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  1. In the GOH timeline, these events happened mere hours after the events in Nestlands Clans Embassy in Nocturnus: Lord Vladivus' Visit, part 1. -------------------------------------------------- Ambassador Bloodmane: It took quite some work to clear the blood fountain of what the Drow had done to it. I'm told it is one of Danag's original fountains. Lord Vladivus: Is that what I think it is? Ambassador Bloodmane: Aye, but I must caution you with its use. Once summoned it will only do your bidding once, and then it will escape back to its own realm. This war of yours will be a hard one, and you will incur some losses. You should keep this in reserve until your need is greatest. Lord Vladivus: I will keep that in mind. This has been a pleasant and fruitful trip, but Shadowmere and the war beckon. Ambassador Bloodmane: Well then, I'll have my people carry these to your zombies. Lord Vladivus: Kasalia, I will be leaving now. Librarian Kasalia mutters an unintelligible reply without even looking up from the scroll she is examining. Lord Vladivus shrugs. Lord Vladivus: Take care of her. Ambassador Bloodmane: She'll be safe here. ----------------------------------------------------------- Upstairs in the study area before the Nestlands Embassy Grand Library: Twali: Mistress, do we stay? Librarian Kasalia: We stay. You guard. She gives a sidelong glance at the Avalonian mage to her left, sniffing the air to get a sense of his power. Nolan Baar, a minor mage from central Avalonia, is here to study the raising of phantasms and specters. His aim is to use these to patrol the remaining Drow tunnels in Avalonia. Nolan Baar: Such bounty in this place. Food and knowledge. Nolan needs to be a bit more careful, as his sword is about to knock over the game board. It is an odd conquest game that Nolan hopes the Ambassador will teach him. Kasalia has pulled Nolan's trencher over to hold the scroll she is reading. The scroll details the construction of the first temple to the Armored Eagle Goddess, built by the Sky Elves. ------------------------------------------------------------- Above the study area are the symbols of Ambassador Bloodmane's faith, a statue of the humanoid version of the Armored Eagle Goddess and a representation of the Staff of Winged Grace. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Here's a shot of the build sans character figs and loose items. More detail shots can be found in this Flickr album. ---------------------------------------------------- CCC
  2. ~The Embassy~ Standing tall in the bustle of Eubric's centre, is the majestic stone construction of learning renowned and respected by all; the Embassy. Pushing aside heavy gilded doors, you find yourself in the grand entrance hall of a vast network of rooms and passages, all dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the many races of Olegaia's vast surface. In each of these many rooms, lies as much information and as many souvenirs to each living thing as possible, so that all manner of old and new walking-beasts can never be truly forgotten. ~The Embassy of Eubric~ But before you have any time to truly appreciate the grandeur and spectacle behind this great establishment, you begin to notice the the vast array of creatures moving around amongst the pillars and great statues. Men, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and creature so wild and diverse that you could have imagined. But standing guffly in the centre of the stone plaza, as though immune to the beauty of it all, stands a stocky and well-built figure. He is clad in a thick leather plating, wrapped around with an elegant and embroidered robe. Noticing your awestruck and lost expression, the man takes a heavy and direct path towards you, purposeful in his stride. When he draws near, the voice he speaks, coarse and violent in a gutteral roar, a tone in stark contrast to the words that he speaks of truth. "Ah, Master, or is it Mis'ress? My eyes are not what they once were. But otherwise, welcome here. They call me Largh-múnd, 'The learned one', of the Lurgh-án kin; I am the beating heart of this house. What is it that brings you to this place, my palace of the past things? You, you want to see my archives, read what I have spent my days to bring? Fine, I will show you to these things, so that you may better the knowledge of others of your clan." Turning his back on your still-amazed form, Largh-múnd leads the way into alley after corridor-way, pointing and gesturing at the many exhibits that lay out the history of every creature to have ever crossed the face of Olegaia. And what a great many things there are to see... ~The Great Archive~ Humans Appearance: Most of the humans are of average height and weight. Their skin tone ranges from pale to dark brown depending on their natural habitat, with the most common tone being yellow. Humans can breed with most of the minority races, so individuals with mixed heritage are quite common. History: Humans are the most populous race in Olegaia, comprising a little less than half of the planet's population. They rule nearly all the realms around the Crystalline Sea. The minority races often see them as oppressors and conquerors, for the curiosity and ambition of the humankind knows no boundaries. Because the race is so widely spread, it has attained a multitude of diverse cultures: for example, humans in Dastan live a very different life from the humans in Carthago, even though there is only a narrow sea in between the nations. Humans live approximately 60 years, although some individuals are known to have lived for over 100 years. Elves Appearance: Elves are lither and slightly taller than the average humans, but their most notable feature are the pointed ears. Elves usually lack facial hair, so any individuals with beards and moustaches are likely to have ancestors from other races in their bloodline. Most elves have a yellow or fair skin tone, although there are tribes with dark skin as well. History: Most elves live in very secluded communities in far-off locations, which has prevented their numbers from growing despite their nearly infinite life expectancy. This has also resulted in diverse elven cultures that shun each other. The three most influential cultures are usually referred to as the "Star Elves" of Spesialia, the "Moon Elves" of Mercution and the "Sun Elves" of the Eversummer Islands. Other distinct cultures include the woodland elves and the nomad elves. However, in recent times many elves have felt drawn to the growing cities, so the race is finally starting to mingle with the rest of the world. Dwarves Appearance: Short and stout, the dwarves are physically accustomed to their lives under the ground. Both males and females have long, bushy beards, making