Louis of Nutwood

[AoM: Stables - Phase II] Don't Look Back

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Chapter 10. 

The large oaken gates of the keep opened to a cleansing wind that pierced through my leather jerkin and made my guts stop twisting. My cloak pulled and flapped behind my back, giving farewells to the nauseating stench inside those thick stoned walls.

-        The Lions will be here soon enough. We must leave this place. – said one of the prisoners, running towards the stables. His messy hair flowing over his grey eyes.

The sky was painted in pink as the sun rested among the trees. Delicate white specks fell from the sky, adding layers on top of the snow covering the ground. The stable’s wooden roof was torn and rotten, and barely protected the horses from the falling snow.

Don't look back

Hob ran his hand across the long nose of a chestnut-colored mare, to calm her down. Frozen icicles fell from her humid mane. I approached the brown stallion and patted him on the neck. He neighed and a cloud of frozen air came out of his nose. There, there. I fastened the bag of coins to the saddle and jumped up on his back.

Don't Look Back

Hob’s companions entered the tower that neared the stalls – looking for more lion guards, or just food, I could not say – but both left with chunks of frozen apple and carrots, horse provisions, inside their mouths and sacks. I figured they hadn’t eaten for the past days.

Don't look back - Rear

-        Where we headed? – I asked and they exchanged wary looks.  
-        The boy can be trusted, Balduin. If it wasn’t for him, you wouldn’t be out of that stinking cell – said Hob.

I didn’t have much choice, but I guess it was true.

Balduin fastened the saddle on a velvet-black Appaloosa and pulled himself up.

-        Follow me. We won’t stop until we get there. It is best that we ride through the night. – He pulled his hood up, covering his face, tucking his ponytail and shielding himself from the cold.

The horses moved one after the other, into the forest. Behind us, a red trail of blood tainted the snow and the leaves and the air, though apparently the only one who could see it was I.
... and the gods.

Don't look back

I turned my head and glanced at the keep. Its walls sinking behind the trees; its lanterns fading into a distant glow, smaller and smaller with the gallop.
The sun set on our backs, so we rode in the shadows, listening to the blowing wind between the branches of the trees, singing in our cold ears. The keep was left behind, but I could hear the desperate screams loud and clear.

________

The stables lean on the walls of Svalg Keep, situated on the lower part of the Bay of Storms, in the cold lands of Mitgardia. 
This is a continuation from the previous chapter 9.2 Payback.

Hope you all like the story and the build. 
This is the first time I actually used GIMP to treat the photos as a recurring recommendation.
Please, let me know what you think. Your feedback is always much appreciated. 

Entry for Age of Mitgardia - Stables Phase II.

Thank you!
Sir Louis of Nutwood. 

 

Edited by Louis of Nutwood
Submitting to AoM: Stables II

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Very nice build.  The snow effect is nice, makes it look like a good amount of snow.  The stables do look shabby.  Tower has a great exterior with all the windows and texturing.  The interior is neat.  Great story and nice figs.  

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I really love the build and the story. Quite a melancholic atmosphere, very well written and built. The roof and tree are great, with shapes that echo the sloping snow : it forms a very coherent whole. I also like the little details, such as the cat and the mouse. And the close-up photo of your character and the horse. 

 

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6 hours ago, zoth33 said:

Very nice build.  The snow effect is nice, makes it look like a good amount of snow.  The stables do look shabby.  Tower has a great exterior with all the windows and texturing.  The interior is neat.  Great story and nice figs.  

Thank you, fellow builder Zoth33! I'm happy you are fond of the snow and the texturing. I had some challenge with the snow - I used only regular slopes, while the rounded ones make the snow look more natural. But as currently, all my rounded ones are in another ongoing build, I had to go for it. I'm surprisingly satisfied with the result, and I'm glad you enjoyed it as well. 

Yeah, I went for the shabby look and feeling. Super happy it was transmitted. And every time I can, I'll try to add a detailed interior, as it makes the build even more immersive, in my opinion. 

Thanks again, man!

4 hours ago, Aurore said:

I really love the build and the story. Quite a melancholic atmosphere, very well written and built. The roof and tree are great, with shapes that echo the sloping snow : it forms a very coherent whole. I also like the little details, such as the cat and the mouse. And the close-up photo of your character and the horse.

Milady Aurore!

Such a pleasure to receive your constructive comment. It warms my cold Mitgardian heart to know you liked the writing, as I much admire your writing skills. As I said above, I do think the rounded slopes would be a wiser, more natural choice for the snow, but we have to work with what we got. Still, I'm very pleased with the final take and I'm glad you liked it too. Adding the mouse and the cat was a last-minute insight, and I believe they add more warmth and life to this mostly cold and melancholic environment. 

And, oooh, my new horse. Love him. I was going to come up with a name for him, but since it was.. uh.. stolen, I'm not sure if I should get much attached. 

Thanks again, Lady Aurore!

5 hours ago, The Indecisive Clutch said:

Really nice

Thank you, Indecisive Clutch!
Happy to have you.

