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  1. Oleon's Response by Capt. Genaro, on Flickr Charles Clouet hurried along the promenade, praying that his master wouldn’t be too upset by his delay. “Damned fools” he muttered between breaths. “Damned fools should know better, waiting so long to inform me,” he swore as he hurried. Oleon's Response by Capt. Genaro, on Flickr Puffing, Charles rounded a hedge just as a familiar, stern voice stated “F3 to G4.” Looking under the pergola Charles saw Pierre Lavalette Genaro, Duc de Vele sitting under the pergola, papers stacked on the table in front of him. Oleon's Response by Capt. Genaro, on Flickr “My lord!” Charles exclaimed with a deep bow as he approached the pergola. “Forgive me. I was unaware of your return until a few minutes ago!” The Duke turned his head slightly to glance at Charles before responding. “Your timing is impeccable. I was just about to send someone to find you. Sit,” he ordered, gesturing to an empty chair. “You know the Major?” “The Major, my lord?” Charles asked. The Duke pointed at his opponent who was busy studying the board. “No, my lord, I don’t believe I have been introduced.” “Major, come here,” commanded the Duke. Oleon's Response by Capt. Genaro, on Flickr After a brief glance at one of his rooks, the Major headed for the pergola. “Major Wolfgang Hochstetter, Charles Clouet,” said the Duke in his typical emotionless tone, not even bothering to look up from the letter he was reading. “The Major is currently in command of the company’s fortifications in Lavalette, Charles is one of my secretaries” the Duke continued. “A pleasure, Major,” Charles said with a bow. After Wolfgang replied, Charles went on “Where does your family hail from, Major. Eranos, perhaps?” “The Major is not from Oleon, Charles” the Duke interrupted, this time bothering to look up. “Major,” he went on, “perhaps you could join us for drinks shortly, but for now Charles and I have some business to discuss. Wolfgang gave a crisp bow before returning to the board to contemplate his next move. “Not from Oleon, but yet he commands our forces in Lavalette?” Charles inquired. “I find foreigners tend to take less interest to Oleon’s internal politics,” replied the Duke. “Now, what is the situation with Fatu Hiva?” Charles froze for a moment. The Duke wasn’t going to like this. “We’re still not exactly sure what happened there, sir. The commander’s report states that the Corrish vessel attempted to enter the harbor, refused to respond to any hails or signals, and showed no signs of distress.” “Were there any other ships she could have been fleeing from?” “According to the report, my lord, there were only the ships at anchor and some small native vessels.” Charles paused for a moment, but seeing that the Duke remained silent, he continued. “The vessel, the Corrish vessel, was cleared for action and her guns run out at the time. She fired on the fortifications which swiftly destroyed her.” “And what have the damned Corries to say?” inquired the Duke. “Nothing as of yet. The WTC’s rag,” “What is their interest in this?” “It was one of their ships, my lord.” “Ah” the Duke said before ordering Charles to continue. “Their paper claims that we are in league with the pirates and that their vessel was simply pursuing a pirate vessel into our port. Baseless claims, my lord. Utterly baseless, and they offer no support for their claims.” At this Wolfgang interrupted. “G3 to D6, and I take your bishop,” called Wolfgang. “H3, E7” the Duke instantly snapped back before returning to Charles. “So they claim that we are hosting pirates in our harbors and use this as an excuse to chase legitimate shipping across the Brick Seas. Have we established what ship they were chasing?” “No, my lord. We have not determined if they had a particular prize in sight. It is the opinion of the garrison’s commander that they were simply hoping to seize some local or coastal vessels.” “And Corrington has no official response?” “Correct. As of now they have remained silent on the matter.” The Duke silently fumed, rapidly drumming his fingers on the table before suddenly snapping. “Damned Corries,” he roared in a rare display of emotion, one so strong and filled with such hate that Chares involuntarily recoiled. “Damn them all! Attacking our forts, our ships! I’ll see the perpetrators hang for this!” While the Duke paused for a breath, Charles quickly interjected. “The report states no Corries survived, my Lord. And if they did, they would be in the hands of the Order by now, seeing how they control that settlement.” The Duke chose to ignore this last statement. “What is our response?” Oleon's Response by Capt. Genaro, on Flickr “Jacque Debussy has penned a letter…” “Do you have it?” interrupted the Duke. Charles nodded. “Read it,” the Duke commanded. After a brief delay to remember in which pocket he placed the letter, Charles pulled it out and read it in full. The whole time, the Duke remained silent, maintaining a steady gaze seemingly into the abyss. When Charles had finished, the Duke remained still for a moment before replying. “Is that all?” “I, I don’t quite follow, my lord” a confused Charles replied. “The response, I mean. Isn’t there something meaningful or are we going to respond to Corrish gunshots with strongly worded objections?” the Duke thundered. “If you wish to compose the response…” “My response would be to send a fleet to these pirates’ homeport and drag their masters out by their toes! I’d see the whole blasted town burnt to the ground!” the duke roared on. “But that would be an act of war,” Charles meekly responded. “And what would you call firing on Fatu Hiva?” challenged the Duke before pausing. “No, no,” he said as he cooled down. “As much as I would like to see that happen, I fear that would require more political capital than I care to spend on this issue, especially considering our potential to profit from it.” “How’s that, my lord?” The Duke simply stared at Charles, his calm, stoic personality taking control once more. “All shall be revealed in good time, Charles. All in good time.” Oleon's Response by Capt. Genaro, on Flickr
  2. Infero Pordejon, somewhere near to Northern Coast, 618 After a long, extenuating waiting, the day they had been waiting for had arrived. During the previous days, all the patrols sent in exploration had found nothing but ashes, destroyed buildings and skeletal remains of the once luxuriant jungle… that damned mountain had hit very hard the northern part of the island, while the southern area and the settlement seemed, from advanced reconnaissance, almost untouched by the disaster. If that was a divine punishment for the sins of the Dark Bishop and of his damned followers, the next time gods should aim better, couldn't help but think Tristan. What concerned him most, however, were the many signs of violence and pillaging his men had reported, such as smoke plumes in the distance, burnt houses and farmers fortifying their homes: sitting there waiting, while innocent civilians were being killed everyday, was destroying his nerves. That morning, however, something was going to change: Master Sergeant Marcel Dubois, using his words, had "taken contact" with Gustaf Von Bricktin, and the old pirate was arriving to the camp; considering how pale Marcel looked, the contact probably implied being surrounded by an angry mob of pirates. In a very short time, the pirate gang entered the palisade: Gustaf was followed by a few men, shabbily dressed and covered with ashes. Tristan immediately recognized his old friend, with his head up and the back straight. Despite the age, the long time spent as an outlaw and the peaceful retirement in Charlatan Bay, the old officer was still there, leading once again his men against the enemy. The army Gustaf had gathered, however, was quite different from the grenadiers he once had led into battle against the barbarians on Pontilla borders: his soldiers seemed tired and visibly starving, their clothes were dirty and tattered, while their weapons were a heterogeneous assortment of old rifles and melee weapons. However, thought Tristan, those men didn't surrendered in spite of all the troubles, of the hunger, of the hopeless situation: the old officer was definitely still there, and still knew his job very well. When the pirates entered the camp, tension rose a little: even if in a different uniform, all the volunteers were Oleander soldiers, and caressing the trigger of the rifle when seeing a pirate was almost a natural reflex. Discipline, however, prevailed, and the soldiers kept calm. "Tristan, old friend of mine! I will never thank you enough for your help! You have really been mad enough to come here, and you have also found found someone mad enough to follow you on this damned island… welcome on Infero Pordejon, by the way, even if you can't see my island in its best shape." "You almost seem surprised, old buccaneer! How could I have missed a chance of seeing your ugly face?" Tristan continued, more seriously "I'm glad you are fine, Gustaf! When I heard of the Marderian coupe against the Bishop, and few weeks later of the disaster that hit Charlatan Bay, I feared for your life. How bad is the situation?" "You know I'm a tough nut to crack… and the ones who tried plundering my housed learned it too. But I'll be frank: the situation is very bad. When the surviving Marderians left Charlatan Bay, the gangs of Lowtown, the pirate crews blocked on the island, and basically anyone who had a weapon or who could steal it started fighting: some for power, wealth and areas of control, but most of them for food and survival. The port still closed, since the bastards controlling the forts prefer speculating on the little available supplies, and the crops are failing. If we don't act soon, Charlatan Bay will starve to death, with the only exception of the responsible ones, who are becoming fatter and richer. Oh, I almost forgot, they also want my head on a plate for what I'm doing." "Well, I've seen better situations… "...but I also brought from home a couple of toys that could be quite useful." "I see you even brought a cannon… quite a strong argument during a discussion! But to be honest food is what concerns me most… we are scraping the bottom of the barrel, but the famine is imminent." "First of all, excuse me for my poor hospitality… you and your men have arrived just in time for the lunch, and I'm still holding you here talking. I think that things will look better after a proper meal, and it seems your men really need it. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring much without a proper landing point; a cargo ship will be here in days, filled with whatever we need to feed your people and begin the reconstruction, but we still have a little problem…" "Yes, those damned forts! They will fire at sight." "Unless we take care of them before. Come with me, after ten years we have again a battle plan to discuss together… and I think that the old officer I once met in Pontilla will enjoy my idea." A carriage of supplies An overall view
  3. Keymonus

    Armour foundry

    November 618, Le Bellan, Eltina The settlement has grown quickly during the previous years and Eltina, today, resembles almost completely a large town of the Old World, except for the palms and the parrots: elegant bystanders walk along paved streets, flanked by houses built with stones. Even the new troops garrisoned in the city, in particular the courassiers recently arrived on the island, are something quite unusual for a colonial settlement, more used to militiamen or, at most, a couple of infantry companies: Eltina citizens proudly consider them a sign of the importance of their island, now a province of Oleon, more than a godsforsaken, unexplored angle of wasteland. Armoured cavalry, however, needs new armours: a new furnace was built for the purpose, with specialized smiths coming from Granoleon. Making an armour, in fact, is not an easy task, and requires the best iron and the best expertise: first of all the iron ingots are heated in a coal furnace, the bellows keeping the temperature high enough. Then the comes the core of the work: the steel bars are hammered, bent and hammered again, cooled and heated, cut in foils and moulded in the wanted shapes, again and again for hours. The number of different layers of steel determines the resistance of the armour: three layers (meaning basically three concentric armours welded together) represent a reasonable balance between weight and protection, but require a lot of time and work to be produced. The armours are quenched in cold water to further improve their resistance and durability: the process must be quick enough to work, but not too brutal or the steel, instead of reinforcing, will become fragile and will crack. At last, since courassiers are elite soldiers, the armours are carefully polished with a grindstone and finely decorated, one by one, by a specialized (and hopefully talented) artisan. Even if armoured cavalry can still route almost anything with a frontal charge, the times of legendary kings, jousts and spears shining in the sun have ended centuries ago, and knights must be protected accordingly: the main menace, nowadays, is represented by infantry with firearms. For this reason, each armour is tested under the sight of state officials: it must endure without damage a short range gunshot... ...or a musket ball from a longer distance. The armour the courassiers wear, in fact, is not only a distinctive sign of the regiment or a decorative object: it can be pierced by a close range shot of a musket or of a modern rifle, this is true, but still provides a good protection aganist swords, arrows, pistols and blunderbusses, that means aganist weapons frequently used by cavalry and militias. Armoured cavalry is not at its sunset yet: it's not invincible, but still can decide the result of a battle with its powerful charge. To do that, not to be cut down before reaching the enemy is a good start and, if that is possible, part of the credit for that also goes to Eltina armour smiths.
  4. It‘’s been a while since the last large warship left the Eltina Shipyards, one may wonder what was going on there, is the joke on the Eltinian laziness isn't only a joke? For those with a clear mind, they knew something big was under construction behind the walls, the reverberation of heavy machinery lasted all day long for several months, but last night, the busy shipyards became quiet all of a sudden. OOC: I started building this ship with Duc de Bourgogne and Algesiras for inspiration, and several other french ships of the line that I've found on the link given by Captain Genaro, which includes a tons of plans and infos on the ships of Age of sail. Rather than a historically accurate replica, she can be considered as a hybrid between the aforementioned ships, and she has certain errors too, the most significant one is the mizzen mast, which should be placed more towards the stern, I realized it at a fairly late phase of construction, amending it would require too much time, since the masts are fixed on the "keel" and there are a lot of plates and hinges between the decks, so I had to leave it as it is. The first 74-gun warship built by Eltina shiyards has lifted anchor: Front view of Le Fougueux Stern - Where should we set our course, Commodore? - Terra Versa, if you see no inconvenient. We'll meet with the rest of the fleet there. Some statistics of the ship: Overall length: 110 cm Height: 80cm Hull width: 26 studs I intend to license her as a class 9 ship. Thanks for viewing. Edit: I just realized that le Fougueux isn't the first class 9 ship of Oleon, we have also the superb le Monarque built by KB last year.
  5. The Convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Artemis by Ross Fisher, on Flickr Extract from the continuing adventures of Padré François, as narrated by his companion, Monsieur Gallo The only name she gave was "Weasel". We never found out why, but maybe it was because she could slip away from any problem. She was a born survivor. She had outlasted her parents in the initial terror that hit Fatu Hiva, and she had made it out of the jungle when so many of the rest of our militia fell to the head hunters. I suspect it was her survival instinct that impressed the Padré. When we finally escaped that hell-hole, he ensured that she was well looked after. Took her to the local convent of Artemis and payed well for her to have a good education. Weasel had gone through hell in her life, but things were about to change. -------------- OOC: This is my small Arts and Culture reward from the Fatu Hiva challenge. In my canon, it happens chronologically before the Padre leaves the Ile d'Or. Any inconsistencies like this are Monsieur Gallo's bad bookkeeping.
  6. Acropolis, Pharos, October 618 Acropolis, probably the smallest and the least important colony of the glorious Empire of Oleon… basically nothing more than a little village clung on a tiny island, far from commercial routes and devoid of any resource. Almost in the mouth of one of the largest and fiercest pirate settlements in the archipelago, Acropolis has never been raided, and not because of its strong defences: the reason is that only a group of beggars would consider appealing the possible loot. A new house, however, has been built in Acropolis: a modest house, if compared to Breshaun palaces or to the homeland manors, but probably the largest building in the whole settlement. Built with stones hardly carved from the bowels of the island, this house belongs to Rimbaud Family and represents at the same time a warehouse, an advanced base for operations in Southern Terraversan Sea and a residence. Or, better, it could be a residence if it had been already furnished, something that is still work in progress. Today, however, something important seems to be happening in the house, probably the most interesting thing since Louis the milkman broke his wooden leg trying to ride a cow: an important officer is heading there, with "the high uniform, the guards and all the other things"; an admiral, according to someone, a commodore by sure, according to others, or "just another useless medals wearer", according to old Louis. "...thank you, monsieur, please bring the bottles in the wine cellar. And be careful with the globe, you there! It was shipped directly from the Old World!" "Sorry to interrupt you, monsieur, I'm here to meet l'honorable monsieur Duchamp." "Welcome in Acropolis, monsieur le Commodore, I wish you had a smooth journey. My master is waiting for you inside, please come inside!" The Commodore dismissed his guards and entered, preceded by the butler. "Probably I should congratulate with you, Renè." Attendant of the House of Rimbaud, administrator of their commercial empire and now manager of a football team… you are a man full of resources!" "Adrien, my friend! Welcome in this metropolis! I wish you had a smooth journey. Well, my men had the idea just after the campaign on Ile d'Or. To be honest I didn't expect the result at all… some of the guys learnt the rules only on the way to Bastion. Who knows, the support of that strange priest