them nigh indistinguishable from one another, although some surface-dwelling individuals have chosen to shave theirs to better fit the surrounding culture. There are clans living much deeper than common dwarves with soot-black skins and a weakness to sunlight. History: Dwarves are natural masons, smiths and craftsmen, and they are said to be the most arduous workers in the world. Their underground cities are a marvel to behold, for the dwarves have an eye for detail and architecture. But they also have eye for precious metals and jewels, labelling the whole race greedy and selfish. For this reason they usually don't like to mingle with other races, and most clans have shut themselves inside their mountains. Dwarves usually live for half a millennium. Halflings Appearance: Halflings are even shorter than dwarves, and are also lighter and less hairy. Their ears are also somewhat pointed, with their hair always growing in thick curls. Some say they are just short-born humans or elves, but the halflings deny that fervently. History: Halflings lead happy and carefree lives in their own little communities. They are drawn to the simple things in life, such as agriculture and brewery, but some also work as travelling entertainers or peddlers. In some lands, halflings bear the mark of thieves and cheaters. Halflings tend to live somewhat longer than humans, usually around 80 years. Gnomes Appearance: The shortest of the diminutive races, gnomes are also known for their rotund bodies and high-pitched voices. Male gnomes begin to grow their bushy beards from a very early age, as they believe it brings them good luck. It is said that cutting off a gnome's beard transfers all that good luck to the cutter. History: Gnomes are masterful tinkerers, gathering the junk thrown away by the "Tall Ones" and building their homes and tools out of them. Gnomes tend to dwell under major cities in tunnels and sewers, where they feel safe from the outside world. Some have founded their own villages under hills or in caves. Gnomes only live for about 50 years. Orcs Appearance: The most populous of the "greenskinned" races, orcs have a pale green skin, red eyes and sharp fangs. They are somewhat taller and more muscular than humans. History: For a long time, Baltarok, the land of the orc-kin, was a harsh wasteland where only the toughest could survive. Orcs lived in savage tribes locked in a constant war, until their gazes were turned to the fertile kingdoms in the east.They began to raid and pillage the lands, and gained an ill reputation. After a failed attempt to claim the human kingdoms as their own, many orcs were enslaved and used for hard labour. However, some orcs escaped and brought their knowledge of craftsmanship to Baltarok. Now new cities are rising on the edges of the barren desert, and orcs are moving away from their days as brutal barbarians. Goblins Appearance: The goblins are shorter and skinnier than orcs, and they have pointy ears and yellow eyes. Aside from the greenskinned kind, there are also brown and fairskinned goblins. The offspring of a goblin and an orc are known as hobgoblins, while the much rarer crossing of a goblin and an ogre is called an ogroblin. History: Goblins have always lived alongside orcs, although less numerous. The orcish tribes previously used goblins for mundane chores as well as espionage, but nowadays the goblins live as equals to the orcs. Hobgoblins Appearance: Far taller and more imposing than their goblin parentage, but leaner than orcs, the hobgoblins share many traits of their fellow green-skins. Their skin ranges in tones from earthy brown to bright green, and most notable of their features are large, cloudy eyes, typical of cave-dwelling goblins; and also profoundly long ears. These and many other features make hobgoblins adept at both underground and open living. History: Hobgoblins are stronger than goblins and faster than orcs, making them well-rounded combatants. They do not stand high in the hierarchy of the greenskins, so the orcish tribes usually treat them as cannonfodder in their wars. Gremlins Appearance: Even smaller than goblins, gremlins are comparable to gnomes. They have long ears and a flat face. History: Gremlins usually live in throngs in underground nests. They are dumb, almost bestial, and in their scavenge for nourishment they tend to break everything in their sight. That's why they are rarely seen (or wanted) inside cities. Their lifespan is as short as their stature. Metasimians Appearance: Despite their bestial appearance resembling gorillas, Metasimians are not "weregorillas" like some think. In fact, referring to them as apes is a great insult. Metasimians usually have black fur, but grey and brown variations are known to exist. Those few born with white fur are considered to be blessed by the Metasimian god Orang Pendek. History: Metasimians originate from the humid jungles of the Mistlands in the continent of Mistaria. Most of them live in primitive tribes, but they are surprisingly intelligent, adapting to life outside their forest fairly quickly. They live somewhat longer than humans on average. Aoi Appearance: As a contrast to the greenskinned races living to the west of the Crystalline Sea, the blue-skinned aoi originate from the far east. The tone of their skin varies from dark blue to light turquoise. All of them have dark hair. History: There are precious few of the Aoi left, most of them remaining in Xu, the cradle of their ancient culture. The aoi are said to be the oldest race on Olegaia, with their history records reaching over a ten thousand years into the past. Despite their highly-developed culture, the aoi have always been prone to war, most likely due to their pride. This and the fact that they cannot breed with any other race has decreased their numbers dramatically. Nowadays there are only less than a thousand of them left. The members of the aoi can live for several hundred years. Nôrns Appearance: An all-female race, nôrns are discernible for their skin and hair, which are both monochromatically the color of hay. Most of them have blue eyes. History: Nôrns hail from the land of Nôrnia in the far north, close to the Norse continent of Vártland. Their myths tell that they are daughters of Helvetia, the goddess of afterlife, placed on Olegaia to guard her treasures. The nôrns are exceptionally talented in magic and spiritualism. Lately many of them were killed or driven from their homeland by vikings. This only added to their natural disdain towards men of other races. The nôrns have an endless lifespan unless they are killed, and they can only become pregnant by the will of their goddess. Merfolk Appearance: Merfolk are humanoids with features of aquatic creatures, including the tails or heads of a fish, claws of a crab or tentacles