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Chapter 09.
The Keeper.

 

As fast as I could, I ran down the narrow steps of the spiraling stairs. Jumping every two sets, I had to lean my body against the wall, cautious not to trick or fall. The small corridor leading to the dungeons was only lit by erratic torches nailed to the walls and the irregular stonework on the steps would not allow me to go any faster. I felt my stomach pressing against my throat and had to reduce my pace and recover my breath just before reaching the lowest level of the keep. The dungeons.

To the flickering light of the torches, the golden lion seal in a white and red vest was highlighted once again before my eyes. Not again, I though. But this time, it wasn’t a bearded battler or a savage soldier that stood in front of me. To my surprise, a thin and fragile young man, who was no older than myself, stood tall in between the cell doors. He held a rusty old sword with undeniable difficulty. His vestments were torn, a number or two larger than the ideal, and held loose against his malnourished body. His prominent cheekbones and lean forearms showed he had little to eat for days. His red and weary eyes widened over his darkened eye bags and his breath fastened, forcing the air in and out.

 

The Keeper

I reached for the grip of my sword. He looked at me, motionless as a statue, as I unsheathed my blade. His mouth trembled and his eyes filled from within, turning smaller and smaller with every breath. His sight moved away from me and stopped starring through the thick air that separated us, and into the cold ground, as if his sight could no longer deduct what was right in front of him, lost in his own thoughts. It seemed as if his soul had flown away from his body. Somehow, he seemed even smaller and weaker. He’s just a frightened boy. The dead silence of the room was broken when his sword fell from his hand and hit the stoned floor, emitting a loud clanging sound. He kneeled, put his hand over his face and sobbed, while struggling to contain his tears from falling.

 

The Keeper - Focus

From a pitch-black shadow, two silhouettes, each in its own cell, approached the bars and into the light. Two cavernous men arose from the dark. Their arms stretched away from the black and materialized from between the iron bars, as if coming out of a painting, and I felt their invisible eyes still covered in the shadows, staring at me. I shook and took a step back.

The cell doors opened in a shrieking sound. The two men walked away from their cells, looked at each other for a moment and headed to the stairs leading to the armory. As they walked me by, the prisoner with black hair and a ponytail stopped and stared at the young soldier kneeling in the dark. He then looked at me and touched my shoulder, noticing I still had my sword in hand.

-        You will take care of him, right?

 

The Keeper

It hit me. I could not give him a straight answer. Before I could say anything, he left behind his companion through the spiraling stairs. Kill him?

I turned to the boy and tightened my fingers around the grip of my sword, trying to contain my arms from trembling. I felt drops of sweat dripping down my forehead. His head sank between his legs. Below him was a small pool of water, which I could not and would not describe if it was tears or his own piss. I felt weak, as if something was pulling me to the ground. The sound of metal scratching against stone echoed through the room as I walked to him, dragging my blade beside me, feeling its burdensome weight, perhaps for the first time.

 

The Keeper

-        Get up – I said in a feeble voice.

He did not. If anything, he clinched even more. I then, grabbed the bunch of keys and open the cell door behind him.

-        Get in. I will not ask again.

He turned himself facing down and crawled inside the cell. He took a deep and long breath, as if he realized it would be his last, and stood up, facing the dark stone wall in the back of the room. His knees stiffened and his back straightened, when he held the air inside his lungs.

 

The Keeper

The sound of metal echoed again through the emptied dungeons as the door to the cell closed. I turned the keys, locking the boy inside that cold and wet cell. Moving away from the bars, the weeping, the darkness of that damp dungeon, I couldn’t help but wonder if by leaving, was I keeping that boy's life or making his death more long-lasting and painful.

I tossed the keys aside.

___________________
Louis of Nutwood
Chapter 09. The Keeper

Edited by Louis of Nutwood
Adding [MOC] category

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Love the dungeon, looks damp and dingy.  Are the green pieces meant to represent moss, if so nice touch?  Great storytelling really goes nicely with the photos.  

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On 8/17/2019 at 12:24 PM, Eoin Wallace said:

Great building and storytelling

Fellow Mitgardian!

I’m glad you liked it, sir.

