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Found 574 results

  1. On the edge of the forest in the native village of Walt Herboï, the dragon clan has installed a watchtower to provide protection to the villagers. However there are counterparts, the village regularly brings food to the soldiers, sometimes manufactured objects and more rarely men to swell the ranks of the clan. Today, Walt takes over from his late father and comes to deliver his letter of commitment to the dragon clan.
  2. In Avalonia there can be found a multitude and a variety of forests, yet the most intriguing continues to be The Enchanted Forest, that very few dare to enter. Natural Harmony by Arfelan Nest, en Flickr I am very happy of building a forest scene. Hope you like it. Thanks for watching.
  3. socalbricks

    [MOC] Ayra

    Back in 2017, I built a Centaur MOC and put it on Flickr. Looking back on it, it was pretty basic, so I decided to revamp it and make it part of the "Guilds of Historica" universe. After a lot of trial and error, this is what I wound up with. The character's name is Ayra, and she is from Avalonia. I don't have a light box at the moment, so I decided to get some outdoor shots instead. Hopefully I can get some clearer shots and come up with a backstory in the future. Enjoy! Ayra (4) by socalbricks, on Flickr The figure comes complete with a bendable waist, which I achieved using backwards minifigure legs. Ayra (2) by socalbricks, on Flickr Some more shots... Ayra (3) by socalbricks, on Flickr Ayra (1) by socalbricks, on Flickr
  4. The build: The story: The life of a fungus herder could be a lonely one. Most mushrooms were skittish creatures preferring the quietness of the deep forest and the solitude of their own kind. Too much sunlight, noise or disturbance and they grew slowly or not at all. For this reason, fungus herders were often quiet, introspected folk. Some of the most renowned fungus herders in all Historica were the tree-folk of the Enchanted Forest. Tree-folk were often reclusive themselves, sometimes living out their entire lives in the same valley or grove. Their introspective nature enabled the tree-folk to discover the magic of fungi – both metaphorical and mystical: the phosphorescence of gilled Pixie chalices; the healing power of Witches’ Steeples; or the purifying abilities of Spotted Purple Caps, capable of negating evil rot incantations. Of all the tree-folk sub-races in Historica, the best fungus herders came from the grent sub-race. Although few grent would admit it to outsiders, part of the secret to their success was that they could form symbiotic relationships with many fungi. Tiny fungal hyphae would wrap around grent roots and even penetrate the root interior. The fungus provided its grent partner with minerals in exchange for nutrients and other chemicals the fungus needed but could not produce itself. This skill enabled the grent to intimately monitor the health of their herds and encourage spore growth. Even grent, however, sometimes needed help propagating their fungal herds. In a grove within the Enchanted Forest, stood three ancient standing stones. Twice the height of a man, these stones stood in a slight semi-circle. For most of the year they stood grey and largely unadorned; not even moss or lichen marred the surfaces. At the autumnal equinox, however, faint traces of purple and silver runes appeared carved into the rockwork, hinting at a long-forgotten magical purpose. Uncovering one – likely incidental – use for this magic, the tree-folk had repurposed the standing stones for the annual, highly anticipated fungal swap meet. Grents, other tree-folk and the occasional wild dryad would herd their finest fungal specimens across the forests to this one grove. Under a full moon, the magic of the standing stones would ripen the fungal spores, which spawned in vast multi-coloured clouds. The air seemed almost to sparkle as moonbeams fell on clouds of spores. The normally solitary tree-folk were affected by the occasion too, becoming almost giddy. They swapped stories and news; traded fungal specimens; and, on occasion, frisky grents even coupled to propagate baby grent saplings. This particular year, the first to arrive at the standing stones were a small group of grent. There was Ngaio, herding a troop of sharply-pointed Witches’ Steeples; the juvenile sapling Mahoe attending his first meet and showcasing some tiny puffballs, most still waiting for their pinks caps to erupt; and Kawa, corralling a mixed herd of Firecracker white caps and Sour Buttons. They were all good samples and likely to generate plenty of interest when the trading began in earnest. All focus, however, was on Kauri, or more specifically the magnificent specimen he was showing off. ‹Is that an Ogre’s Eye? I didn’t think there were any left!› said Kawa. ‹Is that actually up for trade?› asked Ngaio. ‹I’ll give you all my puffballs› added Mahoe. The Ogre’s Eye was a rare mushroom that was pale green in colour and with a large black spot on its crown. From above it resembled a large eye, hence its common name. While striking in appearance, this was not the reason it was causing a stir. The Ogre’s Eye was bioluminescent and soaked through with magic. It was an ingredient in many potions and highly sought after by elves, mages and even Nocturnan necromancers. Kauri let their excitement wash over him before responding. ‹Hah, no way! I’ve already got a buyer lined up in Cedrica. This one is just for show - I've already removed all its spores. I thought you’d like a look before I make my fortune.› Kawa looked away to hide his disgust. This was a classic move by Kauri, who loved showing off but also proved damn successful at almost everything he tried. Kawa moved off to inspect Ngaio’s troop, refusing to give Kauri any more attention. Tiny Mahoe, however, was clearly impressed, shuffling up for a closer look. Thankfully the moment didn’t last long, with another arrival. A hulking tree-man shuffled into the standing stones glade, preceded by a collection of red and white capped -shrooms. ‹Baob, you’ve really packed on the rings› said Ngaio in greeting. ‹You look like you’re ready to go to seed!› When tree-folk reached a certain age, they gave up their mobility to put down roots. ‹True, I am. This will be my last swap and I’m giving away all my troops in preparation.” Baob was a different sub-race from the grents, a much stockier group known as mallowmen. Three large trunks grew from his hunched back curving outward in gentle lines. The offer of free mushrooms was enough to entice tiny Mahoe to the newcomer. ‹What is it with everyone going to seed all of a sudden? First Rimurapa, now you› interjected Kauri, shifting his specimen in a transparent attempt to restore attention to him. ‹Rimu’s gone to seed?› said Kawa in shock. He’d always been close to that particular grent and it came as a surprise to hear the wizened mentor had settled down without letting him know. ‹Yes, over by the Notomys’s coast› Kauri preened delivering the news to his rival. He’d intended to wait until there was more of a crowd before doing so, in order to embarrass Kawa in front of more kin. Hearing that development, Kawa immediately lost interest in the swap meet. While he needed to stay to revitalise his herds, he resolved to visit his old friend as soon as he the meet wrapped up. He wanted to perform the fungal exchange rituals known to ease the transition to a sedentary state – and find out what had caused his friend to seed years earlier than expected. The herders and their herds: From left to right: Kauri - the Ogre’s Eye; Kawa - Firecracker white caps, Sour buttons; Mahoe - pink cap puffballs (mature and immature); Ngaio - Witches’ Steeples; Baob - red-capped toadstools, pink-spotted boletes, red hard-caps Build notes: Comments and constructive criticism welcome!
  5. The golden dragon tavern-inn benefits from an extraordinary location close to a hot spring. The virtues of these bubbling baths attract a large female clientele. The dragon clan garrisons are also regulars here. Are they attracted by the quality of the beverages served in this tavern, by the regular presence of women from elsewhere or by the name given to this place? Certainly a bit of all three. Only the elves living in the nearby forest take a dim view of the presence of soldiers and personalities who have come from so far to the border of their forest-sanctuary.
  6. - Alright, move! - shouted down the master scribes, to his apprentice, but the ladder didn't move at all. - Apprentice! Did you fell asleep again? - He reached in his pocket, to grab a pebble, and dropped it. The pebble perfectly falls and hits the sleeping boy on his forehead. With a loud snort, he woke up, and lookup. - I'm glad you are with us again Arnoult, now would you be kind, and move the ladder to the right... Right, Right! The other right! - His shout echoed in the dark corridors, as he grabbed tightly the ladder, and tried to protect the ink, from spilling out. - You imbecile! Gently! If the page will be ink-stained, I will skin you, and you will be the cover of the reissued Illustrated Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment! Do you know how long it took to brother Bertran, to draw that Decorative capital initial? The Boy looked up. He already saw the raven-shaped K letter on the top of the page. Soon, he could draw one of them too. But first, he must survive the terrible fate of the apprentice. - It took three fu... - It took three full days, to draw it! - interrupted the old man on top of the ladder, as he holds a bunch of paper in his hand, and dipped his pen in the ink. - We are already behind schedule! The fourth book is upon us! We need to finish the third one soon as we could! What a surprise! Ran through the thought in Arnoult's head. We are always behind schedule... He looked around in the Hall of History. Books, scrolls, maps, letters. An immeasurable amount of information about Historica. Kept in the dim darkness, of these halls, so the sun couldn't damage both the paper and the content. Letters, pictures, stories, and tales came here, from all of the kingdoms, so the folks down here, can register them, and safeguard them for posterity. In front of the Third Book, a large table take its place. Wast mountains were created with paper, books, and scrolls. And only three brave souls were tasked, to explore it, and find the next topic for the following pages. - Damn it! - cursed the master from above. - The inkpot is almost empty, in the middle of the sentence... Where is an apprentice when I'm in a hurry! - A minute grandmaster! - came the answer, from a moving tower of books. - Just need to put this down... As the young apprentice arrived at the table, he gently dropped down the books. The old table creaked, and the three old scribes peeked out from their books. They look liked the mountainers, who reached a higher point of their journey, to realize: there are still more mountains ahead for them... - Psst! - came hissing from behind Arnoult. As he turned around, the young boy stood behind him. He must be lost in his mind and stared blankly, didn't noticed the other boy. - I saw you always holding the ladder, to the master. How long it took to write these big books. - It depends, how often we receive content. - Arnoult leaned on the ladder next to him, pretending he knows everything. - And why are they so huge? - That's easy. The master is blind as a mole. - he smirked. - And he didn't want to wear glass... Ouch! Again, pain struck his head. He again looked up, just to get hit by another one on his forehead. - Unlucky for you Arnoult, my ears sharp as a fox's. Don't hold up apprentice Dan fulfilling his task! - the master put the remaining stones into his pocket, and look to the other boy: - Don't just stand there! Move, or we will never finish the Third Book! and without Book III. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When I first read about this challenge, I asked myself: What to came up with. Started wondering about huge beasts, great ancient places, mystical locations. In that thinking, I came up with another realization: Everybody will build their entry around what he likes. Those, who like magic and mysticism will create places with ancient great powers. Those, who like buildings will create ruins and palaces of old times. And me? Well, I like the lore, the history, to tell a tale not only with words but with pictures, little everyday happenings captured in a scene. That is why I choose, to create the Halls of History. To show you not only bildings and landscapes could be ancient, but history and lore too. And also a little humor and 4th wall-breaking. :) Hope you like it! C&C are welcome.
