W Navarre

La Cospirazione (Story)

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Posted (edited)

I had the same idea as Louis of Nutwood apparently! To make the reading easier, for those who hadn't read the story yet, or for those who want to find it all in order, I'll post the whole story here, with each main scene and a few of the best illustrations. I hope you enjoy it! I'd be glad to hear your thoughts. 

P.S. I would recommend listening to this piece of music from Assassin's Creed while reading, it really flows with the story! And so without further ado: 

 

La Cospirazione: Part I

 

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It was a calm, quiet evening, and the only noise stirring the silent streets of Tergiversa was the resounding trod of heavy boots on the rough streets again and again as Alesio de Fiori hurriedly made his way to the outskirts of the city.  As he approached a small gateway he heard voices and paused, warily peering into the shadows: all was safe.  

There was a man on horseback, another sitting on a small part of the wall, and two others figures outlined a little further back, one a tall Minotaur and the other a slim girl.

As Alesio arrived the man on the horse jumped down and grasped his hand in excitement. “Tomorrow!” exclaimed Staffan Conzaga, stamping the ground.  “All is arranged! Tomorrow we will meet in the palace of Illaryian: there will be none to stop us! Di Carlo will be crowned Rego and by Sana Argenta, the people will be wildly pleased with it!”

Di Carlo nodded, and Alesio stroked his beard. “All seems to be going well.  Supano should have known his days were numbered.  Are there any final matters to arrange, Luca?”

Luka skipped off the wall and there followed a short talk, all in hushed whispers.  Finally everything was settled, just as the sky began to darken.

 Addio, gentlemen,” Staffan remarked, climbing onto his horse with a short glance at the sky. “Tomorrow then, at dawn, I will meet you in Illaryian.”

 “Godspeed!” Luca waved him off.  Then he leaned back casually on the wall as the man and his bodyguard the Minotaur galloped off.

“An ambitious man,” Alesio remarked.

“Aye,” di Carlo assented carelessly.

“He will stop at nothing,” Alesio flipped a knife in the air.

Luca looked up thoughtfully.  “None of us will?” he ventured with a sharp look.

“What I mean is ... ” Alesio de Fiori fingered his knife suggestively.  After a short silence he added, “I don’t think you should let him escape out of your hands.”

Di Carlo stepped back in affected horror and ventured no remark.  The girl leaning on the wall watched out of the corner of her eyes. 

“This will be the last time Staffan Conzaga ever plays himself into your hands,” Alesio leapt forward and spoke with animation. “If he once gets away he will grow all too powerful.  He is cautious and scrupulous: we will never be able to get him in his fortress at Laryian, and he will stop at nothing.  I promise you he will not be satisfied with the gains tomorrow’s work will get him.  He has played himself into your hands this once, but it will be the last time.  Finish him now or it will soon be too late.” Alesio frowned and let the knife slip into his belt.  “And you will live to regret it.”

The girl inclining against the wall leaned closer, moving her fingers nervously.

Alesio saluted her and shook Luca’s hand. Not another word was exchanged, only De Fiori mouthed silently, “Assassinate the man.”  

Then Alesio De Fiori pulled his cloak about him and walked quickly away, back into the city, and Luca watched him out of sight with his hand held pensively to his chin.

“Assassinate him?” he mused, eyeing the girl with a slight grin. “I suppose we just might be able to do so.”  

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

 

The beautiful blue water of the canals of Illaryian calmly reflected the stately arches of the Rego’s munificent palazzo, but all else in the city was far from calm, and inside the luxurious palace halls there hung a thrilling atmosphere of victory and success.  Soldiers and guards marched hurriedly to and fro through the palace’s otherwise empty halls, and, besides that, throughout the courtyards and rooms barely a whisper could be heard; save the whisper of the wind as the fresh air seeped in through the open windows.  But in one corridor a calm and even voice broke the stillness with measured tones, as Luca di Carlo, the Rego now of the twin lands, conversed thoughtfully with Staffan Conzaga about the affairs of the Realm.  As they finished the talk Alesio De Fiori walked in and bid them adieu.  

“Sirs, I have matters to attend to,” he bowed, “and will make my way to my house now.”

“Aye, sir,” Luca di Carlo nodded.

Alesio thought that he seemed to be looking past him, and looked briefly around. There was only a distracting shadow moving behind the pillars. He bowed again to Staffan.

Bowing shortly in return Staffan cried vehemently, “Well met, sir! Without your aid, I swear by Sana Argenta, we would have never seen a day this glorious!”  He chewed vigorously on an old herb popularly used by the farmers of Northern Varlyrio. “Who would have thought that it would be so simple? Such a show as at the coronation today I have never seen. Far too much shouting. Ah, yes, addio, sir!”

