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  1. La Cospirazione: Part II Alesio de Fiori was deep in thought as the little gondola floated calmly down the canal. Darkness was falling, and by the gleaming evening light he surveyed the beauty of Illaryian with a keen eye. Supano Amancio had been dealt with, but there was much left to arrange. Cadgie had gotten himself into another mess. The Rego, Luca di Carlo, had informed him that Staffan was sewing mischief in the North. But it was mischief in the palazzo that Alesio mostly feared. Was Luca to be trusted with the elimination of the most powerful and influential Varlyrian noble? The Rego had sworn that he would resolve it all today, and Alesio expected that Staffan Conzaga would never leave the palace again. But doubts troubled him. And then there was Capri, that troublesome little creature. More mischief was to be expected in the De Fiori castle than anywhere else while she was around. Something caught Alesio’s eye in the water. He swore something had moved, and he silently touched the shoulder of the gondolier. “Assassin?” he whispered, pointing to the shadow fliting across the water. “Ašišī!” cried the gondolier in a terrible fright. With one quick motion he dropped the oar and dived off into the water, rocking the gondola, so that as Alesio spun round he stumbled to one side. There on the bridge, under which they had just passed, crouched a dark, masked assassin with a dagger in his belt and another in his teeth. He had already leapt into the air, and Alesio just had a moment to grasp the oar when the assassin landed beside him, dashing the dagger into his side: but for the sway of the rocking boat it would have gone to his heart. Alesio struck the man who with his other hand sought his second dagger. There was a fierce struggle, until Alesio managed with a quick move to draw his knife and bury it deep into the man’s breast. “Who sent you?” Alesio furiously seized his coat with his free hand. “It is the Cioto, signore!” gasped the man. “The Cioto?” Alesio grit his teeth and closed his eyes. Everything was spinning! He dropped the man who tumbled into the blue canal waters, and grasped the prow of the gondola. “The Cioto?” he repeated faintly. So then! There was more mischief afoot than he had expected! “Intrigante!” He sighed as another thought came to him. “Which Cioto?” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.
  2. La Cospirazione: Part I It was a calm, quiet evening, and the only noise stirring the silent streets of Tergiversa was the resounding trod of heavy boots on the rough streets again and again as Alesio de Fiori hurriedly made his way to the outskirts of the city. As he approached a small gateway he heard voices and paused, warily peering into the shadows: all was safe. There was a man on horseback, another sitting on a small part of the wall, and two others figures outlined a little further back, one a tall Minotaur and the other a slim girl. As Alesio arrived the man on the horse jumped down and grasped his hand in excitement. “Tomorrow!” exclaimed Staffan Conzaga, stamping the ground. “All is arranged! Tomorrow we will meet in the palace of Illaryian: there will be none to stop us! Di Carlo will be crowned Rego and by Sana Argenta, the people will be wildly pleased with it!” Di Carlo nodded, and Alesio stroked his beard. “All seems to be going well. Supano should have known his days were numbered. Are there any final matters to arrange, Luca?” Luka skipped off the wall and there followed a short talk, all in hushed whispers. Finally everything was settled, just as the sky began to darken. “Addio, gentlemen,” Staffan remarked, climbing onto his horse with a short glance at the sky. “Tomorrow then, at dawn, I will meet you in Illaryian.” “Godspeed!” Luca waved him off. Then he leaned back casually on the wall as the man and his bodyguard the Minotaur galloped off. “An ambitious man,” Alesio remarked. “Aye,” di Carlo assented carelessly. “He will stop at nothing,” Alesio flipped a knife in the air. Luca looked up thoughtfully. “None of us will?” he ventured with a sharp look. “What I mean is ... ” Alesio de Fiori fingered his knife suggestively. After a short silence he added, “I don’t think you should let him escape out of your hands.” Di Carlo stepped back in affected horror and ventured no remark. The girl leaning on the wall watched out of the corner of her eyes. “This will be the last time Staffan Conzaga ever plays himself into your hands,” Alesio leapt forward and spoke with animation. “If he once gets away he will grow all too powerful. He is cautious and scrupulous: we will never be able to get him in his fortress at Laryian, and he will stop at nothing. I promise you he will not be satisfied with the gains tomorrow’s work will get him. He has played himself into your hands this once, but it will be the last time. Finish him now or it will soon be too late.” Alesio frowned and let the knife slip into his belt. “And you will live to regret it.” The girl inclining against the wall leaned closer, moving her fingers nervously. Alesio saluted her and shook Luca’s hand. Not another word was exchanged, only De Fiori mouthed silently, “Assassinate the man.” Then Alesio De Fiori pulled his cloak about him and walked quickly away, back into the city, and Luca watched him out of sight with his hand held pensively to his chin. “Assassinate him?” he mused, eyeing the girl with a slight grin. “I suppose we just might be able to do so.” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. The Palazzo by General 尓àvarre The beautiful blue water of the canals of Illaryian calmly reflected the stately arches of the Rego’s munificent palazzo, but all else in the city was far from calm, and inside the luxurious palace halls there hung a thrilling atmosphere of victory and success. Soldiers and guards marched hurriedly to and fro through the palace’s otherwise empty halls, and, besides that, throughout the courtyards and rooms barely a whisper could be heard; save the whisper of the wind as the fresh air seeped in through the open windows. But in one corridor a calm and even voice broke the stillness with measured tones, as Luca di Carlo, the Rego now of the twin lands, conversed thoughtfully with Staffan Conzaga about the affairs of the Realm. As they finished the talk Alesio De Fiori walked in and bid them adieu. “Sirs, I have matters to attend to,” he bowed, “and will make my way to my house now.” “Aye, sir,” Luca di Carlo nodded. Alesio thought that he seemed to be looking past him, and looked briefly around. There was only a distracting shadow moving behind the pillars. He bowed again to Staffan. Bowing shortly in return Staffan cried vehemently, “Well met, sir! Without your aid, I swear by Sana Argenta, we would have never seen a day this glorious!” He chewed vigorously on an old herb popularly used by the farmers of Northern Varlyrio. “Who would have thought that it would be so simple? Such a show as at the coronation today I have never seen. Far too much shouting. Ah, yes, addio, sir!” Alesio walked smartly out, just tipping his hat as he passed out of sight through the archway. “I as well will now leave, with your permission, Rego,” Staffan grinned conceitedly. “There are pressing matters to attend to at Laryian, and I expect we shall not see each other again, for some time.” The olive merchant merely grinned good-naturedly in return, and waved his hand casually. “But au revoir, di Carlo,” Staffan smirked, lowering his eyebrows in a clever way. “When we do meet again, remember the ones who put you into your position.” “I will remember you,” Luca commented with boyish insouciance, “very kindly for your aid and support. No better man could I have by my side, sir.” A sound flowed through the room as of the barring of a door. The barring of the door. Staffan turned, startled for a brief second. “Farewell,” he said, dismissing it quickly, and walking a few paces. “Minos!” he loudly shouted through the passageway. "Minos!" he shouted loudly. “Oh, Minos is already gone sir, I dismissed him,” Luca smugly remarked, pushing a loose tile around on the decorated floor. Staffan looked at him keenly, a puzzled look in his eyes. The sound of footsteps in the corridors increased. “I do not need to say, my dear Staffan, that he has been well payed,” Luca genially observed. Suddenly from every direction the Royal Guard poured into the room and Staffan stepped quickly back. From every direction the Royal Guard poured in! “What does this mean, Luca?” he bellowed. “What are the guards here for?” Luca di Carlo waved them up with nonchalance, and Staffan turned pale. Luca motioned the guard to close in. “What … what is this, man?” "What is this, man?" cried Staffan. “It was not my idea, sir,” Luca grinned, stepping up till his face was within a few inches of Staffan’s. The soldiers clamped into a square about them, leaving no room for escape. “And I am sorry for the fate that befalls traitors, Staffan Conzaga. But the only place for traitors in our Realm lies below the dirt; and I do not mean the Sunken City.” The soldiers formed a square around them. “Traitors? What do you speak of?” Staffan cowered, his trembling hand clutching something behind his back. “What do I speak of, sir?” Luca’s voice rose now. “Matters to attend to at Laryion? Your proud domineering air? A dagger in your hand?” Luca grasped Staffan’s hand and dashed the dagger he held in it to the ground. It slid across the room, and Staffan fell to his knees, powerless in Luca’s grasp. “Oh, consider my family!” he cried. “Your family? You are very close to them,” Luca mocked, “while they are all leagues and leagues away, where you sent them, far away from you! And as for the girl Poppa, she is in a dungeon somewhere now. Non importa, I will take care of her and assure her an honorable husband in due time.” The Captain of the Royal Guard bent over and retrieved Staffan’s gilded dagger. “No!” Staffan cried, violently seeking to shake himself from Luca’s fierce hold as the Captain of the Guard approached. The Captain of the Guard approached. Luca Di Carlo only soberly remarked, “Such be the fate of all traitors in our Realm.” Then he threw Staffan to the floor, and at his signal the Captain of the Guard bent down and buried Staffan’s own knife into his heart. It was over, and silence reigned once more in the vast halls of the Palazzo of Illaryian. It was over. Staffan was dead. And the vast halls were left in silence once more. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. La Cospirazione by General 尓àvarre To be continued! Stay tuned for the next three parts over the weekend. This is my build and story for category B of Challenge V. Expect more intrigue to come! Hope you enjoyed the story and the build, I think I went a little colorblind with all those crazy colors I tried to use . More pictures including some special effects in the spoiler.