may have helped… some of the men appreciated that, others feared an uncomfortable questioning in case of defeat! But now- continued Renè Duchamp more seriously- let's move to important things. You probably know that our common friend Tristan landed with some soldiers on Infero Pordejon..." "Is that true? I've heard that, but I thought it was just one of the many port tales, like the creative ones about Governor Cooke! Did the county go to his head? What does he want to do on that damned island?" "Unfortunately he left before receiving the news about his title. And you have the chance to tell him personally about his new rank." "What do you mean?" "Well, answering your previous question, Tristan went in Infero Pordejon to provide relief to the population and to help Gustaf VonBricktin, old friend of him and new major of Charlatan Bay. I think he planned everything quite carefully, but he needs someone for the delivery of a certain cargo he made me gather here in Acropolis. Without that, he will probably be brutally killed by the inhabitants within a couple of months. You can understand the whole thing better reading Tristan's words" "A safe plan, nothing to say. Let's see..." "Let's see what is the cargo… Hardtack, salted meat and salted cod, sausages, sauerkraut to prevent scurvy, a supply of flour, butter, dried peas, beans and onions… Dear gods, how many soldiers has he raised?" "Read below, Adrien: seeds, agricultural tools, nails, planks and beams. The suppliers are not for an army, they are needed to feed the civilians and to rebuild the damaged houses. Moreover, you should also bring Tristan some additional things he asked me to provide: a couple of chests of shiny Astrapi silver, special gunpowder for signalling rockets, a box of documents and some canned meat produced by those madmen in Mesabi Landing." "So everything is already planned, we'll lend a hand to those scoundrels… The cargo is on the island, Le Phénix is moored in the port, and I'm here, so you also have someone mad enough to lead your ship to Charlatan Bay. There is only a tiny detail: Charlatan Bay port is closed, and the forts would shoot us on sight. In that case, surviving would not be the best option, I've heard terrible things about the prisoners' fate in the gold mines of that hellish island!" "I know I'm asking you to take a risk, but we should trust Tristan. Be careful, but if he promised that you will find a safe mooring point, you actually will." "Well, I owe Tristan my life and I'll trust him again this time. But if he saved me from Saleeki pirates only to make me become a target for cannonballs, I swear I'll come back from Hades' kingdom only to insult him!" Without minifigs: @Mesabi, @Drunknok, @dr_spock, @Bodi, @Captain Genaro, @blackdeathgr, @Ross Fisher, @Roadmonkeytj I've been too busy in the last period to keep the pace with BoBS world; I included references to things I couldn't comment (fake news about Cooke, canned meat from Mesabi Landing, the end of the tournment, the county, the support of "the Hawk of Hades" to my team). Since my character still doesn't know about his title, I still can't build a proper answer to his investiture… I'll do it when it will fit with the storyline
  7. The recent upgrowth of black flag fleet, composed of all sort of dinghies and drift woods cramped with adventurers and opportunists, is menacing the safety of honest merchantmen. Facing this new menace, no, not really a menace, nothing can defy the superiority of Oleander navy, we prefer to qualify it as a small inconvenient, which needs to be treated consequently, with minor force if possible. Therefore, fast sailing ships are needed, of smaller tonnage and lighter construction, vessels like sloops and brigs are more adapted to anti-piracy task, and we could spare our precious Sotl from routine convoy duty. Side view of la Sentinelle, as you can see, it's a 16-gun brig. She was built a couple of months ago, I wasn't able to post it in time because I didn't have time to take pictures. Thank you for viewing. Vive le Roi!
  8. Wanted: Merde "the Murderer" Bounty: 50db dead Whereabouts: Last seen in the Sea Rat town of Bastion, on the Nest of Thieves, participating in the BoBS Tournament Soccer Cup. Accomplices: Last seen player-coaching a crew of Oleonaise Navy sailors, who have been dubbed the "Ocean 11". No bounty is offered for these, and aggression may be seen as an act of war. Crimes (in chronological order): Theft, larceny, loitering, arson, rioting, murder, resisting arrest, breaching penal sentence, desertion, misrepresentation, impersonating an officer of the Oleonaise Navy, theft of an Oleonaise Navy vessel, fraud, conducting diplomatic relations as a private individual, double-fraud, unlicensed gambling, embezzlement. Details: Private Merde deserted his post in Astrapi on the Île Zeus on, or about, September 13 and intercepted the crew of a naval dispatch vessel en route from the recent troubles on the Île d'Or to Granoleon. After talking to the crew, he successfully convinced them to urgently re-route to the Nest of Thieves. Once there, he honestly informed them that they had broken military protocol, and would likely be court-martialed on return to Oleonaise waters. Therefore their only hope of redemption would be to enter and win the local football tournament. However, he apparently abandoned his accomplices sometime during, or after, the tournament and his location is currently unknown. It is likely he has joined a crew of cut-throats under an assumed name. This is my entry for the BTSC. The Ocean 11 are ready to kick butt for Oleon. Let me know if there's anything I need to do to make this a legal entry.
  9. Tristan Rimbaud was walking back and forth in his study, an ancient room in the ancient manor house of his family. He stared the objects exposed in the room, without really watching them... trophies and family heirlooms, some new, some as old as the castle itself. He was quite nervous... he had just written a letter to the High Council, one of the highes autorities in the kingdom: the third, to be precise, right after King Philip and Cancelor Calida. "I'm as nervous as a schoolboy at his exams" thought with a smile "I took these swords on the battlefield and that crystal in the Enemies' lair, and I'm concerned about a stupid letter!" A stupid letter... but a letter that could change the future of the family, keeping it in the proud and ancient, but not so important little nobility, or raising it among the most important families of the kingdom. He watched a Zeus statuette he had recovered from raiders almost ten years before, he watched his father's sword and the ancient relics of Titus Rimbaud... was he doing enough for his name? His ancetors would have been proud of him? Soon he would have left again for the New World and these thoughts, suitable fo old manors and dusty halls would have faded but, he promised himself, he would have done whatever he could to increase wealth, prestige and fame to the House of Rimbaud. "Pirates should shiver" he thought sipping his wine "the Bane of the Bandits -as he was nicknamed in the West- is coming back." To the august members of the High Council My noble lords, I'm writing this letter in the manor of my ancient family, the House of Rimbaud, that I see again for the first time after long years spent in the New World. Whenever the King called, my House always answered, from the time of the Saint King Arltrees, when the honorable Titus Rimbaud received our first holdings... the brutal Forty-Nine Years War, when my noble father Auguste Rimbaud led our soldiers against the Corries during the victorious battles of Hades' Hills and Fort Matilde. I myself fought bravely when our blessed King called, earning my rank on the battlefield: both on the Western Border, when during Juniper War groups of raiders entered Oleon, underestimating the little garrisons remained in the West, and in Southern Oleon, when Salleeki pirates attacked our coasts, my soldiers and I gave our enemies a hard lesson. I later moved in Astrapi, our glorious colony on Ile de Zeus. There, I gave my humble contribution to the development of the settlement, starting a flourishing silver mining activity and joining with my own resources the construction of the Royal Arsenal. Some of the infrastuctures I wanted, such as the Commercial Bureau or Rimbaud Canal, relaunched the economy of the colony, with great advantage for both the citizens and the State. Even if now I'm a civilian I have always been loyal to the Crown and to the Order and for this reason, during the dark happenings of Fatu Hiva, I hired a group of volunteers and led them into the jungle, as I reported previously, facing great dangers and obtaining a complete success. Seen the ancient nobility of my House and my personal credits, therefore I ask the High council to consider my person for the title of Baron of Astrapi, and/or another title/decoration if considered more suitable. Signed on 9 September 618, Rimbaud Manor Tristan Rimbaud OOC @blackdeathgr, @Captain Genaro, @Kolonialbeamter, @Phred, with this topic I ask the leadership of Oleon to consider if, given the credits of my main character, he can be considered eligible for nobility. Storywise, I would like a title "of Astrapi", "of the New World", "of the Colonies" or something like that, since the Rimbauds in the Old World belong to ancient but low nobility, but obviously everything is at your complete discretion. Thank you anyway! EDIT I just realised that Marquis is ine of the highest titles in our faction, while I wanted to try for a lower one. Sorry!