Alesio walked smartly out, just tipping his hat as he passed out of sight through the archway.

“I as well will now leave, with your permission, Rego,” Staffan grinned conceitedly.  “There are pressing matters to attend to at Laryian, and I expect we shall not see each other again, for some time.”

The olive merchant merely grinned good-naturedly in return, and waved his hand casually.

 “But au revoir, di Carlo,” Staffan smirked, lowering his eyebrows in a clever way. “When we do meet again, remember the ones who put you into your position.”

 “I will remember you,” Luca commented with boyish insouciance, “very kindly for your aid and support. No better man could I have by my side, sir.”

A sound flowed through the room as of the barring of a door.

Staffan turned, startled for a brief second. “Farewell,” he said, dismissing it quickly, and walking a few paces. “Minos!” he loudly shouted through the passageway.

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"Minos!" he shouted loudly.

 “Oh, Minos is already gone sir, I dismissed him,” Luca smugly remarked, pushing a loose tile around on the decorated floor.

Staffan looked at him keenly, a puzzled look in his eyes. The sound of footsteps in the corridors increased.

“I do not need to say, my dear Staffan, that he has been well payed,” Luca genially observed.

Suddenly from every direction the Royal Guard poured into the room and Staffan stepped quickly back. “What does this mean, Luca?” he bellowed. “What are the guards here for?”

Luca di Carlo waved them up with nonchalance, and Staffan turned pale.

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Luca motioned the guard to close in.

“What … what is this, man?”

“It was not my idea, sir,” Luca grinned, stepping up till his face was within a few inches of Staffan’s. The soldiers clamped into a square about them, leaving no room for escape. “And I am sorry for the fate that befalls traitors, Staffan Conzaga. But the only place for traitors in our Realm lies below the dirt; and I do not mean the Sunken City.”

“Traitors? What do you speak of?” Staffan cowered, his trembling hand clutching something behind his back.

“What do I speak of, sir?” Luca’s voice rose now.  “Matters to attend to at Laryion? Your proud domineering air? A dagger in your hand?” Luca grasped Staffan’s hand and dashed the dagger he held in it to the ground.

It slid across the room, and Staffan fell to his knees, powerless in Luca’s grasp.

“Oh, consider my family!” he cried.

“Your family? You are very close to them,” Luca mocked, “while they are all leagues and leagues away, where you sent them, far away from you! Except the girl Poppa. Ah, but she is in a dungeon somewhere now. Non importa, I will take care of her and assure her an honorable husband in due time.”

The Captain of the Royal Guard bent over and retrieved Staffan’s gilded dagger.

“No!” Staffan cried, violently seeking to shake himself from Luca’s fierce hold as the Captain of the Guard approached.

Luca Di Carlo only soberly remarked, “Such be the fate of all traitors in our Realm.” 

Then he threw Staffan to the floor, and at his signal the Captain of the Guard bent down and buried Staffan’s own knife into his heart.

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Staffan's death.

It was over, and silence reigned once more in the vast halls of the Palazzo of Illaryian.

 .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

 

La Cospirazione: Part II

 

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Alesio de Fiori was deep in thought as the little gondola floated calmly down the canal. Darkness was falling, and by the gleaming evening light he surveyed the beauty of Illaryian with a keen eye. Supano Amancio had been dealt with, but there was much left to arrange. Cadgie had gotten himself into another mess. The Rego, Luca di Carlo, had informed him that Staffan was sewing mischief in the North. But it was mischief in the palazzo that Alesio mostly feared. Was Luca to be trusted with the elimination of the most powerful and influential Varlyrian noble? The Rego had sworn that he would resolve it all today, and Alesio expected that Staffan Conzaga would never leave the palace again. But doubts troubled him. And then there was Capri, that troublesome little creature. More mischief was to be expected in the De Fiori castle than anywhere else while she was around.

Something caught Alesio’s eye in the water. He swore something had moved, and he silently touched the shoulder of the gondolier.

“Assassin?” he whispered, pointing to the shadow fliting across the water.

Ašišī!” cried the gondolier in a terrible fright. With one quick motion he dropped the oar and dived off into the water, rocking the gondola, so that as Alesio spun round he stumbled to one side.

There on the bridge, under which they had just passed, crouched a dark, masked assassin with a dagger in his belt and another in his teeth. He had already leapt into the air, and Alesio just had a moment to grasp the oar when the assassin landed beside him, dashing the dagger into his side: but for the sway of the rocking boat it would have gone to his heart. 

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The assassin leapt into the air! 