  3. Not far from Fort Arltrees, May 620, El Oleonda Tlaloc, the native scout, was right as usual. A few broken branches, a bush cut by with a machete, some light footprints in the mud... that was enough for him: he understood that a band of Lotii was following a small Carnite patrol, and that they both were dangerously near to Fort Arltrees. After several hours of march, almost following a straight line towards the coast, the Oleander soldiers finally reached their target. Quite unsurprisingly, Tlaloc sighted them first. Tristan, by gestures, ordered his men to crouch in the tight undergrowth, and slowly crawled towards the small clearing. He already knew what he would have found... The Carnites weren't used at all to the brutal, disloyal fightings in the jungle, that was clear. Exactly as all the Halosian Nations during the first wave of colonization, they arrived in the archipelago with flamboyant uniforms and shiny armors... they expected pitched battles and glorious victories, but they found themselves trapped in a green, suffocating hell. Exactly as the other Halosians during their first battles in the New World, they were completely unprepared. They marched slowly in the undergrowth, plodding on the mud and stumbling on roots, but they couldn't find a single track of the enemies... until the enemies were all around, fast and lethal. How the Lotii had learned to fight so well in the jungle was a mystery... maybe they had found themselves in a similar situation against one of their neighbors, or simply they followed more flexible tactics, but for sure they had the upper hand in the war. Only half of their soldiers had firearms, mainly antiquate matchlocks, but they almost always prevailed in the jungle skirmishes. That day, things had gone in the usual way. The Halosians had made their camp in a dry river bed, an exposed position surrounded by thick vegetation... not a great choice, since they were taken by complete surprise during the lunch and forced to surrender. Only the officer, who was on guard, had a chance to grab his sword, but he was wounded and captured with his men. Unfortunately for them, however, the Lotii had no intention of dragging prisoners with them in their operations, and had chosen a radical solution. One of the soldiers started begging for mercy: "Wait, wait... Please don't kill me! We have found them, we have found the shipwrecks! I'll tell you everything, but don't kill me!". The Lotii laughed. Probably they didn't even understand a word, or they didn't believe him. "Shut up and die like a man!" Yelled the Carnite officer. The Lotii soldiers laughed again. Meanwhile, completely ignoring the brutal spectacle, the Lotii commander was pointing something on a map. Probably, he was planning the itinerary, looking for the next prey. Tristan had definitely seen enough. At first he wasn't so sure about attacking the Lotii band, but he couldn't just sit there and watch unharmed prisoners being slaughtered in front of his eyes. Moreover, those Lotii were dangerously near to Fort Arltrees, and he probably wouldn't have had a second chance before they noticed the settlement. With only five soldiers and a native scout, his forces were largely inferior in numbers, but Tristan had learned an important lesson during his previous campaigns, from the woods of the Varcosian border to the alleys of Charlatan Bay: if you appear out of nowhere, screaming as madmen and shooting on sight, the enemy will hardly have a chance to react, regardless the real force balance. Not exactly what instructors teach in the Royal Military Academy, but simple and quite effective. Or, at least, this was the plan... if things went wrong, Tristan wouldn't even have the time to regret his mistake! Well, there was no more time to think now... Tristan gave the signal, a low whistle, and jumped forward, followed by his men. Soon, the Lotii would have thought that some Halosians knew irregular warfare too! As they had already done in similar circumstances, the Raiders attacked the musketeers first, before they could represent a real treat... ...while other soldiers ran towards the guards, blocking the execution and setting the prisoners free. The Carnites were taken by surprise too: most of the prisoners simmply ran for their lives... ...while others remained motionless, paralyzed by terror. The officer alone, probably the only veteran, attempted a reaction, trying to disarm one of the enemies. A Lotii warrior... ...and the last thing he sees! The battle was fierce but short. The Lotii fought well, but were surrounded and disorganized, and soon everything was over. Tristan Rimbaud would have had something quite interesting to write in his relation, including the exact position of the Lotii settlement and of some mysterious shipwrecks, probably the remains of the lost Lotii fleet. Moreover, he had just saved a Carnite patrol from annihilation, probably gaining some useful allies... not bad, for a tiny skirmish in the jungle! Overall view
  4. April, 620 AE Somewhere on the Island of Brickford Landing... We patroled through the jungle to protect the Settlement and found some human beings. "The Tyree'De" as they called themselves in their broken corrish were a remarkable group. The oldest of them was wearing a Lotii style-robe, one of the younger two Men that were wearing some kind of self made leather armour had a Carnite Musket and the other one said some Oleon words that I did not expect from him "fils de megablock" . When I asked them where they came from they said "the big Island in the East, there is war, we go away there cuz of big peng. When I asked wher they originally came from they said "the south"... Personal Memories of a Corrish Marine My Entry for challenge III Cat C. Hope you Like it! Cheers
  5. Somewhere in the jungle, March 620, El Oleonda Heading towards these ruins was almost a shot in the dark. During one of the first explorations of the interior, following a little river with no name (by the way, River Rimbaud sounded quite well), Tristan and his men found something quite surprising: a complex system of little canals, clogged by vegetation but still functioning, that brought water towards the inlands. That luxuriant jungle, somewhere in time, must have taken over fields and gardens, swallowing any trace of an advanced civilization: no known tribe of the archipelago, not even the Myzec of Cascadia, could have built something similar. The canals, now feeding only bushes and undergrowth, were by sure a sophisticated artefact: they were built with bricks and stones, and their slope had probably been carefully calculated… proof of that, they were still functioning despite the abandonment. Even though that discovery was completely unexpected, Tristan was more interested to something different: far inside the jungle, above the treetops, there was a wisp of smoke… the only trace of human presence they could find. With no other clue, Tristan and his men moved in that direction, following the remains of a paved road… another strange thing to find in the New World, but that made the men save a lot of time and fatigue. Now they were almost there. The scouts had told Tristan that the bivouac was only fifty metres onward, among some ancient ruins, but still he couldn't see anything… damned jungle! Tristan's only hope was that the men in front of them were Carnite, and not Lotii: the orders he had received included exploring the island and trying to discover what the two nations were fighting for, something by far easier if you can understand a word of what the others say. Tristan murmured a short prayer to Poseidon and moved forward… he was going to do something very, very stupid. "You are entering a military site of the Empire of Carno! Don't make a step forward or we'll open fire!" Bingo! They weren't Lotii and they didn't shoot on sight… it was already something. Tristan stopped, trying to appear as calm and relaxed as possible. Entering from he front door was by sure the best way to get quickly a lot of information, but it was also quite risky... now he had to play his cards well, if he didn't want a bullet from a nervous Carnite sentinel. "I am Tristan Rimbaud, Regiment General of the Oleander army." -He replied in an acceptable Carnite- "You have at least two good reasons to lower your guns and let me pass. The first, and the best one, is that I come in peace: I don't have any hostility against you. The second one is that I ordered my men to take position in the bushes right behind me... touch the trigger, and you'll receive enough bullets to turn that ruins in a lead mine." Tristan knew very well the rule of thumb of diplomacy: raising a white flag can be a good start a negotiate, but it works by far better if the counterpart knows that you have twice his guns. A moment of tense silence followed, immediately cover by the deafening rumours of the jungle: the chatter of parrots, the rustling of leaves, the sounds of the little streams of water... and the buzzing of bugs, that disgusting horde of tiny vampires. Three more Carnite soldiers emerged from the bushes they were in a good position, but Tristan was almost sure that his man would have taken them down before they could shoot, if things had gone in the wrong way. "Calm down, Gustav! They are clearly not Lotii cutthroats!" Tristan had barely noticed that man before… a civilian, unarmed, who now seemed to be the leader of the Carnite garrison. "And welcome, Herr Rimbaud, on behalf of myself and of the inhabitants of this place, dust since centuries. I am Hans Schneider, archaeologist, and this is Gustav Weber, head of my guards… forgive him, but we all are a little on edge, given the situation! By the way, aren't you Oleanders a little far from home?" Tristan, relieved, walked in what seemed an ancient city, similar to several ones scattered in the archipelago… also in this case, everything seemed abandoned from decades. "Nice to meet you, Monsieur Schneider" replied Tristan. "You are right, we are quite far from home! The war between your nation and the Lotii has raised some anxiety in our colonial authorities… and has also raised a lot of questions. This island is quite large and rich, but it's not the only one in the archipelago! Why the hell didn't the Lotii colonized another of the large islands? What do they think it's worth dying for?" Tristan didn't really expect an answer: if there was something precious enough to start a war, the Carnites wouldn't have revealed it so simply. The archaeologist, however, surprised him again. "Well, Herr Rimbaud, I can be completely frank about that: my nation is here for what always makes the empires move: lands, gold, commercial routes, valuable crops… we were a little late in the run towards East, but now we have our piece of land under the sun. For the Lotii, however, the situation is different: they arrived on El Oleonda without any warning, and they attacked our forces on the Eastern tip of the island. The incredible thing, however, is that probably they don't care at all about conquering the island… they are looking for something." "And... do you know what are looking for?" "I'll tell you a story, Herr Rimbaud. I don't know if it's true or not, but it's all I know. A story that began thirty years ago, in the Lotus Kingdom. You know that after the discovery of the first islands in the Sea of Storms, half a century ago, voices of rich lands East of Terraversa started to spread… rumours about rich islands, possibly even continents. So, after a lot of hesitation, their emperor decided to roll the dices and to send his ships North: also the Lotii had their Armond Basker and their three caravels, actually a fleet of twenty ships and almost two-thousand mariners. They left the capital, cheered by the population, and nobody has ever seen them again: two-thousand men swallowed by the sea, the whole fleet destroyed… and a considerable amount of gold, silver and diplomatic gifts for the sovereigns of the mysterious new continent lost with them. It was a real disaster, and somebody says that the old emperor was killed by the sorrow. Here ends what we know for sure, but a few years ago a new trace was discovered by some Lotii fishermen…" "How was it possible? What did they find after so much time?" "A man… even if I'm not sure he still could be defined so. They found him on a little atoll, where apparently he had lived alone for decades. He was completely mad, and could barely mutter a few words. However, before losing his mind, he had carved his memories on a piece of wood. I had a chance to read a copy of it, after our fleet captured a Lotii junk, and I can assure you that I didn't sleep for days. The only reason why that poor soul didn't commit suicide was that he knew something vital for the Kingdom, something he wrote down when he was still sane: the fleet was destroyed by a storm, as everybody supposed, but several ships survived, and were stranded on a large island. The admiral decided to try the return voyage with the only ship that could still set sails, promising to the survivors that he would have returned with help. He left on the island four-hundred men, all the treasures and, even more importantly, most of the maps he had drawn up to that moment…" "But he wasn't lucky" Concluded Tristan. "Indeed. The ship sank, and the only survivor was driven mad by sun and loneliness. But his sketches seem to show that the ships were stranded on El Oleonda, and so the Lotii are here. For their gold and for the maps, even if I don't know if the streams of gold and pearls or the blessed lands described did ever exist outside the mind of that unfortunate sailor…" "And so the Lotii are here for some maps that could even not exist at all and for treasures lost decades ago?" "Exactly. They are convinced that their predecessors may have hidden their gold before hunger, diseases, attacks of the natives or time took them all. Maybe in these very ruins, or in some abandoned temple in the forest, who knows. In that case, it will probably decorate forever the homes of scorpion, spiders and bats." "And you? Are you hunting the Lotii gold too?" Asked Tristan. "We are archaeologists, not treasure hunters. We were studying these ancient ruins, abandoned at least a century ago by a mysterious civilization… but now we are in a damned war theatre!" The archaeologist continued: "I don't know if the treasure exists, or if the survivors decided to throw it in the sea when they realized that nobody would have ever come. What I know for sure is that their maps and documents, if they still exist, will reveal us the complete story of the unfortunate expedition and of the lands they visited. More probably, however, they will remain forever in some forgotten temple, no matters how much the Lotii will search." An overall view: Without colour adjustment This is my entry for cat B. It required a lot of text, pictures and time, and I hope you like it. As usual C&C are welcome. PS Everything I depicted is part of the build: the treasures and the skeleton are in little niches in the two buildings
  6. While there are surely many things that are different between the peoples of northern Halos and the peoples of the Kingdom of the Lotus in southern Halos, there are also things that are the same. In a public garden in the Kingdom of the Lotus we can see these similarities between us and them. Although their language is different from ours, the architecture of the gazebo and the archway may be different than ours, and the garden's wild nature may differ from our planted gardens, the appreciation of the beauty of nature is universal, and their relationships are just like ours. We see two couples in the garden today, one young and one old. The young couple strolls hand in hand along the cobblestone path and the bridge that will take them across the babbling brook. Across the garden, they see an older couple. The older couple is in conversation ... ... and so the young couple steers clear to give the old couple some privacy, and soon they continue their walk. The young girl sits on the stone wall, and the boy offers her a bouquet of wildflowers he has picked ... ... as an offering of his devotion to her. Moving to the gazebo, the boy reveals what is on his mind today. His military unit has been called to active service, and he will soon sail to a far-away land to fight in the service of his king. But he does not want to go before he knows that his girl will be waiting for him when he returns, and so he gets down on one knee and asks her to be his wife. Surely this is a scene that plays out all across Terra in every culture. One more view of the garden: This is my entry for Category A of the challenge. I particularly enjoyed building something far more contoured than I have built before. I was afraid of the scene becoming too crowded with so many elements, but I think it worked out ok. All C&C welcome.