  7. « New Hope » Grange in Marginea (Avalonia) Walt was not immediately accepted into the Dragon Knights ... indeed he is not of legal age yet, but it is only a matter of months. Walt already imagined himself training hard, fighting, riding dragons. He will have to arm himself with patience, while waiting, he has to earn a living ... so he will work hard on a small farm not far from home. Everyone knows it there and the crops, livestock and people still need water!
  8. CMF Guilds of Historica - It’s all about power! The power! Strength, charisma, courage, intelligence or even sometimes cunning and betrayal are all weapons allowing access to power ... and this is true for all kings, queens, leaders and dictators on the borders of this world. Others obtain a unique power, either from birth, or through hard work and rigors: Magical powers, invocations, hypnosis ... a real asset to reign. Avalonia : The Green dragon’s Clan Avalonia - « King » Dagorn : self-proclaimed king of the dragon clan The sound of horses charging in battle is known as "the flight of the dragon ». Dagorn, always loyal to his steed, set out to find and train dragons to destabilize enemy armies on the ground. The "flight of the dragon" is to be taken at face value from now on. Avalonia - Alienora « the Dragon Queen » Alienora is an expert in martial arts and potions. She uses many poisonous plants and the venom of certain reptiles to coat her weapon. Avalonia - Dovahkiin : the dragon rider mage Dovahkiin was the first to ride the dragons. His complicity with them allowed him to forge a sword with their effigy under the flame of one of them. Avalonia : Elves from the enchanted forest Avalonia - Aranrùth : King of the deer clan Elves are known to be peaceful but ready to do battle when they feel threatened. It is the same for deer, Rather harmless in normal times, it is often fatal for a predator who will attack it. Aranrùth decided to bond with this animal in order to go on the offensive. Avalonia - Fíriel : Queen of the deer clan Fíriel has the distinction of having a drow ancestor. If that lineage was rather hidden by her parents and her grandparents, on the contrary, Firíel proudly claims this blood tie explains certain traits of her character. Avalonia - Aldaron : Protective mage of the sacred tree Aldaron is one of the few elves to have discovered him in the middle of the Enchanted Forest. That day, however windless, a branch fell at his feet. Since that time, he uses the power provided by it to protect this forest and its peaceful inhabitants. Varlyrio : Nomadic orcs of the wasteland and their beasts Varlyrio - Durzum : the nomadic orcs chieftain Durzum is an expert in combat but his power comes mainly from his business acumen. The caravan of nomadic orcs travels from city to city to exchange textiles, spices, works of art and even weapons. In negotiation, snickers of his tame hyena often give him an edge. Varlyrio - Urzul the war princess Urzul appreciates the blood and dust of desert battlefields as much as the perfumes and jewelry she wears at receptions in Valyrian residences with grandiose architecture. Varlyrio - Wudugog the black Magus Who says orcs are cruelty and barbarism? Wudugog, following an accident from an early age did not have the physical capacities of his fellows. He immersed himself in books and not just any book : He excels today in black magic ... you know: cruelty and barbarism! Kaliphlin : The deserts orcs and their reptilians mounts Kaliphlin - Shraknus : the Warrior King Shraknus is the leader of the desert orcs clan, riding the most dangerous creature this world has known: the velociraptor. It will be necessary to redouble vigilance to avoid his saber and the claws of his mount. Kaliphlin - Ujalzia : the desert Queen Perched on her mount and using a spear as her weapon, she is also able to throw it like a javelin at her enemies. Ujalzia is not one of those queens who remains sheltered during combat ... on the contrary, she is regularly found in the heart of the fray. Kaliphlin - Aknashk : the reptilian archmage It took all the power of Aknashk to bring back to life the dinosaurs that serve as the mounts of the desert orcs. his specter has a strong hypnothic power which allows him to control them totally. Mitgardia : The dwarves of the bear clan Mitgardia - Doradraic Beasthand : Leader of the bear tribe Doradraic is full of courage and incredible strength. He will have needed both to be able to face and domesticate a bear ... His charisma and this bear which accompanies him in combat are enough to make him the leader of an emerging tribe: the bear tribe. Mitgardia - Thesilynn Wyvernmace : The crown princess Thessilynn is the adopted daughter of King Doradraic. She losts both parents in battle: Kimic Wyvernmace, the best blacksmith the clan has known and Gabelynn Beasthand, the king's younger sister. Nocturnus : Skeleton armies from the Eastern Moruth Swamplands Nocturnus - Shralazar : the necromancer Shralazar is on the last line during the fighting ... not out of cowardice but because of his ability to transform the freshly deceased bodies of their enemies into a skeleton soldier who reinforces the ranks. Nocturnus - Shebetha : the summoner Shebetha is a queen with immense power. She is able in one night to bring back to life an entire army of living dead. After each fight, his invocations bring their victims back to the bottom of the swamps ... who will be their future allies. I really enjoyed creating these figures (and a few other that I didn't select this time!) But also seeing the inventiveness of the other participants! You have a few days left: I want to see more minifigs !
  9. The build: Anton's Bait Shop The story: Anton was something of a fixture in the sleepy hamlet of Notomys. The burly and gregarious fisherman was always ready with a tall tale or a free filet for a family in need. While his Bait Shop sold supplies – hooks and bait, smoked fish and seafood – many villagers stopped by more for entertainment. There was that story of Anton riding a manta ray right up the estuary; his claim to have caught a gorgeous naiad with his lucky lure (actually a rather furious were-beaver); or the yarn about how he drunk some visiting dwarves under the table – and what a low table it was! When the Drow incursions into Avalonia reached the Enchanted Forest, Anton was one of many local men lining up for the Notomys’ militia. It was a mixed-race contingent, reflecting the diverse population of the village and its surrounds: men and wood elves, jerboans and were-beasts, even the odd local orc. Unsurprisingly, the militia operated in a somewhat chaotic fashion but it did enough to harass and harry the Drow and buy enough time for support to arrive from a unit of fleet-footed elven stag cavalry. Sadly, while Anton returned from the war, he did not survive it. Shot in the leg by a poisoned Drow arrow, Anton was carried home by one of his fellow militia, a weathered grent known as Rimurapa. The unlikely pair had bonded when Anton shared a few, stumbling words of greeting in the old Druidic tongue with the tree-man. The fisherman had learned the phrase from his wife, a wood carver and devotee of the old ways, until she passed on after the birth of their second child, Gorki. Anton spent his final week with his children, Sofia and Gorki, retelling familiar stories. Most stories ended with a rip-snorting punchline, but they also contained wisdom and nuggets of fishing knowledge – where the fattest trout liked to sun themselves on winter days or the best bait for catching the rare, blue woolly eel. In truth, he needn’t have worried: although still a young woman, Sofia was a natural at crafting traps and snares that even the wariest crustaceans were draw to. Gorki was still merely a boy, but Anton knew the village would help raise him into a man. Still, fathers were fathers. Anton’s final words were directed not at his children but at Rimu: “Promise me, you’ll watch over my kin. Promise!” Rimu promised. Grent ways were mysterious, even to those that had lived among the forest folk for centuries. Anton couldn’t have known he would be taken literally by the grent with Rimu sinking his roots deep into the soft silty soil behind the fishing shack, going to seed. Years passed from that sad day and still Rimu stood tall, watching over the grave of the father and his dear children. Seasonally, the grent’s limbs bore juicy purple plums while edible mushrooms sprouted from his trunk. Between this and Sofia’s seafood catch, the orphaned siblings not only survived but were able to set aside a little coin. Sofia bought chickens – the lucky birds were allowed to shelter inside the shack when storms struck – grew a veggie patch with some gifts from the market gardener and even mended the leaky roof. The Notomys villagers did their part, too, by continuing to support Anton’s Bait Shop. Now, though, the roles were reversed: it was the villagers sharing their favourite story of the gregarious fisherman or supplying a free meal to a family in need. Build notes: C&C welcome and appreciated.
  10. Hired Hands of Historica Queens rule and warriors battle, but workers propel Historica forward. These are the hired hands of Historica. I created these minifigures for the Guilds of Historica 2nd count down challenge. There are members from all five guilds as well as Cedrica. Kaliphlin Jaffar the Monkey Trainer The aristocracy of Kaliphlin likes their monkeys trained, might as well collect extra profit while I’m at it Pouri the Attendant Fanning the king is exhausting Sesur-hat the Scribe Drawing one map is fun, a dozen copies is not Varlyrio Drad the Deck Hand After two months at sea, I long for the harsh Wastelands Sofia the Back Stabber If the poisoned apple doesn’t work, the direct approach will Elias the Net Maker Mending nets is better on my back than reeling them in full of fish Mitgardia Thodil the Ice Cutter I don’t know why humans don’t get their own ice, mining it is much easier than mining rock Aðalgeir the Furrier Harsh winters create the best business Gjertrud the Snow Shoveler I’d give half my wage for a sunny day Avalonia Ailmer the Lumberjack 𝅘𝅥𝅮 I’m a lumberjack and I’m ok… Fanes the Farrier My work is all the separates you from the ground Neddi the Gardener If you step on my flowers once, you won’t do it again Nocturnus Mudgul the Miner At least there is no ghastly sunlight down here Ruak the Bone Craftsman I’m the best in the over and underworld Koglodzar the Slave Driver I can’t believe I get paid to do this! Cedrica Esther the Chambermaid You wouldn’t believe what the Queen did last night!
  11. Henjin_Quilones

