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  1. Historica United This is a modified version of the entry that I (Henjin_Quilones) contributed to Book II, Challenge V, Category C, combined with the highlights of my fellow Avalonian, @TitusV's, entry to the same challenge category. He approached me, after being approached by other Guildsmembers, about combining our entries into a single cohesive narrative, as a way of trying to help speed up the judging process; what you see here is the result. Part I: In the Halls of Hesperia The story of the beginning of the end has been told elsewhere, in the tales of the build-bards of old, of intrigue, murder, magical items, quests, and alliances. Thus this is not the beginning of the end, but the beginning of the end of the end, if you follow. And the beginning of the end of the end begins in one of the furthest corners of Historica, in the far west of Avalonia, in one of the last remaining pockets of High Elves in the known world, the Kingdom of Hesperia. High Elves seldom get involved with the affairs of men, yet in times of the greatest peril they will sometimes venture forth with their glittering array of armor and gilded weapons. This could be one of those times, with the threat of Raavage and his magically-unleashed threats of doom for all the living, and yet it is not so simple for the King of Hesperia, Fingolë the Golden. In his halls in his summer palace, at Istolia, he met with his trusted advisers, his two eldest children, Falaria and Fingalad. Suddenly, ignoring his guards, his youngest daughter, Galaria, and several others burst in. "Father," cried Galaria. "You must listen to me!" "And why should he listen to a child as rude as you?" retorted Falaria, speaking in place of her father, who sat on the throne glowering at his impetuous, almost wood-elf daughter. "Surely you have heard the message that Celdrian has brought?" said Galaria, gesturing to the blue-clad Eagle-Rider beside her. "Of course I have," spoke the king. "But neither he nor you were invited to this meeting, were you? And is that a human in my presence?" "Yes, Father, it is. This is Henjin Quilones, a knight of the Druidi Order, whom I found while on patrol in the forest. You also saw the fireball flying through the sky, did you not? That was his arrival, and the sign that the fulfillment of the prophecy is at hand. The true king of all Historica returns!" "Bah!" exclaimed the king. "A druid he may be, or perhaps not. I have no use for humans, nor dwarves, nor even lowly wood-elves. Begone from my presence! And think well before coming before me again uninvited, Galaria, my daughter." "May we have permission to search the library of the palace here, Father?" Galaria asked before leaving. "Search all you want, just do not disturb my councils again!" shouted Fingolë. __________________ "A charming fellow, your father," said Henjin when they were safely in the library. "Indeed," agreed Galaria. "I would like to say that he takes some getting used to, but even after four hundred years I am still not used to his arrogance and pride. He is obsessed with the proper place of the High Elves, and as the years go by he thinks less and less about what is good and true and beautiful in the universe, still less about the fate of Historica." "Are you sure this is the proper section of the library, Galaria?" asked Henjin. "These stacks are palatial; I have never seen such books and scrolls in my life." "Well, whatever else can be said of my father, he takes it very seriously to have a record of every book, parchment, decree, spell, recipe, or anything else ever written in the four lands, and beyond, in his libraries. There are plenty of maps here, but which is the correct one?" "We need something referring to a helm, the Necromancer's Helm," chimed in Celdrian, the messenger, who had joined them in their search. "I thought there was just a battle over helms a few years back," said Yavenna, Galaria's most-trusted elf-scout. "That was the Elemental Helm; this new one is the Necromancer's Helm," corrected Galaria. "Very different, though both helms." A shout came from the balcony level and the others saw Henjin waving a tattered scrap of parchment over the railing. "I have found it! This scrap tells of the location of the Necromancer's Helm!" "Quickly, then, let us compare it to the maps and mark the place where the Helm may be found," said Galaria. "Then what?" asked Yavenna. "What do we do when we know where the Helm is?" The group fell silent. They had not thought that far ahead. Henjin joined them below and they stood around the table in the library, pondering. "We need some way of neutralizing the magic of the Helm, I think; something to control the arcane flows that radiate out from a magical artefact like that." Celdrian looked up at the druid in surprise. "Did you say 'arcane flows'?" This time it was Henjin's turn to look surprised. "Yes, I did. Why?" Celdrian smiled. "I know just the people who specialize in the regulation of arcane matters, on a very practical and technical level. Make a copy of the map and everything we know about the Helm, and I will bring it to Zotharith and Onicimus; they will know what to do." "We also need to have the armies of the various guilds ready to fight, in a unified front against our different, and yet united, enemies," said Galaria. "I will bring letters to leading men in the guilds, telling them where to bring their troops and when, while I am on my way to deliver the map to Zotharith," said Celdrian. "Aeriglaaac flies faster than the wind, so we can have it done in no time." "When you are done, return here and collect us," added Galaria. "We still need to make sure the True King can retake his throne." Part II: Heroes Assemble And so Celdrian mounted on Aeriglaaac the Great Eagle and visited the four guilds, bringing messages to leaders far and wide. As he flew eastward over the forests and plains of Avalonia, he stopped in Eolas first, to deliver the message to the Maestro: As soon as the Maestro received the news, he sent out riders to summon his banners to the fight, and, knowing the state of the enemy they might be fighting, called even upon the various mages he had in his realm. Celdrian, after leaving Eolas, soon met with deGothia in the halls of Sionnach: After stopping at a few more Avalonian villas to rally the lords against the Drow, he then flew north across the mountains of Mitgardia and visited Fin of Terydian on the edges of the tundra: Sir Glorfindel was next, near the gates of Nordheim: Having assured that the northerners would muster against the Algus, the mighty eagle flew on the back of the North Wind, faster than the currents of aether, and was soon in the lands of the south, in the Guild of Kaliphlin, where he stopped in Barqa to meet the half-elf Lord Gideon: Katoren was next, with the Lord Aymeri greeting him by the gate: Finally he flew further east to Nocturnus, and visited Lord Vladivus at Shadowmere: A stop in the lowlands near the Reach allowed him to visit Gal-Turok, Leader of the Goblin Clans: The goblin leader had his border patrols increased, and built new walls and towers to forestall any Spire incursions onto his lands. Finally, after many miles, though only a few hours aloft, Celdrian and Aeriglaaac circled down over Zotharith. Part III: Zotharith Council Meeting In Zotharith, a council meeting was underway, with Exetrius standing in for his father, Onicimus, who was busy tinkering with his gadgets far beneath the city. That such an inexperienced and low-ranking member of the Order should be leading a meeting rankled some in attendance, but all held their tongues out of respect for their leader's wishes. Exetrius called them to order. "If we could find the Helm before Raavage, my father thinks that we have both the manpower and the technical knowledge to disable the Helm and its magics," the white-haired mage said. "But what of Raavage?" said one of the others in attendance, General Zeruko Urima. "My armies are well-trained and well-equipped, but I am not sure they are ready to face the dreadful power that is Lord Raavage." "Even Raavage cannot defeat an entire army of warrior-mages, General," replied Exetrius. "We will bring a combination of your warriors and some of our best mages, so that we shall not fail. We will also be provided with several of the arcane-regulation devices that link up to the core that my father has been building, which should, if the calculations are correct, neutralize the artefact entirely. If only we knew where it was!" At that moment, Celdrian knocked at the door and entered. "I think I can help you there, young Exetrius," said the elf-messenger. "My friends have pored over the extensive libraries of Hesperia and discovered the location of the Helm you seek. They have included instructions in that letter, and marked the place here on the map in red." "Thank you, Celdrian, and may the wind be ever under Aeriglaaac's wings." "May your mana never run short," said the elf as he bowed out. "We start tonight!" cried Exetrius after the elf had left. "We cannot afford to waste even one day in this quest, since Raavage has already had several days' head start. Let us go!" Part IV: The Great Battle of Historica While the Zotharians were travelling to the location deep beneath the Rakath Mountains that held the Necromancer's Helm, the armies of Historica were on the march, too. Many of the Lords of the Realms came to the Grand Griffon Tavern on the outskirts of Cedrica to make the final preparations for the upcoming battles. They would be fought on many fronts, for the enemy was diverse: the Avalonians were up against the Drow, the Mitgardians against the Algus, the Nocturnians of the Resistance were fighting against the Spire's dominion, and Kaliphlin, still divided by conflict, was fighting itself, torn asunder again by the Spire's influence. The recently resurrected and restored Trian Burress led the meetings. Some of the leaders, those who had not yet met the True King of Historica, were discussing his identity; Burress interrupted them with a story of the old king, saying, "Many years ago I was with Artorious Rex, Avalonia's disappeared leader, walking through Cedrica here, when we saw, in the street, a beggar who looked a little too familiar. When we looked closer, we realized that it was the king himself, dressed in rags, begging on the street." "Needless to say, I was shocked at the sight, but Artorious merely laughed. 'The king likes to be among his people, to feel what they feel and see what they see; today he might be a beggar, next week a stableboy, the next a barkeeper'. It moved me to see a king who cared so deeply for his people." "Later, when we were back in Albion, I asked Artorious more about the king and his habits; I learned much that day, but alas, the time on the earth was short for our beloved king, for it was not long before Revolword, that accursed drow-lover, killed him and started all of this chaos. One thing I learned, and will lay before you now, before the battle, to give you hope for our cause, was that the king had sent off his children to explore the lands outside of Historica. He had done so for two reasons, Artorious said: first, to keep them away from palace intrigue that might be deadly; and second, to force them to learn more about the world and different ways of experiencing life and rule, just as he did when he sat as a beggar in the streets. One of those children has returned to us now, in our time of need, to guide the Guilds once more." The other lords, hearing Burress's tale, were much cheered, and fell to the task of making the plans for victory over their enemies. And so, guided by the enheartened lords from every Guild, the Historican armies came forth from every race and people. The enemies of the Guilds also marched forth, drawn by the reports of spies that the Guilds were gathering. Then the battles were fought between the armies of the four guilds and their deepest enemies, enemies united behind the banner of the Black Spire. The Battle of the Moruth Highlands At first, the Nocturnians took a defensive stance, not knowing what the Spire would throw against their walls. But it soon turned out that the Spire troops were mortal too, when Raavage was not there to lead them. Hence, the Resistance got bolder. And so Gal-Turok, himself at the forefront, led his goblin armies in the mighty charge in the Battle of the Moruth Highlands, joined by the armies of Anfauglir, Lord Vladivus, Anzar the Dragon Master, and Lord Jorrith, among many others. The press of black horses against the charging Uruks of the Hand of Corruption carried the day, despite the chanting of witches giving the Uruks strength. The charge was glorious and valiant, and the army of the Resistance won the battle, scattering the remaining Uruks in every direction, to be picked off one by one. The Battle of the Shifting Oasis Lord Gideon of Barqa led the Kaliplinites into war, along with his secret weapon, the Barqan fire. It was the Barqan fire indeed that won the day, burning through the armor and flesh of the High Council troops who had joined with the Spire. Not all had, and many within Kaliphlin chose not to fight at all, as the scars of the civil war were still too fresh; but those