  10. Cat A Cat B part 1 Cat B part 2 île D'Or, August 618, somewhere in the jungle Captain Rimbaud and his men were following the trail left by the black-cloaked assassins since dawn, when they found a building hidden in the jungle. "They didn't even conceal their trail, they were completely sure about killing us tonight!" "Better for us, mon ami, or we would have only four corpses with a knife and a strange medallion each... Definitely not enough for our hunt!" It seemed a little temple, completely covered by vines and surrounded by a thick fence of poles. Folkloric versions of the 'keep out' sign welcomed the soldiers. "Jacob, search this place. If one of those black cloak is here around, shoot on sight!" "Yes Sir! Here it's clear!" "Dear Gods!" Exclaimed Doctor Laurent. "This is horrible! These men were natives, probably hunters arrived here by chance." "Why did they do that?" Asked sergeant Dubois, remained in rearguard "An offering? A sacrifice? Pagan savages!" "I think that these heads are a warning, sergeant! And this is not a pagan temple. This place is dedicated to the Enemy of the Gods!" Replied Monsieur Rimbaud with a serious voice. "There is no doubt: look at that symbol, a couple of stylized hands grabbing the sun…" "...and there is no statue on the altar, only a blood-red crystal. Ancient worshippers of the Enemy used these symbols too." "But Monsieur Rimbaud, mon ami" intervened Doctor Laurent "those fanatics were eradicated more than two hundred years ago, when they tried to overturn the Order and kill the Royal Family! The few survivors of their bloody revolt suicided en masse." "This is true, but… Well, when we'll find their lair we'll know the truth. Finding this place was a real stroke of luck! The men who attacked us tonight weren't one of the patrols, they were bringing them resupply; probably they were the first ones the red-headed spy found." "It means our enemies have to tighten their belts, and that alligators will party with their food!" "Yes, and it also means that, following the river we will find their den. It's time to send a message to lieutenant Norbert; it's platoon is waiting on the northern coast and we are going north, following the river. If they move southward we will take the main cove between the hammer and the anvil." The soldiers set fire to the interior of the little temple, putting a signaling rocket on the roof… it would have been ignited half an hour later, enough for disappearing in the jungle and hunting their enemies with their same methods, becoming shadows among the shadows, as invisible as ghosts. The rocket, giving Lieutenant Norbert the order to move An overall view
  11. Part 1 île D'Or, August 618, Fatu Hiva "Our birdie is turning left again. No doubt anymore, he is following us since the fishing point." "I'm sure I can nab him, monsieur. Alive, if you prefer, or with a second smile in his throat!" "Thank you, Klein Hans, this is the right mood... but we won't need your knife today. I'm quite sure that man would not sing even if we caught him, they would have never left in Fatu Hiva someone who would betray them." "The question is, mon ami, who are they?" Replied Doctor Laurent "What do we know about them?" "At least our red headed friend is Halosian. Oleander, or he would have been noticed. Their modus operandi, spreading panic with allucinations, is strange... I think they are not common pirates or smugglers, but they are cruel enough to kill innocent natives and pioneers..." Said Tristan, toughtful. "And they are dangerous, very dangerous! They routed a company of RNTC marines without even using firearms: our soldiers' wounds were inflicted with daggers or swords, probably during a close meele combat not far from Fatu Hiva." Continued Doctor Laurent "That means they have patrols or figthing groups right outside the city. They are sieging us and we didn't even understand it!" "But why? Without any clue about their aims we can't fight them! Meanwhile panic is spreading in Fatu Hiva... Two-bit preachers are proliferating in the city, saying the Gods are punishing inhabitants for their sins: if we don't change the situation people will begin to leave!" "This could be their aim." "I think you are right, mon ami. Watch that crowd: people are frightened, and the militiamen keeping them under watch seem tense too. But still we can't do anything, unless..." "Unless what?" "I'll explain it when I'll shape my idea a little better. For now it's better going for supplies to the general store... The petit oiseau following us will gather information and tweet his masters that we'll leave for the jungle in a couple of days." "And what will we do in truth? "We'll leave for the jungle in a couple of days!" "But we'll be walking straight into a mousetrap!" "Don't you know, mon ami, that Oleander mice have lion's fangs?" The general store The house upstairs Additional photos Overall view: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is my first entry for cat.B, the story will more canonically continue in the jungle. With a 32x32 footprint, the store and the tavern it is licensable as medium commerce (I won't do it, Fatu Hiva can license it if needed)
  12. Tristan, I hope this letter finds you well, old friend of mine. I know it has been some time since we have wrote the last time: by then I have taken up residence in Charlatan Bay on Infero Pordejon, as you probably know a large volcanic island in the Sea of Thieves. It has been a great change going from sea life to that of a landlubber... I had started building ships to keep my connection to the sea, even if the salty wind on your face and a deck under your feet are quite a different thing. However, all was going well until several months ago: the volcano on the north side of the island exploded suddenly and it seemed the town was going to be destroyed as well. At first it was sheer panic as the cloud of ash and smoke belching from the mountain turned the morning sky as dark as a moonless night: it was like a demon fell over the town cloaked in its new ashy cloud. It didn't take long for people to start scrambling to catch the tide. It was pure chaos: several ships sank in the bay just by others running through them. Then the fortifications began firing on ships trying to maintain order in the Bay. That day was terrible, but I'm afraid this was only the beginning of the disaster. With the port closed supplies quickly doubled in price. Then the looting started: at first shop owners were threatened and beaten, but the more it drug on the worse it got. Soon the beatings turned to murders as the keepers tried to fight back. Mass riots plagued the streets and soldiers couldn't control them, not even firing on the crowd. Hightown even began to see the crime of Low town, and Low town fell in the most complete anarchy. I have seen my town turning to ruins. Tristan, as you know I am not a fearful man but I am afraid that if I don't step up soon, I too will just be another body in the street. I've rallied a few supporters and I plan to retake my town from the violence and the chaos. My friend, I know you have always been one for a good fight, and now the honest citizens of Charlatan Bay desperately need somebody fighting for them. I would gladly accept some help, maybe some privately trained men if you can. I don't wish to bring here any army as that would be the ruin of what we have strived to build here, but I will take back my town and would love to have some good men at my side. Your Old Friend Gustaf VonBricktin The last rowboat reached the coastline. Only months ago they would have met groups of fishermen, maybe a pirate crew sharing the spoils of their last raid. Now the little beach was covered with rocks and ashes, and the only sign of human presence was a ruined building, buried in almost a metre of volcanic debris. That bay had always been quite a secluded place but now, with the terrifying fallout of burning ashes that had hit the northern coast, there was not a living soul who could see them, or hear the floating pumice stones, as big as a human fist, hitting their hull with dull thuds. And that was exactly what they wanted. "Sir, no sign of hostile forces spotted. For miles all around us there are only burned trees, a couple of ruined houses and a barren wasteland of damned ash!" These words broke the unnatural silence of the bay. The men were nervous, things seemed wrong, that place seemed more suitable for damned souls than for living beings; they couldn't hear a single seagull, a cormorant or a parrot… but sometimes a low rumbling came from that damned, restless mountain. The officer continued: "Please, don't consider me a coward, monsieur Rimbaud, but…" "But we are still in time to take our boats again, row as fast as we can and never come back, hoping not to meet Hades himself in the meantime." Completed Tristan Rimbaud "Were you saying something like that, right?" "Yes Sir. More or less, Sir." Replied with uncertain voice the officer. "To be honest I don't like the situation too. We have just landed on the devastated coast of a pirate island where most of the population frankly hates Halos nations and their soldiers. Moreover, we can't receive direct support from our country and can't wear our reassuring uniforms, or it would seem an invasion and we would have to face a general riot. In that case, even a shallow grave would be a good result. I would rather take a vacation in Hell than being on this island. But, if we don't lend a hand to my old friend Gustav, the settlement would starve and fall in the most complete anarchy. Any appearance of order would disappear from the island and, while the civilians would suffer enormously, the most dreaded pirates, with nothing left to lose, would swarm like vultures in the whole archipelago." "So... we are really here to save the pirate republic, Sir? I thought I would have seen Charlatan Bay in a different situation, from a firing battleship, for example!" "Our mission is exactly what I told you when you volunteered for it. A pirate republic is bad, but the alternative is worse." -Then Tristan raised his voice, talking to his men- "Soldiers of Oleon! We are on this island in an unexpected situation, to help people that only months before we would have fought fiercely. Our task is to help bringing order back and giving aid to the population. It's a difficult task, you know that, and we will not receive reward nor glory. You all volunteered, but you are still in time to take a step back, you would not receive punishment or contempt. Now decide. I don't need brave men, I need something more: I need Oleander soldiers, the pride of our Nation! Are you with me?" The soldiers looked each other for a second, then their expression became proud. One of them made a concorded signal to their ship: the crew would have sent some more boats with horses and supplies for the town, then they would have left. Tristan gave a little sigh; he had recovered his men's bravery, now they would have followed him to Hell and back. Exactly where he was going to. This is the beginning of a joined storyline with @Roadmonkeytj (credit to him for the letter). My character is in Charlatan Bay with a support/humanitarian role and should not be considered a hostile force. The soldiers (not many, less than a company) are there only storywise. @Kwatchi, I'll try to be as faithful as possible to the way you created the settlement. I'll follow Roadmonkeytj's guidelines and won't do anything too strange. PM me if you don't like something of my builds (that will basically be training some militiamen, bringing supplies and so on)