  7. Infero Pordejon, December 619, Charlatan Bay Tristan followed the instruction received… an abandoned warehouse in Lowtown, no guards, just before the dawn. He couldn't refuse the "invitation", considering that it came from a department of the Oleander administration in charge of some "special duties", but the possibility of disappearing without leaving a trace worried him a lot. By sure, he thought caressing the hilt of his sword, he wouldn't go without a fight. Fortunately for him, Tristan's suspects soon proved to be wrong. In the old warehouse he only found a man… he didn't seem the one that he had met in the morning, but the men of the Secret Service of Oleon were known for their ability in disguises. "If you want to assassinate me, you should try now… by sure, you chose the right place!" Said Tristan with a half smile. Not to find a platoon of hired killers waiting for him was a great relief. "Nice to meet you, monsieur Rimbaud. You know who I work for, and I think you understand that we don't want anyone to hear or see to much. We are in a turbulent settlement, but the elimination of witnesses may always rise some troubles. I'll be brief: some big wigs wanted you to be charged with treason, but in general the colonial authorities were satisfied by your personal endeavour here in Charlatan Bay. Bringing here regular soldiers was impossible due to the political implications, but the stabilization of the pirate settlement was functional to our interests in the region. Probably you will even find a medal waiting for you in Astrapi, where you must return as soon as the circumstances will allow. In this letter you will find all the instructions you need for now, but our men in the settlement will give you more details." The man didn't show any emotion saying this. Curiously, Tristan noticed, he was speaking with a light Altonian accent, probably part of his cover identity. "I imagine that there is something more than simply some handshakes for my role in the end of this awful civil war, isn't it?" He knew well that the man wouldn't have said anything he had been ordered not to say, but still hoped in some more details. "What do you know about the Lotus Empire?" Replied the man. Tristan was completely surprised by the question. He answered frankly: "Almost nothing. I know that some commodities are imported from that state, such as expensive pottery, tea, silk and a salty sauce beloved by our aristocrats; on the contrary, we export there only a few goods, mainly tobacco and silver, but in both directions goods pass through several hands and borders, while direct contacts are very rare. Once I met a sailor who claimed to have visited a Lotii port, but I don't know how much was true and how much a tavern history…" It had happened almost eight years before, but by sure it was enough to ignite the imagination of Tristan, at the time a young captain hunting for Saleeki pirates. The sailor described a lively and rich settlement, with beautiful women… ...floating markets, selling fruits never seen before... …exotic foods, such as a strange roll of seaweed, rice and raw fish. The settlement, said the young sailor, was called Sazanparu, that meant roughly Pearl of the South... one of the evocative names that make sailors dream. -Far more pictures in the spoiler- "Did you hear me?" Tristan was recalled from his juvenile dreams of adventure and exploration. "I said that Lotii activity was recently reported by our agents in the New Haven region" "The Lotii? Here in the New World?" "Yes... and what's more, it seems that they are going to start an open war with Carno, due to their conflicting interest on El Oleonda. I don't know much more, but all the details are in the letter. Read the new orders, then destroy it." Tristan cracked the seal and started reading, while the other man walked towards the door. "Wait a second! -uttered Tristan- YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT???" Overall view. The little warehouse in Charlatan Bay is in truth the base of the tower on the left… A little of magic, time travel and teleport!
  8. It was a warm day, even for autumn. Only some small embers in the fireplace reminded about the cold yesterday. The council almost finished it's meeting, about new trade lines between the guilds. For the queen's order, the servants filled the table with different fruits and beverages. "A necessary break", she called it, but most of the delegates know this tactic, a little show of. Not everyone was happy with the break and the food. Lady Helga's bodyguard was a hardened Mitgardian veteran, he was ordered by the Elders to watch over her. Rumors were spread, not everyone in Mitgardia accepts the queen's decisions. Next to her, Lord Breck Daniesh the Varilyrion representative, he knows a lot of tricks in diplomacy, he is a cunning man. On the opposite side of the table Datret Marblebrick from the Oil merchants of Kaliphlin, and Sir Jovell, selected by de Gothia to spread the will of Avalonia in this council meeting. Of course, Ylsphet and her advisor, N'ri were still present in this meeting. The Nocturnian emissary didn't show up. Maybe he was killed by rival armies, who seeks to gain control in Noctornus. - Ladies and Gentlemans. - started Ylsphet, after she wiped her lips from her drink. - I think we should end this little break, and finish this council, as soon as we can. Only your signatures required, and we are all done for today. - Finally! -cheered Datret, and take a sip from his pipe. - I must send a message back to my wife. To wait for me with dinner. Giggles filled the hall- Good for you, master dwarf. - said Lord Breck. - If I want to send a message back home, I could deliver it my self, cause no ship will depart sooner. - Then let not waste more time. N'ri! - Ylsphet raised her hand. Her advisor stepped away from the fireplace. - Get the paper, ink and my royal sigil. N'ri took everything from the small table and put them down before the queen. She quickly signed the contract, poured some red wax on the paper, and stamped with the Royal Sigil. Baam! Echoed the hall, Everyone looked to the queen, but she was surprised like the others, and she looked suspicious to her sigil. No one believed she hit that hard on the paper, but suddenly all doubts disappeared. Baam!...Came from the door, followed muttering from the outside. Baaam! Echoed the hall again. The guards quickly start running to the door, Sir Jovell and Helga's bodyguard also readied their weapons. But before any of them could reach the door, with a huge crack, the door broke open, and two soldiers ran in the hall, using a bench as a ram. They weren't alone the other ran in, with readied crossbows. - Drop your weapons! - screamed the guards. - Drop yours! - screamed back one of the mercenaries with the crossbow. - Everybody, calm down! - gave Conrad the orders after tossed away the bench. - Lay down your weapons, we aren't here for bloodshed. - I know it! - Sir Jovell pointed to Conrad with his sword. - Conrad you fool, what's with you this time? I'm sure, you don't do this for your self. - That's correct, Sir Jovell. - lowered Conrad his weapon. - But still, lower your weapons, we are here, to remove a poisonous thorn, from the Throne. Step aside! - Who hired you wolf? And for what price? - Lord Breck asked it. - He is only a mercenary, he works only for the money. - But not this one. - an elderly person entered the room. - He works for the Crown. - Loremaster Vernoll? - the members of the council were surprised. - But why? What is the meaning of this treachery? - asked Sir Jovell. - In time, I will explain everything. For now, I'm assuming you, this is act isn't against the Crown, but to serve it. - answered calmly the Loremaster. - Someone in this room is an impostor! Everyone looked to each other, try to figure out, who might be, the impostor. - It looks like, I was the only, who got suspicious, after the queen's return. Indeed, it was a glorious day for the kingdom. Raavage was defeated, and our long lost king's daughter arrived just after it. What a coincidence. - Are you trying to tell us, she isn't the real queen? - asked Helga. - No-no... Queen Ylsphet is the real queen. But she brought a parasite from Mwamba. Someone, who poisons her mind, and forces her, into strange decisions. Someone who is close to her... - he stopped, and looked into the eye of his suspect. - You! Everyone looked at N'ri, but he remained calm. - Be at ease in your own skin for you cannot shed it like a snake. Try to be like the turtle, at ease in your own shell. - he replied. - Why are you so harsh with me Loremaster Vernoll? Have I done something wrong with you? - You are the impostor N'ri, or whatever is your name. You aren't a monk either! - Again, hard words. - replied. - Have you any proof? If not, your age must trick you. Come, I have some refreshing herb tea, in my chambers, will you accompany me? - My memory is sharp as ever was, this is why I'm the Master of Lore in this castle, not you! - said the words Vernoll, not with anger, but with proud in his voice. - Do you need proof? I will tell you, what did I learn from the residents of Mwamba. Every eye turned to the old Loremaster: - I hired the Wolfs, to learn more about this island, its residents. I do not trust anyone from the queen's men, they can be... manipulated easily. The Wolfs arrived not long ago, with everything to busted you! - he licked his lips. - The residents told them about a monk order, living on the islands, but they not heard from them a long time ago. One of the oldest women told them, they were driven away by evil spirits. Conjured by Witch Doctors! - Witch Doctors? - laughed Datret. - What are they? Healers for hags? - and took another sip from his pipe. - No, they are some kind of shamans, or priests, who communicate with the spirit world. - answered Conrad. - The western island is full of their huts, totems, and charms. We searched the island, we didn't find any of them, but we felt some watchful presence. - he stopped for a brief moment and looked to the old Loremaster. - But we found neither the monks too... Only deserted ruins. - But that's impossible! - Cried out Ylsphet. - I came back from them not long ago. What could happen to them, in such a short time? We must send help there! - I don't think it is necessary, my Queen. - replyed Conrad, but he didn't look in her eyes, he watched someone else. - The place was abandoned years ago. My hound master, Boris is an excellent tracker. We only found strange dolls. - Conrad saw N'ri's eye twitched a bit. - They bore the same markings, what we found at the witch doctors' huts. - That's terrible! - wondered Helga. - But how can this be possible? If Ylsphet came back a few years ago, but the monks are missing more years then that. - There is a solution. - started Vernoll. - The residents of Mwamba told more to us about the witch doctors. They not only can conjure up spirits, but they can control others' body and minds. Someone hired the witch doctors, they captured you, my queen. Planted false memories about the monks. And when the time was at hand, they send you back as a puppet, to rule the kingdom, as they wished. - That's ridiculous! - laughed N'ri, and walk near to the fireplace. - Have you anything, to prove it Loremaster? - This. - said Vernoll, and stepped closer to the table, while reached inside his pocket for something. He put a small female doll on the table. - The Wolfs found more of this doll on the island. Voodoo-Dolls, they call it. they were there in every hut, and in the ruins too. But this one. - he pointed to the doll on the table. - This doll is from your room N'ri. Everyone turned to N'ri, maybe he can come up with some explanation. But he remained calm. He watched the small