of an octopus. Each variation has their own tribal name, such as Sharkling, Teuthisal, Sargassan, Nautican, Sphyrnan and Octopial. History: The merfolk share a similar origin to the werefolk, with their ancestors being shapeshifters who grew accustomed to changing into fish and aquatic animals. Most of the merfolk live in their own cities at the bottom of the seas, where they can dwell undisturbed. Some of them can breath out of water, but even then they usually prefer to linger near the oceans, working as sailors or fishermen. Giants Appearance: Giants come in various sizes, but they are all at least twice as tall as humans. The tallest giants were said to grow as tall as the trees. Besides their magnified features, they look like humans. History: Long ago the giants ruled the High Kingdoms, with the city of Duplovia as the center of their culture. But then the humans from the Low Kingdoms came and vanquished nearly all of them, building a new city on top of the ruins of Duplovia. The remnants fled to the mountains, where they keep to themselves, for humans still regard them as a threat due to their size. It is unknown how long a giant can live. Ogres Appearance: Twice as tall as their orcish cousins, the ogres come in two different breeds: green and brown. Ogres often have horns and spikes growing out of their skin. They are strong and sturdy, yet surprisingly calm and wise. History: Ogres have a peculiar origin: they were once orcs who were transformed by a sorcerer as his private army. However, the ogres turned on the wicked mage and killed him instead. The army split into two, others travelling south and others staying in the north of Baltarok. The southern ogres developed a brown skintone. Because of their magically enhanced nature, ogres have a much longer lifespan than orcs. Trolls Appearance: Trolls are unintelligent, crude, hulking creatures with deformed features. They have pale blue or green skin, and are distantly related to orcs. History: Because of their violent, bestial nature, trolls live either alone or in small packs in secluded places such as caves, hills or deep forests. A few rare individuals have been sighted living under large cities as well. Werefolk Appearance: The prefix of "were" is attached to two types of creatures: humanoids born with bestial features and humanoids turned into beasts later in their lives. There are a multitude of werefolk in Olegaia, ranging from werewolves to werepanthers, werehyenas to werehounds, wererats to werebats. An infected person who becomes a wereperson may gain additional strength and copious hair in their normal shape, but can only reveal their true form when under the light of the full moon. However, the mentally strongest infected werepeople may learn to enact the transformation at will. History: The origins of all werefolk lies in ancient shapeshifting magic. Originally all shapeshifters could change their form at will, but over the ages the magic changed, and most of the shifters got accustomed to a certain form. Some could only change their appearance partially, while others could turn into an animal completely. Thus were born the various tribes of werefolk. The magic can be transferred by blood, so all children of werefolk were born with the same talent as their parents. Blood infusion or biting can also change a normal non-wereperson into one, but it is a risky process that often leads to death. Vampires Appearance: Vampires are a special breed of undead, recognizable for their pallid skin, bloodied eyes and sharp fangs. They possess great strength, and have be known to shapeshift into bats and other dark creatures. History: According to the legends, the first vampires were created when a group of Zootists yearning to live forever made a pact with a certain demon. The demon turned the cultists into blood-craving servants of the night, who could turn others into vampires as well by feeding them their own blood. Vampires can only be killed by either exposing them to direct sunlight or chopping them to small-enough pieces. Zombies Appearance: Zombies are living dead resurrected from their grave in a varied state of decay. Most zombies are braindead, but some have maintained a sliver of sanity. History: Created by necromancers as mindless slaves, zombies are magically bound to whoever raised them. They yearn to feel alive again, and they are constantly tormented by an insatiable hunger. That's why they sometimes feed on living humans. Killing a zombie is as easy as destroying its brain. Bugbears Appearance: Bugbears is the mocking name given to the hairy bipedal creatures that inhabit densely forested areas. The name they call themselves is often transliterated asbagbaw. They dress in animal pelts, bones, feathers and stolen clothes. History: The bugbears live in hierarchical communities build inside large trees, and it is rare to see them in an urban environment. They are widely considered to be mere monsters, since their culture and language is very primitive. Some individuals that have ventured out of their treetowns have learned common speech, though. Cyclops Appearance: Cyclops is the common name given to mutated individuals born with just one eye. They can originate from any tribe, and thus have the features of that tribe aside from the eye. History: It is unknown what causes the cyclopean syndrome, but usually a local witch is suspected of cursing the yet-unborn child. Cyclops are most commonly found on Babeleth Darklands and the surrounding areas. Fairies Appearance: Though they look like humans for the most parts, fairies are usually born with insectoid wings. Different families have different kinds of wings, some having those of a butterfly while others having dragonfly wings, for example. Fairies born without wings are considered outcasts, as they are usually the result of an interracial relationship. Another distinct feature of fairies is that they can change their size from human-sized to as small as a bee. As beings closely related to nature, fairies prefer to cover themselves with plants, although fairies dwelling among other races are known to don clothes as well. History: Fairies originate from another plane of existence, commonly referred to as The Faerie. It is intertwined with the mortal realm, which rifts between the planes appearing in special places known as "fairy rings". Many legends are told of people venturing into The Faerie, never to be seen again. Other tales tell that time runs differently in The Faerie, and a day spend there might equal decades or mere seconds in the mortal realm. The goddess Sylvania herself is said to be the queen of all fairies, although no fairy has ever admitted to it. They call their queen Ylwannah. It is unknown how long a fairy can live. Fenarians Appearance: Fenarians are much taller