patriots who desired peace and the return of the True King to Cedrica bared their blades and fought against those who wished for dissension. In the shifting sand dunes outside of the famed Shifting Oasis, the two armies met, and the High Council soldiers, and the occasional orc, were routed. Led by soldiers of the Desert King, Barqa, Katoren, and Khadira, the armies loyal to the cause of the True King rode off victorious. The Battle of Crystal Tarn In Mitgardia, the Algus were stopped once and for all at the Battle of Crystal Tarn, when the Mitgardian men, led by Sir Glorfindel, Lord Fin, Sir Gunman, and Davok Shieldbasher, among other great northern heroes, and an army of dwarves met the onrush of the mysterious ice-people. Despite the blasts of cold and ice launched by the sorceresses of the Algus, the Mitgardians stood strong with their dragon-forged steel and destroyed their enemies. The Battle of Green Leaf Pass In Avalonia, the Flight of Dragons flew again, charging across the field of battle. Thus the Drow armies were annihilated at the Battle of Green Leaf Pass, with not a twisted dark elf of that army left alive. The Flight of Dragons, led by Lords de Gothia and Alric Drondil, together with the Maestro and Brandon Stark, some elves, forest men, and one strange half-elf, coursed up the pass and broke through the Drow lines, and Laesonar did the rest with a few well-placed leaps and swings of his katanas. The back of the Drow army was broken, and it would be years before they could muster another army and pose a threat to anyone. All of the free peoples of Historica were participants in the Great Battle for Historica, fought on many different fields but all joined together in one spirit. Part V: The Chamber of the Necromancer Meanwhile, beneath the Rakath Mountains, Lord Raavage finally reached the crypt that held the Necromancer's helm. The only problem was that instead of one helm, there were eight. "Which one is the Helm I seek?" Raavage muttered. "Which one is it?" He reached out to first one, then another. Each felt distinctly magical, but he could not tell which was which. Behind him he heard a noise, which caused him to turn around to see who had made it past his guards. It was those infernal Zotharians, the mages who refused to join him despite his many threats. No matter. They would be dealt with once he had the Helm. "Raavage!" the white-haired one in the front shouted at him across the chamber. "Step away from the Helms and we will not hurt you." "Ha!" snorted Raavage. "Hurt me? You? A half-grown, 39th-ranked mage? Did Zotharith have no one better to send? Did Daddy not want to come himself, so he sends his little runt in his place?" "I am not alone, Raavage, as you can see. I have behind me some much more powerful mages than I, and what is more, I have the knowledge of which Helm you seek, which, from the looks of it, you lack." Raavage growled. "How can you be so sure, Little Mage? Did Daddy tell you?" "No, an Avalonian druid and elf princess did, after studying the lore available in their library. It is really quite amazing what you can learn if you read, I hear. Not that you would ever bother with such mundane matters yourself, I am sure, being a big, tough beast like you are." "Grrrrr! Which helm is it, Zotharian?" "The helm you seek will call out to you, if you listen. But be warned, Raavage, the lore says that if you choose the wrong Helm, it will destroy you utterly." "Are all of these fake, then?" growled Raavage. "Except the one real one?" "No, they are Helms of different powers, but they are not powers for the likes of you and me to tamper with." Raavage turned his back on Exetrius and felt along the alcoves with his magical intuition, seeking the call that the Zotharian had said he would feel. He was not sure why he felt that the mage was trustworthy, at least in this matter, since he seldom trusted anyone for anything, but he did. At last, feeling over the second-to-last helm, he felt a small tug. Nothing much, nothing he would have noticed if he were not on high alert, but it was there. He lifted down the helm and began to laugh. "The power is mine! After I don the Helm, I shall slay all of you and raise you back up, and you shall be my undead slaves!" He put on the helm, still laughing. But his laughter soon turned to a scream, as the powers of the helm he had donned began to age him and rip apart the fiber of his being. His fur turned grey, and then white, and then all his flesh wasted away until he had nothing but a skeleton remaining. The body of Lord Raavage fell to the ground, lifeless, his soul sucked from him by the Helm he had chosen. Even the bones vanished, leaving nothing but the Helm and the armor of the once-mighty lord. Exetrius and two of his companions came forward, carrying arcane devices. "It worked, just like you said it would," one said. "All we had to do was use the device you are holding to alter the flow from that helm just enough to make him choose it," Exetrius said. "It was rather simple after all." "What does the other device do?" said the other. "That will close up this cavern and lock it into another dimension, inaccessible to Historicans again. Let's get out of here and activate the device. Raavage is defeated." Part VI: The Throneroom of Cedrica "Are you sure the King is in here?" asked Henjin as they stood outside the door. It had been recently repaired, it seemed, and the mortar was barely set around the new hinges. There had been no king in these halls for years, and some work had been necessary to get things back in order. It had been done in a hurry after the various battles had been completed. All of the armies were now coming back to Cedrica, but Henjin had come early, brought by Celdrian, to make sure that the King was ready for coronation in front of the armies of all Historica. "Yes," said Celdrian. "The King is in here, as everyone has told us." "Very well, let us enter." To Henjin's surprise, however, it was not a King who sat upon the golden throne, but a Queen. A young, very beautiful queen. "Welcome, my friends," the Queen said in a gentle, mellifluous voice. She stood up and came forward to greet them, and they bowed before her. Henjin proffered his sword to her, and she accepted it kindly. "Your sword, Knight Henjin Quilones, of the Druidi Order, I accept and return to you. Bear it well, for me, Ylspeth, your queen, and may you always fight for the cause of truth, justice, and right." "I shall, my queen, Your Highness." "You have done me great favor by bearing tidings to my people, allowing our armies to overcome on the field of battle, and our mages to overcome in the realm of the arcane," continued the Queen. "I shall bestow upon you whatsoever you wish to show my gratitude." "I wish nothing, my Liege, save to be counted among those loyal to you," said Henjin. "That, and I would like to know how you came to be on the throne, alive, when all the rest of your family is dead." Queen Ylspeth looked troubled for a moment as grief passed over her face, but then she composed herself and laughed, and it sounded like clear water flowing over rocks, like the the honeyed song of birds. "I shall tell you, then, Druid Henjin, but not here. I am parched, and the wine here in the palace has been awful without the proper government in place. Do you know the Grand Griffon Tavern? The proprietor, Master Gabbold, is an old friend of mine, and he keeps all the best in his cellars. Let us go thither and talk over some drinks." "Do you mind if I bring a few friends?" asked Henjin. "Not at all! The more the merrier!" Part VII: At the Grand Griffon Tavern "When Henjin said a few friends, I assumed he meant a few friends," said Queen Ylspeth to Princess Galaria as they were pressed by the bodies of many sweaty warriors fresh from battle. "Well, he has made connection with many folk from the different parts of the kingdom, so getting to know them all will be helpful for you," said Galaria. "In fact, Your Highness, in this room are many of the most important figures in your kingdom, all eager to hear your tale." A voice somewhere in the room shouted, "Three cheers for Queen Ylspeth!" A loud cheer erupted from many voices. Then the room grew silent. "Thank you all for joining us here. Master Gabbold will be happy to serve you whatever beverage you like, and the tab is on me, so do not stint yourself. Aymeri, I see you drinking tea, but you can get something stronger if you like. Lord Vlad, O-positive? Good. Many of you are wondering just how I came to be here. My father, the late king, was killed by Raavage soon after Revolword was deposed; the rescue party came too late. I, either by good fortune or bad, was away from Cedrica at the time; indeed, I was away from Historica at the time. I was aboard one of my father's ships, sailing from distant land to distant land, exploring the different islands, meeting new peoples. I hope that all of you have a chance to do so someday, as the world is so much larger than you think. It was my father who sent me, perhaps realizing the danger the kingdom was about to face, on my sixteenth birthday off to sea. One day, on an island far, far from here, away off west, I came across news of my father's murder. My mother, too, was cruelly butchered at the hands of Raavage. I wondered, fearing the worst, about the fate of my brother who had been sailing around like me, and the worst was confirmed at another stop. Knowing that I was not prepared to rule, and that to come back then, like my brother had tried to do, would be suicide, I stayed at a western island, training with an order of warrior monks. They taught me their wisdom, gave me access to their library, and trained me in their manner of combat. When I was judged to be proficient, nay, a master of both wisdom and war, I came back. I wish I had been able to return sooner, but it seems I was just in time to inspire the last forces of good to make a stand, and to do so with success. My eternal thanks to you, my brave warriors, for all you have done. I am forever in your debt." When the queen had finished, those in attendance gave another loud cheer and called for another round. Lord Gideon, who had arrived late after grooming his horse, got his drink. And as the talk went on, Laesonar, who had never moved far from the queen, finally managed to strike up a conversation with her. "So, Queen Ylspeth, are you seeing anyone?" "Not currently, no," she replied. "But surely you will need heirs to the throne, right?" the half-elf persisted, putting out the vibe. "I suppose so, yes, but I have not yet met the right man." "You can check that off the to-do list, since you have met me, now," he said with a cheeky grin and a wink. "I am sure I shall have hordes of suitors lining up. Perhaps I shall have to host a tournament to meet the eligible men of the realm, to have the best possible information about making an alliance that is for the best of all of Historica. But first, we must remember the fallen and bury the dead." Queen Ylspeth raised her glass and called out to the assembly, "To all those who fell in the battles for Historica, may the memories of them never die!" Another cheer arose at that, and more beer was quaffed. "For Steen," a Mitgardian voice called out. "For Steen," came the cry from the others. And the names of the dead were remembered by all, called out by their lords and friends. Master Gabbold was unable to serve any drinks to customers for months after the gathering, and most of the attendees had difficulty waking up in the morning. But Historica was free. Part VIII: Steen Larsson's Funeral When the armies of Historica returned to their homes to rebuild their lives anew, some returned whole and strong, others badly wounded and marked for life, others returned under a shroud, and still others returned not at all. In a scene the like of which was repeated all too often around the Guilds, Steen Larsson, the famed Mitagardian lord, was led out for burial after a ceremony at his local stave church. His fellow Lords accompanied him to his final resting place, his face covered by a traditional death mask of the north. The war was over, the Guilds of Historica were united once more, but still much work remained. The Queen had returned. Now she had to rule. The end. ________________________________________________________ ................................................................................................................ So there you have it, a combined version of the builds of TitusV and myself. We were the top two vote-getters in the voting thread, so one of our stories was likely to become canon, but perhaps this combined version can serve instead. We combined our entries in order to facilitate speeding things up and allow life in the Guilds to go on sooner, perhaps. That is up to the Guild Leaders to decide, though, I suppose. C&C is welcome, of course, though most of you probably already gave what you were going to give the first time around. It was not a perfect marriage between the two stories, but I think we did a pretty good job of blending the two together (except for the whole yellow/fleshie difference, of course). The pictures are labeled as to who did what, if you could not tell otherwise. And if you read the whole thing, thanks! And good job.