embers in the fireplace. - Let's finish this comedy Lord Vernoll. Your attempt, to frighten the crow and me is futile. This, tale of yours and your comedians are no longer funny. You have no proof about the monk disappearance, about the so-called witch doctors and evil spirits of your, and you only can show us a ragdoll, with the queen's hair tied to it, so I can mind control her like the witch doctors on the island? I advise you to leave with your dogs and start praying, for the queen doesn't punish you for this bad joke. - Wait! - said Jovell, lowered his sword and looked to the doll on the table. A reddish hair indeed was tied to the doll's body. - The Loremaster didn't say anything about whats with the doll's hair. And how the witch doctors use the dolls to bend their victim's will. How do you know it? - Yeah. - put down his pipe Datret. - What's with this all about N'ri? Chaos started. Everyone asked different questions. The guards were no longer sure, where to point their weapons. Even Ylsphet didn't move, she stood there like a statue, something wasn't right about her. N'ri used this turmoil, he quickly reached in his pocket and poured some dust in on the embers. Huge flames burst out from the fireplace, Even the bars were torn out. With a hand-gesture, N'ri pushed the flames in the direction of Vernoll, causing mass destruction. The first victim was an unware guard, the flames consumed him just in a second. The next one could be Lady Helga, but her bodyguard tossed her across the table, sacrificing himself instead. As the flames burned out, only piles of ashes remained from those who were in the path of the flames. N'ri uses this advantage, to escape through the window. But Conrad saw his intentions, and ordered his man, to shoot him down. One of his men readied the crossbow and fired a bolt at N'ri, But no one saw this coming from. Ylsphet suddenly moved, into the direction of the fired bolt, to save N'ri from death. The bolt hit her on her left shoulder, buying enough time to N'ri to escape through the window. With a loud crash, he jumped out, and turned into a shadowy smoke, and disappeared in the distance. - The queen is injured! Quickly, call for a healer! - yelled Lord Breck. - The queen is injured! Call for a healer! - the echoes came from the corridors of the castle... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The crystal orb faded. The small room descended into darkness, but only for a moment. The torches quickly lighted via magic and lighted the room. Five robed figures stood around the orb. Wearing hoods, and skull masks. - We are screwed! - said the brown-robed figure. - Relax, this was only a minor setback. - calmed him the green-robed. - We are not yet discovered. Only our puppet was discovered. - But she is dead! - the brow figure pointed to the orb. - We all saw it in the orb, at the end! - She isn't! - a voice filled the small room, it wasn't coming from any of the robed figures, but from the orb. A face appeared in the crystal, the twisted head of N'ri. - She is weak, but she is alive. I can feel it. My memory ended, when I escaped through the window that day. - Then, if she recovers, can we continue our plans? - asked the red-robed from N'ri. - I don't think so. - replyed to him, the black-robed. - We are not yet discovered, but they know our present. They won't let her rule the kingdom until our threat is dealt with. Silence descended into the room, but only for a minute. - I suggest we continue our plan, as we planned. - broke the silence the black-robed again. - We remain in the shadow, like until now. We will pull the strings but with more caution this time. If we not. - looked to the brow-robed figure. - We are screwed... Now, let's collect our selves. Are the shipments and provisions ready? - The provisions are ready, as planned. - answered the purple-robed figure. - We are a bit behind the schedule with the spears, we did not receive the promised wood, from Mitgardia. But the swords, maces, and axes are ready - said the red-robed figure. He looked suspicious to the brown-robed figure. - Yes... well... some of the merchants are not cooperating with us... - stuttered the brow-robed. - We can arrange some... deaths, to help our cause. - offered the green-robed figure. - Our contracts will gladly help us. - Good. - noded the black-robed. - We can still pull this together. And after this, we will restore our former glory in Historica. - he took a brief silence before he continued. - For the Skulls! - For the Skulls! -repeated the others. This build supports Queen Ylsphet's reign. Altho I injured her badly :D
  9. *Your entry has earned 18 XP* Mission Log from Cpt. Bannon: As a part of establishing a diplomatic presence in the Core Worlds, the ISD Relentless is hosting a delegation of high standing members of the Chiss Ascendancy. Me and my crew have been tasked with showing our guests the inner workings of the Commenor Remnant fleet. We will do everything we can to display the hospitality, efficiency, and the supremacy of the Commenor Remnant. The Chiss is known for their skills in hand-to-hand combat. A skill also honored among us imperials. As I suspected they wanted to break the ice by testing ours against theirs. A test I looked very much forward too. Hopefully our guests will see the benefit in a strong alliance between the Chiss and us. /// Let me know what you think! ;)
  10. *Your entry has earned 8 XP* Somewhere on the desert planet Molavar... Sr. Stormtrooper Sergeant, TK427: I don't get it son. Every night you clean that armor. Y'know the remnant ain gonna give two pieces of bantha pudu... Cadet, TK1144: I don't like sand. It gets in everywhere! /// Sorry for the quick build, I wanted to get something out before I go for a short vacation.
  11. Eoin Wallace

    Challenge III Mirandor Castle

    This is my entry for challenge 3 what will tomorrow bring, on the fortifications categorie. Erdan was feeling jealous. He had recently been visited by his old friend Eoin who had told him he was getting put in charge of a castle near the orc marshes. Erdan was jealous because he secretly believed himself the better leader and that Eoin could have paid someone for the leadership! He had followed him there and planned to sneak in and find out. After circling the castle, he found an orc who told him he could sneak in through a grate near the keep to get in. He found the advice helpful and found himself thinking: maybe orcs aren't that bad after all? Soon he found himself in a small secluded pool, right beside the keep. All he needed now was some way to get insite... After stealing the keys he found it easy enough to get in. Unfortunately, when he opened the door there was someone sweeping the floors! He was going to be spotted! So he drew his dagger and killed the unwary servent! He soon managed to climb in to the study, if there was any evidence it would be here! But just as he got to the desk he heard voices and saw Eoin and some soldiers coming up the ladder with swords drawn! he had failed. "Erdan?"said Eoin "why are you here? and looking at my papers..." then Erdan interrupted saying "I was just curious if you had... " Then the captain of the guard jutted in "you are coming with me Erdan, down into the dungeons for breaking into this castle, whatever your reasons were!" then he turned toward Eoin and says "I'm sorry for this unpleasantness, it's sure a good thing that you got here when you did!" This whole encounter left Eoin feeling very uneasy, he was very glad he had a castle at his disposal especially with all the rumours going around. What would tomorrow bring? Here are some photos of the rest of the castle:
  12. Hi there! Would like to present my third (already?) moc for the Varlyrio Guild Challenge. It is for 2E: Varlyrio Scenery - Sunken City. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ah, it's you again! How do you blewe? You are becoming kind of a regular in these waters. Float a little bit closer, and i am going to share a secret with you! Can you keep a secret? Of course you cannot! However, it is imperative that i fin you in. Sooner or later, you would notice it anyway. Are you ready? Once upon a tide, long after mer folk moved into Lorelei Loch, they discovered something that completely changed our fate. They found a mersterious pond, filled with magic. In all likelihood, it is a consequence of centuries of magic used to make Horthol, the Sunken City liveable. All the preternatural powers the kolgari and others casted into the environs, somehow cumulated and made this supernatural pool. We named it "Brunnen der Veränderung" in our tongue- the "Well of Transformation" or something like that is the direct translation, but you mer friend can just simply call it the "Spring of Styx" on your common drylander language. Styx was the name of the mergygur who swam across it first. I mean a female finvolk. A nixe. A male is called a nix by the way. WoT01 by Erhard Maas, on Flickr Okay, okay, i won't swim around the kelp anymore! The place can transmute mervolk into surface strollers, and back. All hail Pontus! Now, what do you say about that?! I might add, mer folk weren't very enthusiastic to go dry, but it was too great of an opportunity to just ignore it. It was a small step for mer, one giant leap for merkind. The kolgari helped us a lot to acclimate, and we had the chance to meet a lot of other dust dwellers, who lived in- and around the Sunken City. I mean, we knew these people before, but now it was from a totally different perspective. Mer folk, the mervolk stood on two legs. It wasn't easy at first, but we learned a lot, and gained not less. We looking at the drylanders differently. I know, i know, we still don't fancy them. But it was worse in the past. Let mer hear your questions! I can see it in your eyes, you have some. No, it seems it won't work on other beings. Some kolgari, and non- elves jumped into the well before, but nothing happened, except they became wet. Don't have the slightest idea, why it is only working on us. I can tell you fish don't grow legs neither, if we carry them through. Who? Children of Ceto? They didn't try it yet, as far as i know. Wanted to persuade Octavia to give it a shot, but she wasn't so eager, so i let it go. Where is the well? Well, it can be found in an extraordinary place called Eventide Forest by the Kolgari. Huge dread ash, and midnight maple trees. Dread ashes with their dark red leafs, and orangish flowers. It has also a yellow fruit, the curvy finger. I like it very much, but the webbed winged filcher- which is a smaller flying animal- usually steals most of them. Oh, i saw some different dryland animals too! Well, partially dryland. There was the sun anuran- a very rare frog, and the mavros ophidian. Be careful with that sneaky serpent! Oh, and the drop skorp! That is especially a nasty one, when jumps from the tree into your hair! Lunacy! There were other animals too, like bugs! Big, ugly bugs! When i first saw them, i almost went back underwater immediately... WoT04 by Erhard Maas, on Flickr But we intend to stay above ground with this conversation for a bit more! Be nice now, because i would like you to meet a friend of mine. She is mer "link". Traditionally, when a marmennill, or margygur enters the surface world for the first time, the kolgari assign an aid/ guide to the new fin on the block. We call this person "link". A connection with the surface world. Her name is Coventina, and she is a kolgari circe- a sorceress, so do not offend her because you might find yourself in the shape of any aforemertioned creepy- crawly... May the water flow with you! WoTWP by Erhard Maas, on Flickr ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- More pictures can be found in my Flickr album.
