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  1. They had set the table at the eastern side of the vast rotunda, near enough to an opening that they got plenty of light, but not so near that the wind would blow all their charts and maps away. Here they spent many hours each day, deliberating on designs and consulting the records they had dug out of what seemed to be a library, several floors below them. This tower was the largest in the complex, ancient beyond all reckoning, and yet largely unspoiled by the long northern winters and the harsh salt winds that blew off of the Bay of Storms, and so it had been selected as the center of their operations as they went about exploring the rest of the ruins and establishing facilities to house, feed, and outfit the new garrison. Makny and his cousin Kjell looked over the many parchments again as Kjell reported on the latest surveys. "We have taken full account of the lower districts along the water, but only a portion of the central ruins have been fully charted. Of the openings in the cliffs in the upper district, we have found many, but I will not yet say that all have been discovered, nor have we had men enough to spare to determine how these caves and tunnels connect." "Thank you cousin," Makny replied, "It seems that we will need to request further resources from your father. How has work progressed to clear the pass?" The entrance to the bay was a narrow track that wound through the rocky hills of the Burial Isle in the south. In many places it had been obstructed by landslides or washed away by long-gone rivers, so that it was difficult to follow on foot, and nearly impassable to a wagon and a team of oxen. Supplying the settlement had been difficult in the summer months, and with winter approaching it would be nearly impossible. "Work along the trail is slow," Kjell admitted tiredly, "It seems that the only travelers it has seen these past years have been game." Makny rubbed his eyes and bent closer to the maps, as if on their thousandth viewing they would reveal some new path into the cove that had yet gone unnoticed. Suddenly they heard footsteps and heated words from below, and Makny turned as several men reached the top of the stairs across the room. At the front came a rough looking man with an air of importance, followed closely by several of his guards, and trailed by one of Makny's hapless lieutenants. "Sir, I've told you, the commander is busy!" the lieutenant puffed. He had obviously been trying to stop the men for several floors now, to no avail. "And I've told you, your head of the household guard can make time for a Rigr who is here on the Jarl's business," the man snapped back. Makny waved the lieutenant off as the visitors swept onward, and mustered up the most hospitable tone he had at his disposal. "My lord Hammel, welcome. It is good of you to come visit us in our new quarters." "Enough of your jests," the man cut in sharply, "We are both busy men." Makny's face hardened. "Indeed we are. I see your guards have come with you to these chambers; am I to bear this as an insult or to take it as a threat?" Hammel advanced toward the table, though his men kept their distance. "You are to see my men as the warning that they are. Word moves quickly in the north. Whispers abound that the Stromvakt seek for themselves a mighty stronghold, a seat from which to carve out their own lands." Makny nearly snorted. "Surely a man of your position and esteem would not believe such idle gossip. We are here at the order of my uncle, the Lord of Førstlys. After the city nearly fell to Raavage's forces, he saw the need for a place that might keep his people safe in a time of even greater peril." "I would expect you to have a good story to justify your presence," Hammel retorted, "But your words do not hold weight. The guild is wary of your work here." by "You speak of the guild as though we are not a part of it. Have you forgotten already who broke the siege of Duergvenn and rescued you and your garrison? And which colors do you see behind you on that standard? This is my uncle's land. He may do with it as he sees fit, as is his right, as is the right of any lord in this guild, in order to keep it secure against those who would do him or his people harm." "Do not speak to me of Duergvenn as if it solidifies reputation," Hammel sneered, "No victory serves only one cause. Your loyalty has yet to be truly proven." "Is that why you are here, then? To test our loyalty by telling us to leave?" "No, young lordlings," he said derisively, "I am here to present you with a summons. Your loyalty will be tested far from here, along the banks of the Antler and the shores of the Winter Lakes. The remnants of the enemy have crept from the shadows and gathered in the heartland, and now they threaten the Capitol itself. In the aftermath of these wars Chorian cannot gather enough men from his lands alone, so each true guildsman is called to go and eradicate this menace once and for all. If you indeed fight for all of Mitgardia, you are to sail for Northridge in a fortnight." Hammel ended with a smug smile. "If that is the case, I look forward to riding with you once again." "Indeed," Hammel scoffed before he whirled and swept out of the room. Makny waited until the Rigr was gone, then turned back to his cousin. "That was a strange visit." "Yes," Kjell nodded slowly, "I would have expected my father to send word of these happenings himself. The guild might have sent out the call to arms, but we may only go at his command. Of course, that is if the Rigr even speaks the truth..." Makny came around the table and the two walked towards the edge of the high battlement. "I am loath to send you away while your help is so sorely needed here, but I feel that we need to know your father's will on this matter." Kjell nodded silently. Makny felt a strange anticipation rising within him, while out over the bay the first high clouds of the afternoon drove landward. I didn't have the time to finish this before the Challenge 1 deadline, so I guess it's going to be a freebuild. My first attempt at an all-Lego scene, I still need to work on my lighting. C&C welcome on everything!
  2. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 0: Heading Home CHAPTER 1: Priestess of the Oasis CHAPTER 2 Memories Past The Maebad Alqamar, or the Temple of the Moon, was the largest building in Wahat Alqamar. It's great golden dome marked the center of the village and many came from far away to seek healing from the priestesses who worshipped here. The gift was found only here, in this remote part of the Siccus Badlands, and only among the girls. No boys were ever chosen, and of the girls no pattern was ever discerned as to who would receive it. Once a local girl experienced her first blood cycle, she was brought to the temple where a kahinat waha would oversee her care during the ritual. Once she was bathed and the rites were performed, the girl would be denied water for two days. Then, once her thirst had set in, the kahinat waha would place 20 closed vessels around the girl and she would have to choose the one which contained water. If she failed to sense water and chose an empty vessel, she would be allowed to drink and then she would be sent home, knowing that she was not chosen for the gift. If she correctly chose the vessel containing water, she would be allowed to drink, and the ritual would repeat. If the girl correctly chose the vessel containing water three times, she would be acknowledged as having the gift and become an initiate priestess. Nolana smiled as she remembered when she became an initiate under Ferenice. These were happy memories. She helped maintain the temple and assisted Ferenice in her healing duties. The power to heal flowed through water and each kahinat waha was capable of light healing through simply touching the injured or diseased person, as the body is made up of mostly water. For more serious injuries or illnesses, however, the person seeking healing would be immersed in the temple bath, to amplify the power of the gift. When not in use by the priestesses, the bath was available for the public to use to maintain cleanliness in the village, though many locals would bathe in it due to superstitious beliefs that somehow the temple bath was special and would help heal minor aches and pains. Shortly after Nolana became an acolyte, Ferenice's brother, Daegal, transferred back from the capital city of Petraea to serve as faris almaebad, or temple knight, under the venerable Captain Horace, in order to be close to his sister. The services of the kahinat waha of Wahat Alqamar were highly sought after by those in power in Petraea with priestesses having left the village to serve in the capital, and Petraea made sure to protect the source of the gift with the elite faris almaebad. Nolana smiled again. She and Daegal had immediately taken a liking to each other. There were no rules against the kahinat waha from having relationships, since the gift was never known to have faded from any priestess, even from those who married and had children. In fact, local customs particularly celebrated the descendants of priestesses who themselves became priestesses, believing these girls to be particularly blessed with gift. Even so, the village was a conservative place, and Nolana and Daegal had moved their budding romance slowly, much to Ferenice's impatience. During that time, Nolana was truly happy, serving under Ferenice as an acolyte priestess and being with Daegal every day. In the meantime, Nolana's younger sister, Soniya, the second of the three sisters, had failed to receive the gift. Soon after, however, Esther, the youngest sister received the gift and became an initiate priestess. Unfortunately for Nolana, it was right at that time when her happy life was torn apart. Raiders from Nocturnus had come into Kaliphlin looking for targets of opportunity and had found Wahat Alqamar. Though they were no match for the faris almaebad, Daegal was mortally wounded by a lucky strike. Ferenice and Nolana had tried desperately to save his life. Ferenice's screams, "Hold him still! Hold him still!" still haunted Nolana's nightmares. It was out of shear desperation that Ferenice, right then, did the unthinkable and used a rite she had learned from the Kitab Mamnue. The Forbidden Book. After the rite was complete, there was a pause, and Ferenice uttered the words that Nolana would never forget: "Something's not right." Fear became panic as they realized what was happening. Daegal was becoming...undead. Necromancy was the art of raising the dead as soulless abominations, golems of flesh and bone created to serve their masters every whim. What Ferenice and Nolana did was far worse. They had turned Daegal into an undead without first killing him. They had trapped his soul in an undying soulless body, a prisoner of his own flesh forever. Their panic was now full blown, and all Nolana could do was to help Ferenice carry her brother's body out of the temple. And they had been on the run and hiding ever since. It was night by the time Nolana and Korbin had made their way to the village. Nolana couldn't help but be drawn to the Maebad Alqamar. Captain Horace spotted her and immediately readied his scimitar. "You have a lot of nerve coming back here, heretic!" He shouted, preparing to strike her down. Nolana searched for words, any words, but could only stammer, "I...I...I...." "Stand down, Captain!" came from a voice inside the temple. It was Esther. Nolana felt her heart jump at the sight of her sister. "How dare you raise your scimitar at a kahinat waha!" Esther continued. Horace was silent. "Nolana," Esther said as she turned to her sister. "I need your help."