    CDC2 CMF: Henjin Quilones

    The Guilds of Historica 10th Anniversary Collectible Minifigures By Henjin_Quilones Avalonia: Benjamin Stenlund Chronicler, poet, and philosopher from the Royal Guild of Letters in Albion "No, I don't do autobiography." Quickroot Butterfly-loving Grent of the Enchanted Forest "I am Grent?" Ayriel Greenbough Centaur princess, who sings to the birds while she frolics in the meadows "You want turtledoves? I've got twenty! But who cares, no big deal, I want more!" Thom Mayne Weather-beaten North Coast lobster fisherman and sea captain "Catching lahbsters is a pinch, Ah mean, a cinch!" Kaliphlin: Kyrival Ithi Humble innkeeper from Mophet, serving traders along the Oil Road some of the best distilled spirits "You want another round, Sweetcheeks?" Jairus Hippokles Cosmopolitan centaur hairstylist and barber from Petraea "You'll be the mane attraction after I'm done with you!" Kan Tork Nomadic desert shaman from the Siccus Badlands "The smoke from my green fire's the thickest, I'm the best shaman in the whole dry Siccus..." Mitgardia: Logh MacThror Champion caber tosser and ax thrower "Ach, just a wee dram more o' this aqua vitae, thank you very much!" Dworthi Forkbeard Stunning dwarven beauty, once named Miss Mitgardia while representing Omurtag, and now a skilled miner "What are you looking at, Babyface?" Jelsa Ice witch from the Frozen Beyond who just wants her father to let her make her own decisions "The cold never bothered me anyway." Nocturnus: Pickface Purple hobgoblin from the magical crystal mines deep beneath the Rakath Mountains "You know what would be a really kick-megablocks name? Pickface!" Bautor de Sange Noble vampire warrior from the city of Shadowmere and fifth cousin, twice removed, of Lord Vladivus "I promise not to bite..." Laeon of Katton-on-the-Marsh Lionell who makes a living collecting mushrooms with his pet pig, Baekkyn, in the Moruth Swamplands "I'm pretty sure the red one is edible, and the tan one poisonous. Baekkyn, what do you think?" Varlyrio: Hai Sairuk Centaur archer and warrior from the western Wastelands "Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!" Moussi di Tacci Bravo and thrill seeker from Illaryian, known to do most of his thinking with the tip of his sword "Stick her with the pointy end, er, I mean, stick them, ahem, haha..." Noim Venqi Gnome inventor and chemist, famous for having both of his eyebrows despite his advanced age "Eurekaaaaouch!" ___________________________________________ I love collectible minifigures. I love minifigures in general. So of course this challenge is always one of my favorites. I went a bit centaur-heavy on this one, probably should have swapped one of them out for an elf, but oh well. Yes, I know there is still time. But my kids separated some of the figs and now the heads are lost somewhere in the massive pile of unsorted ABS on my building tables, so it's just too daunting to consider. Better luck to me next time, I guess.
  12. socalbricks