Alesio struck the man who with his other hand sought his second dagger. There was a fierce struggle, until Alesio managed with a quick move to draw his knife and bury it deep into the man’s breast.

“Who sent you?” Alesio furiously seized his coat with his free hand.

“It is the Cioto, signore!” gasped the man.

“The Cioto?” Alesio grit his teeth and closed his eyes.

Everything was spinning! He dropped the man who tumbled into the blue canal waters, and grasped the prow of the gondola.

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The blue water of the canal turned red with the assassin's blood.

“The Cioto?” he repeated faintly. So then! There was more mischief afoot than he had expected!

Intrigante!

He sighed as another thought came to him.

“Which Cioto?”

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.


La Cospirazione: Part III

 

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It was a calm, quiet evening, and the only noise stirring the silent streets of Tergiversa was the resounding trod of heavy boots on the rough streets again and again as Alesio de Fiori hurriedly made his way to the outskirts of the city.  As he approached a small gateway he heard voices and paused, warily peering into the shadows: all was safe.  

There was a man on horseback, another sitting on a small part of the wall, and two others figures outlined a little further back, one a tall Minotaur and the other a slim girl.

Cadgie De Fiori had indeed gotten himself into another mess.  And if the mess he made was not enough he had Capri De Fiori to handle for the day, and that may have dwarfed all the other problems he had in life. It’s not quite certain in fact how much of a hand she had in all of his problems. But problems he had, and of a sobering nature.

 “Dawn. At dawn Alesio arrives. At dawn Capri should be off my hands. At dawn I must see those brothers. And I don’t think they have good intentions. It was certainly not wise to accept their tryst after that affair with those people the other day. And certainly Alesio must arrive. And most certainly I must not take Capri tomorrow.”

But Alesio did not arrive, and Capri did accompany him: much more due to her willful nagging than to his own wishes; perhaps it also had something to do with her remark, “You can’t leave me here alone in this bleak old castle! I’ll follow you on foot!”

To which Cadgie had pertly answered, “I go by gondola, signorina!

“Then I’ll follow you swimming, signore!” was her impudent retort.

Well, that would have been worse. Since Capri did not know how to swim. But Cadgie knew she would keep her word, and he did not wish to spend part of his busy dawn fishing the girl out of the water, so that is how they both found themselves disembarking in the busy little piazza near the southern end of Tergiversa.

“Sit here,” whispered Cadgie, motioning to a wooden bench by the waterside. He sighed deeply. “Please, Capri, don’t move unless I tell you to.”

“Are you going to fight?” Capri cried impatiently, looking over Cadgie’s shoulder at the man pacing up and down near the statuette in the center of the piazza and the small crowd that was gathered near him.

Cadgie smirked very good-naturedly at her.

“Now, Uncle, you know it’s not good to go fighting other people, what is none of your business.” She stood on the bench and looked down on him. “If you kill somebody I am going to tell my father!” Capri imperiously avowed. “And I mean it, sir, and my Uncle!” 

“Unfortunately,” Cadgie remarked with a sarcastic smile, “it is my business.”  He tapped his fine sword proudly. “I am Captain of the Guard, Capri De Fiori, and if these trouble makers want trouble, it is my task to give it to them!”

He put his hand to her lips to stop her from talking anymore and sweeping round marched to the center of the small piazza. An alley led away to the left, and a man leaning against the wall there leapt off it and moved forward, backing up the fellow who had been pacing up and down.

“Look here, De Fiori, you gentlemen are too proud,” began one.

“Is it true,” took up his companion, who wore a heavy black jerkin, “that Susto and Falco de Fiori, and the guard of Tergiversa, were the chief conspirators and collaborators who overthrew Supano Amancio?”

“Explain this, Cadgie De Fiori, or bring the murderers here and have them answer.”

Cadgie grasped the hilt of his weapon and snapped, “What murderers?”

“Susto and Falco De Fiori!” cried both men vehemently.

“Who dares to insult the name of Fiori?” answered Cadgie, enraged.

Quelli in incognito,” they retorted fiercely.

“We’re here to settle a debt, De Fiori, and you must pay it if your sons will not!” continued the man in the black jerkin. A pair of swords flashed out and glittered in the sun.  

Cadgie threw himself at them at once. “The De Fiori’s have no innocent blood on their hands, Gentiluomini!” he thundered. “He who says otherwise may answer to my blade!”