  2. With his new ship The Spirit of Eryos, Prince Kevin the Navigator can finally live up to his name as a Navigator! He has set sail in search of new land, and is currently navigating through a cluster of tiny islands seemingly inhabited by Monkeys. Bartholomeus, his new apprentice, is travelling with him. Wow, I don't know how I managed to finish this in time for the challenge deadline! The image quality is not great, as it was rushed. I also don't have a different colored backdrop, so the sails are hard to see. Sorry! The only non-LEGO parts are the sails, which are craft foam with designs done by markers. The ship most closely resembles a carrack, although instead of a third mast I connected the back sail to the main mast. The ship has some rigging and a full interior. The hardest part about the build was probably making sure there were no gaps in the shaping of the front of the hull, as well as making the entire hull bow in just slightly.
  3. For Eslandola It was just an average, ordinary day in this little Marderian seaside settlement. The water lapped against the dock, citizens strolled hither and thither, sailors went about their business - which business, evidently, was nothing more than poking their nose into everyone else's business - housewives bustled around importantly, children laughed and ran - in short, the day was perfectly normal and unexciting. And then IT came. It came slowly, sneakily... barely making ripples in the water. It's tentacles slithered up the stone pier so softly no one even knew it was there. Suddenly a dead silence fell over the bustling docks. You could have heard a pin drop as the monster slithered over the mossy stones... still silently... still slowly... but still relentlessly. For a moment, time seemed to stand still. For a moment, no one moved. For a moment, no one could believe that this was more than a hideous dream. The next moment... terror! This town, at least, will not be sending aid to the war effort. Well, this was a bit out of my comfort zone... Not unhappy with the result however. Tried out a new wall technique on that tallest house! And of course the Kraaken was quite a first... but not too bad, all things considered! Thanks for looking!
  4. Pictures talk more than a thousand words : ) And a couple of closeups:
  5. :: The Collition :: - Personel Docking - Inside the enormous colonization vessel of Kawashita Group orbitting Orinshi, Narbilu and his crew of explorers make themselves ready to board the Hummer. The airlocks are still locked tight, but they will board soon (wait for challenge B to experience the Hummer).
  6. Commander Beltar

    [Challenge 2] [Cat C] Prelude to Paradise

    ============================================================================================================================ Kawashita Medical Ship: Rebirth (Deck 4) Begin Experiment, Attempt 42, Project Paradise Prelude: Doctor Mar V. In: Are you sure you want to proceed with the operation General? Kawashita General Taage: Yes. Mr. J: Ah just in time. aPauLo-13, this will be your brand new partner. PauL: Yes sir. But in his current state, I may not like it. Mr. J: Yes yes, Paradise might give him the chance he needs though. Dr. Mar V. In: It won’t hurt a bit Mr. Beltar…I can assur- Beltar: But…YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND…I GOT AN ALIEN FREAKIN PARASITE CHEWING AT MY INTERNAL ORGANS! Dr. M: Yes I’m aware of that…And it’s making your condition unstable. I’m attempting to set you up for Project Paradise attempt 42. Beltar: Project Paradise…ITS FAILED OVER 40 TIM— Dr. M: Better. General Taage: Are you going to start the procedure yet Doctor? Dr. M: It’s not ready sir! General Taage: I DON’T CARE! We can always drop you back onto that street we found you in… Dr. M: Perhaps Beltar is not the one we should be operating on… General Taage: Just do it. Push the button. Dr. M: Fine. Dr. M: As you wish… Dr: M: Ready Mr. Beltar? Beltar: NOOOOooo Dr. M: I THINK ITS WORKING! AMAZ- Dr. M: Yeaaaaaaaaaaarrrggghhhhh General Taage: Doctor. Did it work? … General Taage: Respond. … General Taage: More Doctors where that came from. Cleanup in Lab 42. PauL: Wait sir. General Taage: Why? Mr. J: Excuse Pau- PauL: I believe the process worked sir. Beltar now only has a steady heartbeat, and his brain activity has calmed down from fighting an infection. We must move him to the rest of Paradise immediately. General Taage: Okay. Mr. J: But- General Taage: NO Buts. Trooper 1: There goes another Doctor. Trooper 2: I know right? T1: Shut Up man. T2: Argh, at least this one worked…. General Taage: That is all I needed to see. Get him moved ASAP. And re-outfit PauL with some…monitoring tech. Dr. J: Monitoring?...Sir Yes sir. End Experiment 42 ===================== More Pictures in the spoiler! As always... Thanks for reading this…flashback! Beltar’s story! This build is supposed to happen shortly before Project Paradise took place…Also...I may have to change how this part of the story 'happened' later to fit in the convoluted continuity of Beltar's life, and I plan to one day revisit this build and make a better one. Hope you enjoyed, and as always, C and C welcome! ~Beltar
  7. My entry to Challenge 2, Cat. C. Just a quick little entry, though I'm pretty pleased with it. C&C welcome
  8. NOTE: Despite the challenge being in progress, there is ALWAYS room for new members / builders for each side. Especially for Ulandus. So come on down, and get your war on! Challenge IV, Category C thread. This is the Headquarters thread for Category C. This is where all current mini – challenges (the war zones themselves) will be listed, current tallies will be listed, all current maps will be listed, and general adjustments to the rules will be announced. The rules thread is where you can find the rules to Challenge C. This is an informational thread for purposes of running the challenge and keeping score. Please sign up on the main challenge page, not here, that page also has the rules for the other two categories. Map as of April 4th: WARMAP4415 by skaforhire, on Flickr The locations that are worth more than one victory points: Victory Points Starting by skaforhire, on Flickr Current Victory Point Totals: starting VP by skaforhire, on Flickr When posting a link to your entry to each battle thread, make sure you note which zone you are picking as the next warzone if you win. You may want to coordinate with others from your faction. Each warzone will have its own thread, that is where you will post your MOCs for the battle. Do not posts MOCs in this thread. Warzone History: Warzone 1: The Arkbri Skirmishes VOTE WINNER: DESERT KING Location: E7 Who Can Participate: All Factions Terrain: This battle happens along the Arkbri River. Which is mostly long meandering sections, with light hills and grasslands. The river is known for its reedy banks, where one can easily get lost trying to get from the bank to the open water. History: The Arkbri has been a rich river for Western Kaliphlin for centuries. It divides the Western Sands, and hugs the escarpment for a good 35 miles. It is also one of the largest obstacles to Kaliphlin travelers. The only major crossing in the Great Span at Queenscross. Although this battle may not seem important, it lays the ground work for the battle for the much more important Queenscross. Mini-challenge: With a small band of men, scout out enemy intelligence agents (spys, scouts, etc…) and neutralize them. Restrictions: 16x16 with limited overhang. Due Date: March 15th Warzone 2: Battle for the Reservoir VOTE WINNER: DESERT KING Location: G12 Who Can Participate: All Factions Terrain: This battle zone is along the Qar Ahken River’s banks, which are bordered on both sides by long swaths of fertile land, irrigated by the rich waters or the life-giving river of Kaliphlin. Specifically, this battle will be fought near the river, around the Flagg Aqueduct Filling Stations. History: Besides making oodles of money, Dextrus Flagg also used some of his vast fortune to improve Kaliphlin. When he took over, his oil interests in the Lower Parched Lands suffered because they could not sustain enough workers at well sites due to the cost and effort it took to move potable water to the remote locations. There was a solution already available; the vast aqueduct systems stemming from the Rakath Mountains already supplied many farm locations in the Nyika Tupu Desert. The old network did come all the way to the Qar Ahken River, but most of the old ducts had been destroyed or decayed when crossing the river. Those that still made it across the river had very little water left to take into the next desert. However, there were still aqueducts that lay dry on the other side of the river, that extended far into the Parched lands. Flagg was given an engineering choice, repair the ducts across the river, or find a way to pump the river water into the old aqueducts on the west side of the river. He chose the latter. So, the region along “Gentle Curve” was converted into large pumping stations that filled a reservoir, in turn the aqueducts were connected to the reservoir, and the excess water began flowing into the Parched Lands once more. Mini-challenge: All three factions have recognized the importance of this location. Who controls the Reservoir controls the terrain within the middle of the lower parched lands. For this reason, the winning side will also claim H11 too. The builders must create a MOC that depicts one of the many filling stations or other element of Flagg’s reservoir. In addition to creating this work, the builder must show their side taking possession of the area, either through force, subterfuge, or maybe even “just getting there first.” It should be evident that your faction has taken control of the aqueduct, pumping apparatus, or part of the reservoir. Your interpretation of any piece of the reservoir system is up to you, but remember this isn’t science fiction, the devices you show should be feasible with simple medieval level mechanics. Restrictions: 32x32 with limited overhang Due Date: March 22nd Warzone 3: The Nestlands Insurgency. VOTE WINNER: DESERT KING Location: G15 Who Can Participate: All Factions Terrain: This battle happens in the Northern Nestlands region. (The following is Gedren_y’s description of his home territory) “The mountain in the center of the grid is known as Ghuin Nol, and is described as predominantly light colored stone. The terrain is somewhat like Asian equatorial rainforest. The Nestlands settlements are mostly on the south and east faces, but Skywatch Perch is at the peak, and is manned by the High Guard. The mountain is honeycombed with natural caves, and would be a good strategic position if someone wants to overrun the commercial and production centers of the Nestlands. There is very little drinkable ground water, as it is too mineral rich.” History: It is said that the Kaliphlin Civil War started in the Nestlands. Even before the council was willing to recognize they were at war, the Nestlands were busy fighting for their right to live as they desired, under their own rulers and religion. As the Ulandian Forces surrounded the High Council Enclaves of Mypa Stedor and Berigora, the Nestlands held out valiantly. However, overwhelming attacks by the 5th Legion subdued the Northern Nestlands region, and put a green blip on the campaign map. Some said that the Nestlands clans were fighting an unfair battle, as they pledged neutrality, and when they refused to swear allegiance to the “New Council” as Ulandus has styled the government that they are trying to install, the Blazing Swords (5th Legion) forced compliance. Mini-challenge: Now that the war is in its first month, and most of the 5th Legion has moved on to secure more territory, the Nestlands Clans have taken the fight back against the Ulandians. Small pockets of resistance, armed with Mpya Stedor weapons, have begun to overthrow the officials Ulandus had left behind. The challenge