W Navarre

CHALLENGE II: Category B: The Eve of Iles Infantes

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Previously...         

               “…if the skies above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, if the sea into which he was cast is washed away with time, if the sun dries up that sea so that the water no longer parts us, if he can walk from there to here! oh, then will the child be forgiven for what he hath done…" 

 "My name is Ásgeir Venerio De Cioto..."      

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 Long ago, far to the southwest of all of Historica, resting just a little above the calm blue seas, the beautiful isles of Varlyrio stood silent and motionless, unstirred by winds, unmoved by all the wars and quakes of so far away, peaceful and lovely in the deep waters which rolled so oft upon their shores: and it seemed then as though they would last forever, as though they were set in eternity’s very brow, as though those two isles were to live and last forever: their elixir of life the waters which surrounded them, their defense the mists, their pride the Ancient Cities, and the Great City of Riziniya.   And yet buried in that haze which veiled Varlyrio’s face, whose center was the three legendary Pillars of The Allunare, oh who can tell how oft black hands tore that land apart, how many times a dagger found its way to a heart, how many lonely souls disappeared into nothing, into nowhere, lost to the depths of cruel pride and avarice; and who can tell what judgement it was that fell upon them?  The judgment, men say, of Aureo, of Venerio, and of the sea which lay between them, when, in the midst of the reign of a great Rego, the moon’s shadow met in the middle of the island where stood those pillars, and the lands trembled, the isles shook to their core and the stormy sea, once calm and peaceful, now rose in rage and cast the islands against each other, plunging them together and crushing their lovely coasts to powder and dust. 

 Then, suddenly, black ravines split the lands, destroying the ancient city of our fathers, mountains forced their way up in the center of what was now but one bruised isle, and the country was thrown into chaos, and fear and terror reigned in all but one hopeful heart…

 But now, that heart’s beat has faded and gone into the past, now the Island of Varlyrio has once more grown proud and satisfied, the ruins, the terror, and the destruction has been forgotten, the Great City of Riziniya has been forgotten, and also that heart which ceased to beat because of their own cruelty,  a score of years ago, has been forgotten, and we fly across the high ridge mountains, out upon the sands of the western interior of the island, away from the rich cities with their winding canals, their assassins and tradesmen, and their Rego, Supano Amancio.  We take you out across those wastes and tablelands, across the hilly sands, nearer every moment to the scorching evening sun, here, to the sparkling black waters in the middle of the forbidding stone desert. 

 Wooden houses and huts, murky canals, old palaces and suspicious alleys, lie here in the midst of the nothingness, built up upon this lake’s precious waters: and this is the tall and lonely city which is called, Ilesole.

 

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 Swords clashed and the noise resounded along narrow, torch lit walls.  Shadowy figures struck and parried in the center of an arena, and then struck again, sending forth the hollow clangs of battle, which blended with the tranquil music of the royal Kama.

 “Arcassan is his name,” whispered a man high in the walls, watching attentively.  “Watch how he leaps and bounds: he is a Kolgari.”

 The man he had called Arcassan leaped forward at that very moment, striking and weaving a path for his sword before the Retiario’s face, while his opponent lifted his heavy trident and struck forward in a counter attack.  But then the Kolgari lifted his other arm and with a quick blow he struck the helmet of his foe, splintering it and making the fierce fighter stumble back. 

 The Kolgari’s praise was murmured through the arena’s ring of spectators, and a little child lifted his head and stared keenly at the fighter named Arcassan.  The boy smiled and rose upon the walls, his narrow eyes never leaving the two gladiators in the arena.  

  “Ásgeir, do you think the Kolgari will win?” asked a low voice behind him, as another boy grabbed his arm.

 “No, he will die,” the child grinned, turned around, and jumped down, pushing his friend Montez aside.

 Montez rolled his eyes and pursed his lips.  “You’re lying.”

 “No I’m not, see how he staggers back as his rival strikes again and again?  There, he is cut,” said the boy, more thoughtfully.

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 Suddenly the bleeding Kolgari’s back touched the wall, and the people gasped as his foe pulled back his trident for a final blow: and then the Kolgari leapt, pushed off the pillar behind him and, spinning through the air, cut his adversary’s back, pushing him against the wall and ripping through his flowing cape.  A rustle ran through the crowd, and Ásgeir turned round again and looked at the man with his head tilted.  Montez smirked at him with a face.

 “You owe me 20 rekshi.”

 “No,” answered Ásgeir, with a fierce but pleasant look in his pale face.  “I will make him die: watch.”