A cloud of dust rose into the air as the two men stepped forward and lashed out with their blades. Cadgie De Fiori, a skilled swordsman, defended himself with skill, poise, and tact, but the supposed brothers who were matched up against him were incredible warriors. Blood was spilt on both sides, as they marched up and down the streets dashing about with their swords, playing with the point and the edge of their weapons, and taking advantage of every aspect of the environment around them. Twice Cadgie had one of them trapped against the walls, and once he cut deep into the arm of the foremost of them.  But the unequal combat left only one possible outcome, and at last one of the attackers dashed Cadgie De Fiori against the statuette in the center of the piazza and put his sword against his throat.

“It is the end of the power of the De Fiori’s,” the man whispered coldly.

He forced open Cadgie hand and his sword clattered to the ground.

“At least the De Fiori’s are no murderers or cowards!” Cadgie hurled back at him, striking him across the face with his heavy metal gauntlet.

“You will pay for that blow, Fiori!” the man brandished his sword wildly as he recovered his balance.

Cadgie gasped, dashing for his weapon.

But with fire in their eyes both men leapt forward and plunged their swords through Cadgie De Fiori’s mail breastplate. Then with a final blow the one struck him to the floor.

Capri De Fiori had watched the whole fight on her tippy toes, restlessly hanging on the edge of the crowd, and with a frightened cry she jumped forward as the man dealt the final blow.

She threw herself at her uncle’s side, crying, as the assassins sprinted quickly away.

Cadgie De Fiori’s eyes lit as he saw her face bending over him, and he whispered fiercely, “Capri!–”

“Poor Uncle, what did they do to you?” She passionately gritted her teeth.

“Listen Capri,” the Captain of the Guard said briefly, holding on to life for only a moment more, “they have plotted the end of the De Fiori: girl, run!

Capri whirled round with wide eyes and saw at once what Cadgie De Fiori meant.  A troop of soldiers were rushing at her! She quickly kissed her dying Uncle on the forehead and then leapt up and sprinted for the alley, but she could not beat the soldiers, who with cries and shouts intercepted the girl, seizing her by the hands.

“Don’t struggle, little girl,” one of them whispered kindly in her ear.

Va bene,” Capri answered in resignation.

She let herself hang limply in the hands of the soldiers as they dragged her away. Then as the fateful piazza square slowly passed out of sight she said softly, “Addio, Uncle!”

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"Addio Uncle!"

She knew she would never see her Uncle, Cadgie De Fiori, Captain of the Guard of Tergiversa, again: for he was dead. 

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The abandoned Piazza.

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La Cospirazione: Part IV

 

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Alesio arrived late to the De Fiori castle in Tergiversa. He was weak, weary, and haggard, and as soon as he entered he felt in his heart that something was wrong.

“Capri!” he cried loudly, and the echoes of his shout reverberated off all the walls, down the long halls, and throughout the castle. But there was no answer.

Alesio dashed forward, slamming through all the doors of all the rooms, wildly calling Capri, and Cadgie, and the servants! Not a soul was there!

The servants had all gone out deeply frightened, some of them searching with the royal guard for Capri and others burying Alesio’s brother. It took the wounded man only a few hours to learn all this, and in spite of his wounded side, with gritted teeth and burning eyes he leapt on his horse and rode madly back to Illaryian.

Later that day the doors of the Palazzo of Illaryian burst wide open with a resounding clang.

“Where is Capri!” roared Alesio with all of his might. “Luca di Carlo, son of an olive merchant, I demand your presence!” Alesio flung a heavy gauntlet onto the ground, and the tiled floor cracked. It was Cadgie De Fiori’s gauntlet.

Footsteps then sounded in the corridor, and Luca appeared all out of breath, running up to Alesio and grasping his hand.

“What is it man? Why, you are pale! Accidenti! Alesio, you frighten me!” Luca cried, startled.

“Capri has been kidnapped,” Alesio flung out the words. “My brother is dead!”

Luca gasped and gnashed his teeth. “Impossibile!

Luca dropped Alesio’s hand and spinning round paced the length of the room.

Alesio sunk back against the wall. “The only clue left was this, sir,” he said, holding out a small slip of paper.

Luca leapt up and grasped it eagerly.

“Signore, Ercilia has given me the word. Capri is to be taken, and the Captain of the Guard sla–” The paper was torn, but Luca grasped at the ray of hope it offered.

“Ercilia De Cioto!” he cried eagerly, marching to the edge of the hall and crying, “Man!”

As a footman approached Luca looked briefly at Alesio, and then he spoke rapidly.

“To the stables! Fit out the horses, order the Royal Guard to arms! We march for the De Cioto palace!”

“The palace of the Amancios, signore?” the footman gasped. “The Amancios,” he warned, trembling, “still are very powerful, although the Rego is dead, and Ercilia is a popular and influential friend of the people.”