    CDC2 CMF: socalbricks

    Here is my entry for CDC2 Category 1: Populating Historica. Enjoy! Cedrica and Valyrio from left to right: Queen Ylspeth: The Queen of Historica in her “ceremonial armor”, which she wears at certain military functions/ceremonies. Though she rules securely from Cedrica, she worries that she might one day need to use it... Marilla Danza: a tiefling and former slave who freed herself after leading a revolt. She and her crew of freedom fighters have been disrupting the underground slave trade between Valyrio and Kaliphlin, raiding slave ships and freeing their captives. Gerard Renwick Sinclare III: Second son (and the only bachelor) within a powerful family of Valyrian aristocrats. He is the only one in his family without any heroic tales to tell. Having lived an uneventful life, he seeks adventure in an effort to prove himself. Mitgardia Ivar Lonswain: an “eccentric” sea captain who ferries “unscrupulous people” between Mitgardia, Avalonia, and Valyrio. His pet lobster, Claudette, is blood thirsty and capable of surviving out of water indefinitely. She has a body count large enough to fill a multi-volume book. Ivar is the only one who can pet her without being dismembered. The Ivory Priestess: a mysterious priestess who collects bones. Her methods of acquiring these bones vary from rummaging around in the waste piles of butcher shops to brazen grave robbery. Her intentions for said bones are currently unknown. Zapato: a Minotaur butcher of few words. How a member of a usually herbivorous race became an expert on meat is anyone’s guess. People ask him if it "ever feels weird for him to be serving beef" - they receive a death glare in response. Avalonia Gertrude "Gerti" Eilinger: a prominent cultural anthropologist from the University of Albion. She travels all around Historica with her team of researchers. Having just finished a thesis on Cyclops cultures of the southwest Mitgardian lowlands, she has now set her sights on a group of “camel centaurs” (cameltaurs?) that some allege to exist in the Siccus Badlands. This has elicited controversy among her fellow academics, who claim that her theories are “absolutely preposterous”. This has done little to deter the enthusiastic anthropologist, though. Brielle Valken: adopted older sister of Ayra Valken, and captain of the Knights of Duranya. Described as a “natural born leader” who leads from the front, she has earned the respect of her fellow knights time and time again. The same cannot be said for her relationship with the bureaucracy. In a field where nepotism and “favors” leads to promotion, Brielle’s polite refusal to “brownnose” has left her without many allies in the upper brass, and without many means to progress her career. Though this sometimes frustrates her, she would ultimately rather be "on the ground" then cooped up in some office. Shriana: an elven sorceress who betrayed her kind before being banished to another plane of existence. Bargaining with dark powers, she has returned in a cursed, spectral state (neither alive nor dead) to exact revenge on her fellow elves. Kaliphlin Jalla Vaswani: a naga bounty hunter and assassin engaged in a fierce rivalry with Kars. A top earner among Kaliphlani mercenaries, she has become a minor celebrity in parts of Kaliphlin, flaunting her success with expensive silks and the best weaponry. Keeper Radina Roshti: the dedicated (if not slightly aloof) keeper of the Queenscross archives. Located deep beneath the sand, she oversees and guards thousands of years worth of knowledge. Ranging from "schematics of buildings that don't (officially) exist" to "forbidden spells", the texts would prove dangerous if they fell into the wrong hands. Armando Sabatheel: bar tender at the Tipsy Tree. Applying excessive amounts of pomade to his hair (down to his “trademark curl”), he can be smelled from meters away. He claims to be popular with the ladies (proof needed). Nocturnus Magda: a mysterious chemist with an entirely unknown past. There are no records of them or their work in any of the five guilds - their age, gender, race are all a mystery. Ulriq has deduced that, if those records ever did exist, they were likely wiped from existence by those in power. Magda is too experienced in their field to have not had a history. The only things that are unquestionable is their expertise in their field and their complete sociopathy. Recently, they have joined the Crimson Knives after being offered "career opportunities" by Ulriq. Bastio: an orc soldier who fashions himself as a “survivor”, allying himself with whoever he thinks is the most powerful. He has allied himself with Ulriq, but will betray him at the first sign of weakness. Unbeknownst to Bastio, Ulriq is well aware of this fact; he only tolerates Bastio because he “drives him to be better”. Ulriq: the mysterious and charismatic leader of the Crimson Knives. Hailing from an influential Nocturnan family, he was sent to Avalonia before Raavage considered the family a threat to his power. With his family subsequently purged, Ulriq was the lone survivor. A year later, he would join a Cedrican commando unit, fighting alongside Kars and Cobold. Parting ways after the war, Ulriq returned home to his native Nocturnus and claimed his family’s hidden wealth. With Raavage’s purported death creating a power vacuum, the whole kingdom is now in chaos, and Ulriq has sought to make a name for himself by any means necessary. Countess Irina Vachau: living in her isolated castle in northern Nocturnus, she has a prized collection of "vintage bloods" in her cellar. Visitors to her castle also have a nasty habit of disappearing. She insists that she definitely isn't a vampire, though. ___________________________________________________________________________________ When I heard that CDC2: Category 1 would involve a CMF, I knew that I just had to take part! Given my small workspace and limited parts collection, I've never been able to build larger MOC's - instead, I've focused almost entirely on minifigures these past few years. Something like a CMF challenge was one of the few Guilds of Historica challenges I could feasibly participate in. Some behind the scenes info on this series: I had a lot of fun working on this series and watching what the other contestants have/will come up with - I wish you all the best of luck!
  13. I thought I'd never been able to finish that build in time for the challenge...It's my biggest MOC so far, and hands down my most complex one. I don't even know how many trials and errors it took before those wings actually looked like wings! Anyways...here is my entry to the GOH Anniversary 2nd count down challenge, in the "Ancient Wonders" category. --------------------------- The build: A druidic mausoleum, deep in the Enchanted Forest of Avalonia... --------------------------- The story: Chronicles of Embervale Episode 2 - the Moonbird Mausoleum Read the previous episode Featuring… Alrune The Elf Maiden, Lady of Embervale, mage Dresghar The Chronicler, her uncle, erudite Evrart A soldier Ancient heroes, long forgotten "Uncle, would you please pay attention?" Alrune cried out, desperately trying to drag him away from the lute he was tuning. "I’m reading you a message from mom!" "What does my august sibling want?" he asked, out of pure courtesy. "She wants a heart." How great, this time he did react: he was raising an eyebrow. "A heart? Well, I knew she didn’t have one, but I thought she was unaware of it," he sneered. "And not just any heart. She wants the heart of some girl named Lloergan. It seems to be important for her - she even says please. Twice! As if I had nothing better to do than…" "Lloergan, you said?” Dresghar interrupted. "That’s interesting. What else does she say?" "Nothing. She has just included an antique map, with a red..." He snatched the map from her before she could finish her sentence. She rolled her eyes – with him, there was no such thing as a middle ground. Seconds ago he did not give a damn, and all of a sudden he was like a kid on Midwinter morning. "Druidic. From the First Era, I’d say. Most probably authentic," he mumbled, inspecting the map. "So what?" "So it’s likely to show the actual location of Lloergan’s mausoleum, sweetheart." "Holy pretzel, Uncle! Am I supposed to understand what you’re babbling about? Who’s that girl?" He cast her a bemused look. "What, you’ve never heard about her?" She let out a sigh as a few notes suffused, and he began to sing an hour-long epic drama – the story of Lloergan. It was a rather classic legend, featuring an impossible romance, feuding families, and many curses. But in the end, it all boiled town to a shapeshifter, a druid of ancient times, who gave her life protecting her people from an – of course – evil sorcerer. After her tragic fall, struck by a wicked spell, nothing intact remained of her but her heart. The druids of her circle embalmed it and placed it inside a mausoleum built in her honour, somewhere deep in the ancient forest, in a place long forgotten. "And that’s the heart your mother is coveting," Dresghar concluded. "Given the remote location of the mausoleum, there is a chance it has been preserved from tomb raiders and other inquisitive adventurers. Especially when youngsters like you have so little knowledge of ancient lore!" "Whatever. I’ll send Evrart. He’ll retrieve that heart and mom will leave me alone." "You’ll go with him, sweetheart, this mission may require finesse! Besides, it will do you a world of good to go gallivanting around the forest. You spend way too much time inside with your books and your cats." --- The Ancient Forest was tinged with gold and speckled with rust, yet still full of life and sounds: the joyous trills of lively birds, the gentle babble of puckish pixies, the rustling of leaves in the fresh breeze. Before long, morning mists would enshroud the lakes. Valleys would echo with the roar of mighty stags. And nature would slowly fall asleep, in a flamboyance of light and colours. Valiant heart and noble spirit, the Elf Maiden had set forth for the mausoleum of the legendary Lloergan with a single guard. They had ridden for days, following broad paved roads, then proceeding on narrow paths winding through the forest, and finally making their way through the undergrowth. And soon, in a beautiful glade bathed in sunshine, they reached their destination. [Excerpt from Dresghar’s later telling of the journey in the Chronicles] --- The druids had built Lloergan’s mausoleum in the shape of her favourite animal form, a moonbird. Its wings spread around a terrace, finely sculpted, the large figure was still pristine centuries later. At its heart, framed by opalescent stones, were a massive silvery urn and three delicate statuettes: Lloergan herself, and her two closest companions. "I was expecting something more impressive," Alrune mumbled – in blatant bad faith, Evrart judged, given that she was staring at the mausoleum with her eyes wide open. "And I was expecting a ruin, my lady," he retorted. "Could the heart still be in the urn? This seems way too easy." "We’ll know it soon. Let’s go and check!" The heart, skilfully embalmed, was still in the urn. And there was not a single trap protecting the mausoleum. No warden. No protection spell Alrune could detect. The situation was quickly getting on Evrart’s nerves. His conscience already bothered him about desecrating the grave of a hero and, somehow, seeing said grave be so cooperative with plunderers made their mission feel even wronger to him. "That’s ridiculous!" he grumbled at the end of the day. "How can a centuries old, so-called forgotten place be so…immaculate? Apart from a few leaves on the ground, it’s impeccable. No wild grass, no creeper, not even a proper crack in the stone! And the heart is still there, just like the stones and the statuettes!" Alrune shrugged. "We’re in the ancient forest. Maybe some hermit comes from time to time to clean up? Anyways, no-one remembers that place and no-one ever passes by. There’s no-one to damage the mausoleum and loot its riches." "Well, that is, except from us. Aren’t we precisely here to loot the most precious relic from this place?" A frown crossed the elf’s face, and she did not answer. As she spent the rest of the day sulking, giving her guard one-word orders and replies, he began to suspect his remark had hit a nerve. --- In the middle of the night, while he was sleeping fitfully, he was suddenly startled awake by a harrowing cry shortly followed by a low rumbling. Still drowsy, he drew his sword and rushed towards a faint halo gleaming in the direction of the mausoleum. As a second thundering noise resounded, he spotted Alrune firing some kind of shockwave at two spectral beings hovering and wailing around her. "What happened?" he shouted, rushing at her side before realising his bland steel weapon would have no effect on their opponents. "I don’t know! I was in the mausoleum, and they attacked me!" One of the ghosts brushed past him, cold and distressing, and he felt his strength failing him. The constant howling of the creatures kept ringing in his ears, clouding his judgement, slowing his moves. He stumbled, struggling to keep his balance. He suddenly sensed a sharp discharge of energy, and his sword became colder in his hand. It occurred to him that the blade was now enshrouded in a shadowy, ethereal mist: the elf had cast something on it. He heard her yelling something indistinct, seconds before the rumbling of one of her magic attacks rolled again. One of the ghosts vanished in a last shriek. Evrart pulled himself together and attacked the other one. He had been a man-at-arms since he was strong enough to wield a weapon, and his combat reflexes came back quickly. Already weakened by Alrune’s spells and vulnerable to the now magic sword, the second spectre soon disappeared like the first one. "Why the heck were you alone in the mausoleum in the middle of the night?" Evrart asked more harshly than he actually intended, while glancing around to ensure that no threat remained. "I was putting the heart back in the urn. I can’t…do that anymore. Obey orders I don’t understand. Do fishy things on the whim on my mother. I’m fed up with her caprices and dubious plans!" Evrart remained silent for a moment. The lady’s words sounded somewhat bratty and unclear to him, and he had no idea what kind of things she had done before he got to know her. Anyways. Whatever her reasons, her decision of putting the heart back seemed fair to him. "If you were setting things right, then why did the ghosts attack you?" he finally asked. "They were Lloergan’s two companions, weren’t they?" "I think so. But they were probably not protecting the mausoleum anymore. Most spirits fade after un-death, losing conscience and memory. They might not remember who they were, nor where they were. Then nothing heroic remained in them, only the cold and despair at being trapped in between worlds." --- When they left the place at dawn, Evrart turned back one last time before entering the woods behind the elf. And there, in the morning mist floating over the mausoleum, he distinguished the faint figure of a beautiful lady all clad in white, watching them leave with a smile on her pale face.
  14. kahir88

