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Posted (edited)

Of Dragons and Druids

Chapter 4: The Apprentice

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It had been several long years that Gahlen had been stuck working with the dwarves. He didn't dislike dwarves, per se, but he did not like doing dwarf work. It was hard, backbreaking work, especially for a growing boy of half-elf and half-human stock like him. His small frame was not meant for such strain. Or at least that's what he was always telling his father. But of course, Henjin merely smiled and said, "It'll build character," or something else awful like that. 

The worst of it was that Gahlen really just wanted to be out flying with his dragon, but he was not allowed to ride Koeden for more than an hour or so each day, and only short flights at that, since the dragon was still young and his mother did not trust either the dragon or her son to not over-tax themselves or worse, get lost somewhere out in the Mystic Isles that Druidham sat in the midst of. Folks got lost out there and never were heard from again. 

Actually, that wasn't the worst of it. The worst of it was that despite working as an apprentice to Stenkarlek for three years, Gahlen had still never been allowed to pick up a hammer and beat any metal at the forge. Never. He was stuck hauling things for the dwarves, like finished helms that needed to be set in the growing pile of arms outside the armory of Druidham. The armory itself was full, so the forge floor outside it was now piled high with armor, swords, helms, and shields. And it was Gahlen's job to haul it and stack it. 

Blaegrid and Injini got to pound on metal and make stuff, like swords and lanterns and pots. But Gahlen had to haul a barrow. 

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Grinberd could pour molten iron to make swords and cool stuff. But Gahlen had to haul a barrow. 

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The pile outside the armory was growing and growing, and still Gahlen had to haul his barrow, his face covered in grime and soot from the air inside the forge. It certainly wasn't from getting close to the glowing forge itself. Except when it was his job to haul coal to the coal pile in his barrow. And sometimes he even got to shovel the coal into the furnace! What delights!

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Gahlen noticed that Stenkarlek was talking to his parents, who were standing in the doorway with Koeden. He wondered what they could be talking about, but knew better than to try to eavesdrop. In the noisy forge, full of the clang of metal, the ringing of hammers on steel, the shriek of wheels grinding edges, and the whooshing of pumping bellows, it was impossible to hear anything without getting very close. And very noticed. 

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"How has he been doing, Stenkarlek?" asked Henjin Quilones, greeting his old dwarf friend with a handshake. "Is he working hard?"
"Oh, yes, very hard," said the old dwarf. "Though not with a smile on his face."
"Smiling is hard when you are working hard," smiled Galaria, watching her son trudge around the forge floor. 
"Not for a dwarf it isn't," grumbled Stenkarlek. "We take joy in hard work. The harder the work, the bigger the smile."
"Humans and elves are different," said Henjin thoughtfully. "Perhaps he should have a day off to fly with Koeden. Would you like that, Koeden?"
The dragon nodded his head, his eyes lighting up at the suggestion. 
"Very well, then, how about tomorrow?" asked the Druid leader. 
"Fine," muttered the dwarf as he walked away. They could hear him saying something about soft elves and weak humans as he entered the noisy forge. But they just laughed, knowing that the dwarf was only half serious. And old enough to appreciate the differences between the races. 
"Shall we go back to the orchard, my love?" asked Henjin, escorting his wife by the arm. "Look, Rokka is picking apples. Perhaps he will share one with us."

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____________________

........................................

It has been a long time since the previous chapter of the story, a long time indeed. Chapter 3 was over two years ago now! Yeesh, things get busy. 

So I tried to keep the style similar to previous Druidham builds, like the library, kitchen, and hall, but this time to add a bit more detail to the walls. It's subtle, but there. This one might also be bigger than the rest, especially since it includes the outdoor scene. 

I am also using this for several HSS categories, notably Military: Armory, Craftsmen: Blacksmith, and Agriculture: Orchard. I just need to get a build with laborers and I can have a settlement on the map. Unless I decide to count Gahlen as a laborer...

Oh, and Comments and Criticism welcome, as usual. 

I do plan to take a picture or two of just the dragon, for those who ask for such things. I know I haven't done it before, but I really do plan to do it this time, since I am rather pleased with this little guy. [Edit: the picture of the dragon is in the spoiler below]

Spoiler

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Edited by Henjin_Quilones

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Posted (edited)

Great work!  I love the build.  The lighting is awesome, and I love how you have incorporated very realistic medieval feature (such as wooden butresses on stone corbels) and still keep the fantasy elements with dwarves, elves, and dragons.  I think it helps make everything more believable.  I like the story too, which is fun and develops Gahlen a bit.  I am missing Gahlen being the center of attention in the photos.  It might help the story to have one of just him toiling away.  I really like the detail in the orchard and the depth to which you have layered the composition to get a feeling of the indoor/outdoor space.  You have a good eye for photography and depth of field.  The cast steel is great, and the barn style track door is a fun feature.  You have a lot of good detail with the chains, etc. that help make this feel very life-like.  I also like your mixing of the LG and LBG, and the fact that you have not added a lot of DBG and other 'off' colors to break up the stone.  I am curious how old Druidham is.  If it is supposed to be older, you could add a bit more texture to the walls, even keeping them all LBG/LG to show some wear, as the forge and walls are pretty smooth and square.  On the other hand, if this is supposed to be new, or you have a story reason for the dwarves keeping the forge in perfect shape, then that's another thing all together.  The use of the big, unusual slopes at the top of the forge is creative, and that floor looks good (but must have been a pain to line up!). Lots of nice attention to detail in the stone arches (forge, windows).  Really beautiful, and I hope to read more of the story soon!