“Go, man! Il demone take the Ciotos and their influence,” he cried excitedly, “if they dare go about murdering the Fioris in secret, besides the very throne! Come Alesio! Peste, man, you do not even mention your own wound,” Luca sprang to Alesio’s side to offer his hand.

Alesio pushed himself off the wall and bowed, refusing the hand but saying, “It is a trifle, sir. Do you think there is hope, Luca?” he added with a slight tremor.

Luca di Carlo’s eyes glinted. “They will pay,” he averred. “And we will find Capricia! Even if every Cioto has to be interrogated and each of their mansions ransacked! To horse!”

And without another word they sped out of the room.

 .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

 

Very early the next morning, just after dawn, the doors of Amancio Palace were crashed through with a deafening noise.  Luca leapt off his horse and shouted with a powerful voice, “Smash every piece of furniture, search every wall, and do not let a man escape! Find the girl!”

 “Capri De Fiori!” cried Alesio. “Where is she?” He sprinted up the stairs as the soldiers marched through the archways and doors, crushing and searching everything, everywhere, and seizing the weapons from the startled guards.

Meanwhile Arama De Cioto, a thin girl with a long flowing black cape around her neck, snatched a narrow rapier from the wall and leapt down the stairs at the head of a group of retainers.

Alesio met her midway and dashed aside one of her men. “De Cioto!” he snapped, adjusting the sword in his hand. “Do not cross swords with me, girl: tell me, where is Capri, my daughter?!”

 Signore De Fiori!” she cried astonished in response. “I see there is blood on your mail,” she breathed sharply, dashing up with her sword and trapping Alesio against a corner of the balustrade. 

She raised her hand and her retainers passed them both quickly. Descending the stairs they threw themselves upon the Royal Guard with fury and loud cries and shouting broke out.

Luca watched nervously, pacing up and down and shouting commands to his men. Then he saw Alesio with Arama De Cioto on the parapet of the staircase and with a start he rushed towards them. As there were soldiers on the ground floor, blocking off the stairs, Luca jumped up and grasped the top of the balustrades. As he pulled himself up he saw Alesio fling the slim girl back and heard him say, “What do you have against us Fiori, you Ciotos? Hand me back my girl and we will leave you in all the peace your mind can achieve!”

The girl shook her head and laughed. “Capri is dead, signore!

Before Luca could leap down and grab Alesio’s hand he sprang forward and struck Arama a fierce blow at her side. Her thin rapier shattered in two and she shrank back as the sword cut through her leather coat and blood seeped through it, turning it from blue to red.

“How dare you,” breathed Alesio with fury. Luca put his hand on De Fiori’s shoulder.

But just then a shout rang out. “Capri! Capri è vivo!” cried the soldiers of the Royal Guard.

“Out, now out of here!” Luca exclaimed, grasping Alesio’s cape and dragging him towards the lower stairs. Luca let him go, looking back as he sprang down the stairs.

 The sound of shouting and approaching men could be heard from the floor above. Alesio waited no longer and muttered, “You will pay dearly, De Ciotos.”

Arama clinched her firsts and watched them leave as her men rushed past her. Then she leapt vivaciously up the stairs holding her side tightly. Just as she reached the window the troops had forced their way out, with Capri De Fiori, and were hurrying to their gondolas and horses.

“Goodbye, Luca,” she murmured with laughing eyes and a quick smile. “Ci vediamo domani!

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

 

The palazzo grounds of Illaryian once more:

 “It is quite difficult, girl,” Luca said with a sigh. “You can’t imagine it. If only you were Rego.”

 “I don’t want to be Rego, capretto.”

 “Well what happened. Don’t leave out a single detail.”

 “Very well, signore. The assassin failed to kill Alesio.”

“I noticed,” Luca remarked dryly.

“And my guard took Capri as your men dueled the Captain of the Guard. The paper slipped out of my hand. Touché, you know that, signore, it was your suggestion. When Alesio came to the De Fiori castle in Tergiversa he found it empty, and he came here. You managed it all nicely from there. Il fastidio, my side hurts. Well, what would he have said had he known that Luca Di Carlo had hired the assassin who slipped my name to him, and the men who killed Cadgie? And them all?” She laughed merrily. “They are certainly unsuspecting.”

Accidenti! It is over at least,” Luca rejoined, flinging a gold coin into a pool in the courtyard.

“Over?” laughed the girl. She blinked her eyes. “I doubt that! It will be over when you find a knife in your back,” she added.

“That is so, Arama di Athena De Cioto,” Luca wryly frowned, with a cheerful look at the girl by his side. “Thank you for pointing it out, De Cioto. That is just so.”

