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The Gauntlet had been thrown down.

Never in my wildest dreams had I entertained the idea that the Marauders would fall for my trap so perfectly. They were the old guard, furious at an affront to their 'honor'. All it required was an easy sale of some Black Lodge Dragon armor to the Queen's troops. Just as I foresaw, instead of making their presence felt, after a raid and nothing more than a few broken bones, the Queen's troops left in a huff, ready to tell their monarch of the barbarians in western Varlyrio. 

Then I struck.

The information on their camp had not come cheap, but it had come so easy I feared the worse. So instead of a march, I led shock troops, my lancers into the Marauder camp. In one swoop, I broke the reigning power over these wastelands for 20 years. 

But the treacherous line I would have to walk was only getting harder.

The Company's forces were holed up in Fort Defiance. Thanks to the last Aarinstahrr, Fort Defiance was well supplied and had the geographical advantage of covering the only water for many miles. And while the last remnants of the Marauders were destroyed, here I plotted. 

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I summoned the only two other stake members in the company, neither of which were particularly thrilled with the turn of events. 

"I suppose I needn't ask which part of you did the thinking about this particular decision." Corcoran played a soldier, a politician, a businessman, but none of them as well as he played a cynic. 

"My thoughts exactly." Raven Fernwood was a man of means and had taken a risk investing in Black Lodge given that the Company had just been taken over by an illegitimate son who had not been seen in years. But while he was a bigger liability than Corcoran, he was also more amiable to my ideas.

"Read the dispatches coming from the Queen's court. We just bought ourselves the Queen's blessing for a business we just eliminated our main rival in." I smiled. "Perhaps you don't realize the-"

"I damn well know what the Queen's hand means," Fernwood interjected. "I never swore fealty to some grant monarch. It's the last thing we need." 

"You think I'm putting all my eggs in a sovereign hundreds of miles from here? Think bigger. This is PR. I would never have taken down the marauders this easy if not for the fact that people hate them. We cannot let that happen."

"Which is why I opposed expanding into protection in the first place," Corcoran complained.

"No, stop and listen," I snapped. "The Wastelands bow to no king. But some law and order is required. And if we want a free Varlyrio, we need to be the thing keeping it free. The Queen's protectionism won't stop after she gets a taste of the money, let alone the power it holds. If we become the order around here, no Queen's edict will be enforced without our say-so." 

Raven Fernwood started to smile. "This could work."

"Not only work, but this is a solution to more than one of our problems," I said. "All that we need is something, even the tiniest shred of legitimacy. Which is why you two are here. I need to know who to approach."

Corcoran looked interested for the first time. "I may have an idea on that front. There are larger Trading Companies that pay for their own private armies, but don't particularly like maintaining them. If you can put on the face of a gentleman, they may just bite. I can get you the locations of their offices, but that may be the best you get."

"Give me a few days, and I will have a proposal that they will tell their wives they came up with," I said. My partners shook hands and nodded. 

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I had won the war. It was time to win the peace. 

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Edited by Andrew Spader

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Interesting story and sweet build!  I really like the inside of the fort, but I do wish on the outside that the palisades were overhanging, the wall is too flat altogether. And why is your Councillor wearing what looks like a skirt? Awesome terrain though! 

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Nice work! You could try a different technique for the roof, the cobblestone looks very good instead! :thumbup: The best part is the story - well written and nice sequel to your previous one (you might wanna link the previous 'episode', to make it easier for people to follow the whole story) and can't wait to see where this goes!

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8 hours ago, W Navarre said:

Interesting story and sweet build!  I really like the inside of the fort, but I do wish on the outside that the palisades were overhanging, the wall is too flat altogether. And why is your Councillor wearing what looks like a skirt? Awesome terrain though! 

I don't mean to answer for Andrew, but the skirt is because it's a robe. Plus, men throughout history wore "skirts" in various cultures. Kilts, togas, etc all could be construed as types of skirt. Even the Spartans (and other ancient Greeks) wore leather "skirts" to protect their legs in combat. The "skirts are for ladies" thing is not global and only historically recent, like any given fashion trend. :P

As for the build... my one criticism is that the dark bley makes the roof pieces look like stone which isn't likely with only wooden walls as support.

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Lovely little freebuild and the story is really excellent! Love the slightly darker tone of your stories, they always feel very believable.

The architecture is simple but it gets the story across well. One little photography tip is to move the white background a little further away from the model so it's not so obvious and therefore looks a little more like an infinity background.

Great work!

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The cobblestone path and scrub outside are excellent. The interior has a lot of good details for the story too, which is dark, intriguing, and makes us want to know more.

The fort exterior walls are a little plain. For me though the main problem is the layout with an entrance at a corner. This is just not defensible... I don’t know how feasible it would have been but inverting the walls so that the entrance was covered from two angles would make it seem easier to defend. This might mean reorganizing the interior quite a bit though. As it is once enemies close with the walls and entrance they are safe from the archers.

Having said that this build is really good for setting up the story and the plotting regarding the High Queen of Historica and how well she is received by the guilds. 

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I would echo what others have said.  The groundwork and terrain are excellent, if you could add a little bit of detail to the walls and roof, it would make a huge difference.  Great story though, I'm enjoying your storyline progression.  I also like using the dummies to portray power.  Nice work!

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The build is a bit on the plain side, as others have said, but it is still nice. Given that it was recently captured, that could account for the oddity of the corner gate; perhaps that was not the gate, but a hole made in the wall during the assault. The size of the fort is unclear, as it seems like it is bounded about with the base, since the chests and supplies are against the edge like against a wall, but then it seems quite small and inadequate to be the base for much of anything. I like the cobblestones, and the pot on the fire is a nice detail, too. I like your story, even with the attack on the Queen, and I look forward to seeing more of it!

