Louis of Nutwood

[AoM: Stables - Phase I] Wash away

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Previously: Chapter 10. Don't look back

Chapter 11. Wash away

The sun had long set behind the mountains, so we rode by the dim silvery light cast by the full moon. Shadows formed between the branches and trunks, and made my mind see images that I could only hope were not there. We left the road and entered the woods, only to trust the moon and the stars and the echoes and the cries to guide our paths.

Wash away

Hours had passed and the horses kept their slow pace, careful not to trick or fall on the stones and broken branches hidden in the dark. The forest once coated with white snow gave way to dripping icicles hanging from the trees and slippery pools formed under their trunks. Lifeless leaves held ponds of ice that fell to the ground as we passed, melting in the dirt. Slow and steady. The earthy smell of grass and moss grew stronger as the sound of a flowing river grew louder. We are heading south.

 

Wash away

Dazed with the throttle and lost in the whistling sound of the wind and tinkling of our coins, I only came to my senses when a shout echoed between the trees.

-        Hold on, boys. – Hob had walked to the shore and stood next to the frigid green waters of the river, staring at the water.

Wash away

What is he looking at? It started with one splash. Tap. Then another. Tap. And then another. Tap, tap, tap. Soon, the whole pond was splashing with falling waterdrops, poking our heads from the sky, and wetting our cloaks on their way to the ground. A light tapping sound suddenly became a thunderous ovation among the trees. And then, the sky sunk on our heads.

A huge lighting crossed the clouds and suddenly it was day again, but only for a second. The light was followed by a deafening roar that made my chest tremble and the trees shake off their dead leaves. A forewarning.

 

Wash away

Hob opened his arms, leaned his head facing the sky, so that the raindrops would hit him in the face. And he laughed. He laughed louder than the roars of the rain. Louder than the waterflows of the creaks. Louder than the blowing wind and crackling of leaves.

-        Freyr! We thank you for your kindness! We thank you for your gift! Soon we shall dine and drink in Odin’s Hall! – Hob shouted at the grey skies, saluted the gods and laughed, laughed, laughed.
-        It seems the god of rain wishes to take our lives, brother. – Shouted the man with a fuzzy hair.
-        No, my friend! Freyr is on our side. And he just made sure no one is to follow us here. – Hob stared at the trail behind us, where once were the markings of our footprints, now washed away and faded among the dirt.

Wash away

Hob laughed again. Only this time, he was not laughing alone. 

________

Louis of Nutwood

This is an entry for Age of Mitgardia: Stables - Phase I. 

It is also a little break from such cold and snowy environments. So we are heading to warmer lands in the south for a little bit. 
For the first time I adventured myself in using this fully SNOT technique for the tan rocks (which I think looks super cool!) and transparent studs as ice and rain (that I'm not that sure about). 

I hope you like this chapter.
Please, let me know what you think. 

Skål!
 

________

Spoiler

@Aine, still talking about the sacks and backpacks attached to horses, here are two examples. 
On the black horse, the minifig has no legs, and its torso is connected to a 1x2 brown plate. His legs should be hidden behind the backpack and the plate adds enough height for it to look natural. On the back I added two types of cloth rolls (or blankets?), a wanderer's best companion. Hope you like it. 

 

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Wow, another amazing MOC. I really like what you'Ve done with this journey theme! And thanks for the hidden content! ;-)
Btw, very nice color scheming, I appreciate the warm colors, and the brown (horse, bridge, tree) and especially red (tree and fig) accord!

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Great job with the sideways slopes!  The shape of the tree is also really nice, with all those flat branches sticking out at different heights.  Trans-clear studs as raindrops was a bold move, I don't think it quite worked (we needed some suspended in midair :laugh: ), but it's always good to experiment now and then!

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1 hour ago, Aine said:

Wow, another amazing MOC. I really like what you'Ve done with this journey theme! And thanks for the hidden content! ;-)
Btw, very nice color scheming, I appreciate the warm colors, and the brown (horse, bridge, tree) and especially red (tree and fig) accord!

Thanks, Aine! I'm glad you liked it. I've been trying to add more color to my creations as they normally tend to have a darker palette in general. Maybe it's me, maybe it's the story.. but I'm happy it is working out!
But as I was adding the horses, I immediately thought of your comment on my last post. Had to tag you. 