  13. Hello again! Thanks for stopping by! Here is my second moc for the Varlyrio Guild Challenge. It is for 1B Family and known associates. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Octavia... What can i tell you about her? I've defeated her pet kraken once. Nobody anticipated that! That is how i've got mer scar on mer face. I mertioned it earlier, if you were paying attention. I think she will never forget it, nor forgive it, but that is when we crossed currents for the first time, and later we managed to form a bond. A strange friendship i would call. Merbe more? She is an octopus lady or something, a daughter of Ceto. Scary creature of the deep. Like mer sisters... Did i mertion, she has eight legs? Strong, large, long, lime limbs, with sticky stuff on them. I believe its called suckers. Well, it sucks to be grabbed with those, i can tell you that! Squeezes you like you were a sponge on the waterbed. She was not friendly at first, and that is an understatement. So under, it's underwater. Utterly hostile, but nowadays she "tolerates" us. Mer, a little bit more. Her older sister Pri'Scylla is not like that, but she is getting there i presume. I'd like to. Until then, Octavia is the connecting link between our volk. We had our battles, and differences with the Children of Ceto, but these days there is a fragile truce between our people. Officially. Back to Octavia Oceana. That is her whole name by the way. Do not tell anyone, i told you! I will deny it! She would hug me to death with her tentacles. Not a bad death, but still a death. Anyway, she has long dark green hair like a garden of beautiful seaweeds. Eyes, as dark as the depths of the waters, a killer stare, which is one level less menacing than the petrifying gaze of her younger sister Echo. Alluring lips, pretty, but assertive face, with some shiny silverish lines all over it. She likes the deepest parts of Lorelei Loch. The ice cold water is her favourite. Not a big social... How do you dryskins say it? Social butterfly? She has a soft spot for abandoned places, especially ship wrecks of yours. Knows how to defend herself, but not a fan of fighting. Do you want to know more? Mer too! OctaviaIntro3 by Erhard Maas, on Flickr IMG_2902 by Erhard Maas, on Flickr OctaviaUW2 by Erhard Maas, on Flickr IMG_2917 by Erhard Maas, on Flickr More pictures can be found in my Flickr album.
  14. Greetings! Thanks for stopping by! I would like to present my first varlyrian vignette. It is for the Varlyrio Guild Challenge 1A- Family Affairs- Who's in charge. Sorry, i do not have many bricks, nor skills. I tried to use all the advice you gave me on my other mocs. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mer- ry meet! I am Ein. Take a note on that, because you will hear it in the future, i guarantee! I am a blewe elf. Yes, i am not blue. I live in the blue. Hope it is not too complicated for you. Some others would know my kind as finvolk, or marmennill, or something like that. First of all, excuse my incidental grammatical errors. Your common tongue, is not my strongest skill. Usually, i prefer to pick up just elvish languages. Hope you will understand mer. Let's get started, shall we? Mer father was born in the mernificent polis of Tethys. He swam in the waters of Kalypsō, what sadly, I didn't have the opportunity to do so. Came to this world looong after that dreadful catastrophe. You know which one i am talking about, right? The one that happened in the place you probably know, or heard of as Varlyrio. Mer home is the spectacular underwater city of Thalassa. Would be a fool to tell you the exact location. Keep it a secret for now. About mer birth... What do you think? Are we from eggs or born alive? Like fish, or like humans? I will let you figure it out by yourself, if you can. Good luck with that dryskin! Haha! So, where was i before i've got tidetracked? Oh, yes! Mer father is called Ægir, Protector of the Blewe. Mer mother's name is Rán. Queen of the Blewe. I know, i know. Those titles are not very creative... Just for the record. They are not blue neither! I also have nine sisters- imagine that, but you don't want mer to list their names here. Would be long and boring believe mer, and i don't want you to know their names. You probably not even worthy to lay your beady little dust dweller eyes on mer beauteous sisters anyway. By the way, they have terrible personalities, and i am sure all of them are much older than you. Not to mertion nobody in their right mind would want to be their boyfriends. Not to mertion... husband. Enough of those margygurs! Let's talk about mer, merself, and i. Grew up in the eerie waters of Lorelei Loch. Had an adventurous childhood. The Children of Ceto always stirring up the deep waters yonder. There weren't many boring moments i can tell you that. Fortunately these days, we have less and less problems with them. Guess what? Even befriended a few. Who could have foretell that. I will speak to you about them another time, i promise. If you behave yourself well. Be nice, you hear mer! It is no secret, we are not a fan of your kind. Maybe one day, this will change, but in the mertime i will tell you about mer useless titles. Yes, i have those, like mer parents have. Let's see. I am the Lochagos of the Warriors of Vortex order. Lord of Lorelei Loch. Guardian of Thalassa. Have a few more, but those have no interest to you. Oh, i have one more, which is a "cool one"! Krakenslayer! If you were wondering about the scar around mer left eye. While my dad is somewhere in the great waters of Ōkeanós on some diplomatic mission to contact other finvolk, i am trying to build connections with your kind. That is why i revealed myself to you. Do you want to know more? EinIntro by Erhard Maas, on Flickr - Many- many tides ago, there was Erda. The dust dwellers call it Varlyrio, or was it Valrylio, or Varilyo? Well, it doesn't really matter! Erda it is named in our ancient tongue. Two lands, one with an inland sea, what was known as Kalypsō. That is where our ancestors were born, in the beautiful city of Tethys. The water was crystal clean, and warm. Full of life in it, and in its vicinity. The drylanders didn't bother us much. Our neighbours, and distant relatives the Kolgari lived close by. Sometimes dwarves came to trade goods, and news in return for the fruits and rare treasures of the deep. Other than that no two legged people dared to walk those lands, and swim or sail those waters. Life was good, because the water was good! Then out of the blue, cataclysm hit! Erda quaked, cracked, and shattered, deadly gases leaked from the deepest parts of the underworld into the waters, and up in the air. Soon, Tethys was destroyed. As the ground opened, most of Kalypsō drained. Ran down into a cavern that might wasn't even there before. Many of our volk swam for the last time that day, crashed on the rocks by deadly currents, or swallowed by hazardous maelstroms, engulfed by the abyss. But others survived and just let the flow to take care of them. The water takes, but it always brings. So, they found themselves in this huge new cave, in a subterranean lake fed by underground rivers, and hot springs regularly. Other survivors of the catastrophe arrived too! Even the Kolgari couldn't continue their lives on the surface. They moved into this great cavern, we call Horthol. Those were hard times on them, and on our volk. On everybody, who found refuge there. Magic was used on a daily basis to help establish a new life. The Kolgari built an amazing place, what is known in the legends as Sunken City. We built our new home, the magnificent city of Thalassa, on the bottom of the lake we know as Lorelei Loch. We were lucky. Very lucky to survive. Water is vital for all of the beings. With the new place, came new discoveries. Ones that changed the fate of our volk forever. Found waterways which connected our new home with the vast water Ōkeanós, so some of our brave ancestors departed. Ōkeanós... The final frontier. Those were the longest voyages of our volk. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, and new civilizations, to boldly swim, where none one has swam before. To find new adventures, to meet never seen distant relatives. We also met new creatures, for example the Children of Ceto emerged from the depths of Lorelei Loch. Some of them were friendly, others are not so much. Water can be wild. Recent times, the surface strollers constantly grew in numbers. Not just in Erda. Don't have much respect towards the land, towards anything! They spill, and drink the waters, even fighting over it! Kill, murder for it! Sometimes they contaminate the wells, springs, rivers, and oceans! Litter the whole world! All that matters to them, is what can they take, what can they destroy! Almost always at war, those dryskins! Want power more, and more. Want everything! It is never enough! They know nothing! Nothing yet... Our volk are everywhere. We are watching. Where water is, there are we. Water is life, so we are! You cannot crush water, so you cannot crush us. We were here before you, and will be after you. We are the Elves of the Blewe! blewelves2 by Erhard Maas, on Flickr More pictures can be found in my Flickr album.