here for High Council builders is to depict one of these insurgency operations succeeding against Ulandus. Ulandian builders should depict on of the insurgency attacks failing, and Ulandus forces prevailing. Desert King builders should depict their forces taking opportune attacks against both sides. *this doesn’t mean you have to depict DK supporters attacking both sides at once, just attacking one or the other. Restrictions: 32x32 with limited overhang, SPECIAL: Must have an irregular base. (hey, we are about improving our skills here, aren’t we?) Due Date: March 29th Warzone 4: The Lonely Mountain Rumble VOTE WINNER: ULANDUS Location: H9 Who Can Participate: All Factions Terrain: Volcanic, recently erupted, Erexhi, or the Lone mountain, has many communities that used to sit at its base. The high peak used to catch condensation from the rare cloud, and water would trickle down to the base. It is unclear if this still happens. The land at the base is volcanic rock, mixed with sand. Much of the territory has to be fed by merchant caravans from the South Coast, as foodstuffs rarely grow. With limited grass, livestock is in shortage also. History: The Lone Mountain, or Lonely Mountain, has always been a fixture in Kaliphlin heritage. The first Kaliphlin coins known to historians had a Pharaoh on one side, and the mountain on the other. In coat of arms, sometimes the Kaliphlin Lion is perched upon a background of the Lone Mountain. There was even a religion, seldom practiced today, dedicated to the mountain as a creator figure. Today, or at least until half of the mountain’s top blew off a few months ago, it hosts a vibrant set of villages and towns, who rely on it to catch water. The lord of the region, who represents all the towns and villages here, is Lord Abrim Kar’dani. With the recent outbreak of Civil War, he tried to stay completely neutral. However, as all of the food providing regions were snagged up by different powers, it has become evident that he needs to side with one of the powers in order for what towns that are left in the region to survive. He has come up with a unique way to do this – a call to the bravest champions to fight for his land. Mini-challenge: Lord Kar’dani is like any Kaliphlin lord, he wants to survive and he wants to make money. He sees an opportunity for both. He has made a general appeal to all three sides to bring their strongest champions to Bella’Erezhi, his town, to fight in a general mass melee. The side who survives will receive his pledge. Bella’Erezhi has been half destroyed by the Great Disturbance, so a part of the town has been marked off as the “Fighting Zone.” Anyone leaving the zone after they enter will be disqualified, but aided if in need. The last side standing wins the zone. Builders should create a MOC that depicts the mass melee in Bella’Erezhi, their faction should be winning. Since this is a vignette challenge, this will probably be a one on one battle, but if you can fit more participants than that, that is fine. Restrictions: The MOCer will create a vignettes of no more than 8x8studs. Limited overhang is acceptable. No height restrictions. Don’t worry about throwing flags / banners in if you don’t have room. JUDGING: Figure "look" and posing will be considered as a judging criteria for the vote. Due Date: March 29th Warzone 5: Battle of the Deep Sands VOTE WINNER: DESERT KING Location: I 10 Who Can Participate: All Factions Terrain: This battle happens in the heart of the Dune Sea. The Dune Sea is full of large, often changing, crests of sand. There is very little stable ground, and where there is, there is usually some small oasis as the source of water. However, these Oases often disappear for months at a time under the ever-changing sands. A haboob can pick up at any moment and blow mountains of sand, literally, miles from its original point. Even though not the largest desert in Kaliphlin, the absence of landmarks makes it very easy to become trapped in the Dune Sea, often a traveler can be driven mad from his or her surroundings. This madness is known to those in the Kaliphlin as “Dunstyria.” History: The region has few settlements, and has had even fewer rulers. There is very little of importance here but a few oil wells and a swatch of territory to add to a ruler’s map. It is odd that war broke out here, but it does lie in the middle of many important locations in Kaliphlin, it is bordered by the Petraea Road, the Mystic Mountains, the Lone Mountain, the Swamps of Qar-Akhen River, and the more profitable Parched Lands. In some regards, it is a second avenue into many of these locations, and the side who controls it would be sealing off a backdoor to other locations. The troops must watch out for the mythic Sand Ghouls, Sand Worms, Dirtmaids, and Lerik'ai, all of which can bring a swift end to a party, and if not the inhabitants of the Dune Sea, then nature itself may deal a fatal blow. Mini-challenge: Depict the desolation of the region, while securing it for your side. This does not have to be a battle scene, it can be an occupation (you decide of what), taming the region somehow, building a fortification to outlast the Haboobs, etc… Use your imagination. Special judging consideration: The public will be asked to judge who won based on creative use of the desert. IE: we are asking MOCers to really demonstrate life and death in the desert, not just a pile of sand and some figs. Secondary Category: Best Sand. A third question will be asked on the voting thread, which build contained the best sand? Although it has nothing to do with who will win the battle, it does allow that winner to be known throughout Historica as the “Traverser of the Great Sands.” Restrictions: Unlimited. Due Date: April 5th Warzone 6: Last Stand of the Salamanders VOTE WINNER: DESERT KING Location: B7 Who Can Participate: Ulandus and Desert King (Unless A path is opened up by the HIGH COUNCIL before the end of the minichallenge) Terrain: After a series of pushes in the Arkbri valley, primarily from the Desert King, the Northern Ulandians find themselves in the crosshairs once again. This time, the 2nd Legion, the Salamanders (green colors) are holding the last remnants of the once vital Northern corridor. This battle takes place around the town of Northwall. Northwall is the last major Kaliphlin settlement going north before the Cedrican Grasslands and Avalonia. Its climate is no longer desert, but tall grasslands with the occasional trees. Northwall itself has high walls, in which the Salamanders and their allies have barricaded themselves behind. The forces of the Desert King are all over the region, including a small siege of the town. The buildings of Northwall and its surroundings are a mix between Kaliphlin and Avalonian. History: Once just a tiny town on the frontier, Northwall has now passed Sand’s End as the northern most Kaliphlin settlement. It is mostly a guard post to keep rogue raiding parties out of the region. Little trade goes through the town, as they do not have the populace to support the vast market days that Sand’s End has. For this reason, most people living in Northwall are related to the military somehow. Mini-challenge: Northwall’s defenses are quite hardy. Desert King forces should depict a clever way to get through( or over, or under) the wall. Ulandus forces should depict a MOC where the Salamanders and allies cleverly repel the oncoming invaders. Both teams need to depict the walls of Northwall in some manner. Both teams should depict Ulandus forces in some manner – they don’t have to be replicas of the forces used in the preludes, but should have green in their color scheme if possible. Secondary judging category: Best Wall. Winner of this title will become “Defensive Architect of Kaliphlin” Restrictions: 16x32 Due Date: April 12th Warzone 7: The Second Battle of Queenscross VOTE WINNER: DESERT KING Location: E8 Who Can Participate: High Council and Desert King (Unless Ulandus can get in range before the due date. Suggestions for GA to achieve this: E9, D8,D9) Terrain: Queenscross sits on the Arkbri River, and is aligned with the only main southern descent from the Great Escarpment, also known as the Jackal’s Teeth. The terrain is dusty, without much vegetation beyond the river banks, or the copses of Blood Ash trees that seem to prevail despite the little water in the soil. There are no rolling dunes here, as it is a rocky and mild desert. Nearer to the cliffs, boulders that once made up the top of the escarpment litter the landscape. The pass itself is heavily fortified along the way with small “murder forts” build along the walls leading up the escarpment. The region is truly the defensive capitol of Kaliphlin. Queenscross itself has just started to recover from the First Battle of Queenscross, and is still a large city, where the central landmark is the one bridge across the Arkbri River for over 200 miles in either direction. The Great Span was slightly damaged during the Revolword War, but still stands today. The architecture here has a flair of Middle Eastern / Greek / and Central European. The many monuments within the town are often Greek or Egyptian looking. The city is walled History: Queenscross is one of the most important cities in Kaliphlin. Not only does it defend the great plateau that Petraea and Kaligem sit on, but it is also a major trade hub between those traveling the Arkbri River, and those traveling the road to Petraea. It has long been a valuable part of the Kaliphlin domain, and once was even the capitol of Kaliphlin for a few decades. Its name was derived from that period, when the Queen of Kaliphlin resided in the city, believing that as long as she bathed in the Arkbri river each day, she would live forever. She was assassinated by one of her ministers, who coerced crocodiles farmers to release their catch while she was bathing one afternoon, the legend says that the crocodiles were so ashamed after they ate the most beautiful queen, that they left the region forever. Whatever the reason, none of the famous Arkbri Crocodiles reside in the region. Since that period, Queenscross has flourished, but the main square of the city is still named for her. The city was the focal point of one of the main battles during the Revolword War – The First Battle of Queenscross in the Historica Era. (This post you can see more of the city as it was depicted by me two years ago) The city is governed by a Triumvirate, and its representative to the High Council Al’Martin Doct has declared Queenscross neutral in this battle. Mini-challenge: This challenge is quite open. There are many areas in and around Queenscross that will need seized or fought for in the coming weeks in order to secure the region. Each builder should depict a scene where their forces fight the enemy’s. Remember, Unless Ulandus arrives at the last second, this is a battle between the High Council and the Desert King. Each MOC should clearly depict one of the major landmarks of the region, be it a monument, the Jackal’s Teeth, the docks on the Arkbri, or something that lets the viewer clearly identify that this is Queenscross. (IE: no random fight scenes in a street, without something interesting around them.) It does not have to be a landmark mentioned already in the GOH project, you can make your own up! For example, perhaps you want to have your soldiers seize the “Board of Trade” within the city, you could create a unique building where the fighting takes place, add a little bit of story about the location and the scene, and that would fit the requirements. You don’t have to be that obvious with it either, this is a good challenge for forced perspective! Restrictions: 32x32 Due Date: April 26th Warzone 8: The Battle for the Trade Lanes VOTE WINNER: ULANDUS Location: L11 Who Can Participate: Ulandus and High Council (Unless A path is opened up by the Desert King before the end of the minichallenge) Terrain: This is the very tip of the Qar-Akhen River Delta, the