Thanks for the support, Aine!

56 minutes ago, Kai NRG said:

Great job with the sideways slopes!  The shape of the tree is also really nice, with all those flat branches sticking out at different heights.  Trans-clear studs as raindrops was a bold move, I don't think it quite worked (we needed some suspended in midair :laugh: ), but it's always good to experiment now and then!

Hahah. Thanks, Kai. I always appreciate your constructive feedbacks. I've been using this type of tree for some time now, and I can't get enough - I simply love the feel of it, like and umbrella embracing the whole build. I recognize by now I should be trying something different, but naah.. maybe in the next MOC. 

As for the trans-clear raindrops - maybe they would work better as icicles hanging from the branches? I was unable to come up with a better solution for rain other than adding a filter. I'm happy to have tried something new, still. 

AH! And as the experienced storyteller in the group, any feedback on the writing?

Thanks for the support, Kai. Much appreciated!

58 minutes ago, marvelBoy123 said:

Lovely build and story as ever! The layered land rising up from the river is a particularly nice detail.

I'm glad you liked it, MarvelBoy!

It was certainly a challenge to merge the land to the water in a natural way. But being the first time I did this, I'm very happy with the result too. 
And it warms my cold Mitgardian heart to know you enjoyed the story. 

Thanks for the support, man!

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4 hours ago, Louis of Nutwood said:

As for the trans-clear raindrops - maybe they would work better as icicles hanging from the branches? I was unable to come up with a better solution for rain other than adding a filter. I'm happy to have tried something new, still. 

Well, the reason they're not working as icicles for me I think is the kind of autumnal foliage... I'd expect either evergreen or bare branches on a tree with icicles.

I enjoyed the story, the laughter was unexpected and made me want to read the explanation.  However in English we use quotation marks to indicate dialogue.  Such as, "This rain will keep us from being followed," he shouted.  At the end of the spoken sentence use a comma if you plan on continuing the sentence outside of the quotation marks and a period if you don't.  Ex: He shouted, "This rain will keep us from being followed." [period, end of both sentences] or "This rain will keep us from being followed," he shouted. [comma first, because the sentence continues, and then a period when the whole sentence ends]  If you want to end with an exclamation point or a question mark, then it doesn't matter whether you keep the sentence going outside of the quotation marks or not.  Ex: "This rain will keep us from being followed!" he shouted.  and He shouted, "This rain will keep us from being followed!" are both correct.

Now if you happened to want to quote what someone who was quoting someone else said, you would do it like this: "I think these pancakes are delicious, but Frank said, 'Seriously, pancakes again!' when he first saw them."  So the quote inside the dialogue is marked with a single apostrophe on either end.  (If you happened to want to do a third quote inside that quote, you'd need to go back to the double quote marks... what fun... haha!)

Last point with regard to quotation marks, if someone talks for a long time and you want to indicate a pause in their thought by starting a new paragraph, then you start the new paragraph with a new set of quotation marks (but don't close the previous paragraph).  For instance, quoting what I said above:

"Ex: 'This rain will keep us from being followed!' he shouted.  and He shouted, 'This rain will keep us from being followed!' are both correct.

"Now if you happened to want to quote what someone who was quoting someone else said, you would do it like this: 'I think these pancakes are delicious, but Frank said, "Seriously, pancakes again!" when he first saw them,' she remarked.  So the quote inside the dialogue is marked with a single apostrophe on either end.  (If you happened to want to do a third quote inside that quote, you'd need to go back to the double quote marks... which is quite confusing... haha!)"

Notice the three quotation marks in bold, and notice how there's no mark after the end of the first paragraph.  So that way the reader knows that the same person is talking, but in case they had forgotten, they get reminded by a new set of " at the beginning of the next paragraph.  (Also note how I had to change all the inside marks to single or double marks, as the case was.)

And, I should also say that using dashes to indicate speech is quite intelligible.  Not something an English speaker would do but something probably all readers will easily understand.  So if quotation marks are just too complicated don't feel bad about sticking with the dashes!

There you are, you did ask. :wink: :laugh:

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I’m really enjoying watching your story unfold, and the progress shown in both your builds and your writing is very evident. The only critique I would offer is that your ground is a little too monochromatic for my taste, and would benefit from having some dark tan or brown mixed in, since those show up in and around the path.

Otherwise, this is great, and I look forward to the next chapter!

