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Posted (edited)

So, when I said that I possibly didn't have time to make an entry for this contest, because of Nocturnus Civil War (NCW) stuff I'm doing, someone suggested I could combine the two. And so I did. :grin: Side note: I'm starting to see that I'm way more involved in building architecture, and much less in building scenes where lore actually happens, so I still have two large creations from last year that I haven't posted yet. I do have a plan though, trust me™. :tongue: Anyway, I'll put the entry first and then the NCW lore part.

Ssilyrrlith's Retreat: Royal Nocturnian Residence

Before the days of the Nocty Civil War, Lord Ssilyrrlith, ruler of Nocturnus, would once and so often leave Abyssian and swamp that he calls home behind, and move to his summer residence (quite literally). It is situated in the Siccus Badlands, specifically on the northern banks of the Fallen Angel, where skies are often clear, the air is dry and temperatures are high. This small military outpost was initially built to gain more control over the disputed Badlands region, and as such it serves as the southwesternmost cornerstone of the Nocturnian Empire. The little stronghold residence is a place where Ssilyrrlith comes to gain some peace of mind - up in his tiny tower room, and do a bit of voluntary studying. Nevertheless, sometimes his duties catch up to him, in the form of his trusted feathered messenger!


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The tower opens up in multiple sections to reveal staircases, ladders, and Ssilyrrlith's detailed tower room, featuring furniture (cabinet, desk, bed, chair, sadly not all in the picture...), luxury items, writing and reading material, and a functional toilet which exits at the back of the tower! 

 

Feathers of Fate

[Nocturnus Civil War] Ambush in the Rakath
[Nocturnus Civil War] Onwards, to the Moruth Highlands!
[Nocturnus Civil War] Turmoil in Camp Carakath
[Nocturnus Civil War] Zotharians in the Underworld
[Nocturnus Civil War] Rockwail's Catacombs: Rise of the Undead


It had been quiet at the residence outpost for months -  no, seasons on end. This far out in the Siccus Badlands region, major events of the Nocturnian Civil War; of the Algus invasion; the conflict in Kaliphlin; or even the rise of the true Heir to the Historican Throne, were little more than clouds on the horizon, or rumbles in the distance. With two exceptions. The first was eight months ago, when an elven messenger on their way to Avalonia passed by and reported that Abyssian Castle, with Lord Ssilyrrlith in it, was under heavy siege, and for some time already. The military staff present was shocked by this news, brought to their ears by a stranger, and initially didn't want to believe it. For all they knew, the "Hesperian", as that messenger had claimed to be, could be anyone. So, in a higher state of alertness and preparedness, they waited for orders. Those never came. Three months later - this was the second instance, the Hesperian returned, with a army of warriors seemingly drawn from all corners of Historica, and they were heading towards the battlefields at the Moruth Highlands. Now realizing the gravity of the situation, the full military unit, save for a couple of caretakers of the residence, joined the army and left for the blood-drenched heart of Nocturnus. And since then, it had been quiet...

Mael, on of the caretakers, gazed out over the Fallen Angel stretching out before the stronghold, mostly shrouded in mist and fumes. Another empty day? Probably. But then he heard a familiar squeak, coming from the sky. He look around and was both delighted yet nervous at the sight of Aras, Lord Ssilyrrlith's loyal messenger bird, which was making a rapid circular descend.
 

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He hurried to the platform in front of the gate, while notifying the other guard. Aras greeted him quickly with a nod, but the look its eyes was insistent. Mael pulled a letter from behind its broad white-feather collar. He passed it on to his colleague, who was more literate. "Mael, I can't believe it..." he stumbled, as he went over the letter again and again. "It says... it says Abyssian.. has fallen."


 

---
So that concludes both the entry and the story continuation, I hope you enjoyed!

Edited by Exetrius
added NCW story

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Another Nocturnus build!
Great evil-exotic vibes from this construction, and the colours are also great.
I really like it. Very well done. :thumbup:

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Really pretty.  It looks very Kaliphlin-esque but is in Nocturnus, so maybe it's Nocturniphlin? :grin: Love how you merged the Kali architectural style with some Nocturnus landscape elements.  The whole scene looks great.  I love the flowers with the spider legs around it.  I only wish the pictures were bigger.  Even zoomed in all the way on Flickr, there's some lost detail there.  Where's Lord Ssilyrrlith?  I don't see him in there.  Keep up the good work, it's great to see another Nocty build!

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There's something strangely appealing about the mix of colors here--and also about the offsets you've built into it.  As I said on Flickr, the spiky vegetation is also really cool, and very appropriate for Nocty!  I also like your presentation, with the dark grey fadeout.  Definitely a really unique entry with lots of character--not by any means "just another tower!"

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2021 at 6:40 AM, Niku said:

Another Nocturnus build!
Great evil-exotic vibes from this construction, and the colours are also great.
I really like it. Very well done. :thumbup:

18 hours ago, Merlo said:

Epic. Love the colours.