wetlands often change, and there is no solid ground for long. The deep swamps have reeds and small trees, but usually nothing large. This zone is also part of the Great Southern Ocean. There are few outer islands that stand beyond the delta, some of these have rudimentary lighthouses to help guide ships to Ras-El-Akhen or into the river so that they may journey to Qarkyr. The location is important because it helps control river traffic, and troop supply. History: This region has been part of the maritime trade-ways longer than there has been a written language to record the ships that have passed by and up the Great River of Life. Although no major settlement is within this region, it has always been important strategically. Mini-challenge: Whereas large armies really cannot make their way through the swamps, and large troop transports try to avoid the shifting outlets of the river unless they have to, this battle will be fought by small parties. The High Council is looking to expand out from Ras-El-Akhen, and fight back against the large Ulandian wave that has engulfed the Southern Coast. Small boats travel amongst the reeds to take out temporary camps of First Centurion’s men within the delta. At Sea, the Ulandians dominate, as their navy has dispatched many small water craft to the region to stop all merchants and determine their loyalties. The builders should depict a battle within the reeds of the delta, or just offshore in the slightly deeper waters. It should be clear that your side has won the battle. Secondary judging category: Best water. Winner of this title will become “Aquanaut of Kaliphlin” Restrictions: High Council: 16x16 Ulandus: 32x32 Due Date: April 19th Warzone 9: The Battle for the Bloody Lane VOTE WINNER: DESERT KING Location: G7 Who Can Participate: Everyone Terrain: This is the Oil Road, between Mophet and Al’Derak. The only settlement in this zone is Au’Ban Dran – a small watering hole and hub for oil workers in the region. Whereas no forces seem to be interested directly in the tiny settlement, all three armies seem to desire controlling the Oil Road. This juncture would cut off the West from most of the oil supply of Kaliphlin, and help starve out the High Council’s economy. The road itself is paved, one of the many marvels of Kaliphlin. However, the land around it is full of dusty trails that lead off to various wells, sandpits and quicksand, tiny oases, cacti and Desert bandits, and other nuisances to the wary traveler that may step off the solid path. The desert here is not that of the Dune Sea, but more of a hard and dusty surface, most of the time cracked due to a lack of moisture. Wood is rare along this stretch, but most permanent structures that may be scattered along the way are made from imported wood or bricks. History: This region has been a vital lane of trade for as long as anyone can remember, there just isn’t much out there worth holding on to and creating a settlement. Mini-challenge: Each MOC should show the builder’s team taking and holding part of the Oil Road. The road must be a prominent feature in the MOC, and some sort of combat must be displayed in this MOC. Remember, since this is a desolate region, your terrain and portrayal of the road will be an important differentiator between MOCs. Secondary judging category: Best road. Winner of this title will become “Teamster of Kaliphlin” Restrictions: 16x32 Due Date: April 26th Warzone 10: The Battle for Petraea Location: F9 Who Can Participate: Everybody (Special) Terrain: Petraea is the largest city in Kaliphlin. The main governmental buildings are there, the high walls are there (anyone who wants to dig up some links for reference would be my hero), many of the historic monuments of Kaliphlin are there, and the terrain itself is a dusty arid climate, yet irrigated from the Lick of Salt. There are lush gardens within the city’s walls, including the famous Grand and Exquisite Gardens of Petraea. The University of Petraea’s campus is considered one of the wonders of the world itself. The Observatory Of Adus Krhon, on the campus of the university has stood for 500 years and has been a symbol of Kaliplhinite desire to learn since its creation. Some buildings in the city reach five stories, and many live inside of large multifamily housing units made of brick and mud. There are a series of barracks the protect the city, and the main road of Kaliphlin, the Oil Road stretches through the city in one wide straight boulevard. History: Petraea has been the regional capital of Kaliphlin since the disappearance of Kaligem long ago. It has always been the center of wealth for the guild, and most oil is first brought to market within the walls of the city. As the seat of government, many lords have secondary residences within the city. It is the cultural heart of the desert, and of the Siccus Badlands in general. Mini-challenge: This is one of the final battles of the Kaliphlin Civil War. All forces will be driving their armies towards the capital, as it is so important culturally and strategically. It is assumed that all three armies have gotten into Petraea, by force or by subterfuge. The many streets and alleys of Petraea have become the battleground. Civilians are trying to keep cover, or flee the city, for war has been brought to the capital. Builders should depict their forces winning the battle in an urban environment. Remember, Petraea is a very rich city, with ornate and spectacular architecture. Even lower-end tenement buildings have a little gild on them. Restrictions: 48x48, with limited overhang. Due Date: June 8th THIS IS THE LAST WARZONE Warzone 11:The Battle for Cresentthorn’s Favor VOTE WINNER DESERT KING Location: C4 Who Can Participate: High Council and Desert King Terrain: The Red River gets its name from the mud along most of its route. The brick red, sometimes much lighter, dirt of the Wither Woods is carried by the river all the way to Eastgate, the sediment gives the river its reddish hue, and its name. It is an important life line to the region, and the best source of Live Oak in all of Historica. It is also one of the few regions in Kaliphlin where Lumber can be removed. The river is used to transport much of this lumber, and other goods of the Wither Woods to market. Along the river, somewhat north of Eastgate (and in this zone) the Elves of the Wither Woods have made their domain. One of the nations, the Cresentthorn Elves call zone C4 home. Their city, Valdiniam, is mostly hidden to the outside world, although it has a small feeder town called Stormsport that sits on the Red River. Valdiniam and Stormsport can be described as gothic + high fantasy style in their architecture. These are clearly elven cities. The terrain of the Wither Woods does not vary much, small rolling hills with copses of trees, not a true rain forest or heavy density lowland forest, but enough trees to make travel within the woods difficult unless on a road or path. The trees very from lush pines to gnarly live oaks, with some subspecies having various “exotic colorings” History: The Cresentthorn Elves have lived in this region for more than three millenniums. They swear no allegiance to any mortal government, although they have closely allied themselves with GEAR CO. and Eastgate over the last century. Still, they are only loosely affiliated to Kaliphlin. They like their privacy, but they are more curious than many other elf nations in Historica, and are willing to participate in mortal politics if it means learning something new, or once in a while, an adventure. In commerce they trade rare animals, wine, and medicines with the mortal world, mostly through the Red River trade. They are also interested in conserving the Wither Woods, and keeping its natural beauty, ecosytstem, and life-force intact. For this reason, there are more than a dozen treaties with Avalonians and Kaliphlinites over how much wood can be taken, where wood can be taken, and how replanting efforts must be maintained in the Wither Woods. Mini-challenge: Al’Meter, leader of the Cresentthorn Elves has decided to step away from his treaty with Eastgate for the sake of the greater Wither Woods. He knows that destruction will come to the wood if more of the war pours into the region. For the reason he has forbade armies to come within the region – even if they are long standing allies, like GEAR Co. There is a substantial amount of Cresentthorn Elves to maintain this peace. What Al’Meter offers is the resources of Valdiniam to the victor of his challenge (and thus the territory will “belong” to the winning party.) The challenge is as follows: A series of honor duels will be fought, the winner of the most honor duels will gain access to Valdiniam. Builders should depict a scene where a hero from their side takes on and defeats a hero from the other faction. There must be an “official” watching the duel. That official should be a Cresentthorn Elf. Additionally, it is required that the dual be fought in a place “spiritually important to the combatants, and fundamentally significant within the Wither Woods.” For example, the duels should happen at landmarks, sanctuaries, crossroads, or any other place that is considered spiritually significant, and the story of the heroes participating should reflect why the place is significant to them. Restrictions: 12x12, with limited overhang. Due Date: April 19th Warzone 12: Battle for the Great Loop VOTE WINNER: DESERT KING Location: H12 Who Can Participate: Desert King, Ulandus, (HC if they can clear a path before the due date or join with Ulandus) Terrain / History: The great loop in the Qar-Akhen River is considered the second most fertile area in Kaliphlin besides the Great Delta. It produces nearly a quarter of all food for western Kaliphlin. It was for this reason that First Centurion had his advance troops secure the region. Sometimes referred to as the “lesser breadbasket,” The great Loop is predominated by marshlands, the majority of which were man-made through centuries of irrigation projects. Most of these marshlands have raised boardwalks with small defensive fortifications along them. In some parts of the loop it is possible to travel by small boat or canoe to different faming collectives that are scattered along the territory. The main crops of the region is wheat, barley, and rice. There are very few buildings beyond small huts that the farmers live in. There is almost no livestock in the region, as almost all water and land goes towards crop production. The inner loop, or the territory surrounded by the river has always been a prized possession for the rulers of Kaliphlin. 