Oh, and are we going to see all of these builds put together for Druidham at some point or do you tear them down after the photoshoot?  I'd love to see them all in one place!

Edited by Grover

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Posted (edited)

If ever there was a need to proof LBG does NOT have to look boring, here it is! Extremely impressive, extremely realistic and extremely cool. Of course the details are stunning, and of course the interiour height of the building makes a difference - but best of all, the lighting beats everything I have ever seen. Can't tell how exited I am about. 

Edited by derEselausErgste

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I love it, Henjin! It when you said something about it had been too long since you had built for Druidham, I did not expect you to follow up on that so soon. And this is definitely not a half-hearted one! Your lighting, which was already great, is stunning here! Beautiful high ceiling! I can tell this build is very big, but the enormous door and furnace, and hanging chains help to make the whole thing feel cosy. The forging activities are great, but the choice of having the elves checking in on their son and the playful dragon peeking in are especially nice touches to the scene. And lovely writing! Cheers, man! :thumbup:

Also, I just noticed that your sigfig looks like you. :D 

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8 hours ago, Grover said:

Great work!  I love the build.  The lighting is awesome, and I love how you have incorporated very realistic medieval feature (such as wooden butresses on stone corbels) and still keep the fantasy elements with dwarves, elves, and dragons.  I think it helps make everything more believable.  I like the story too, which is fun and develops Gahlen a bit.  I am missing Gahlen being the center of attention in the photos.  It might help the story to have one of just him toiling away.  I really like the detail in the orchard and the depth to which you have layered the composition to get a feeling of the indoor/outdoor space.  You have a good eye for photography and depth of field.  The cast steel is great, and the barn style track door is a fun feature.  You have a lot of good detail with the chains, etc. that help make this feel very life-like.  I also like your mixing of the LG and LBG, and the fact that you have not added a lot of DBG and other 'off' colors to break up the stone.  I am curious how old Druidham is.  If it is supposed to be older, you could add a bit more texture to the walls, even keeping them all LBG/LG to show some wear, as the forge and walls are pretty smooth and square.  On the other hand, if this is supposed to be new, or you have a story reason for the dwarves keeping the forge in perfect shape, then that's another thing all together.  The use of the big, unusual slopes at the top of the forge is creative, and that floor looks good (but must have been a pain to line up!). Lots of nice attention to detail in the stone arches (forge, windows).  Really beautiful, and I hope to read more of the story soon!

Oh, and are we going to see all of these builds put together for Druidham at some point or do you tear them down after the photoshoot?  I'd love to see them all in one place!

Thanks, Grover! Yes, I try to make my builds as realistic as possible, kind of like you do, while also adding the fantasy elements that I want in the story. After all, dwarves, elves, and humans, not to mention dragons and the other races, all need to live in decent houses, eat decent food, and use decent tools. It makes the fantastical elements more believable if they are grounded in a real world that works like our own, I think. 

I agree that a shot of just Gahlen would have been good to have. Wish I’d taken one!

Thanks for the kind words about the photography. A lot of the design process is determining how to get the final shot, like placement of trees and how to arrange the windows, so it is nice to hear that it worked well. 

Druidham is supposed to be fairly new, being built up by dwarves only in the last 10 years or so, so it is supposed to be new stonework. That’s why the walls are not decaying in any way with cracks or the like. And no, you will never see all the different parts together, since none of them has ever existed at the same time as any other section - my parts collection is large, but not that large! And my storage space is not that large, either! The base on this, just the building, is 64x64, and the orchard is on a 48x48 base, though, to be honest, neither base is fully built since I knew what wouldn’t be in the shot…

8 hours ago, derEselausErgste said:

If ever there was a need to proof LGB does NOT have to look boring, here it is! Extremely impressive, extremely realistic and extremely cool. Of course the details are stunning, and of course the interiour height of the building makes a difference - but best of all, the lighting beats everything I have ever seen. Can't tell how exited I am about. 

Thanks for your kind words! Glad you like the lighting.