  13. Brethren of the Brick Seas (BoBS) Introduction and Starting Thread (Just looking for the Master Index?) What is it? The simple answer is that it is a building community on Eurobricks that is open to all who wish to join. We tell stories about a maritime-oriented world where the technology level is parallel with the historical Age of Sail. There are currently four factions. Each member joins a faction, and builds to win points (Gold doubloons and influence points) for their faction, themselves, and to better their building skills. At any given time of the year there may be one or more building challenges in which a builder may win recognition and sometimes prizes for themselves. On top of this, there is also a game mechanic that allows players to earn more gold and power for themselves and their faction. Background: The year is 615 AE (After Empire) and this is the dawn of a new era. For the first time in the history of the continent of Halos, new lands have been discovered. Even more shocking, the Halosians are not alone in the world. Once thought to be a flat plane, where monsters roamed the edges, the world is now believed by most geographers to be most certainly round. This was proven first with the discovery of Terraversa by the Mardierian explorer, Ardmond Basker. For 100 years the Mardierians have held Terraversa as a far off gateway, keeping all others out and not allowing the information of the world to the east, or New Terra, to permeate into the rest of Halos. At almost a 1000 miles from the next island in the Sea of Storms, the island remains a most crucial point on the voyage into the unknown. As time went on, other nations of the Madrice Peninsula began to search the seas for other islands and their potential riches. South of the Basker Islands, Corrington took Tiberia, an unforgiving rock just outside of the much more lucrative tropical zone. Oleon found LeBellan, the jewel of the Sea of Storms. LeBellan sits right inside the tropical zone, and produces sugar in vast quantities. 56 years ago Eslandola took possession of An Holli and An Toli, two smaller islands south of LeBellan, both sugar producing as well. Despite gaining footholds in the Sea of Storms, the other Madrician nations were unable to voyage beyond Terraversa. This all changed with the death of King Harln of Mardier, and the vast civil war that began in the country in 595 AE. Instead of looking to gain territory from Mardier’s mainland, the Eslandolans approached the Viceroy of Terraversa and paid him handsomely for permission to trade at the island. The Viscount took it further and allowed ALL nations to pay for the privilege to visit his island. Twenty years later, as the civil war continues, Terraversa has become a defacto independent state. The Viscount’s son, Miro Oldis, now runs the island, and his father’s policies live on. It is not certain if the Mardierians will reestablish their colony or not after the war, but it may be too late. In 597, intrepid Eslandolian explorer Cato Calrelli sailed east from Terraversa into the unknown. It was thought to be suicidal at the time, but he returned 70 days later with the news that he had found more of New Terra. He claimed the land for Eslandola, and soon the Kingdom of Eslandola was the leading nation in colonization. In 605, news circulated throughout the Madrice Peninsula that the Eslandolans had found gold on their island of Nellisa, and this set off a thirst for expansion and exploration never before seen. With Terraversa as a launching spot for new expeditions, Corringtonians, Oleanders, Eslandolans, along with some Garvans, Mardierans, and Carnovans made their way towards New Terra. Many found themselves unable to find supplies at Nellisa, the Eslandolans baring even some of their own from landing on the island. These vagabonds headed south, where a new isle was found, one with few resources, but great defensive harbors. Soon, the Sea Rats had a home. Angry that they had been dispossessed and had not found aid, many turned to vengeance on the Eslandolans by becoming pirates, and many of these pirates began to prey on all nations, and even their fellow pirate. Besides Terraversa, where the Atwi tribe lives, no new natives have been found yet. The islands beyond Terraversa have so far all had strange abandoned settlements upon them, and some sailors say that there is a whole new nation of people in these far waters, but no one has recorded seeing a non-Halosian or Atwi person yet. OW NORTH Series Map This brings us to the present. Oleon and Corrington have both issued rewards for the first permanent settlement “Beyond the Line” (beyond Terraversa). They are willing to bring their navies to New Terra if they only have a settlement to resupply at. Eslandola is calling for its own people to venture into the unknown and find wealth and fortune in the its name. But the Sea Rats lurk in all the waters of New Terra, waiting for opportunity, and despite the world seeming more round than ever, some say those old sea monsters still exist in the uncharted lands of the East. All factions await new souls to take on a role in the New World. Who will win in the end? Nobody knows, but for sure the sea will play a large role in deciding the fate of these rich new lands. She can be a cruel mistress to those who do not respect her, indeed, and the only guarantee in this world is that salt will run through your veins as you become part of the Brethren of the Brick Seas. The Crossing Series Mapd How this works: Builders pick a faction - this is your faction until the next “open period,” so make sure to pick a character you like. You will be able to change factions with enough personal influence points (PIPs), but that take a while. Your builds do not have to display your signature figure, but we encourage it! You also may build MOCs in other faction’s territory, so building is not limited to one style. There will be an “Era” of story and challenges, which will end with winners being determined in a few different categories. The contests and stories told during an era will influence the map, the history of the world, and future challenges. When a era is completed, points will be reset, but Factions and builders will keep their “gold doubloons.” (DBs) Builders and factions alike seek fortune. This project setting revolves around two currencies that are earned by building and winning competitions. This is the economy of the project. We understand that not every builder will want to play this game, and a builder can opt out of playing altogether, or only participating in the game when they choose. Free Builds that enhance the community’s story are always welcome. Even if a builder opts out of playing the "Economic Game System" (EGS), their freebuilds will earn their faction Doubloons and Factions Influence Points. Please see the rules thread for more details on how the economy works. Factions: The Kingdom of Eslandola STATUS: Open for new members SCORE: 0 DBs | 0 FIPs The Empire of Corrington STATUS: Open for new members SCORE: 0 DBs | 0 FIPs The Empire of Oleon STATUS: Open for new members SCORE: 0 DBs | 0 FIPs The Sea Rats STATUS: Open for new members SCORE: 0 DBs | 0 FIPs What you need to do now: Take a look at the faction threads. Pick a side and sign up in the faction thread with your signature figure (sig fig). It helps to have a back story! Can I have more than one character? Yes! Although one should be your sig fig and your main character, you can have as many other characters as you wish. The world needs populated after all! A starting challenge: This is open to everyone to complete once, and 25DBs will be awarded to the builder for completing the task. Build your sig fig and place them in a setting in our world. It can be in the colonies, in the motherland, at sea, anything you would like, but make sure to show the figure clearly and demonstrate the profession you have chosen for them in some way. (IE: if you decided to play an explorer, maybe you will place them on the bow of a ship looking out to sea with a spy glass.) Any profession that existed during the enlightenment is fine, along with a few other professions that would be a reasonable fit. If you are playing in the EGS, then there are a few character traits that you may want to consider here. How are scores kept? Each month, a pinned thread will help us keep score. After you complete a build (which should have its own thread, no matter if it is a free build, a duel, or a challenge build) you need to post in this score keeping thread and use a leadership-supplied link to a webform to help us keep score. In the thread, post your name, faction, and a link to your build (and the challenge it belongs to) in the thread. Please only use one post per topic, and just edit the thread when you build something else. At the end of the month, a project leader will tally up the scores and update the “Hall of Fame and Score” post for each faction. Please be patient for updates, we are not being paid for this. Scores will be displayed as follows: Name: DBs, PIPs, (PIPs achieved this cycle) IE: Skaforhire: 5DB, 5PIPs, (2PIPs) Current faction score is kept by adding all member’s totals within the parenthesis minus any expenditures the faction has made during the cycle. What can be bought with points and doubloons? A lot. The list will grow over time with more specifics, but since we are just launching this project, here are some of the examples without specific details: DBs: Position within trading guilds, rank in certain factions, a letter of marque to join another factions war against a third faction, a licence to sail a vessel in the raiding action, gamble, etc… FIPs: A newly discovered island, win a war between factions, buy DBs for the total score, open up a new portion of the map just for your faction for a few months, etc… The Map: The map is a part of the storytelling mechanism. As you can see, it is not totally defined yet. This will change as time goes on. New portions of the New World (and some of the Old) will be uncovered through events, challenges, and other parts of the project. New islands will be claimed, older territories will be taken in war, and the map will stay dynamic throughout the story. Builders will have the map revealed to them over time, and they will help decide what lands are conquered. With that said, the first part of our story will take place in New Terra. Your character should probably have some feasible connection that would lead them to that region, or it may be hard to really participate in the early challenges. A baker back in Eslandola’s capitol city is probably going to have little interaction with things going on in New Terra. We will eventually have challenges that happen on the mainland, and different story events “back home,” but we are emphasizing the pirate theme and its nature primarily in the first part of this project. Once a firm piratical lore and history is established, more aspects of Enlightenment era politics, war making, and commerce will emerge. Rules Thread History and Background Thread The Scorecard Thread