745 years ago, King Kalick Al’Rudi built a great city to protect the Loop’s interior breadbasket. The City, Dagra-Ba is still important today, but has fallen on hard times. Its defensive structure is still intact, but very few businesses still exist in the city. For the most part, the inhabitants of the city are either employed by the town as guards, employed by one of the merchant companies as teamsters, porters, dockworkers, or boats crew, or they are farmers who work outside of the city. There are large grain warehouses within the city, but the war and drought elsewhere has taxed the supply to the limit. At this point, all food to feed Dagra-ba actually comes directly from the loop, while the excess is shipped downriver to support the Ulandian war effort. The city wall extends across the neck of the loop, rather than around the city. This is to keep out raiders. The river itself has a few small forts and the city employs a tiny navy of a few medium sized galleys to patrol the river. The outer loop, the area that is not surrounded by the river is also a fertile land, but it is a bit more diversified with livestock and crops. The region is often the target for raids by invading armies, because it has very little protection as there is no major settlement on the west bank of the river. Mini-challenge: Take the Inner Loop. Because of the lack of solid ground, it is hard to move a large army through the inner loop. The Ulandians have the front gates of Dagra-Ba sealed tight, but the weak-point here is the loop itself, clever DK (and perhaps HC troops as well before the deadline is done) have built small reed boats that quickly brought them from the Outer Loop to the Inner loop, without the galleys being able to catch them. These small pockets of troops are looking to take strategic locations within the Inner Loop in order to claim the territory and force Dagra-ba to surrender. DK builders should build MOCs that depict their troops taking strategic locations within the inner loop. For example some strategic locations may include: a small farming village, a boardwalk fortification, a docking and loading center (most food is brought via canal / waterwall to Dagra-ba where it is put on bigger boats and shipped downriver), or maybe a small warehouse in the marchlands. Use your imagination, but please see the description above for what the Loop is like. For example, don’t depict a desert! Defenders (Ulandus and maybe High Council as well) should depict MOCs of successful defensive efforts against the invaders. Remember, just fighting your enemy on a boardwalk might not be enough to gain favor of the voters, think about what types of structures your men and women can be defending in the marshlands. Restrictions: 16x32, with limited overhang. Due Date: May 3rd. SPECIAL: If DK wins, they win zone I11 and I12 as well. Square K12 becomes a warzone (and DK will pick another warzone as well) SPECIAL: If the High Council does not make a run at this zone by taking a territory close enough to attack H12 before the deadline, they can negotiate with Ulandus to join the defense. (These negotiations can include incentives...) Dagra-Ba also supplies High Council cities in the region, most notably Ras-El-Akhen. (Historically, in the real world and in Historica, it was very common for armies to be fed by enemy farmers looking to make money during wartime) A temporary truce in the region can lead to a two front attack on the Desert King invaders. If the Ulandians and HC come to terms by APRIL 19th, they can work together to attack the DK in this square. In this scenario, if Ulandus and HC win, HC gains G12 and Ulandus keeps H12. Warzone 13: Katoren Break Out VOTE: WINNER: DESERT KING Location: F13 Who Can Participate: Everyone Terrain: The Road to Qarkyr is not without its perils, but as the desert gives way to mountains, travelers find relief in this region. Water sources are not as scarce, small hamlets dot the roadside, and the foliage, soil of different hues, and wildlife can be quite pretty in the high desert that stretches towards the Rakath Mountains. History / story: Not much happens in this region, it is mostly known as the road between Qarkyr and Katoren. There were no major battles, no notable citizens, nor nothing of value found in the soil, besides the spare small oil pocket. Mostly, the region has been used to travel through. Until now. Aymeri, Lord of Katoren, is one of the last lords holding out for the High Council, in and increasingly Desert King friendly region of the map. The Desert King has cut his supplies lines, and now Katoren risks losing the ability to feed its people. Although a small town, they are a proud people and will not give up without a fight. Which led Aymeri to his plan – the breakout. The easiest way to supply the city would be to quickly advance his forces along a swath of land to the nearest High Council held territory. However, the map is not his friend in this plan. His advisors devised a way that Katoren troops could take and hold a pathway to the sea, but it would require taking Qarkyr too. Lord Aymeri has confidence in High Council support if he can just get to Qarkyr… and there lies the problem. The land in zone F13 must be crossed. The DK and Ulandus spies have already sniffed a whiff of this plan, and since they cannot use their larger armies within the walls of Qarkyr, they have both turned them on this stretch of land to the west of the city. It is here that Aymeri and his allies must first defeat two armies, and then set their sights on Qarkyr and beyond that, the sea. Mini-challenge: Although it began a forced march for the High Council troops, it soon became a pitched battle between three armies. But Aymeri knew this was coming. Before leaving Katoren, he had many of the houses disassembled for building materials and had his engineers, led by the famed Kaliphlin master engineer Sergio Jarrett(who just so happened to be in the area when the war broke out), craft movable fortifications. This would give the High Council an upper hand over the two other armies who were closing in on them. He also split his forces into stronger light platoons assigned to each of the moving fortresses. He confiscated every ox and horse within his land and assigned each to a team. High Council Builders should depict a scene where these mobile defensive fortifications are used in combat to repel enemies from one or both of the other two sides. Ulandus and Desert King should depict their soldiers overtaking one of these mobile defenses. Special Category: Best high desert foliage (covered in blood…) As this battle happens in the sparse high desert, there should not be any structures besides the mobile defenses. The foliage, rocks, differing hard dirt and sand patterns should be the real star of the show… but there happens to be a battle upon them currently, so they should be splattered in blood and gore, but still retain their natural beauty somehow… The voters will choose the best depiction of High Desert Foliage with combat stains… (you can depict foliage without stains on it too, just need at least some that has been tainted by battle. The winner of this category will be crowned “Enricher of the Soil” of Kaliphlin. Best Transformer: It is not required that your MOC can actually transform from mobile to a stationary defense platform by natural movement – but if it doesn’t, you can enter this category (no taking apart more than a few pieces and putting it back together in a different formation.) You may also submit additional pictures / video of the MOC in your thread. Judges of the entire zone will be asked NOT to judge the results of the zone on the ability of MOCs to transform, but to judge this as an entirely different category. Winner of this category becomes the current“The Historican Master of Transforms,” and will keep that title until another transformer challenge comes up in the future (there won’t be another in this challenge at least. ) Restrictions: 32x16, with limited overhang. Must have an irregular base. Due Date: April 26th Warzone 14: The Battle For Qarkyr (or The Battle of the Partisans) VOTE: WINNER: DESERT KING Location: F14 Who Can Participate: Ulandus and Desert King (Unless HC wins Warzone 13B) Terrain: Qarkyr, the gateway to the Rakath, the Eastern Emerald, The Protector of the Ocean Gate, and former Capital of the short lived Dwarven Empire of Varnforge, is the fourth largest city in Kaliphlin after Petraea, Barqa and Queenscross. It sits in the Rakath Moutains, within the Qar-Akhen River Valley. A wall stretches across the valley to stop movement East and West without paying the tolls at Qarkyr first. Long a defensive position, the city has magnificent walls. The architecture is a mixture of Eastern Kaliphlin, and Far Eastern Kaliphlin, the two cultures merged along the most common pathway through the Rakath Mountains that separated them. The Far Eastern Kaliphlin architecture relies heavily on pagodas, hip and gable roofing, enclosures within large buildings, and wood is the main building material. The classic Kaliphlin architecture of East Kaliphlin (the land between the escarpment and the Rakath Mountains) is also prevalent here with domes, arches, towers, stone and mud buildings. The town is somewhat divided between the two cultures, with “The Ocean District” representing a large concentration of people of Far Eastern culture, and the much larger “Trader’s Quarter” which is distinctly Eastern Kaliphlin traders, mostly from Petraea. The rest of the city is pretty much equally divided. There is not a water shortage in the city, and it is famous for its lush gardens and parks throughout the city. History: Despite having a great wall to funnel in all travelers east and west, Qarkyr is as porous as a net. The corruption within its walls is ancient, dating back to when the Dwarven King Archbeard claimed the city as his own a thousand years ago. It was under his rule that the modern blueprint for Qaekyr’s orderly streets and plazas was laid down. The city’s walls were built first by the dwarf engineers, and they have never been penetrated since. Unfortunately, the trader section of the city, humans who had sworn allegiance to Archbeard, made the walls unnecessary. Archbeard’s nemesis, the Sea Goddess Calif – or at least someone claiming to be her – had a mighty eastern seaborne empire growing on the Eastern coast of Kaliphlin. She wanted the Qar-Akhen River valley as a gateway into greater Kaliphlin in order to continue her conquest. When her armies came to the walls of the city, her spies found easy access by bribing the merchants. They betrayed their new king, and he was murdered in his bed by assassins. Calif’s army slipped in soon after and took the dwarves by surprise. They fought to the last man, and not one dwarf survived that night. Calif rewarded the traders by giving them a quarter of the city – the same quarter known as “The Trader’s Quarter” today. However, Calif would not go on to take over the middle of Kaliphlin, as she too was betrayed. One of her new supporters, a trader named Mors’Qo brought her an emerald from one of the nearby mines within the Rakath Mountains. It was the largest emerald anyone in the region had ever seen. It was placed in a necklace for her, but when she put it on she was instantly transformed into a emerald statue. Mors’Qo had bought the enchanted emerald from a dwarf and had intended to kill the Sea Goddess to avenge Archbeard. His plan worked but her supporters through him into the deepest well they could find and sealed it. Her army was stopped, and many settled in Qarkyr, creating a bicultural dynamic that exists today. More recently treachery has played a part in Qarkyr’s history. It has only recently become known how the mighty city fell into the hands of the Desert King early in the Civil War. Its representative to the High Council, Ageven Deraim, Lord of Auner, is a staunch supporter of Ulandus. Likely many of the Far Eastern Kaliphlinites living in the city would have supported their representatives loyalties, but the Traders took quick action at the beginning of the war. Ageven had been preparing defenses back in Auner, when the trade faction opened the gates for a small Desert King force led by Regi Bar’nol. Regi became Lord of the city, and by the time Ageven made it back, there was nothing he could do with his small force against the mighty walls of Qarkyr. Mini-challenge: Ageven and Ulandus were not going to give up the city without a fight. The porous walls would help them as well. He began by bribing Desert King supporters to let his spies within the walls of the city. His spies made contact with the Ocean District, and began to put together a strike force. Soon hundreds of fighters had been smuggled into the city, and finally Lord Regi had caught on. The war in the streets had begun. The challenge here is to build a scene where the two cultures collide – in fighting and in scenery. MOCs should show both types of cultures within the city, as these battles are all happening between the walls of Qarkyr. MOCs should also show the distinctly different peoples of both sides brawling in some manner. There are very few regular troops in this battle – perhaps just commanders and a few footmen. Once side should be winning clearly in your depiction. Supporters