2 hours ago, Exetrius said:

I love it, Henjin! It when you said something about it had been too long since you had built for Druidham, I did not expect you to follow up on that so soon. And this is definitely not a half-hearted one! Your lighting, which was already great, is stunning here! Beautiful high ceiling! I can tell this build is very big, but the enormous door and furnace, and hanging chains help to make the whole thing feel cosy. The forging activities are great, but the choice of having the elves checking in on their son and the playful dragon peeking in are especially nice touches to the scene. And lovely writing! Cheers, man! :thumbup:

Also, I just noticed that your sigfig looks like you. :D 

Yes, my sigfig does look like me, as close as I could get for the face/hair, at least. I don’t have cool armor or a sword, though.

I’m glad you like it! Not sure how soon the next installment will be, but there will be a next installment eventually. I have to get my settlement on the map at some point, right?

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Great scale and details.
I wonder how big it is?
Very impressive, I love it. :)

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Beautifully lit and detailed, and as others have said the scale is also very impressive. Good work!

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Posted (edited)

Your interior scenes are always realistically lit and this is no exception, I love the way the light sparkles in the windows and floods the floor!  The story was great too, and I really like how many bits of things you've got going on in the scene without it looking cluttered at all--the high wall and rafters give it such a good balance.  Great door design too, and I'm very impressed that you built a whole dragon, I'd just have done the head and tip of a wing if I were doing a scene like this. :laugh:  Definitely want to see some pictures!

Edited by Kai NRG
tipo...

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I can really appreciate that you built a full dragon! Looks nice, but also makes it clear that mixel joints in other colours are loooong overdue!

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On 7/8/2021 at 11:40 AM, Niku said:

Great scale and details.
I wonder how big it is?
Very impressive, I love it. :)

Thanks! All told, it’s about 110x64 studs, though not all are built due to the planned camera angle.

On 7/8/2021 at 12:36 PM, Judge of the Wastelands said:

Beautifully lit and detailed, and as others have said the scale is also very impressive. Good work!

Thanks!

21 hours ago, Kai NRG said:

Your interior scenes are always realistically lit and this is no exception, I love the way the light sparkles in the windows and floods the floor!  The story was great too, and I really like how many bits of things you've got going on in the scene without it looking cluttered at all--the high wall and rafters give it such a good balance.  Great door design too, and I'm very impressed that you built a whole dragon, I'd just have done the head and tip of a wing if I were doing a scene like this. :laugh:  Definitely want to see some pictures!

Thanks, Geneva! There’s a trick to adding enough clutter to make it realistic without damaging the cohesiveness of the composition; sometimes I think I get it right, other times not. I think this one works, though.

1 hour ago, Exetrius said:

I can really appreciate that you built a full dragon! Looks nice, but also makes it clear that mixel joints in other colours are loooong overdue!

Amen! Preach it, brother, preach it! Non-bley Mixel joints would be a godsend.

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absolutely love this one, every detail, every minifig. 

 

This must be a huge build.

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The forge is really impressive and cavernous. I love the massive and no-nonsense architecture, with still a subtle pattern in the walls and some statues and banners. The sliding door is a great idea too.
I especially enjoy the photo of Grinberd : that slightly glowing molten iron looks perfect.

On 7/8/2021 at 2:17 AM, Henjin_Quilones said:

Unless I decide to count Gahlen as a laborer...

Poor boy would sure deserve the title! :laugh: 

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It is great to hear from Druidham again!

The scale of this MOC is truly mind-boggling - so many cool things to process! I love how you built those large "blocks/slabs" in the wall! I also love the sliding door, the dragon, and those trees in the background. 

I noticed that the floor tiles have some gaps and are diagonal - what technique did you use for this?

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On 7/20/2021 at 8:38 AM, Servertijd said:

absolutely love this one, every detail, every minifig. 

 

This must be a huge build.

Thanks, and yes, it is quite large! Large enough for dragons, since it's in Druidham.

On 7/23/2021 at 4:40 AM, Aurore said:

The forge is really impressive and cavernous. I love the massive and no-nonsense architecture, with still a subtle pattern in the walls and some statues and banners. The sliding door is a great idea too.
I especially enjoy the photo of Grinberd : that slightly glowing molten iron looks perfect.

Poor boy would sure deserve the title! :laugh: 

I was particularly pleased with how well the lighting turned out on the pouring iron myself! It was just luck of the light, but I could not have done it better had I tried. No-nonsense is a great description for the style I have been trying to maintain throughout Druidham. It should be practical with a certain elegance, but not fancy.

On 7/26/2021 at 8:42 AM, socalbricks said:

It is great to hear from Druidham again!

The scale of this MOC is truly mind-boggling - so many cool things to process! I love how you built those large "blocks/slabs" in the wall! I also love the sliding door, the dragon, and those trees in the background. 

I noticed that the floor tiles have some gaps and are diagonal - what technique did you use for this?

Glad you like it! The floor is done with 2x2 tiles set on 1x1 round plates and then angled at 45 degrees to the standard stud grid. If that doesn't make sense, maybe I can take a picture of what the underside looks like, or maybe I can find someone else who has done a tutorial on it. Surely the Snyders have at some point...

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