  15. Cat A Cat B part 1 Cat B part 2 île D'Or, August 618, somewhere in the jungle Captain Rimbaud and his men were following the trail left by the black-cloaked assassins since dawn, when they found a building hidden in the jungle. "They didn't even conceal their trail, they were completely sure about killing us tonight!" "Better for us, mon ami, or we would have only four corpses with a knife and a strange medallion each... Definitely not enough for our hunt!" It seemed a little temple, completely covered by vines and surrounded by a thick fence of poles. Folkloric versions of the 'keep out' sign welcomed the soldiers. "Jacob, search this place. If one of those black cloak is here around, shoot on sight!" "Yes Sir! Here it's clear!" "Dear Gods!" Exclaimed Doctor Laurent. "This is horrible! These men were natives, probably hunters arrived here by chance." "Why did they do that?" Asked sergeant Dubois, remained in rearguard "An offering? A sacrifice? Pagan savages!" "I think that these heads are a warning, sergeant! And this is not a pagan temple. This place is dedicated to the Enemy of the Gods!" Replied Monsieur Rimbaud with a serious voice. "There is no doubt: look at that symbol, a couple of stylized hands grabbing the sun…" "...and there is no statue on the altar, only a blood-red crystal. Ancient worshippers of the Enemy used these symbols too." "But Monsieur Rimbaud, mon ami" intervened Doctor Laurent "those fanatics were eradicated more than two hundred years ago, when they tried to overturn the Order and kill the Royal Family! The few survivors of their bloody revolt suicided en masse." "This is true, but… Well, when we'll find their lair we'll know the truth. Finding this place was a real stroke of luck! The men who attacked us tonight weren't one of the patrols, they were bringing them resupply; probably they were the first ones the red-headed spy found." "It means our enemies have to tighten their belts, and that alligators will party with their food!" "Yes, and it also means that, following the river we will find their den. It's time to send a message to lieutenant Norbert; it's platoon is waiting on the northern coast and we are going north, following the river. If they move southward we will take the main cove between the hammer and the anvil." The soldiers set fire to the interior of the little temple, putting a signaling rocket on the roof… it would have been ignited half an hour later, enough for disappearing in the jungle and hunting their enemies with their same methods, becoming shadows among the shadows, as invisible as ghosts. The rocket, giving Lieutenant Norbert the order to move An overall view
  16. Part 1 île D'Or, August 618, Fatu Hiva "Our birdie is turning left again. No doubt anymore, he is following us since the fishing point." "I'm sure I can nab him, monsieur. Alive, if you prefer, or with a second smile in his throat!" "Thank you, Klein Hans, this is the right mood... but we won't need your knife today. I'm quite sure that man would not sing even if we caught him, they would have never left in Fatu Hiva someone who would betray them." "The question is, mon ami, who are they?" Replied Doctor Laurent "What do we know about them?" "At least our red headed friend is Halosian. Oleander, or he would have been noticed. Their modus operandi, spreading panic with allucinations, is strange... I think they are not common pirates or smugglers, but they are cruel enough to kill innocent natives and pioneers..." Said Tristan, toughtful. "And they are dangerous, very dangerous! They routed a company of RNTC marines without even using firearms: our soldiers' wounds were inflicted with daggers or swords, probably during a close meele combat not far from Fatu Hiva." Continued Doctor Laurent "That means they have patrols or figthing groups right outside the city. They are sieging us and we didn't even understand it!" "But why? Without any clue about their aims we can't fight them! Meanwhile panic is spreading in Fatu Hiva... Two-bit preachers are proliferating in the city, saying the Gods are punishing inhabitants for their sins: if we don't change the situation people will begin to leave!" "This could be their aim." "I think you are right, mon ami. Watch that crowd: people are frightened, and the militiamen keeping them under watch seem tense too. But still we can't do anything, unless..." "Unless what?" "I'll explain it when I'll shape my idea a little better. For now it's better going for supplies to the general store... The petit oiseau following us will gather information and tweet his masters that we'll leave for the jungle in a couple of days." "And what will we do in truth? "We'll leave for the jungle in a couple of days!" "But we'll be walking straight into a mousetrap!" "Don't you know, mon ami, that Oleander mice have lion's fangs?" The general store The house upstairs Additional photos Overall view: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is my first entry for cat.B, the story will more canonically continue in the jungle. With a 32x32 footprint, the store and the tavern it is licensable as medium commerce (I won't do it, Fatu Hiva can license it if needed)
  17. Cat A Cat B part 1 Cat B part 2 Cat B part 3 île D'Or, August 618, a tavern in Fatu Hiva "Hans? Hans old friend of mine!" "Ahmed! How are you doing, man?" "Quite fine, thanks! I'm only concerned that you and your comrades will drain all the beer kegs of the island! And, about that, I see you are wearing blue again..." "I missed the charm of the uniform! Oh, and I needed money. How long has been since the légion, five years? Six?" "Seven years, but it seems a different life! Sometimes I miss those times... the sunsets in the desert, the adventures at the borders of the civilized world and the right benders we had in Fort Hercules to celebrate victories!" "There is a remedy for that! Innkeeper, a beer for my friend! Let's drink to my last campaign! Tomorrow I'll hang up my blue coat forever." "At last even this world trotter Varcoastan decided to put his head straight! This last mission must have been very bad!" "You can say that! Probably you have read something on newspapers... we had to chase a group of bloodthirsty fanatics through the whole bloody jungle! After a couple of skirmishes, we suceeded in getting across their net of patrols and ambushes, and we arrived, completely unnoticed, to their main lair." "Like in Madhna... most of the rebels were behind us, but when we took their headquarters and arrested their leaders they all disbanded." "Like in Madhna. And, like in Madhna, we had to neutralize the sentinels..." "...so that our assault was completely unexpected. We had planned to route them before they could even realize our number." "But we had a surprise too. As soon as we shot the first volleys..." "...a second platoon, we thought still far north, emerged from bushes and ruins and took the enemies from behind." "The battle was fierce, but those fanatics were outnumbered and surrounded; moreover, they weren't used to an open field fight. Only one of our guys was badly wounded, but fortunately he survived." "Well done, I've read what those beasts did to our company of marines! They only deserved hot lead! But probably you have worn down since the légion, this kind of fights was almost a routine!" "Keep your tongue or I'll change my mind about the beer! During the fight we saw a couple of those black crows disappearing in what seemed a lonely grave, and when everything was over..." "...we understood where those fanatics hid themselves. There was a stairway going underground!" "And probably they were ambushing right at the bottom." "They were, but we used the best precautions. Half a kilo of gunpowder, iron and precautions. And then we went down." "Those damned catacombs were literally the hell! Every niche, every dark corner hid a deadly danger!" "They seemed ancient tombs, and everything seemed Halosian, even if the island was colonized a couple of years ago." "At last, in a little room, we found the leader of the sect. All his men were dead, and he was waiting for us. My blood went cold when I clearly saw a face staring at us from the fireplace: I could swear it, there was something of dark and evil in that place!" "And that man... did he say something?" "Well, before cursing us and trying to stab our captain he said something about bad luck. He said that he had arrived with his disciples on the island five years ago, looking for what he called Sanctuary of the Enemy, that damned hole in the jungle that someone had hidden there centuries ago." "Someone who arrived in the New World centuries before us! But what were they looking for? Why did they kill so many people?" "They killed so many people because they were crazy fanatics, but also to keep the others away: they had found the Sanctuary using old maps, but they could not find a secret treasure room... they found the entrance only the day before our arrival!" "That can by right be called bad luck! And also means that you found the treasure!" "Well, actually lieutenant Norbert and a couple of soldiers found an half-open door and its mechanism in an ossuary..." "My friend Jacob told me that it wasn't a nice place, and that there was a strange statue that seemed to have moved... it could be dumb, but they always kept an eye on it!" (Don’t blink, whovians! Beware the weeping angel!) "And... the treasure Hans? Did you find a treasure?" "Unfortunately the treasure was only a bunch of dusty books! Captain Rimbaud is bringing them to the Order, in Granoleon. Now excuse me but I have to go, or the guys will finish all the roasted turkey! But when you are in Fatu Hiva look for me! My new house is in the main street. Goodbye Ahmed!" "Innkeeper! Ahmed is a friend of mine! For him beer will always be free. Agreed?" "Yes, boss!" "Goodbye Hans, thanks for the beer! But... you bought a new house and the inkeeper called you boss... the tavern is yours! Wait a second, are you sure you only found books?" "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't hear what you said! Goodbye Ahmed!" An overall view, with the removable parts removed. EDIT: I'm sorry I forgot giving @Khorne credit for the idea of the légion, since two of the characters are former legionnaires
  18. Cat A Cat B part 1 île D'Or, August 618, somewhere in the jungle Nights can be very dark in the jungle, with just a little campfire to repel the shadows and the humidity of the night… very dark and very lonely, for a sentinel guarding the bivouac, alone among his companions wrapped in their blankets or, if they are lucky enough to be officers, sleeping in a comfortable tent. Nights in the jungle can also be very dangerous. Snakes leave their holes, hunting for preys in the bushes and in the low water... ...but you can also receive an undesirable visit of some two-legged snakes infesting the island. Without a sound, similar to shadows in the night, they got close to the camp: two of them headed to the tent, ready to cut the ropes and then slaughter the men trapped inside... ...while the others (among which a familiar face) approached the soldiers, in order to slit the sentinel's throat and kill the others in their sleep. It will be a matter of seconds: blades in the dark, horrible stabbing sounds, and everything will be over. A matter of seconds, and then... ...then the assassins dressed in black will be in the middle of the fake camp, clearly visible in the light of the fire, among straw puppets and pineapples covered by hats. Clearly visible… and ready to be ballasted with a considerable amount of lead! An overall view A couple of close-ups of the cane field
  19. île D'Or, August 618, somewhere outside Fatu Hiva "Why are we here, monsieur Rimbaud?" Asked Marcel Laurent, one of the members of the little group. "I mean... not on the island but here, in this fishery." Marcel, a physician arrived in Astrapi only a couple of years before, was one of the members of the little group. He had spent most of his career in the navy, travelling around the world... nobody was really surprised when he asked joining the expedition. "We have at least two good reasons, mon ami." Answered Tristan Rimaud, leader of the team. "First, I was said Juracàn's tribe was one of the last that arrived in Fatu Hiva, so we can obtain some fresh news. Second, and even more important... don't you like smoked fish?". Meanwhile, in precarious balance on a wooden pole, a native was fishing with his spear and an Halosian was -well...- trying something similar. Soldiers watched them with interest. "Welcome to my fishing point, my lords. The humble Jurancàn wishes he could satisfy you. Are you interested in buying some smoked fish, or maybe you need a barrel of salted cod? We have just found a giant whelk, trust me, a delicacy as you never tasted. We also have crabs and, under the palm, a bucket of wonderful lobsters, I've just caught them myself, I can show them you if you are interested." Finally the flood of words stopped, with great relief of the others. "Thank you, cacique, you are too polite with these men" Replied Tristan, using one of the habitual formulas so appreciated by the natives. "My warriors and I are beginning a journey, so we'll buy both smoked and salted fish, and for this reason we also ask you the courtesy of some pieces of information." "Juracàn would be pleased to be useful, my lords. Are you leaving the island? Juracàn knows all the reefs and sandbanks of the western coast." "I'm sorry you misunderstood, great cacique. We are not leaving the island. I'm going straight into the jungle to hunt whoever is attacking natives and colonists." Here they are. Juracàn seemed a brave man, but most natives were litterally frightened, and was impossible to obtain anything more than a superstitious stutter. "The jungle, my lords? No, no, avoid the jungle! Bad ghosts live there! Live there and kill! They have always hated the men coming from sea, both my people and yours, but now their thirst of human blood increased! Nobody is safe far from the town!" Not very encouraging, but still better then a useless sobbing. "I do not fear bad ghosts, cachique. I will hunt them with my brave warriors, and free both my people and yours from their menace!" Brave warriors... strange definition for his volounteers, an half of which was in jail only a week before: tough and resolute men, but not the ones you imagine on a white horse! "Don't go, my lord, don't go please! Once the forest ghost were not so evil... sometimes they took seamen's life with snake bites or accidents, but not many more than our benign sea gods. But five summers ago something happened: shadows left the jungle and slaughtered brave warriors during the night, and many saw monsters and apparitions. Things went worse and worse, and we decided to leave our fathers' land. Don't go into the jungle, sir, or they will curse you! Somethimes the ones who saw bad ghosts became ill: they had seizures and shivers, and red stains appeared on their skins! Some of them died, and the hands of others became black and contracted..." "Le pain maudit!" -the cursed bread- exclaimed Marcel Laurent. "What are you talking about, my friend?" "All the symptoms are loudly saying ergotism! I've seen this disease when I was a young country doctor in Northern Oleon. Somethimes rye develops strange brown horns, and who eats rye bread becomes ill and sometimes sees or ears strange things. It would also explain the sudden maddness of our soldier... some ergot in the water and a masked attacker would completely frighten anybody!" "But, since the natives do not cultivate... Juracàn, great cacique, there aren't bad ghosts in the forest, but evil men who killed and poisoned your people! Somebody Who is trying to put fear in our hearts! I swear that I'll find them and I will kill them to avenge your warriors and our soldiers." "Monsieurs, cacique, sorry to interrupt you." Whispered a soldier. "We are not alone." Some more photos Salted fish Smoked fish The "wonderful lobsters" An overall view
  20. "We must send this letter to Breschaun, and quick," said d'Offren to his men, "but this should not prevent us to inquire about the merit of local beverage." As they walked by a cart full of barrels and bottles. "Please have a taste, my good sirs," said the man while brandishing a bottle of moonshine, "the choice of lumbermen." "Speaking of lumbermen, why are they working so close to the shoreline, I think the trees here aren't the best species for wood processing," asked d'Offren. "You are right, sir, not the best species, but since the mysterious attack in the jungle, people were so scared that they abandoned their lumber mill in the mill and every one rushed to beach. You see, they are cutting the palm trees and they are piling up the trunks on the beach." Replied the liquor dealer. "Indeed, they have to live with it..." muttered d'Offren. "Ahoy, monsieur le Duc!" d'Offren turned at the sea and saw a shirtless dude. It was the Duc d'Ablette.. "D'Ablette, par Poseidon, what are you doing here? I was going to send a letter to you to ask help." Asked Hugo d'Offren, apparently confused by the sudden appearance of the newly appointed Ministre of Colonies. "I'm here for the mysterious attack, I guess you are here for the same reason, when I heard the news, I thought finally we are going to have some action, you see, I'm bringing my axe with me, we are going to smash them to smithereens, not the lumberjacks, those who dare to defy the reign of Oleon." replied the Duke with a big smile. "To smash who, we even don't know who attacked us, besides, you'd better be stayed in Breschaun, to cooperate our actions, now you are here, who will send the reinforcement." exclaimed d'Offren. "Oh, this is easy, I have a sport ca...no, a fast sailing boat here,"replied d'Ablette, still smiling, "Serge, bring the letter of monsieur d'Offren to Breschaun and tell them to send reinforcement." "Hum, a sport yacht, I should get one of these too." muttered d'Offren.