  14. Cat A Cat B part 1 Cat B part 2 Cat B part 3 île D'Or, August 618, a tavern in Fatu Hiva "Hans? Hans old friend of mine!" "Ahmed! How are you doing, man?" "Quite fine, thanks! I'm only concerned that you and your comrades will drain all the beer kegs of the island! And, about that, I see you are wearing blue again..." "I missed the charm of the uniform! Oh, and I needed money. How long has been since the légion, five years? Six?" "Seven years, but it seems a different life! Sometimes I miss those times... the sunsets in the desert, the adventures at the borders of the civilized world and the right benders we had in Fort Hercules to celebrate victories!" "There is a remedy for that! Innkeeper, a beer for my friend! Let's drink to my last campaign! Tomorrow I'll hang up my blue coat forever." "At last even this world trotter Varcoastan decided to put his head straight! This last mission must have been very bad!" "You can say that! Probably you have read something on newspapers... we had to chase a group of bloodthirsty fanatics through the whole bloody jungle! After a couple of skirmishes, we suceeded in getting across their net of patrols and ambushes, and we arrived, completely unnoticed, to their main lair." "Like in Madhna... most of the rebels were behind us, but when we took their headquarters and arrested their leaders they all disbanded." "Like in Madhna. And, like in Madhna, we had to neutralize the sentinels..." " that our assault was completely unexpected. We had planned to route them before they could even realize our number." "But we had a surprise too. As soon as we shot the first volleys..." "...a second platoon, we thought still far north, emerged from bushes and ruins and took the enemies from behind." "The battle was fierce, but those fanatics were outnumbered and surrounded; moreover, they weren't used to an open field fight. Only one of our guys was badly wounded, but fortunately he survived." "Well done, I've read what those beasts did to our company of marines! They only deserved hot lead! But probably you have worn down since the légion, this kind of fights was almost a routine!" "Keep your tongue or I'll change my mind about the beer! During the fight we saw a couple of those black crows disappearing in what seemed a lonely grave, and when everything was over..." "...we understood where those fanatics hid themselves. There was a stairway going underground!" "And probably they were ambushing right at the bottom." "They were, but we used the best precautions. Half a kilo of gunpowder, iron and precautions. And then we went down." "Those damned catacombs were literally the hell! Every niche, every dark corner hid a deadly danger!" "They seemed ancient tombs, and everything seemed Halosian, even if the island was colonized a couple of years ago." "At last, in a little room, we found the leader of the sect. All his men were dead, and he was waiting for us. My blood went cold when I clearly saw a face staring at us from the fireplace: I could swear it, there was something of dark and evil in that place!" "And that man... did he say something?" "Well, before cursing us and trying to stab our captain he said something about bad luck. He said that he had arrived with his disciples on the island five years ago, looking for what he called Sanctuary of the Enemy, that damned hole in the jungle that someone had hidden there centuries ago." "Someone who arrived in the New World centuries before us! But what were they looking for? Why did they kill so many people?" "They killed so many people because they were crazy fanatics, but also to keep the others away: they had found the Sanctuary using old maps, but they could not find a secret treasure room... they found the entrance only the day before our arrival!" "That can by right be called bad luck! And also means that you found the treasure!" "Well, actually lieutenant Norbert and a couple of soldiers found an half-open door and its mechanism in an ossuary..." "My friend Jacob told me that it wasn't a nice place, and that there was a strange statue that seemed to have moved... it could be dumb, but they always kept an eye on it!" (Don’t blink, whovians! Beware the weeping angel!) "And... the treasure Hans? Did you find a treasure?" "Unfortunately the treasure was only a bunch of dusty books! Captain Rimbaud is bringing them to the Order, in Granoleon. Now excuse me but I have to go, or the guys will finish all the roasted turkey! But when you are in Fatu Hiva look for me! My new house is in the main street. Goodbye Ahmed!" "Innkeeper! Ahmed is a friend of mine! For him beer will always be free. Agreed?" "Yes, boss!" "Goodbye Hans, thanks for the beer! But... you bought a new house and the inkeeper called you boss... the tavern is yours! Wait a second, are you sure you only found books?" "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't hear what you said! Goodbye Ahmed!" An overall view, with the removable parts removed. EDIT: I'm sorry I forgot giving @Khorne credit for the idea of the légion, since two of the characters are former legionnaires
  15. Three natives in dark green clothing, to camoflauge themselves, silently stalked through the forest. But up on the ridge were Gilbert, his native guide, and a mercenary, carefully keeping watch. They believed these were some of the men who attacked the previous expedition. "Don't make a sound," Gilbert warned, carefully keeping watch. "There!" Gilbert said, elbowing his native guide. "Let the others pass, they'll lead us to their camp. Take Out ol' pegleg though." FWWP! The native but a dart into his blow gun and shot. They heard the peglegged enemy fall to the ground, seeing his blood spill out. "Good," Gilbert said. "Signal the others, I think we found their hideout."
  16. "This is one of the objects deep in the woods," the native Fatu Hivan told Jean. "I don't like this," Jean told the soldier. "Be ready."| The guard took up a stance, ready to fire a shot at any attacker. "Sir," the tropper started, "are you sure this is safe?" "Absolutely," Jean replied as he approaced the idol. "There's nothing to be scared of." "This is an olod monument," the islander added. "I can tell." Jean looked at the talisman. "You know, if they respected this thing more, it wouldn't be overgrown with weeds." "Why does it have this funny hat?" Jean asked. "Supposedly they believe the Great One wears a hat of knowledge." "A hat of knowledge?" Jean repeated. "What a load of bull." "It's what they say, sir." BLAM! The Islander and the guard both instincitvley ducked. "I don't see any incoming fire, sir!" the guard shouted. "Of course not, you numbskull!" Jean returned. "It was me who fired the damned shot!" And lo, it was.The idol was nearly in pieces. It's golden hat was blown to the ground. "The Order of the Faith is the only true religion," Jean started. "Anything else is blasphemy and must be dealt with. Let's get a move on."
  17. As Emile was off in Terraversa, and Rene, Henri, and Randall were off protecting Emile and Elise's business interests. Gilbert, William, and Jean were sent to Fatu Hiva to investigate the mysterious islands. They found themselves approaching a fishing village on the white sands of the island. Oh how they wished they could dip their toes in the water and relax. But of course, duty calls. William, the only man of Emile's crew from Corrington, talked to the leading fisherman of the village. "So your fishing provides a great deal for Oleon?" "Of course," the native responded. "We bring in a great deal. But something tells me you're not here to learn about fishing." "Your intuition is correct," William said. "The mystery in thhe island," the fisherman said, his eyes glazing over as he remembered. "The forest is dark. The island can be dangerous." "So we have heard." "So..." Gilbert started to the tattooed man, "what's it like in there?" "Friend," Tattoo answered, "you don't want to know. But between you and me, it's all nonsense. I think it's just some angry people. Nothing like magic." "Do your gods hold reign there?" "Sure, but what have they done for us? Scare and kill people?" he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "I believed we would fight back Oleon. They're not too bad if I say." "You do realize I'm from Oleon," Gilbert said, deadpan. "Well of course. You're not too bad. If anything, it might be wild animals killing people going in there. Maybe it's the gods, maybe it's people, maybe it's animals." "Fishing then?" Jean asked thhe fishermen. "Maybe I'll join when this is all over." "If you survive the island," the older one said. "Excuse me?" "You heard what he said," the one with the atrocious haircut cut in. "That's why we're going to fish. Better tobe there instead of on the island if things go sideways." "Well at least I've got my pistol," Jean murmured to himself. "Want to hear a joke?" the mustachioed soldier asked. "Sure," the younger man shrugged. "Corrington." The younger soldier burst out in obnoxious laugh. "Alright, that was good. Want to hear a joke?" "Eslandola?" mustache asked. "Damnit how did you know?" I took some insipration from the island villages in Assassin's Creed: Black FLag for this one. It's good to be building again as well.
