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Ross Fisher

[OL - AMRCA] The Tale of the Charon

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913 posts

Thank you! I'm happy you liked the development of the story... and also that, differently from my first arctic storyline, we managed at least to get past Tam!

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Chapter VII. - Butchers' Bay

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As the Gwenivar crept on northbound, the waters darkened and the weather slowly became even colder than when the party had left St. Gallo on Oléon’s shore. Tiny flecks of snow sometimes fell from the grey skies, rendering the world around the ship in shades of black, white and grey. Only the hardiest of sailors venture this far into the Northern Ocean. In this vast remote area of black water, drifting ice and wind blasted rocky islands, a whaling station was founded to supply the whalers that hunt here.

‘Butchers’ Bay’ station sat on the shores of Durand’s Rock - which as it name implies, was a mostly forgotten barren island of rocks and snow that was once discovered by the now mostly forgotten Jacobus Durand. His legacy was about as barren as the eponymous island, since most folks referred to the whole island as Butchers’ Bay anyway.

As the crew made landfall on the small settlement, they were overcome by the scents, sights and sounds of the place - intensified by being stuck on a ship for a while. Gulls cawed as they circled in the air, only to come down and scavenge the leftover pickings of whale cadavers, that were processed outside on bloodstained wooden terraces built intro the shores of the island. Creaking cranes and chains dragged the corpses of whales onto the platforms, ready to be drained of everything valuable and cut up to feed the consumer markets in the civilized lands down south.

The air was filled with the ferrous smell of fresh blood, mixed with a putrid touch of rot and death. It made Archambeau’s nostrils flare in ecstasy and the gory display of butchery brought a sparkle to his eye. Small details that hadn’t passed captain Kerouac's gaze unnoticed. That guy creeped him out. There was an unsettling, unholy aura around him. Sadly, they were bound together in this journey and Ambrose could only hope that the Felon slipped on some ice on the Gwenivar’s deck and somehow tumbled overboard. But then again, that would stain Kerouac’s good name. No captain wants a dead man on his ship.

The concise shore party navigated its way through the wooden buildings and narrow, snow packed corridors of the settlement until they found Archambeau’s contact. Ambrose hated the plan, but it was the best they could do for now. He had disliked about everything during the trip so far: his passengers: how the Priest changed course and goal seemingly at random, the weird Guide they had picked up on Tam. There was some secretive play going on over his head and he couldn’t stand it. Ironically, the miserable weather and the unforgiving ocean were the most positive aspects of the expedition. A home away from home.

“You Klaus?”, the Captain grunted at one of the bloodstained butchers working a whale. He turned towards the Felon and muttered: “This your guy?”

Archambeau nodded affirmatively.

Ambrose sniffed his nose and spat on the ground. He peered around, briefly contemplating the situation. “Alright”, he sighed. “Take care of our little alimentary conundrum.” Aggressively he pushed his finger into Archambeau’s chest. “Get us the food. Decent food, mind you, so we can be on our way. Don’t plough this up. By Argus' Eyes, I'm watching you.”

Archambeau grinned. “No worries, cap’n. These are my kind of people. We speak the same language, I can get us a good deal. I’ll fix us some food," the Felon pushed the Captain's hand away slowly and continued, "and I'll do it cheaply as well."

 


 

Here's an alt outtake, showing the mighty Duplo whale in all its g(l)ory:

Spoiler

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1596 posts

Perfect use of the whale. Great continuation once again!

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10248 posts

Such a clever way to use only half the whale!  Great little scene.

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Chapter VIII - On the Cold Seas