    CDC2 CMF Kahir88

    This new challenge gave me an opportunity, to came up with two ideas, but after it was restricted, for only lego parts, I had to release the second idea, and go full with the first one. This time too, I want to show you, another dark part of Historica. The... Crime and Punishment Collectible Mini Figures. As I saw other entries earlier, It was mostly, about simple residents, trades, professions, and sometimes heroes. I want to show you what crimes can be committed in Historica, and how justice will be served! Every Guild has its own ways, to inflict pain, so, let's get started: ---------------------------------Avalonia-------------------------------- - Mask of Shame Punishment for various small crimes. Not every punishment requires blood to flow. Sometimes a little humiliating is good enough. It could be any, smaller disruption, like swearing, brawl, deception, etc. The person must wear a metal mask, with a little bell on the top of it. It will remind the nearby locals, who is coming, so they could greet with a nice word or some rotten food. The victim also has a sign, what was his or her crime. The time also differs, how long must they endure all of this. - Poachers Fate Punishment for poaching. The elves could be cruel too. Especially, when they caught you, poaching and desecrating their forest. First, they catch you. Then, they tie your hands back. And the fun part here starts. They put a bee or wasp hive on your head. Then they release you. They will laugh at you, but you wouldn't hear anything both from your screaming and from the buzzing insects. It could end up in different scenarios: You could blindly run in the forest till you die, from the stings, or smash into a tree, hoping the hive cracked, and not your skull. If you are unlucky, a big brown mammal will join in the pursuit, of the honey. - Witch Burning Execution method. Not everyone likes magic. The simple folks, sometimes couldn't handle it. They see magic as an evil tool, which must be eradicated. The villagers gather in big riots, dragging the suspect in front of the village elder. And he must consider, to save the girl and face the angry crowd, or just simply kill her, so the residents could calm down. Nothing extra, they gather up logs and sticks, tied the girl to a pole, and light the fire. In rare cases, they actually kill a witch, but in many cases, the trials are against girls, who are weird or someone who is envious of her, and this is the best way, to remove her. --------------------------------Kaliphlin-------------------------------- - Hot Situation Punishment for peculation. In Kaliphlin there is a lot of ways, to punish the wicked. For example, for peculation, the accused is dragged outside the desert, tied to a cactus, or buried to the neck. But they gave them hope. A flask of water is placed next to him. So, it will be ironic, die by dehydration, why the water was in arms reach. - Boiling Point Punishment for recidivism. Get punished for a crime, is one thing. But if you keep committing crimes, and you won't learn anything from the punishment, is an error, which needs to be solved. The kind leaders of Kaliphlin came up with this method. With a hammer and chisel, they carve a little hole in your skull. The next step is to boil some water, when it's ready, they simply pour it into your skull. You will never have a sinful thought. Or any other thoughts. - Artifact Compression Punishment, most commonly, for cheating. Magic using isn't a common sight in the art of torturing. It's mostly causing pain, but sometimes there are business gaps. The target audience is the cheated wifes and women, thirst for revenge! The man is lured into a trap, and the paid sorcerer casts the spell on them. Removing moisture from their body, and Turning them into small statues. They won't die, but they not lose consciousness. They remember these times, like a never-ending dream. Oh, and don't forget the thirst. If you want them, to turn back, just simply toss the little statue into water. They will suck it up, like a sponge. Soon a dried and wrinkled raisin-like figure appears. He won't cheat you again. --------------------------------Varlyrio-------------------------------- - Sleep With the Fishes Execution for piracy. Sometimes the executions don't need to be so fancy and expensive. Just grab a chain, some weight, and toss them out in the open sea. While sinking into the depths, with your last breath you can think about, "being a pirate is alright with me"... - The Last Laugh Interrogating method. This time you will have the last laugh. Everyone has their weakness, which the torturer will gladly exploit. They will take off your pants, and put you in the stocks. Then the torturer brings in various equipment, to tickle you. Most commonly, they use feathers, but it could be a plant with irritating touch, long animal fur... even they dip the victim's feet into salted water, and brought in a goat, to lick it. Tickles can be really harmful, if they do it, for long, like vomiting, incontinence, losing consciousness, or die. - Belt of Virtue Punishment for fornication. Not everyone is able to close their legs at the right time. Fortunately for them, this device will not let any intruder in and will remind you all the time during your punishment. It's important, to be clean it unless you want to wear a rusty iron belt around your private parts or stink like a sewer. Don't worry ladies of Historica, there are male compatible models too! --------------------------------Mitgardia-------------------------------- - Freeze to Death Execution method for desertion. No one likes deserters, this is a fact. And there are many ways, to punish them, for abandoning their duty. In Mitgardia, they knock them out, brought them into the northeast point of the country, and left them there. If they wake up, they could try to get back to the civilization, before they freeze to death. Not many could achieve this, and the many frozen statue in his region is a bad sign for them. But, if they still manage to return, they are branded for life. The frostbites on their body will remind them for the rest of their life, what they have done. - Breaking Wheel Execution method. One of the gruesomest ways, to end someone's life. With this public execution, the viewers will think twice, before committing any crime. The victim was tied to a large wheel, and with a large hammer, the executioner started breaking the limbs. One by one. Why the wheel? It says, it was invented by a lazy executioner, who was too lazy, to go around the victim, to break all their limbs. He simply just turned the wheel, to strike down. When all of the limbs were broken, they killed the criminal, and erected the wheel, with the broken body, as a warning to all criminals. - Punishment Shaves Dwarven humiliating method. This method is most commonly used on dwarfs, but there are cases, when it was used, on other races. Dwarves' prestige is measured in their beards. It's a shame if a dwarf must shave it off. And bigger shame, if someone shaves it, for them. So the dwarf has to start growing their beard back again and earn his respect and prestige back again. And to endure the humiliation of others. --------------------------------Nocturnus-------------------------------- - Rat Torture Interrogation method. The torturers are very keen-eyed persons. The best of them don't need expensive devices, just look around, grab a bucket, a torch, and a rat, like... the usual stuff in a dungeon. Put the animal in the bucket, then squeeze the bucket into the victim's stomach, and start heating it. The rat has only one way out, and if you won't start talking, you will be in the way, for the rat's freedom... - Slow Slicing Interrogation method. Every living creature can endure pain. And the torturer's job is to find out, what are their limits. This method is simple, you will need a really sharp knife. Steady hands aren't required. And you start slicing your victim, like a juicy ham, until they stop screaming in agony, and start telling the information, what you need. - Ravaage's Stool Interrogation method. Thanks to Lord Ravaage, many exotic torturing devices were used, during his reign. This four-legged stool, with a wooden pyramid on the top. They started lowering the nacked accused on the pointy edge of the pyramid, ensuring it, to cause pain... "Where the sun doesn't shine". The time for this torture differs, minutes, hours, days, some they hang weight on the accused's feet, to maximize the effectiveness. Torturer And there weren't be any torturing without the specialist. No one knows, what twisted thoughts are in their minds, and what history they had, to drive them in trade. Without pity or remorse, they do their jobs, inflict as much pain as they could, and make sure, the accused cough up the information that they needed. It's a thankless job, but somebody got to do it, or else they would find themself on the wrong end of their devices. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I hope everyone liked my Minifigs. C&C welcome, as always. And tell me down the comments, which one is your favorite? (So I would know how sick you are )
  15. My CDC2 minifigs are nearly ready and my ancient wonder build is starting to resemble to what I have in mind. So here is a sneaky episode to link the Chronicles of Embervale prologue and the CDC! Like the prologue, it's also available on my blog. ---------------------------- The builds Embervale Summer Fair - Elgwi's Curiosities Embervale Summer Fair - Ivo the Baker ---------------------------- The story - Chronicles of Embervale Episode 1 : the Summer Fair “Can I have a pony?” “No, Grog, it’s not lunchtime yet,” Evrart replied absently. “Not a pony for eating, sir! A pony for riding. Like the Boss’ white horse but smaller and less freaky? Please?” Alrune turned her head to glance at the goblin with tender amusement, and Evrart had to hastily pull her aside to avoid a collision with a pot-bellied dwarf carrying a barrel. She awkwardly thanked him while struggling to regain her balance – and her dignity. The natural grace of elf maidens, what a hoax! It was the third day of the summer fair in Embervale, and a colourful and boisterous mob had stormed the otherwise quiet village. Trying to work her way through the erratic crowd, Alrune was feeling like a cockleshell trying to navigate through a sea of freighters. She was contemplating the idea of casting a shockwave spell to clear a way when, much to her relief, they soon reached calmer waters and their destination. Nestled in a cosy nook behind the inn, it was a huge stall kept by a tiny halfling. The stall was full of strange minerals, colourful vials and odd trinkets, everything thoughtfully displayed and impeccably polished. It certainly was the most dapper spellcraft shop Evrart had ever seen – even the stuffed crocodile hanging from the ceiling looked fresh as a fiddle. “Hi there, your Ladyship!” the halfling cheerfully shouted when they reached the stall. “Geez, what a gloomy face you make!” “Good morning Elgwi. The crowd is horrific today,” Alrune replied with a sigh. “You may hate it, but it’s good for business, your Grace! Anyways, I have everything you requested. Just wait a moment, I’ll be right back.” The halfling vanished into the depths of the stall, and she soon reappeared with a bag and a heavy-looking grimoire. Alrune’s face brightened. "There you are,” she whispered, lovingly leafing through the pages of the book. “Hundreds of illustrations drawn in the author’s hand, reviewed and annotated by Archimage Willibert himself,” Elgwi said with a little self-satisfied smile. The two girls went on cooing over the book for a while, and a small but full purse changed ownership. A few moments later, as Evrart was holding the bag and ready to escort Alrune back to the castle, Elgwi handed her a thick envelope. The elf frowned at the mere sight of the blood red wax seal that closed it. “I almost forgot,” the halfling said. “That’s a message from your mother.” “Seriously. She has dozens of servile minions, and everyone at the court considers her wish as their command. Yet she uses you as a messenger.” “She did not give any explanation, your Highness. She just said it’s private and personal, and she’d rip my eyes out to feed them to her crow if I don’t convince you to read it – and do what’s written.” Elgwi had spoken lightheartedly, but Evrart realised that Alrune was taking the threat very seriously. “Fine, I’ll read it,” she hissed. On their way back to the castle, no one dared to shove her. She was so obviously seething that everyone moved out of her way. To be continued...
  16. Grover