  18. Emile, We've made a purchase of a sugarcane plantation on Breshaun. This will make our rum production much easier due to us not having to import as much for production. I hired Nicolas, an expert farmer, top overlook the farm. We've just started planting (did you know planting sugarcane is possible??), and hopefully we will have good soon. I had a small hut built for people to rest at after working in the hot sun, along with a rotating guard to make sure nothing is stolen or sabatoged. All my love, Elise My dear Elise, You have no idea how much it pleases me to see your letter. I'll soon be back to you after our expedition. Our expanding business is fantastic, and you are doing a wonderful job overlooking these business deals. I hope Henri and the others of the crew aren't giving you too much trouble. I look forward to seeing the sugarcane plantation when I return. With all my love, Emile Background of the build: Over the past few months I've gone to my local LEGO store and PAB wall quite a few times, grabbing whatver I thought I would need for builds. Finally todaty I had some freetime to build physically, and it was great to be able tp build something with real bricks rather than digital (as great as LDD is). I'm sorry the pictures (or at least the setup) isn't the best.
  19. Cat A Cat B part 1 île D'Or, August 618, somewhere in the jungle Nights can be very dark in the jungle, with just a little campfire to repel the shadows and the humidity of the night… very dark and very lonely, for a sentinel guarding the bivouac, alone among his companions wrapped in their blankets or, if they are lucky enough to be officers, sleeping in a comfortable tent. Nights in the jungle can also be very dangerous. Snakes leave their holes, hunting for preys in the bushes and in the low water... ...but you can also receive an undesirable visit of some two-legged snakes infesting the island. Without a sound, similar to shadows in the night, they got close to the camp: two of them headed to the tent, ready to cut the ropes and then slaughter the men trapped inside... ...while the others (among which a familiar face) approached the soldiers, in order to slit the sentinel's throat and kill the others in their sleep. It will be a matter of seconds: blades in the dark, horrible stabbing sounds, and everything will be over. A matter of seconds, and then... ...then the assassins dressed in black will be in the middle of the fake camp, clearly visible in the light of the fire, among straw puppets and pineapples covered by hats. Clearly visible… and ready to be ballasted with a considerable amount of lead! An overall view A couple of close-ups of the cane field
  20. After losing the corvette HMS Badger to a nefarious fleet of pirates (and sinking the flagship, the Komodo Dragon), Corrington had been outraged to see the pirates parade the prize into the Olean port of Lavalette. Hence, Corrington had sent an official request to the RNTC authorities to size the unlawful prize and return it to its proper owners. This had left the authorities of Lavalette in a dilemma, as can be seen from the following official communication. Official letters: The outcome had been an agreement that Corrington would dispatch a group of Royal Engineers to assist in building up fortifications to counter the the pirate threat. In return, Oleon would seize the HMS Badger and expel the pirate fleet, as well as assist in the build up of similar Corlander defences at some point in the future. A plan had been made for a distributed build up of fortifications that would add up to a well-rounded defence of the settlement. Lavalette Fort Headquarters by Tom Gray, on Flickr (32x16 by @Spud The Viking) Fortifications: Visitors for Lavalette by @Bregir (32x16) Lavalette Cannon Battery by @LM71Blackbird (32x16) Innovative Tactics for Lavalette by @Drunknok (32x16) Mortar Emplacement by @Bregir (32x48) Small Fort at Lavalette by @Bodi (32x32) to be continued... For now, a large fort will be licensed.
  21. To complement explosive boats and direct fire artillery, the foreigners, now identified as Royal Engineers, had brought with them plans and equipment for long range defences, and with the assistance local manpower an artillery platform for heavy siege mortars was quickly erected. Able to lop explosive bombs accurately over great distances, it would be a threat to any besieging fleet or moored vessel. The builders now gone, the Corlander engineers are drilling the local garrison in the use of the mortars. Being accustomed to direct fire artillery, the mathematics and fire control of indirect fire is taking some getting used to. One of the garrison has made the mistake of standing before the gun as it fires, disregarding the warning from the instructor. The nature of indirect fire means communication with nearby outposts is of the utmost importance, which means a semaphore has been set up in conjunction with the battery. Further, to aid in fire control a spotting tower with optical equipment allows correction of elevation and azimuth for the artillery.
  22. île D'Or, August 618, somewhere outside Fatu Hiva "Why are we here, monsieur Rimbaud?" Asked Marcel Laurent, one of the members of the little group. "I mean... not on the island but here, in this fishery." Marcel, a physician arrived in Astrapi only a couple of years before, was one of the members of the little group. He had spent most of his career in the navy, travelling around the world... nobody was really surprised when he asked joining the expedition. "We have at least two good reasons, mon ami." Answered Tristan Rimaud, leader of the team. "First, I was said Juracàn's tribe was one of the last that arrived in Fatu Hiva, so we can obtain some fresh news. Second, and even more important... don't you like smoked fish?". Meanwhile, in precarious balance on a wooden pole, a native was fishing with his spear and an Halosian was -well...- trying something similar. Soldiers watched them with interest. "Welcome to my fishing point, my lords. The humble Jurancàn wishes he could satisfy you. Are you interested in buying some smoked fish, or maybe you need a barrel of salted cod? We have just found a giant whelk, trust me, a delicacy as you never tasted. We also have crabs and, under the palm, a bucket of wonderful lobsters, I've just caught them myself, I can show them you if you are interested." Finally the flood of words stopped, with great relief of the others. "Thank you, cacique, you are too polite with these men" Replied Tristan, using one of the habitual formulas so appreciated by the natives. "My warriors and I are beginning a journey, so we'll buy both smoked and salted fish, and for this reason we also ask you the courtesy of some pieces of information." "Juracàn would be pleased to be useful, my lords. Are you leaving the island? Juracàn knows all the reefs and sandbanks of the western coast." "I'm sorry you misunderstood, great cacique. We are not leaving the island. I'm going straight into the jungle to hunt whoever is attacking natives and colonists." Here they are. Juracàn seemed a brave man, but most natives were litterally frightened, and was impossible to obtain anything more than a superstitious stutter. "The jungle, my lords? No, no, avoid the jungle! Bad ghosts live there! Live there and kill! They have always hated the men coming from sea, both my people and yours, but now their thirst of human blood increased! Nobody is safe far from the town!" Not very encouraging, but still better then a useless sobbing. "I do not fear bad ghosts, cachique. I will hunt them with my brave warriors, and free both my people and yours from their menace!" Brave warriors... strange definition for his volounteers, an half of which was in jail only a week before: tough and resolute men, but not the ones you imagine on a white horse! "Don't go, my lord, don't go please! Once the forest ghost were not so evil... sometimes they took seamen's life with snake bites or accidents, but not many more than our benign sea gods. But five summers ago something happened: shadows left the jungle and slaughtered brave warriors during the night, and many saw monsters and apparitions. Things went worse and worse, and we decided to leave our fathers' land. Don't go into the jungle, sir, or they will curse you! Somethimes the ones who saw bad ghosts became ill: they had seizures and shivers, and red stains appeared on their skins! Some of them died, and the hands of others became black and contracted..." "Le pain maudit!" -the cursed bread- exclaimed Marcel Laurent. "What are you talking about, my friend?" "All the symptoms are loudly saying ergotism! I've seen this disease when I was a young country doctor in Northern Oleon. Somethimes rye develops strange brown horns, and who eats rye bread becomes ill and sometimes sees or ears strange things. It would also explain the sudden maddness of our soldier... some ergot in the water and a masked attacker would completely frighten anybody!" "But, since the natives do not cultivate... Juracàn, great cacique, there aren't bad ghosts in the forest, but evil men who killed and poisoned your people! Somebody Who is trying to put fear in our hearts! I swear that I'll find them and I will kill them to avenge your warriors and our soldiers." "Monsieurs, cacique, sorry to interrupt you." Whispered a soldier. "We are not alone." Some more photos Salted fish Smoked fish The "wonderful lobsters" An overall view