  21. by Dathil, on Flickr LEADERS AND PROMINENT PEOPLE OF VETA, VOL. I THE TRADE IMPERIUM OF PHENIAS Phenias is built upon the islands in the Inner Sea. The main islands, Phenias, is home to the Volca, a large fortress built in a vulcano. The city expanded bigger than the island could sustain, and thus they started to build upon the water. The Pheniasi are the wealthiest faction around and dominate the free market throughout most of the continent. Their Quaestors, the tax officers, travel from market to market to collect their comissions. In return, the magistrate offers complete naval protection to everyone in the treaty. There are those, however, who suspect they might also be the ones "creating the needs of protection" theirselves, by investing their money wisely. Jovani Meci is the current magistrate of Phenias. Under his rule, the Pheniasi trade imperium has expanded vastly and has become real powerfull. He was born for this position, being a member of the wealthy Meci family, and having great economic insights. He proudly carries the Sextant Staff, a reminder of the seafaring origens of their family. However, there are those who say he has started questionable business inside the Volca,yet these sources have brought none evidence at all, and thus are these rumours not regarded as important by the Oraca. The diligent Quaestors of Phenias are often an unwelcome sight for the lords of the towns they visit. They wear the purple robes and stereotypical hat of Phenias, and have a status of immunity throughout every civilized country. They carry their sword mostly because of their noble ancestry. THE KINGDOM OF FRIKK The lands of Fríkk are inhibited by a tall and fair people, with probably some Elven blood in their pedigree. They have grown resilient against the colds and live in this lands, organizing raids, praying to their cruel gods called the Trissa, and hunting on the many kinds of prey that adapted to the cold climate. Gustolph Rekks is the current king of Frikk. In whole Veta, he is known as 'the Lion of the North', because of his sigil, the Lion. Under his reign, the country prospers. As much as the people respect his prowess in battle, they respect his wisdom. The king has some deep interests for arts and music as well, which is quite uncommon for the people in Frikk. Karl is the son of Gustolph and thus the heir to Frikk. While he is just 15 years old, he is known to be quite impatient when it comes to waiting to succeed his father. Even though he is that young, he has lead many military expeditions to success already. Karl is very religious and believes he was born to rule. THE WESTERLANDS The main power in Veta is the Imperium, currently ruled by empress Nemayra. the Imperium, Ihlrion, is divided in multiple regions, each of them gouverned by a noble family. The house of Glainthes is such a family. They control the Westerlands, on the border with the icy lands of Fríkk. Josua Glainthes is the leader of house Glainthes. After the death of his wife, he picked up his old drinking habit. Many fear that this could lead to unwanted situations, as he tends to become aggressive because of all the cider. Rachel is the oldest daughter of Josua Glainthes. Though almost as fair as her younger sister, she is not the fighter Becca is. She is a diplomat, and has read every book in her father's library. Some say she is not too happy with her younger brother standing higher in the line of succession. Becca Glainthes, the Succubus, is the second daughter of Josua Glainthes. Many call her the most beautiful woman in the country, and she is still single. However, she will only wed a man who defeats her in single combat, and many contenders have found out she is the deadliest woman in the country as well. Jona is the third child and eldest son of Josua Glainthes, and thus the heir of the house. He is a famous duelist, and his riding ability is matched by very few. Armed with his trumpet and his bow, there are little surprises that can reach the people under his protection. Robb is the most renowned cider farmer in the country. His farm, called Bunnock's Barn, stands under the protection of house Glainthes. KRYTTAN On the swampy peninsula in the north-east, the Krytt live. The Krytt look most like a cross between humans and goblins, but they are highly civilized and are no less than their human neighbours. Which does, of course, not take away that no one should try to meet them in battle... Rytan is a major Kryttan warchief. Because of him talking more with his maul than with his mouth, he has brought the Kryttan diplomacy to some dangerous levels. THE TRISSA The Trissa is the pantheon of gods worshipped by the people of Frikk. Their shrines can be found in every country throughout the continent however The most prayed-to god of the Trissa. Most prayers are meant for the enemies of the persons praying, asking for the blade of his halbard to aid their conflict. 'getting the Halberd' is a common phrase, used as euphanism of dieing. The goddess of protection has statues in many walled towns and settlements, and in every guardhouse there is a shrine to her. When praying to her, they belief nothing can happen to them. The Inquisitor is maybe even more feared than Death himself. He is believed to haunt the unfaithful and torture them while they keep living, a fate worse than getting the Halberd. MISCELLANEOUS Underneath the lands of Fríkk are the Fields of Despair. This once was the home of a mighty Elvish civilization. However, as not uncommon by elves, Hybris was their downfall as one of their ancient kings, dubbed "the purifier" intended to rid the continent of anything not-Elvish. This was the start of a series of wars, which ultimately led to a near-complete destruction of the Elves in Veta. There are still some remaining settlements, of which the inhabitants are called "Scavengers". Athon Darkeye is the leader of an Elven Scavenger tribe. His name is respected throughout the complete Fields of Despair. Garonn is a Free Sword, traversing the whole continent. 'The Eagle' is the origin for stories in many an inn. Orna is the kindest woman one will ever meet, but for sure also one of the strongest. Defying old traditions, she has become the very first female smith, yet she is one of the best in her profession. ABOUT THE AUTHOR This has been written and was signed by Horth the Half-elf, of the Tanes, Oraca in the higher arts. This manuscripts have been approved by the head of the Tanes. comments on references:
  22. The Maestro

    The Ruins of Lythell

    The day had started off as any other. The water was calm and the sky clear. Once out to their fishing grounds Leif called out to Isdir to drop the anchor and grab the nets. As the day dragged on storm clouds began to brew to the south. Luck, hopefully would be on their side and the storm would head towards the mainland. However only a few hours later, they were battling with the storm. Their small vessel being thrown around like a child's toy. Waves toward and crashed above them as they struggled to stay alive, almost as if they were caught in between a battle of gods. After a long rough night the water finally began to flatten, and they found themselves no longer being able to see the coast. Praying the gods were on their side now, Leif set sail for wherever fate would take him. He had heard the tales of the origins of the Elves. But that was all they had ever been. Tales. However that all changed when a towering arch rose from the horizon, A magnificent structure large enough to fit their boat through. A prancing horse with a rider top the somehow remain atop of the crumbling arch. behind it more structures rose from the seas depths, weathered but years of of harsh winds and high waves but still astounding in size and beauty. He heard Isdir mumble about the lost cities of the Elves, and I did not doubt him. Finally Leif gathered his wits and yelled to Isdir, we will camp on the rooftop over their, and then we shall sail south, just as the Elves claimed to have done. If they had truly found the Elves homeland, then who else knew what lay beyond? (bonus shot) Entry to Category B: A safe Haven. You can probably see I am no writer but I did not want this build to go with out a proper story. I built this back in October, and kept it to see if it would fit into the CCC. It didn't so I have just got round to post it on here now. I have lots of other builds ready to post on the guilds as well so watch out for them. The arch was difficult to make at first, but came together quick enough. the boat was also quite a challenge as it is my first. Hopefully you guys think it came out ok. The base was inspired by Jaapxaap and Legofin and I think it worked well here. Hope you enjoy and C&C needed
  23. The People of Alnya The Land of Alnya The expansive Isle of Alnya offers a variety of climates ranging from the friendly, lush forests of the native Dwelfs, to the foggy wetlands, and soaring cliffs along the coast where the Adventurers’ Guild is based. The two groups are generally on good terms with the other and usually stay in their respective areas of the isle. The large Adventurers’ guild offers an incredible range of services to the surrounding islands, and even distant lands when clients offer substantial rewards. Besides standard jobs like monster hunting, traveler protection, and mercenary work, the Guild also offers highly skilled herbalists, beast masters, and cartographers. Many come to the Guild looking to gain an apprenticeship and work their way up into the rank of full Adventurer, but this is no easy task and many fail in the attempt. Although, not all those who live near the Guild are constantly seeking blood-chilling adventure, as there is a small community of farmers and various craftsmen who keep the guild well stocked with food and other supplies. One of the biggest crops in the wetlands is rice, but the plentiful fish along the coast make their fisheries quite a lucrative market as well. Dwelfs on the other hand, are usually quite content to stay in their villages, living a simple (yet sometimes mischievous) life. Their favorite pastimes include raising their goats, chickens, dragons, bees and occasionally sheep, finding new uses for herbs, crafting beautiful cottages, and of course eating. Every once in a while they will dabble in the art of mining, but it is not one of their preferred industries. Those who do mine deep often return with peculiar tales of stout, reclusive creatures dwelling under the earth, but no one has been able to confirm these reports, leaving the strange tales shrouded in mystery. Despite these two groups making the Isle their home however, much of it is largely unexplored. There are numerous legends about the uncharted lands, many of which involve great beasts and sometimes even the mention of mysterious people who tower above all they come across. Little interest is expressed in these tales from the Dwelfs, who are quite content to stay in their peaceful villages. The Adventurers’ Guild on the other hand, is eager to scout out the lands, and would probably have done so quite thoroughly already, if there were not kept engaged in their numerous other occupations. As such, the island is not always a safe place: the formidable creatures sometimes venture from their homes in the coastal caves and deep forests of the island, and the strength of such beasts is not easily defeated. 