    Brewery at Prenmôr

    After the castle forge was completed, attention was turned to the brewery. Many castles had a small brewery, but Lady Gwenllian had planned a large facility located prominently in the inner ward next to the kitchen since it would be a significant source of her household income. The structure sat directly over a small fissure that had been excavated into a makeshift cave that allowed for a climate-controlled fermentation area. Like the blacksmith shop, it would eventually form part of the inner curtain, so the roof was built to slope only one direction. The brewery had been completed just before Ambassador Gisela was to leave for her journey back to Varlyrio to avenge the attempt on her brother's life. Lady Gwenllian wanted to tour Gisela through the brewery before she left, and they now walked to the large new building. As they entered the finished brewery, Lady Gwenllian showed Gisela around. Mohatu stood guard outside under the pentise, having learned to trust Lady Gwenllian as much as his training would allow. Looking around, Gisela noticed that someone had filled barrels with water and grain, but no one was around aside from several terriers that scurried about. "Might I ask who you have found to brew, m'lady?" Gisela asked. "I have not seen any new servants, and I see no one here." Lady Gwenllian laughed. "I myself am brewing." Gisela raised her eyebrows, but had learned not to be surprised by her liege. "Brewing was my family's business, so I am well versed and I will have to do the work myself until I can train a brewmaster," Lady Gwenllian replied. Gisela bowed her head. "As you will, m'lady." "How familiar are you with brewing?" Lady Gwenllian asked. "Not particularly. Could you please explain it? I would be remiss if I did not understand the intricacies of my community's largest industry," Gisela replied. "Of course," said Lady Gwenllian. "The first ingredient is the grain. The best is barley, but almost any grain can do. Oats are the second choice. Wheat can be used, but is usually combined with another grain since it's hard to brew. Once you choose your grain, you soak it in water for several days." Lady Gwenllian showed Gisela the sacks of grain and the malting vat. "This is the first step in the malting process. Any fresh water will do at this point, so we will use river water since it is abundant." "Then you dump the wet grain out onto the floor to let it germinate," she said and gestured to a slight depression in the stone floor. "It just sits on the floor?" Gisela asked, both surprised and somewhat disgusted. "Not entirely. You have to turn the seeds, which involves picking them up with a wooden shovel and tossing them lightly into the air once a day for a week. If you think of the grains as seeds, it makes more sense. They are sprouting, which makes the seeds able to brew. If you want a detailed explanation, you'd have to talk to a druid or a sage, but if you don't let the grains sprout, they won't brew." "So that's why the floor is tiled with stone?" asked Gisela. "Yes, and also to keep the dust down so the beer is cleaner," replied Lady Gwenllian. "The real trick to malting is to kill the new seedlings before they grow too far. Not enough or too far and you can't brew," Lady Gwenllian finished. "How does one kill the seedlings?" Gisela asked. "Great question. There are two methods." Lady Gwenllian held up a finger. "The first is to air dry them. Air drying is best in the summer, when there's a lot of sunlight and heat. It usually means a smoother tasting ale, but it's slower and less precise, so sometimes you lose yield to spores that grow too far. We mark the barrels containing the summer’s air dried brews and charge more for them since they have a cleaner taste but are lower yielding." She held up a second finger. "The other method is kiln drying, which you can use year round. Our kiln doubles as a heat source for boiling." Lady Gwenllian pointed to the kiln. "Kiln drying is more precise and kills the seedlings quickly, but it can be tricky. Too hot and you scorch the grains, making them useless. If you use a smoky fuel, the ale tastes like the fuel. Sometimes you want that, but usually you don't. I prefer to use straw or sea-coal, but most people use peat or simply wood. It's more expensive since you have to pay for the fuel, and since fuel around here is in fairly short supply, we will have to minimize kiln drying until we establish a good fuel source. The expense of the fuel is made up for in the extra yield from killing the seedlings precisely and from the higher price charged for the ale made from the air-dried malt." "At this point, your malt is done. Malt is easy to store for a year or more. We will make sure we always have an ample supply on hand in the case of a siege. Once our reserves are full, we will sell the excess. Small breweries without enough floor space will pay for malt to avoid having to malt their own grains." Gisela nodded. "I shall make it a priority to cultivate trading partnerships with such establishments." She looked at the barrels of malted grain on the floor, then to the storage of grains in the rafters above. A few cats roamed the overhead storage, while on the ground level, several terriers happily patrolled about. "M'lady, may I assume that the animals are for rodent control?" Gisela asked. Lady Gwenllian reached down and scratched one of the terriers behind the ears. "That's right. The dogs are easier to train to stay in a territory, so they get the brewery floor. The cats roam freely in and out, but they can get into the higher and tighter spaces. Mice and rats are always a problem with the amount of grain stored here, but we should be able to keep the population under control with the dogs and cats." Next, Lady Gwenllian led Gisela to a large contraption with a hopper and three stone rollers in the corner. "The next step is to mill the malted grain." She pointed to the odd equipment. Gisela looked confused. "This does not appear to be any mill that I am familiar with. Are not mills usually two large, flat stones that lay atop one another and turn to grind grains?" "Many people grind their malted grain with traditional mills as you describe, but this type of grinding damages the husks too much, which makes the next step, the mashing process, more difficult. Small breweries get around this by hand crushing the malt in a mortar, but it's too time consuming for larger operations. My family invented this rolling mill for crushing the malted grains while being gentler on the husks." Lady Gwenllian demonstrated the hand crank that spun the three stone rollers. Gisela imagined the malted grain falling down from the hopper above and getting crushed in the rollers before falling into the barrel below. "It's been copied by a lot of breweries over the years, so it's not a great secret anymore." Lady Gwenllian walked past the door to the kitchen to the next corner of the brewery where a large lead vat sat atop the stone kiln. Next to it, a long trough stood, sloped slightly downward, and below it sat a barrel. Some steps led up to a wooden walkway around the lead vat. Lady Gwenllian climbed these and Gisela followed her. "The crushed, malted grain is dumped into this vat, and water is added. This time, the water should be fresh and as clean as possible, so we will have to cart in water from some of the nearby springs that feed the Afondraig River." "How is water sourced in times of siege?" Gisela asked. "In the case of a siege, we will use any stored clean water, but after that we can use either well or river water. Although it won't produce as high a quality brew, it will sustain our troops," Lady Gwenllian replied. Continuing, she gestured to the vat. "The mixture of crushed malt and water is heated from the oven below. This is called mashing and is the trickiest part of brewing. The temperature must be exact, or the brew will fail. Too cold and the mash is not activated. Too hot and the life of the brew is killed. The whole mashing process takes around an hour." "How do you know when the right temperature has been reached?" Gislea asked. Lady Gwenllian smiled at her. "That is the art of brewing!" she laughed. "The truth is that most brewers feel the temperature with their hands and only the good ones get it right all the time. My great grandmother found a way around this, and made our family famous for producing a consistently good beer." Lady Gwenllian climbed down to the floor again then