than average humans, pallid skinned and red eyed. Sometimes they are mistaken for vampires, but they lack the fangs and are very much alive. Fenarians prefer elaborate robes as clothing. History: The homeland of the Fenarians is the underground realm of Fenario, also known as the Land of Eternal Darkness, that is located below the southern parts of the continent of Spesialia. Some scholars theorize that Fenarians used to be elves that moved underground due to some dispute in ancient times, since they share equal lifespans to elves, but Fenarians themselves fervently deny it. Most of them never leave their subterranean cities. Grumpkins Appearance: The heads of grumpkins resemble pumpkins and their bodies are short and stout. They have leaves and flowers as hair. History: Grumpkins are another example of monstrous creatures that have evolved into a civilized race. However, they are shunned by the other races due to their lack of intelligence and habit of eating dirt and insects. That is why they prefer living in the wilderness. Eubric Freeport has a colony of grumpkins living on the garbage heap at the Hovels District. Kobolds Appearance: Kobolds are small and bony critters that move on all fours. They have light brown skin, pointy ears and sharp teeth, hinting of close relation with goblins. History: Creatures of the subterranean, kobolds have only recently started to emerge into the surface world. They have a long history of being adversaries to the dwarves, gnomes and Fenarians, raiding and pillaging the cities of the more developed underground societies. They are rather malicious and unsociable, making them unwanted visitors to almost any community. Leprechauns Appearance: Leprechauns are cousins to halflings, with the main difference being their flaming-red hair and a nose for treasure. For some reason, leprechauns have taken a habit of dressing in green, probably to further separate themselves from the halflings that they much despise. History: It is said that a leprechaun can smell a fortune a mile away, and that is why it is usually considered lucky to befriend one. However, their special talent has lead to persecution and even slavery in some countries, and that is why their number is very small and life expectancy is on the short side. Lucustoids Appearance: Lucustoids are an insect-like race that are commonly found in the desert region of Abra. Lucustoids move and speak in a very twitchy and abrupt manner. While their exoskeletons are particularly resistent to blows and the elements, they are not natural fighters. History: Lucustoids exist is subterranean dwellings carved out beneath the sand dunes of their homeland. Lucustoids are particularly renowned scientists and specifically astonomers since there is rarely a cloud in the sky to interrupt their contemplation of the stars. While they do speak the human tongue, their communication is often stuttered and jerky, filled with clicks and guttural sounds. Two notable members of this race include the Doctors Fahad and Falish Jiivni, foreign experts on the science of transmogrify. Nagas Appearance: Nagas are people with serpentine tails for feet, not to be confused with Snakemen that are actually werefolk and walk on two feet. Nagas come in all colors, and the clothes they wear are colorful and elaborate as well. History: The Nagas inhabit the secluded country of Nagashan that is closed from people of other races, with the exception of traders. Nagas are a proud race with a rich, unique culture, but they have been locked in constant warfare with the neighboring Xu Kingdom. The war has eaten their resources, and that is why a growing number of nagas have fled abroad. Ogroblins Appearance: Ogroblins are offspring of goblins and ogres, and as such are very few in number. They have the hulking bodies and horns of ogres, and the pointy ears and snouts of goblins. History: Like other halfbloods, ogroblins are outcasts in Baltarok. They don't tend to do much better in other countries either because of their hideous appearance. One notable expection is Yasmar, the most notable chef in the High and Low Kingdoms. His dishes are divine, but they come served with a foul language. Phlegmen Appearance: Phlegmen are living blobs of slime shaped like a man. Most of them don clothes to better fit the society. History: All phlegmen originate from a single creature of slime born in a sewer in Eubric that had a few magical potions too many poured into them. Despite their monicker, they have no gender, and they multiply by splitting themselves in half, then continuing to grow. While most of them still live in Eubric Freeport, some have moved elsewhere. Rocklings Appearance: Not to be confused with golems or stone elementals, Rocklings are a diminutive race whose history is not tied to any ethereal source. Their hard exterior prevents them from feeling nearly any pain from physical blows, however their sense of hearing is by far their most sensitive ability and Rocklings are easily startled by loud noises. History: Rocklings can be found in most regions though they naturally favor mountainous country. While one would assume Rocklings would tend toward mining or tunnel digging, this Race has a peculiar fascination with hats and the making of garments, even though they themselves rarely wear any, thus they are often found to be owners of small tailor shops or haberdasheries. Taurians Appearance: Taurians is the common monicker for minotaurs, satyrs and centaurs, also known as the Children of Centurus. They are werefolk with features from bulls, goats and horses, respectively. Minotaurs have heads, fur and hooves of a bull, satyrs have horns, beards and legs of a goat, and centaurs have the upper body of a human attached to a body of a horse. History: Taurians are the ruling race on the island nation of Pyr, along with humans. Their myths tell of three human families blessed by the god Kentauros and turned into Taurians to rule in his name. To this day, the royal palace in Alexandria has four thrones; one for the Human King, one for the Minotaur King, one for the Satyr King and one for the Centaur King. U'kin Appearance: U'kin look eccentric with their long muzzles, wide flappy ears and protruding eyes. Their skin is light brown and can have darker patches. History: U'kin originate from the Dragon Continent, and their lore tells that they were there long before humans came, tamed the dragons and founded the Dastan Empire. U'kin have a peculiar, repetitive speech pattern, of which some of them have learned away from. Yetis Appearance: Yetis are barbaric creatures living on snowy mountaintops and freezing glaciers. They are covered in thick white fur, and the skin underneath is blue. They also have large fangs. The northern yeti are gigantic, while their cousins in the south are the size of humans. History: In some parts of the world, yeti fur is much coveted for its protective qualities, and that is why yetis have learned to shun other races. Lately some have descended from the glaciers, and upon finding that they were not flayed alive in the instant they met other people, they settled into the society. Very few dare to pick a fight with a yeti, due to their immense strength.