Thanks guys! :sweet:
 

15 hours ago, Grover said:

Really pretty.  It looks very Kaliphlin-esque but is in Nocturnus, so maybe it's Nocturniphlin? :grin: Love how you merged the Kali architectural style with some Nocturnus landscape elements.  The whole scene looks great.  I love the flowers with the spider legs around it.  I only wish the pictures were bigger.  Even zoomed in all the way on Flickr, there's some lost detail there.  Where's Lord Ssilyrrlith?  I don't see him in there.  Keep up the good work, it's great to see another Nocty build!

Thanks, man! Yeah, where IS Lord Ssilyrrlith? :shrug_oh_well: Well, the castle Abyssian was under long and heavy siege in the Civil War, so he had little reason to be on holiday... As far as pictures go, I'm trying my best. I'm taking pictures with a DSLR camera, but I'm much limited in my knowledge and set-up, perhaps also by my lens. I'm still struggling to get everything to look crisp and clear, especially the darker parts. 
 

12 hours ago, Kai NRG said:

There's something strangely appealing about the mix of colors here--and also about the offsets you've built into it.  As I said on Flickr, the spiky vegetation is also really cool, and very appropriate for Nocty!  I also like your presentation, with the dark grey fadeout.  Definitely a really unique entry with lots of character--not by any means "just another tower!"

Thanks for your compliments, Kai! :sweet: I while building, I was trying to think of an interesting purpose for this tower, and then I got the idea of a royal tower, which allowed me to push the colours and architecture a little further. Interesting to hear you like the fade-out. I still need to remove the background of my builds because I depend on indirect natural light in my room and I have a shallow, amateur, sheet of paper for background. And I don't have photoshop. I do have a programme that can cut around the countours, but it's completely manual and only in one go, so that's a painstaking job. So my usual approach is to cut out with a good margain around the build, replace the background with a white that I've settled on for all my builds, and then retouch where the margain and background meet. This time I had little light available and couldn't really fix that during editting, so the fade-out is more pronounced, and I was doubting if it would work out this time.

Here's a simple alternative edit that I made in Paint that I considered instead:

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Ultimately I don't like the natural background and I don't think it would look good if I'd do this to all my builds, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this. 
 

Edited by Exetrius

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Now, that's a cool stretch of a tower concept. Definitely a tower! But so much more than that.
The mixed architecture works beautifully, the vegetation is great and spooky, the inhabitants-guards are impressively unique, and those spikes up-top are the nicest touch. 
Cool addition of the feathered messenger and the fact it has an interior only makes it more impressive. It kind of reminds me of your Zotharian Underworld, which I loved.
Great entry, mate! Awesome work.
Skol!

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5 hours ago, Exetrius said:

Ultimately I don't like the natural background and I don't think it would look good if I'd do this to all my builds, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this. 

The fade worked way better than the natural background would have I think, it removes the awkward shadows and lets you focus more on the build.  It actually looks so good, that I'm not sure a completely white background would be anything more than equally good.  However, if you'd been able to get more light on the build, the picture could have been a little sharper.  But as far as the background goes, you did a great job turning a handicap into a presentation technique.

It probably is not something that would work for every build; it looks good here because you have an interesting profile that moves in and out, but I expect that it would be awkward around something that were more rectangular.  I can say though, I'll be keeping the technique in mind in case I find myself having to take pictures with strong shadows sometime when I'm hurrying for a deadline or whatever!

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Cool tower!  It definitely has that Nocty vibe but transported to Kaliphlin.  The spiky plants also feel appropriately dangerous.  :thumbup:

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19 hours ago, Louis of Nutwood said:

Now, that's a cool stretch of a tower concept. Definitely a tower! But so much more than that.
The mixed architecture works beautifully, the vegetation is great and spooky, the inhabitants-guards are impressively unique, and those spikes up-top are the nicest touch. 
Cool addition of the feathered messenger and the fact it has an interior only makes it more impressive. It kind of reminds me of your Zotharian Underworld, which I loved.
Great entry, mate! Awesome work.
Skol!

Thank you, Louis! The bird was a fun build for sure. :) Yes, I have adopted a few features of that build (teal, tower with dome, spikes and spiky plants), although that build couldn't be viewed from all sides, didn't have an interior, didn't have other funtionalities (opening doors or hatches), and wasn't complete as a structure, while this one has all of that! :grin:

17 hours ago, Kai NRG said:

The fade worked way better than the natural background would have I think, it removes the awkward shadows and lets you focus more on the build.  It actually looks so good, that I'm not sure a completely white background would be anything more than equally good.  However, if you'd been able to get more light on the build, the picture could have been a little sharper.  But as far as the background goes, you did a great job turning a handicap into a presentation technique.