 .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Edited by W Navarre

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, W Navarre said:

Even if ever Cioto

ha!

Good job on the story though.  Not being up in Varlyrian history the big picture escaped me but it was still pretty intense, especially the last segment.

Edited by Kai NRG

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Thanks for compiling!  Good call on the music too. :classic:

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Posted (edited)

I've already responded to part I in that thread, so I'll save my comments from that.  What are the torsos of the guards around Staffen from?  I don't recognize them.  I think your pics here are out of order, too.

Overall, these builds are beautiful.  The canals are fantastic, the overall feel goes together nicely, and the color choices are fantastic.  The story is, well, another story.  I find it somewhat difficult to follow and the reasoning doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  The story does not seem to flow well from one build to the other, and the numerous characters with similar names are confusing.  It took me a while to figure out that the Conzagas were used, then betrayed, then the de Fioris were used and betrayed, and who was doing the betraying.  I enjoy complex stories, but the more complex the story, the more clear they need to be.  Perhaps more perplexing is the motivation.  Why would the de Fioris, the second ranked house, help put the di Carlos in as Rego, in the first position?  Or did the di Carlos put themselves there through massive betrayal?  If so, how?  A powerful family like the de Fioris would likely not have risen to where they are had they been naive about being betrayed particularly by lesser families, so there needs to be some good explanation of how conniving and devious the di Carlos are to be convincing, particularly since the di Carlo and di Cioto families have nothing written about them, so there's no history in the Guilds for anyone to read for backstory.  Also, what happened to the Rego Amancio?  He has been 'dealt with', but there is little detail here, especially surrounding the conspiracy.  It's definitely action heavy, but there are a lot of unanswered questions here that lead to confusion, and the beautiful builds do not illustrate some of these aspects of the story.  I think there's a lot of good ideas here and plenty of excitement and only wish it were more clear so I could enjoy it more easily.  I do like the use of the Italian words thrown in to spice things up, and I think they add a very mediterranian/Reniassance feel to things.

On to the builds!  Part II: @KevinyWu

The canal scene here is gorgeous!  The color choice blends into the 'canon' of Varlyrio very well, and the ornamentation with the lions is well done.  The architecure is great, especially the roofs, and the little touches (the lamp, the seagull, the street sweeper, the growth on the water) are very well done.  I also appreciate the consistency of the stone wall of the canal with Part III.  I like the closeup of the attack and the demise of the assassin, with his body in the water.  I'm not a big fan of the photoshop job to get him in the air, I guess because it feels like a bit of a dodge.  What's to stop someone from photoshopping in a lot of a rare part or changing a color?  Maybe there should be some agreed upon rules for photoshop in builds.  At any rate, the build itself is brilliant, and I do understand the use of photoshop to get the action.  I really like the darkness, too.  It's dark enough to make it feel like night but light enough that it can be seen.  Well done!

Part III: @ZlatanXVIGustaf

Wow, this is a monster of a build!  This whole thing screams Varlyrio.  The colors and architecture blend well with Part II and the level of detail here is insane.  The arch in the background is beautiful but I am unsure of its architectural or structural use.  The vines coming up the wall with the flowers are done very organically and look great.  The closeup shot of Capri being dragged away is fantastic.

Part IV: @mrcp6d

Wow!  This blends right in with the build from Part III, so much so that it could be connected!  I like the use of the new raven shield on the walls, and then lantern hanging.  The figs are very clear and well posed for the chase.  Your use of the baseplate at an angle really maximizes the area to work with and is a great idea.  I like the little gold statue in the alcove behind the guy with the ruffled collar too!  Some of the little details, like Peaves as a statue, and the decoration of the arches are very nice.  Also the wings on the viking helmet are a nice touch.  I would not have thought of that!  Again here, the plants on the water are well done and consistent throughout.  The staggered layering on the roof of the brown house looks good, too, and your use of color blocking helps delineate the structures.  The angles you chose for the houses are very good and lend a sense of depth to the build, plus a sense of a densely packed cityscape that hearkens to Venice.    Great job!

Very nice work to all of you!  You should be proud of the builds, and I hope to see more of these Varlyrian builds from all of you!

Edited by Grover

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 Thank you, guys, @KevinyWu @mrcp6d no problem! 

@Kai NRG Haha, I know what you mean. Thank you! 