  3. While it was common for the families of Mitgardia to send their sons to the northern tribes after their twelfth summer, only the children of the Burial Isle were sent out regularly before they came of age to become accustomed to the wilds. Makny had learned from his father when he was only seven how to fish the streams, trap small animals, and build shelters and fires to keep him warm through the cold nights. One of his favorite things to do after a long autumn harvest and many days in the hustle and dust of the storehouses was to take his horse into the hills and be alone. Makny liked to make camp beneath one of the great black-barked trees that grew on the high hills, deep inland. They had broad branches that kept off much of the rain and snow, and were usually found near some of the strange ruins that dotted the Burial Isle. Makny enjoyed spending his evenings - after building his lean-to, unsaddling his horse, and lighting his fire - contemplating the ancient stone structures and the people who might have built them. I've been sitting on this, waiting for a sufficiently overcast day to photograph it and enough free time to post. C&C welcome as always!
  4. My fourth build for the Kaliphlin at Work collab, as well as the first part of my entry into the “From Field to Goblet” category of the Colossal Castle Contest. I’ve had this waterfall sitting around for a while now, and this build provided a good excuse to finally put it to use. I tried to base the oasis off of some real-life pictures I found, with the medium dark flesh and green, but I’m not sure how well it translated to LEGO. I would love to hear your opinions! Wahall is a goat farmer, and one of his most important tasks is making sure his goats get enough water. He can frequently be found visiting the nearby oasis, both to water the goats and to fill up barrels of water to take back to the farm. More pictures on Brickbuilt. Comments and constructive criticism very welcome!
  5. The Tales of Lady Gwenllian 0. Introduction 1. The arrival of Lady Gwenllian aboard the Cedar Serpent 2. Scouting a Site 3. Early Spring in Prenmôr 4a.(Prelude) Restoring the Shrine 4. The Fishery and Shrine at Prenmôr From her high rock outcropping, Lady Gwenllian had a good view of the coast and had watched throughout the spring as the villagers from Flewd had moved to their new home in Prenmôr. Now that it was early summer, Lady Gwenllian wanted to see how the villagers from Flewd were settling into their new life, and wanted to inspect the work that the elves and dwarves had completed on the shrine to Neptune. She and Lady Seren rode their horses the half mile or so to the rocky escarpment that defined the edge of the land, separating it from the beach. She found that the villagers had sailed their boats laden with their meager belongings down the coastline from Flewd, had assembled lean-tos for drying fish and set up a small net repair station on the beach. The dwarves and elves had done an excellent job on the statue to Neptune, which sat overlooking the sea and was already laden with offerings and gifts from the villagers. Lady Gwenllian smiled as she saw the villagers hard at work. Because most of the young men had been lost during the drow raids, the remaining elderly, women, children and the local village idiot all had jobs, from killing and gutting fish to shooing away the seagulls that inundated the fishery. The locals greeted Lady Gwenllian and Lady Seren warmly, happy to have a new home in a safer location. This is the original build that I had envisioned with the shrine that didn’t get completed in time. I think it was a little too ambitious. On the other hand, it’s nice to see the idea finally come to fruition.
  6. Previously Laesonar's Saga Episode 8 - Laelariel City Hall A veil of sadness crossed Jeffrey's mind as he started to climb up the cobblestone while listening to Sir Humborth's words. "… and after hearing of the unfortunate disappearance of the Lord of Laelariel as well as his heirs, I was sent here from Albion to investigate the possibility of nominating a new Lord for these lands. I've just arrived with a small escort. Unfortunately, the place isn't exactly swarming with life.. " Armin nodded "I understand, Sir Humborth. Which is why you need the last Lord's will and testament and those other documents." Jeffrey pointed to the building above them "Here. This used to be our city hall. We used to have messengers, ravens, horses and so many documents that we had started the plan to build a library... " He sighed "Now there's only my office inside. Not that I've had much to write lately... but we kept the whole building in order as well as all of the documents. You might be able to find what you need here, my Lords." Armin smiled satisfied "Thank you for allowing us too, Mr. Von Jeff. My order is sworn to preserve the natural order of things and it seems to me that this city wasn't meant to end like this, so I'd like to investigate a bit." "It's my pleasure, master Paladin. We shall accept any sort of help that we're offered." "Very well then, first things first: history. Why does the city have an elvish name, for example. Laesonar, aren't you curious?" ….. "Laesonar?" The half-elf was nearby, but... "Ahem... Yes, yes, master Paladin, you lead the way." Full build --> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Here, guys & gals, bigger build, shorter episode ^^ I've started this build before reading the HSS rules, by which a City Hall isn't required for a Hamlet.. oh well, I guess it'll count later on then Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the result, though I'm afraid my horrible photography skills don't make it justice, especially the bigger roof.. I'm still messing up with the lighting and the editing, I've even forgot to crop it! I'm unsure of a few other things, yet my main focus here was the palette.. which I'm also still unsure about But I'll leave the C&C to you guys - thanks for looking! @mccoyed sorry about the central alignement again! I'm afraid I've come to like it.. @Basiliscus @TitusV More blue, as I promised
  7. Of Dragons and Druids, Ch. 2: The Library of Druidham A freebuild for Avalonia Also a build showing part of the army of Druidham, fulfilling Task 1 for Avalonia "I know it is here somewhere," muttered Henjin Quilones as he reached towards the shelf from the narrow wrought-iron ladder. "We have The Book of the Invisible Sun, and it should be somewhere over here." "Try a bit to the right, Henjin," offered Gree helpfully. "Keep it down, Daddy," shushed Emmalie from where she stood near Thorra's chair. "Fangort is telling a story of the Enchanted Forest." "What happened next?" asked Thorra, listening intently to the Grent's story. "How did you escape?" "Well, you would not believe it, but a family of Werecoons came out of the hollow log and began to attack the lumberjacks!" said Fangort excitedly. "And then we came to live here, all of us." "Oooh! How exciting!" clapped Emmalie in delight. Meanwhile, Reyska was talking to Korra, the Kolgari elf who had joined the Druids when she and her twin sister had arrived at Druidham. Keryyna was now a dragonrider, but Korra was explaining to Reyska how the two of them planned to return to the Sunken City someday. "There are very few ways into the Sunken City, all of them guarded closely by the Kolgari. But it is worth the visit, let me tell you. You think the flora around here is vibrant? It is nothing compared to the hidden realm of the Kolgari." "So why did you leave?" asked Reyska. "It sounds lovely!" "Well, it's complicated, but to start..." Kaigar was talking to M'chungaji, the traveling human from Mwamba who had joined them on their journey, by the window. Afternoon light was shining brightly upon the texts upon the table in front of them. "Henjin thinks the lost shrine of the Druids has to be somewhere in this part of the Isles, but Galaria and the other riders say that they have seen no sign of it from the air," Kaigar was saying. "I think we need to go on foot." "Druids are probably better suited to finding the shrine than dragonriders, even if they are all elves," said M'chungaji. He was mistrustful of most elves, having had a bad experience in his youth on the streets of Bandari with a proud elf lord. "Then I suppose we had better arrange for some journeys to be made," responded Kaigar, pushing back his chair. "Let's get going." ________________________________ ................................................................ More pics: I know this is a bit unconventional for a Task 1 entry, but I first took pictures of some figs on a stand and then decided that it was not exciting enough. So I built the "army" of the Druids in a more natural setting. Part 2 of Task 1 will be to show the dragonriders in a room of their own, probably sans-dragons for space reasons. The original picture is here: From left to right we have Reyska, Thorra, Emmalie Quilones, M'chungaji, Henjin Quilones, Kaigar, Gree, Fangort, and Korra. They are the Druids of Druidham, Guardians of the Druidi Temple of Avalonia. C&C welcome. @Kai NRG, I tried to cover up the back, but in a few places light still shone through. Oh well! Maybe next time I'll get it perfect.