  3. Nestlands Clans Embassy in Nocturnus: ~ A brief history ~ The ancient fortress, now rebuilt as the Nestlands Clans Embassy, was first built upon a wide, but low, plateau of granite at the edge of the Moruth Swamplands, along a major trade route. Immediately south was fertile farmland. Very quickly the initial walled fort became a great center of trade. Then everything got bloody. The fortress was fought over countless times over centuries, and rebuilt after each engagement, often by those who conquered it. The place has had many names, given to it by the many different cultures that have occupied it, and with nearly as many different building styles. The countless wars, though, had taken their toll on the land. The once fertile farmland, had become a wasteland so soaked with blood that even today it is a deep red color, and referred to as the Blood Sands. With the loss of farming, trade dried up. Eventually the fortress was abandoned, simply because its occupants couldn't afford to maintain it. Thus, the mighty place began to be eaten by the swamp. The fortress had a minor resurgence about 300 years ago. A drow family built up the interior as a place to launch a major campaign of conquest. They renamed it Kas'ret Vud. Their plans were all for naught, though, because not far to the southwest the Clawbreakers Clan of werewolves had claimed a large tract of territory. While they had no real interest in the old, moldering fortress, a drow stronghold so close could not be tolerated. The war over Kas'ret Vud ended with the drow retreating back to the depths, but not before they befouled the place with their blood and other bodily fluids. The stench was so intolerable to the Clawbreakers that they demolished as much of the place as they had the energy to do so (mostly the drow construction). Then the werewolves left, allowing the swamp to reclaim the place once again. Eventually control of the land where Kas'ret Vud once stood fell to Shadowmere, the current domain of Lord Vladivus. Lord Vladivus' friendship with the Nestlands clansman, and fleshmage, Neord Bloodmane allowed the man to use the old fortress as a base of operations, as he traveled Nocturnus. (This was long before the Nestlands Clans announced themselves to the rest of Historica. Shh!) ------------------------------------------- ~Today~ Currently the Fleshmage Neord Bloodmane is the Nestlands Clans Ambassador to Nocturnus, and Lord Vladivus has graciously allowed him to rebuild Kas'ret Vud into an embassy. Construction had taken far longer than anticipated, thanks to the Kaliphlin Civil War, but the place is far enough along that Neord has issued an invitation to Lord Vladivus, and a small number of his retinue. ----------------------------------------- ~In Lord Vladivus' study, shortly after the departure of Lord Mortis~ Lord Vladivus has been feeling the pressure for action against the Black Spire, but the business of governance had to be taken care of if Shadowmere were to prosper once the enemy falls. Lady Sithanna sits to his right, somewhat bored with the details. A rap at the door comes. Lord Vladivus: Enter. The guard enters, carrying a fine scroll, wrapped in ribbon with gold end-caps. Guard: Message from the Nestlands Ambassador. Lady Sithanna perks up. Lord Vladivus is quick to remove the ribbon and read the ornate script. Lord Vladivus: "Ambassador Neord Bloodmane, Fleshmage, formally invites Lord Vladivus, and a small number of his retinue, to enjoy the hospitality of the Nestlands Clans Embassy. There is fine 'drink' and great knowledge to be had as you view artisans at work, creating new grandeur." Lady Sithanna: What is that supposed to mean? Lord Vladivus: It means the place is livable, but still being renovated. Shh. "The Embassy can now boast a full copy of the Nestlands Clans Archive for your perusal. Come, learn, and prepare yourself for the days ahead." Lady Sithanna: Are you going to go? Lord Vladivus: Hmm, "knowledge to be had"? The man has some intelligence to share about the Spire. He just didn't want to state it outright, in case the message was intercepted. Lady Sithanna begins to rush to her quarters to pack. Lord Vladivus: Sithanna, wait. She stops, and turns to glare at Lord Vladivus. Lord Vladivus: I can only take a small party, and that means Krell will be staying here. I need to leave someone in command whom he can respect. That is you. Lady Sithanna: But that 'neice' of yours gets to go, doesn't she? Lord Vladivus: To study this "Nestlands Clans Archive". She will likely stay for quite some time. In any event, if this intelligence proves fruitful, we may be off to fight again ourselves. Lady Sithanna leaves Lord Vladivus to prepare for his journey, still mildly upset, but willing to follow his plan. ----------------------------------------- The passage through the Moruth Swamplands to the Nestlands Clans Embassy was uneventful, as if the swamps themselves wanted to hasten Lord Vladivus' trip. The mood was hushed, as all were always on the look out for Black Spire forces. The worst that happened was a continuous heavy wind. This had Lord Vladivus irritated, as somehow in the rushed preparations he had left his helm behind. Arrival at the main gate of the outer wall, at the south side of the Embassy, was anticlimactic. Some temporary fencing and signs directed the small group to the southwestern corner, where the new Embassy's main entrance lay. Lord Vladivus, with his hair completely mussed and damp, is quite ready for this meeting. Librarian Kasalia, Lord Vladivus' neice by a half-brother, and Keeper of the Dark Library, is a little more reserved. She has rarely been seen outside of Shadowmere, and does not know Neord well enough, though she thinks he smells nice. ~About Kasalia~ Kasalia is the child of two half-vampires, and is actually more vampire than her uncle. Her father, Lord Vladivus' half-brother, is a great deal older than the Lord of Shadowmere. Kasalia herself is nearly a decade older than him, as well. Kasalia's maternal grandfather, of which there is some record, is said to have been something other than human before becoming a vampire. His name isn't spoken aloud, for good reason, and hasn't been seen in years. Kasalia's mother is long dead, slain by some anti-vampire fanatic. Thanks to her breeding, Kasalia is somewhat different than other born vampires. What is on her head is not hair, but a flap