 

8 hours ago, Grover said:

The story is, well, another story.  I find it somewhat difficult to follow and the reasoning doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  The story does not seem to flow well from one build to the other, and the numerous characters with similar names are confusing.  It took me a while to figure out that the Conzagas were used, then betrayed, then the de Fioris were used and betrayed, and who was doing the betraying.  I enjoy complex stories, but the more complex the story, the more clear they need to be.  Perhaps more perplexing is the motivation.  Why would the de Fioris, the second ranked house, help put the di Carlos in as Rego, in the first position?  Or did the di Carlos put themselves there through massive betrayal?  If so, how?  A powerful family like the de Fioris would likely not have risen to where they are had they been naive about being betrayed particularly by lesser families, so there needs to be some good explanation of how conniving and devious the di Carlos are to be convincing, particularly since the di Carlo and di Cioto families have nothing written about them, so there's no history in the Guilds for anyone to read for backstory.  Also, what happened to the Rego Amancio?  He has been 'dealt with', but there is little detail here, especially surrounding the conspiracy.  It's definitely action heavy, but there are a lot of unanswered questions here that lead to confusion, and the beautiful builds do not illustrate some of these aspects of the story.  I think there's a lot of good ideas here and plenty of excitement and only wish it were more clear so I could enjoy it more easily.  I do like the use of the Italian words thrown in to spice things up, and I think they add a very mediterranian/Reniassance feel to things.

I'm sorry you didn't like the story very much! I think you're missing something that should be clear :grin: . Garmadon's De Fiori story comes in between the introduction here and the part where Staffan is assassinated :laugh: . I hope that makes it all clear. Why Garm (and his De Fioris) wanted to make Di Carlo Rego, you must ask him, lol, but he did, there is no denying! And of course the builds as I said are organised with a main picture at the start of each part, so I see why you think it's out of order. Hope that clears some of the thoughts up for you! If not you can read my analysis in response to Bas in just a minute! 

8 hours ago, Grover said:

What are the torsos of the guards around Staffen from?

There are various different ones, most of them are just backwards chainmail from the Red Dragon wave of knights (it was one of the most recent Castle themes).

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13 hours ago, W Navarre said:

I'm sorry you didn't like the story very much! I think you're missing something that should be clear :grin: . Garmadon's De Fiori story comes in between the introduction here and the part where Staffan is assassinated :laugh: . I hope that makes it all clear. Why Garm (and his De Fioris) wanted to make Di Carlo Rego, you must ask him, lol, but he did, there is no denying! And of course the builds as I said are organised with a main picture at the start of each part, so I see why you think it's out of order. Hope that clears some of the thoughts up for you! If not you can read my analysis in response to Bas in just a minute! 

There are various different ones, most of them are just backwards chainmail from the Red Dragon wave of knights (it was one of the most recent Castle themes).

Oh, don't get me wrong, I do like the story, I just couldn't follow it, which is why I wrote asking for clarification and a few suggestions for clarity.  With the idea that Garmadon's story is interwoven, plus the background you provided in the intrigue thread it makes much more sense now.  I had thought the two teams builds were unrelated and I didn't have the other background, so now it all makes sense!  Thanks!

As for the torsos, that makes sense.  I'll have to dig through my collection and see if I have some of those guys to use in the future.  Thanks!

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7 hours ago, Grover said:

Oh, don't get me wrong, I do like the story, I just couldn't follow it, which is why I wrote asking for clarification and a few suggestions for clarity.  With the idea that Garmadon's story is interwoven, plus the background you provided in the intrigue thread it makes much more sense now.  I had thought the two teams builds were unrelated and I didn't have the other background, so now it all makes sense!  Thanks!

As for the torsos, that makes sense.  I'll have to dig through my collection and see if I have some of those guys to use in the future.  Thanks!

You welcome! Glad to know that helped, it would have been better to have Garm's team post first, but they didn't finish until the very last minute :laugh: . Yep, the back of those shirts have some real nice chain-mail with no sigil, so that makes them so useful! 

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When I first read about this challenge, I don't have any idea, how, or what to build. Slowly I learned a lot from this guild, from the others, and from the guilds builds and stories. The builds are great! Really gives the feeling, maybe this collaboration has the best builds. And the story, This is what I was looking for! Betraying, backstabbing murders in every corner! There were so many names, I had to start drawing family trees.:D At the end, I lost in the story a little, but later everything becomes clear, Great job guys! 

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On 6/3/2020 at 12:46 AM, Grover said:

Part IV: @mrcp6d

Wow!  This blends right in with the build from Part III, so much so that it could be connected!  I like the use of the new raven shield on the walls, and then lantern hanging.  The figs are very clear and well posed for the chase.  Your use of the baseplate at an angle really maximizes the area to work with and is a great idea.  I like the little gold statue in the alcove behind the guy with the ruffled collar too!  Some of the little details, like Peaves as a statue, and the decoration of the arches are very nice.  Also the wings on the viking helmet are a nice touch.  I would not have thought of that!  Again here, the plants on the water are well done and consistent throughout.  The staggered layering on the roof of the brown house looks good, too, and your use of color blocking helps delineate the structures.  The angles you chose for the houses are very good and lend a sense of depth to the build, plus a sense of a densely packed cityscape that hearkens to Venice.    Great job!