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On 12/31/2018 at 5:55 AM, W Navarre said:

Interesting story and sweet build!  I really like the inside of the fort, but I do wish on the outside that the palisades were overhanging, the wall is too flat altogether. And why is your Councillor wearing what looks like a skirt? Awesome terrain though! 

Duly noted. And mccoyed answered your question well enough I think. Thanks man!

On 12/31/2018 at 6:27 AM, en_zoo said:

Nice work! You could try a different technique for the roof, the cobblestone looks very good instead! :thumbup: The best part is the story - well written and nice sequel to your previous one (you might wanna link the previous 'episode', to make it easier for people to follow the whole story) and can't wait to see where this goes!

Yeah that's not a bad idea, just need to brush up on that HTML.....and thank you much for the compliments on the story!

On 12/31/2018 at 2:59 PM, mccoyed said:

As for the build... my one criticism is that the dark bley makes the roof pieces look like stone which isn't likely with only wooden walls as support.

2

I'll definitely go with a different color in the future...thanks for the feedback!

On 1/1/2019 at 4:15 AM, Basiliscus said:

Lovely little freebuild and the story is really excellent! Love the slightly darker tone of your stories, they always feel very believable.

The architecture is simple but it gets the story across well. One little photography tip is to move the white background a little further away from the model so it's not so obvious and therefore looks a little more like an infinity background.

Great work!

I need to work on my photography setup, and hopefully once that gets improved so too will the picture quality. Thank you so much for the compliments on the story and build!

On 1/1/2019 at 5:07 PM, mlongworth said:

Cobblestone looks great and the story is good

 

Thanks!

On 1/2/2019 at 4:38 AM, Muakhah said:

The cobblestone path and scrub outside are excellent. The interior has a lot of good details for the story too, which is dark, intriguing, and makes us want to know more.

The fort exterior walls are a little plain. For me though the main problem is the layout with an entrance at a corner. This is just not defensible... I don’t know how feasible it would have been but inverting the walls so that the entrance was covered from two angles would make it seem easier to defend. This might mean reorganizing the interior quite a bit though. As it is once enemies close with the walls and entrance they are safe from the archers.

Having said that this build is really good for setting up the story and the plotting regarding the High Queen of Historica and how well she is received by the guilds. 

In hindsight, I should perhaps have done a straight angle wall, instead of the layout I did. You're right too that the frame provides little defense in any real way. Thanks for the feedback!

On 1/2/2019 at 8:26 AM, Rogue Angel said:

I would echo what others have said.  The groundwork and terrain are excellent, if you could add a little bit of detail to the walls and roof, it would make a huge difference.  Great story though, I'm enjoying your storyline progression.  I also like using the dummies to portray power.  Nice work!

Will do, and thank you much!

On 1/2/2019 at 8:53 PM, Henjin_Quilones said:

The build is a bit on the plain side, as others have said, but it is still nice. Given that it was recently captured, that could account for the oddity of the corner gate; perhaps that was not the gate, but a hole made in the wall during the assault. The size of the fort is unclear, as it seems like it is bounded about with the base, since the chests and supplies are against the edge like against a wall, but then it seems quite small and inadequate to be the base for much of anything. I like the cobblestones, and the pot on the fire is a nice detail, too. I like your story, even with the attack on the Queen, and I look forward to seeing more of it!

Much appreciated!

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Nice work!  There's a number of things that I like about this build, including the water outside, the nice use of olive green for the vegetation, and the slight texture to the outer wall via the back of the arch pieces.  Although not very showy, I think the walls are realistic, as most of the medieval wooden walls (unless attached to a stone wall or as part of a hoarding) were usually pretty straight.  A lot of those were more temporary palisades, however, so as a permanent fort, this could be different.  I would agree with the other commenters that the corner gate is indefensible, but when I first looked at it, I took it to be a break in the wall from where the fort was attacked.  This would be a weak point in the defense since there was no tower there, so it would make sense to attack there if this was the case.  The only part I'm not excited about is the roof; there seems to be a pixellated texture there to me for some reason, but it is quite passable.  I love the interior!  The horse stables, the walk for the defenders, and the great posing of the minis, especially with the wand for a cane.  Very well done!

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Your story is really taking off now :thumbup: Plenty of interesting details inside the fort like the stables area, cook fire, weapons stash, and a nifty ladder design :classic:

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On 1/5/2019 at 11:46 AM, Grover said:

Nice work!  There's a number of things that I like about this build, including the water outside, the nice use of olive green for the vegetation, and the slight texture to the outer wall via the back of the arch pieces.  Although not very showy, I think the walls are realistic, as most of the medieval wooden walls (unless attached to a stone wall or as part of a hoarding) were usually pretty straight.  A lot of those were more temporary palisades, however, so as a permanent fort, this could be different.  I would agree with the other commenters that the corner gate is indefensible, but when I first looked at it, I took it to be a break in the wall from where the fort was attacked.  This would be a weak point in the defense since there was no tower there, so it would make sense to attack there if this was the case.  The only part I'm not excited about is the roof; there seems to be a pixellated texture there to me for some reason, but it is quite passable.  I love the interior!  The horse stables, the walk for the defenders, and the great posing of the minis, especially with the wand for a cane.  Very well done!

Thank you very much! For whatever reason, the inside of forts come easier than the outside......

On 1/7/2019 at 9:47 AM, soccerkid6 said:

Your story is really taking off now :thumbup: Plenty of interesting details inside the fort like the stables area, cook fire, weapons stash, and a nifty ladder design :classic:

This is just the beginning... :) Thank you for the kind comment!

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