 “No!” said the other boy soberly, staying Ásgeir’s hand as it reached for the low battlements they stood behind.  “Anything but that!  Touching the queen’s gladiator is Tabu.”

 “The queen!” scoffed his companion.  “She is a myth.”

 “You’re lying again,” murmured his friend, but the boy threw himself over the low parapet and landed on a beam below, drawing a knife from his bosom.

 “Besides, I will not touch him,” he said.  “Only my knife will.”  

 Crouching low, Ásgeir bent to spring, but suddenly the great drums ceased to beat their rhythm out upon the air, and when he looked the fight was over: a sweating and bloody Kolgari alone stood reeling in the center of the ring, and the great wooden doors of the arena opened, from them issuing a group of tall and fierce guards.

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 The arena applauded and cried in triumph, and the child hovering upon the beam above the sandy floor of the arena frowned. He looked down and barely saw the Kolgari lift his eyes and scan the crowds behind the parapets above as the guards seized him and led him stumbling across the stained red sand.  But then Ásgier lifted his eyes in tired ennui, and Arcassan saw his handsome face and soft blond hair, waving in a sudden breath of hot wind, and for a moment their eyes locked.

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 Something twitched in the Kolgari’s dashing features, his sword dropped from his hand, and he paused, stumbling as a guard pushed him on.

 “Move!” cried the captain of the guard, striking the wounded Kolgari across his torn shoulder.

 The dust of the arena floor stirred up around them and mingled with the air.  Arcassan’s fingers clenched and his blood ran fast, but he staggered on with only a word.  

 “Come,” he mouthed, and then he slowly turned his head away from the boy from whom his gaze had never left, lifted his sword wearily, and disappeared into the black mouth of the dungeons of Ilesole’s arena. 

 But when Ásgier looked curiously after he had gone, he saw scratched upon the sand with the sword, “If you want to know… Ciot…” and the child started.  He knew what the letter that was missing was.

 A tremor ran through him, and without a thought he dropped down upon the sandy arena floor, glancing on either side.  Suddenly he saw the doors begin to close, and unnoticed in the spacious arena by the busy spectators above his head, he ran towards those gates and threw himself in, just as they sealed out the light and left him in blackness, trapped and lost beneath the city’s Eastern streets.

 “Ásgeir!” cried Montez; but the boy could not hear him now. 

 For a moment Ásgeir tried to pierce the blackness with his eyes, looking for a sign to help him find the Kolgari. 

 His heart beat fast as he tremblingly leaned against the walls.  Why had he done that? he thought, angry with himself.  It was dangerous to come down into these forbidden parts of the city.  And besides, where was the man?  What was it he knew?   

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 He stepped forward into the darkness running one hand along the wall and clutching his knife with the other.  How did the Kolgari know that name? Ásgeir wondered in fright.  It was the darkest word he had ever known.

 A drip of water fell from the ceiling, cooling his brow as he went on, and then he felt a hand seize his arm, and the touch sent a thrill down his spine. 

 “Child, meet me on the canals of Di Verini two nights hence,” whispered a constrained voice, and he knew it was Arcassan’s.   Then he felt the hand drop his wrist after placing something in his palm, and he heard a cry mingle with his own hushed one, as though the Kolgari was being dragged away behind those hard steel bars, where he could not reach him; but the man’s last words reached him still.

 “Remember you are a Cioto!” cried the fading voice, and the child sunk back shaking and wondering.

 For a moment he could not move in the eerie stillness of the dark corridor.

 Then the boy started as he heard feet echo through the passage, and he rushed to an inset door where a little gap let some light slip in.  He opened his wet hand and took out the small paper resting there, looking around as his eyes adjusted at last to the darkness and seeing no one near.  Then he peered back at the paper, squinting his eyes, and by the dim light he could barely read, “Remember the eve of Iles Infantes.”  

 But though the boy closed his eyes and sought to remember, he could not remember.  He did not know what the words meant, but he had heard them before, and the ominous saying echoed over and over in his mind.  Very faintly he heard the music strike up again far outside in the city above him, and something in it, or in the eerie stillness about him, chilled his heart.  He would remember now.

 

Next

Spoiler

Here is my first entry to Challenge II!  Maybe I won't get another one done, but hopefully!  Here are the main pictures which I'm sure you wanted to see:

Ilesole Arena

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Hope you like it!

 

Edited by W Navarre

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I think the best part of this build is the details, torches, dragon over the archway, even the mace and goblet.  I also like the built-in pillars!