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11 hours ago, Kai NRG said:

However in English we use quotation marks to indicate dialogue.

I never really though about the quotation marks (or dashes) as a cultural writing example. I remember seeing the dashes in German language as well as in French, so I thought of it as just a matter of choice. But I do feel that the quotation marks in English are dominant. Considering I'm writing in English, your suggestion really makes sense, and I will use them in the next chapters. 

As for the the periods and commas and explanations at the end of dialogues, yeah.. I do get a bit confused, and your clarifications are very helpful, Kai. Perhaps using the quotation marks will make things even easier from now on - unless I start to quote quotes inside a quote - then I'll have to reach you once again :D.

11 hours ago, Kai NRG said:

There you are, you did ask

Hahah. I was not expecting this much, but I appreciate it a bunch, man! Thank you for sharing this knowledge and contributing to our growth, sire. 
And if there's ever anything you feel like pointing out, I'd love to hear. 

Thanks again, mate!

9 hours ago, The Stad said:

I’m really enjoying watching your story unfold, and the progress shown in both your builds and your writing is very evident. The only critique I would offer is that your ground is a little too monochromatic for my taste, and would benefit from having some dark tan or brown mixed in, since those show up in and around the path.

Otherwise, this is great, and I look forward to the next chapter

Heeey, TheStad! 

I'm so happy you can see some progress. Sometimes we don't feel the progress from our own perspective, but it sure adds a boost to hear from exemplary builders, here. 
As for the ground, I can see how a bit of dark tan and/or some different shaped tiles could improve the path now that you've mentioned, and I'll definitely put more thought in the following builds. 

Thanks for the support, man!

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I really like both the story and build! It will be interesting to read what awaits them at the end of the path (or even on the path)…:sweet:

Concerning the build, I do like the icicles even if they stand on autumn leaves : with the trans-clear studs on the grass, they give the whole build a very suitable damp atmosphere.

 

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I like the dark green water and the SNOT base!  Interesting use of transparent clear too! I wonder if dark green leaves on the tree, or just green, might have pulled the build together more.  A colorful autumn tree looks odd next to stagnant dirty waters... Great MOC altogether though! 

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6 hours ago, Aurore said:

I really like both the story and build! It will be interesting to read what awaits them at the end of the path (or even on the path)…:sweet:

Concerning the build, I do like the icicles even if they stand on autumn leaves : with the trans-clear studs on the grass, they give the whole build a very suitable damp atmosphere.

Thank you, Aurore!
I'm very glad you liked the build. I recognize the icicles might be questionable, but I'm happy you appreciate them in red leaves. 

Thanks for the support!

59 minutes ago, W Navarre said:

I like the dark green water and the SNOT base!  Interesting use of transparent clear too! I wonder if dark green leaves on the tree, or just green, might have pulled the build together more.  A colorful autumn tree looks odd next to stagnant dirty waters... Great MOC altogether though! 

Thank you for commenting, sire Navarre!
I did consider using green leaves, but thought the whole build would be a bit too monochromatic. But I understand how swamps can (or should) be indeed monochromatic. I'm glad you liked the base though, as I'm particularly pleased with this result as well. 

Thanks for the support, mate!

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I enjoy the new textures here and all the colours look great together! I also like the clear pieces to represent melting ice, and the minifigs are all great too!

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First, let me say this is a very nice build.  There's a lot of great things going on here--the horses with the bedrolls and saddlebags look great, the minis are posed perfectly, the bridge looks great, and I enjoy the tree style.  I think your use of the stalk pieces is well done--they appear in places that are not well trod and are also not so abundant as to make the scene look cluttered.  I do have some questions, some of which are answered in the conversation above.  My first thought was that this represented early fall and you were moving the story to warmer climes, thus the trees had red leaves and were just seeing an early snow, but then I didn't see any snow on the ground, so I was confused by the trans clear bricks.  I thought that they represented ice from the initial viewing.  The other confusing part of the scene to me was the use of the light tan.  I'm not sure what kind of earth that represents, especially with the brown pathway for the torn up dirt.  Given that the trans clear represents rain, it would seem to me that a darker color soil would be in order (I am familiar with rain making soil darker to the eye).  The lily pads with their bright green made me think of new growth, as I have not seen lilly pads, particularly with bright green, in the winter before.  I really like the lily pads, the dark green water, the small waterfall, the use of the trans clear (as far as it represents ice anyway), but I am a little confused by the inclusion of all of these elements in the same build.  Overall, another quality build.  I don't mean to criticize, as I applaud your willingness to experiment, and I think we all need to try new things and take some risks to move forward with our own building and the community in general.  Great job!