  8. Inside the simple Temple of Mazadar a Warrior Priest addresses a group of potential converts to the cause. "Mazadar is pure goodness, the creator of all things right and true." Exclaimed the Priest of Mazadar. "Yet Mazadar is not alone in the Cosmos of Creation. At every turn Mazadar is opposed by the evil spirit of chaos and destruction. Seeking to cast down all that is good and replace it with evil, this destructive force seeks to confound Mazadar and goodness at every turn! Existing only to cause suffering and pain. Mazadar and the evil spirit have opposed each other since the dawn of creation and even now wage their battle over the souls of mortals. How can Mazadar ever hope to triumph against the equal and opposite evil spirit?" "Only by enlisting the figure upon the pedastal can Mazadar hope to win the Cosmic struggle and bring about a paradise in all realms and all lives. And that figure, is YOU. Only you can choose good over evil! Only you can make the difficult choices to do right in this life. Only you can help to build a paradise in all realms. Only you can tip the scales of good and evil. Your choices, your actions will make the difference in the Cosmic struggle. Mazadar needs you to choose good. Will you answer the call?" Meanwhile in the temple garden Muakhah fields the questions of two younger Khadirans. "When I get to paradise, will I see my grandma? ...and my cat?" Asked the short quiet girl. "Would it be paradise without them Mirah?" replied Muakhah. "So I will see them again?" The little girl persisted. "When we die Mirah, Mazadar judges our deeds, our intentions, our very soul. We either enter paradise or for want of a better word, hell. But fear not little one. Hell is temporary. There are no sins that could warrant eternal punishment! Every sinner will spend time in hell to account for their sins and recognise the consequences of their actions. It may take them a long time but eventually they will enter paradise, having atoned and understood their wrongs." "Does this mean that I might see someone evil in paradise? Like a Drow?" Asked the taller boy. "Why yes. You may even meet Revolword or Ravaage himself." "I don't want to meet Ravaage in paradise." Said the boy firmly. "Of course," said Muakhah gently. "But understand that the Ravaage you meet in paradise would not be the Ravaage who walked this earth. He would have paid the price for his crimes in hell, but not only that he would have come to understand and repent for them. The Ravaage you meet in paradise will be Ravaage as he could have been. Had he made the choice to do good and walk in the light." "Is this why we have to help the Nocturnans...even though they are evil?" The boy continued. "Look at the plant over by the gardener. See how it is not lush and green like this one to my left." The boy and girl nodded. "Is that plant evil?" "No!" laughed the children in unison. "This plant to my left is lush and green because this corner of the garden has good light, soil and warmth. The plant over there lacks these things and so its growth is more difficult. If both plants are to bloom then one of them needs help. Which one do you think?" "The one over there." said the girl. "And so it is with the Nocturnans. They are not evil. They simply come from a harsh land where it is not easy to do good. Where everything is a struggle. But with help they can walk in the light." "But some are evil?" The boy continued. "Some choose evil. But others do not. And do not forget that Kaliphlinites, Avalonians and Mitgardians may also choose evil. It is often the easier path. Doing the right thing is often the more difficult choice. Were it easy then there would be no evil." Additional Photos! I finished this build a little while ago and held off posting pictures because of the Sandstorm of freebuilds. As there seemed to be a lot of immersive shots I retweaked the posing a little to get immersive shots myself but it doesn't really work well as it wasn't designed for it. I know the story is pretty waffly but hopefully this is the beginning of an organisation that may grow to rival the knights of Aslan (fingers crossed) I feel that there is a curse going around the forum. When I set it up for photos it seemed that I had avoided light shining through cracks. But when the photos are on the comp there they are... Seems to be a common problm these days. I'm hoping that this is enough to count as a Temple for Khadira and also a freebuild for the great Guild of Kaliphlin! And yes...I'm still mixing all colors of minifigs...
  9. My fifth build for the Kaliphlin at Work collab, and the second part of my “From Field to Goblet” entry for the CCC. It was fun putting our flesh colored plates to use again here, as well as a few of our newly-acquired MDF plates. Wahall owns a prosperous goat farm that provides milk and meat for his family with any surplus easily sold in the markets. The dairy goats have their own stable and are milked daily. A stable boy helps make sure the stable is kept clean and plenty of fresh water and food are always available for the goats. More pictures on Brickbuilt. Thanks for looking, C&C welcome
  10. In Kaliphlin, glass making is a significant industry and throughout Historica Barqan glass is a synonym for glass of the highest quality. The making of raw glass is concentrated to some larger furnaces, several of which exists in Barqa fueled by the intense flames of Black Oil and where tons of raw glass is produced. In small workshops such as this one, at lower temperatures the raw glass is then together with recycled glass used to produce the finished glass products. The ingredients of the Barqan glass are: Former - The major component of glass is silica. The best sand in Historica for this is sand from the Kaliphlin deserts, where the softer components of the sand has been ground down and blown away by the relentless winds over the wasteland only leaving the hard quartz. Flux - To lower the melting point of the silica to form glass, soda is added. The source of this is natron from the shores of the Lick of Salt river and the Salt Lake it feeds. Stabiliser - Glasses formed of silica and soda are naturally soluble, and require the addition of a stabiliser such as lime. While glass makers using beach sand get this for free through the calcareous particles in the beach sand (fragments of shells) mixed in the sand, in the best Barqan glass made from mature desert sand lime made from limestone needs to be added separately. Different crop for closeup. Built for the Kaliphlin at Work collab. Photography notes: Lit by 4 x LifeLites inside the furnace and one in the lantern, plus a LED panel behind the wall.