It probably is not something that would work for every build; it looks good here because you have an interesting profile that moves in and out, but I expect that it would be awkward around something that were more rectangular.  I can say though, I'll be keeping the technique in mind in case I find myself having to take pictures with strong shadows sometime when I'm hurrying for a deadline or whatever!

Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it! :sweet::thumbup:

15 hours ago, mrcp6d said:

Cool tower!  It definitely has that Nocty vibe but transported to Kaliphlin.  The spiky plants also feel appropriately dangerous.  :thumbup:

Thank you! You know, it's always good to have some extra natural defenses around your stronghold. :wink:

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Glad to see some Hesperian messengers still flying around! It's been a while since I was back in Hesperia. Heck, it's been a while since I was in Druidham! I should build for the Guilds more...

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Great color use and some really interesting shapes :thumbup:

I however definitely like the alternative further down with a more homogeneous clean background better than the faded cutout. 

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18 hours ago, Henjin_Quilones said:

Glad to see some Hesperian messengers still flying around! It's been a while since I was back in Hesperia. Heck, it's been a while since I was in Druidham! I should build for the Guilds more...

I thought a little reminder wouldn't hurt indeed. :tongue: 

10 hours ago, Gideon said:

Great color use and some really interesting shapes :thumbup:

I however definitely like the alternative further down with a more homogeneous clean background better than the faded cutout. 

Thanks for your compliments and your feedback, Gideon! :classic:

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Great tower.  I like the colors used, looks good together.  The top of the tower looks great with the spikes on the corners.  The spikey plants at the base work well with the build and really speak  to the way the badlands look.  That bird is fantastic, love the use of the cmf neck piece on the bird really great idea.  

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Interesting color choices for this build.  I like the base for the MOC with the the wonderful-yet-stark thorn bushes on the dark tan ground/rocks.  The curve of the the corner wall is nice too.

I really like your white brick-built bird and how it is flying next to the tower.  I'd say the tower itself is too colorful.  I really like the shapes you've chosen and how you tiered it, but it is harder to see that with the color changes.

On 6/1/2021 at 4:44 AM, Exetrius said:

Ultimately I don't like the natural background and I don't think it would look good if I'd do this to all my builds

I like the 'neutral' background better than the faded one myself (though not the gray border) - the fading is most distracting to me than the shadows.

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On 6/4/2021 at 2:41 AM, zoth33 said:

Great tower.  I like the colors used, looks good together.  The top of the tower looks great with the spikes on the corners.  The spikey plants at the base work well with the build and really speak  to the way the badlands look.  That bird is fantastic, love the use of the cmf neck piece on the bird really great idea.  

Thanks, zoth!

On 6/4/2021 at 8:19 PM, jtooker said:

Interesting color choices for this build.  I like the base for the MOC with the the wonderful-yet-stark thorn bushes on the dark tan ground/rocks.  The curve of the the corner wall is nice too.

I really like your white brick-built bird and how it is flying next to the tower.  I'd say the tower itself is too colorful.  I really like the shapes you've chosen and how you tiered it, but it is harder to see that with the color changes.

I like the 'neutral' background better than the faded one myself (though not the gray border) - the fading is most distracting to me than the shadows.

Thanks for your feedback! I wanted a cohesive spread of colour throughout the build, to tie different sections of the build together, but maybe you see that more as jumping from one colour to the next in some places?  

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This piece slaps. I love the color, it's a bold choice, and the other details like the vegetation and characters (and that bird) all represent the more fantastical side of Historica. Reminds me why it's such a shame Nocturnus doesn't get the attention it deserves!

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19 hours ago, mccoyed said:

This piece slaps. I love the color, it's a bold choice, and the other details like the vegetation and characters (and that bird) all represent the more fantastical side of Historica. Reminds me why it's such a shame Nocturnus doesn't get the attention it deserves!

Hey, thanks a lot! :blush: :sweet: I did my best to add the fantasy flavour to flora and fauna, to differentiate it further from the common Kali or Middle East desert setting, I'm glad you like it! Look forward to more Nocty builds this summer! :wink:

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Nocty at it's best, as we've come to expect from you, mate!  Loving your unusual color choices, and the tan decorative work throughout pulls it all together and makes it very cohesive at the same time.  The curved section in front is quite delightful and eye-catching, and your landscape and those spiky balls are incredible and instantly dispel any doubt about where this tower is!  Kudos on getting a nice interior in there all the way up too! :classic:

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On 6/19/2021 at 8:35 PM, Garmadon said:

Nocty at it's best, as we've come to expect from you, mate!  Loving your unusual color choices, and the tan decorative work throughout pulls it all together and makes it very cohesive at the same time.  The curved section in front is quite delightful and eye-catching, and your landscape and those spiky balls are incredible and instantly dispel any doubt about where this tower is!  Kudos on getting a nice interior in there all the way up too! :classic:

Thanks for the high praise, Garmadon! A lot of the sections you mention were fun and/or rewarding to do, but hearing the overall thing is enjoyed as a great Nocty build... feels extra good! 

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