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3 hours ago, Grover said:

First, let me say this is a very nice build.  There's a lot of great things going on here--the horses with the bedrolls and saddlebags look great, the minis are posed perfectly, the bridge looks great, and I enjoy the tree style.  I think your use of the stalk pieces is well done--they appear in places that are not well trod and are also not so abundant as to make the scene look cluttered.  I do have some questions, some of which are answered in the conversation above. 

Sire Grover, sire. Another much welcomed and hoped critical evaluation from a builder I grew to admire deeply.
I gotta say: I love your logical approach to our stories and find these questions are what really makes us think about 'what makes sense' when building and writing. So, I'll gladly try to answer your questions and look forward to seeing the following ones. :D

3 hours ago, Grover said:

My first thought was that this represented early fall and you were moving the story to warmer climes, thus the trees had red leaves and were just seeing an early snow, but then I didn't see any snow on the ground, so I was confused by the trans clear bricks.  I thought that they represented ice from the initial viewing

The trans-clear was initially only supposed to be ice. After positioning the studs on the tree, I figured they could even work as raindrops. Unable to decide, I left the decision to the viewer (not the best decision, I know).

The tree with red leaves, however, might not represent autumn period, but simply a tree that has red leaves throughout the whole year (winter year-round in Mitgardia). @Aurore, the most famous herbalist in Mitgardia might be able to help us sort what type of tree that might be. I might have heard something about Acer Capillipes, but I can be wrong. 

Having rain, I though better not to add another element such as snow. But I understand how this brusque environment change can be a bit confusing. 

Summing up: they walked down to the base of the cold mountains heading south, to where there was no more snow, but it was still cold. There was ice everywhere and they stopped at the bottom of a red leaved tree.

3 hours ago, Grover said:

The other confusing part of the scene to me was the use of the light tan.  I'm not sure what kind of earth that represents, especially with the brown pathway for the torn up dirt.  Given that the trans clear represents rain, it would seem to me that a darker color soil would be in order (I am familiar with rain making soil darker to the eye). 

Heading south from the Bay of Storms, one may run across a region that was once completely taken by the seas. Thousand years ago, when the seas dried, new paths reveled caves and walls that were once hidden underneath the ocean. These caves and walls were mainly formed by a rare type of what the Elders called Limestone - a type of sedimentary rock composed of fragments of oceanic life, distinguishable for its round shapes and light tan colors that vibrate with the touch of the sun.

Due to its high concentration of minerals, this Limestone is one of the most dense rocks known in the realm, being close to impenetrable. So impenetrable that even moisture is little absorbed by the rock, while its light tan color remains stagnant through different seasons of the yearlong. Generals and builders still struggle to find solutions to implement this stone into military buildings. 

3 hours ago, Grover said:

The lily pads with their bright green made me think of new growth, as I have not seen lilly pads, particularly with bright green, in the winter before.

You might be surprised, sir Grover, with how strong and resilient the Mitgardian lily pads can be. Like a plague, they pop and come to life in the most frigid, godforsaken parts of the North. 
I call this a missing chance. Putting trans-clear ice would be a much better solution, now thinking about it.

3 hours ago, Grover said:

I really like the lily pads, the dark green water, the small waterfall, the use of the trans clear (as far as it represents ice anyway), but I am a little confused by the inclusion of all of these elements in the same build.  Overall, another quality build.  I don't mean to criticize, as I applaud your willingness to experiment, and I think we all need to try new things and take some risks to move forward with our own building and the community in general.  Great job!

Always a pleasure to read through your comments, Sire Grover.
And I'm thrilled you liked the build and put the effort on trying to understand every bit of the world we are building in our heads (and then in bricks). 
Thank you for your true support and critical contribution. 

Cheers, mate. 

On 12/11/2019 at 11:24 AM, Eoin Wallace said:

I enjoy the new textures here and all the colours look great together! I also like the clear pieces to represent melting ice, and the minifigs are all great too!