On 8/17/2019 at 2:33 PM, zoth33 said:

Love the dungeon, looks damp and dingy.  Are the green pieces meant to represent moss, if so nice touch?  Great storytelling really goes nicely with the photos

Dear traveler of the North! Thank you for the comment. I’m glad you felt the damp feeling I tried to translate into this MOC.

Yes! The green is supposed to represent moss and general green stuff you may find in a dungeon. I think it adds some touch of color.

As for the storytelling, I’m happy you mentioned it. I’m looking to develop and enhance it, so would really like some constructive feedback. 

Thanks again, fellow wanderer!

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I had already seen the individual photos on your Flickr, but here on the forum, grouped in a single page, the whole portfolio is even more impressive! :wub:

I really love how your minifig posing and choice of photo angle and depth of field complement the text. Thank you very much for the build and for the story!

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1 hour ago, Aurore said:

but here on the forum, grouped in a single page, the whole portfolio is even more impressive! :wub:

I really love how your minifig posing and choice of photo angle and depth of field complement the text. Thank you very much for the build and for the story!

Lady Aurore, what a pleasure to read through your comment. 

I think it’s the first time I thoroughly though about the pictures and the story together. And I’m glad you enjoyed them presented that way. 

Thank you for the lovely words, milady.

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Looks like a muddy prison!  Don't think I had seen brown used for that before, it works very well!

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On 8/20/2019 at 12:22 AM, Kai NRG said:

Looks like a muddy prison!  Don't think I had seen brown used for that before, it works very well!

Thank you, good sir Kai.

Your comments are always welcome!

The melting frost in the northlands near the Bay of Storms and the burning of candles and fires must be responsible for such muddiness. 

Plus, the Summer Joust makes us think outside the box, and I’m pretty happy with this muddy dungeon as well.

It will be part of a larger build, so let’s see how it goes.

Cheers!

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Very nice work!  I really like the way that you made the floor half textured half tiled to give it a rough yet obviously worked appearance.  The use of the colors, particularly the rare dark brown, is great, too.  The candleabra is very well done, and I like how you put it on a 1x2 plate and turned it to give more randomness to the floor.  I think you incorporated the jail doors nicely, too--something that sometimes looks a little out of place with a ton of custom rockwork, but you made it look like it was supposed to be there.  I think that your storytelling and pictures are real highlights, too: this looks like storyboard scenes cut from a movie.  Great job!

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19 hours ago, Grover said:

Very nice work!  I really like the way that you made the floor half textured half tiled to give it a rough yet obviously worked appearance.  The use of the colors, particularly the rare dark brown, is great, too.  The candleabra is very well done, and I like how you put it on a 1x2 plate and turned it to give more randomness to the floor.  I think you incorporated the jail doors nicely, too--something that sometimes looks a little out of place with a ton of custom rockwork, but you made it look like it was supposed to be there.  I think that your storytelling and pictures are real highlights, too: this looks like storyboard scenes cut from a movie.  Great job!

Ah, sir Grover. Your comment is always so very warming and welcome. 

I surely appreciate how you carefully analyse one's MOC and extracts little thoughtful details out of it. I tilted the plate under the chandelier and felt good about doing so - but thought "is anyone going to notice this?", and then you did. Thanks, Sir Grover, for your always analytical and caring evaluation. 

As a phenomenal storyteller that you are, it's great to hear your thoughts. It cheers me that you liked the structure of this little chapter. It also makes me happy to understand the photography is somewhat improving, as well as the story composition.

Sir Grover, thank you for the kind words, mate!
Hope to see your next MOC sometime soon. 

Cheers!

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The combination of brown tones plus some olive green give a nice slimy, damp look to the dungeon :thumbup:
Which fits well with the serious tone of the story.

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On 10/31/2019 at 1:49 PM, soccerkid6 said:

The combination of brown tones plus some olive green give a nice slimy, damp look to the dungeon :thumbup:
Which fits well with the serious tone of the story.

Thank you, Sir Isaac. I did struggle a bit in order not to use grey or bley pieces. The dungeon ended up being very earthy, and I acknowledge this might not be my best work. But it came together and I’m happy with it. At least I can go on with the story, now. 

I do have a couple other continuations (still in Svälg Keep’s dungeons) that I plan posting and submitting as Freebuilds. 

I’m hoping it will give some extra breath-points for our heart-warming Mitgardia. 

Cheers!

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