Very nice work to all of you!  You should be proud of the builds, and I hope to see more of these Varlyrian builds from all of you!

Thanks Grover!  W Navarre and I were basically trading studs (with me mostly stealing them away) to keep our team to the average stud count requirement, so the angled approach was really the only way to do it with the depth I was looking for in the MOC.  Glad you liked our builds! :blush:

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I was once told that conspiracy, threat, sham and backstabing were the motos going on in Varlyrio. This story is an ode to all that. 
A lot of action going on, including assassins, some plotting and manipulation, political maneuvers... beautiful! 
But I must agree that for some of us that are not intensely involved in the Varlyrian plot on a regular basis, it gets a bit confusing. To use so many families, the Conzagas, Di Ciotos, Di Fioris, Di Carlos... while some still don't have a robust background tends to demand more from the reader. And as I'm not that familiar with each ruler and their position, I got a bit lost here and there. But I understand that this too, was one of the demands for this challenge - again, the conspiracy, the backstabing and manipulation among families, so, in this matter, aces for your guys!

Now, for the builds.
You all chose to keep on the canals and eastern cities, and it is impressive how all of the builds have similarities with each other - to the point one might even say they connect. It must have called for a lot of planning, so congratulations on that!

@W Navarre, that interior is incredible, but what really amazes me are the photo angles. It is just like I'm in a movie. The minifig positioning is exquisite, and expressions are top-notch. I must also mention the curtain on the top floor, that looks great - truly an amazing detail. 

@KevinyWu, Outstanding textures really. It feels like a gigantic build in such a limited space. Absolutely beautiful Varlyrian colors and architecture. Lovely roofs and the gondola is awesome, along with the foliage near the water.

@ZlatanXVIGustaf I'm slow-clapping while standing up. What a massive display with so much depth and texture! Really, jaw-dropping impressive square near the canals. And the "addio, uncle" part is just sooo good! Amazing work with the arches and the cobblestone streets are simply beautiful. 

@mrcp6d I love how this looks a bit more simple in terms of texture, but not less impressive. I am a huge fan of builds that keep minifigure-scale just as a lego set would - narrow streets and walkways, walls just high enough for the minifig to walk through.. And you managed to keep the scale in an incredibly full city. Absolutely love the columns and the movement of your build. 

All in all, great entry, guys. I love the Italian feeling you all gave to the story, either with the Italian bits on the text, or the conceptual architecture on the builds. 
A complex plot with complex characters. 
Kudos!

Skol.

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14 hours ago, Louis of Nutwood said:

I was once told that conspiracy, threat, sham and backstabing were the motos going on in Varlyrio. This story is an ode to all that. 
A lot of action going on, including assassins, some plotting and manipulation, political maneuvers... beautiful! 
But I must agree that for some of us that are not intensely involved in the Varlyrian plot on a regular basis, it gets a bit confusing. To use so many families, the Conzagas, Di Ciotos, Di Fioris, Di Carlos... while some still don't have a robust background tends to demand more from the reader. And as I'm not that familiar with each ruler and their position, I got a bit lost here and there. But I understand that this too, was one of the demands for this challenge - again, the conspiracy, the backstabing and manipulation among families, so, in this matter, aces for your guys!

 

Thank you very much, my man! An ode to that indeed, that's what I meant to make this :) . I agree with you, but it was almost a necessary evil to use all the families. I hope that the confusion did not ruin the experience of reading the story. Thank you for the kind words! Writing about Varlyrio is such a thrill, I sure hope to have time to write again soon! Maybe when those Conzaga's take a jab at me, which I'm expecting any day now :wink:

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10 hours ago, W Navarre said:

Thank you very much, my man! An ode to that indeed, that's what I meant to make this :) . I agree with you, but it was almost a necessary evil to use all the families. I hope that the confusion did not ruin the experience of reading the story. Thank you for the kind words! Writing about Varlyrio is such a thrill, I sure hope to have time to write again soon! Maybe when those Conzaga's take a jab at me, which I'm expecting any day now

Well, after seeing so much backstabing and betrayal, I'll keep my paddling boat away from the Varlyrian shores. There's still so much to explore in the white plains of the north...
Mitgardians have a way with dragons, you know. Depending on how things develop on the Varlyrian throne, a different partnership could be in order. Who knows?

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