of bat hide that has bones, muscles and tendons. When stressed, or angered, she can splay it up into a wing-like halo. She is a bit jealous of those born vampires who have actual wings. Another difference Kasalia has is her fangs, that while prominent, are strangely spaced and shaped like corkskrews. As a result, she doesn't like to display them. Kasalia has a greater bloodthirst than her uncle, but has the added benefit of gaining language skills (speech, reading and writing) from those whom she drinks, if the blood is coming from the brain. Kasalia has only a little in the way of mage talents, which are somewhat amplified by her wand. With it she can call small magical flames, and levitate inanimate objects. The wand itself is a sturdy thing, made from the spine of something called an 'egnared'. The creature that sold it to her didn't know any more than that. In a pinch, Kasalia can beat someone's skull open with it. Librarian Kasalia's mount is the zombified remains of a kelpie, brought to Shadowmere from the Mystic Isles at great expense, and raised by Krell. How Kasalia came to meet her uncle, you can ask Lord Vladivus . . . if you dare. ------------------------------- ~Today~ Kasalia had been missing Lord Mortis since he had left with Lady Sonja. He had been quite a pleasure to have about the Dark Library, and a welcome distraction from the presence of Lord Anfauglir. Lord Anfauglir had done nothing untoward with his ally's neice, but his scent bothered Kasalia in a way she couldn't accurately explain. For the moment, she is glad to be away from him. Holding tight to her wand as a wave of bloodlust struck her, Kasalia leaned over to whipser to Lord Vladivus. Librarian Kasalia: He smells tasty. That blood, it comes from his brain? Lord Vladivus: Easy, Kasalia. You wouldn't want to drink from him. Librarian Kasalia: But I could learn so much. And he smells of power, like Krell. Lord Vladivus: And that power would have you in drunken giggling fits for hours. I've seen pure blood vampires dancing on the ceiling for a week after a taste of his blood. My vampirism is thinner than yours, and I was barely able to ride home after a small taste of that. Neord, dressed for combat, weilding his fleshblade and ruby shield, rushed to greet his friend, but gave him a moment to calm his neice. It also gave him time to catch his breath, since he had been heavily training with his 'men' as the group rode up. Ambassador Bloodmane: Lord Vladivus, you have finally made it. And this must be that librarian neice your missives have extoled. Good lady, you may call me Neord. You two must be parched. Come in. I'll have some refreshments readied in my office. Your zombie guards can remain here? Lord Vladivus nodded and dismounted, leaving his sword with his horse. Librarian Kasalia followed suit, though she kept ahold of her wand. As Neord walked up the steps, the doors opened without even a motion from the Ambassador. He went in without even a pause, and Lord Vladivus followed suit. Lord Vladivus paused to take in the details of the space, just as Kasalia passed the threshold, her wand flaring in power for some reason. (OOC: Too much light for photography.) Ambassador Bloodmane: Well, now that is interesting. Yours is the first magical weapon, other than my own, to pass beyond that door. Huh? I really should commend the dwarf who installed it. A calcualting gleam passed before Lord Vladivus' eyes as he watched Kasalia become a little unsteady with the gleaming wand. Lord Vladivus: Do you think she will have more power now? Ambassador Bloodmane: Most definitely. But for now I think she should set it in the mounting behind you. Librarian Kasalia: Oh . . . uh? Hmm. Neord set his weapon and shield in the mounting near his hand, and retrieved his magical staff. Ambassador Bloodmane: It will be quite safe. The mountings are warded. Only the person who places something in them can retrieve it. Anyone else who tries will be paralyzed until someone else with enough power can revive them. One of the werewolves barely brushed it once while my sword was in it, and lost the use of his arm. I let it stay that way for a week to teach him, and others, a lesson. My staff has its own way of deterring unwanted touching. Librarian Kasalia: Eer . . . uh, okay. While Neord was convincing Kasalia to lay her wand down, Lord Vladivus became fascinated by the wall display. Lord Vladivus: Is that living flesh you have stretched on the wall? Ambassador Bloodmane: Correct. There is more of it as cushioning on the benches around my worldviewer in the courtyard. Shall we head to my office? I have found some information you may find useful. Lord Vladivus and Ambassador Bloodmane head up a small incline, back to the east. Librarian Kasalia, having placed her wand in the mounting, felt much better. She would have to feed before she held her wand again. Noting the others' absence, Kasalia sniffed the air and rushed after them. The door closed on its own. ---------------------------------------- The content of the office meeting is withheld. If Lord Vladivus deems it appropriate, he may discuss it with you. ---------------------------------------- Some additional pics of the foyer, sans figs. Some of the parts must have shifted during rotation (for better lighting). Got a little too close with the close up. A quick shot of the ceiling, which I had to remove for the interior shots. The look is a bit of a sacrifice for weight distribution. ----------------------------------------- ~Back outside~ Most of Lord Vladivus' zombie guards (not shown) position themselves along the walls between the outer gate and the Embassy door. One very special zombie guard, Twali, positions herself in front of the door. ~About Twali~ Twali was once a water nymph. Under a magical compulsion she was forced to take part in the Siege of Shadowmere. She was slain, and then raised by Krell to fight for Shadowmere. Something about being what she was, and the compulsion she was under, made Twali a most unusual zombie. She is more aware, more of what she was in life than the others. To maintain this aliveness, though, Twali needs to feed on some live freshwater creature once every three months. Most of the swamp-dwelling creatures count as 'freshwater', though, so there is no limited supply. When Lord Vladivus found out about what had happened, he was sorry for it. The problem is that the only way to undo Twali's current existence would be to kill her again. Given her predicament, Lord Vladivus is quite generous in giving Twali the honor of being Librarian Kasalia's personal guard. ---------------------------- ~Today~ Twali has noticed something strange upon the battlements, and sighted her bow. A werewolf and a minotaur are locked in combat. If their attention turns this way, Twali will loose