of DK should be depicting the rich traders of East Kaliphlin as their allies, while Ulandians have the Far Eastern Kaliphlinites as their allies in this battle. Story and Challenge Addendum if HC wins Warzone 13: Now with Aymeri’s breakout complete, the HC forces have turned their sights on Qarkyr. Knowing that they cannot get their army into the city in masse, Aymeri turned to the tried tactic of bribery to get some of his men into the city. Being the latecomer to the battle, it was easy to see the people most neglected in this war of neighborhoods were the poor and underclasses. The High Council spies noticed something interesting about the lower masses, they had started to pick up on the High Council rhetoric “Viva la Republic!” Although this chant was created by the more privileged lords of Kaliphlin, it has become the chant of the masses. High Councilor Aymeri saw this as an opportunity, albeit dangerous in a time of lords and kings, he would give these people democracy, and thus bring them into the High Council fold – after all, his advisor noted, it works in Queenscross. The High council builders in this challenge take the rabble as their soldiers. They should depict a similar scene as the mini-challenge details, their MOC should show both cultures, but also show the poor High Council supporters doing battle with one or both of the other factions. Special Category: Best Urban Trap! Although builders do not have to create a MOC that has a specific “trap” in it, the MOCer with the best trap will win the title “Trickster of Qarkyr” The trap should be evident just by looking at the MOC, but the story can definitely help explain it. Restrictions: 32x32, with limited overhang. Due Date: May 10th Special Consequences: If High Council Wins WZ 13 and WZ 14, they achieve “March to the Sea” Victory condition, where they are awarded Zone F15 and G15. If Ulandus Wins, they secure G14 as well. If Desert King wins, they secure G13, as Ulandus has overstepped in its attack on Qarkyr, and the counter attack was brutal enough that they lost a zone. Warzone 15: The Battle For Amrakect WINNER: HIGH COUNCIL VOTE: Location: E12 Who Can Participate: High Council and Desert King (Unless Ulandus clears a path before the deadline) Terrain: Amrakect sits in the Parched Lands, and is the last major settlement before Sultan’s Gate along the Northern Road (do we have another name for this road?). It is a trade depot for the products of the Parched Lands, such as oil, ostrich eggs, trembler pelts, sandcorn, and, in this region, almonds. The city is fed by the aqueduct system from the Rakath, but has limited water, as much of it goes to the large almond farms outside the city. Because the region abuts the Rakath Mountains, the lower clouds of storms traveling East often swell as they cannot get over the range. This causes an buildup of condensation and eventually a briefly wet period twice a year that is excellent for growing crops with short growth times, and watering trees. Amrakect profits from this, as it is the nearest city to these swells, and can produce many obscure trade goods for this part of Kaliphlin, which fetch excellent prices at their markets. History: No one knows for sure when the first settlement of Armrakect was built, it seems to have always been on the map. At least two cities had been built on the location, and the dating of the aqueduct points to parts of the current city being at least four hundred years old. Its proximity to the Valley of Tombs, makes it a popular tourist destination. The city has always been known for almonds and its markets. Before the rise of Katoren, it was the main venue for goods in the northern Parched Lands. Now its market share is split, but still there are Mitgardian traders that refuse to go any further into Kaliphlin than Amrakect, as they believe that the town serves as the perfect depot spot for all Kaliphlin has to offer. The importance of trade in the town is paramount to all other concerns, which is why its leaders chose to stay with the more neutral and trade friendly High Council when the war broke out. Unfortunately, the leader of the traders, Amelia Phantomhive, had gone missing about a year ago. She is quite renowned for her adventures around the world, and it was on one of these adventures she must currently be. However, without clear leadership, a war effort was not mounted quickly enough, and now the Desert King’s Forces are closing in on the city. Mini-challenge: As the Desert King pushes south, his forces seek to envelop the last High Council hold outs. The war has now touched the city of Amrakect. The challenge here is for the High Council to defend the city and the Desert King to take it. This is a challenge of imitation. The battles that are going on within the city should emulate Erynlasgalen’s depictions of Amrakect. (See pictures below). The battle can depict anything, but there should be some tribute or emulation of her work. This will be a judging category put to the judging public. Restrictions: 32x16, with limited overhang. Due Date: May 3rd Warzone 16: Shot through the heart… and Desert King is to blame. VOTE: WINNEr: DESERT KING Location: C7 Who Can Participate: Everyone, love knows no bounds. Terrain and history: Sands End has been through a lot during the civil war. For the history and terrain of this area, see the prelude. Mini-challenge: The Battle for the Heart. After the fall of Northwall, the Desert King set its sight on the northern jewel of the North Road, the home of the present Guardian of the North Gate, Lady Phlici, the venerable city of Sands End. The troops of the north are wary. The Desert King’s men have been on a tear, but even they are a bit winded at the moment. Ulandus is hardly holding on to the region, and the High Council was still trying to make inroads as it looks like Queenscross will fall shortly. However, Sands end can be won in a different manner. Through the love of its leader. She is currently single, and smitten with one General Lat’ve, Third Centurion of Ulandus. But these are dire times, and a noble has to make the best marriage possible. There is a chance a suitor may come that offers a more promising union that will spare Sands End any more carnage during this war. Ulandus, fend off the suitors! Show Lat’ve keeping the heart of Phlici. (Lat’ve can look like any human male – or heck, throw in a new Ulandian suitor if the centurion is not to your taste.) High Council and Desert King, seduce or woo Phlici into a union which will keep her city safely allied to your side for the rest of the war. Remember, this is a competition for Phlici’s hand, and thus may (and should) end up in some direct confrontation between the three factions. All of which, if unarmed, are allowed within the gates of Sands End. (So if you are showing violence, there should be a good reason why it can happen within the gates – an alternative to this is that duels may be fought outside the gates) This is a two part build. You can also build it in two 8x8 max MOCs or one 16x16 MOC. For the challengers, it should be clear how you got Lat’ve out of the picture, as well as how your new suitor won Phlici’s hand. For the defenders of Lat’ve’s union with Phlici, you should show Lat’ve defending his love, and at one point finally getting Phlici to affirm her love for him and accept his marriage proposal. Restrictions: 8x8 times 2 MOCs or one 16x16, with limited overhang. Due Date: May 10th Warzone 17: The Assault on Xersia VOTE WINNER: DESERT KING Location: O17 Who Can Participate: Ulandus and Desert King (Unless High Council clears a path before the deadline) Terrain: Xersia is the capital of Ulandus. In size it rivals Petraea, Albion, and Cedrica. “The Heavenly City” sits at the end of the Great Ulandian Way to the far south of the subcontinent. Its walls have been compared to mountains, and its harbor’s defenses are said to be more numerous than ants. The architecture of the city itself is mostly classical (think Roman / Greek) with some mixes of Far Eastern Kaliphlin (See the warzone battle of Qarkyr for more specification of this style) within the city. The center city, or the Celestial Palace, as it is known to the locals, has separate white walls which are topped with see-through bulbs. The walls are ornate, and it is clear that they have never been breached. The palace is a large building, where thousands live and work. The famed Centurions of the 13 Legions all have a mini-palace within the Celestial Palace. It is the most heavily guarded city in all of historical. But no one is looking for a threat coming from the inside… History: The history of the Heavenly City, and much of Ulandus, is still classified from outsiders, even those who have newly sworn to protect her. The Heavenly City dates back to the founding of Ulandus as its own Guild some 1500 years ago, long after the sinking of the original city of Ulandus. Upon First Centurion’s Ascension to the throne, the city expanded rapidly. Ulandus began to sail ships around the world, waging wars in far off places that Historicans have never dreamed about. Xersia became a symbol of exploration and wealth for all of Ulandus, and the amount of exotic slaves they captured helped prove their role as an international leader. It was only with the Great Disturbance that First Centurion was able to fulfil the prophecy of rejoining the motherland, and since that time, every effort in Ulandus has been on that undertaking. But now… the Celestial Palace is threatened for the first time. The Desert King, using his strongest magic has pierced the protective bubble around Xersia. Exploding one of the funny see-through bulbs upon the Celestial Palace’s gate, the internal workings of the palace are now vulnerable to a transportation spell. Although very few people in Historica are powerful enough to open a gate large enough, long enough to allow an army through, the Desert King happens to have found a mysterious stranger with such capabilities. Exhausted from weeks of attempting to break protective shield of Xersia, the Desert King now turns to his new ally to cast the final spell. The reserve armies of the Desert King are called to assemble on a dark night, not told where they were headed. The Stranger appears before them, and before anyone can ask the identity of the archmage, a large portal opens before them. On the other side are the white buildings and ornate décor of a large inner city – the Celestial Palace. Each captain was instructed to break the seal on their orders at this point and head through the gate. Mini-challenge: The orders tell the armies to go to the center of the Celestial Palace, in fact, the center of all of Xersia and go to the Temple of Light. Within the temple of light they will find five large mechanisms that must be destroyed. They are not given a description, just that they would be immense objects, high guarded, and evident when seen. The armies of the Desert King were commanded to destroy these objects. Desert King builders: Depict the attack and destruction of one of these impressive objects. Remember, the relic should be impressive. You have discovered that these are emitters of magic that allow First Centurion to stay on Historica’s plane of existence. If you destroy one of these, then perhaps Ulandus will lose their great leader. First Centurion might even personally show up to defend the objects of power. Ulandus Builders: You have come to know that your leader is a supreme being from another plane. He has immense power, but what allows him to use it on Historica’s plane are the monoliths of power. If even one of them are destroyed, First Centurion loses power, and may be banished to his native plane, leaving your side without a leader. Both sides: You must depict the defense of the object of power. The object is the focus of the Challenge, but remember, this objects are in the middle of a great city, they may be indoors surrounded perhaps by the Temple of Light, or