As for the story, that boy's a little crazy. :tongue:

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This is a stunning entry to challenge B! Love the all LEGO shots to illustrate the story, they really bring it to life.

The arena itself is really well designed, love the bricks in the interior of the wall and the dragon motif above the gateway. The arena ground is really detailed too without overdoing it.

Great job! :thumbup:

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yesss, first chapter already.. that's the spirit! The arena is lovely, neat and well-textured overall, though that doesn't surprise, coming from you. Interesting part you've used for the gate (the 'wooden' one, I mean), my fav detail must be those torches - I'm gonna have to copy.. er.. borrow that design :grin: Yet the point here is the story, if you ask me. I find it very well written (I didn't know about this skill of yours) and you have me totally intrigued there. So all in all, as I mentioned somewhere else, great to have you around!

Your only mistake was picking the wrong Guild, but oh well.. :poke:

Edited by en_zoo

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Great entry to challenge B. Lots of stellar storytelling and a focus on details in the build. My favorite detail is the wooden gates.

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On 1/12/2019 at 8:37 AM, Kai NRG said:

I think the best part of this build is the details, torches, dragon over the archway, even the mace and goblet.  I also like the built-in pillars!

As for the story, that boy's a little crazy. :tongue:

Certainly this was a build I went a little detailed with!  Thank you! 

On 1/12/2019 at 2:25 PM, Basiliscus said:

This is a stunning entry to challenge B! Love the all LEGO shots to illustrate the story, they really bring it to life.

The arena itself is really well designed, love the bricks in the interior of the wall and the dragon motif above the gateway. The arena ground is really detailed too without overdoing it.

Great job! :thumbup:

I did my best to make the walls curve smoothly, it wasn't easy or perfect but that's what I could do, thank you!  All LEGO shots are the best, often! 

On 1/13/2019 at 11:14 AM, en_zoo said:

yesss, first chapter already.. that's the spirit! The arena is lovely, neat and well-textured overall, though that doesn't surprise, coming from you. Interesting part you've used for the gate (the 'wooden' one, I mean), my fav detail must be those torches - I'm gonna have to copy.. er.. borrow that design :grin: Yet the point here is the story, if you ask me. I find it very well written (I didn't know about this skill of yours) and you have me totally intrigued there. So all in all, as I mentioned somewhere else, great to have you around!

Your only mistake was picking the wrong Guild, but oh well.. :poke:

Feel free, it's not patented (yet) :laugh: . I agree!  The builds are based off the story for me, never the other way around!  Makes me pleased to hear you say so, I would like to be a writer (maybe I could work for LEGO at the same time :tongue: ). Oh, the Avalonians have already deluded you!  I actually was going to join them 5 years ago, but it didn't work out, and Varlyrio has just too much going for it now to pass up :thumbup: .  Intrigue! Yay!

@mccoyed Thank you!  Yeah, I actually used almost the same design in a totally different way in the siege engine I made recently, it's actually a great part, although odd! 

Edited by W Navarre

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The amphitheater is nicely done, with appropriate aging and weathering details, without sacrificing structural integrity. The different color as fill in the wall is a nice touch, but I especially like the light tan drip of bird poop, or puke, or something down the wall to the arena floor. I may have to copy that micro dragon on the wall for an Avalonian build sometime in the future, too. Great work and a lovely entry. 

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On 2/4/2019 at 5:48 PM, Henjin_Quilones said:

The amphitheater is nicely done, with appropriate aging and weathering details, without sacrificing structural integrity. The different color as fill in the wall is a nice touch, but I especially like the light tan drip of bird poop, or puke, or something down the wall to the arena floor. I may have to copy that micro dragon on the wall for an Avalonian build sometime in the future, too. Great work and a lovely entry. 

I'm really glad you noticed that detail!  I was actually dissatisfied with it, and as you may have noticed changed it from one picture to the next, but I did like the idea of using the tan curved tiles as something, some color on the wall to indicate finer and lighter sand, since that's what I had in mind for it.  Works for the other things too though! 

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You really have an eye for details and to make some great shots with intresting minifigs! Love the whole scene!!

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Great entry !

A good gladiator fight with many details all around ! Good ! Good !

Strangely, I think I prefer the overview shot you've hidden than the close ups.

Good job !

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A bit wild on the stone-work for my taste, but there certainly are some great details here like the gates and portcullis, and the posing is great! :thumbup:  Intriguing story you've got going here too! :wink:

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Beautiful first build in GoH (if you don't count your previous teasers).  Great details and build techniques - the dragon, torches, gates and portcullis are probably my favorites, but everything is well done.  Excellent work!

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