  11. The Isle of Druidham A freebuild for Avalonia Also a build for Avalonia Task III Deep in the midst of the Mystic Isles, beyond the routes normally taken by traders and travelers crossing the mist-shrouded network of islands and channels, lies a small rocky island pocked with caves. When Henjin Quilones and his wife Galaria returned to Avalonia after visiting the land of Mwamba, they needed a place to settle down, as they had been exiled by Galaria's father, King Fingolë the Golden, from the western High Elf kingdom of Hesperia and could not return thither. Also, during their travels they had had two children, Gahlen and Emmalie, and they needed somewhere to raise them and keep them safe. A life spent on the road was not an option for their family. In addition to their children, Henjin and Galaria had companions who had traveled with them, many of them fellow exiles from Hesperia, but others had been picked up along their travels: an orc, named Grisshak, who had been found half-dead in a ditch after a battle; a family of dwarves who had caught wind of a potential job working with stone; a couple of gnomes from Bandari, including the mad genius Injini; a forest Grent who aspired to be a Druid; a family of Werecoons; and a veritable army of others. They needed a place to settle and build, and Henjin had had the idea to search out the ancient Druid shrine that was located, according to legend, somewhere in the center of the Mystic Isles. So to the Mystic Isles the whole crew went, and Henjin had selected this particular island, unsettled by anyone, but bearing the marks of having once been home to Druids in some bygone age. And so they named the island Druidham. Now, there was one other group that was with the various races who made up the new inhabitants of Druidham: the dragons. During their years in Bandari and greater Mwamba, Galaria and several of her elf companions had been privileged to form soul-bonds with freshly hatched dragons. Some of the dragons, including Galaria's own Daeara, had even had hatchlings of their own since then, which was how Gahlen and their youngest daughter, Lycaria, had managed to also form soul-bonds with their very own dragons. It helps if your mother is the Mistress of the Dragons, and your father is the Master of the Druidi Order. For on the island of Druidham, there are two main groups: the nascent Druidi Order, resurrected from the ashes of the old Druids when Henjin appeared from the stars, and the Dragonriders of Avalonia, dedicated to training elves and dragons in the defense of the realm. A third group, no less important, provides the support the other groups need, as farmers, herders, smiths, cooks, housekeepers, stewards, and everything else necessary for sustaining a full settlement. There is no way to the island save by water or air, but for those who visit there is a guesthouse that is always ready to receive visitors of any race or creed. A few of the surrounding islands are used to pasture large herds of sheep and goats, mostly to serve as food for hungry dragons. Oddly, the sheep do not like to live on the island where the dragons themselves live. __________________________________________ .................................................................................... Another micro build from me, slightly less polished than Ovenntrie Castle, perhaps, but more intricate in many ways, with all of the different angles in the rockwork to make the dragon caves. It started as a small vignette-size build for the Summer Joust that I decided to expand into a 48x48 build. I plan to flesh out the island one building at a time, or one section at a time, since most of the "buildings" are in caves hollowed out of the mountain itself. Expect a bunch of interior builds! C&C welcome.
  12. Full Plate

    Casualties of War

    Casualties of War Chapter I: The Tranquil Meadow Chapter II: Old Bagshaw's Residence Chapter III: The Poacher Chapter IV: Making Camp Chapter V: Solitary Council Chapter VI: Escaping Home Chapter VII: Waylaid Chapter VIII: Archery Practice Chapter IX: Honour the Fallen Chapter X: Casualties of War Bonus Landscape: Avalonian Countryside - 'I don't see why we can't just make camp like usual', Harlon argued. 'Never had anything good coming from meddling with the locals.' - 'That's because you treat common people like dirt', objected Nyle. 'People don't generally want to help anyone that thinks of them as a nuisance. If you could just play nice for once we might even have a shot at some nice homecooked food and some indoor sleeping.' Sir Darby didn't quite share Nyle's optimism. Like Harlon, he preferred to not involve more people than necessary when on the road. But he was also conscious that Nyle might be needing a break from everything, if only for one night. - 'Well, it won't hurt to ask', he stated. 'Why don't I go over and check if anyone's home and if they happen to have some spare food and perhaps someplace to sleep?' - 'I'm coming along', Nyle stated. - 'Fine. I'll just stay here so my unpleasant personality doesn't ruin your prospects', Harlon said wryly. - 'You do as you please', Nyle replied and urged his horse towards the small cottage. Sir Darby sighed. Somehow, getting these two to get along seemed harder than keeping up the morale in a camp full of soldiers. - 'We will be right back', he told Harlon and moved to catch up to Nyle. As Sir Darby and Nyle approached the cottage an old man came out to meet them. Sir Darby could also spot a younger woman in the doorway, peeking out at them with a worried expression. Sir Darby dismounted. - 'Evening sir. We are travellers on our way to Newquay. We were wondering if you might...', Sir Darby started. - 'No, we do not', the old man interrupted. Sir Darby took a moment to recover from being cut off. - 'All we're asking is...', he continued. - 'But you're not asking, are you?', the old man interrupted again. 'You are obviously men of importance, and men of importance never ask men of no consequence like me for anything. You demand and you take.' Sir Darby assessed the situation. There was obviously nothing for them to gain here and they should head back and look for a proper campsite. Still, he felt himself sympathise with this old man. Anger and hurt were no strangers to Sir Darby, though it was long since he had let them touch him - a man in his position could not afford to. Yet these feelings were clearly recognisable on this man's face. This house had experienced loss, most likely on the battlefield in service of Avalonia. Probably the husband of the young woman peering out at them, which would make it the man's son or son-in-law. - 'I'm sorry for your loss', Sir Darby offered. The man's face betrayed a short moment of surprise, before pain and determination again took over. - 'What does that do for us?', he asked sternly. 'Is that going to bring our family back to us? Men like you came and took my son away without warning! One moment we were plowing the fields and the next I watched him march off in a long row of dirty young men.' The man continued. - 'Would that all you did was take something away from us though, but your pack of filthy recruits brought something to us as well. The plague.' The man began to tear up. - 'My wife caught it, but she didn't tell me, and I was too busy making up for my son's absence at the farm to notice. Then one day she showed me her blackened foot and told me she had to leave. I told her she couldn't leave, that we should go see Mr. Oates, that he would help us. She agreed, but the next morning when I woke up, she was gone. Gone, never to come back. In a matter of weeks our family had destroyed, and for what? For you to have one more person to throw away in your little game of war?' The old man sighed, the anger giving way to dejectedness. - 'In the beginning we held out hope that Thom might return, but months turned to years, and we knew he was not coming back. Not that anyone had the decency to tell us, but we knew. When I saw you coming I thought that maybe... maybe we would get word of what had happened. To have confirmed what we already know. But you are just another person here to get something from us. I'm sorry, but all that we could possibly give has already been taken away from us. You took it from us. We have nothing left.' Sir Darby looked at the man for a moment. There was nothing he could do for him. His son might even have been under his own command. Perhaps he had sent him to his death. He had had a number of Thom's serving under him, but there was no way to tell if it had been this man's son. He could not offer him the closure that he needed. One thing he knew though, that he was responsible for this man's suffering. Perhaps not directly in this case, but how many more like him were suffering for the choices he had made as a commander? In this moment, that burden weighed heavier on his shoulders than it had ever done. Sir Darby mounted his horse and started back to Harlon. Nyle followed suit. - 'Life has dealt you a poor hand', he thought to himself. He was not sure whether he was referring to the man or himself. *** Been quite a while since I last built for Avalonia, but the Swedish Lego Maffia gave me an offer I couldn't refuse, so here I am ;) Seriously though, I have had this cottage (minus the roof) standing around for over a year, trying to figure a good way to make thatch for the next episode in this story line. It finally clicked about a month ago, and so here is the finished product. Feeling a bit rusty with the story telling, but whether it's good or not, writing is fun :) Ironically for such an old build, I actually ended up having a deadline for its completion as the LEGO Store in Copenhagen wanted to display it, so a few details that could have used some extra work had to be left as is. Hope you enjoy the build either way :) Happy to be back in any case!