her arrow. She needn't worry, though. Gurf Hossenstneed, the minotaur, and Zurk Narbark, the werewolf, are just testing their skills by sparring up high. ~About Gurf Hossenstneed~ Gurf talks about himself very little. We know that his mother has a sister that married a Kaliphlin minotaur, and that their son was last known to be a member of the Ruadhi Brute Squad. No one knows if this cousin has survived the Kaliphlin Civil War. Gurf claims that he owes Ambassador Bloodmane some debt, but he won't say what it is. He has sworn himself to follow Neord into any danger. The huge blade Gurf weilds (a gift from his father) is made of stone, but is enchanted with the strength of mithril. ~About Zurk Narbark~ Zurk is a member of the Kettlerowr Clan of werewolves. The Kettlerowr Clan is made up of scions of different werewolf clans. They are a motely group, but most are now related through blood or marriage. The Clan ranges throughout the southern Rakath, and have been trading mountain cat carcasses in Cobalt Vale for years. Zurk is actually related to the great General Grimm, but no one is willing to explain exactly how. General Grimm has admitted the blood tie to his 'cousin', but if you press him any further you will be messily dismembered. Just leave the subject alone! Zurk has known Neord since he was a pup, and when he was old enough, decided to follow the man on his many adventures. The two are close buddies now, and would lay down their lives for one another. Zurk's weapon is made from the rib bone of a great sea dragon, and retains some of the magical properties of the creature. He has told many versions of how he came by this weapon, but only Neord knows which version is the truth, and he's not telling. ~Today~ This guard, who's name I can't pronounce, much less spell, is considering whether or not to take aim at the Shadowmere guard, who's bow is aimed at his(or her, not sure) superiors. ~Below~ Lord Vladivus' horse has decided to climb upon a low, nicely tiled catwalk. I have no idea why. And, no, Lord Vladivus didn't leave his famous blade, Gurthanol, outside with his horse. This is just a reasonable facsimile, who's only job on this trip has been to cut through some more dense parts of the swamp. Librarian Kasalia's zombie kelpie is actually succeeding in watching both Lord Vladivus' horse and the door at the same time. --------------------------------------------- ~On the western battlements~ A pair of twin orcs are being hounded by their sister to do their jobs. Groumish and Gruomish don't really care what Phlechki says, though. ------------------------------------------------- ~Below again~ Some Nestlands wares. A barrel of spring green paint, something that requires a tumbler lock to secure it, some plants for a special dish the Ambassador wants prepared (by a Nestlands cook), and . . . WEAPONS!!! Rowphf Pugnose wants one, but which one will the pup take? ---------------------------------------------- ~About Rowphf~ Rowphf is also from the Kettlerowr Clan of werewolves, but he is definitely no relation to General Grimm. If you even suggest that to the general, he will messily dismember you. Especially since Rowphf's maternal grandmother, whom he looks so much like, is rumored to have been sired by an Avalonian border collie. I think I almost believe that. -------------------------------------------------- ~Over in the alley~ What's going on here? A Death's Head Commander is upset at some orc recruits. Podnik One Eye: The instr'ctshuns said we is supposta meet at de Kurvus campsite. Duz it mean de campsite west of de Kurvus Tree? Podnik Two Eye: Nah, it meanz de campsite east of de Kurvus Tree. Death's Head Commander: Shut up! The Kurvus Tree was cut down three months ago! The instructions mean we camp where the Kurvus Tree used to be. Idiots. Podnik One Eye: Sorry. Podnik Two Eye: Yeah, sorry. Death's Head Commander: Just get your empty heads to the campsite. And if it's not ready before I arrive, once it is done, I'll turn you two over to Lord Vladivus. He's got himself a dragon, and you two could be feeding him your flesh, a piece at a time, in turn with each other until there is no more left. The orcs are thoroughly cowed by their commander's threat, and back away slowly, before turning to run. The Death's Head Commander has a joyous grin on his face, under the mask. Thanks to Lord Vladivus' presence, he was finally able to use a threat he came up with months ago. -------------------------------------------------- ~About the Death's Head Commander~ His name, written in the modern script, is a hard to pronounce string of consonants. I won't even try. It translates to Sunshine Daffodil, but if you try calling him that, you will be messily dismembered. ~About the Podniks~ One Eye and Two Eye are not related, they just have the same name. Nor are they related to the orcs on the battlements. The commander just needed a way of distinguishing the two. All those orcs look too much alike, don't they? ----------------------------------------- ~Upon the rooftop~ Check it. That rooster has himself a snake. Ooh a bright red one, trying to pretend he's poisonous. You are gonna get eaten. The rooster is safe, because there is no killing or eating of birds here. --------------------------------------------------- Look, a giant nest. Maybe someone's flying mount would like to land here, when they come to visit. More detail pics. The alley, sans figs. The last remaining remnants of the drow construction. The werewolves say it doesn't stink now. (Some wider roof images. Yeah, I had to blot out some of my yard in the second pic.) A better look at the entrance. Yes, Neord still flies the High Council standard. You want to make somethin' of it? Also, you can see Twali's face. Neords worldviewer. (I built this last year, and finally I got to use it.) ------------------------------------- (Some close up shots of the wall. Lots of detail here, but each wall is a physical palindrome, and they mirror each other. They're neat, but for all the time I put into them, they just weren't that important to the story.) (The tower. I tried to give it some visual interest, but I don't think it's eyecatching enough. Hey it got a story mention, though) ------------------------------------- The swamp outside the Embassy. (20 images full of detail.) This tree Neord planted from a Nestlands seedpod a few years ago. The plant grows tall quickly, but can take ten years to grow a seedpod. In the Nestlands, this tree's leaves grow white, and are only useful after they are boiled, to seal small cuts. Here the leaves have grown black, and are eddible right off of the tree. This old hawk has decided he will stay a while. The edge of the Blood Sands. A place that a vampire might enjoy resting, if he can get himself burried for the day. An old