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This is a very nice build, I really like the way it's built into the rock!   Great job with the snow too.  And the minifigure shots are something else I really enjoyed!

If I can make a suggestion, I recommend not using the same color or technique for two different substances.  For instance, if brown is going to stand for wood on the roof and tree, it'd be better to use dark brown or dark tan or something else for your dirt.  If you're going to use slopes a lot for your rock/snow, maybe best use round bricks or some other technique for your tree.  Just a little tip for making it easier for viewers to quickly see what they're looking at.  Of course, there will be situations when it won't be possible or desirable to use one color for just one thing, but I've found that handy as a rule of thumb!

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The story is great and you have nailed the snow on your build, the only thing I might change, other than what @Kai NRG said is the walls in the first floor. I can see what you were going for but you have simply used too many colours and it can become hard to see what trying to depict. Again,very nice job on that story,I can't wait for the next part!

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Beautiful build with really cool snow piles and the tower has a great shape with those windows. Maybe a tip for future builds is to experiment with different colored roofs to get more colour into your builds.

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On 11/27/2019 at 9:56 AM, Kai NRG said:

For instance, if brown is going to stand for wood on the roof and tree, it'd be better to use dark brown or dark tan or something else for your dirt.  If you're going to use slopes a lot for your rock/snow, maybe best use round bricks or some other technique for your tree.

Thanks, Kai, for all your building knowledge. Really, these are golden tips, man. And it makes so much sense! While finishing the MOC, although I really liked the final result, I felt something odd when adding slopes (already used as snow) on the tree. And finally, while taking the final pictures, the similar pattern in both the roofs and the dirt felt, indeed, sort of conflicting. 

Truly appreciate your suggestions, mate. Thanks!

On 11/27/2019 at 11:46 AM, Eoin Wallace said:

the walls in the first floor. I can see what you were going for but you have simply used too many colours and it can become hard to see what trying to depict.

Thanks, fellow wanderer Eoin! I see what you mean and recognize it might have been wiser to cut a couple colors in the interior. I was going for some torn, weary and old forgotten place, but understand how it can be distracting. I feel that when the final result is mainly built in dark tones, I look harder for opportunities to enter splashes of color. 

I'm glad you are appreciating the story so far! I'm about to post another part, so keep tuned, fellow Mitgardian. 

On 11/27/2019 at 11:58 AM, (Luc)ky Luke said:

Maybe a tip for future builds is to experiment with different colored roofs to get more colour into your builds

That's certainly something I'll implement in my following buildings, sir Lucky Luke. I do have some tan parts that need being put to use. 
Thanks for your comment, mate! 

21 hours ago, W Navarre said:

Beautiful snow-work! And lovely tree

Thank you, sire!
I wanted the snow to pile up, here. But it was a challenge to use only regular slopes rather than the rounded ones - they are currently in use.

But I'm happy you liked it, man! Thanks a lot for your comment.

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Very nice build!  I like how this build matches the style of the other build of the same keep.  The photos are really well done, especially the low angle ones at the level of the figures.  You've done a great job with the snow on the roofs, especially with the tooth pieces that lay flat.  The ground looks great, too--a beaten down packed earth that still has some texture to it.  Love the interior with the cat on the railing!  I like that you thought about the stores for winter and showed those.  The story is progressing and I'm interested to see where it goes.  I like the snow on the red leaves--makes me think that the snow fell early, before all the leaves had a chance to fall, suggesting a cold area with early winters, such as Mitgardia!

One potential suggestion, that is more of a question or curiosity on my part: what would it look like if you replaced the white 1x2 plates underhanging the eaves on the tallest roof with 1x2 clear trans plates?  I ask because even in cold climates, sunlight melts snow, and you can get a melt and refreeze, with ice forming at the lower ares.  It could be interesting to trim some of the low areas in trans clear to simulate ice.  Might give it some more depth and realistic look.  It could also look like crap on this scale, so who knows?  In any case, an excellent job!  Keep up the good work!

Edited by Grover

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A brilliant MOC and a very well written story. As others have mentioned the snow-scaping is excellent as is the architecture on the tower. Great job! :thumbup:

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11 hours ago, Grover said:

Very nice build!  I like how this build matches the style of the other build of the same keep.  The photos are really well done, especially the low angle ones at the level of the figures.  You've done a great job with the snow on the roofs, especially with the tooth pieces that lay flat.  The ground looks great, too--a beaten down packed earth that still has some texture to it.  Love the interior with the cat on the railing!  I like that you thought about the stores for winter and showed those.  The story is progressing and I'm interested to see where it goes.  I like the snow on the red leaves--makes me think that the snow fell early, before all the leaves had a chance to fall, suggesting a cold area with early winters, such as Mitgardia!

Fellow Knight Grover. Always a delight to read your detailed analysis, never missing a corner or stud un-commented. It means a lot you've appreciated both the story and the build. I did try to maintain the architecture of the Keep into the stables, as you noticed. And the cat on the railing is actually looking for the mouse up in the lining of the roof. I feel that snow falls constantly in certain parts of Mitgardia, but I'm figuring my characters are walking south, just as an excuse to build something less chilly. I only hope the factions bordering Avalonia will receive me warmly. 