  13. soccerkid6

    Dwarven Ballistas

    This scene is my second entry into the Colossal Castle Contest XVI, for the Fantasy Siege Weapon category. I took inspiration for the landscape from the style of detailed model bases you often see for things like Lord of the Rings scenes. Mitgardian dwarves are masters of warfare, and their powerful ballistas are feared by all enemies. See more pictures on Brickbuilt. Once I figured out the ballistas, this scene came together quite quickly, and it was fun doing a larger landscape again. C&C welcome
  14. My third contribution to the Kaliphlin at Work collab, and also my first entry to this year’s CCC, for the Interior category. This build was both a joy and a pain to build. Some parts of it came together very quickly, while others – well, they came together less quickly. In the end though, I’m very happy with the result. Credit for the lion mosaic goes to @Basiliscus, I pretty much just copied his design from this magnificent build. While working in the gardens of Lord Farih’s estate, Nym heard that there was going to be a dance in the great hall. Being the curious and slightly mischievous Dwelf that he is, Nym decided it would be alright – yes, even a fine idea – to slip in and watch the dance for a while. After all, he was sure that Lord Farih had every intention of inviting him, but had just forgotten amidst all the numerous tasks that had to be done to plan a dance. And what a grand dance it was! The various noblemen and women wore their finest clothes and twirled gracefully around the hall. Nym was enjoying himself greatly when he noticed some fine chairs set by themselves under elaborate awnings. Curious as to why such grand seats would be left empty, Nym sat down on the right most chair and found it amazingly comfortable. He hardly had time to settle in before finding himself looking down the blade of a very sharp sword. Farih’s guards quickly made it clear to Nym that those chairs were not meant to be occupied by lowly gardeners, while his own charming demeanor quickly convinced the Sargent that he had no ill intentions – he was merely testing the seat’s cushions, to be sure they were proper for royalty. After assuring them he would do no further ‘testing’, they politely escorted him out of the hall. What an experience! More pictures: And just in case you were in doubt, there are people working here! Poor scribes never get a break... Lots more pictures on Brickbuilt! Thanks for looking, C&C welcome
  15. Muakhah

    Writing for Peace

    In his office Muakhah prepares to write letters to the many important figures across Kaliphlin. Hoping to ease the tensions between the Desert King and the High Council. A warrior priest of Mazadar, clad in the gold and white robes that mark him out as a warrior of the light, peruses the tomes. “Take one of the books with you on your travels as you spread the word down the Oil Road to Petraea. If you can then continue to Barqa as an emissary of Mazadar. My letters should have preceded you.” “I will, Holy One.” Said the Priest, turning to the wall. “Now to the task of writing.” To my Liege, Ark’Mora Raa, The Desert King, Undying Pharoah and Blessed of Mazadar. Grant us thy wisdom in this troubled time and let us know your plans and instructions for the future. Your realm is not yet settled but much can be achieved through peaceful methods. The people are weary of war and would be swayed by your wisdom and generosity. I would council you to make overtures to Lords Dugal Maclean of Eastgate and Gideon of Barqa. These men are renowned for their virtue. Win them to your side with demonstrations of your noble desire for peace. Similarly Peregrinus to the East of Kaliphlin might be brought into the fold with words rather than swords. Once my liege has demonstrated his quality and strengthened the realm, the enemies of Ark’Mora Raa, peace and Mazadar will be much diminished and to walk in the Light will be that much easier. Your Humble servant Muakhah of Khadira To Erudhalion, Lord of Peregrinus Greetings to the master of the eastern seas. We hope that Berigora thrives in these troubled times. I write to you as a servant of Ark’Mora Raa, to convince you of his generosity and kindness. Now that the wars are all but over the Desert King seeks to rebuild Kaliphlin to her prior greatness. His offer of clemency remains. All shall be forgiven and forgotten that we may rebuild together. Help the Desert King to restore trade, peace and prosperity to the Eastern Seaboard and be known for your wisdom. Your Friend, Muakhah of Khadira To Gideon, Lord of Famed Barqa All of Historica knows of your wisdom and temperance. Your nobility and compassion. The endless struggle to do what is right in an unrelenting world. Whether you acknowledge it or not you walk in the Light of Mazadar when you do good upon this world. Barqa, under your stewardship has become a beacon of all that the Desert King requires. A place where all can live and work in peace and safety. This is what Mazadar desires for the world. Our path to paradise lies in building a paradise in this life. I entreat with you to open communications with the Desert King, that you may see and know and understand his vision. Great days lie ahead of us, should we make them happen. May you continue in the light. May you tip the scales. Most sincerely Muakhah of Khadira To Lord Dugal Maclean of Eastgate Noble Lord Maclean, your courage and deeds in these times are famed throughout the land. You inspire the people and have struggled for peace and justice. I entreat you to struggle no more against the Desert King, who understands your desire to do what is right. Mazadar calls upon us to choose right action, and I believe that in your heart you know that with your help the Desert King can set Kaliphlin upon the right course. The Desert King respects quality and wishes not to crush the High Council like a tyrant but to bring you to his councils and hear your wisdom. Let the conflict pass by so that we may focus upon healing the scars of years of war. Share your thoughts with the Desert King and come to an accord, that we may live our days in peace. Most Humbly Muakhah of Khadira The letters were sent out. But would any listen or take note to the entreaties of an isolated place like Khadira? OOC: So this is where Muakhah works for now. Making the furniture was most fun in this small build. One of the kids I teach brought in this Lego Golden Dragon Master and I immediately thought this would be perfect for the Warrior Priests of Mazadar. I know White and Gold are Varylian colors. But they are so holy! On the wall is the symbol of Mazadar. The White and Gold Dragon of Light. I will try and feature it more in another build or two. Its a very simple build but I wanted to make something to establish the Warrior Priests of Mazadar and to get some story going between people. @SkaForHire @Gideon @Gabe I would love it if you guys made some response letter opening/reply as a kind of back and forth between characters. I think we are all waiting to see what kind of leader the Desert King will be and how other leading figures will react to him. @Maxim I I didn't include a letter to Mypa Stedor as in a post I think you hinted it had been destroyed or there had been some mystery. Of course once the truth is known I can make another build and write another letter! Cheers!