outdoors in a courtyard or some other architectural wonder. Special category: Best Monolith of Power – whoever MOCs the best / neatest / craziest / most awesome / etc… object of power will become known as _____ the Harnesser of The Great Light. Special Victory Conditions: If Ulandus Wins, then First Centurion is safe. If Ulandus wins by more than 20% of the vote, they take back O16. If Ulandus Wins by 40% they take back 016 and M15. If they win by 60%, all of the isle of Ulandus falls back into their hands. If the Desert King wins, one Object of power is destroyed and First Centurion is banished for a week. If they win by at least 20%, then O17 succumbs to the Desert King, and First Centurion is banished forever (or is he? But he isn’t coming back anytime soon!). If the Desert King wins by 40%, then they will also take O17 and N16. If they win by more than 60%, then they win O17, N16, and N17. Special: Although First Centurion might show up in your battle scene, he cannot currently die on this plane. So, that means no killing him off in your battle scene! Restrictions: 32x32, with limited overhang. Due Date: May 17th Warzone 18: The Battle For Eastgate Location: E2 Who Can Participate: High Council and Desert King (Unless Ulandus can get in range before the due date. ) Terrain: Eastgate sits on the Red River, and sits on a grassy plain, with the Wither Woods starting just north of the city. The Red River was named for its red water due to the color of the soil of the Wither Woods, which was the main sediment picked up by the stream. The river is mostly slow moving, making it easy to traverse the river northward. However, the entrance of the river is guarded by the fortified Great Bridge, which is almost flanked on each side by two massive towers called The Guardians. (they sit just to the north of the Bridge) Map here Eastgate is considered a safe harbor for ships traveling east from Avalonia into the coasts of the Badlands. (Also vice versa, but the winds are more favorable west to east.) Furthermore, it sits at the mouth of the Red River making it paramount to the great timber trade (live oak in large quantities, the finest in the world) and some river trade from upriver. It is a mix of styles, having some classic European architecture, mixed with Mediterranean and Arabian because it is a melting pot of cultures. The quarries to the east bring brown and tan rock, while the quarries up river bring red rock, with Avalonia so close, rock grey in color is also sold in the city. The city walls are mostly tan / brown in color, but some of the newer structures are the now cheaper Avalonian grey. They are often whitewashed to make them stand out in the inner city. Not only is Eastgate a port, but it also has some of the best ship building facilities in the known world (due to the large live oak supply that comes through its port) with a natural bay that has been artificially expanded around four hundred years ago. The inner city, The Old City, which held out during the War of the Brothers is mostly large and older buildings, while the New City is unwalled and more houses and buildings made of timber. History: The wiki link above has more about the city’s history. One note here is that the Greater Eastgate Article and Resupply Company owns most of the town, and elects its leaders. GEAR and Eastgate both have standing armies, although they were largely winnowed down through the War of the Brothers. The city is in good shape, despite being sieged, as Dugal’s forces controlled the New City and Petera’s controlled the Old City – neither side made a successful move on the other, leaving little collateral damage to their home town. Mini-challenge: The only way that Eastgate’s inner city falls is if the Eastern Guardian Tower is breached. While it stands, no ships may get out to the Inland Sea or up the river to the Wither Woods. DK builders, the task is simple, depict the great Guardian Tower, and show your forces breeching it. HC: Defend the Guardian to your last breath! Both sides should clearly depict the tower, which overhangs the Red River, and their forces should be winning the battle. Special: Whoever has the “best tower” as voted on in the voting thread will be known as “The Tallest man/woman in Kaliphlin.” Restrictions: 32x32 Due Date: May 31st Warzone 19: The Second Battle of the Wither Woods or Arcannon’s Betrayal Location: C4 Who Can Participate: High Council and Desert King (Unless Ulandus can get in range before the due date. ) Terrain: The Red River gets its name from the mud along most of its route. The brick red, sometimes much lighter, dirt of the Wither Woods is carried by the river all the way to Eastgate, the sediment gives the river its reddish hue, and its name. It is an important life line to the region, and the best source of Live Oak in all of Historica. It is also one of the few regions in Kaliphlin where Lumber can be removed. The river is used to transport much of this lumber, and other goods of the Wither Woods to market. Along the river, somewhat north of Eastgate (and in this zone) the Elves of the Wither Woods have made their domain. One of the nations, the Cresentthorn Elves call zone C4 home. Their city, Valdiniam, is mostly hidden to the outside world, although it has a small feeder town called Stormsport that sits on the Red River. Valdiniam and Stormsport can be described as gothic + high fantasy style in their architecture. These are clearly elven cities. The terrain of the Wither Woods does not vary much, small rolling hills with copses of trees, not a true rain forest or heavy density lowland forest, but enough trees to make travel within the woods difficult unless on a road or path. The trees very from lush pines to gnarly live oaks, with some subspecies having various “exotic colorings” History: The Cresentthorn Elves have lived in this region for more than three millenniums. They swear no allegiance to any mortal government, although they have closely allied themselves with GEAR CO. and Eastgate over the last century. Still, they are only loosely affiliated to Kaliphlin. They like their privacy, but they are more curious than many other elf nations in Historica, and are willing to participate in mortal politics if it means learning something new, or once in a while, an adventure. In commerce they trade rare animals, wine, and medicines with the mortal world, mostly through the Red River trade. They are also interested in conserving the Wither Woods, and keeping its natural beauty, ecosytstem, and life-force intact. For this reason, there are more than a dozen treaties with Avalonians and Kaliphlinites over how much wood can be taken, where wood can be taken, and how replanting efforts must be maintained in the Wither Woods. A few weeks past, the Desert King showed its honor by winning Al’Meter Cresentthorn’s favor in a series of honor duels. He made a decree stating that all trade would be with those allied with the Desert King until the Civil War was over. This infuriated the fighting class within the Cresentthorns as they had been long allied with GEAR Co, and Lord Dugal – a high council member. Their leader, brother of Al’Meter, Arcannon Cresentthorn tried to persuade his brother to try to stay neutral, but Al’Meter claimed he had given his word. Mini-challenge: Arcannon Cresentthorn has decided to go on the offensive for the High Council, in an attempt to win the region back for the High Council. His plan is to ambush those still loyal to his brother in the Wither Woods and hold them hostage until his brother capitulates. High Council builders should show their forces, allied with Arcannon and some of the other Cresentthorn Evles ambushing and trapping elves in the Wither Woods. The trick here is, that these are their brothers, and they want to use non-lethal methods to catch them. So, no killing! Desert King builders, Al’Meter has decreed that he is your ally, but now he calls on your forces to help him defend Stormsport. But again, these are his brothers and sisters causing this turmoil, so he wants you to use non-lethal force to capture these rebels so that they may be jailed for a few hundred years. Special: The best depiction of a trap will earn the builder the title of: “Greatest Trapper in all the Wither Woods.” Restrictions: 16x16 Due Date: May 24 +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_++_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_++_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_++_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_++_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_++_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_++_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_++_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ Ranks Ranks are achieved by earning points in battles and other mini-challenges. Each faction has a different rank system. Please consult the charts below for the ranks and the actions needed to earn points towards ranks. Ranks by skaforhire, on Flickr pointlist by skaforhire, on Flickr points week 4 by skaforhire, on Flickr
  9. Here is my entry to Category C of Challenge III. Hope you enjoy the builds, especially Slowbelly Keep which was my big project of the year. And I tried some new stuff with it, including SNOT walled buildings with interiors. The events here take place just after my Category A build: link. Several dwarven clans had been given the mission of invading Avalonia from above ground while others advanced through tunnels. So far everything was going as planned for the dwarves. The groups on the surface used tents to set up temporary camps as they journeyed to the border: Thanks to Jonathan, Glorfindel now had a good idea of what the dwarves' plans were, but he still needed more specific information so that he could stop the dwarves before they crossed the border. Therefore he payed a visit to Kenan, the candlemaker in Hradheim, and one of the best sources of information in Mitardia: Hradheim was located just south of Amortug, which made it easy for Kenan or his apprentices to pick up bits of information about the dwarven invasion from dwarves traveling through the town. Kenan was able to supply Glorfindel with the routes several dwarven clans were taking to infiltrate Avalonia, and which clans were most in favor of the attack and which were just going along with the others. Realizing that quick action was called for, Glorfindel dispatched messengers to arrange a meeting involving Elves, Dwarves, and Men at the great hall in Fjollum, a city located almost on top of the Mitgardia/Avalonia border and often used for diplomatic meetings. Then Glorfindel himself led a group of calvary to capture the Anarfell clan leader, one of the staunchest supporters of the invasion: Surrounded and outnumbered, even the stubborn dwarves realized that surrender was the only option. After disarming the group, Glorfindel and his men escorted the dwarves to deserted Slowbelly Keep (rumoured to have been the cage of Slowbelly the dragon in ages past), which would serve as their temporary prison. After securing the prisoners and mounting a fresh horse, Glorfindel rode for Fjollum... See here for continuation of story. A section of the dwarven army had already reached Avalonia and moved into place to besiege Myrr Castle, a strategically placed stronghold vital to the success of the invasion. The dwarven siege engines were in place and they had already made good progress on a tunnel under the castle, when a dwarven messenger mounted on a warg charged in to deliver news. Fortunately the message arrived in time to prevent bloodshed. The catapult and ballista work, watch here: And you can see a video of the build process as well: And that concludes my Challenge III builds. C&C appreciated
  10. Smaug laying waste to Lake-Town. Another last minute entry for MEC category C.
  11. MEC category C: The fall of Erabor to the dragon Smaug. My last minute entry to the October middle earth contest.