1. Torrel the Beekeeper No one in all of Alnya is as adept at the art of beekeeping as Torrel is. He tends meticulously to his hives, and his honey is held in the highest regard by all the isle. A few have tried unsuccessfully to steal some of his bees, to try and match the quality of his honey and gain a small fortune, but none have succeeded. No one knows exactly what happens to those who try this, but whatever it is, it keeps them from trying twice. 2. Rydel the Hunter Rydel is a light-hearted hunter, who often will poke fun at his apprentices, (or anyone for that matter). However, although he has a healthy sense of humor, he is one of the finest shots in all of the Dwelf forests, and can track almost any animal. 3. Garrek the Goatsman At first sight, Garrek would seem a bit gruff to most people. Although he isn't a jokester like Rydel, the two are very close friends, and will often help each other with various tasks when they can. As Rydel will attest to, Garrek really has a soft heart, especially when it comes to his beloved goats. He has been a goatsman all of his life, and has extensive knowledge about what plants his animals thrive on, and what should be avoided at all costs. 4. Alenia the Dragon Master Alenia is one of the head Dragon Masters among Dwelfs, even though she is relatively young in experience compared to some of the others. An accident early in her dragon taming career left her with only one eye, but she doesn't let it get in her way of achieving her dreams. She loves working with the Nayvnai dragons, and has one she keeps as personal pet, named Frandri, besides the ones she trains for others. 5. Nym the Gardner Nym loves gardens, wild flowers, herbs, trees... anything that grows. He's always ready to explain to you how this plant likes sun with just a little bit of water, while this purple one over here grows best in the shade and with lots of water. Although he takes gardening seriously, that doesn't keep him from enjoying life, and he will often be humming a tune while weeding, or reply with a witty remark when the neighbors pick on his near addiction to gardening. 6. Nyna the Innkeeper "Fresh bread and milk for table 2!" Nyna always has a smile on her face, and is usually bustling around her inn cooking for the next meal, cleaning rooms, tending to customers, or doing whatever else needs to be done. While not the fanciest Inn on Alnya, it's well-known that The Green Goblet (her inn) is near spotless, and the excellent cooking and cheerful service bring a smile to the face of any customer. 7. Tanelia the Minstrel Tanelia is one of Nyna's closest friends, and will often drop in The Green Goblet for a few days, drawing many of the locals to hear the minstrel. There are few songs she doesn't know, and her skillful rendering of them impresses even the royal families. While the royal families have to tried to hire her as a personal minstrel, she prefers to wander Alnya freely, bringing music wherever she goes. 8. Rhalyf the Stable Boy "Rhalyf! Get those stalls mucked, we have more horses to lodge!" Fortunately Rhalyf's amiable disposition is not easily discouraged. Generally he is a very hard worker at the stables, though sometimes his mind does wander to more noble occupations: his dream is to become an Adventurer, Dragon Tamer, Knight, or whatever else enters his mind, really. 9. Goren the Miner Unlike many Dwelfs, Goren is extremely serious - to the point that he has many theories of Goblin invasions (not that he knows what a Goblin is), fire coming from the sky and destroying all of Alnya, and similar such things. However, his work underground provides plenty of metals and gems for which the Dwelfen craftsmen happily put up with his pessimistic attitude. 10. Faelar the Carpenter Wood is the most oft used building material of the dwelfs, and Faelar is a master of carpentry. His workshop is always kept busy making cabinets, furniture, or even shaping larger timbers for houses and barns. Faelar himself is a rather quiet Dwelf, but is never happier than when working on a new project. 11. Jastar the Fisherman It takes a great deal of food to keep the Adventurers' Guild fed, which keeps plenty of farmers and fishermen like Jastar prospering. His fishing boat was built by Faelar, and Jastar is quite proud of its maneuverable qualities. Few fishermen are as successful as Jastar, as his knowledge of the coast allows him to make large catches of fish consistently. 12. Reinhold the Adventurer Reinhold is one of the original members of the Adventurers' Guild, and has vast amounts of experience in many different areas. An expert huntsman and swordsman, he is one of the most respected fighters in the guild, but he is also quite astute and rarely loses his temper. Although it's rare for him to go on expeditions anymore, when Reinhold does leave his administrative position at guild headquarters on an especially challenging expedition, he is usually in charge of a party of Adventurers. 13. Tanja the Falconer While women are not as common as men in the Adventurers' guild, anyone proving their competence can become respected in the guild. Tanja has done just that, and her skills as a falconer are rivaled by very few. Her personal falcon, Bolt, is fierce and agile and can be a deadly force in battle, or as a scout. Tanja and Bolt have an incredible understanding of each other, and have developed their own way of communicating with each other. 14. Jorn the huntsman Jorn the Huntsman has been at the Adventurers' guild for a number of years now, and specializes in hunting dangerous predators. Always serious when on the job, Jorn surprises many with his sense of humor when he isn't on the hunt. Although he isn't one of the younger members of the guild, he can cover ground quickly when needed, and is extraordinarily stealthy. 15. Gurukk the Warrior "Gurukk did not mean to hit so hard." Orcs, like any other race, can enroll in the Adventurers' Guild. Gurukk is surprisingly tender-hearted, though also armed with brute strength and a love for a good fight. Thus practice bouts in the arena sometimes can get a little out of hand. He is still working his way up to attain the full Adventurer rank, but is not someone you want to cross swords with. 16. Okano the Rice Farmer The wetlands along the coast of Alnya where the Adventurers' Guild is located are ideal for growing rice, and as such, it is one of the staple foods of the guild. Okano runs a good sized rice farm, though he once was an apprentice Adventurer before realizing his love for agriculture. Now he is an experienced farmer, and has plenty of tips and techniques to share with anyone looking to improve their own rice fields. 17. Turgan the Guardian Turgan the Guardian is an Adventurer always willing to safeguard caravans, convoys, or even specific people. Fiercely protective, trying to harm any of his charges will likely be the last mistake you make. Any of his friends would gladly recommend his services, as they know his loyalty is unbreakable. 18. Thorsen the Cartographer With all the islands and unexplored lands around Alnya, the services of a cartographer are highly prized. Thorsen is a veteran of the trade, and his maps are worth quite a hefty stack of gold coins. Unlike some map-makers, he is also adept at surviving in the wilds which make his services even more valuable. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- More pictures on Brickbuilt. Whew, it's been too long since I posted something in the guilds! I have some builds already up on other places that I plan on posting here, I just haven't had time to do so recently. I had a lot of fun with these guys, and with developing the Isle of Alnya, though unfortunately I was only able to complete one actual build for it, which I'll be posting here soon. As always, C&C is very welcome
  24. My entry into Category A of the "A Safe Haven" challenge. Allanar Forest on the isle of Alnya is where many of the dwelfs have chosen to live. This is likely due to their love of nature, and the many animals who also make their home there. The dwelfs spend much of their time caring for animals, or training them; even such creatures as dragons are welcomed in their community. Many live in unpretentious cottages, but don’t be mistaken – they are excellent craftsmen, and their homes are held in high regard by even the most skilled architects. "Now don't be scaring my chickens when you feed them, boy!" "Don't worry, Garrek, I can handle throwing out some chicken feed." Rhalyf had been given some time off at the stables during a quiet spell, and Garrek was quick to put him to work feeding the flock of chickens he keeps in addition to his prized goats. Faelar has a simple task today: fixing a section of fence alongside the path. Some lovely mushrooms caught Nym's eye earlier in the week, and today he returned to harvest the ripe ones and dig up one to plant in his own garden. Alenia is working with Frandri in the forest today, and has brought along a treat to reward the young dragon with. Torrel keeps several hives in different places throughout the forest, and as usual is busy checking up on some of them now. Lots more pictures on Brickbuilt. Thanks for looking, comments and criticism welcome
  25. Rene, Emile's quartermaster, had been sent a letter from his captain hwo was out at sea with Oleon in Terraversa. The loss of The Elise was a devestating blow to morale for the crew, especially since Emile wasn't with them when the ship was lost. Since then, they all had been waiting on orders. Finally, they arrived. Emile had heard of something going on in Jameston, the Corrington settlement, and he wanted Rene, Gilbert the boatswain, and Henri the rigger to go to the Oleon Consulate in the city and get supplies to search for some orchid. The other three main crew members were told to wait for further orders. The consulate was imposing. Glass doors opened up to balconies on the first floor, and two guards always stood at attention. After being allowed in, Henri went straight for the butler, hoping to find some form of alcohol there. And yes, Emile's rum was there. Gilbert found an old acquaintance who had been stationed at the consulate, and they chatted about the old times, back before they had gone their separate ways. Rene found the Consul and showed the letter he had received from Emile. "Ah yes," the consul said as he looked at the parchment. "Jameston has been in a bustle recently due to this. Who's going to go on this expedition?" "Myself, Gilbert, and the boy Henri," Rene replied. "If you could spare any other men, we'll gladly take them." "Unfortunately I can't send any men with you," the consul admitted. "But, I can give you a healthy amount of supplies. You'll need them when you head out. You'll find some interesting things out there. Just don't start a war, alright?" "I'll do my best," Rene said. Up above, they began to gather supplies: shot, weapons, tents. It's dangerous out there for a citizen of Oleon in this place.