Thanks, fellow warrior Eoin Wallace. 
These formations are not the most common throughout Mitgardia, so I'm very glad to share some different parts of our world. 
And I'm happy you liked it, man. 

Thank you fort the support!

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@Louis of Nutwood Well, well, well... Indeed, I have heard of trees that keep dry, rusty-brown or even dark red leaves throughout the winter. Rumor has it that this is how some tree species react in areas where heavy dark magic spells were thrown - something you would expect on areas where war raged on.
I have yet to run a methodical analysis on this subject to try to document which tree species are concerned, to which kind of spell exactly they reacted, and why! 

Side note : in real-life, this is called marcescence (as far as I know, it's not related to magic though). 

--

Other side note : I really like your explanations about the limestone and lilypads! Maybe we should create a complete "Natural History of Mitgardia" encyclopedia - plants, animals, and minerals! 

Edited by Aurore

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On 12/12/2019 at 6:07 PM, Aurore said:

@Louis of Nutwood Well, well, well... Indeed, I have heard of trees that keep dry, rusty-brown or even dark red leaves throughout the winter. Rumor has it that this is how some tree species react in areas where heavy dark magic spells were thrown - something you would expect on areas where war raged on.
I have yet to run a methodical analysis on this subject to try to document which tree species are concerned, to which kind of spell exactly they reacted, and why! 

Well, fetch your charms and trophies, wanderers.

The region was indeed raged by numerous knights and warriors looking for the Giant Ake Forebear, if I remember the tales. When nearby families reported attacks of a reckless giant, the realm offered a reward for the one who could slay this beast. With either sword, fire, spell or charm, many have pursued Ake the Giant, but none was successful to fulfill the king's quest. The region was devastated during the hunt and Ake was never found.

These recent events might justify the remnants of dark magic and the abundance of red-leaved trees. 

I'll look forward to having the results of your methodical analysis, Lady Aurore. And thank you for your most kind readiness. You might have saved lives, here.

On 12/12/2019 at 6:07 PM, Aurore said:

Other side note : I really like your explanations about the limestone and lilypads! Maybe we should create a complete "Natural History of Mitgardia" encyclopedia - plants, animals, and minerals!

Interesting... Interesting... 
I love the idea of an Encyclopedia engulfing Natural elements, Historical events and Mythology. 

*Idea to moderators @soccerkid6: to have an Encyclopedia (which could certainly be additions to the FandomWiki page, moderately) regarding:
1. Natural Environment Elements and Information
2. Historical events that shaped the world as we know.
3. Myths, heroes, deities, beliefs. 

The builds accompanied by these explanatory elements could receive additional points as challenge entries or free-builds.
That gives more chance for builders with smaller brick collections to score higher and contribute more with the rankings. 
Plus, they will certainly increase the group's abilities in storytelling and world-building.

Is there anything of the sort going on?
I sense sire @Grover will be on-board too. 

Lady @Aurore, I think this is a beautiful idea taking shape. 

Skol!

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@Louis of Nutwood, I like it!  I think we can make a page on the Wiki for sure.  As for points, I agree that it would be a fun way for some folks with smaller collections to be able to contribute to the guild.  Of course, anything that is related to actual history in the guilds would have to be approved to make sure it fits with the current history, but natural elements and info should be pretty easy to fit in.  Myths, heroes, etc. would likely be fairly straightforward as well, with perhaps a few more exceptions than the plants.  Maybe 5% of the build points for these writeups?

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On 12/14/2019 at 5:44 AM, Grover said:

I like it!  I think we can make a page on the Wiki for sure.  As for points, I agree that it would be a fun way for some folks with smaller collections to be able to contribute to the guild.  Of course, anything that is related to actual history in the guilds would have to be approved to make sure it fits with the current history, but natural elements and info should be pretty easy to fit in.  Myths, heroes, etc. would likely be fairly straightforward as well, with perhaps a few more exceptions than the plants.  Maybe 5% of the build points for these writeups?

That's great, sir Grover! 

I believe 5% is fair. At least it is a boost if more robust stories are to be encouraged.
And I remember reading an already existing Fandom Wiki page for each of the guilds before joining. They are fairly complete and very informative! Things like environment and geography, culture, food and some governing bodies are present in all of them. Of course, the same information is present in these treads, but feels good to have a wiki layout that could be complemented and revisited over time.

Cheers!

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