Archambeau slipped beneath the shutter. Mess had just been called, so he had, at most thirty minutes. This storm had kept a lot of the ship's company below decks, so finding a chance to squirrel his haul away had been hard.
Not that it mattered, really. He didn't have much to add. A few trinkets picked up Tam, the ship's spare silverware, the buttons from the priest's formal cassock. Nothing that would be missed for a while. Even so, it was barely worth making the trip. 
He quickly worked his way back through the hold; carefully counting the bulkheads until he found the right one. No mistaking that trio of knots in the woodwork. Quickly checking over his shoulder, he slipped an iron bar into place and pried the plank off. A pouch sat there, and he slipped his goods into it. 
He checked again. No-one to interrupt him. Good. The more he moved into this stash, the worse it would be if it was uncovered. A more cautious man would've split it up into a few places. But, then again, a more cautious man probably wouldn't be in his position in the first place. 
He sealed the compartment, and made his way back to the entrance hatch. 
"How many have you killed?" a voice asked. Archambeau flinched. Who the hell!? "Over here, lad." A man was sat on a chair, a knife in one hand scooping wood shavings off of, something. Who was that? Sorensen? Had he seen the stash? Could he afford the risk? This might be the only crew member he absolutely needed alive if he was ever going to get home. 
"Asked you a question, lad. How many have you killed?" Who asks that?
"Enough to know there's no smart answer to that question." It was all he could think of in the moment. 
"Heh, smart men don't get themselves stuck on a ship into the heart of desolation. You and I are fools as much as any other here. How many?"
"What is it to you, old man?" 
As the Pilot looked back, the lamplight caught a curious gleam in his eyes.
"The killings'll start soon; just like before. This far north; this close to the Gates of Tartarus; normal folk can't handle it. The bleakness, the silence. The skin-shrinking cold. "They crack.
"Times like that, a competent killer's worth knowing. Could be he'll help you out in a tight spot. 
"Someone who's too good at killing, though; he's more trouble than he's worth. He'll be sure you die before him. So which are you?" 
He stopped carving, and held the knife in a low, tight grip. The sort of grip that could carve up through a man's guts and leave him dying a slow death. Archambeau took a step back.
"I'm not looking to make enemies here," he answered. "If I betray you, you'll be back home with your brothers in front of a warm hearth before you realise it."
"Small comfort, that." 
The ship suddenly lurched, as it took a rogue wave in the broadside. Both men struggled to right themselves. Archambeau stayed well clear of that knife, and looked the pilot in the eye. 

Listing to Port

 

"Believe me. Nothing I do to you will bother you enough to leave your front door. I'm not the one you need to worry about on this voyage."
"Oh no? Who then? The captain; the miser who would rather have done this without me?"
"What about the priest? Sure, he's all smiles now. But he's a true believer. Anyone who'd prefer the word of their god over their fellow man - not a wise choice of ally when the blood starts flowing."
Archambeau made his excuses and left. He spent a moment to reflect on what he'd just learned; there was a lunatic at the tiller. Just what they needed.  

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2654 posts

So cool! Very dynamic scene! Love the idea of the tilted vignette.

Also a very nice vignette by @Khorne with the whale! I also like that blue hut in the back and the pipe. Looks like the red-handed minifig has still some chopping business to do! But they are wasting the bowels that lay around everywhere. Where are the seagulls when you need them? :pir-grin:

Great story everyone :thumbup: Keep it up!

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On 6/2/2024 at 3:21 PM, Fraunces said:

Perfect use of the whale. Great continuation once again!

On 6/3/2024 at 5:50 PM, Kai NRG said:

Such a clever way to use only half the whale!  Great little scene.

Thanks! The whale was a surprise Bricklink find that just happened to work.

 

5 hours ago, Yperio_Bricks said:

Also a very nice vignette by @Khorne with the whale! I also like that blue hut in the back and the pipe. Looks like the red-handed minifig has still some chopping business to do! But they are wasting the bowels that lay around everywhere. Where are the seagulls when you need them? :pir-grin:

A butcher's work is never done when you're working at a whaling station!

 

Great addition, Ross. The tilting adds such a great visual effect and drama to the build. The fish flying about and the posing of the figures give it a palpable sense of motion.

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Posted (edited)

@Khorne and @Ross Fisher, both your builds and stories are amazing!

The whaling station really has a unique feel, I love the colour scheme and how you managed to pack so many details in such a narrow space! The use of the Duplo whale is also surprisingly effective!

I also love the result with the tilted deck! How did you block the fish at such a weird angle? The result is amazingly dynamic!

Edited by Keymonus
Wrong crediting of the builds

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jeff of Clubs said:

:pir_laugh2: @Ross Fisher built that! My next one is coming. Stealing the priest's buttons:pir_laugh2:

Wrong quote, my fault! Consider it a pending congratulation for the future!

Be careful not to steal the wrong buttons, or my character could end up in embarrassing situations… ”The priest is naked!” 

Edited by Keymonus

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On 6/8/2024 at 12:33 PM, Keymonus said:

also love the result with the tilted deck! How did you block the fish at such a weird angle? The result is amazingly dynamic!

Some of them were put in there with the trans clear angled stands. Some were just hanging in there, though. 

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