unlocked and opened a chest, removing two candles: one white and one black. "These candles are made from special waxes by a secret family process. A cut of wax from each is placed in a small glass dish and floated on the surface of the mash. When the white wax melts, the temperature is hot enough. If the black wax melts, it's too hot, and you have to cool the fires quickly to avoid spoiling the brew." Gisela was suitably impressed. "Of course, these are actual candles, too, so their true nature is hidden well and if need be, you can burn them to prevent the secret from being revealed," Lady Gwenllian said. She reminisced for a moment on her old life. "When I escaped from Albers, I brought three chests from my family's castle. They contained gold, a few family heirlooms including the recipe books for our ales, and these candles. This is the secret of our craft that we must protect." Gisela nodded. "Of course, m'lady." Lady Gwenllian replaced the candles in the chest and locked it. She stood and dusted her hands. "The mash after heating is called the wort. Wort is sweet with the sugars, and has to be separated from the grains. The vat is drained from this spigot," she pointed to a metal spigot, "through a cheesecloth into a barrel to filter out the spent grain. The grains are poured back into the vat and warm water is used to filter it again, and then the process is repeated. Each filtration has less sugar in it, and makes a weaker brew. This is called parti-gyle brewing. The first extract is the 'single beer' and is sold. The weaker brews are called 'small beer' and are reserved for servants. The spent grains, called draff, are fed to livestock." "At this point the wort can be flavored. Many brewers flavor their drinks with herbs and spices. My family did as well, but hops can also be added as a preservative. Hops add a bitter taste so must be used carefully so as not to be overpowering, but the beers last much longer and are easily transported for sale great distances away. In Albers, there was another preservative plant, but I have not seen any here in Avalonia yet. If hops or other preservatives are used, the wort must be boiled with them for at least an hour. This uses more fuel, but the beer keeps much longer. Most brewers boil their beer anyway, since it kills some of the bad growth, which helps keep it a bit longer even if hops aren't added. Boiling also leaves a foam that is skimmed off, which improves the clarity. I have noticed that a few brewers here in Avalonia forgo hops and boiling to make their brew more quickly, but it spoils just as quick and has a sour taste." "M'lady, you have used the terms brews, beer, and ale. What distinguishes between them?" asked Gisela. "Brews are anything that is brewed, so it is a generic term," Lady Gwenllian began. "The other terms are more confusing. Back in Albers, we had a term called 'beor', which meant a drink made from honey, although I believe it is called 'mead' here. Brewers in Albers describe ales as a type of beer that ferments at warmer temperatures with a particular kind of yeast (lagers being another type), but here in Avalonia any brews made without hops are called ales while those made with hops are called beer." Gisela paused and looked like she wanted to say something, but didn't. "It's confusing, I know," Lady Gwenllian replied. "I'm not sure the terms have global agreement yet, so be careful to ask when you travel to different places to make sure it's clear what you're talking about. Ask what the brew is made from and if it has hops or not, and you should have a good idea." "Yes, m'lady," Gisela replied. "Once you boil the wort, you must cool it. The faster the cooling, the better tasting the beer, since less time is allowed for the growth of unwanted spores and such. To that end, we pour the hot wort into this long, shallow cooling trough." Lady Gwenllian pointed to the large trough that sat above barrel. "Because faster cooling leads to better beer, the best brewing is done over the winter, when the air is cold. This building is designed so the doors and some windows in the roof can be opened to speed the cooling process. If there is snow on the ground, it can be packed around the troughs for even faster cooling. For these reasons, malt is usually made and stored in the summer, and the brewing takes place during the winter. Poor quality brewers will make beer in the heat of summer and can have their brews 'foxed' if it's too warm outside. Foxed beers have a red color from unwanted growth. Our location on the coast helps keep the summer temperatures down, so we can start brewing earlier in the fall than some of the inland brewers." "After cooling, there's usually some sediment that falls out. You can see that the valve for draining the trough sits a little above the bottom. That prevents some of the sediment from draining. Small particulates are filtered out by a bit of cotton stuffed into the end of the valve. It drains more slowly, but has better clarity, and the plug is changed out each brewing." Lady Gwenllian walked Gisela over to a large wooden crane with various pulleys on it, suspending a barrel above some doors on the floor. "And now we come to the purification process. Yeast is added to the cooled and filtered wort, and the barrel is sealed with a lid. This part of the process takes a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the strength of the brew and the desired end taste. Usually the purification process must take place in a cellar to hold the beer at the right temperature. In our case, we were lucky to take advantage of a natural fissure in the rock that we dug out into a makeshift cave that serves the same purpose. These large doors close to keep the temperature in the cave constant. The barrels are lifted in and out of the cave by this rig," she said, pointing to the large wooden scaffold. "With the pulleys, a single person can easily lift a full barrel up and down without difficulty." "Is that rig built to the dwarven designs?" Gisela asked. "Yes, Sven used the design that you negotiated from the local dwarves to build this contraption. It is counterweighted with some stone from the top, and has gears underneath that allow the entire apparatus to turn back and forth to load the barrels. Nice work getting the design for such a low price!" Lady Gwenllian complimented. "Thank you, m'lady," Gislela curtsied. Pausing a moment and looking at the barrel, she then asked "Where does the yeast come from?" "For now, we're buying it from the baker in town, but eventually we will be able to hold back some of the yeast that settles out of our brews to begin our next batches, and in time, we will have enough to be sold to others," Lady Gwenllian replied. "Are the beers sold in the purification casks?" Gisela asked. Lady Gwenllian shook her head. "No, once the brews are purified, the barrels are hoisted back out of the cave and are opened and poured into new, clean barrels of various sizes. Excess yeast is harvested that can be used for the next batch of beer, and more sediment falls out, again improving the clarity. Then the casks of beer can be sent back to the cave for storage during the summer months, or stored in a shed in the winter before being sold or tapped and drunk." Lady Gwenllian led Gisela outside through two huge doors, finding Mohatu waiting for them. "The large doors allow for a horse cart to be pulled into the brewery to load the barrels," Lady Gwenllian explained. She gave Gisela a serious look. "Our first brews will be sold, since we need a source of income. I have spent most of my family's fortune on the beginnings of the castle, so it is important that you bring us the best prices you can for our beer, or we will have a hard time next year. I will mark each barrel with the flavors they contain and discuss prices for you to negotiate their sales." Gisela nodded. "I understand, m'lady. I will make sure that our beer is sold widely at the best price possible." As Lady Gwenllian closed the large doors behind her, she turned back to her new ambassador. "I'm sure you will. I wish you well in avenging your brother. I have assigned a small contingent of my guard to accompany you to help with your endeavor and keep you safe." "Thank you, m'lady," Gisela replied with a curtsey. Lady Gwenllian took her hand in a warrior's grasp. "Go with speed and luck!" she wished her new ambassador, and then watched Mohatu follow her down the rock outcrop to her waiting ship.
  17. Henjin_Quilones

