias in Druidham! I also love that tree trunk (while I do have a gut feeling, I can't actually figure out what's keeping it up..). The shots from inside the loggia must be my fav :wub: Awesome to see all of the preludes after your representation of the queen's council, btw. Well done :classic:

Thanks, en_zoo! Feel free to stop by and wander the halls of Druidham, whenever you want! There are plenty of courtyards and terraces to stroll about, too. 

The tree is a flex tube core, with travis bricks slid onto it at different angles to serve as attachment points; 1x1 rounds are used to attach most of the plates and tiles to the travis bricks, and then the whole thing is set at even more of an angle by hinge plates out of the shot, and further secured with some cables out of shot on top to keep it from toppling. It's a pretty secure arrangement, actually; my 1.5 year-old smacked the leaves a bunch and it didn't fall apart, surprisingly. 

On 12/19/2018 at 5:31 PM, Reaper said:

The interior and exterior are both done nicely, I really like the way you built the roof!

Thanks!

On 12/20/2018 at 3:59 AM, MAB said:

The fourth shot is superb.

Glad you like the pictures!

On 12/20/2018 at 6:51 PM, Niku said:

Everything is great, but the shot with the floor reflecting the sun, really transported me to the realm. Great job. :sweet:

Happy to transport you! Hopefully future lighting experiments will be as successful!

On 1/2/2019 at 10:36 AM, soccerkid6 said:

Beautiful tree :wub: Angles in the trunk often lead to unsightly gaps, but you managed to pull it off really well!
The series of arches and chandeliers down the hall way looks tremendous and super realistic :thumbup:
One thing I really appreciate about your lighting in the first photo, is the lovely shadows that are cast :classic:

Thanks, SK! There are a couple of trunk gaps that bother me, but I fixed most of them. Scenic realism is my goal, here, certainly, trying to make the place appear like somewhere that the viewer could actually go. The Wood Triptych from the Summer Joust profoundly inspired me in that direction. Shadow is as much a part of photography as light, and one that is neglected in LEGO, I think, at least for its artistic value, as we typically try to eliminate shadows to show all of the little details. 

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