11 hours ago, Grover said:

One potential suggestion, that is more of a question or curiosity on my part: what would it look like if you replaced the white 1x2 plates underhanging the eaves on the tallest roof with 1x2 clear trans plates?  I ask because even in cold climates, sunlight melts snow, and you can get a melt and refreeze, with ice forming at the lower ares.  It could be interesting to trim some of the low areas in trans clear to simulate ice.  Might give it some more depth and realistic look.  It could also look like crap on this scale, so who knows?  In any case, an excellent job!  Keep up the good work!

You know what? I love your idea. I even mentioned icicles in the storyline, so I totally agree: some transparent tiles handing from the roofs could have added something interesting to the build. As I'm always around these 'moderate climate' environments, I'm sure there will be more opportunities to definitely implement this welcomed suggestion. 

Thanks again, sir Grover! Your observations are always much appreciated. Cheers!

6 hours ago, Basiliscus said:

A brilliant MOC and a very well written story. As others have mentioned the snow-scaping is excellent as is the architecture on the tower. Great job!

Heey, Basiliscus! 
Thank you a lot, fellow Knight. I'm glad you appreciate the snow, even in only regular slopes and the rudimentary Mitgardian architecture -- they say less is more, and minimalism is de facto in all design trends. And I'm thrilled that the story is being welcomed.

Thanks for the support, man!

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Very nice MOC! But I got a technical question! :-)
I wanted to use the non-opening backpack 2524 as saddle bag, but I was unable to find a working, sturdy, and aesthetic solution. How you've solved this trouble? Which parts you've used, please? Thanks for information!

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Such a well composed and elegantly executed scene, Louis. So much to appreciate here, from the tiny details like the muddied path to the beautiful little lamp. Overall, the design and photographic angle is top notch. The way the entire background is taken up, the complementary color palette, weathered buildings, the overflowing landscape... it all equals up to a very fine creation. Really like those overhanging windows as well. Great continuation of your storyline and style, as well. I love your writing and especially the cliffhanger, definitely leaves me wanting for more. I hope Mitgardia is proud to have you!

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On 11/29/2019 at 6:53 PM, MassEditor said:

Such a well composed and elegantly executed scene, Louis. So much to appreciate here, from the tiny details like the muddied path to the beautiful little lamp. Overall, the design and photographic angle is top notch. The way the entire background is taken up, the complementary color palette, weathered buildings, the overflowing landscape... it all equals up to a very fine creation. Really like those overhanging windows as well. Great continuation of your storyline and style, as well. I love your writing and especially the cliffhanger, definitely leaves me wanting for more. I hope Mitgardia is proud to have you

Coming from the creator of StormHolm Castle, one of the castles I admired the most in my life, I am incredibly happy to read your comment, MassEditor. To have your compliments on the architecture, photography, and specially the writing means SO much. 

When starting a building I constantly say “nah, I’m going to put less effort in this one”, and end up debating myself wether this 1x1 plate should go on this stud or that one. And to have your feedback makes it all worth the (much enjoyable) struggle. 

Thanks, MassEditor. I hope one day to build something as marvelous as StormHolm.

 

On 11/29/2019 at 4:03 AM, Aine said:

Very nice MOC! But I got a technical question! :-)
I wanted to use the non-opening backpack 2524 as saddle bag, but I was unable to find a working, sturdy, and aesthetic solution. How you've solved this trouble? Which parts you've used, please? Thanks for information!

Hey, Aine! Thank you for the comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the build, and I’m happy to share some of the process. 

The back of the horse has an open space of 1 brick + 1 plate, right? I find it best to include the bags (or backpacks) on top of the 1 brick. The hole on the backpack (supposed for the minifig neck) will not take the entire stud, so you will still be able to use a tile on top of the backpack. It will not be equally sturdy, but should fit just fine. The tile, I recommend should be the color of the backpack (and the backpack should be a different color than the horse, to avoid being too monochromatic).

Finally, I think that adding the cloth roll on the back is a nice touch. I tied mine with a string, but it can be mainly placed and it will still look nice.

That’s basically what I did, Aine. 

I hope this was helpful. Let me know!

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I tried a similar solution, but as you wrote, it wasn't really sturdy. This might work better, and the added tile on top will make the whole thing a bit more firm. Thanks!

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Really nicely executed build.  Snow is on point, the tree adds some character, and I really like the building--especially the windows and roofing on the second story.

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4 hours ago, mrcp6d said:

Really nicely executed build.  Snow is on point, the tree adds some character, and I really like the building--especially the windows and roofing on the second story.

Thank you, sire mrcp6d.
It warms my cold Mitgardian heart to know you enjoyed this.

The roofing was particularly challenging to build, but I'm very satisfied with the final result, and I'm glad you liked it as well. 

Cheers, fellow builder!

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