  23. Rumble in the Jungle by Ross Fisher, on Flickr Extract from 'The continuing adventures of Padre François by his companion, Monsieur Gallo' ...It was then that we descended into the dell. While a general sense of foreboding had been surrounding us the entire journey, here it reached a peak. We had found only small hints that the colonists had come in this direction. However, they were no longer our main concern. Other mercenary companies were out scouring the hills for them. The Padre was more concerned about the head-hunters. The dell was the dark heart of this jungle. No longer a golden isle, but one given to bloody savagery. It appeared quiet, but there were signs the cannibals had been here recently. Shrunken heads dangled from the trees, totems and spears surrounded the clearing, and a trail of blood led to a cave at the foot of a huge rock wall. The Padre ordered a pause while we surveyed the area, and the militia set up a perimeter under the acting-Lieutenant's orders. Unfortunately, that's when the attacks started. A dozen or more of the savages launched a vicious attack, with spears, arrows and blow-darts. Some of the troops were slain immediately, while the rest returned an uneven fire. Soon the entire clearing was wreathed in powder-smoke, and this may have done more to protect us than any defence we might've offered. In desperation, the acting-Lieutenant pulled the remaining party members into the mouth of the cave. Shortly afterwards we heard our pack animal being cruelly cut down. Then, for the longest time, there was nothing. No sound, and only the dim light from the dell, slowly turning to darkness. And then we heard the drums again. And the chanting. "Al'su". It brought to mind the words of the lumber workers back in Fatu Hiva: "Skulltaker prophecy". The chanting and the drumming rose and rose in intensity until a crack akin to musketfire came from just outside the cave. The heathens abruptly stopped, having apparently fled. Their noises were replaced by a malevolent hum. The acting-Lieutenant offered to send a sentry to investigate, but the Padre refused. This, he said, was his mission alone. He left the cave quietly and calmly, his staff gripped in both hands. I followed to the mouth of the cave, and what I saw shook me to my core. There, in the dell, was a daemon; a sight which has stayed with me to the end of my days. Well over 7 feet tall, it was formed from darkness, with a skull for a face, and two glowing eyes that were unblinkingly fixed on the Padre. Then it swept towards him. The Padre thrust his staff into the abomination' s middle, but the daemon kept on coming, grinning its skeletal grin, and raising its arm to strike. It was then that the Padre exclaimed a word from a language I have never heard before or since. What that word was, I cannot recall. I likely would not be able to repeat it even if I could remember. Nonetheless, with a flash of light, the monster was rendered far more corporeal. When the Padre struck again, it was driven back. When he struck the daemon for the third time, its grinning daemon skull was thrown from its shoulders, and its body disappeared into fog on the breeze. The Padre strode over to the skull, and mercilessly crushed it underfoot. Apparently the savages had also been watching the encounter, because this action caused them a great anguish. Much wailing and moaning was heard from the trees and, in time, they moved slowly away. This creature, then, was Al'su, the Skulltaker. Its coming was foretold among the natives. Some, had held onto it as a way to defeat the colonists, and had made sacrifices at this spot in order to encourage it. Others had fled, fearing its malevolence beyond all else. When the Padre destroyed the daemon, he won a powerful victory for the Order of the Faith. The Head Hunters were driven back. In time they might be overcome by locals or other expeditions. Without their daemon, their resolve would be crippled, and their cohesion would crumble. Meanwhile, the rest of the island savages, hearing of this victory, would recognise the power of the Aplynacian gods and convert. The Padre, following this confrontation, deemed his work here a success. We left the Île d'Or not long after. While his path has often been beset by danger, I only saw him enter such immortal peril on a handful of occasions. Each time I was reminded that only the truly righteous can tread such a path and remain unscathed. So that's the end of the Padre's adventure in Fatu Hiva. I wonder what island he'll tear apart next?
  24. The court day finally came, the infamous pirate Harrison Torn was conducted to the Hotel de Ville of Lavalette, then brought to a small room. He looked around and asked "where's the jury, where's the audience?" "There's no jury, no audience, only me and monsieur l'inquisiteur." Replied the judge in a cold, monotonous voice, then he added "shall we proceed, monsieur l'inquisiteur?" The man behind the small desk said "Your honour, the man you see here is accused of piracy, he was caught in the act by one of our fleet, I hereby ask a fast and severe punishment." "Very well, the evidence against him was overwhelming, send this man to the gallows." "But...I...I protest" stammered Harrison Torn. The inquisitor intervened, aloud, "the culprit said he's filled with remorse and he has no objection to the sentence." The judge nodded "Right. Next!"  The execution and funeral of Harrison Torn was a lovely affair. Lavalette had recently built a new gallows just up the coast (actually a converted smugglers crane). The pirate himself gave a moving last speech, something along the lines of "It's not bloody fair..." Tragically, most of it was lost to the noise of the wind. Death of a pirate by Ross Fisher, on Flickr Harrison Torn's body hung there for a week or so as a warning to other pirates, before it was cut down by a small group of locals, who preferred their rum without import tax. This has been a collaboration between myself and @Bodi. Let it be a lesson to anyone else considering piracy in Oleonaise waters.
  25. Keymonus

    The foundry

    Astrapi, August 618, halfway between the city and the mine "Good morning monsieur Duchamp, I am honored by your presence here. As you can see, the foundry is now fully operative, and we estimate the costs will be completely refunded in a couple of months". "The honor is mine, director, you've done an admirable work!" Replied Renè Duchamp. Director's prediction was a bit too optimistic, but how to blame his enthusiasm? They had been just a step before complete failure, the investors were discouraged and only his own reassurance to creditors, Tristan's perseverance and the director's skills saved House Rimbaud's investment on Astrapi silver. Everything about that damned silver has resulted harder than expected, with the ore in an impervious area, water infiltrations in the tunnels, the employment of an half of the labour force in the construction of the Arsenal and, last but not least, copper in the silver veins, just enough to make conventional smelting process almost useless. "As you can see, we are receiving in this very moment some partially refined silver from the mine... it is smelted there, but that doesn't remove copper. The cargos are delivered to the pier using small boats or bigger barges" "What are those men doing?" Asked Duchamp, curious. "They are numbering and date-stamping the barrels. Since their content comes from the same area of the mine, we will assay only some of them for copper amount, and mixing them up wouldbe a problem" "And here you can see the beast -continued the director- the heart of the foundry. This is our cupellation furnace, eating coal and pooping fine silver... I am sorry sir, forgive my rudeness." "No problem, Director, it is no trouble at all. Please, go on: how does your famous furnace work?" "How I was saying, sir, it is a cupellation furnace, not a great innovation, but the first one in the New Worl; as the name suggests, it contains one or more "cups", bowls of calcareus sand. The smelted silver from the mine is loaded in the furnace together with a calculated amount of lead. When the metal melts, we open the hatch, and the strong air flow oxidise lead to litharge, that sinks through silver and is absorbed by the sand, dragging copper away. Copper oxidises too, but without the lead movement it would remain mixed with silver." "Lead... that's why you need so much lead! It's not easy bring it to the foundry!" "I know, monsieur, and for this reason we have a good stock of both lead and coal. My men are bringing lead ingots inside the warehouse, a hard job, I do not envy them at all" "There we also store the barrels of raw silver, ready for refination" "Please, monsieur, come with me in the building behind us. As you can see there are a little furnace, used to assay raw silver, and what's needed to verify weight and size of silver ingots and to mark them." "Good morning guys. Thank you for the tour, Director. I only have a question: what is that yellow powderon the table?" "An easy question, monsieur. It is solid litharge, that is lead oxide. We usually sell some of it to local painters, who use it as yellow pigment." The facade of the building An overall view