signpost? Maybe, but how old? Not 300 years, that's for sure. This definitely signifies something, but it has been too long. Nobody remembers. Do you see the mineral spring? (There is a small pond under there as well, but I made it, then disguised it, so long ago that I forgot to focus on it.) ------------------------------------------------- (Four overall shots, one from each side. Does it feel like a whole build now?) -------------------------------------------------- gedren_y's final notes: OMG! Creating this thread took all day! This will be my biggest build for a long while. I know that a number of the images are bad, and the build looks to have come apart during photography. It did, and I had to rebuild the center of the courtyard because one substructure brick got out of place. I'll upload some better pics of the figs soon, but the build started to come apart just getting it back on my build table. It's a parts-hog anyway. Time to dismantle it. My thanks to the Eurobricks members Jorrith, Lord Vladivus, and SarahJoy, who's builds I linked to as part of my story. -------------------------------------------------- CCC Reserved for future fig pics. (Edit: fixed some gramatical errors I missed)
  4. In the aftermath of the tragic Kaliphlin cival war, an embassy is setup in Mitgardia to promote trade between the two guilds for supplies valuable to the rebuilding efforts in Kaliphlin. Edit: I have no idea why the photos from flickr are no longer showing, the flickr album can be found here I will redo the deeplinked images when time allows.
  5. My Category B build for Challenge III. This is my first build using this wall design. I think this method gives an interesting field stone effect. About 80-90% of the pieces are actually attached, the others are wedged in tightly and the build is actually pretty sturdy. See previous installment in the story here: link. Glorfindel was able to reach the Great Hall in Fjollum, just as the Dwarven and Elven representatives arrived. Once everyone was inside the hall, Glorfindel announced the reason for the meeting: "This council has been called to try and prevent a war between Mitgardia and Avalonia, and more specifically to stop the dwarven invasion of Avalonia before it is too late." The dwarven representatives gave a start at this news, as they hadn't realized their plans were known. "And what proof do you have that we were planning such a thing?" One of the older dwarves asked. "Your plans have been leaked, and some of your forces captured," Glorfindel replied. An elven lord questioned: "And how do we know that the government of Mitgardia isn't behind this plan of attack? This council could simply be a ploy to distract us and take us off our guard." "I assure you, that Valholl and Elon had no part in this scheme. If we were behind this, would we tell you our plans?" Glorfindel answered. "Besides, we both know that a war between our guilds would be disastrous for all of us, with the Black Spire still controlling Nocturnus and ready to take advantage of any signs of weakness in our guilds." Turning to the dwarves, he continued: "Now back to the point at hand, you need to call your troops back immediately. The elves now know of your plans and continuing would be suicide." "Only because of you!" A dwarf growled, "You're a traitor to Mitgardia! You talk about the threat of the Black Spire yet you aid their allies, the elves." "We are sworn enemies of the Black Spire," An elf snapped back, "Unlike you we have fought the enemy in our homeland and are only concerned with protecting our people, not conquering new lands." "Calm down," Glorfindel interrupted before the argument became violent, "Dwarves, you have no positive proof that the elves are working with the Spire, and even if they were, challenging them in their preferred environment would be foolish, it would be much wiser to simply fortify Mitgardia. The point is, both of our guilds need to work together to be able to defeat the Spire." Though it took a long time of negotiating, eventually Glorfindel convinced the dwarves to call off the invasion, and agree not to cross the border into Avalonia without express permission from the Avalonian government and therefore the Mitgardian government as well. But the crisis wasn't over yet, messengers were dispatched to call back the dwarven invasion forces, but would they deliver their message in time? First floor, with kitchen: Dragon shield mosaic: Hope you enjoy, the conclusion to my entry is at the end of my Category C thread C&C appreciated
  6. Some of you might remember me winning Challenge 2 for Avalonia with my embassy. And some might even remember me promising to take adequate pictures of it. It took me quite a while - almost a year and a half - but I can finally present you my embassy in all its glory in decent pictures. You'll also find some behind the scenes pictures in here, as many of you asked me how I built for example the roof (all pictures link to flickr with higher resolution). The old thread can be found here. Some pictures of the details: 1. The front of the upper story. 2. The entrance and the ground floor. 3. The side of the roof and its bay. 4. A second view of the roof. The construction of the roof is fairly simple. The look with the cheese slopes is achieved by placing 2x4 plates (or any plate that is 2 wide) on another 2x4 plate with an offset of 1 stud. Then you use an abundance of 1x1 cheese slopes to cover these. After the whole surface is covered, we use this thing upside down and it will look like this: In order to achieve this angle I used quite an unusual technique: The roof itself just sits in there and is not connected to the house itself. It got me a very nice angle by using the 1x2x3 inverted slopes as a 'frame': A view from the back (yes, I only built half of it, you got me ): To make things not too easy, I also included the bay with the window in the roof. In this case, I achieved the angle by using hinges to which I connected the cheese slope surface. I left a hole in the big roof so that I could place the bay in it. Fairly easy I guess. I'm actually going to tear it down finally but I'm planning to build a 'version 2.0' for my city layout. There are some parts that I want to improve so lets see where I will end with that. If you have any suggestions, feel free! I hope I was able to give you some insight in how to create a cheese slope. The explanation is fairly simple so if you have any questions regarding this, feel free to contact me. Currently I'm working on a roof for a round tower built from cheese slopes and it is looking good - stay tuned! Finally: Yes, this building is almost one and a half years old but I would still like to get comments and more importantly critique. If you have anything to add, do not hesitate to do so! Regards!