    Jelsa's Ice Castle

    Jelsa's Ice Castle A freebuild for Avalonia set in Mitgardia Far to the north in Mitgardia, at the edge of the Frozen Beyond (whether in the Frozen Beyond or just on the Mitgardian side is hard to say, as the cartographers are rather imprecise about that region), there is a small kingdom ruled by a kindly, though rather stupid, old king. His wife died many years before, and he spends his time playing with a sophisticated system of interlocking toys and trying to convince his only child, his spoiled and deeply loved daughter, that she should marry some prince. The daughter, Princess Jelsa, however, had other plans, and, since she is also a powerful ice witch, she froze every suiter her father brought to her. But one day, things went so far that she ran away to the back of the North Mountain and built herself an Ice Castle with her powerful ice magic. And there she stands, and there she will stay, unbothered by the cold. Cold hands, colder heart, they say. Unedited version: ______________ ............................. I built this for the Summer Joust's vignette category. It is, of course, Elsa's Ice Castle from Frozen, but I could not resist putting it into Mitgardia, where an Ice Princess seems to fit quite well. Jelsa, however, is a creation of mine for my (as yet unpublished) 10th Anniversary GoH CMF series: Consider this a sneak peek! Comments and criticism welcome.
  18. Hi all, Trying to push out more builds to get my city on the maps :). I present you "The Peaceful Shrub". An Inn located in Oxenfurt, Avalonia. The Peaceful Shrub [GOH] by jesse van den Oetelaar, on Flickr The Peaceful Shrub Inn [GOH] by jesse van den Oetelaar, on Flickr The Peaceful Shrub Inn [GOH] by jesse van den Oetelaar, on Flickr The Peaceful Shrub Inn [GOH] by jesse van den Oetelaar, on Flickr
  19. This is what happens when a storyline I've had in mind for ages for a webcomic collides with my heartfelt reunion with my LEGO bricks and this year's Summer Joust "Creating an atmosphere" category... ---------------------------- The build : A castle, somewhere in the Enchanted Forest of Avalonia... ---------------------------- The story : Chronicles of Embervale - Prologue* *Also online on my brand new blog Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, lived an elf maiden. She was fair and wise, with eyes bright as jade and hair dark as shadow. Alas! The Elf Maiden’s heart was shrouded in sadness, for she lived alone in a secluded tower. “Wait, what? I’m not sad, and I’m definitely not alone. I have three cats, a company of goblins, and…and you!” “Right.” With the hint of a smile, he wrote: Her days were only lit up by the gentle presence of her caring uncle. Alrune sighed and turned to the window. “You know, Uncle, when I asked you to write our chronicles, I was thinking of something less lyric. Just a straightforward record of what happens in Embervale, actually.” “Well, sweetheart, nothing ever happens in Embervale. I mean, we do have the occasional invasion of dire rats. Worgs in the forests. Dragon attacks. And way too many surprise visits from your mother. But nothing really interesting!” Alrune smiled, absently watching the sunrays flickering in the rustling leaves in the courtyard below. She had willingly left the imperial court to carry on her research in peace and tranquillity, and her uncle Dresghar had been ordered to go with her. Much to his dismay. She knew he missed the court’s thrilling and refined lifestyle. She also knew the poet in him enjoyed the beauty of the mountains around Embervale, the quaint charm of the castle, and the simplicity of village life. Soon, for sure, he’d love this place as much as she did. --- “There are people requesting a hearing, Boss!” the goblin guard hollered from the entrance of the hall. “From the village!” The goblin gestured for the visitors to enter. A pack of peasants hesitantly moved forward, impressed by the grandeur of the hall and its dignified architecture. Though small and provincial, Embervale Castle radiated a solemn atmosphere even the unseemly attitude of the guard could not tarnish. “Good morning. What would you like to talk about?” Alrune asked after an awkward moment of silence. “There’s a monster in the forest, my lady! We lost two lambs and several hens.” “Sheep and chicken? Are you sure this is not a mere worg? Or even just a big fox?” Wringing their hands, clearing their throats, the villagers did not reply immediately. And then they all began to talk at the same time. “It screams at night, my lady. Bloodcurdling cries. Worgs are decent creatures, they do not screech like that!” “My brother Ivo, he saw a beast, my lady! Green, as big as a horse! With horns and a shell like a tortoise!” “It breathes fire!” Moments later, if the words of the villagers were to be believed, it appeared that Embervale was threatened by a six-legged armoured monster with the head of an eagle and the tail of a dragon, taller than a house and faster than a hare, able to breath fire and spit venom. “I see. Probably something mightier than a fox, then. Horns and a carapace – a tarasque, perhaps?” Alrune speculated. “Go back home and stay safe behind the village walls, we’ll deal with it.” “So, sweetie, how exactly are we going to deal with that dubious monster?” Dresghar asked as soon as the villagers left. Alrune avoided his gaze and remained silent, more concerned than she let on. --- “Someone else, Boss!” the guard yelled again. “The guy who works for the neighbour!” The goblin let the man in, a weary soldier with a stern face who gracelessly bowed to the Elf Maiden. He was no stranger in Embervale, as he had already delivered numerous messages from his quarrelsome master. “Good morning, Evrart. What’s the matter this time?” Alrune asked before he even uttered a word. “Does a tree from my forests cast an outrageous shadow on your baron’s crops again?” “Most likely, my lady. The old baron is…was a stickler for proper ground maintenance. But this is not my reason for coming.” He paused, obviously searching for words. “He happened to die a few days ago. The old baron.” “Good to know! … Huh, sorry – I mean, sorry for your loss.” Despite his lack of manners, the human did have the grace to go on as if the Elf Maiden had not foolishly cut him off. He was speaking in a low tone, his voice bitter as if his own words hurt him deeply. “The young baron said he needed new blood. Dismissed us all who served his father. So I end up on my own, and I was wondering if you were hiring.” A silence fell, somewhat altered by the squealing of Dresghar’s quill on the parchment as he decorated an initial. “Well, actually, I have a problem with a tarasque…” “A tarasque, my lady?” “Or maybe a very weird fox. Whatever it is, it instils fear in the village. Investigate, find out what’s happening, and I’ll try to find you a place here.” --- A few days passed, and the human came back. By his side were the two guards of Embervale the Elf Maiden had sent to escort him, as well as a small, armoured creature with tiny horns. “And who’s that cutie?” Dresghar cooed, putting the Chronicles aside to kneel and pat the creature on the head. “It’s a tarasque cub, sir. We found the remains of its mother in the marshlands,” Evrart replied. “It’s rather friendly, actually. It bites only when it’s scared.” “It followed us home, Boss, can we keep it?” one of the goblins asked, coyly glancing at Alrune. “Please, Boss?” the other one added with what he intended as a charming smile. The Elf Maiden was gentle in heart – the kind of person who genuinely cared for stray kittens and fledglings fallen from the nest. Hence, at the end of the day, Embervale had welcomed two new denizens: a lovely little critter, and some ordinary human.
  20. Henjin_Quilones

    The Old Mill

    The Old Mill A freebuild for Avalonia There are countless old mills around the countrysides of Avalonia, along every stream and river, wherever the local farmers can bring their abundant harvests from their fertile fields. They vary in style, with some being powered by the current of the river from below, while others, like this one, are powered by water falling over the top of them. More than any other building in Avalonia, more than the castles, the towers, the palaces, the mills symbolize the wealth, prosperity, and fertility of the realm. May the mills never stop grinding in the green fields! And it spins, too, if a tad aggressively due to the only LEGO motor in my collection being a single-speed RC car. C&C welcome!
  21. Of Dragons and Druids Chapter 4: The Apprentice 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. Grinberd could pour molten iron to make swords and cool stuff. But Gahlen had to haul a barrow. 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! 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. "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." ____________________ ........................................ 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]
  22. Long ago, dark and dim in the shadows of history, the land of Avalonia was inhabited by powerful Druids. But over the years, their numbers declined, and declined, until only one was left. Using all the power left in his old body, and the powers of his brethren stored in the stone of his staff, he cast one final spell, hiding the greatest treasure of the Druids and their most sacred shrine from the world. No one has ever found the shrine, hidden somewhere in the mist-shrouded Mystic Isles, nor the treasure it contains, though many have spent or lost their lives looking... __________________________________________ .................................................................................... C&C welcome, and all that. This build spiraled out of control, measuring at final count something like 110x80 studs. And I have now sworn off immersive landscape builds...
  23. A place of knowledge and refuge, guarded by arcane power and a dragon. In the early stages of the war, it was the site of many councils between Avalonia commanders. It was here that the planning was carried out for the relief of Albion in the First Great War. The Citadel remained in the mages hands afterwards. Hope you like it. Thanks for watching. Citadel of the Mage by Arfelan Nest, en Flickr
  24. Near the borders of the continent, where the Mystic Isles starts. There is a floating rock. Thanks to the strange nature of this place, it is a very common sight. The lighthouse, erected on the rock, serves as a guide, for those, who lost in the dense mist. Or more likely as a warning, to turn back...
  25. Hi all, I decided to do a build for GOH again, here it is! The city wall of Oxenfurt. The citywalls of Oxenfurt by jesse van den Oetelaar, on Flickr The citywalls of Oxenfurt by jesse van den Oetelaar, on Flickr detail 1 by jesse van den Oetelaar, on Flickr detail 2 by jesse van den Oetelaar, on Flickr