  16. While strolling through one of Katoren’s bustling marketplaces, Nym spotted a spice merchant with a wide variety of herbs and spices for sale. He never could resist the opportunity to learn more about plants, herbs, and, well, really anything that grows, so he hurried over to examine them more closely. More pictures and a behind the scenes look on Brickbuilt! My first build for the Kaliphlin at Work collab. While coming up with possible build ideas, I thought of a spice merchant. Creating the various herbs and spices was quite fun, I even found a use for a few of our multitude of broken brown parts! As always, comments and criticism are very welcome
  17. My second contribution to the Kaliphlin at Work collab. It was fun creating another immersive scene, this time making use of our newly acquired dark orange and medium dark flesh tiles for the courtyard. While continuing his travels through Kaliphlin, Nym found work at a wealthy Lord’s estate tending to his gardens, in exchange for food and lodging. And of course, Nym could never say no to gardening work! He gladly accepted the position, and immediately began tending the plants – watering them, making sure the beds were completely devoid of any weeds, and harvesting fruits and vegetables when necessary. More pictures and a behind the scenes look on Brickbuilt! Comments and criticism welcome as always
  18. soccerkid6

    Gardar's Cloth Goods

    I came up with the basic idea for this wall technique, and figured I should make a full building to see if it worked. Various builders like Simon NH, ~Cab~, and Marcel V. have used similar wall techniques before, though my execution is slightly different than theirs. The cobblestone street also uses an idea that has been implemented many times before – free floating pieces. There is a tutorial available on the wall and one for the cobblestone technique for this build will be posted in the future. It was fun to make another highly detailed building with full interior. Gardar has a fine cloth shop in Harburg, and supplies Lord Karsten with any fabrics needed for use at the castle. Today Eryl and Elise are paying for another order of textiles, and they enjoy chatting with the old merchant. "And father would like three more rolls of red wool for his troops' uniforms," Eryl stated as Elise looked around at the various fabrics on display. Sometimes Eryl was annoyed by being required to run errands for his parents, but a visit to Gardar's shop always meant fun as the old merchant was a kind man who well remembered what it was like being a young boy. Gardar replied with a cheerful smile that was all but invisible under his thick beard, "Certainly Eryl! Are you sure he doesn't want some extra cloth to make a proper uniform for you though?" "Maybe another time Gardar, Father says I'll beginning proper weapons training before long! But for today we just need those three rolls" "Well, I'm sure you'll be getting plenty of fine uniforms then. Just don't be too hard on your instructors, they're not as young as you are." Eryl laughed and said, "I'll try not to beat them up too bad," as he shared a conspiratorial wink with the merchant while giving him two coins as payment for the goods.. More pictures See all the details on Brickbuilt. Thanks for looking, your feedback is always greatly appreciated
  19. soccerkid6

    Harburg Kitchen

    This is my first entry into the Colossal Castle Contest XVI. If you haven't already seen it, you should really check it out. It runs through the end of December, and this model of mine is one of the prizes: The castle room interior category caught my eye this year, so I started off with that. After looking up some medieval kitchens I decided on including a series of stone arches connected by wooden rafters. The loosely connected floor tiles were inspired by Cesbrick, while Matthew Oh’s build gave me the idea of forced perspective stairs. I tried to pack in plenty of kitchen details, so be sure to check out all the images. Like most castles, Harburg has a large kitchen to produce the substantial amount of food required for the staff and castle inhabitants. Eryl and his mother, Lady Karin, visit the kitchen today to check on the preparations of a feast for some visiting dignitaries from throughout Mitgardia. While Karin is shown about by head cook Svein, Eryl takes a turn cranking the spit of meat over the fire and chats with one of the young kitchen apprentices who is about his own age. The warmth and cheerful bustle of the kitchen makes it one of Eryl’s favorite rooms in the castle. Additional pictures can be seen on Brickbuilt. Comments and criticism welcome
  20. Somewhere in the Outer Rim Territories ... Ken Roman, heir to a vast fortune of mining industry and an occasional bounty hunter summons his colleagues to discuss on an, as he calls it, important matter ... "Hello lads. It's nice to see that all of you managed to get here despite of your, I imagine, busy schedules. I'll be short. As you know I disbanded our little organization because I tried to start again and live with my new family and do nothing. Well it was a failure and now I'm divorcing my third wife, Penny. Uh, I'm going to tell it as it is: she's going to rip me off heavily. She'll be able to buy whole Ryloth with that money! So since I'm almost broke I was thinking that we could start operating again? I found a lot of nice little jobs - lots of credits, lots of action and lots of fun. Like in the old days!" The squad ofcourse agreed. What else will they do in this chaotic time when empires are falling apart and the whole space just waits for something new and strange to happen? --- I'm planning to make a BH MOC or two before SoNE 2.0 starts so I made this simple freebuild for the start. I'll try to write some backstory for these guys too in the future. Thanks for watching and judge this please, if possible.
  21. Ep. 6 Laesonar's Saga Episode 7 - Laelariel [Part 2] “My my! If that isn’t that ugly faun!” The little group had been descending the path along the empty lake while their noses were slowly getting used to the putrid stench coming out of it. Krisly reacted to Laesonar’s words: “Oh you mean Ogrik? Is he safe then?” “It surely looks that way. He even seems to have found a girlfriend.” “You mean a lady faun? That must be Marielle. What else can you see, Laesonar?” “I can spot an old man. He looks worried." "That must be Jeffrey." "The situation doesn’t look too good in town. They're discussing something with a couple of knights.” The word ‘knights’ awoke Armin’s interest: “Knights? Which colours do they wear? Do they have heraldry of any kind?” “They wear green and have a dragon on their shields.” “Avalonian soldiers? It must be something official then. Let’s hurry and get into town, this place is making me more and more curious!” The situation wasn’t good at all. They passed by dried up fields and abandoned fishing docks before getting into the once-was outer city, now just half-burnt ruins. Closer to the city walls one last house was still standing, right in front of the gateway to the inner city. Judging by its appearance, the city must have been a rich one, in a past not too far in time. The two fauns and the old man called Jeffrey spotted the little group approaching and after a few greetings and hugs, it was the time for introductions. Helga took the word. "Jeffrey, Marielle, please meet Laesonar half-elf and Armin Mainardus. They helped us to fight the bandits and together we managed to finally avenge my brother! And these are Marielle and..." "Jeffrey J. J. von Jeff! For centuries my family has had the honour of serving the Lords of Laelariel, one generation to the next, starting with my ancestor Geoffrey von Jeff, all the way to my father Geoff J. von Jeff! We heard of the defeat of the bandits and Digby the Lunatic's death - I'm glad to make your acquaintance. Please meet my nephew Stan and..." Laesonar, seemingly unaware of the conversation, was looking around. Noticing a dozen eyes staring at him, he turned around quickly. "It is my pleasure to meet you, Mr. von Jeff. I do have however a couple of questions about this place, if you don't mind." Everyone's face grew sad. Jeffrey glanced at the ruins and sighed. "I'll be glad to answer your questions, master half-elf." "So, what's with the blue moss?" Everyone was taken aback by such unexpected question, only Armin smiled. Jeffrey was initially hesitant, but then understood and played along. "It's called Agerat. It's typical of the whole area around Lake Laendir, it mainly grows on rocks and it's one of the symbols of the city of Laelariel. Despite being a moss, it doesn't suffer much from lack of water, as you can see. Some ascribe healing and even magical properties to the plant." "So how is the lake empty?" "There was a weird earthquake a while back. The earth moved only in a particular spot, North from here. A vast chasm opened up underneath the riverbed and the waters of the river now disappear into it before reaching the lake. Changing the course of the river would be very costly and we have barely had any resources ever since the disappearance of the Laendirians." "Laendirians?" "Laendirians are our fishes. Or at least they were. A particular type of fish which, not unlike other species, finds its way up river from the sea, finally stopping in the lake to reproduce. The latter was named after them. Fishing, salting, commerce - Laendirians are the reason why the city thrived in the first place. They mysteriously stopped coming and our explorers downriver never came back, so we do not know what happened. At that point the call to arms arrived, directly from Albion. The wars against the Drow as well as Raaavage took our warriors away, together with our Lord and his sons. They never made it back." He stopped and took a deep breath. "The city was attacked repeatedly, we managed to hold the inner part, the rest was destroyed. The earthquake did the rest, depriving our land of water. The survivors started leaving, now there isn't much left to fight for and..." His voice broke. "And yet, some of us are still here and will always be!" A high-pitched voice suddenly reached the group's ears. "Stop blaming it all on yourself, uncle Jeffrey! We'll never leave our city, even without water!" "Oh. Er... ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce my niece..." "Lola. My name is Lola." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello everyone ^^ As I mentioned, I've been building very slowly. That wall was actually ready last summer (2017) and I was trying to follow up on the wall style of some Avalonian fellows (HQ, Titus, Maestro) who were then cooperating for the Summer Joust. As you can see, I turned the sand green to medium blue and decided to make it a staple feature of Laelariel by adding some lore in the story. I do like that wall, though I feel it's a bit overtextured, so I'll probably try and find some sort of compromise next time. Not much to say about the house, apart from mentioning @TitusV once again (remember? ) for his 'classic' tudor. Though, a fellow castle builder here in Berlin called it 'neo-classic style', which could open an interesting discussion, I reckon So yes, hope you like it. C&C most welcome as usual ^^ Edit: Ep. 8
  22. Henjin_Quilones

    Of Dragons and Druids: Ch. 1

    Of Dragons and Druids: Ch. 1 In the Hall of Druidham Henjin Quilones sighed as he looked across the hall at his children. How much they have grown already, he thought wistfully. He could hardly believe that Gahlen was nearing his seventh birthday. Where had the time gone? Surely it was just last year that he and Galaria had been exiled from Hesperia by her father, the king, not even married yet and certainly no children on the way? Surely he had only returned from Bandari a few months back with a small toddler of three and a baby girl, only just turned one? Henjin shook his head wistfully. Emmalie was no baby any more; the five-year-old was the least Elf-like of his children, taking more after her Druid father than her Elf mother, and she followed him wherever he went. She was the only one of the children to study the in the Druidi Order, as Gahlen and the youngest, Lycaria, with her bright blue hair, were dedicated to the dragonriders of their mother and had already entered into a soul-bond with baby dragons. He loved his children deeply, and watching their play brightened his day. The day was already bright, though. The sun streamed through the windows of the hall, reflecting off of the newly varnished table and the brightly polished tiles of the floor. It was new, the hall. It had only been completed a few months back, and already it had been used for important things. The leaders of Avalonia had met here to discuss the opening of Varlyrio to trade, gracing his table with their presence. That was just a few mornings ago, and already Henjin had heard rumblings of fleets being launched to seek the goods and markets of the far western Guild. Henjin would be sending no fleets, however, since he did not have a fleet, only a few small fishing boats that brought in their catch from the straights and channels between the Mystic Isles around Druidham. "We really must finish the guest-house next, Henjin," Galaria was saying, bringing his thoughts back to the present moment. How much had he missed of what she said? "We have beds open here in the main keep, of course, but many who might visit us have higher standards than a simple bed in a shared dormitory or a small, simply furnished chamber. It's not like we can offer them a place in one of the dragon's weyrs, where the riders sleep." Henjin nodded. "This is true, Galaria," he said, stroking his beard. He had let it grow out since returning to Avalonia. "My only concern is that it will take manpower away from delving the storerooms and cellars. And by manpower I really mean Dwarf-power, since aside from Arkuhr none of us humans are much use working with stone, and while you may be soul-bonded to an Earth dragon, Daeara is more attuned to the living things on and in the earth than to the rocks of the earth itself." It was Galaria's turn to nod in agreement. "True, it would take some Dwarf-power from the cellars, and harvest time is nigh upon us, so perhaps we should delay that; but we could at least shift the Gnomes over to building the bridge to the outcropping where we plan to build the guest-house. It will not be cold here for a month or more, I don't think, so getting the geothermal pumps going can wait a little bit. And besides, Injini has nearly completed it anyways. He said our rock formations here are not so different from the ones beneath Bandari, so he did not have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, to get our system going like the one under the Hatchery or the Dragon Halls there." "Very well," Henjin agreed. "We should get to work on the bridge, using the dragons to lift the slabs of stone in place according to the plan of Injini and Mvumbuzi. My Druids, especially Arkuhr, can assist with the stone shaping, at least the rough hewing, and perhaps we can convince Stenkarlek to shift his brother and wife over to the final shaping of the stones, while he and his father finish up the cellars." Just then Lycaria gave a loud shout of pain and Gahlen came running over to his parents. "I didn't do it, Dad," he said breathlessly. "What did you not do?" asked Henjin suspiciously. Galaria went over to Lycaria to comfort her and see if she was hurt. Emmalie was holding her hands over her sister, muttering some Druidic words of healing. "I didn't push her head into the table when she was chasing after me after I stole her hairclip," said the boy sheepishly. "Mm-hmm," grunted Henjin. "I need you to apologize to your sister for pushing her and stealing her clip. And you need to apologize to me for lying. And finally, I need you to go with Koeden to help Stenkarlek dig out the storerooms. He could use a small Earth dragon and even smaller boy down in the tunnels with him to help dig. And bring him this message that I am going to give you." He turned to the writing desk by the windows and began to write on a scrap of parchment. "Yes, father," said Gahlen with downcast eyes. "I am sorry for lying." "I forgive you," said Henjin, finishing up the message and handing it to his son. "Now go! Get your dragon and find Stenkarlek." ______________________________________ ............................................................................ The first chapter of my Book III story! Not unlike @de Gothia, I have chosen to make the time between the end of Book II and the start of Book III for my story be the span of several years (about 8 in my case). Hence there are now kids involved. My inspiration for the story, at least for the dragon part of things, comes especially from Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series, one of my all-time favorite reads. I will be tying things in from my previous Chronicles of Hesperia, plus the builds I did for the Safe Haven challenge. And there will be dragons. Lots of dragons. My characters will probably end up in Varlyrio's Sunken City at some point, too. The build itself is the same as the one I used for the Prelude: An Avalonian Council, but the lighting is different this time, with the sole light source now being through the windows. I really like the way that made it look, even better than before. Plus, I adjusted the white balance to look more warm. C&C welcome!
  23. Grover

    Scouting a Site

    The Tales of Lady Gwenllian 0. Introduction 1. The arrival of Lady Gwenllian aboard the Cedar Serpent 2. Scouting a Site Sailing from the northwest, Lady Gwenllian first sighted land on the coast of the Enchanted Forest of Avalonia. She and her small crew followed the coastline up the channel between the Enchanted Forest and DeVine Isle, stopping to resupply several times from villages, streams, and what resources as were available, all the while scouting potential sites for a new home. The horrible battles of her homeland's civil war taught her difficult lessons on fortifications, and she was determined to find the best possible site to build a castle. Ideally, she desired a site with a nearby quarry, accessible by land and by sea, on high ground, access to timber, and with ample farmland. After scouting several locations without luck, she and her entourage came across a rocky outcropping at the mouth of the Afondraig River on the northeastern coast of the Enchanted Forest. This flat, treeless area boasted steep rocky cliffs on two sides to deter attackers, and a narrow rocky strip along the shallows of the river that would make for a sheltered landing site. The rest of the high rocky area overlooked flat meadows that would be perfect for farms, and these ended about a mile away at the edge of a large forest. Anchoring the Cedar Serpent in the calm flow before the shallows near the mouth of the Afondraig River, Lady Gwenllian and her entourage offloaded supplies and set up a temporary camp. The fall colors were spotted about in the bushes that interspersed with the dried grasses, and made for a rather pretty scene. They could not be distracted by this beauty, however: after inquiring about local claims to the land, they would have to petition Queen Ylspeth for a charter to build, survey the land, and build temporary shelters for the winter. Over the winter, Lady Gwenllian and Seren, her Lady at Arms, would draw up the plans for the castle, whose construction was to begin in the spring. More pictures on Flickr.
  24. Location: Mesabi Landing Type: Large Commercial Mordo drove the cargo wagon across the elevated railway through Mesabi Landing. As Chief Officer of Human Resources it was his job to inspect the railways that made Mesabi Landing the Awesome powerhouse of industry that it was. Mesabi Landing by North White, on Flickr He followed the rails over the bridge to the loading dock, where large ships were set to be loaded. Mesabi Landing by North White, on Flickr Meanwhile, the streets of Mesabi Landing were busy as usual, street cars and coaches traveled the many roads of the great city. Mesabi Landing by North White, on Flickr Mordo was excited to make sure the cargo got to the ship. Mesabi Landing never attracted much port traffic even though it was far more prosporous than Jamestown and Fatu Hiva Mesabi Landing by North White, on Flickr Mesabi Landing by North White, on Flickr Mordo disembarked, and unhitched the horse to lead it back around. They'd soon have to find a better way to do this, that kept the horse moving. Mesabi Landing by North White, on Flickr But business continued as usual in the landing, in small shops, and in large factories. Mesabi Landing by North White, on Flickr FIN Thanks for viewing my build. Originally the second half was a bit different, it was a lot flimsier, and then I dropped it, necessitating some improvements. I also don't really have the space to photograph it effectively, that's my couch in the background. C&C appreciated.
  25. A mercenary's story: Part IV If you missed, here is the previous parts: A mercenary's story: Part I A mercenary's story: Part II A mercenary's story: Part III It was a middle aged man, in a black armor, he greeted the jailor, and started talking. The outside noise was louder, Conrad didn't heard, what was the talk between the mysterious visitor and the jailor. But after that, the jailer took the key from the wall, and opened the door, then escorted the prisoners up, to the courtyard. It was great to feel the sun again, the fresh air too. They were lined up, Conrad noticed, there are others in black armor too. His thoughts was confirmed, mercenaries... Their leader, started walking front of them, and had a speech. He came here, to gave them a second chance, to make things right. His habit, to recruit from prisons, so able arms which can wield weapons, don't wasted. And also, the lords of Historica agreed on that, it's always more expensive to keep up prisons, and to send convicts, to battle, then their own mens. The leader offered them the same: remain here, and die on the next day, or he recruit them, but they must follow his rules. Conrad and some of the criminals accepted the offer, they stepped foward. While they were handcuffed, the leader arranged the paperwork, and they were escorted out from the courtyard. The mercenary camp wasn't too far, they arrived in the afternoon. They were escorted in a large tent, full with other, new recruits, and other soldiers. Conrad sat down in to a corner, hi was tired, he didn't eat well in the last few days. He fell asleep quickly. He was wakedby a soldier. He orderd him, to get up, and go outside, cause the leader wanted him too, to see following event. He went out, and saw the others,gathered. The soldier escorted him in to the front of the crowd. Then he understand whats happening here. He saw the leader, a huge sword, and two, who came with him from the prison. The leader started his speech again: "- Some people don't deserve second chance. It's a shame there is always some one, who think he can outsmart me... Most of you know me, I can't be outsmarted, and most of you know, what will happened next. This is a lesson, for the new commers.-" Then he walked to the trunk, raisedthe sword, and striked down. The hairy head fell to the ground. Conrad wasn't prepared for this. As he saw the sword, raised in the air, he quicky turned his head away. A bad memory came in his mind. A few years ago, he walked in to the barn at the worst time. He saw, as his mother choped down the chickens head. The blood dripped from table and from the blade. On that day he understand it, sometimes where are his favorite chickens... - You there, boy. Come here Conrad becomes pale as a dead, the leader pointed at him. He walked out from the crowd, next to him. He was shaking. - What's your name boy? - Co ... Conrad. - answered. - Here, hold this sword. - the leader tossed the sword,in to Conrads hands. - Can you lift it? Conrad grabed the hilt,and raised it above his head. It was more heavier then the wooden sticks, which served as swords, when he played with his friends. - Not bad kid! I see you aren't a village boy. Where were you raised? - On a farm... - answered the boy, as he lowered the sword. - Tell me, was this your first execution? Your fathr never took you with him to market. - Yes, but he never allowed us to watch it. Killing is wrong. - Your father is a smart men. - the leader walked closer to the boy. - Killing, in deed, is wrong. But there are other things that's wrong. Like the thing, what you commited. The leader stopped, Conrad knowed something bad will happen. - First of all. - started. - This isn't a punishment. I try to help you with this, cause sooner or late, this deed must be done, to become a mercenary. - the leader puted his hand on Conrads shoulder, lowered his voice. - You must kill him. The boy become pale as snow. His heart started beating faster, he felt a knot in his stomach. The leader genty pushed him, towards the tied up ruffian. - Don't worry, only the first one is the hardest. - encouraged him the leader. Conrad tried to not cry. He was sure, if he had some meal, he would throw it up. He stood next to the trunk, raised the sword. He hesitated. - What's the matter farm-boy? -asked him the leader with a smile. - If you have trouble removing his head, imagine him, as a chicken! Chop off the head so your mother can make a good chicken soup! The encouraging words didn't helped him, but caused more discomfort. Bad memories came to his mind. A week later, after the incident, his mother forced him, to chop off the head of a chicken. She told him, he can't have dinner, if he don't do it. The boy hesitated, like now, hi holded the blade, while his mother holded the chicken. "- Come on son, let's get over with. Dinner must be ready, when your father comes home" The situation get even worse, when the other soldiers gets bored, and started taunting him: - Come on! Let's finish him, and we can go to eat! - What are you, a chicken? - one of the soldiers asked him, and start mimicing a chicken, and started clucking. Conrad was wasted. The memory, the words: chicken, soup. The taunting, this situation, all blurred together. He didn't know what is real, and what isn't. His arms was getting tired, holding the sword. He closed his eyes, and start repeating to him: - Just a chicken... Just a chiken... - his vocie become quiter every time. He felt the judging look of the leader, like his mothers. He heard clucking the others, like the rest of the chickens in the barn. He felt the hunger, like on that evening... He didn't wanted to starve longer... He striked. He took one last glimps of the ruffian, befor he decapitated him... ...A chicken... - Not bad kid! - the leader patted Conrads back. - A bit messy, but a little practice will help it. - now, he turned to his men: - All of you it's dinner time, eat well, and go to rest. Tomorrow, we de-camp, and travel to the next settlement. - now back to the boy. - I advise you, to take a bath, befor you go eat too. Oh, and welcome... Conrad didn't heard or felt anything. He was still in the shock. He slowly opened his eyes. The body, head and the blade was already removed from the scene. No one was there either, just he. He felt something warm and wet on his hands. Blood, from the elbows to the tip of his fingers. He look at them, as everything went to black. He fainted... Let the boy rest, cause his adventures isn't ends here!